Death Valley Dozer

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Death Valley Dozer

Postby xjrguy » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:10 am

2012 JKU
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby Brakelate » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:42 pm

I've seen a few of those "Dozer" colored rigs around. I also like the strange "Mango" colored ones I have been seeing more of.

What I really want, for my own rig, is one of those neat Jeep Compass style spare tire covers. Any idea where those are available? Probably Jeep for an arm and a leg.

I just scratched the shit out the inside of my left front wheel last night squeezing up a narrow sand wash that came to a waterfall, with outcroppings on either side. I decided I could just fit up the narrow opening, between the rocks and a large, scrappy brush overgrowth at an odd angle. I went for it, with the wife acting as spotter. Bad idea. Wifey probably best just left sitting in the passenger seat soaking in the scenery, as she had my cut my steering input, stuffing the outcropping of this granite protrusion not into my sidewall, but right into the face of the left front wheel. Scratching the living shit out of it. :x Now I am left wondering if I replaced it with my brand new spare tire and wheel, and put the rashed tire / wheel combo on the rack, then covered it with the spare tire cover provided by the dealership where we purchased the thing, if that would look better or worse. I prefer the look of the bare wheel back there, and the absence of any gawdy advertising on the cover. A plain black cover would be fine, and perhaps it would be best for the tire in the long run, saving it from baking in one position oriented to where it just will rot away under the extreme UV exposure out here in this environment. The dealership cover may not be bad for now, but if I decide to keep a cover on it, why not get a neat one like that Compass model shown? I could live with that, save my spare tire from dry rot and hide my scuffed up wheel in the process. Sounds like a winner all the way around, no?
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby jhwalker » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:13 pm

:think:

I agree that the open wheel looks better. How about a pic of that scratch? :whistle: Something that you can work out?
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby Brakelate » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:45 am

I can snap a photo of the scratch next time I have access to the Jeep. It is her DD and beach comber get away vehicle. I prefer to let it be that way, than swapping rigs with her. Though I use the hell out of the Power Wagon, I would prefer to know where every scratch, ding or can under the seat came from.

The Rubicon is due for a service, so I will snap it then and at that point decide if I should try to hide the wheel or just leave it be. I deliberately passed on the nice, Limited Edition, 2 Dr Wrangler Rubicon with the removable panel hard top that I personally wanted for this thing. Better all around for her, for the family. For me, especially losing my Terminator in the process, I would have liked the one I had gone great lengths to find - only to have the keys in my hot little hand, and let it go.

It was the Anvil color, "X" model, with Black leather heated seats, full NAV/Touchscreen uprated stereo and hard top for comfort, Six Speed Manual Trans and optional 4:10 gears for function, along with the larger Rock Sliders under the door (think full length jacking rails in Mustang terms, but deliberately mounted outboard and exposed to protect the bottom of the doors and lower sheet metal from rock overhangs and snags. It also had the full factory Tow package, nicer "X" model "winch ready" bumpers and such. Sigh.

We got this because I knew there were still a few years left of hauling kids, family and friends along, and absent the Cobra and her 1500 crew cab, that only leaves the Power Wagon in the fleet for longer road trips. I wanted more leg room or passengers, better fuel mileage, a nicer highway ride provided by the longer wheelbase, and most of all, the ability to just turn it over to her (or my son in the near future) to use without constantly obsessing on how it was being driven, maintained or not treated to my own personal high (fanatical) standards. It was purchased as a fun tool. Tools are meant to be used, and fun times with the top down are hard to find, if one is constantly fretting over the sand on the dash board, carelessly swept away with a thoughtess hand while accessing the ODO or Tripmeter buttons, leaving permanent scratches in the clear plastic screen. Same reasoning went into avoiding the up-optioned dash, with larger touch screen, etc.

I have told those riding "shotgun" and thus serving as occasional spotter in tight stuff, that I would much rather roll a wheel up and over a large obstacle or buff a flexibe sidewall, than take a direct hit to any of the fragile, exposed hardparts under the belly of the vehicle, or the faces of wheels, etc. Those leave permanent, if not disabling damage, then absolutely life-long "trail scars" in paint, plastic and machined wheel faces.

