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Thread: Die Hard (April 16, 2011)

  1. #1
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    Default Die Hard (April 16, 2011)

    Die Hard 2 ~ Die Harder

    As with any good sequel, you need to have a nod to the original, so I will begin with 7 MORE things I learned this past Saturday:

    1. Pride is a cruel mistress.
    2. Geoff is an incredible seamstress.
    3. “Looney Tune” solutions sometimes work.
    4. The FatBob “Black TJ Curse” has been BROKEN!
    5. Geoff could and should be a hand model.
    6. I was wrong before… show tunes DO make any situation an “instant party".
    7. Mike and Geoff are geniuses; I’m evidently just the pretty face.

    We (Showboat, Skatchkins, and I) started the day out before the crack of dawn by meeting at the QT at 5 AM. Geoff and I had been talking during the week but instead of running something light as a shake down, Pride had gotten the better of us and we decided that it was a shame we didn’t actually get to the good stuff on Die Hard the first time around. Geoff was a trooper and followed me out on the last trip, so I figured the best thing I could do as a friend was to support him. As referenced in point #1 above, Pride is a cruel mistress and I couldn’t stand the fact that I was owned the first time around. So, with confidence and excitement, we set out for Table Mesa.

    We aired down and were ready to go by 6 AM. The sun was coming up and Table Mesa is a great place to be at daybreak. At the beginning of the trail head, we made sure to drive around the rock that took out my hydro-assist the first time around, so we already felt better about the trip.

    The first obstacle is a notch that we bypassed the first time, but wanted to take a crack at it this time. It’s pretty wicked with the driver rear tire always being in the notch and never really grabbing. Geoff went first and drove it like a pro… well, up until the part where he slipped into the crack and got stuck.



    We spent the better part of 30 minutes working him deeper and deeper into the notch in efforts to free him. Winches, tow straps, rocks, and The Force were all used. The final solution was a winch from the side to lift him up and allow him to get traction. No major breakage other than some body modification and a couple scratches.



    (That is now my official favorite photo by the way. Mike is freakin’ talented.)

    I had to stop video taping once we got into recovery mode, but here is film of Geoff in the notch right up until a *little bit* of language and a “thunk” sound as he drops into the notch.



    After recovering the rig and making sure everything was good, we headed on to the next mini-obstacle: the waterfall that broke my junk last time. I will confess, if nothing else, I was bound and determined to get past this point as this was as far as we got last time. Geoff crawled it like a pro with his long wheel base and killer driving skillz.




    Now… it was my turn. I paid attention to his line, got it going and rocked the casba!







    Well... kinda. No “Boom” or “Pop” this time, but instead, a hideous hissing sound from the driver rear tire (which you hear quite clearly if you actually watched the video!). Sure as the world, sliced it! Big ol’ slit right up the side wall. Thwarted on the same waterfall! We weren’t having any of that, so I went on up the waterfall to the flat ground above and we took a look at the damage and worked out a game plan.

    Now, we had plenty of plugs and plug kits (but no 40 x 13.5 x 20 spare tires lying around…), but based upon previous experience plugs alone wouldn’t hold it tight. So, Geoff the Seamstress struck upon a great idea: sew it together with bailing wire to keep it together, then plug it. So, that’s exactly what we did.

    Now, the first challenge was getting Geoff’s hatch open after his “body work” in the notch, but we had equipment for that. (Look at those magnificent hands!)



    Geoff drilled NEW holes into the sidewall for threads and after we popped the beadlock off, he proceeded to stitch up the tire with wire like a pro. Then, we played a great game of “Can you hear the hissing?” in which Geoff and Mike took turns listening for air leaks. Once it was all good to go we were on our way again with the sexiest sidewall on the trail. Great job, guys!





    (For the record, it held for the entire trail! Killer trail repair, Geoff and Mike. It was at this point that we decided Geoff could also be a hand model, and unfortunately, I was told what “The Gorilla” and the “Silverback Gorilla” were. Trust me when I say I was glad we were moving again!)
    Last edited by alanzona; 04-18-2011 at 01:44 AM.
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  2. #2
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    Once past the waterfall is when the trail got really, really good. It is safe to say that Die Hard is my new favorite trail. There are three big sections of canyon that have a huge (think small cabin sized) boulders in the middle of the canyon and you have to work you way to either side while going up a waterfall. Man this stuff is fun. Technical and challenging at the same time. What was really great was that none of us had ever run this trail this far before so we had to walk each fall and pick out lines. Just a great time and it added to the adventure of the day.

    Geoff on the first boulder area (and his buddy Nick BAILING when things got scary! Fail. For the record, the young lady who was Nick’s friend stayed in the back seat and rode it out like a pro…):



    And now me on the first boulder area. I finally got to use my cutting breaks for pivoting on a rock while climbing. Yeah!!! (This is also where Geoff coined the phrase “Creepy Style” and it was a good thing! Here’s how it’s used in a conversation: Come on, come on… keep coming, “creepy style”, man, “creepy style”):






    Geoff on the next boulder area:





    and then me on the next boulder area (look at the rear tire for perspective on how much that goes up):






    As I said before, half the fun was talking through the lines and figuring out where we wanted to go. Here is just a random clip of the wash and our trail discussions.




    Geoff on the third boulder area:






    and (guess what!) me on the third boulder area:

    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  3. #3
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    After the three boulder areas, the trail turned up and out of the wash. We thought we were home free at this point. WRONG. Die Hard had one last hurray for us: a strange wonky waterfall into a huge uphill boulder garden that was one of the more technical parts of any trail I’ve ever run. Geoff owned it (at the expense of his rear hatch glass!), then he spotted me up it.

