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Southern Florida Fun: A Day In The Mud

Posted in Events on October 1, 2012
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Southern Florida is a place that often conjures thoughts of golf courses, glitzy South Beach, and heavy humidity. Anyone who has ever visited the lower portion of the state, and more specifically Miami, is well aware of the vast saturation of water that lines the landscape inside and out. What this means for wheeling enthusiast in the area is that you either like to wheel in mud or you travel far to get away from it. And while tractor tires and mega mud monsters rule the roost in the panhandle, there are still plenty of everyday wheelers that like to mix it up in the murky waters.

Daniel Wells’ freshly built ’03 Toyota Tacoma was built more for rocks, but he figured that a great way to shake down the truck would be in the muddy trails. Though most of the wheeling area was very open, many of the access paths were made up of tight and windy passages.

Since we’re always up for a little mudslinging action we slid on our flip-flops, grabbed the brightest Hawaiian shirt we could find, and headed down to the sunny shores of Miami. To get a dose of some of the local wheeling action, we met up with Roco 4x4 shop owner Ricardo Olavarrieta. He and his solid-axle Xtrerra, known as the Iguana, participated in last year’s Ultimate Adventure representing the Florida-based Bubba Rope. Seeing how Florida is the home of both epic mud wheeling and the recovery rope gurus it only made sense for us to take a visit.

Dennis Nash was nice enough to tote us around over the weekend in his extremely built Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Using his six-speed manual transmission he worked the ponies out of the factory 3.8L to keep him moving through the mud. While his JK on 40s weighs in at roughly 7,000 pounds, the 5.38s in the Rock Jock 60 axles allowed him to power through the slop surprisingly well.

For our Florida wheeling adventures we hit one of the nearby private wheeling spots. While the old ratio of “one hour in the mud equals two hours in the shop” (or at the pressure washer) still rings true, it didn’t stop the locals from powering through some eerily deep pits. Most wheelers got the most out of their recovery gear on this rainy weekend, and we even had the chance to revive an engine that put too much water into its air and fuel diet. Overall we found Southern Florida to have plenty of high-end flash, but were happy to spend time on the dirtier side of the up-lit palms.

Jose Lopez’s ’05 Rubicon was nonstop all day. If there was another vehicle stuck or a new line to try, he was always ready to lend a hand and get the most out of his 35-inch SSRs.
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