Corbet, I assume you found your tube doors OK?
I noticed that the only pictures of Meanie you posted are the ones where you were driving it
Meanie is turning out to be like an amusement park ride, everyone takes turns in it to do Hell's Gate. It does make it pretty easy
Meanie managed to make it up the Escalator too with nothing but rookie spotters. Had 1 minor wheel stand on the last wall, backed down a few feet, re-adjusted and walked the rest of the way up. Jade Runner made it up too albeit with a little more excitement and (wait for it) a manual strap for safety. But, he made it without a scratch and lots of vehicles never make that obstacle.
JonHaris took some amazing photos and videos on both Hells Gate and Escalator. Can't wait for him to post those up.
The mighty meanie had it's first trail breakdown later in the day about 2 miles in to Metal Masher. The steering felt funky so I stopped and checked it, 3 of the 4 high steer knuckle bolts on the drivers side were sheared off and missing.
We jacked the rig up, pulled the wheel, used Steve Brady's drill to drill a hole in to each stub, hammered the tapered end of a large file in to each hole and unscrewed the broken pieces. Fortunately I had some 1/2-20 bolts that would thread into the knuckle though they were 2"-3" too long. So we stacked nuts and washers on them to make up for the slack. Looked like hell but worked just fine. I have 2 sets of ARP chrome moly knuckles studs ordered and on the way, that should minimize breakage in the future.
I suspect the knuckle studs may have loosened up on that side. I was too busy doing wrenching sessions to check them
Then, driving back to camp going up the long grade on 191 to BFE, the tranny started to slip a little in 3rd gear.
So, now I need to drop the tranny/tcase before CM. The TH400 has a direct drive clutch pack that is the most likely villain, probably just a seal going bad thats letting the line pressure to that clutch pack drop.
Oh, I noticed one of the Fox air shocks in the rear is leaking oil so I guess I'm going to have to re-build that too. Oh well, if you play you have to pay