    Here’s Geoff:



    Here’s me:



    My video camera battery was dead after my up, so no video of the last boulder field (although you can see it if you pause near the end of Geoff’s clip and the end of my video clip) and Mike is tired of looking at pictures tonight, so no pics of the last boulder garder as of yet. I’ll update the thread when more are ready.

    On the LAST BOULDER coming out of the garden at the top of the hill, I hear the dreaded hissing sound from the rear tire again. This time, my whole sidewall is GONE. Completely blown out. We were at the end of the trail, so I drove it out to flat ground to formulate a plan. You like?



    Up next: The Trip Home!
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  4. #4
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    The Trip Home:

    So, here we are. Off the trail, happy, but a bit stuck. We call around and no one has a 40 x 13.5 x 20 tire in stock, so that’s out. I don’t have a spare. We don’t have a tow rig or trailer, and we don’t want to leave my rig out at TM unattended for that long. (It didn’t help that all the shooters had lost their minds Saturday and there were ricochets all over the place… it felt like a war zone.) So, I text Bob and Avis to borrow a truck and trailer respectively (thanks a MILLION for being willing to donate your equipment to the cause, fellas. I really appreciate it.)

    While waiting on texts back, we come up with an idea inspired by Looney Tunes: What if we can make all the weight go to the other three tires so the blown out one isn’t touching, then just drive it home on three wheels! After a good laugh, we all kinda looked at each other and said “well, why can’t we?” and we got busy with the plan.

    Step 1: Crank down the front passenger side to pull as much weight that way as possible.
    Step 2: Remove the left rear strut to keep any down force off the wheel/axle.
    Step 3: Put a large rock under the right rear of the tub to keep it off the axle.
    Step 4: Use the winch as additional suck down keeping weight in the front.
    Step 5: Drive it home with no weight on the left rear tire!

    (Other ideas that were discarded: Mike hanging off the side of the jeep as ballast, making a catamaran and filling it with rocks as a counter weight, putting a wheel on the bottom of the hi-lift and strapping it to the left rear of the jeep, using The Force to hold up the rear while driving, jacking up the rear and driving Geoff’s jeep under the back to push while I steer… well, you get the point. It was hot and we were in the middle of the desert.)

    Here’s a pic of step #1:



    Here’s a pic of step #3:



    Here’s a pic of step #5 (notice how even though the tire is shredded, the rim isn’t on the ground):



    And finally! Geoff is such an amazing seamstress… his bailing wire stitch-n-plug job was still intact after the blow out! Amazing work, Geoff. (Might wanna reconsider the hand model job after all, though.)



    So the plan worked as designed. All the weight was on the other three tires and the driver rear wasn’t touching… except when we had to climb a hill and it would torque down and back. So we pulled out at the air-down spot to reassess the situation. Lance was driving out, so we visited with him for a bit, then went back into problem solving mode. The issue was acceleration, not our three wheeled design. So we strapped my rig to the back of Geoff’s rig and he towed me home. We were able to travel without incident, sticking to the shoulder, service roads, and back roads the whole way home. We arrived safely at the house, sunburned, tired, and more than a little pleased with ourselves. LOL

    So, in summary, “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” was a great sequel that was even better than the first. It still had drama, still had heart, and best of all, had some great wheelin’ in it. Mike, Geoff… great job gentlemen. I love running with you guys and thanks for putting up with me.

    I look forward to “Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance” coming soon to a run near you! What a freakin’ great day of wheelin’. I am all dusty and hot and tired and happy all over again, just from writing up this trip. The rock will get signed and the stitch-n-plug will get cut out of the shredded tire as trophy’s of the trip. Thanks guys!

    (I will do a highlight reel another night that takes all the video and edit it into one short clip, but I’ve gotta go to bed! Enjoy!)
    Last edited by alanzona; 04-18-2011 at 10:04 AM.
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  5. #5
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    Best write up ever. I"m happy I called your trail fix, when I heard 3 wheels were used to get home, that's the only thing I could think of... lol I've never seen anyone without full width axles make that first notch...

  6. #6
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    Dang Alan...... that trail is gettin the best of you.... or should I say that first fall..... Might be tome to invest in a spare tire?

    I see Michael's pics end about halfway through the trail....... did his camera die?
    Sy
    85 Syota, 6.0/700r4/203/300/60's/Detroits/37 MTRk's/§XX§
    02 Symmins tow beast..... a few goodies
    High Country Renegades

  7. #7
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    Wow! Superb pics and video. That trail looks knarly. I love the write-up and story....another epic day!!! Oh, I almost forgot, the TJ is looking great!
    James
    '06 LJ Bashmobile

  8. #8
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    Thanks Cecil. tire issue aside (they did sit for 3+ years just baking in the sun so I can't be too upset), the TJ is doing great. I'm lovin getting used to the feel. I still don't have the clutch/brake on an obstacle thing down yet... too "automatic tranny" trained to be smooth... but I'm getting there. Each run is better.

    Sy - ya think? LOL As I'm getting a tire to replace this one, I'm looking into a spare rim and tires for the rest of them and I'll make one of these my spare for emergencies... just gotta figure out a sweet tire carrier like you have for my rig. As far as Mike's camera, he was fine on memory card and batteries... just wore himself out looking through and processing pictures last night, so I'm sure there will be more when he gets his second wind. I appreciate him processing what he did over the weekend so I had some for the write up. I didn't check the battery in mine, so I had no pics, just video for my contribution.

    Avis - Thanks man. I tend to go more "travel log" than "technical write up", but it's fun reliving the trip.
    The Dusty Gnome / White Collar Publishing
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  9. #9
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    Nice job guys! Geoff, that stitching looks great. Funny that it is the most intact part of the sidewall now.

    If you guys ever need a trailer, I'm less than 30mins from table mesa.

  10. #10
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    Nice job! Glad you got to do the trail.
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

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