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Ken & Ken do the Rubicon

Contributed By: Ken Wetherall

ed. note: I didn't even attempt to show this one to y'all in anything other than its original raging glory.... (grin)

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 15:53:33 -0700
From: SuperKen
Subject: Trip Report...No Survivors :(

yup, thats what i call last weekends trip of myself, 36ken, and my club, 'The Hillhoppers, to the Rubicon. there were 7 vehicles in r party. NOT ONE escaped a system failure before, during or after the trail! I shall begin.

For those of u that r not aware, i drive a 1967 Super Wagoneer with a GM sb 350ci, th400/d20, detroit locker/pwr loc, 427rp's, SOA, 33 1250 15 on 8" rims.

the trip up was no prob until placerville. i sutained 3k rpm indicated, and 56-59mph indicated. at placerville i stopped at a 76 station to refuel and make a call to my parents. i made the call first, so i parked near the row of phones. i completed the call, but the Super would not start, would not even turn over. yall might no the sound..early in the morning in late december, the battery has only enuff juice to turn the crank 1 rev!!! so i break out the diagnostic tools, check all of the fuses, relays, solenoids..nothing. no drop in voltage, no damaged terminals, no loose connections. call AAA. he cant jump it..starter wont turn over at all. its 2130, iv been here 2.0 hours. in last desparation i remove the bat conns and re clean, reinstall, and presto!!! it starts! :0. I go to find 36ken. he wasent at the campsite we talked about, but i new he was in the area, so i pulled into the parking lot and slept in the Super.

next morning at the prescribed time i took up station at the disscussed rendezvous intersection. over the agreed opon cb ch, i heard his group call out for my club; i answered. over the next hour the rest of the other 5 vehicles met at the rendezvous point. in total we had: 2 wagoneers, 1 bronco, 1 M38, and 3 cj's, and 2 dirt bikes.

we headed for the trail start, loon lake entrance. its 0700 or 0800 one mi into the trail, Ray Skillen discovers that the front diff on his 64 cj5 is NOT providing traction. diagnostics show broken front spiders gears. out comes the welder on the m38 and we weld the spders together to make a poor mans spool. its 1130 half a mi later on asscending flat granite, Dennis Skillen's 52 m38 loses the bolts that hold his RF spindle to the knuckle. we stop. 100yrds behind me, 36ken is having carb probs. i respond. BOTH of his motor mounts have broke, tilting the motor to the pass side and back against the firewall. we break out the tools. some time later, it begins to hail HARD!. the dry granite slabs turn into great flowing fissures of water. the depression i am sitting in to give me more headroom to work under 36kens wag fills to the depth of 7-9". i get my rain gear. we rig up a tarp between the open hoods of 36ken's wag and my Super. we cant move 36ken's wag so i have to sit in the puddle of water, my rain gear keeps me dry. i lost track of time. it begins to rain and thunder and lighting. the m38 is repaired. my club decides to abandon the trail and regroup at a condo near S lake! i tighten the last bolts on 36kens NEW motor mounts that he had in is 'oh shit kit'. we reverse course and head out. 9 min later, Dave Lewands 78 cj7 punctures the RR tire. we stop for its replacment. 36kens front air locker wont DISENGAGE, his PS pump SCREAMS at each turn of the wheel. mike in his 79 cj7 has an oil leak near the filter and HIS ps system is not responding.

we get to the paved road where i fill the tires of both the Wagoneers. my club tells via cb that they r on the road headed to the condo. 36ken and i complete the aire up, and 36ken returns to his campsite with his group, i head to S lake. 1 mi later, i over take my club that has pulled off to the left hand shoulder. hoods r up! i stop. the white bronco has broken the coil spring mount on the LF diff. out comes the welder. but we manage to park near the only forrest service mosquito breeding ground in all of the Eldorado NF. my club arrives at the condo in S lake, its 2330. we pig out on ALL the food that we had hoped to eat at Buck ils lake. next morning we do the same with all the breakfast food. we all leave at 0900, i arrive at concord at 1330 and call it a day.

  kenneth e. wetherall               If a Wagoneer can go where a                  CJ can go, then it's a 
                                            Super Wagoneer.
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