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Wheeling Uwharrie National Forest

Posted in Events on April 1, 2012
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We’d been itching to get out in the southeast for a few years now for some good down- home wheeling. So, when Trasborg concocted his latest tail-on-fire trip to the East Coast, Uwharrie became the logical choice for one of many stops.

Allen Welborn’s ’88 Cherokee was overbuilt for the trails we ran at Uwharrie, but he made up for it by picking the most entertaining lines. Power comes from an inline-six and passes through an aw4 and np242. The T-case has a Tom Wood’s slip yoke eliminator and custom Tom Wood’s driveshafts passing power out to the front Dana 44 and rear Dana 60. The front axle was Lincoln-locked and the rear axle has a Detroit Locker. Both axles spin 5.38 gears. The front axle is moved forward about 6 inches and a completely-custom 10-inch lift makes room for the 39.5x15/16.5 Super Swamper tsls on re-centered hmmwv two-piece wheels. The custom front bumper and stinger not only protect the front of the Jeep but house a T-Maxx winch as well.

Unfortunately, magazine editors make mistakes too. Some of us might not admit it, but planning a whirlwind wheeling tour of the eastern United States while at the same time spinning wrenches and slinging mig wire for 10-12 hours a day on the West Coast isn’t the best way to go about it. So, when Trasborg found himself in Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina, at 9 a.m. within 24 hours of putting a transmission and four-speed Atlas II in his big yj in California, it was no surprise something was bound to go wrong.

We haven’t seen a lot of these Rubitrux half-cab conversions and all the ones we have seen have been in parking lots at shows. That is, until Bryan Moore of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, brought his out to go wheeling with us. Aside from the truck conversion, the ’06 Rubicon Unlimited is true to its roots with a 4.0L engine, factory transmission, and nv241OR T-case and front and rear Dana 44s with factory 4.10 gears and air lockers. The 35-inch Goodyear mt/rs on Pro Comp wheels have plenty of space to move thanks to a 31⁄2-inch Rubicon Express suspension and 11⁄4-inch jks body lift.

After waiting for an hour, he started thinking he had the wrong place. After waiting for almost two hours, he started making some phone calls. As it turned out, he was at the meeting spot a day early due to not looking at the calendar hard enough. He blames welding flash, but it really doesn’t matter because we still got to have a great time in Uwharrie National Forest in central North Carolina.

Youth, plus enthusiasm, plus last minute setup electrical to get on the trail, all combines to drown the “old” Wagoneer in the mud pit. John Nelson was the only guy out who actually wanted to run the mud. Unfortunately, he hit it just hard enough to pop a fuse on his ignition system, earning him a one-way-ticket to strapsville. Once the Jeep was out, he figured out the problem, swapped in another fuse, and was good to go for the rest of the day.
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