Raw Deal Carnage

By Jeep Experts


We gathered a few mile from the path head to air down, swap tales, and see who had put in one thing new on their Jeep. It was a small group right now, with two TJs and two YJs making up the gathering. Several of the opposite guys I’ve wheeled with have been catching up on issues round the home or had organized to hit one other path. As 9:20 AM rolled round, we headed down the gravel highway to the path head.

There had been sporadic rain within the Phoenix space over the previous few weeks. Some of Raw Deal is on uncovered bedrock with small swimming pools that gather the water run off. With the temps being solely within the mid-60s for the previous week, these swimming pools weren’t evaporating off in a short time. So, we have been capable of get our tires moist and really discover an impediment or two that really had a bit of little bit of mud (or was that simply grime blended with moist sand) round it.

We dropped off the highway into the wash that alerts the beginning of the path. Steve was main the run in his YJ and I used to be within the #2 slot with my TJ. Larry was in his TJ too, and Dion and Paola have been doing tail gunner responsibility of their YJ. 

I paused on the path simply as Steve rounded a flip. My espresso cup was empty and I wished to fill it earlier than we acquired to the primary impediment. After messing with my thermos, the cup was crammed and I slipped it into 4LO and headed off. What I missed was Steve taking a simple line round a rock ledge. (OK…so this was solely my 2nd time on the path and I didn’t bear in mind all the particulars). I edged my TJ as much as the ledge and let the entrance tires ease down the rock. I knew proper then I used to be going to hit the rear coming off the ledge. TJs have the curse of a low hanging fuel tank. Hard as I attempted, the passenger nook nonetheless landed fairly onerous on the Tomken skid. Ouch!

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After some boulders and stray rock cabinets, we acquired to the primary main impediment, the “Great Divide” as Steve calls it. We took turns recognizing one another by means of this impediment. It takes a few occasions to study the most effective spot for tire placement, and we needed to cease a couple of times and punctiliously again the driving force up just a few ft for a shot at higher placement. A slipped tire whereas crawling over this large and jagged rock crack and can give your sheet metallic a very unhealthy rash. The moist tires don’t assist both, however the aggressive tread on the BFG MTs and the Goodyear MT/Rs held strong and stored everybody in place.

Next was the “air gap”. As the title implies, it offers those that attempt it an off-camber alternative to check their low altitude air grabbing skills. I had opted round this impediment the final time however determined to attempt it this time. Steve acquired good air by means of gap and gave me an concept of the mandatory line I wanted. After a few photographs at getting lined up good, I used to be capable of get what was to be the most effective air of the day. Everyone was a bit fearful that my TJ was going over, however she held in there and we made an excellent exhibiting.

After just a few extra rock out croppings and boulders, we got here to a different rock ledge. This one offers quite a lot of completely different traces, starting from a 1′ bump to the not possible. Dion and I mentioned a line that Steve mentioned he was prepared to attempt. It was a particularly off-camber crawl over the very best part of the ledge. He made it however not with out first giving everybody there cash’s value for a powerful show of rock crawling. 

Dion and Larry each took onerous traces additionally and managed to recover from with only a rocker panel or t-case skid making their presence recognized. Me….properly, I opted for what seemed like a neater one and nearly acquired myself hi-centered.

Raw Deal Carnage


Speaking of hi-centered, Steve did mange to get himself caught straddling a rock. The latest rains had modified the wash a bit and stored his entrance tires from getting the mandatory traction to drag him over the rocks. I attempted strapping him off from the entrance and solely succeeded in digging 4 good holes within the wash. Dion acquired into the motion and was capable of get Steve strapped off the rock pile backwards. Like they are saying, “Sometimes you get the rocks and typically they get you!”

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With solely two extra main obstacles forward of us, we gathered up the tow straps and headed off for Raw Deal’s model of the “Golden Crack”. Now the crack, prefer it’s harder Moab cousin, is supposed to be navigated at a roughly perpendicular trend…give or take a bit based mostly on the driving force’s discretion. Steve, being quite adventuresome, determined to attempt working the impediment alongside its size, which is fairly important.

He was in regards to the size of his YJ into it after we heard what appeared like a rifle shot. I clutched within the my TJ, killed the engine, and left it up on the bedrock whereas I headed down in direction of Steve. Sure sufficient, the passenger axle u-joint has exploded. Although he had a spare u-joint and axle stub, his present place didn’t enable for a path restore. He determined to attempt shifting forward a bit and see if he may get into a greater spot for the restore. BANG….the u-joint on the different finish of the axle went and it took the ball joint with it.

 Steve was in a foul approach, to say the least. His driver’s facet entrance tire was laying nearly flat on the bottom. His YJ was not wanting good. After some dialogue and inspection, the hi-lift was introduced out and the remaining good entrance tire was lifted excessive into the air. Unless we may get a pile of rocks below it so it may extra simply roll over the bedrock ledge, we weren’t getting the YJ out. Going ahead was not possible and going again was nearly that unhealthy.

The jack held and we acquired an excellent load of rocks below the tire, sufficient anyway to provide the YJ a combating likelihood of being pulled backwards out of the impediment. We grabbed a tow strap and hooked it to the rear of the YJ. With straightforward throttle on the tow Jeep, Steve assisted with 2WD and reverse gear. It was not fairly, however the YJ got here out dragging the entrance axle tube within the wash like a poorly designed plow share.

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Steve referred to as a detailed buddy (you bought to have shut mates while you do this stuff to your Jeep) who may present help within the type of a flat mattress trailer. About an hour or so later, Jimmy confirmed up with the trailer. With assist from Dion, he was capable of piece again a piece of the ball joint and really acquired the YJs hub to remain in place lengthy sufficient for Steve to get out of the wash. Luckily, the part that leads as much as the Golden Crack has an “decide out” path and Steve was capable of get the YJ up it in simply 2WD. From there, Jimmy acquired the YJ loaded onto the trailer and headed again in direction of Phoenix.

Through all of this, Steve was just about smiling (particularly as soon as he noticed that the YJ was coming house that day). He has a D44 entrance axle that has been ready to interchange the D30 and it seems to be like now could be nearly as good a time as any to just do that. We’ll see if the D60 that Steve has been making rumblings about will find yourself entering into on the identical time.

For now, Steve and Jimmy can be spending a while on the YJ. When it’s completed, you may wager we’ll be again on Raw Deal and Steve will drive his rig down the Golden Crack (or take out one other axle attempting!). Once once more, Raw Deal has lived as much as its title. This time, Steve acquired the uncooked deal. Next time….who is aware of who it will likely be?

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