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Ahhh crap! I need something smaller!! *Long Rant*

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Lance, May 27, 2003.

  1. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    Didn't get my truck finished in time for WITC Memorial Day Weekend event in Summertown, TN. Luckily, my cousin had a seat for me in his Early Bronco. Had a blast, did Twister 1, 2, & 3 (came down and went back up), Bents and Dents, Slick Hollow, and The Tunnel. Also rode down to Axle Hill, Flipper and Pender Hill (aka Money Hill) but w/o a fully integrated cage in addition to the super slick conditions we thought it better to watch those that had either better safety provisions or less sense try these obstacles. Our suspicion that this was a bad idea was confirmed when his buddy in an EROCC equipped buggy flipped on Pender Hill. I'll post some pics of the wheeling action later, but I don't have an opportunity to take many.

    Anyways, the whole point of this post is for me to do a little whining, so here goes. I've spent the better part of the last two years building my K5 up, which means no real seat time wheeling. I've spent a small fortune on upgrades (who hasn't) , not to mention that I gave WAY too much money for the K5 in the first place. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif Now that I'm almost finished with the bulk of my upgrades I have come to the disturbing realization that my K5, while it should be an effective and capable rig, is FAR too big to wheel on most of the more challenging trails I wish to encounter. Even the most well equipped and capable rig on here would have an extremely difficult if not impossible time on most of these trails, just due to the gerth of a K5. Most of the trails are (usually) dried-up deep-v water falls or steep and technical hill climbs that run between trees. I wouldn't mind experiencing a limited and moderate amount of body damage. Our group consisted of some extremely well equipped Jeeps, Suzukis, bobbed land cruisers and 4-runners and EB's all generally running at least a 40" tire and all these guys were taking on small amounts of body damage, there is no doubt that my K5 would have been beaten half to death. We didn't see one full size anything on any of the trails, most of them were in the mud pit.

    I'm just so frustrated. I built my K-5 to better attack and conquer the most challenging obstacles I had encountered up to that time. So I did build it with a plan and frame of reference in mind. Unfortunately, you can not prepare for that which you are not aware.

    Now, I have to decide on what to do. Part/Sell my K-5, the problem with that is there is no way I would even get close to the dollar figure I gave for the vehicle stock, 3 years ago, much less recoup my expenses on upgrades. I'm not interest in building a tube buggy nor do I have the equipment or skills necessary to build one. I've considered trying to locate an S-10 cab and bed and swapping the bodies over to my K-5 frame, which I like because it keeps all GM components. Or try and find an old and cheap 4x4 body and chasis, something like a Scout 800, and swap all my components to it. It just sucks because that means more time and energy trying to build a project and less time actually wheeling.

    Now, where did I leave that cheese. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  2. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    1) Take the doors off, this makes a huge diff in the middle where you need to be narrower, also helps visability so you can avoid more crap.
    2) Cut the rear 1/4s up high, even w/ the floor pan in front of the tire and the frame behind the tire.
    3) Cut the fenders, even w/ the inner in front of the tire, back to the firewall behind, now hammer them inward.
    4) Good bumpers, keep them tight so they don't make you any wider, and no rock slider/nerf bars, this goes back to the no doors and you won't have them taking away clearance.
    5) You are going to get some dents so be ready to accept it when it happens.
     
  3. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I've done, or I am preparing to do, everything you have listed. I've been trying to wire up a quick-disconnect wiring plug to ditch the doors w/ power acessories in the summer and keep them for short trips to the trail in the winter. I've bought a 4x4 iron rear bumper and have laid out the lines to do my fender trimming. But even with these in place I wouldn't have fit done through most of those trails. Part of it is I am too wide, but most of the more difficult situations on these trails are off-camber and under downed trees. So a 7 ft plus high full bodied rig isn't going to squeeze through these spots without using their front fenders as trencher and/ or wedging the roof against a tree. I know that body damage is inevitable, but to purposefully drag a rig down a trail it is too big for and basically destroying the body in doing so does not sound fun to me. I also know that I can't build my rig to do everything, but I just don't want to be left out when my buddies hit the trail, it's a no-win situation.

