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Hey Schlud, look familiar? (long story)

07-02-2002, 01:07 PM
Not as bad as yours:


but I did a decent number on my door after tangling with a tree a couple of weeks ago:


This is after pulling it back out with a suction cup a tad I think, but the dent would snap back in at the slightest touch:


I took the panel off and worked it from behind and got it into decent shape:



Maybe one of these days I'll take it to a PDR shop to finish it, but it's OK for now. Even the wife is glad to see it like this compared to how it was.

It all started when we were nearly to the end of a trail and came upon a bone-stock Wranger that had somehow slid off the trail and had been left there. He had tied a strap and rope to a tree on the opposite side of the trail to keep it from going any further down the hill:


Unfortunately for us, the strap was about 2' off the ground and prevented us from continuing. We weren't particularly interested in going all the way back, so we thought about our options.
Not being sure if the strap was actually holding the Jeep in place or if it was just a precaution, removing the strap was out for the time being.
The Jeep was a manual transmission and had been left unlocked, perhaps we could just pull it back onto the trail ourselves and do the guy a favor in the process? Nah, too much risk to assume.
OK, I'm in front, I'll pull off to the side of the trail leaving enough room for the rest to pass by, hook a strap to the Jeep and my X and use my X as a temporary anchor while the original strap is removed to let us pass.
So I'm maneuvering around in front of the Jeep trying to get in position, and wrestling with an 6" thick fallen tree about 5' off and almost parallel to the trail. I keep riding up on the trunk, and eventually drove over it with my LR wheel and straddle it. No problem, but each time I ride up/along it it works the rear end a bit further off the trail. That's kinda what I want, so I go with it.
At some point I realize that I'm about an inch from the tree alongside my driver's door and start to pull out and try again. But this only works me closer to the tree until I'm just touching it. Uh-oh. Time for help.
It's a bit fuzzy, but I think this is the order of events. We first
tried to pull me backwards back onto the trail, but only succeded in
nearly ripping my mirror off and bringing my door into contact with
the tree slightly. We put a towel around the tree to protect the
paint. We then decided to drag the fallen tree out from under my
truck to get it out of the equation. Then we had to get creative.
We improvised a snatch block using a tree protector strap as the
anchor on a tree across the trail between Riad (the puller) and I,
one of my giant shackles between it and the pull strap as the turning
point, and a strap running through it forming a "V" and joining us
together. The whole arrangement formed an apparatus which would pull
the rear of my truck sideways towards the trail when Riad pulled the
strap back up along the trail. A fine piece of improvisation, except
it didn't work quite as planned and I ended up HARD against the tree
with my driver's door and it is now dented in almost entirely from
the body molding to the window.
OK, that sucks, now what? We then moved the arrangement down the
trail to another tree across the trail from the front of my truck to
attempt to pull me slightly ahead and more sideways away from the
tree. We also tied the back of my truck to a tree to keep it
anchored so it would act as a pivot point rather than moving forwards
(or further down the hill). This worked well, and we had the front
of my truck back on the trail but my bumper was now against the strap
securing the Jeep and I couldn't drive ahead. We went back to the first arrangement with the strap pulling on the back of my truck again to get it back on the trail. I put the X in 2WD and spun the rear tires forwards (so they weren't biting and providing resistance) as Riad pulled me sideways using the improvised snatch block setup one more time. Finally I was back on the trail. A picture of this improvised apparatus will appear below, we had to use it again later :)

So after all that, we say to hell with it and determine that the Jeep isn't going anywhere on its own and we carefully remove the strap securing it. It did have a good bit of tension on it, and I can't for the life of me figure out how they set it. We used a ratchet strap to bridge and take the tension off the rope half of it to unhook it. No problem, and we all file on down the trail before re-attaching the strap.

A short distance around the bend we came across the only real
(natural) obstacle of the entire trail. The direct line consisted of
essentially a ledge a bit over 2' tall, with a notch on the right
that allowed the right side to come down gently, but the left side
was a vertical drop. The alternate line was all the way to the left,
but put the right side tires up on a foot-high rock ledge while the
left side descended, tilting the truck to the left and towards a tree
that was all too close by.
I elected to try the line to the left, and navigated through pretty
cleanly with a little spotting. Riad elected to try this line too
and appeared to be doing well until he got a bit
more tilted over and was just touching the tree at the top of his
rear door. Attempts to correct his line brought him into more direct
contact with the tree both at the top of the door and now just below
the window. Again with the towel to protect the paint, and we tried
to figure out how to get him off the tree.

