What a day! On the last lap of Friday's practice run we heard something popping in the front end every now and then. Wouldn't happen all the time but got it to re-occur when turning tightly. with help from Josh Haynes we took apart the passenger side front, and didn't find anything wrong. we though it might have been the balls in the birfield popping, but everything looked ok. Ben brought up my chromo birf and we swapped that back in and put it back together. tried it out and heard the popping again. Thought it might be the ring and pinion, and saw Justin Hall walking by. He tried a bunch of stuff and thought it was the driver birf, so we pulled that. looked ok, so we slapped it back together. Decided to just run it and see what happened. Talked to my buddy Bryan up at Project4x4 Friday night and thought we should check the driveline ujoints. He met up with us on Saturday morning and we took a look at them, front joint was pretty sloppy. figured we wold change that out after the first run, no time for it before. First round was going alright, but the front end was popping really bad about midway through so tried to take it a little easier. on the last lap cut the driver front sidewall going up the second rock pile. finished up the first round with a flat going pretty slowly.
back at the pit, the guys started taking apart the front driveline and put some new Trail-Gear creeper joints in there while we got the booth setup. Always fun racing and running a business at the same time! Around 12:30 Bryan asked me to feel the third since it didn't feel right to him. I checked it and could turn it about 1/2 a turn and heard a nice clunk.
The main race for the 4500 class was set to start at 2:45 and we were suppossed to stage at 2:15. a little over two hours till start time, and I just sold Makinzie Alavazo Townsend my spare 5.29 third about 15 minutes before this...
While Bryan and Ben finished up the driveline, Colby and I started tearing down the front axle. The other guys jumped in as soon as they were done and between 4 or 5 of us had it apart in about 15 minutes although the third did not want to come out of there! Got it out and ring and pinion were toast. ARB case was ripped up by the pinion and the case bolts had backed out again.
12:50 we're calling everyone trying to find a third, then i remembered i had a 5.29 Detroit low pinion third in the rear of my 83 Toyota. Colby, bryan and me jumped in the car and smashed over to the house to rob the 83, 45 minutes later we're back at PC. About that time a worker comes by to tell us we need to stage in about 20 minutes! We'll get it done, just put us in the back lol. With 5 of us all working on it scrambling like mad , we got er done in about 20 minutes, but the pinion flange was the wrong one for the driveline. Quick run over to the booth to grab a TG triple drilled flange and slapped it on. got the driveshaft bolted up, suited up and headed out. Ken Haleen let the guys at staging know we were coming and got lined up in the back just in time to head out on to the course.
One of the cars in front of us had an issue right off the bat while going to the starting line and so we had to wait parked on a hill while they cleared em. When we started back up to go around and reline up, the car started sputtering and died on us. got it started back up and were able to go around again with the rest of the cars to start, but were pretty sure we were out of gas! Looked at the gauge and it was pegged to the F. Well in this car F means "F$@k$d" and E means "Enough" lol. decide to pull off into the hot pits right off the bat instead of trying to chance it. Luckily one of the utv teams had gas, and let us have a couple gallons. Got out there about a lap down and went for it. The rig is feeling better and better every race, and we're really happy with a 5th place finish again at Stampede! Got a lot of work to do now before Glen Helen though.
All in all had a helluva time. Can't thank the crew enough, Ken, Nick, Bryan, Ben, Colby, Aubree Smythers, Ray, and Dylan. Thank you Justin, Josh, Paul, and everyone else for the help as well. This sport is so cool that competitors and friends alike will help you out the best they can for nothing in return! Huge thanks as well to RuffStuff Specialties, Trail-Gear, Maxxis Tires, Hellfire Fabworks, Project4x4, Dynomax Performance Exhaust, Stinger Ground Anchor, Parts Mike, ADCO Driveline & Custom Exhaust for some kick ass products and support!