    I know I'm bellyaching. I'll figure something out, it is just the initial feeling that I have wasted my time that I am trying to get over.

    Thanks,

    Lance
     
  4. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    I feel what you are saying 100%!!! I have put well over 10k into my rig over the last 2 years and now I cant keep up with the jeepers and I dont have enough to wheel with the full size rigs who have big blocks and 44's. I am also sick of the stereotyping. Its like the jeep owners think all full size owners are hick-hillbilly morons.
    Then you have the ford owners spouting off..then the Yota guys...I swear out of 100 people only 5 actually want to go out and have fun and dont care what kind of rig you have.


    Screw it. I am selling it all and taking up cross stitch.
     
  5. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I wheeled with 6 jeeps over the weekend - I FEEL your pain. LOL

    They were entertained watching the beast negotiate trails easier than they could..... Sure it is large but so capable compared to Heeps (or small lightweight vehicles) IMHO.
     
  6. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I feel what you are saying 100%!!! I have put well over 10k into my rig over the last 2 years and now I cant keep up with the jeepers and I dont have enough to wheel with the full size rigs who have big blocks and 44's. I am also sick of the stereotyping. Its like the jeep owners think all full size owners are hick-hillbilly morons.
    Then you have the ford owners spouting off..then the Yota guys...I swear out of 100 people only 5 actually want to go out and have fun and dont care what kind of rig you have.


    Screw it. I am selling it all and taking up cross stitch.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [ QUOTE ]

    I wheeled with 6 jeeps over the weekend - I FEEL your pain. LOL

    They were entertained watching the beast negotiate trails easier than they could..... Sure it is large but so capable compared to Heeps (or small lightweight vehicles) IMHO.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thanks y'all, at first I didn't think anyone was going to come to my pity party. I don't doubt the capability of a K5 when properly equipped, and mine may be better suited for some of the wider trails than comparably equipped smaller vehicles. But when there is a hard 90 around a tree on one side and a 6 ft high bank on the other, it sure would be nice to be a bit more nimble to squeeze through there.

    BTW, the group I went with this weekend were GREAT! No Jeep clique / Toyota clique crap. Just a bunch of guys who were out for some fun and wheeling. Helped several guys from other groups on the trails and invited anyone they talked to to tag along or back to the camp for grub. Even a couple of guys in full sizes. They did warn them it is tight and what to expect (they all declinded), but they told them if they wanted to try it they would make sure they would get them through it.

    I don't know, I'm looking in the want ads know for a S-10 extra cab. I know it is a 'yota but maybe I can build something like this (maybe). [​IMG]
    This came from Pirate4x4.com, member name Vova.
     
  7. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    First thanks to 8_YOUR_H2 for selling me his investment, I appreciate it

    Anyway, I have some general thoughts on this. It kind of fits in with the thoughs of a few others online and a few of those goofy magazine editors.

    I suppose sometimes you have to learn to enjoy easier trails. I may look like I have something going on in my shop, but the only time I'd ever ay I've wheeled truly is once, in a gravel pit and maybe when I got stuck crawling over a rock pile.

    I didn't build my truck to conquer trails, I don't wanna break that much junk. I just want to go everywhere without breaking everything or getting stuck. It may seem silly seeing something on locked one tons going down a 2 trail (or whatever), but he isn't worried about anything like the new IRS explorer in front of him(who probably isnt casue he has the nice new rig), he's enjoying the trail...

    Anyway, I've rambled long enough

    Good luck to all with doubts, thanks again for the axles Brent
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I've spent countless hours thinking about this dilemma. I do not think it is just us wide body freaks that go through this. You cannot build a truck that will do everything with amazing grace, fit every trail, never break, look good and get amazing fuel mileage.

    There are plenty of trails here that Suzuki's and Jeeps don't fit...so they don't go there. There are some trails where my truck does not physically fit so I do not go there. None of this means jack to me...there are plenty of hardcore trails to enjoy where my truck can fit.