Much to my surprise, her response was not of anger, but of almost relief. Her spontaneous comment was "Well, at least we cannot be accused of being posers, driving some fancy high dollar "Mall Crawler"! Apparently some co-workers of hers have been eyeing our fancy, up-optioned limited edition hard core off road packaged vehicles and making sarcastic comments insinuating that because come Monday morning, they are all polished up, buffed out and car show ready and lack any of the typical markings and sheet metal damage of a obvious trail driven rig , or appearance of neglect consistent with any other common Family "working" Truck" or one used for more advanced exploration of the out back, or veteran of many a intoxicated hunting party outing. So they dismiss her statements or stories that they actually do see quite a bit of use, as intended. In a strange flip of mindset, one which I am conflicted with, she almost takes every desert pinstripe scratch down the side, or scuffed sidewall or corner bumper cap abrasion and displays them proudly as a badge of honor. Preferring that I not vacume, wash wax and detail the new Jeep until mid week, after all those naysayers have had at least a day or two to soak in the latest weekends evidence of off highway travel. Funny stuff.

To me, I find the Jeep capable, yet quirky. I am just so comfortable and experienced now in my big Power Wagon, that the Cons, such as poor fuel mileage and limited forward vision over the hood on steep break over inclines, and it's more intimidating size and the additional care and room required to negotiate very tight trails and U-Turns up switchbacks, etc. is far less annoying and limiting in my progress, than when driving the Jeep. Sure, you can peel the top back, or off completely. But, the horrible rearward vision in the Jeep with it's tall rear gate mounted spare tire blocking your view, it's lack of torque, interior size, comfort and inability to haul anything more than a small cooler is frustrating. Also, despite it's looks, image and reputation for being a "Trail Rated" Rubicon bad ass machine, it sure bottoms out often, and slides and drags along on it's multi-panel form shaped skid plates, which seem to cover everything BUT what is actually important; The Oil Pan, the Diffs and even the Transfer Case linkages. It does a fine job of protecting the inner rail mounted fuel tank, making it sort of a sheet metal bobsled of sorts until the wheels spin deep enough to rest on that, rather than leaving weight on the tires, which would have kept you moving forward as you churned through the not-so-incredibly deep sand drifts. But, it is what it is.

Of course the big scratch on the wheel, ends up right next to the cute, nostalgic Jeep emblem pressed on each wheel, along with being stamped, buried or embedded on any hundreds of other semi-hidden places on the vehicle, from the bottom of the coffee cup holder in the center console, to the corner and center of the windshield glass, etc.

As long as she is happy. I may be a unique individual, but I swear I can get anywhere that Rubicon can in my Power Wagon. With less damage, less discomfort, less deliberate thought of both function and ergonomics, and yes, with much less fuel remaining in the tank. Lol.

But, in less than four months of ownership, I have acquired more cosmetic damage, interior filth, dented and absolutely crushed the exhaust resonator can, muffler and chipped the paint off everything from the lower rear shock mounts to the outer exposed door hinges from high speed gravel strikes. I won't even mention the half way concealable buffing, scratching and pitting on the front lower air dam, the leading faces of the black plastic fender flares and the lower bumper corners from dragging into and out of what appeared to be acceptable vertical approach and departures from stream beds or rock outcroppings. Nevermind the fact that the entire belly pan must surely be buffed clean of any paint, right down to bare metal, with red sandstone crammed into any crevasse, lip or cross bar brace attachment points, as if the coral sand and rock had been inserted with a commercial grade wheel bearing press.

Jeeze, and to think I save all the "Hard Core" or risky off roading to the mighty Suzuki Samurai! I should have her drive that in to town, leaving it parked in her assigned stall for the week and let the pundits, doubters and haters have a real field day with that one!!!

Ah yes. The scratched virgin wheel. I shall snap a pic and post it up later tonight after it's midnight service is performed. I better make a note to myself; I still need to check those diff fluids after the now infamous Rock Churning River Washing Midnight launch ramp fiasco down at Lee's Ferry about a month ago. Want to make sure it's manufacture claims of being capable of fording 30-some inches of water without issue is in fact legitimate. I will report back later. Lets hope I do not pop a Diff Cover bolt to find Chocolate Milk oozing out of it's inspection port.

