The Aftermath of Ultimate Adventure 2020 on the Long Range Jeep #UA2020
Part 26: We had almost no issues, and earned some new scars.
A postmortem is a fancy word for an autopsy. And we don't plan on cutting up the 2020 Ultimate Adventure Long Range Jeep, 'cause it's not dead. Still, a postmortem on what happened with our fresh build is worth the time it takes to assemble this. Our plan is to have a look at the last few things that we added to the vehicle for the trip and show the scrapes and scars that provide evidence that maybe a few things could be different or better. We can also talk a little bit more about what little went wrong with the rig on the trip, what we plan to do to rectify that situation, and what the future holds for this Ultimate Adventure vehicle. So, for now, read on to get some more details, and check out the detail pictures of the rig and some last minute things we added before or even during the trip.
Issues During the Event
Heater core leaked. We noticed a leak of coolant on the floor of the passenger side of the car and realized that, somehow, shockingly, the junkyard-fresh heater core that was in the Jeep when we bought it was bad. Luckily it was an easy fix with a little help from Ian Tucker, co-driver and son of our 2020 UA returning reader Dave Tucker. While Ian loosened and moved a hose, we held our thumb over one of the Cummins' R2.8s heater hose ports. This kept some of the coolant from leaking out during the fix. The heater ports on the engine are still looped together, and that's fine until we get a new heater core.
Main fuse blew. Somehow during the above operation (bypassing the heater core) the main fuse for the Painless Performance Wiring harness popped. We're not exactly sure what happened, but the issue was rectified by a quick run to the store in Trent McGee's Ultimate International for a new 50-amp (or was it 60-amp?) fuse. Since then we've had no other issues with any type of a short.
We added a radiator overflow bottle. Four Wheeler TV's own Ian Johnson helped us track down an eclectic (and glass) and empty whisky bottle. We affixed the bottle to the front shock tower using some bailing wire and some bits of weather stripping supplied by the ever-prepared Derek Lasini. Add a little rubber hose and some extra coolant, and the radiator overflow was all good to go!
The last day the front locker un-plugged itself on the last steep climb. The fix was as easy as disconnecting the plug at the axle and pulling one of the weather-pack male terminals back into its intended position.
Temporary top. Just before the event, several UA participants and a few locals admiring the impromptu 4x4 "car show" helped modify a canvas tarp to act as a temporary bikini top for the UA LRJ. Sadly, on the trip home the top tore and destroyed itself. We built the cage to allow us to retrofit a factory-style top at some point in the future. We will probably opt for one of the bowless tops available in the aftermarket.
Air filter mud baffle. Also, before the event we took a small scrap of aluminum from local Steve Settle (with his permission) to construct a baffle to protect our oiled filter from mud and water that the front tire would have soaked it with if said baffle didn't exist. 'Course, it was a very dry UA, so the baffle, while there for comfort, only deflected a little trail moisture and the occasional fresh cow pie.
Cummins, 800.286.6467, www.cummins.com/engines/repower
Dana, 800.621.8084, spicerparts.com/applications/crateaxle
Falken Tire, www.falkentire.com/
IH Parts America, 530.274.1795, www.ihpartsamerica.com/
Offroad Design, 970.945.7777, www.offroaddesign.com/
onX Offroad, onxmaps.com/offroad-app
Quick Draw Brand, 513.446.9654, quickdrawbrand.com/
Quigley Motor Company, 800.233.9358, quigley4x4.com/
Skyjacker Suspension, 318.388.0816, skyjacker.com/
VooDoo Offroad, 844.866.3661, www.voodoooffroad.com/
Warn Winch, 800.543.9276, www.warn.com/