Open Wheeling Weekend at
Crozet Offroad Park
August 4 and 5, 2007

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driveshaft carnage.  note the attached yoke body damage busted u-joint output yoke shock and missing spring on Briar Patch Pete's Demise this was a pristine 4Runner $700 beast on the creek bed by Sphincter just a cool little lizard on Drivetrain more drivetrain another of the shock someones rig that got away from them and rolled into the woods

87YJGuy by Briar Patch

87YJGuy on Pete's Demise

4Runner on Pete's Demise

Pickup on Pete's Demise


FSC in the Creek Bed

LtDanYJ in the Creek Bed

FSC on Drivetrain Debauchery

FSC on Drivetrain Debauchery

Skrewball at the top of Drivetrain

Got down to Crozet just after dark on Friday night. Friday night rush hours has held me up and made the drive close to six hours before, so I was thrilled to make it down there is just under four.

Ended up going on a NON-OFFICIAL night run around midnight (please note that this run was a group of friends playing in another friend's backyard, and was NOT a Crozet event). Ran Pastoral, where Chris flopped the buggy, and the Creek Bed by Sphincter. Made it to Drivetrain Debauchery, and learned how it got it's name.

Don't let the following scare you away from Crozet. This was a freak incident and could have happened anywhere.

Best I can figure the order of things started with a bolt shearing off my rear swaybar bracket, which put the chain reaction into motion.. That caused it to twist, and bust one of the end links in half. That caused the suspension to suddenly unload, and the forceable droop caused my rear shock to seperate (which took out the vent line to my rear axle) and my coil spring to fall out. As the Jeep came back down hard on the bumpstop, the driveshaft compressed with a ton of force, jamming it into a compressed position, busting two u-joints, destroying my CV, and splitting off large chunks of my transfer case output yoke.

Drug it back to camp, where I decided I didn't feel like fixing it, and just left it parked all weekend.

Made a ton of friends over the weekend. First, it seemed like everybody from NOVA made an effort to come over and introduce themselves. Then, all the OCC guys in attendance noticed me wearing the shirt and came over to meet me. Throughout the day, I think everyone in attendance made it a point to come over to me to check on my carnage (I seemed to be given the credit for the big carnage of the weekend, despite someone ripping off an axle truss due to faulty welds).

I really want to point out the amount of assistance I was offered this weekend. It's pretty much expected that wheelers support wheelers with help, knowledge, parts, etc. and that is what keeps this sport alive. However, the help offered to me this weekend was just over the top and I was offered enough parts that I could have fixed my Jeep several times over.

For the record, I appreciate all the sympathy I was given, but breaking parts is just part of the sport if you wheel hard and with the minimal amounts of breakage I suffer, I am still way ahead of the curve. Also, I could have fixed it, but really just didn't want to bother messing with it in the heat.

Saturday morning I was Jeepless, but still ended up guiding a group. When you lead a group of strangers, you never know what you will get and I always am a little nervous about the people I will be spending my day with. However, what I got was one of the most fun groups I have ever went out with. Not only did they "get it", but they were also willing to challenge themselves while still respecting their limits. I also appreciated that, whenever someone needed a spot over something, there was no hesitation from the others in the group to lend a hand.

Ended up running Pastoral, Briar Patch, Bucilic Byway, Pete's Demise, Benign Byway, some offcamber trail starting that the top of PUSI that I have never seen before, and the NOVA trail "the tool". After lunch, we ran the creek bed by Sphincter and finished up with the group playing on Drivetrain Debauchery.

Things went great, and we all had a ball watching the pickup on it's maiden voyage. Other than Dan having a small issue with his 4WD in the morning, the only carnage of the day was from the 4Runner getting a little too close to a tree.

That night was a lot more mellow, as most of us were exhausted from the night before. We all just casually hung out in the Packard's new shop and watched people wrench on their damage from the day.

Seriously, this is one of the most fun rides I have been on. Crozet is always a great time, and this was no exception. Still can't believe how much I enjoyed myself, even without a Jeep.

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