Well the first trip was this weekend and it was eventful to say the least, but a good time was had. Overall I have to say I’m happy with the buggy, but there is still some work to be done.
This thing absolutely feels like a rocket ship when you get on it low, but at only 27:1 it’s a little too “racey” in the rocks and high range is pretty useless except for flat ground. Stall seems to be ok, it just needs a little more gear to be smoother and more controllable in the rocks. Axles are currently 5.13s, probably going to try to get in the 6.xx range. Hopefully that will be better in low, and also make high more useable.
Here it is on the Waterfall Friday morning, the first obstacle ever.
Mechanically everything seemed to work well. Temperatures stayed in check. The highest water temp. I saw was 208*, that was running up to Whitetail giving it hell in low 2nd, the rest of the day was a constant 185 with the Volvo fan on low. The highest transmission temp. I saw was 155* and that was when I forgot to flip the fan back on after we stopped before Lower Profanity, the rest of the time was a pretty constant 125* measured in the output to the cooler.
It’s going to take some seat time to really get used to a rear engine rig, but I’m pretty happy with it. It did pretty much everything I asked of it.
As far as damage, let’s just say I really broke it in right. Haha! Friday afternoon I took a pretty spectacular roll off the top of Crawford’s Cry. It basically stood up and did a 180* pirouette and landed on the left side sliding down the hill. I got a pretty good scrape on my elbow, but the window nets kept it from being any worse. It actually tore a hole in the window net from sliding on my elbow. It dented the tube around my light bar a bit, scratched the roof a little, knocked one of my RaceMirrors off, killed to storage rack, cracked some body panels, and broke my pride. Haha! We rolled it back over and other than a little oil in the intake and a little smoke it started and ran fine. We headed from there to Whitetail and ran it without issue.
Saturday morning we had some late arrivals coming so we headed to the waterfall to play around until they got there. I had already climbed it once, and I circled back around to do it again. I guess it’s a good thing I did, because if this happened anywhere else on up the mountain it could’ve been a really bad day.
Just before that video I had tried it and didn’t make it, apparently when I slid back the right side upper link tower started bending. If you look close as I’m pulling up to the waterfall the link tower is already bent a little bit. Then when I hammered it and bounced it folded up. That caused the whole axle to shift left several inches and the driveshaft actually hit my engine skid and snapped the pinion shaft off.
Thankfully I have good friends that helped me get it off the waterfall and thankfully it happened where it did. I was able to go get my truck and trailer and drive right to it to load it up.
It was just a failure on my part to gusset the link mount properly. It was just too tall without enough support. Since the housing was already a little warped to begin with and I’ll have to cut so much off to fix the link tower I’m going to replace it with an aftermarket housing using all my parts from this one. I actually found a Trail Gear housing on Facebook today and made a deal on it. It may be a little slow, but I will fix it and it will be back better than before