Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: Transit Home

Photos & words by: Rodney Wills

We drive 10-hours and hundreds of miles to get to the Rubicon Trail, spend three days traversing the Rubicon Trail and the following day at the gas station to fuel up for the transit home, we notice dribbles, fresh live dribbles! You know when you pull into the gas station you spend a minute looking around your rig checking any for fresh for fluids on the ground. The dribbles brings a quick double take and brings the pulse up! Closer inspection reveals that it is in fact ours and it’s coming out of the rear differential; and it’s enough to be truly worried!

Off to the local auto parts store we go!

With our past off-road experience we have all heard the noise, smelled the smell and know it only ends in disaster to push a rear-end with no fluid. It’s one thing when your racing; just call the troops and drag it onto a trailer, but this was our sole source of transportation home!

We have never seen Parker go into “get after it mode” like this! What we found was that the axle center section gasket was seeping oil on the left side of the cover. We dig out the tools and check for loose bolts and find that we indeed have loose bolts. Let’s pause and sidebar for a moment here. This is the first real shakedown with the new Currie axles. These axles come un-assembled allowing us to install our specified gearing and such – so this is not a Currie fault. With shakedowns, things just loosen up and when you have custom stuff like this, it’s going to happen! So, we simply re-tightened all the bolts on the rear housing and pulled the fluid dip stick on the axle! Yes, kinda’cool, the Currie Rock Jock 60′s have dipsticks to check fluid levels!

Pulling the dipstick out reveals there is gear oil in the axle but we do not have an indicator mark on the dip sticks. We scratch our heads at this point and call up the Currie crew and ask them how we are suppose to know how much fluid is suppose to be in the axle? We were informed that upon installation, add the recommended XXX quarts and make a mark on the dipstick indicator for future reference. OOPS!!! Service them enough and I guess you wouldn’t need the indicators but in this situation, it would be nice to know if we are in the safe zone or the “not drive home” zone.

While ScottG is on the phone with Currie Enterprises…

Brad is putting the “pinch-mod” on the muffler so we get better fuel mileage on the way back home. We ask him to change those muffler bearings while he is in there too. hehehe He is actually bending the muffler back out as the muffler got the ledge-slide-pinch. I think we need to install the Oakland Whistle Tip!

Now on with the fun!

We can not drain the whole axle and re-fill to get the correct top off level in the parking lot, but based on Currie’s experience and how much fluid is currently indicated by measuring from the bottom of the dipstick, we have not put the rig in harms way. We only need to do a little topping off, and what a relief!

To get a small amount of gear oil into the axle we have to pour from the bottle into the small funnel into the filler hole located on the front-top-passenger portion of the rear differential housing.

Parker loves origami, Twister mats, Rubicon trail snacks and long walks on a skinny rope. Dial 867.5309.2011 any time.[I truly made that number up on the spot so do not call it asking for Parker, please and thank you!]

Would you let a guy who wears these work on your rig? We would any day as long as they are attached to Mr. Brian Parker’s feet! Great tour guide and field service operations director!

We drop Parker off at the hobby shop where his “Red Rocket” is parked and gift him with the Trasharoo Off Road Spare Tire Trash Bag we used for this trip. Thank you Dave Druck of Trasharoo and THANK YOU PARKER!!!

It is time for us to make our way home and the way home is also very scenic as we travel down HWY395!

As we gain a little elevation, we realize that the rain that fell last night was in the sticking form of snow at the higher elevations. The crew was stoked that we stayed in the hotel. Personally I was a scratch bummed as I have yet to do my snow camp and have already missed two opportunities recently, but I am glutton for punishment.

From Lake Tahoe all the way to Bishop, snow had fallen across the mountain range that sits west of HWY395.

This is one of my favorite spots along the 395. This is looking over Paradise, California as we descend the Sherwin Grade approximately 20 miles north of Bishop, Ca. With a population of 120 at an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level it is a quite a little place that most do not see as the homes are out of view down below the ridge. On a previous trip, I was hitting side roads and found this place as a MTB path at the top of the grade caught my eye. I turned around, followed the path and found Paradise, California!

That is at least what the sign said, but upon further inspection back home on Google Maps it came up as Swall Meadows, California. Cool! Even better, not exactly “listed!”

Next up is Bishop, California which is a very cool little mountain town and base for Mt. Whitney. As I have passed through on several occasions, the local MX shop once had a short course track out front; small, but fun and right on the street as it was at the furthermost edge the the MX shop’s parking lot. But it went away. Then I noticed this little place on the edge of town on another pass through but never saw anyone out there. One day at the office we were contacted from this group from Bishop stating they were building a crawl course and asked for a couple of banners. We sent them out, and on this pass through Bishop we saw the banners!

We stop in and check out the development and were quite surprised by the facility! Let’s take a look at some of the trail features:

OKAY – YEA! That is a vehicle teeter totter! That is cool!

For many, this may simply looks like a pile of rocks. But, for all of us, this is a playground!!!!

If you are ever traveling thorough Bishop California on HWY395, pull into the Owensville RC Club and run a few laps or trails!

Owensville RC Club R/C
Race Track and Adventure Crawl Course located in Bishop, California 286 Meadow ln.
Bishop Ca. 93514

We say our hi’s and bye’s, load up in the Axial Jeep SCX10JK and head home!

While this is the last photo for this trip, it is not the last at all, only a pause in the continual pursuit of exploring. While we have gone to the extreme level of traversing the Rubicon with the 1/10th scale Axial SCX10 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, we only wish to inspire you to make your own adventure. Limits are what you place on yourself – your dreams are achievable. We wish to give you the excuse, the courage and the thirst to adventure. Fun starts when tires touch dirt!™ Where pavement ends, the adventure begins™. Even if it is just on the edge of your yard! No matter if it’s five minutes or five days, seek adventure and pursue your quest!

Thank you for taking the time to read these words and visually consume these images.

Please visit the Axial Facebook page and post your adventure no matter the length of video time or word count. 1/10th scale or 1:1 scale and if both are mixed together as we have done, all the better!

Share your adventure!

Your ambassador of fun – rodney/AXIAL

If you haven’t read the previous entries about our Rubicon Trek, check them out here!

License to Adventure!

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: The Transit

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-1 On The Trail

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-2 On The Trail

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-3 On The Trail