Swap Meet – 4 Wheel Parts: Oct 13th

The Nevada 4 Wheel Drive Association is hosting another Swap Meet at 4 Wheel Parts in Sparks. The date is Saturday, October 13th, 2018.

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It’s early but we’re planning on a bigger event than we had on April 25th of this year. This is more of a save the date announcement.

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We’d like to have a few people step up and help out. We’re looking for someone, some group or some business to:

  • Run the rock pile
  • Run the RTI ramp
  • Organize one or two food trucks
  • Get a raffle going
  • Post the event on social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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Please let me know if you can help out.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


Trail saw

This time of year, we expect that enough people have been out and about on our public trails that any tree clearing should be done. So, why carry a bulky, smelly chainsaw and spare fuel?

I agree. But just this last weekend, we had a wind event that had sustained 50 mph winds over the sierras. The odds of coming across a tree blocking your way increased dramatically.

Now it’s not as big a deal on your way in to find a tree across the trail. Remember, Turn Around, Don’t Go Around. You could just turn around and find another place to go enjoy the mountains. But what if you’re on your way out. You can’t turn around because you need to get out. You won’t drive off trail to go around the tree because that’s really bad.

Here’s my solution:

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The Silky Katana Boy. It’s larger than you think at almost four feet long!

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The blade length is 20″. you need two hands to use this monster. The teeth are very aggressive.

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It folds up in to the provided pouch to about 27″.

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It’s not going to clear a 30″ tree in two minutes. But for most of the trees you’ll come across, it will do the job. Even if you only score one side half way in, you could pull the tree with your vehicle and break the tree and get past it.

It’s not bulky and it doesn’t require fuel. If I’m not carrying my chainsaw, I always carry this one.

Okay, the downside. It’s a little pricey. I just looked on Amazon and it runs about $135.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New map addition for flier

The 2018 Rubicon Area OHV Trails map/flier is hot off the press.

Hopefully, by Saturday afternoon, I’ll get them at the Rubicon trailhead in Tahoma. Once the Middle Fork Trail opens, I’ll post them there as well. The LTBMU is on board and even the TNF has allowed me to put up my map and fliers at the Barker Pass intersection.

So, not a lot of changes but one very important change. I’ve added a better representation of the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) property and the trail to access the property. If you remember, there was a land swap done to allow vehicle access to the RTF property from the Rubicon. So, the RTF property is no longer the traditional rectangle of a half section of land.

Flier map 2018_3_16 (Medium)

Please remember that the RTF property is private property. It must be open for you to drive there. The plan is for the property to be open every weekend this summer but not mid-week.

The trail on the map is an approximation. It should not be used for navigation but rather for the general location of the trail. Please stay on the trail and Tread Lightly!

RTF plans to build a caretaker cabin on the property this summer. That will allow the property to be open all summer in 2019.

For more information on the RTF property, I suggest visiting the RTF website:

www.RubiconTrailFoundation.com

If you have suggestions for future versions of this map or the flier please contact me:

TheOtherRubicon@charter.net

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 

 


Chinese/Japanese Rig Solid Axle Swap

I’m going to write this generically as I don’t want to bias anyone against any specific brand of rig based on my bad experiences.

Like most people, I started with what I could afford. Unfortunately, that got me a rig with an independent front suspension.

 After some quality time off road, I realized some of the downfalls of an independent front suspension: ground clearance under flex, uneven tire wear, steering alignment, strength, complicated and thus expensive repairs, etc.

So, I finally decided to make the swap. I was going to pull out all the independent stuff and replace it with a solid axle.

Sourcing the solid axle was pretty simple. Pulling out the independent suspension was flat out going to be fun! The hard part was going to engineer the new solid axle into a rig not designed for it.

A before picture clearly showing uneven tire wear and the difficulty of keeping the steering aligned.

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Off I went, out with the old, in with the new. I started by getting the rig up on jack stands for safety and all the old independent suspension parts were unceremoniously removed.

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Here are the old parts next to the new solid axle that will be going in. I’m going to try and use as much of the old steering parts as possible.

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The new solid axle doesn’t look much different from the side. But do note that I was able to use the old adjustable ride height system from the previous system.

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But from the top you can already see the better alignment of the tires.

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Underneath, where all the magic happened. It clearly shows the new solid axle and how much stronger it will be than the old independent system.

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Here is an after shot after quite a bit of time getting everything just right. Measure twice, cut once. Back on all fours and ready for some off road travels.

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So far the rig is night and day different. I goes straight with hands off the controls, it doesn’t pull at all when you initiate a turn. Once I get new tires for it, I expect the tires to wear evenly and last much longer.

After all was said and done, I would highly recommend this swap for anyone with an independent front suspension.

 

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow, Maps, Paving & Kiosk

20180323_085600_resizedOn Friday, March 23rd, the FOTR Tahoe side lead (John Briggs) and I had two Rubicon meetings with local government agencies.

The first was meeting Placer County at the trailhead to discuss the snow being piled at the entrance. (The lead photograph)

When we got there, Lindsay from the county was already there. Looking around the area, it was obvious that there was more snow at the entrance than elsewhere in the neighborhood. Lindsay explained that she had talked with the plowing supervisor and that this was ‘normal’ for a “T” intersection as there was extra snow that needed to me removed from the intersection.

20180323_090242_resizedAfter some discussion, I pointed out that this was not a “T” intersection but rather a “4-way” intersection. We agreed that what needed to happen was to move the pile 40 feet to the left. It would take no extra time or effort but would prevent piling snow on the Rubicon Trail.

20180323_090305_resizedNow to be clear, the county will not be plowing the Rubicon Trail nor will they be removing the berm but hopefully, if the plow supervisor agrees, the pile (in the future) will be placed further left and if someone wants to play on the Rubicon, they will just have the ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ berm to deal with.

In addition, we discussed putting in two very tall snow stakes documenting the entrance so the plow drivers know where not to dump.

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The snow had a very hard top layer after having rained several inches, then below freezing temperatures.

The second was meeting Mike Gabor of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) to talk about the new map they are developing and the new kiosk for the staging area, among other things.

This is a draft of the map under construction:

LTBMU Map_cropped for website

The new kiosk will have a 4’x8′ center panel for nothing but the new map. A 4’x4′ side panel on each side will hold additional material. It will be made out of mostly metal for longevity, not wood, and should last a very long time. If all goes according to plan (remember this is a government agency we’re dealing with), it could be up by the 4th of July.

THIS IS NOT THE ACTUAL KIOSK GOING IN.  I JUST PULLED THE IMAGE OFF THE INTERNET TO GIVE VIEWERS AN IDEA OF WHAT COULD BE BUILT. THE ACTUAL KIOSK WILL HAVE MOSTLY METAL CONSTRUCTION. 

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There is an approved grant that will allow the LTBMU to pave the staging area. Before this happens, the Basin will be reaching out to the users for input on how to mark parking spots (size, spacing, direction), how to improve (harden) the border, how to best protect the trees within the staging area, signage, how to design an actual “staging area” for rigs coming off the trail or preparing to go out on the trail, etc. Figure the planning, design, layout, engineering and such will happen in 2018 and the actual paving will happen in 2019.

 

Rubicon Ronin