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  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
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2,000 Miles In An M-715

Posted in Events on September 1, 2012
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We just aren’t like other magazines. We are just more like you guys than the other rags are. But for some reason, they let us put out a magazine. Most magazines will tell you about awesome road trips, challenges, or ultimate adventures that they undertake. What they conveniently forget to tell you about is the amazing amount of support and backing that they have behind them. From corporate-sponsored shipping to advertisers’ rescue vehicles, they are covered… not to mention that they usually build a completely new vehicle before they head out.

Not the case here. When Trasborg got the job with Jp back in 2005, he built his low-mileage plow-truck M-715 that hadn’t driven in 20 years to tow his 300,000-plus-mile YJ 3,000 miles across the country. He wanted to do this in 40 days. He failed. Fast forward seven years and he had shipped the truck cross-country. It had failed at two subsequent road trip attempts, overheated numerous times, accumulated a whopping 6,010 miles in seven years, and took three years to swap axles and a T-case.

We knew we weren’t getting very good mileage out of the truck, but for the first time in seven years, it was ready to go. Unfortunately, this became all to frequent of a sight on the trip. While we didn’t stop at every gas station, we did stop when the gas gauge got around a quarter of a tank, which worked out to every 100-120 miles. In the end, our round-trip fuel bill would be enough to fly round-trip from L.A. to Moab almost four times—but where’s the fun in that?

So when the crew at Off Road Evolution got the long-term, full-size axle swap done just a day before the start of Easter Jeep Safari 800 miles away, what did Trasborg do? Well, he asked his boss for permission to show up late to EJS and spun wrenches in his driveway in the rain for a day or two in order to get the truck ready for another road trip attempt. The goal: Drive the truck with no top, no heat, no wipers, no radio, heck, no anything, especially no road time—with most of the drivetrain recently replaced across three states, and rack up more than a third of the truck’s total mileage in almost 30 years to go wheeling in the off-road Jeep Mecca.

For some reason, Hazel said yes. So, unlike the other poser rags, we did it on a wing, a prayer, and a AAA card, just in case the fit hit the shan. Ill-advised? Yep. Stupid? Eh, maybe. Worth it? Oh, hell yeah.

We took the southern route across California, Arizona, and then north over the mountains into Utah. We had sunny weather and clear skies the whole way, but we were running behind and trying to make the entire trip in one day. We saw temps from 93 degrees all the way down to 26 degrees. The cold with no top and no heater got old quickly, and even though we brought all the cold-weather clothing we had, it was chilly. But, hey, we were going to Moab, so it wasn’t all bad.
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