Expedition: Colorado – July 2016 Edition

When we left of in July, I was headed out to Colorado for a wheeling weekend with some friends.

I drove from Atlanta to Denver, stopping overnight in Kansas City, and driving through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas on the way to Colorado. The drive took all day Wednesday and most of the day Thursday. I got into Denver late Thursday night, had dinner with the Jeep Crew, and then we ran trails Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I got back on the road on Monday, spent the night in Oklahoma city, driving through Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, arriving back in Atlanta late Tuesday (actually I think it was more like the wee hours of the morning Wednesday).

I took a bunch of pictures while I was out in Colorado. The first day we ran Kingston Peak and part of Rollins Pass East, the second, Deer Creek and Saints John, and the third, Red Cone and Keystone Gulch.

I’m going to add some of my favorite photos to this post soon… Stay tuned!

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UnderCloak Install

Wow. This post is LONG overdue.

I’m going to make it a quick one.

I had my friends at GA JeepTech install the MetalCloak UnderCloak integrated armor system, and all I can say is WOW. This system is pure beef. I was so busy admiring the pieces and how they fit together that I forgot to take pictures during the installation. I have a few photos (with greasy hand prints from before we wiped the armor down) of the system all installed, but they don’t really do this setup justice. The heavy duty cross member makes the factory cross member look like a tin can. I can safely say that with this armor installed, I will feel a lot more confident on the trail.

UnderCloaked!
UnderCloak installed!

This kit protects the motor, oil pan, transfer case, transmission and gas tank, so the only other skid that I need now is a beefier EVAP skid (I have one from the factory).

Highly recommended!

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Colorado or Bust

Tomorrow (well, later today), Rube and I embark on our first long distance journey together. I’ll be leaving Atlanta early and heading West. Denver is the destination, but the plan is to do a night in Kansas City. I wish I had a rack and roof top tent at this point so I could avoid a hotel stay and sleep out in the woods, perhaps in a national park along the way, but that will have to wait.

I’ve also got a few long overdue updates (armor install), so I’ll be writing those updates from the road!

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Protect This Jeep!

MetalCloak UnderCloak:

Taking advantage of MetalCloak’s Memorial Day free shipping promotion, I pulled the trigger on their UnderCloak system for Rube.

For those of you interested in armor for your Jeep, but unfamiliar with the MetalCloak UnderCloak skid system, it’s a 3-piece boat-sided 3/16″ steel plate skid system, which includes the following:

  • Replacement heavy duty cross-member (2x thicker than the stock cross-member)
  • Maximum approach oil pan skid plate
  • Boat-sided gas tank skid plate
  • Boat-sided transfer case skid plate

The system comes together to protect the motor, oil pan, transmission, transfer case and gas tank all while replacing the weak stock cross-member with a much stronger piece. Keeping with the theme of their signature control arms, the cross-member comes coated in black zinc while the skid plates are finished in clear zinc. The zinc provides additional protection against the elements, helping stave off corrosion.

MetalCloaks’s UnderCloak skid plate system for the JKU

 

I’m excited for the skids to arrive and to get them installed. For more on the UnderCloak system, MetalCloak has a product video on YouTube:

Riddler Manufacturing Dana 44 Differential Covers:

The first time I really got Rube off-road, at the Gulches of Indian Mound in Waterloo, South Carolina, the front differential cover took a pretty good shot from a rock. It highlighted the need for extra protection in this crucial area.

Since I had just ordered the MetalCloak UnderCloak, and that meant some shop time was imminent, I figured I’d just go ahead and get differential covers as well.

I decided to go with the Riddler Manufacturing differential covers, as a friend of mine whose opinions I trust, especially when it comes to product reviews, speaks very highly of them.

Riddler Manufacturing’s Dana 44 Differential Cover

Plus, there is also this hilarious video that shows just how much of a beating these diff covers will take:

 

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Finally Launching the Blog / Website

Since purchasing Rube, it’s been my intention to document both the build as well as the journeys taken in Rube. I’m finally getting around to launching the blog / website, but you can also follow along on my WranglerForum build thread, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter!

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