Just ran the Rubicon Trail in the FJ. Some thoughts

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We’ve done a lot of wheeling. One of the dilemmas of these multi day trips is that you inevitably sacrifice Off-Road performance so that you can carry the gear for extended trips. The trucks get heavy. So you can’t take the Fun lines you want to take and you can’t try the limits Of your vehicle because you’re so weighted down. And weight means broken parts if you’re not careful.
This is the first time we’ve had a cargo ship on a trip like this. The Mogg can carry the ice chests, the tools, the jacks, and the spares. It also carried an extra 10 gallons of fuel and 15 gallons of water. The Mogg also had three large tents on it and most of the food,
My FJ cruiser only had sleeping bags and pillows in it
 

Kabanstva

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Is the Rubicon just one trail or is it a system of trails with easy sections and hard sections that you can avoid? Surprised to hear Jeeps were struggling, all the Rubicon videos I've seen have pretty much been 90% Jeeps with big tires and lifts and very rarely see any newer Toyota trucks out there.
 
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View attachment 2356313I am running the 3 inch spacer lift. Cheap off Amazon. I am running the 34 inch to 95 tires. I am running the factory skid plates except for I lost the skid plate that goes under the transfer case so I just welded a piece of 2“ x 3 eights inch flat bar across that space to protect the driveshaft and transmission pan. The factory skid plates got scraped up but they work great.

I am running a Smitty built front bumper
I am running a cheap Amazon rear bumper also. $300 for each of those. The factory sliders are scraped but not dented. The Toyota never needed to pull a Tug or a winch for anything. My daughter even drove some of it. I did carry an extra front axle shaft and I carried an extra rear axle shaft
My doctor friend brought his 2014 FJ. He also has some nice wheels and a more legitimate lift. He has stock sliders that also did great. This was his first wheeling trip ever. He beat the piss out of his FJA but doesn’t have a dent on it and it drove home fine

Now I personally drive a mog. That’s another story…

My doctor friend brought his 2014 FJ. He also has some nice wheels and a more legitimate lift. He has stock sliders that also did great. This was his first wheeling trip ever. He beat the piss out of his FJ but doesn’t have a dent on it and it drove home fine
Nice shots!! Thanks for sharing. Feedback on trails is always appreciated.
 
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fresno
The idea that you can bypass this trail To make it easier as you go is a false narrative. It’s true that you can bypass some difficult sections such as little sluice But there are very few of these relative to the entire trail. If you run the Rubicon you have ran it. . There is no easy Rubicon and hard Rubicon.

I have done the dusy trail in my modified 80 series. (With Andy and beno and that high class nor cal crew). I believe the Rubicon is harder. The Rubicon also has a hell of a lot more traffic. Next time I run the Rubicon I will not do it with any weekend involved. I would run it Monday through Thursday
 
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Just goes to show ya that the State of California and El Dorado County have made this trail easier over the years. Too many wrecks and oil spills for the State to be happy. Plus water erosion had to be dealt with. The County smoothed out a lot of the trail. Nothing like it used to be 10 years ago.
 
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Where did they make it easier or flatten it out? while we were up there we saw the many tons of gravel that the helicopter flew in to repair cadillac hill. this repair in mid may reportedly made the hill safer by helping to prevent further cliff falls like happened in the recent past.

I suspect similar state and club run activities take place from time to time like they do everywhere. Erosion control measures will always be taking place in cali. The state takes such measures to save the universe and to alleviate serious threats (like the huge drop off on the side of cadilac hill). But the state isnt on a quest to make the trails easier.
 
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///The state takes such measures to save the universe/// They don't like erosion and you crossing the Rubicon River and dumping oil and coolant everywhere. Not everyone takes absorbent material with them but they should. There was already a big court case in El Dorado County about this exact problem. Lots of trails closed for several years. Got resolved but I think it might only be temporary.
 
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Is the Rubicon just one trail or is it a system of trails with easy sections and hard sections that you can avoid?
There are no "go arounds" on the trail. There are some sections that are easier than others but it is a difficult trail. Having a good spotter and taking it slow help tremendously.

I guess a technical trail is another way to describe it.
 
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that is likely the single largest collection of rubicon traversing FJ's ever spotted in the wild.
any problems or did the machines all come out without issues?
 
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No problems. 2 blown beads ( almost in the same exact spot ? ) weird. and 1 broke CV easy fix . even got 1 up soup bowl un assisted
 
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This was a really fun trip . We all started in Moab then made our way out west and ran some of Fordyce , then the Rubicon . Thinking maybe try Dusy next year ?
 
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I ran the Dusy w my modified 80 years ago. I feel the rubicon was a little harder. The Dusy has almost no traffic and I feel the trail was a more pleasant experience from that aspect. you finish the Dusy at Huntington lake which is a beautiful lake. rent a hobbie cat while you are there and sail the lake. there is also a ski resort at huntington so you can mountain bike down the ski lifts which is a lot of fun. lots of great formal camp sites at huntington. there are miles of great trails at shaver lake which is approximately where you start the dusy
Plus the sequoia national park is nearby.

i live below fresno which is 2 hours from the Dusy
 
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abuck99

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There are no bail out points on the Rubicon. Once you're in.....you're in.

If you have a catastrophic failure you may be stuck for days; either walking out (up to 10miles depending on where you break) to get parts, or waiting and paying huge recovery $$$ to drag your truck out. Going with a group, being mechanically self sufficient or at minimum having someone in your group that is.

Adding to parts & truck prep list: Rear diffs get whacked and sometimes cracked- Toyota diffs are stout but not impervious. Some rear diff protection would be a good precautionary measure. Rear lower link frame mounts are soft and get bent, split and break, some skids/armor over these would be a good idea ( TT or MT have these), and if your lower links are stock they bend pretty easy, having a spare lower link arm will make your drive back home easier. Adj. offset dom tube lower link arms with JJ’s are a worthwhile upgrade for this trail.
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Welders/I noticed several of the jeeps in our group had on-board welders- and they did get some use.

Spill kits: the county and local 4x4 supporting club were providing free spill kits last season. There is a care taker that lives out there on the trail in a cabin somewhere before Rubicon springs- he carries the free spill kits with him.

This guy with his FJ was the caretaker last year- not sure if he's out there this year.
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If you enter at Loon Lake there is a kiosk and they give out trail maps , spill kits , bandanas ect . Yes there is a caretaker at Rubicon springs . We were able to get a tour and hear the history of Rubicon springs . i had no idea some of the things were even there .
 

abuck99

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Good wrapping job on the axle- I like the cane ends- wished they shipped that way from mr. T.

More details on the axle you pictured: Is that a RCV joint, or CVJ reman with the upgraded neoprene boot?

But I'm especially curious about this O-ring you have in the inner boot: does that help with stopping chaff?

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