The little things go wrong

While trying to keep my social distance, a group of wheelers went out yesterday. There were eight rigs, 12 people, beautiful day, tough trail. We understand this was a social event but we were keeping our distance and for the most part, those sharing a rig were living together as well.

I’ll tell the full story when I get pictures back from my friends. It was a tough trail. I actually broke and axle but drove out!

At the end of the day, when I went to air up at the end of the day, I couldn’t unscrew the cap on my valve stem. Actually, the whole valve stem was spinning in the steel rim.

I had just put on a fancy set of machined aluminum caps with the rubber liner so they wouldn’t rust to the valve stem. I did it right.

Well, this trail was so tough that the wheels were along the rocks all morning. At one point, I must have pinched the valve stem cap between a rock and the wheel and crushed the aluminum cap, just a little.

I had to use two pairs of pliers to unscrew the cap. One to hold the valve stem and one to unscrew the cap.

So, no more metal valve stem caps, I’m going back to plastic.


Rubicon Ronin

Reno Motorsports Expo – cancelled due to Covid-19

Due to concerns about the Corona Virus, the Reno Motorsports Expo, along with the other shows (home, boat, RV and pet), has been cancelled. Because of that, the planned Rubicon meeting on the morning of the 28th has also been cancelled.

There is a possibility that the Expo will happen later. I hope to get information out to the users in a different manor. I might try and schedule a local Rubicon meeting in early summer.

Please stay tuned here and check the El Dorado County web page about the Rubicon Trail:


Rubicon Ronin

Rubicon meeting tonight 3/12 — CANCELLED — due to Corona Virus Fears

Update, I just received word from Placer County that the scheduled MAC meeting for tonight has been cancelled due to Corona Virus fears. When the meeting does take place with the Rubicon on the agenda, I will let you know.

I just received notice (last night late) that there will be a Placer County meeting tonight that has the Rubicon on the agenda. They will be discussing the snowberm and winter use of the Rubicon Trail.

MAC meeting, 6:00 PM, Thursday, March 12, Tahoe City PUD, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA

On the agenda is:

Rubicon Trail Winter Usage and Trailhead Update

County staff will provide an update on Rubicon Trail winter usage and the trailhead in the McKinney Rubicon neighborhood.

Presenter: Peter Kraatz, Department of Public Works

I will try and attend to represent the interests of OHV.


Rubicon Ronin

Running the entire trail, in winter!

Another great source of Rubicon information is the “Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page. That is where I found this story and all of these pictures. El Dorado County frequently posts there to keep the users informed.

Just recently posted are the adventures of a few brave soles who traveled on the the Rubicon in the dead of winter. Ok, yes, winter is sort-of dead right now but it’s still brave to wander on to the Rubicon this time of year.

They started from Tahoma and found a few obstacles…

But they made it to Observation…

Believe it or not, they met some rigs coming up Cadillac Hill and out of Rubicon Springs. A group had just driven through the entire trail in March.

The group that entered from Tahoma camped for the night. I don’t know if they checked the weather or not.

They woke up to almost a foot of fresh snow…

Everyone made it out.

Any time of year, please be prepared for the possibility of spending the night. These guys knew they were spending the night and prepared. Not everyone expects to spend the night out there but things happen.

Remember to check out the “Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page for news about the Rubicon Trail.

Enjoy your trail but be safe.


Rubicon Ronin

The TJ gets rocker guards

So you buy a new rig and just have to change it up a little bit to make it your own by putting your touch on it. Well, for a first step, I went with rocker guards.

The Jeep is a Rubicon model so it came with basic rocker guards but I wanted something more stout and something with a step that will keep the body a little further from the rocks.

I went with A to Z Fabrications. I liked the square tubing that matches the spare tire carrier and the fact it runs the entire length of the body, not just between the fender flares.

Here’s a first look with the guard running under the flares. Note how tall the guards is in this picture.

The 1/4 plate of the guards goes well under the rig.

I decided I wanted to keep the flares stock so I moved forward with altering the guards to accommodate the flares. It was too tall for me so I cut down the height 1 1/2″.

After lots of blue tape and measuring twice…

Realizing that I had probably weakened the guards, I added support under each end. The guards came with the bar to prevent bending with the tightening of the bolts but I added the cut tubes. The block fills the space between the guard and the under side of the body for a snug fit.

In the front, there was too much room to fill the gap so I welded a thick piece of angle iron to strengthen the leading edge.

In my haste to get these installed, I failed to get a picture of the powder coated guards before I installed them.

While I was at it, I took off the front bumper and welded up the unneeded holes and had someone else weld on a d-ring mount. I still need to reline the winch. I made a bracket for the airline as well. You can barely see the rock light on the outside of the bumper.


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