    I'll stick to BigJ's list of things that help and enjoy the 95% of trails I can fit on. Mostly because I enjoy doing things the hard way. I could get a Jeep, but to me that would be taking the easy way out. There is just something sick and twisted about a K5 wheeling where Jeepers say it can't go. I like that.../forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    The middle of the truck is definitely the part that will give ya fits in the tight stuff. Losing the doors gains you over 8" of width in the middle if not more. With box tube rockers pivoting on a tree or rock isn't even that big a deal...

    Rene
     
  9. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Ill even polish the chrome and put on a fresh coat of rust-oleum
     
  10. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I haven't built nor do I have illusions my K5 will compete in rock crawling competitions. I built it to be a reliable off-raoder that I could throw some challenges out without completely destroying it in the mean time.

    I guess I would just like to be able to keep up with my buds when we are off-road. The easiest solution to that is to get new friends!! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif I need some buds with a few full-size rigs. That way we can get out there and find the trails us "fat kids" can fit down. But I can't help to think that I would still be missing out on some of the fun.

    The more I think about it the more I like the S-10 cab idea. Searched around and found Yeild2me's conversion. He lives in the same part of the country I live in (basically). Maybe he ran into the same situation I have experienced and this is working for him.

    In the mean time, keep the encouragement coming. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Thanks,

    Lance
     
  11. fourwheelerjeff

    fourwheelerjeff 1/2 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    why not build both /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    like a light weight suzuki and use your k-5 to tow it to the trails, just remember what jeep stands for:
    J-ust E-mpty E-very P-ocket
    that is why i am getting rid of my cj-7 and thinking about a suzuki, although i admit a tj would be nice with the coils on it /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  12. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    [​IMG]

    There are plenty of places that a "small" rig will flat out not make it because of wheel base of lack of stability.

    There are strong and weak points of every vehicle. I think the 'Oh gawd I'm too wide' is a cop out. I have and I have seen plent of full size rigs spank 'Yotas and Heeps. And as Rene said, I get a sick sense of "Up Yours" when I have a rig that will haul all my gear comfortably and make it through the same obstacle.

    Losing of body is a natural progression the 'clearenceing' Rita and I did to the rear quarter panels will only help in the future, even if that tree is now deviod of bark. Once i get some minimal body protection (Sliders, wrap around bumpers) along with the lack of doors, tailgate, top, A/C, etc. will only make my attempts easier and IMHO more prone to sucess. The idea that a Toy will have an easier time is not true. I have seen everything from a 'Zuki to a F350 Crew Cab to a stock GOLF cart struggle on the trail. That is why we have winches, spotters, and tow straps.

    If you want to build a comp rig, any production frame will not due. If you want a mud bogger, don't buy 33" A/T's. If you want a rock crawler, 3.08's and 44's are not the ticket. Build it to do what YOU want it to do. Have a goal, stick to it, and enjoy the ride. That's how I've done it.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've noticed that it's not just that the trails aren't made for full size rigs.

    Going out hunting every year out here for the past 15 or so years, I've seen less and less full size rigs out there. Not saying they aren't capable, but that the trend has been towards somewhat smaller vehicles for that kind of usage lately. (going out after it snows, it's blatantly obvious how many narrower vehicles are out there) I'm sure the trend towards smaller vehicles will carry over to trails more and more. Just my opinion of course, but you just don't see many "newer" (say post '87-ish) fullsize rigs actually being used offroad.

    My girlfriend thinks that she would like to do more wheeling, and I'll be glad to let her find a Jeep or Samurai or whatever. In my case, I care too much for my truck to bang the heck out of it, I'll get another POS to beat up, or let her destroy. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Thats probably more a concern for some than anything else. Who cares if you play bumper cars on the trees, as long as you don't care about the vehicle...probably makes a large difference on where you can go, depending on how concerned you are for the vehicles body.

    I also think a lot of people are "spoiled" with the areas they have access to. I know many hardcore wheelers drive long distances to get to good areas, but around here, trails are few and far between, and with say 3 or 4 options somewhat local (2 hours driving) if 1 or 2 are forsmaller vehicles only, you are REALLY limited. Of course there are probably a more options than that I am not aware of, but limiting the trails you can take because of vehicle size doesn't help the situation.

