Ev­ery­thing went ac­cord­ing to plan!

4WDrive - - Contents -

Let me qual­ify that state­ment. If the plan was to get stuck, have the ve­hi­cles ra­di­a­tor get plugged up and risk over­heat­ing, ‘en­joy’ nasty bugs, make use of the winches and tug straps, then yes ev­ery­thing went ac­cord­ing to plan.

Five Wran­glers and one CJ7 met at the Gravenhurst Cana­dian Tire be­fore driv­ing up Hwy 11, then 118 East, then north to­wards the Hin­don Forest Ac­cess Road. At a clear­ing we stopped to let some air out of the tires, repack

gear, stretch, and oh yes – get re-aquainted with some of the var­i­ous fly­ing in­scets in On­tario bush coun­try.

Af­ter a short meet­ing to dis­cuss the route op­tions, we started along the Hin­don Forest ac­cess road. At an in­ter­sec­tion we pulled over to check the map and I no­ticed steam com­ing from my ra­di­a­tor.

Ev­ery­thing go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan yet?

A quick look at the gauge showed 260°F. Af­ter lift­ing the hood we re­al­ized that the elec­tric

fans were mak­ing noise but the fans weren’t spin­ning. Luck­ily it wasn’t too hard to re­move the dual elec­tric fan assem­bly and take a closer look at the prob­lem. The pins se­cur­ing the fan blades had dis­s­ap­peared.

Al was able to re-se­cure the plas­tic fans to the fan mo­tors with cot­ter pins and mod­i­fied cir­cle clips. Thanks An­drew for the ‘MacGyver’ sup­plies.

Now we were ready for some ac­tion.

Next up we came to a wet boggy area. This pro­vided nu­mer­ous chal­lenges for us to ne­go­ti­ate the mud, tight corner, and buried logs and rocks. Most of us needed to winch at this spot. Two ve­hi­cles had a type of

winch that when ‘freespool­ing’ sud­denly un­coiled at a high rate. This caused a real bird­snest, so the lines had to be pulled all the way out and re­spooled.

We car­ried on. Most of the stand­ing water so far had been quite shal­low - roughly 30cm. Then in the mid­dle of the trail a nasty deep spot showed up. I had made it throught the last one un­aided but had to get the winch out for this one. Ev­ery­one else was able to go around this spot.

The next hour or so was mostly gnarly chal­leng­ing con­di­tions with var­i­ous stretches of ‘cor­duroy’ (logs buried to help ATV’s across the swampy ar­eas). How­ever since May had been warm and dry we were able to drive along at around 5 km/h with­out stop­ping. Un­til we got to a fallen tree. I fol­lowed the ATV trail around the downed tree, but it was too tight for the other’s so we pulled the tree out of the way us­ing a tug strap.

An­other in­no­cent look­ing water cross­ing turned out to be a Jeep-suck­ing mud pit. All ve­hi­cles needed a tug with the strap from the ve­hi­cle ahead to get through. Since the ve­hi­cles still had a bit of for­ward and rear­ward move­ment avail­able it was de­cided that this would be quicker than winch­ing. It is al­ways a good idea to have se­cure tow points at the front and rear for a sit­u­a­tion just like this.

We stopped near a small lake and used a con­tainer to splash water on the front grill and rad’s of the ve­hi­cles to loosen up the muck be­fore car­ry­ing on. It was an­other two hours of slow bumpy trail af­ter this but luck­ily no one else got stuck.

Around 4:30 pm we came to a clear­ing and in­ter­sec­tion where we took the time to repack gear, re-at­tach sway bars, air up tires and get out and stretch. An­other 15 km of dirt and gravel roads took us out to the high­way and on our way home. See you next time!

Here’s Sukja look­ing out the win­dow of Shawn’s Willys Wran­gler to see a ‘sea’ of mud!

Trail­side cool­ing fan re­pair. Any­one have a man­ual?

An­drew on the muddy trail dodg­ing tight rocks and trees.

Here’s Michael try­ing to get over a greasy in­cline.

The shal­low water was passed and now I found the ‘deep end of the pool’.

Here’s Brian giv­ing it a try with his JK Ru­bi­con and Gen­eral Grab­ber Mud Ter­rains.

Time to repack gear, re-at­tach sway bars, air up tires, stretch, and say ‘au revoir’ un­til next time.

Brian and Al feel­ing good af­ter get­ting An­drew through. But check out the mud-packed front grill and ra­di­a­tor area. This would mean a slow trip home later stop­ping fre­quently to let the mo­tor cool.

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