The Official UnderDog
We Left Feb 1st from North Carolina to drive to Johnson Valley, CA. We arrived at KOH Sunday afternoon and checked in and then picked a place to setup camp for the week. We setup our tent/garage and waited for the rest of the guys to show up with our campers so we had a place to sleep and eat.
Monday we had to go threw Tech inspection at 1pm. So we prepped the rig in the morning. I am happy to say we passed Tech the first time with no issues..The main tech guy commented that we must have read the tech book a few times. As no one else had passed the first time threw yet. We did a bunch of vehicle testing in the desert and fixed a few things on the jeep but nothing major. As far as we could tell after a few days of testing we were reading to go.
Race day. Woke up felt great, lined up. We were 133 of 137 to start. Got to the start line and we took off all felt great until just after mile 1 and the axle side bolt from Trac bar was missing and Trac bar fell out. Not sure if it broke or what? Checked all the bolts we had and they were a little too short. Randal in 4820 blew his radiator on mile 2 so he stole a bolt off his rig and ran it back to us.
We got it all back together and headed on. Around mile 8 or so the rear bumps and rear shocks we're toast so it turned into a rough ride. Made it to pit 1 and the guys checked all the bolts, lugs etc and we took off.
Made it 2 more miles and tie rod ripped out. So pulled to the side and got out. Took us 2 hrs to rig up a fix. We basically took the inner tie rod steel shaft and hammered it threw top of tie rod and bolted it all back together.
We were back at it again but I was nervous that it would fail and of course it never did. We made it to mile 35 and both front and rear driveshaft bolts failed as we were climbing a steep hill and we were dead again. Another racer towed us up to a flat spot so we could work on the jeep. Doug used a small screw driver and hammer to work broken bolts out and then we put new caps on and put the rear driveshaft back in. Tried to do same to front with no luck. So we drove the next 13 miles in 2 wheel drive. That made it fun, had to hammer down a few times to make some of those steep climbs. The XJ really impressed me on how well it would climb in 2wd or 4wd.
Then at mile 47.5 the rear shaft failed again. So we fixed it again and made it back to pit 1 which is mile 48.
Happy to say we passed 24 rigs and we ended up 111 out of 135. For all the issues we had I am happy we were able to get as far as we did.