Ultimate Adventure Recap (Part 1 of 3)
Each year Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine hosts an offroad excursion that brings together some old cronies, event sponsors, magazine staff, and a few lucky readers. This will serve as the first of three posts to cover Zone’s first experience on the Ultimate Adventure (UA). This year Zone Offroad has the coveted position of the official suspension and with that gave us the opportunity to build a rig to test out some new prototype components the engineers have been working on. The UA is known as a grueling test of man (or woman) and machine, traveling over 1000 miles in 7 days through a combination of road days, wheeling trails, and strategically planned pit stops to push the limits of those involved. To say it was a challenge would be an understatement. After 6 weeks of building our 1990 Jeep Comanche MJ with an all-out blitz during the final build days, the MJ was completed around 5:30p on Friday, loaded on the trailer and on the road by 6pm. Dave and I (Carter) made the haul through the night before pulling the Jeep off the trailer around sunrise to get some break-in miles on the new engine and drivetrain. The drive in was a good shake down for our relatively untested rig as we figured out what was working and what needed adjustment. After checking in and passing tech inspection, we went to work making adjustments, changing fluids, gathering supplies, and trying to take some time to meet the other participants. The rig grabbed attention everywhere it went, from the clean body lines of the fiberglass flares and custom build bumpers with recessed winch mount, to the extensive cage work, 40’’ Maxxis tires, and lime green paint.
The following morning was the start of the adventure, although for many of us the journey had started days or weeks prior in preparation for the trip traveling from all corners of the States. The MJ did great out on the trail, crawled the rocks, conquered the hill climbs, trudged through the mud and cruised down the highway. We had some issues with the front axle at the beginning of trip, but nothing some spare parts, a grinder, welder, and red label overnight parts couldn’t fix. Once those issues were addressed, the Jeep was unstoppable out on the trail. We’ll be going into more detail as to what broke, how we fixed it, and who was driving when it happened in a future post.
Congrats and many thanks are in order to all those involved on Project MJ. To the entire build crew for their hard work and immense time investment at the shop, the sponsors for providing quality products to make this build possible, and the fans that followed along and encouraged us throughout the buildup. Even though UA 2011 is a wrap, this project will continue to evolve over the coming months in preparation for more wheeling trips and ultimately the SEMA Show 2011. While we won’t be posting weekly updates as we have in the past, we’ll keep everyone informed as this Comanche continues its transformation. So stay posted for more info and tell us what you think!