Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mississippi Off road

Lifted jeep cherokee
Our trip to the lake involved using what was left of the old road, some creative bypasses around fallen trees and some horse trails.

We let our younger son Will get in some wheel time on the way back to the house.

Some of the old road had some big ruts but they were easy to straddle with Scuffy.

The hill that I remembered as being so big and scary as a child was no adventure at all. In fact I kept wondering where it went. We have had to winch many a tractor and pickup up that hill in he past but it was really nothing at all in a Lifted Jeep Cherokee. Except for the places where we had to push trees out of the way, I think I could have made the trip in my daily driver Jeep.
lifted jeep cherokee

Columbus, Ms

Touring Historic Columbus, Ms

While in Mississippi, we took a day to tour some of the surrounding towns. I was born in Pontotoc where we stayed and visited the lake in Scuffy. But I grew up near Aberdeen and Hamilton, Ms.

It took a while to find my old house in Hamilton as the roads have all changed. My Daddy Straw's old shop in Gibson Mississippi is almost invisible in the weeds by the new highway. I could still make out the cab of the old winch truck in the bushes.

We went on down the road to Columbus where Mom got her master's degree in Nutrition from MUW.

The visitors center is located in the old Tennessee Williams home. He wrote a couple of plays you may have heard of, Streetcar Named Desire and Fiddler on the Roof.

We took a short walking tour of the historic downtown area. I noticed that all the girls on the street looked really hot. In fact with the temperature around 100 every one looked hot.

We returned to Pontotoc through the Tombigbee National forest and enjoyed the curvy gravel roads.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Scuffy Safari

Jeep Cherokee off road in Mississippi

Today I towed Scuffy to Mississippi to make a trek to our lake there. The lake is way on the backside of the property on a road that has not been maintained in many years.

There was some evidence that some ATV's had been there some time ago but not recently.

We had to drive around fallen trees, over some small trees and through lots of kudzu and briars.

Scuffy enjoyed playing bulldozer.

We finally made it to Callaway Lake just before sunset.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Water Skiing on Parksville Lake


We spent some time on this hot July day at our new favorite restaurant - The Ocoee Dam Deli and boating on Parksville Lake.

My Jeep Cherokee ran just a touch warm towing the our Ski Supreme up the mountain but nothing to worry about.

The water was so warm it felt like a hot tub. After a run of wake boarding or knee boarding it felt good to just float in the water and relax.

I pulled my slalom ski out of the bag for the first time in about a year. I took a couple of passes at the course but I was doing good to manage six wake crossing much less make the buoys. Eating first was a bad idea, but since the Ocoee dam deli closes at 5 pm it was the only way to make both.

I though both the girls working at the deli were going to close up shop and join is at the lake but they decided it would be better to serve the waiting customers. Maybe next time girls.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

ARB Wiring Complete

Jeep Cherokee Accessories

Since it all works, I routed the wiring harness through a grommet in the firewall and mounted the cute little switch in the shifter console.

I connected the control wire to the accessory circuit by splicing to the cigar lighter wire.

Jeep cherokee accessories arb

In case you are wondering that is the horn button also mounted on the console. It is there to be within reach of the co driver.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Scuffy II's first stuck

Jeep Cherokee Stuck in the mud

Little stiff gravel race tires don't work well in the mud. Even with the ARB spinning all four of them.

jeep cherokee stuck in the mud

Had to get JeepGirl and the original Scuffy to rescue me.

jeep cherokee stuck in the mud

Temporary wiring for testing my used ARB

Jeep Cherokee Accessories

I was not sure about all those colored wires on the ARB compressor so I hooked it up temporarily to make sure it all worked. I did not get a wiring diagram with my box of parts.

The easiest hot wire tap I could find was the dome light.

ARB wiring Jeep Cherokee

Notice the use of my nomex driving suit in case of fire.

The cute little light in the switch works and everything!

The compressor is now mounted solidly where the washer bottle should be. Just need to route the wires in through the firewall and find a place to mount the switch.

arb compressor Jeep cherokee

Scuffy II Build up update

Jeep Cherokee performance

The Rally Jeep needs a place to race bad today. I now have the Chrysler 8.25 with a lock right locker in the rear and an ARB equipped Dana 30 in the front. Both fitted with 3.55 gears.

