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Old 09-15-2023, 9:44pm   #1
ptindall
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Default The Rubicon Trail: bucket list worthy

Brother and I completed it a couple days ago. The difficulty, remoteness, length, and beauty combine to make it really something. I had the only side by side we saw out there. The trail was dominated by late model Rubicons with long arms and 35" or greater tires. I had tires come off the bead due to running 8psi and I broke the sway bar. The LJ had a brake booster fail about one hour in that caused us to turn around, fix it, and start again the next day. Camped about half way through the hard stuff at Buck Island Lake. My first night in a tent in many years.
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Old 09-15-2023, 9:49pm   #2
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:07pm   #3
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Bad ass rig..
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:49pm   #4
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Nice LJ I'm planning on the Rubicon next year.
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Old 09-16-2023, 7:44am   #5
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Bad ass rig..
I agree. Very cool setup.

Awesome scenery.
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Old 09-16-2023, 10:20am   #6
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I've done parts of the Rubicon and it is beautiful, but I would not do it again unless I was in a modern Razor or something with a ton of suspension travel, etc. I'm too old to be bounced around that badly on the rocks these days. I do off road stuff in the desert every year, but stay out of areas that I used to venture in that are technical and really hazardous. Cool that you got out there to do the trail.
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Old 09-16-2023, 11:52am   #7
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I did the Rubicon a long time ago when I was in the USN. We camped at Wentworth Springs. I was pretty much the only one that didnít incur damage. I had an old S10 Blazer 5 speed manual. Great trail crawler.
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Old 09-16-2023, 12:22pm   #8
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I still have my old rig....it got stolen in 2001 and they stripped the winch bumper, camper shell, CB, and a bunch of other stuff off it. I got it back a month later with a gas tank full of water and virtually NO damage except for the steering column and carburetor. The thieves had actually replaced the wiper blades and were using it to haul brush and wood.
I tend to use it around town now, as the Tundra has AC and a lot more comfort. Still, this was my go-to trail rig for 20+ years, and with the locker in the rear and the 4" lift, still gets the job done. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-16-2023, 12:41pm   #9
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I still have my old rig....it got stolen in 2001 and they stripped the winch bumper, camper shell, CB, and a bunch of other stuff off it. I got it back a month later with a gas tank full of water and virtually NO damage except for the steering column and carburetor. The thieves had actually replaced the wiper blades and were using it to haul brush and wood.
I tend to use it around town now, as the Tundra has AC and a lot more comfort. Still, this was my go-to trail rig for 20+ years, and with the locker in the rear and the 4" lift, still gets the job done. Attachment 88328
I have looked for one of those for several years now... if I ever find one I will paint it Viper red and get a "TOMATO" decal made for the tailgate.
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Old 09-16-2023, 1:52pm   #10
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I have looked for one of those for several years now... if I ever find one I will paint it Viper red and get a "TOMATO" decal made for the tailgate.
They tend to be in the western states. They had zero rust e-coating and rusted out in a few years back east and anywhere they salted the roads.

In the past 5-8 years, they got hit with the same phenomenon that the first gen Bronco's and Blazers have been experiencing and are hard to find for realistic money. I offered to sell mine for 3k to a co-worker a few years back and he couldn't swing it. Now it's worth 12k or more as it sits. Paid $2500 for it 30 years ago as a used 10 year old truck. Been driving it ever since with just about zero issues. It's never broken down on me.
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Old 09-16-2023, 2:14pm   #11
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Badass! Glad to see your outdoors having fun with your brother.
Looks like a blast and great weather.
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Old 09-18-2023, 9:40am   #12
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Would love to do the Rubicon, but my 97 TJ on 33's probably wouldn't cut it. LOL Not to mention it has the 2.5L 4 cyl vs the inline 6 4.0. With just a 3" lift, I'm sure I'd get in all kinds of trouble.

Love seeing an LJ out there doing it, and wonder if the shorter wheel base would help or hurt me out there.

AND... Love the Lance truck camper. We have a 2465 travel trailer of theirs are REALLY love it!

Sounds like you had a fun trip! Feel free to post more pics of the Jeep in action!
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Old 09-18-2023, 10:17am   #13
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Sweeeeeeeeeeeet, the budget issue I have is those Jeeps and four-wheelers are not cheap, and then you are required to push tem until they break.

Looks like a great time!!
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:32am   #14
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Would love to do the Rubicon, but my 97 TJ on 33's probably wouldn't cut it. LOL Not to mention it has the 2.5L 4 cyl vs the inline 6 4.0. With just a 3" lift, I'm sure I'd get in all kinds of trouble.

