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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
RIP CV's

Hit up Beckler Road off Highway 2 today. Was hoping to do some snow driving. It was ~35 degrees and the snow was epitome of "Cascade Concrete". I define this as snow that is super crunchy, sucks your tires down, and then hardens around it. Not the most fun, but an interesting challenge.

Me & a friend left at 7:15am and drove 1.5 hours to the forest road. Not 15 minutes in, I'm messing around with both lockers on trying to power up a hill in a snow drift. *POP* goes the passenger side CV.

Well, great. Luckily I've gone uphill up to this point. I am trying to turn around, but getting no traction in 2WD. I figure I can keep the locker on in 4-lo and effectively have "3 wheel drive". Well that lasted another 10 seconds when *POP* goes the driver side CV :facepalm: lol. In both cases, I was in 4-lo, in 1st gear, front locker on, wheels straight, 33" tires, and spinning at about 3-7 MPH. Not terribly hard on it...

Site of destruction:




The CV axle popped at the hub. It was bouncing around there as the suspension cycled, so I decided to remove the axle a few miles down the road. What a PITA that was to do in the mud haha




Side note: one of my favorite parts of the plate bumper (and by far how I use it the most) is that it doubles as a tool bench:



Here are both axles in all their glory...






I was hammering on these CVs with the front locker a few weeks ago trying to climb snow. I wonder if that weakened them? I didn't expect them to break under what seemed like relatively low stress.
 

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NewX’er 4life
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I was hammering on these CVs with the front locker a few weeks ago trying to climb snow. I wonder if that weakened them? I didn't expect them to break under what seemed like relatively low stress.
My auto parts store carries CV's with a lifetime warranty for a little bit more $$$. This is the route I'm going.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Headed up with @dmski on Beckler River Road off Highway 2. Wanted to hit up Evergreen Mountain Lookout for a snowshoe. I figured we could drive most of the way, walk a bit after that, and then snowshoe our way to the top.
We almost made it but after spending 3 hours trying to drive up the mountain, we didn't have the time to snowshoe all the way to the end, so we only went a few miles. Still a great trip though!

Started by getting un-stuck an FJ cruiser (no winch or other recovery tools). We happened on him at about 10:30 am. Apparently he had been there since 4pm the previous day and had only moved about 20 feet... lol. Worst part is that he was probably only 30 feet from being homefree.




The snow was SUPER crunchy. Even though it was several feet deep, I could stand on the top layer without falling through and I am ~220lbs. I've never seen snow so hard.



The sound it made under the Xterra was awful. Like nails on a chalkboard. You can see my passenger lower control arm basically peeling up the top layer of snow more than plowing it.



If you went outside of the several-day old tracks on the road at ALL you instantly got sucked in to the soft powder underneath. There was no moving even at 8-10 PSI on my winter tires and on flat ground. Stuck here for example:




To make things worse my winch didn't work! My Schmittybilt that had defied the laws of "Made in China" and pulled me and others out of probably 30 situations was completely dead. Not sure why yet. Probably something I should check beforehand from now on. A lot of digging had to be done...




View from the top of our hike:

 

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Headed up with @dmski on Beckler River Road off Highway 2. Wanted to hit up Evergreen Mountain Lookout for a snowshoe. I figured we could drive most of the way, walk a bit after that, and then snowshoe our way to the top.
We almost made it but after spending 3 hours trying to drive up the mountain, we didn't have the time to snowshoe all the way to the end, so we only went a few miles. Still a great trip though!

Started by getting un-stuck an FJ cruiser (no winch or other recovery tools). We happened on him at about 10:30 am. Apparently he had been there since 4pm the previous day and had only moved about 20 feet... lol. Worst part is that he was probably only 30 feet from being homefree.




The snow was SUPER crunchy. Even though it was several feet deep, I could stand on the top layer without falling through and I am ~220lbs. I've never seen snow so hard.



The sound it made under the Xterra was awful. Like nails on a chalkboard. You can see my passenger lower control arm basically peeling up the top layer of snow more than plowing it.



If you went outside of the several-day old tracks on the road at ALL you instantly got sucked in to the soft powder underneath. There was no moving even at 8-10 PSI on my winter tires and on flat ground. Stuck here for example:



To make things work my winch didn't work! My Schmittybilt that had defied the laws of "Made in China" and pulled me and others out of probably 30 situations was completely dead. Not sure why yet. Probably something I should check beforehand from now on. A lot of digging had to be done...




View from the top of our hike:

Great write up! It was such a fun little run up the mountain and good to get out. Here are a few more for your viewing pleasure of the creek crossing.

