Morning all, Yesterday was an interesting day for us (Berni, Cruiser and I). We were to go to breakfast with some of the local cruiserheads, Bruce and Chris Lowen (agent Orange 13BT 42 series on 35s or 36s), Alex Bukta and Roy Penner (lift turbo 3b 60 with 35s), Herb Peyel (lofted gasser 80 series) and then head off to Jasper for a fuel economy trip in the automatic equipped LJ78 to compare with the 5 spd I tested just recently. During breakfast Alex asked us if we wanted to come on an "easy" run. "How easy?" "Wide trails and a couple small hills and a bit of mud" "Nah, I just got the rig off the train on wed and it is bone stock. I don't really think it would be wise" Berni and I returned to the truck and I asked her which she wanted to do. "Let’s go wheeling,” she says. (What a wonderful wife, eh?) So we head off wheeling after we fill up with fuel and a bit of grub. We followed the group out to one of Roy’s favorite trails. As soon as we get on it I realize that there is no way I can get though this day with no scratches. I just hope there is no body damage. Now before I go much further I should describe the truck I am driving. 1990 LJ78 Totally stock, right off the train. Adjustable ride control Automatic 31” BFG AT tires that I put on the day before for an accurate comparison between the auto and the 5 spd. Coil suspension No winch, no lift, no mods. Elect rear diff lock. There is no way I should be going on this run. But it is too late now; once you start wheeling then there is no turning back. It is just too much fun and Cruiser got a long awaited and deserved day run as well. The day was beautiful, a big blue sky above us. A white layer of snow and frost on the ground in the cold and crisp air. We cane to the first hill, a nice long rocky, rough hill. So I stopped and locked the front hubs by pushing a button on the dash, then locked into 4WD by way of another button. Put the t/case into “L” and turned another button to lock the rear dif. So I started up the hill with a couple of concerns, possible lack of power developing as well as a lack of possible traction. Right away I noticed that the engine is very sensitive to throttle application. Very similar to the 13BT (manual), 12HT (manual) and the HDT (manual), just touch the throttle and vroom you move. So as you moved over the rocky terrain you have to be very careful not to bump the throttle or it just got worse, the nice thing is that as soon as you let off the truck settled down unlike the others listed. The tires did surprisingly well and up we went. Once at the top Alex comes up and says “that is the worse of them”, famous last words. I quickly learned that you can shift from 4L to 4H by putting the auto into “N”, push the 4WD lever ahead and then the tranny back into gear with out coming to a stop. In 4K the truck did no lurching and I also found out quickly that with the gearing the little rig has you only need 4L for steep hills everything else was accomplished in 4H easily. The 2LTE is a very torquey engine with lots of grunt. The east south facing hills were rocky but dry and the west and north facing hills had a layer of snow and in places ice on them. We were heading west so we were driving down the snow. We got our first damage on the low slung LJ78, as we arrived at the bottom of the final hill there was a good sharp drop and the rear bumper (about the same over hang as the 60 series wagon) caught for a second and loosened the rear center step section. What a beautiful trail down to a nice stream for our “lunch” break. The stream was crystal clear and had a layer of ice around the edge. The sun glistening off the ice crystals and the clear blue sky just added to the enjoyment of the day.