We just caught a sneak peek of some of the Jeep Vehicles that will be in attendance at Easter Jeep Safari 2014 in Moab, Utah. Moab is one of the most picturesque areas of the world and the wheeling out there is absolutely phenomenal especially during the week of Easter when wheelers from all across the country and even around the world congregate on the slick rock trails around the town of Moab.
Jeep has always had a strong showing of cool and radical concept vehicles year after year and we just came across two photos of just some of the vehicles that will be out on the trails during Easter Jeep Safari. These off-road purpose built vehicles always draw quite the crowd and these particular two have been built with the same aggressive formula as the concepts before them.
We’re hoping we get to see more of the Jeep Mighty FC or even the Jeep Nukizer out squealing tires on the slick rock of trails. While this year’s new vehicles aren’t as radical as the big FC, the Nukizer or even the Jeep Rescue concept, they will no doubt be run through the wringer to see if they can pass muster. Do you think these new concepts might have what it takes to conquer the slick rock of Moab? We'll let you know just how tough these off road concepts are when we see them out on the trail in Moab during Easter Jeep Safari 2014.
Speaking of Moab, we figured you'd like to see what our staff of Moab regulars are up to and what they'll be wheeling and what trails they'll be hitting during Easter Jeep Safari 2014. Check out what our crew of wheeling junkies has in store for you for this year!
The Moab Easter Jeep Safari. This will be my 15th or 16th consecutive year attending. I’ve done it all, ranging from driving my ’85 Ramcharger on 35s, 37s, 38s, and 42s to trailering my ’53 DJ-3A flattie, buying a bone-stock ’99 Jeep Cherokee XJ in Texas and then driving it to EJS, hauling my ’68 M-715 on 38s, and even flat-towing my ’89 Wrangler on 31s. There have been a lot more vehicles in between, but up until now I’ve never driven a JK Wrangler during the week of Easter Jeep Safari. I normally like to bring something that makes me stand out from the crowd a bit. Well, this year I’m belly-buttoning it like the majority of other off-roaders with a JK - Four Wheeler’s ’07 Wrangler Unlimited project, Con Artist, to be precise.
I received Con Artist in a fairly sorry state of affairs. The rear axleshaft bearings and seals are wasted. It oozes and flings gear lube all over the back side of itself when you drive it and you can jack the back end up and literally move the rear wheels around fore/aft and in/out. The rear ARB locker was wired into the factory Rubicon rear locker switch. Since the rear ARB isn’t working, the front locker won’t engage ‘cause the factory computer won’t lock the front diff until the rear is locked in. Whee. I also have to see why the ARB compressor isn’t clicking on and there’s about a hundred minor things with it I’ll have to fix to ensure a trouble-free trip. All in all, compared with the last-minute thrashfests I’ve become accustomed to as a magazine editor, it’s all minor stuff. I’m not going to worry about it until the week of departure.
What is troubling me is Con Artist weighs so much it’s right at the limit for my personal 7,000-pound Carson trailer, so I’ll be using Four Wheeler’s steel-decked monstrosity to haul it out there. It’s been used and abused and its trailer tires are questionable, the wheel bearings probably need replacing, and who knows what else is ready to go wrong with it. I’d man up and would just drive Con Artist from San Diego to Moab but with the supercharger the little 3.8L only musters about 10 mpg on the highway. With fuel economy like that it makes more sense for me to borrow a new Ram 2500 from Chrysler, hook up to Four Wheeler’s time bomb of a trailer, toss Con Artist on the back, and see how Ram’s new heavy duty 6.4L Hemi does. So that’s just what I’m doing. I just have to get the Ram to average 11 mpg to make it worthwhile. I’ll let you know in the August ’14 issue of Four Wheeler how I did.
Once I get into town, aside from a few corporate runs like those hosted by Warn, 4 Wheel Parts, and Bestop, I like to keep my options open. I will (and have) run just about every trail in the Moab area, but lately, it comes down to finding what hasn’t been closed for the day (full or partial) by the Red Rock Four Wheelers and hitting that. I normally try to get Hell’s Revenge in a couple times, Cliffhanger, Poison Spyder Mesa, and if my trial rig is up for it, Pritchett Canyon and harder fare like that. With only factory front shafts in the Dyatrac ProRock 44 front housing, I’m not thinking Con Artist will like anything much gnarlier than Pritchett….but we’ll see. Be sure to check www.fourwheeler.com during the week of Easter Jeep Safari for daily updates about what we’re up to and how our junk is holding up.
My Moab 2014 trip will begin with an exciting three-stop collection of airline flights, and hopefully my luggage (containing my sleeveless shirts and jean shorts) will arrive with me in Moab. Needless to say, I won't have a 4x4 so I'll be hitching rides during the week. This has plenty of upsides including that I get to ride in a bunch of different trail rigs. During my four days in Moab I'll be hitting a number of events including Mopar's annual presentation of Image Vehicles as well as the annual Fullsize Invasion. And yep, you'll be able to read about them both here www.fourwheeler.com shortly after they happen.
Fred Williams is slinging wrenches and throwing fits as he deals with his new Jeep project known as Tube-Sock. Yes that photo was shot today, yes he has a lot to do, it’s the normal Mayhem to Moab that happens every year. Fred is searching for a coffee sponsor for the next 10-days!
Want to go wheeling in Moab with Tube-Sock (hopefully)? Stay tuned for an update about what trails it’ll be on and when.
I’m going to be driving Jp’s ’07 Jeep Wrangler JK out to Moab. I just inherited it as part of the restructure and after living with three other editors for the past 8 years, it needed some help. In the weeks I’ve had it, I’ve had the old blown-up transmission replaced, a heavier flywheel put in it with a new clutch, fixed all the suspension issues and many of the neglected little items, and the Jeep has lost over 300 pounds which should make it wheel that much better.
While in Moab, I’ll be shooting a seat rebuild article for an M-715, attending several trail runs, and meeting up with some new columnists for the magazine. And, of course, I’ll be wheeling the new and improved Jp JK.
I am not 100% on what I am bringing, but Ground-up's going to be in Moab again with her new owner at the wheel for sure. I’ll probably end up bringing my Flatfender as it's all ready to go. I'll either flat-tow it up there with my Grand Cherokee or man up and drive it. Otherwise I'd love to bring Shrink Ray TJ back to Moab as it is a blast...unfortunately the front ring-and-pinion needs to be replaced and I am not sure I'll get the time to swap it. I have plenty of projects for right after Moab and I also have to prep Ground-up for the 8 hour drive, wheeling in Moab and then a trip to her new home in Tennessee. If all else fails I can always load up in my '13 Jeep Wrangler JK and head for Utah for some climate controlled computer assisted weenie wheeling. I am also going to bring my 1/10th scale R/C Rubicon all decked out with goodies and Jp Stickers.
It’s about an 8-hour drive for me and I'll be listening to classic rock on Pandora as much as I can, but in Northern Arizona there is not much for internet radio, FM, or even AM so I'll default to my personal collection on my iPhone.