If interested, I may even snap a pic or two of the smashed resonator, muffler and skid plate bits, just to keep Walker entertained. ;)
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby jhwalker » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:02 pm

Poifect! I think that was the longest SINGLE post here in years... :clap:
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby SonicVenum » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:22 pm

In the immortal words of some wise soul out in the world, "Haters gon' hate." :lol:

You're definitely caught in a bit of a conundrum. You got the Jeep brand spanking new off the lot, and you like your vehicles to be pristine, but you love the off-road enough to put the prettiness in danger. I will say that a Jeep with "character" looks better than one that looks like a garage queen, IMHO. :mrgreen:
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby Brakelate » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:51 pm

Finally got around to checking; The front diff fluid was clear and full. Odd, almost over filled. Something you don't see from a assembly line, as it I generally cost savings to "put in just enough". The rear was another story. Not bad - thankfully! as it has been in there for quite a while now, since I know when I did it. But, it shows signs of just slight water contamination. So, it was drained, flushed and refilled with new, better quality fluids. So all is well that ends well.

While looking at the Diff vent tube, I noted that it ran up, around, and oddly enough over behind the body tin, just beside the inboard top of the right rear tire. If the claim was 30 inches of trouble free water fording capability, then it demonstrated that is does in fact, have the ability do so. Now 31 inches... then you are pushing you luck! :lol:

Oh, and just for James; The pics of the carnage from my unintended midnite underwater landscaping rearranging, over on the launch ramp and float trip staging area / prep beach at the historic Lee's Ferry site.

But first, a shot of the scratched wheel responsible for what some have described as "The SINGLE longest post seen here in years!" :shifty:
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby jhwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:17 pm

Oh my GOD!!! A scratch for the ages!!!! :lol: I suggest you circle it and add a sticker saying "brutal scratch" :whistle:

Your vehicles are lucky to have you as the owner. For real...
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby Brakelate » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:36 pm

And then the crunched resonator, bent up fuel pump guard, scratched and nicked lower axle tube and shock absorber mount. Luckily I suppose it IS a Rubicon with the larger, stronger "New Generation" Dana 44's front and rear, or perhaps I would have done more than just scratched that extra thick paint off the axle tube and diff housing.

Oh, and then there is the muffler. :doh:

But, it was a big assed rock. Such a fine specimen, that I thoughtfully and deliberately balanced it right on the parkway alongside the ramp. I must add that it made a fine improvement to the landscaping. Having moved it some 40 yards from its original point of rest; previously some 20 feet out in the bottom of the angry river bed, abandoned to forever endure the great forces placed upon it by the cold, relentless current of the Colorado River. It now sits proudly at the head of the Lee Ferry Launch Ramp in all of it's glory, marking the spot of "Mile One". The official first mile post registering the next 277 miles of the Colorado River as the Grand Canyon National Monument.
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Re: Death Valley Dozer

Postby Brakelate » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:02 pm

Yes, instead of running a hose in the driveway, or paying to watch the thing get cleaned up in an Autopia style conveyer line, while being harassed for tips or other hand outs from both employees and passers-by, as it was in my previous life in Los Angeles County, I now go here. Wait until the traffic dies down, and while the employees quietly finish their prep work, while the passengers nervously chatter about the upcoming adventure they must wait one more sleepless night before departing on, I sneak out into the river and wash my car(s). The strong current helps clean the undercarriage, the brisk water temps ensuring that I do not dilly dally or waste to much time in one spot. After sunset in the early morning hours is best for me, as I hate to be interrupted, and the entire scene seems surreal. Just watch for big muffler mashing boulders that decide to wedge themselves between your frame rails and rear axle tubes. Either way, it makes for some fun times and some great stories.


Here, are a few "grabbed" photos, previously taken mere feet from my personal car wash. Unfortunately, I was so happy to get the offending boulder out from under the Jeep, it towed up onto shore, placed out of the way and balanced perfectly in place in absolute quiet, darkness and isolation, that in my stealth retreat, I somehow managed to forget to snap a photo of my handiwork. The clean Rubicon, nor said boulder were captured on media to share here today. :|

There is always "next time", as vehicles get filthy very quickly out here in this environment. especially when used as intended. :mrgreen:
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