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Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/4/2014, 5:07 pm

I should have the tires on in a week or so.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/6/2014, 9:48 am

So having looked through this, have we decided what day we're "officially" going to meet up?

My plan was to drive to Pennsylvania during the day of the 4th (Friday) and be at the park in plenty of time before nightfall to get a plot for us to park/camp. I envisioned us wheeling on Saturday and Sunday, and then my plan is to head back to Massachusetts (or possibly Philadelphia to visit a buddy of mine) during the day on Monday. Geoff - I know you mentioned being in Pennsylvania the whole week so your schedule is a little flexible, but does that sound about right?

Also I thought I should add that if I can get the power inverter wiring taken care of we will be able to run tools on the trail, and I'm planning on bringing along my angle grinder and Dremel should the need for any trail fixes arise. As long as the tool draws less than ~900 constant watts, it should be able to run off the inverter (which is rated for 1100 constant watts but will have a cutoff lower than that). My angle grinder draws ~600 according to the owner's guide, so if you guys have a drill or something of the like you think might be a good idea to bring along feel free to do so.

(EDIT: watts not amps; I'd love to see an 1100 amp inverter  Shocked)
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  CrawlingForward on 6/7/2014, 11:16 pm

Just finished installing the CB/PA tonight. Super professional job if I do say so myself with all hidden wiring and conduit.

Should have done the tires this week, but never got off my ass. Probably will do it Tuesday.

In terms of tools, I can't forsee me needing much for the trail, knock on wood. I'll be wheeling sans Dianna and needing to drive 26 hours back, so I'll probably be a bit of a pansy. Not saying I won't be pushing it, but if there's a chance of needing a grinder after, I probably should be doing it, ha ha.

We'll have a tiny little inverter as well, but just the cigarette plug-in kind.

In terms of my schedule, yeah, I'll be there all week beforehand, meet up on Friday evening, wheel on Saturday and Sunday and drive back Monday.

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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/8/2014, 12:26 am

Yeah TJ we can leave early on Friday. Jenny and I are going to check out Hershey possibly as well. Either Sunday or Monday.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/9/2014, 10:33 am

Ah, I misinterpreted and thought you were going to be in Pennsylvania the week after Rausch Geoff, so that clears things up a bit.

And don't worry about being a pansy; I'm going to drive 300+ miles away from home to beat on a 22 year old Jeep for two days and then rely on it to drive me 300+ miles back, and then get me to work the next day. If you think I'm gonna hit every rock pit that comes our way I'm sorry to disappoint you, haha.

And as far as tools go, I'm not hoping to need them either, but as always it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Heck I even put the rush on buying my new Fiskars axe so I'll have something to collect fire wood with while we're there. It's sad, but I might have just as much crap in the back of the Jeep for two days of wheeling at Rausch as I had for that recent three day camping trip I was on with five people. Bye-bye back seat.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/22/2014, 10:58 am

TJ, we should figure out our gameplan for the trip. Text me when you get a chance.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/23/2014, 1:10 am

Just saw your post now Shaun. I think I still have your number, I'll shoot you a message during the day tomorrow.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  CrawlingForward on 6/23/2014, 10:55 am

Oh, so apparently I had my dates for PA wrong. I'm in Wilksbarre before *and* after the trip, which makes me a bit more flexible.

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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/25/2014, 4:01 pm

So for those of us leaving from the North Shore area (i.e. everyone but Geoff), or for those considering joining us, I've played around with a few different routes on Google Maps and have settled on what I think is the best one. I used Lowell just as a starting point because preliminary plans are to have breakfast in that area before we hit the road. Sorry for the atrociously long link:

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This route keeps us away from most of the major cities (minus Hartford but we'll be hitting that early in the day), which is good because hopefully that means we can avoid holiday traffic from people traveling to major July 4th celebrations (New York, Philadelphia, etc.). I took a road trip at this same time last year (to D.C. not PA) and I can say traffic was decent, minus New Jersey which thank god we go nowhere near. Google Maps says about 5 hours and 45 minutes without traffic, but I (and Shaun) plan on it taking about 8 hours. If anyone has a route they think/know is better please by all means post it. Nothing is set in stone yet.

