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How gnarly is Ma Bell

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How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 7:41 am

Ma Bell,
Assuming that you know how to drive in the trail.
What are minimum requirements for a rig to successfully negotiate the trail w/o damage to the rig.
Who has been there and how was it?
Thinking about going day after GTD, anyone else?


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BDS / JKS / Currie suspension, antirock, bilstein 5100s, Currie steering, winch, HD bumpers, LS rear, 33in tires, fuel tank skid, t case skid, oil pan skid, radiator skid, steering box skid, and so on and on. Very Happy


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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  janesy on 5/1/2013, 9:08 am

You can make it as gnarly as you want, but minimum from what my other club suggests is 32's and front/rear tow point.

A locker would help you use a little less skinny pedal, but 33's with a LS you will prob need a few bumps to get up the main trail ledges without bypassing. Skids may get a few scrapes, but with your setup and knowing how to wheel, I'd say you would be fine.

I ran Mabell last year with my rig on 33's locked in the rear and had absolutely no problems going up all the ledges, picking the right lines.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Ryan McKee on 5/1/2013, 9:58 am

Moved to General Discussion (leaving the other area open to just club run scheduling).

Mark, if you're asking for yourself, you'd be fine. As Nick said, it's as hard as you make it. There are easy ways up and there are ways that the TJ on 49s who came with us last time had problems with. For example, I'd be a lot more capable there if I had a more aggressive tire than my A/Ts.


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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Rob Cote on 5/1/2013, 10:39 am

I'm going to try and join this run. I really wanted to camp after GTD, but my sister conveniently planned her graduation party that day. So I THINK my plan is to go check out the show for a bit, then head up to NH and come back out Sunday to do the MA Bell run.

Any idea roughly when you'll be hitting the trail?
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 10:51 am

What are folks feelings on reinforcing axles? I have read many different things. A lot of people say you should gusset and reinforce a Dana30 front axle before considering anything serious. Would MaBell be considered serious? This is my DD, doubt I can afford to replace an axle but I am determined not to be just a mall crawler. I just want to do it smartly. geek
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Rob Cote on 5/1/2013, 10:55 am

A lot of forum misinformation/disinformation. One guy has a problem with an axle (exaggeration) and suddenly every one of them is garbage. I have beat the crap out of mine regularly without issue.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 10:57 am

I was asking for myself and others who have never been there I suppose.
I am considering going but with my all terrain tires, the mud tires are way out of balance and they are getting worn a bit with all the street driving I was doing with them.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 11:03 am

Bill, don't mess with your axles, they can take plenty abuse as they are.
Drive it for a while off road and see for your self.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  CrawlingForward on 5/1/2013, 11:34 am

Hey Bill,

Yeah, the JKs have a "new generation" Dana 30, which is pretty darn strong. You gatta start getting upwards on 37s before worrying about trussing it, etc.

And in terms of Ma Bell, a large factor of it is also people's comfort level and driving ability. Mark, from what I understand you'd be just fine, seeing as how good of a driver you are.

And to someone who's not, it also depends on your comfort level with taking a few dings on the undercarriage. My YJ probably was a little short to do OFR, but because I was willing to be dragged up a few obstacles and get some damage, I made it through. Just make sure the people you're going with are willing to take the time and effort to help you through it.

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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/1/2013, 11:44 am

Rob Cote wrote:I'm going to try and join this run. I really wanted to camp after GTD, but my sister conveniently planned her graduation party that day. So I THINK my plan is to go check out the show for a bit, then head up to NH and come back out Sunday to do the MA Bell run.

That is a lot of driving man. Not sure if you've ever been to Monson, but there's really no "as-the-crow-flies" way to get from there to New Hampshire. Same goes for Northampton as well, depending on where in NH you'll be. Not trying to deter you by any means, but that'll be like 400+ miles (between leaving home Saturday and returning home Sunday) plus beating the piss out of the thing at MaBell. Just something to consider.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  mr.steamy on 5/1/2013, 12:14 pm

I know I'm ready for topless day!!




As for the run, I'm not sure if the rig is ready. I don't have coverage underneath other than what comes with it, and all I have is the stock bumpers. I'm hoping to have a SYE and new rear driveshaft but I'm nervous about the other stock parts (steering linkage...etc).
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 12:25 pm

Looking good! I am so envious of your tires. I think Duratracs will be my go to when I bump up to 35s.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 12:26 pm

[quote="mr.steamy"]I know I'm ready for topless day!!
I'm not sure if the rig is ready.

You could, from what I understand make it with yours.
But not with that front drive shaft rubbing, no way!

The jeep looks good.
Do you have a rear tow hook? you must have the front.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Rob Cote on 5/1/2013, 12:41 pm

nsjbill wrote:Looking good! I am so envious of your tires. I think Duratracs will be my go to when I bump up to 35s.

Love my Duratracs, but mud performance is awful. They were excellent in the snow, over rocks and road noise is very low.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 12:43 pm

Really? I heard they are decent in the mud. Maybe our mud up here is different than elsewhere? I have also heard great things about them in snow. The one criticism I have read about them is their sidewalls could be susceptible to punctures fairly easily.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 12:46 pm

Is it designated as a mud tire or all terrain?.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  janesy on 5/1/2013, 12:48 pm

[quote="CrawlingForward"]Hey Bill,

Yeah, the JKs have a "new generation" Dana 30, which is pretty darn strong. You gatta start getting upwards on 37s before worrying about trussing it, etc.
[quote]

Not too take this off topic, but from what I've read, the knuckles are the weak point of the axle, thats why there are a lot of talk about gusseting the inner C's... Guess they are weaker than TJ's, but at this point in your build I wouldn't worry about that just yet.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 12:52 pm

Mark wrote:Is it designated as a mud tire or all terrain?.

I believe it is officially an AT but it really is more of a hybrid AT/MT.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 1:00 pm

Maybe that's why Rob said that then, he has them on his jeep, tried and tested.
A mud tire is best at getting through mud, all terrain tires are great every where but not so great in mud.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  mr.steamy on 5/1/2013, 1:05 pm

[quote="Mark"]
mr.steamy wrote:I know I'm ready for topless day!!
I'm not sure if the rig is ready.

You could, from what I understand make it with yours.
But not with that front drive shaft rubbing, no way!

The jeep looks good.
Do you have a rear tow hook? you must have the front.

I have the two j-hooks in the front and the one in the back.

Thats what I thought, about the front drive shaft. Nothing I can do right now about it, but plan on it.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 1:10 pm

Your ok with the hooks, if you had a SYE in there maybe the shaft wouldn't be a issue.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 2:13 pm

I will hopefully have my winch in and ready to go before GTD as well. I went with a Smittybilt XRC-8 Pro. It was either that or the Engo and I have seen the Smitty installed in my custom bumper. Looks fantastic!
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Mark on 5/1/2013, 2:30 pm

Nice, now you have to try it out.
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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  Andrew Miller on 5/1/2013, 3:37 pm

I got some video last July when we went on the run out to MaBell, this should help you guys out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-ultvaBh0Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHdjk8h4Mf8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQZGTae2XJA

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Re: How gnarly is Ma Bell

Post  nsjbill on 5/1/2013, 3:39 pm

Hey I think I have actually seen those before! All of the creaks and groans and clunks scare me! lol!
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