Love seeing an LJ out there doing it, and wonder if the shorter wheel base would help or hurt me out there.

AND... Love the Lance truck camper. We have a 2465 travel trailer of theirs are REALLY love it!

Sounds like you had a fun trip! Feel free to post more pics of the Jeep in action!
Short wheelbase is the only way not to get frame damage. lol.
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:37am   #15
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Would love to do the Rubicon, but my 97 TJ on 33's probably wouldn't cut it. LOL Not to mention it has the 2.5L 4 cyl vs the inline 6 4.0. With just a 3" lift, I'm sure I'd get in all kinds of trouble.

The Rubicon has been around many, many years. 33" tires and a small lift were considered pretty big years ago when lots of YJs and TJs ran it. You could run it with a good spotter if you know what you're doing.
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Old 09-18-2023, 1:14pm   #16
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The Rubicon has been around many, many years. 33" tires and a small lift were considered pretty big years ago when lots of YJs and TJs ran it. You could run it with a good spotter if you know what you're doing.
I think with at least a rear locker it would be possible, but difficult not to wind up with body damage. Especially rockers. With open diffs, I don't think it would be possible without winching or getting tows. It would certainly make for a very long day. If you care about not damaging your vehicle, I think it would be a very stressful, very long day. Not a whole lot of fun, IMO.
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Old 09-18-2023, 1:18pm   #17
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Would love to do the Rubicon, but my 97 TJ on 33's probably wouldn't cut it. LOL Not to mention it has the 2.5L 4 cyl vs the inline 6 4.0. With just a 3" lift, I'm sure I'd get in all kinds of trouble.

Love seeing an LJ out there doing it, and wonder if the shorter wheel base would help or hurt me out there.

AND... Love the Lance truck camper. We have a 2465 travel trailer of theirs are REALLY love it!

Sounds like you had a fun trip! Feel free to post more pics of the Jeep in action!

Thanks. I do have more pics, but not from work where I am now. Pictures don't really do justice to crawling anyway. Same with racing. Or beautiful vistas. You kinda have to be there.
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Old 09-18-2023, 1:21pm   #18
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I think with at least a rear locker it would be possible, but difficult not to wind up with body damage. Especially rockers. With open diffs, I don't think it would be possible without winching or getting tows. It would certainly make for a very long day. If you care about not damaging your vehicle, I think it would be a very stressful, very long day. Not a whole lot of fun, IMO.

Agreed on at least rear locker (or better yet both) and rocker protection. I'd add a good winch with rope instead of wire. And a jack. And...well, just being well prepared. I've run the Rubicon, as well as every trail in Moab and most in CO. I've seen very good drivers with a good spotter get through some difficult obstacles and I've seen bad drivers in a built rig break and roll because they didn't know what they were doing. The most important tool on a tough 4WD trail is your brain.
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Old 09-18-2023, 1:29pm   #19
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Sweeeeeeeeeeeet, the budget issue I have is those Jeeps and four-wheelers are not cheap, and then you are required to push tem until they break.

Looks like a great time!!
Most of the vehicles on the trail were big money. I think I paid $5,000 for mine maybe five years ago. It does have a lift, full skid plate, and bigger tires than stock, but I did everything except the optional extreme stuff. It tackled the trail easier than my brother's LJ. That may sound hard to believe but it was true. At about 1/4 the weight, narrower, far more maneuverable, and a completely protected flat bottom, its quite capable. Maybe the least cool vehicle, but almost certainly the cheapest.
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Old 09-18-2023, 1:35pm   #20
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Most of the vehicles on the trail were big money. I think I paid $5,000 for mine maybe five years ago. It does have a lift, full skid plate, and bigger tires than stock, but I did everything except the optional extreme stuff. It tackled the trail easier than my brother's LJ. That may sound hard to believe but it was true. At about 1/4 the weight, narrower, far more maneuverable, and a completely protected flat bottom, its quite capable. Maybe the least cool vehicle, but almost certainly the cheapest.

I absolutely believe that. My last wheeling rig was a '69 Bronco I rebuilt three times. The last time I narrowed the tub 8", put shaved 14 bolt rear and high pinion D60 front axles with spools, full hydraulic steering, Atlas t-case clocked flat, and 40" Red Label Krawler tires. It was over the top but I got bored because everything was too easy so I sold it. If we had stayed in western CO I would probably have a TJ with a mild build to make things challenging again.
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