Personally I would like to make a few stops along the way to give the Jeep and myself a breather (when I went to D.C. I did roughly every 100 miles/1.5 hours but that may annoy others). Nothing long, just like 10-20 minute leg stretches/coolant and tire checks. I'm never really in a hurry, so I like to cruise around 60-65 mph, but if that doesn't work for people I don't mind being the one who's a little late to the party.

I know it's very early but a preliminary weather check looks good, and I'd say this is fixing to be a mighty good time. I have decided against wiring the power inverter (as I believe I will be moving it full-time to the XJ) but will have it on hand to run tools, lights, etc. And again I will be bringing my tent which can comfortably fit at least four, probably five people (since gear can be left in vehicles), and possibly my small charcoal grill. I'm not particularly thrilled about leaving this stuff sitting at the campground (people are not to be trusted), and I don't want to have to throw the grill in the Jeep with us while we're out wheeling, so it may stay home.

I can't think of any other outstanding business at the moment, so I'll leave things at that. Just like I said on the Facebook page, the more the merrier. As Geoff noted way early on in this thread, we won't be hitting the crazy hard stuff, but from what I've seen and read of the park it even the easier trails will be enough to challenge rig and driver abilities.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/26/2014, 6:19 pm

Wow TJ great work on the route. Looks perfect to me. I'm glad we are in the same camp with driving slowly. These are jeeps after all. Jenny is looking into breakfast places as our regular dinner is closed for the weekend. We may end up cooking you all breakfast at our place!
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/27/2014, 9:38 am

Glad that route looks good. It should be scenic but get us where we want to be.

As far as breakfast goes, I'd feel bad making you and the Mrs. cook for us. Honestly I don't have an issue with breakfast at Dunks or the like, especially seeing as my usual workday breakfast consists of a can of Monster and a pepperoni Hot Pocket.

One week away folks, anyone else on board!? So far we've got every generation of Wrangler covered, but no other model is represented...yet. There's nothing more American than camping, cooking over an open fire, and wheeling your American-made 4x4 during July 4th weekend. Period.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  Jake on 6/27/2014, 10:49 am

Just to update, not gonna make this one myself. Hoping to get down there sometime later this summer though.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/27/2014, 4:12 pm

Jenny is going to cook. She is going to make us some baked french toast and and egg bake as well.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  CrawlingForward on 6/28/2014, 1:28 pm

Ok, so I finally got around to reviewing the map on something other than a mobile phone and you guys are pretty much passing right by my Grandmother's lakehouse where I'll be.

Here is the route with my Grandmother's place added:
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It adds about a half an hour total.

Would you guys want to stop by for a break or should I meet you somewhere in Wilkes Barre? (Say, the Wyoming Valley Mall off 81?)

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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 6/28/2014, 6:30 pm

I don't mind stopping.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 6/29/2014, 8:49 am

I'm good with that as well. Fair warning, if your family is around they probably won't think much of me after I jump out of an A/C-less vehicle after a long drive in the summer. Probably TMI, but by the time I got to D.C. this time last year I looked like I had just gotten out of a swimming pool.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 7/2/2014, 10:43 am

Just a few days to go. I somehow managed to get my rig back together with time to spare while sick as a dog in 90* heat. I need a road trip!
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 7/2/2014, 11:29 am

Well I have some bad news gentlemen. I don't think I'm gonna be able to make this trip. I've picked up a very nasty tick from somewhere in the engine compartment and haven't been able to track down where it's coming from. I first heard it Saturday night after I had an oil change done at Jiffy Lube. I initially thought it might be bad oil or oil filter, so I went ahead and changed the oil myself last night and stuck a Mobil 1 filter on there but no change. My father and I had settled last night on it being the bearings in the water pump starting to go, but there's just no way to be sure.

LONG STORY SHORT:

My plan was to grab a new water pump and have it on hand if it decided to let go, but after hearing the noise worsen this morning I just don't think 800+ miles and a weekend of wheeling are a good idea right now. I can't even tell you guys how painful a decision this is, as I've been looking forward to this for months. The risks of something going wrong though are just too great for me to reason out. I hope this doesn't throw off your plans guys because I know this is last minute, but there's just not enough time for me to track down and fix what ever is wrong. I might try pulling the serpentine belt and letting the thing run for a minute to see if the noise appears or not. If it does then it's something internal (my fear), if not then I can narrow it down to either of the pumps.

