Raw Deal is a short little trail that provides a variety of challenges to just about anyone wishing to give it a try. I ran it, for the first time, with a half dozen other Jeeps. The trail starts and ends in a wash. The result is a trail that usually provides you various lines to get over an obstacle. In some cases, you can simply move several feet to one side or the other and opt not to try. I'll admit that there were a couple that I did not try. Maybe some other day. A big thanks to my Jeepin' buddy, Steve (a.k.a., Jeeper) for letting me use a couple of his photos in this write-up.
There is quite a bit of bedrock that has eroded out of the ground. Some of this has had channels worn through it over time. A couple of these had a bit of water in them. Others were dry and offered the driver some good practice at accurate tire placement.
Dion decides to check the water depth in this innocent looking puddle. Hmmm....those are 33" tires his YJ is running. Looks like it is deep enough to take bath. Well, maybe next, right Dion? (Be sure to order up some fresh water too, OK?)
Here is Larry and his TJ. He is straddling one of these carved out areas that is about 3'~4' below the front bumper. It is easy to drop tire off of the line and get yourself in a bind. Having a spotter here sure helps.
This shot of Steve standing in a "crack" while Dion stops his YJ and poses for a picture gives you an idea of the erosion that has cut through this bedrock. As you can easily see in this picture, a poorly placed tire will most likely result in body damage, as the rock slides along your sheet metal. Then, you get to figure out how to climb up out of the crack, which will result in some more body damage.
The break over clearance of any Jeep is very important. Steve is working is YJ up and over a rock ledge in this photo. After his front tires roll up and then back down the rock ledge, his rocker panels rest on the bedrock. All of us have rocker panel guards to protect against damage. Steve manages to pivot around a bit and then his rear tire hooks up on the rock and he gets enough pull to carry him over. Having lockers in both diffs makes this kind of rock crawling possible.
This is the same rock ledge as above, as viewed from the opposite side. Dion is working on getting his YJ up and over. You can see the black rocker panel guard that runs between the two wheel wells. Dion made his from heavy angle-iron. This style is preferred by most drivers as it provides great protection while giving up almost no ground clearance. Nerf bars and similar items that bolt onto the frame and lie underneath the rocker panels sometimes can not take the weight of the vehicle. When this happens, they sometimes bend upwards and into the sheet metal. The style that Dion is using distributes the force across the entire area which makes for a better guard.
More Raw Deal pics
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