|This event was our
first trip to Buffalo. Our main reason for going at first
was that Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road was going to be
there, and we wanted a chance to get into the magazine.
We, of course, were the first ones to arrive for the weekend,
and picked a great camping spot. It put us all the way on
the other side of the campground from the rowdy crowd, and since
we like to sleep at least a few hours at night, we were grateful
for the space.
|Highlander has a number of notable changes for the
1998 season. The biggest change are the 'Tractor Pull'
type headers that are sticking out of the hood. The
headers are from Hooker, and are a bit pricey, but they help the
motor breathe a lot better, and sound REALLY GOOD! We also
added a hood scoop to help keep the temperature down in the
engine compartment, not to mention for the looks. In the
back, we got rid of the old class 4 trailer hitch that was our
pull point, and build a draw bar, complete with 2-1/2"
pulling eye. The eye has a rated load capacity of 35,000
lb, so it should be plenty strong enough.
||At the end of the day on Saturday, we
realized that the secondaries in our carb hadn't been opening
up. When we looked at it later, we discovered that one of
the brackets had bent. We fixed the brackets, and
proceeded out on Sunday with out motor's full
The mud had dried out a bit overnight, and was the
consistency of partially cured concrete by the time we got to
it. We were traversing a spot about where this picture
shows us, when we kicked in the secondaries.
Unfortunately, the spring perches on the rear axle weren't quite
up to the torque, and let go. That left the pinion on the
rear axle pointing skyward, and the rear driveshaft dangling.
|These shots show the damage... We crushed
the stamped steel spring pad on the passenger side of the axle,
and broke the welds off of the one on the driver's side.
These pads were 1/4" thick, and made for drag racing, but
apparently couldn't quite hold up to the torque of the
concrete-like mud that we were in.
|Our change to front wheel drive had
another side effect as well. We had just installed ramps
on the trailer so that we could drive over the wheelwells, and
not need to take the tires off. Unfortunately, when we
loaded the truck on the trailer, the tires were wet, and didn't
want to stay on the ramps. The result, as you can see
here, is that gravity prevailed, and what was on it's way up,
came down. There wasn't any real damage except to my ego,
but needless to say, we winched the truck onto the trailer after
we got it off. The little adventure also spelled the
demise of the ramps and the wheelwells, as we removed them as
soon as we got the opportunity. Now we just drive over the
|After we finally got the truck loaded,
and hauled back up to home base, we were back to our hours of