LONG STORY LONG:

It sounds like it's coming from the front of the motor, but I can't tell if it's internal, the water pump, or possibly the power steering pump. It's always had a little bit of an injector tick, but this new sound is very pronounced. The last few days it was only really noticeable about 30 seconds to a minute after the Jeep was running, and is most noticeable on start-up and eventually quiets down, but it can still be heard.

It's very strange because the noise tends to start low then build up pretty loud, then disappear and start the cycle all over again. And again it usually takes a little time before the noise appears. Oil pressure is good, oil level is good, plenty of coolant in the radiator. It doesn't sound like an exhaust leak, and an exhaust leak would be constant and not start low and then build up and disappear. Jeep's still got plenty of power but I have no way of checking compression or anything like that.

However this morning the noise was LOUD on start-up. I could hear it clacking away on the other side of the apartment complex when I left it running to drop off the rent check. It doesn't seem to be dependent on rpm and doesn't really get louder with rpm. While I was coasting into my office parking lot I noticed that the power steering was whining a good amount. That's obviously the box itself, but the pump could be failing and causing the strain. I'm gonna check the fluid levels on my lunch break and see if anything's fishy around it.

I don't just want to toss money at it and hope the problem goes away, so I need more time to narrow it down. So here I sit with two Jeeps and possible internal engine issues on both of them. It might be a long summer.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 7/2/2014, 1:24 pm

Remove the serpentine belt and get a stethoscope. If the noise is gone it's an accessory. Listen for the noise on each accessory. Let's see if you can get this done in time for Friday. I think you can.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 7/2/2014, 2:10 pm

If TJ has to bail I will have to as well. I'm not comfortable riding alone after all the work I've done without a chance for a shakedown locally.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  CrawlingForward on 7/3/2014, 12:45 pm

Hey guys,

I'm here with family, so I'm good either way. (PS, its a Lake house, so stinky is no issue, you can just jump in the Lake.)

My number is 323.364.5337 (DAD.DOG.JEEP). Whatever you decide to do, just keep me informed either on this thread or by text. I would obviously love for this run to happen, but I obviously am not going to pressure you to drive this far if you think it would damage your rig.

For what its worth, there would be a house with extra rooms and a driveway/garage an hour and a half away and full set of tools for repairs if needed between the run and the drive home (plus a couple of mechanical-minded relatives).

Like I said, I'm already here and with family so if you guys have to bail I'll be super super bummed, but it won't be leaving me in the lurch or anything and I know that that's the danger of having such temperamental machines as a hobby, ha ha.

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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  Scarytallman on 7/3/2014, 1:32 pm

I hope you guys have a great time!
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  dongalonga on 7/3/2014, 1:57 pm

From the conversation tj and I had yesterday I had to cancel my dog sitter. There was no way I could wait until tonight to do that. I'm bummed too but there will be other trips.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  THOOPY3 on 7/3/2014, 2:05 pm

Well it's not looking good for it to happen, but in about an hour I'm heading to NAPA to pick up a new water pump and inlet tube. If, and this is a big if, I can get it on tonight and it takes care of the tick, I will make the trip.

Full disclosure: the tick is getting worse on start-up and I'm hearing it while I'm driving now. The pump is an educated shot in the dark, and the fact that it's 22 years old does bump its chances of being the culprit. I bought a stethoscope last night and the noise seems loudest around the thermostat housing, where I can hear a pretty decent grinding sound...but it also seems loud near the cylinder at the front of the head (which as you know are close to each other). Good news is I hear nothing but oil sloshing around in the bottom end of the motor, so at least it's not catastrophic. I'm pretty sure when I listen hard I can hear a bearing starting to go under the hood, so I'm really hoping it's the water pump and not a stuck lifter or a valve or push rod. It could just be a major coincidence that the water pump went after an oil change, but if I had a gun to my head I'd say it's something internal to the motor and that the oil change and the noise are linked.
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Re: Organizing a July 5/6 Rausch Creek Run

Post  Scarytallman on 7/3/2014, 2:07 pm

Well GL TJ hopefully that solves the issue. Hopefully we can get everyone together for a stock run soon to shake out the equipment.
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