Going in:


Coming out:


Views from the top:
 

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Discussion Starter #28
That must have been a lot of work shoveling snow with that little shovel! I have had good luck with an aluminum avy shovel like this:
https://www.backcountry.com/voile-telepro-shovel

Cool pictures, good of you guys to rescue the FJ.
Actually I realized this trip that the tiny shovel is perfect when you have to kneel down and scrape stuff out from under the frame/tires. A big shovel would be much too cumbersome. A back country snow shovel is a good idea though. Mine doesn't hold much material.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Last weekend was the first at the family's vacation cabin. Arrived during a snowstorm. I tried to make our ~1/4 mile steep driveway @10 PSI but only made it about 20 feet.

Here was the snow at the bottom:


Views from the porch:




Drove about 90 minutes home on the highway. Ride was kind of sloshy. I chalked it up to 4 people in truck, loaded trunk, and piled snow in roof basket. But on the way out of the parking lot, I noticed my left rear was at 11 PSI........
I didn't see it when I left because truck had been in the snow all weekend. How this thing didn't blow at 65mph for 90 minutes I have no idea :| but it seems like a slow leak somewhere!

 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
Fun trip to Tahuya ORV last weekend with @MrBoJangles_91 and @BlackbirdSR71. Nice to have my 35's back on again.



Blackbird getting a little close to a rock pre-sliders:



Love the broken taillight on the tree lol:



Did a hill climb which was definitely the most challenging 4x4 obstacle I've ever completed. A couple of times I questioned my life decisions and I lost a lot of sweat. Plenty of scraping of armor/wheels, but that is the point I guess...? Nothing broke, so I'm saying it was worth it :rockin:
My rock sliders could be moved up an inch with my body lift. Would have helped for sure.






 

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NewX’er 4life
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You weren’t kidding, you are cautious! One of the Xterra’s nicest assets is the ability to bounce up obstacles, but man it’s a bit freaky bouncing up on inclines. Be glad you have an auto, cause when I am in those situations all I think about is “please don’t bounce the wrong way when I pop the clutch”!

I have plans in September to be out there, hopefully some of you are able to show me some of these nice photogenic spots and trails!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
You weren’t kidding, you are cautious! One of the Xterra’s nicest assets is the ability to bounce up obstacles, but man it’s a bit freaky bouncing up on inclines. Be glad you have an auto, cause when I am in those situations all I think about is “please don’t bounce the wrong way when I pop the clutch”!

I have plans in September to be out there, hopefully some of you are able to show me some of these nice photogenic spots and trails!
Last time I was at this park I pushed my (aluminum) gas tank skid upwards about 6". Now I have steel, but still, nothing good comes with speed if you ask me haha. I would rather break things slowly.

For sure PM me when you come down. We can hit up a good trail/park depending on where you will be specifically. You can show me how its done ;)
 

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NewX’er 4life
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Last time I was at this park I pushed my (aluminum) gas tank skid upwards about 6". Now I have steel, but still, nothing good comes with speed if you ask me haha. I would rather break things slowly.

For sure PM me when you come down. We can hit up a good trail/park depending on where you will be specifically. You can show me how its done ;)
I agree, that saying "as little throttle as possible but as much as necessary" is the best approach.
 

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You weren’t kidding, you are cautious! One of the Xterra’s nicest assets is the ability to bounce up obstacles, but man it’s a bit freaky bouncing up on inclines. Be glad you have an auto, cause when I am in those situations all I think about is “please don’t bounce the wrong way when I pop the clutch”!

I have plans in September to be out there, hopefully some of you are able to show me some of these nice photogenic spots and trails!
I thought bouncing was bad news, seeing how you can grenade the front diff?
@AlbatrossCafe that's a nutty hill. Is it just an obstacle or on the way to somewhere cool?
 

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I thought bouncing was bad news, seeing how you can grenade the front diff?

@AlbatrossCafe that's a nutty hill. Is it just an obstacle or on the way to somewhere cool?
The front diffs seem to grenade when the wheel spins and then catches traction hard. Bouncing as I meant it is just backing off a bit and using a bit of throttle to get over an obstacle the tires were sliding on. The Xterra is good at this because of the short wheelbase.
 

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Last time I was at this park I pushed my (aluminum) gas tank skid upwards about 6". Now I have steel, but still, nothing good comes with speed if you ask me haha. I would rather break things slowly.
you and I have a very similar approach to wheeling, slow methodical and just the right amount of throttle. Id much rather put my tires in the right spot and go slow than the fast brash and then bash.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
@AlbatrossCafe that's a nutty hill. Is it just an obstacle or on the way to somewhere cool?
This was in a dedicated ORV on the peninsula in WA. They have a team of volunteers that dig out trails with a small trackhoe and move rocks around. So this was one of the optional hills off to the side. Come down sometime and I'll show ya :grin:
 
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