We were again invited to participate in the 2007 Utlimate Adventure. For this year, we decided to build a vehicle that will do better on the road, but still be trail capable. The idea was to take it easy on the trails and not beat on the truck. We did a solid axle swap on a 1998 UZJ100 Land Cruiser. Details can be found on this page.
The truck worked really well, but somewhere in the Texas heat, the driver lost his senses forgot all about the taking it easy part. Well 1000 miles later, gallons of water and sweat, two front gearsets, one rear axle, a set of alternator brushes, bent wheel and a big dent on the quarter panel and we were done.
The event was a blast, working on the truck, not so much fun. We had to get parts overnighted twice during the trip. Who would have thought 1 set of ring and pinion gears was not enough for a week.
We also had to convert a 5 lug rear axle to six lugs in the field. Normally done by a machine shop, this turned out to be our worst nightmare. 5 minutes after the picture below was taken, the driver tried to jump a 7400lb truck up a 4 foot ledge. Well that didn't work so good.
The front ring and pinion and the rear axle shaft let go. We had a spare front ring and pinion (the 2nd set that we had overnighted after we broke the first one. So that was the easy fix. Replacing the rear axle shaft was the issue. We knew that sourcing a axle shaft with long splines (for the Toyota e-locker) that was converted to 6 lug was not an option, since we had the only pair in existance. However we did have a spares truck at the shop with a axle shaft that can be converted. That was the good news. The bad news is that we need it in Texas the next day. We called the shop, and after Joe chewed us out for breaking the truck, we convinced him to pull the shaft from the spares truck and start taking it apart and changing the bolt pattern.
That did not go so well. The 6 lug bolt pattern overlaps the 5 lug, so he had to weld up the old holes, and then drill the new ones. Welding the holes was the easy part. Drilling into the welded areas did not work. Joe worked on the axle until the UPS driver showed up and then shipped it off to us. We received it the next morning at Brutall Off-Road in Pipe Creak Texas. It took us the remained of the day to get the truck back together.
We rejoined the group at Katemcy in Brady Texas. I was banned from driving and we made the last day without any breakage, but Ben did dent the truck a little. At this time body damage was better than breakage.
Enjoy the pictures below and if you want to see some more action, please buy the DVD.
PS, the driver was me and I am now banned from driving the truck.