On the little race tires and all four locked up the acceleration in incredible. I left off the rear sway bar in preparation for off roading so the rear traction is enhanced even more.

In fact, if I were to race it today, I would try it with out the rear bar. With the locker in the rear, I can still kick the rear out under throttle even in 4x4. Huge fun!

More later.

jeep cherokee performance

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peparing the Dana 30 for the front of Scuffy II

Lifted Jeep Cherokee

Scuffy II is getting the ARB I bought a while back. It is already installed in a Dana 30 front axle. The axle has late model knuckles that were damaged so my plan is to swap on the old knuckles from the existing front axle.

When I pulled the axle shafts they look quit a bit beefier than what I remembered a Dana 30 looking like. These may be some heavy duty axles. Nice bonus if that is the case.

Since I plan to use stock lower control arms, I clearanced the arm pockets adn shock mounts to get a little more drop before the arms hit.

See before and after pics below.



Scuffy II Build progress

Lifted Jeep Cherokee

The Chrysler 8.25 and lock right are now installed in the rear of the race Jeep. Had to finagle the old brake lines a bit but it is all finally in. Still have to work on the handbrake cables but that can wait.

The rally Jeep is also sitting a little higher in the rear after some time on the lift. Took it for a quick run around the driveway. The lower gears and locker make huge fun in the gravel with the torque of the Titan stroker motor.

Now I need to get the ARB installed in the front and get the ratios matched up so I can use 4x4.

New life for saggy stock springs

Jeep Cherokee repair problems

I stumbled on a way to put some life back into saggy stock springs. I had noticed before that going off road and flexing the rear springs was good for them but after sitting on the lift for a few days the springs really got some lift back.

I had the shocks and brake lines disconnected so there was nothing to keep the springs from drooping as far as they wanted to. I first noticed the difference when I found it difficult to hook up the shocks. I actually had to put some weight on the springs to get the shocks to reach the pins.

I am curious to see how long it lasts.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rear Axle Swap

In preparation for the build up of Scuffy II, I pulled the 8.25 with lock rite out of my 1991 Jeep Cherokee Laredo last night. This axle will go in the Rally racer.

I re installed the original Dana 35 with an open diff.

The trouble I ran into as I was finishing up is that I only have enough brake parts on hand to make up one axle with 9" brakes.

I guess I will have to take the brakes off the 8.25 and put on the Dana 35 then sort out more brakes for Scuffy II. It would be a good time to do a disk conversion on one of them.

I will do a little more digging to day to see what parts I can scavenge.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bell Buckle Tn Rally

tsd road rally
Rally Round the Park in Bell Buckle, Tn

We celebrated the 4th of July by running the rally round the park in Bell Buckle, Tn.

For a complete description of the rally and how we did see:
Bell Buckle Rally

There was an interesting mix of cars there: a bucket T street rod, a Miata to some Mustangs, Jeeps a Pontiac Convertible and lots of other cars.
The great thing was all the fun in and around Bell Buckle. After the rally we took some time to wander through the antique shops and stopped at the ice cream parlor to share a banana split.

More pictures form the rally are posted at

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dry Falls North Carolina

Our trip to Highlands, NC

This weekend we visited Highlands, NC. I have not been there in a few years and I have never been there in the summer.

We stopped on the way into town to tour the poorly named Dry Falls.

See more pictures at JeepGirl Travels

Herbie Lives!

Another self driving VW

In this article, VW announced that they have a Golf that can drive itself. And this time it is not like the DARPA challange in the desert, this car can drive itself around a race track. And around cones on an autocross course!

There have been plenty of time on long trips where I would have liked to set the crusise control on my Suburban and just loet it drive on the interstate so if this technology actually goes into production, that would be pretty cool.

I also invision a new from of robot racers competing on an autocross course. No need to strap in just program you car and send it out. It would be kind of like RC racing only you would not have to fiddle with the controller.

They say it works with GPS but I sure hope their GPS recievers are better than the ones I have. My delorme often shows me driving several hundred yards off the road I am on. Also, on roads like HWY 129 the Dragon's Tail, they don't pick up the satelites at all bedise the rock cliffs.