He was fairly close to dropping his right front tire off the small
ledge which would tilt him back away from the tree, and the best way
to go was ahead if we could keep him off the tree. We again
improvised a snatch block setup with me ahead of him and to his right
with the strap going up off to my left front and then back across to
him. We tied the strap to his roof rack base and carefully (very
carefully) used it to tilt his truck away from the tree as he crept
forwards. At some point the base of the rack started to lift away
from the roof a smidge, so we hooked to the opposite side and
continued. This worked quite well, but he did take a couple more
dimpes in his rear fender bulge and just above his tail light in
addition to the ones at the top of his rear door. We pretty much
finished off the tail light at the end too, but it was already a loss (we both popped our LR tail lights on a root earlier that day).
Wish we had thought to air down the passenger side of his truck while we were at it.

Here's the strap apparatus in use on Riad:
(The guy in the pic was not there when the strap was under tension.)

At this point, nobody else was interested in trying that line, so we
started rounding up rocks to pile under the ledge so they could come
down in a less abrupt manner. Fortunately, there were plenty of
soccer-ball and larger sized rocks around to do the job. We brought
everyone down without much drama, and even Jim in his King Cab
Frontier and Jeff in his F-150 manage to come down without dragging
their rears. Jeff did chew the lip of the ledge with his transfer
case and crossmember due to his long wheelbase, but it was minor and
no threat to his truck.

One of the things I learned from this: roll up the window if your door is doomed to come in contact with a tree. If it had pushed in much further the glass would have been shattered in the door. As it was, the motor was straining to move it up and down.

Other than that, the day (and the trails) were pretty uneventful. Well, except for the hour I killed before we even hit the trail while trying to find someone to help a kitten that someone had hit and left injured in the road.


07-02-2002, 10:12 PM
Yeah, that looks awful familiar. :( Wish we had as much room as you did to maneuver the recovery rig around in.

Matt Peckham
07-05-2002, 08:04 PM
umm, sometimes, it pays to have sliders.

Seriously. 2 ways they would have saved you.

1: They'd have contacted the tree before it got to your door, preventing the dent.

2: They make great anchor points for lateral pulling. This would help as you could hook a strap (a good 3" strap) around one end of the slider, and wrap it around a tree about 3 times. As you move, it would act as a fulcrum? and while your vehicle wanted to move forward, it would actually move in an arc, the tree being the pivot point, and the slider base as the end of the radius. I've done this on a lot of situations, from trying to get Carlton onto, and then off of a crazy ass trail he was the only one who believed he could get through... to keeping a vehicle inline and supported while going down an icy waterfall.

Buy some damn sliders, fool.


07-05-2002, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by Matt Peckham

Buy some damn sliders, fool.


Probably the most versatile and widely used mod I have on my truck. A close tie with my winch.

07-08-2002, 12:21 PM
Put mine to use my first run with them on. INVALUABLE. They give you a ton more options when navigating an obstacle and peace of mind knowing that my rockers are protected.

07-08-2002, 01:46 PM
Oh, they're on my list...


07-25-2002, 07:42 AM
You could have prevented the T-Case damage with a $20.00 Pathfinder T-Case skid plate. Bolts right up and works! Really helped me at ECXC.

ECXC was my trucks maiden voyage with sliderz. I agree with everything everybody said about sliderz. This should be your FIRST mod! Next if you wheel in the east should be skid plates!!

Too bad about the body damage :( A small 2 or 4 ton come-a-long would have helped. It allows for self recovery when wheeling alone without a winch (we all do it!) plus it gets where a recovery vehicle can't. It allows for fine control of a pull unlike using a vehicle. (Not as good as a real winch of course!) Really useful for pulling the TREE away from the vehicle. Assuming the tree isn't 2' in diameter! :D I have one that belonged to my grandpa. It's called a Red Devil. 4 ton rated with snatch block, cast iron frame, 50 ' 3/8" cable. Fits in the back of the X on all trips.

07-25-2002, 09:24 AM
No transfer case damage, and the one I was referring to was on an F-150 anyway :) I have the Pathy skidplate on my X though...

As for the tree, both were about a foot thick, no come-along would have budged it. One would probably have been handy for coaxing my X and Riad's though.


09-18-2003, 12:42 AM
Hate to be the girly one about ur adventure, but what happened to the kitten damnit?!

09-18-2003, 09:11 AM
Dang, digging up old threads are we? Well, nobody near where the kitten was left thrashing in the road knew who it belonged to, but one person told us where a vet was about 15 minutes back down the road, so we headed there. The office was closed. So we ended up deciding it might be best to put the poor thing out of its misery so we headed back to an EMS station we had passed to see if maybe they could pull something out of their kit to inject it with to put it down. They declined. At this point I was almost prepared to take my 4 pound hand sledge and crush it's skull, as painful as that would have been for me to do, it just wasn't well at all and was clearly suffering. There was a little flea market going on in the parking lot though, so I asked if anyone there could try and see that the poor creature was taken care of. One woman said she knew a vet and would take it to him shortly to see if anything could be done. So we left it with her and I can only hope it pulled through or expired quickly.


09-18-2003, 11:28 AM
Dang, digging up old threads are we? Brent

i think he enjoys bringing up 10 year old threads. :icon16:

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