    Not saying spoiled in a bad way either...more that when you live in yuppie country, you either contend with urban sprawl taking all the outdoor recreation sites away, or you deal with people that are into the smaller vehicles moreso than the full size trucks, for whatever reason, which carries over to what trails are useable for what size vehicles. Combine both issues, and you've got problems.
     
  14. K5DRAGER

    K5DRAGER 1/2 ton status

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    Dude, don't give up! I just got back from Attica yesterday and had a blast. I went with my brother who has a totally tricked out jeep and one of his friends with a comparable jeep and I went everywhere they did. Everywhere I went people gave me a /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I do have body damage and on those trails I expect it to a point, but it sure does test your driving skills. Besides thats why we hang out here, because we don't want a Jeep or Yota. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  15. Bullet

    Bullet 1/2 ton status

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    Great point zakk /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    When I was down wheeling at the Twin Buttes with Matt of WTO and Toby Harrel I saw a lot that I learned from. On one climb on a trail a Zuki almost did and endo do the wheelbase of the rig; the Jimmy, on the otherhand, climbed right up with out lifting a tire.

    I also have pictures and video of Matt and Toby driving thier rigs up something that never even resembled a trail. Even though Toby did suffer from a good amount of body damage on his half door and taillight, he was able to climb power up the trail.
     
  16. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    so your implying that because I have accepted body damage as part of the gig that I don't care about my rig?

    talk about assumptions /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
     
  17. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I also think a lot of people are "spoiled" with the areas they have access to. I know many hardcore wheelers drive long distances to get to good areas, but around here, trails are few and far between, and with say 3 or 4 options somewhat local (2 hours driving) if 1 or 2 are forsmaller vehicles only, you are REALLY limited. Of course there are probably a more options than that I am not aware of, but limiting the trails you can take because of vehicle size doesn't help the situation.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Bingo!! I am fortunate to have an ORV Park literally a few miles away from my house. For the most part, it is fullsize friendly and I always enjoy my time there. I also visit Tellico (5-6 hours), Windrock (4-5 hours) Monteagle (2-3 hours) and Summertown (2-3 hours) Each of these trails do have SOME full-size friendly (to an extent) trails, but you can't tell me that you can take your full-size anywhere you want through each one of these trails and still have a rig that doesn't have significant body damage. I know there are variables like driver's skill, but realisitcally there are trails on this side of the country that a full-size can't negotiate. Let me re-phrase that, there aren't trails that a full-bodied and moderately upgraded full-size can negotiate. I suppose if you through enough money at anything you are bound to succeed. I'm sure anywhere you go, this same situation exists.

    You touched on another point of mine as well. I do expect some body damage, as should anyone who drives off-road, but why should I destroy a K5 that a smaller vehicle can negotiate with only minor bumps and bruises.

    I'm just going to have to keep chewing on this until I can figure out what the best option for me is.

    Thanks,

    Lance
     
  18. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    There are plenty of places that a "small" rig will flat out not make it because of wheel base of lack of stability.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You are right and I guess I should clarify. Most of my buddies drive stretched Jeeps and Suzukis w/ 4-link suspensions. But when you consider their wheel-base is roughly equal to mine at ~107" and sits at roughly the same height, they will still have the capability to squeeze through areas I couldn't touch.

    It just comes back to my earlier point, that I need to find a group to ride with that have similar rigs.
     
  19. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Who cares if you play bumper cars on the trees, as long as you don't care about the vehicle

    [/ QUOTE ] Not to be a smartass, but I think you should re-phrase this to "...care about the vehicle's body/apperance" because I really don't care about the body of my K5 but I take meticulous(sp?) care of the drivetrain(read: parts that get ya back. I think you don't many post 87 rigs out in the rough because 1. they don't make many hardcore parts for them 2. they're much more expensive 3. they suck
     
  20. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    w3rd! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     

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