Step By Step
The deal is if you drive it first, you name it. This prompted Jerrod Jewell to test his 88 Toyota on an as-yet-unnamed obstacle on Buzzworm. The rig runs 5.29 gears and ARBs in the axles. Jerrod performed his own solid axle conversion and added a Marlin Crawler and 37s. After several nearly successful attempts, he hung it up to keep from holding up the group.
Like most of the harder trails run by the Black Hills 4-Wheelers, the Hal Johns trail is littered with boulders that easily take out rear driveshafts. Those running Ford 9-inchers are most vulnerable because of their low pinion location. If you look, youll notice the Dana axle in this CJ-7 just skidding over a thunker.
T-back and Bikini are two really gnarly trails with a view of Mt. Rushmore. But with climbs like this, who has time to look? This Chevy-powered CJ-7 whacked the muffler loose and three-wheeled precariously close to rolling at the top of a nasty climb on T-back.
Clean early Broncos arent everywhere on the trails in South Dakotajust almost everywhere. While there are trails you can squeeze a fullsize down, most of the really trick ones have tight turns and squeezes that favor Jeep, Toyota, and Bronco-sized rigs.
Most guys running Ford 9-inch rears carry a few spare U-joints and at least one extra driveshaft. We saw three get toasted in two days. The rocks sneak up on them and take em out. Even on rigs running 39.5s and 42s. Brutal.
With plenty of near-vertical ledges to climb, at least one locker is mandatory on Buzzworm. Tom Curley hit the button on his 98 TJs rear ARB as he assaulted a waterfall and snapped a C-clip axleshaft. He motored into town to try to find another one while the group pressed on.
Big boulders and tight turns at low air pressure usually spell tires off their beads. Haans Archer pulled his 53 high hood up to give some air. The trick was getting the yellow Jeep jacked up enough to seat the tire without letting it roll backward off the jack.
Sidehilling at its finest. A strong breeze could have knocked Scott Wrigglesworths Ranger-bodied Bronco on its lid. The rig runs a five-lug Dana 60 front, a 9-inch rear, and a 460. Scott serves both as the director of the Dakota Territory Challenge and the keeper of the huevos grandes.
The best of real wheeling in the Black Hills.
We bet youre sick and tired of hearing about what a great time was had by all at every event we visit. Yeah, there was killer action, heart-wrenching camaraderie, unbelievable carnage, and vehicles that were to die for. Just once youd love to hear about what a bunch of jackasses we had to hang out with, what a lame trail it turned out to be, how nobody drove with any action, and how the rigs turned out to be a bunch of rental Jeeps and Ford Explorers. Well, sorry to bust your bubble, Charlie, but here we go again.
The truth is, we do visit some crappy events. Hey, they cant all be jewels. But the thing is, we dont make you suffer through the crap with us. Those nerfbags just dont make it to the magazineplain and simple. So, well spare you the group hugs and just inform you that the Dakota Territory Challenge, put on by the Black Hills 4-Wheelers, is one really killer event. If youve got some vacation time coming over the Labor Day weekend and can get your butt and your rig to South Dakota, its more than worth checking out.
Theyve got a ton of sick and twisted trails, like Buzzworm, Hal Johns, Bikini, T-back, and a dozen or so others, or tamer 3-plus rated trails that you can take your near-stocker down, like Raspberry Ridge. And, as an added bonus, if you act now, youll get to hang with the Black Hills 4-Wheelersone killer group of club members. Believe us, weve seen some egomaniacal weenies in our time, but not here. If you want more info on this years Labor Day bash, check out the clubs Web site at www.bh4wheelers.com, or contact Scott Wrigglesworth at 605/393-8787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.