In all my years driving, no one has ever accused me of being too easy on vehicles. I take that to simply mean that I am really good at testing products. And I've been doing a lot of testing on my red Dodge, Jinxy, lately. There were a good couple months that I drove it every single day-partly because I had to prove to old friends that this truck was running once again, and partly because I just absolutely love driving a single-cab, short-bed truck around.
So far I've been very pleased with the result of more than a decade's worth of building, but I've definitely found a few flaws in the truck and in some of my loyalties towards unit bearings.
Is it still on the road? No, unfortunately. A bent axle and destroyed unit bearing have sidelined this truck for the next couple weeks. And even more unfortunately, it was so dark and rainy that day that not a single photo came out clearly enough to run in the magazine. But we did get in some great off-roading trips before the damage, including a snow-wheeling trip, that made me extremely eager to get to Moab and try this truck out in some different terrain. There's a new axle being built right now that I'm not supposed to talk about yet, but I can tell you it'll be a much stronger and better Dana 44 than we could have ever built before.