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The jeep was still not running very well after the Bellfair run and for some reason I was still burning some oil out the left side. I played around with the engine but pretty much figured there was something major I needed to deal with. But now was not the time to tear my engine out again because the Rob Bryce and friends we putting on another weekend run up on Vancouver Island. This was much more organized than previous trips and Dale, Don and I registered several months beforehand and planned on making this our annual jeep trip.
Don and Dale decided to take the Anacortes ferry up the the Island but I opted for the Victoria Line again which left from downtown Seattle. Prior to that weekend which was the middle of May I was driving the jeep around trouble shooting things and it was obvious that I was going to burn a lot of oil. So I packed a bunch of extra oil and spark plugs just to be on the safe side. I took a Friday ferry up to the Island and missed the Friday runs but decided that Saturday and Sunday would be enough jeeping for a while. The drive from my house to the ferry took about 20 minutes and the drive from Victoria to Sooke where the camp area was took about another hour. In that time I burned a quart and a half of oil and fouled my number 1 spark plug. This was going to be a long weekend. It was also obvious that everyone would want to drive in front of me for the weekend.
I meet Don and Dale at the camping area as well and Larry, Rob, Pam, Dave, John, and many others I had meet before on other island and Canada trips. Rob, Pam, Dave and some others decided to drive down into Sooke to get some dinner and I went with them. I hadn't seen Robs truck since my last trip to the island. He had his 35" tires on it now and it was getting to look like quite the monster. It was pretty sloppy in the corners with the big tires. I think he also said he had put a reverse cut 44 in the front. Of course I kidded him about his truck being so long, and that he needed a nice short jeep like mine.
The next day we lined up the go on the trails. There were quite a few people at the jamboree but it was very well organized and each run didn't have more than maybe 12 vehicles. We headed out to the trails which took us through Sooke and then onto some back roads which lead us back to the trail heads. On the way to the trail we ran into (literally) a little problem. The area we were going into, Shields Lake, is a very popular area for many types of people. Many people go out and camp or party out by the lakes and rivers. One of these people were coming back down early in the morning and was going a little to fast down the dirt road. We were in a caravan driving along when suddenly we all came to a stop right before the crest of a hill. The person coming down the road was going so fast he was driving on the wrong side and when he saw the trail leader come up over the hill it was too late and he locked up his tires and ran into the front of the leaders Toyota pickup. Very little damage h
The trails for the day were very challenging and entertaining. The drawback for me was my oil burning. It seemed like it was getting worse and I had to stop a couple of times to change the number 1 spark plug. It was really bad and I was not in a good mood at all which was sort of a waste because the trails were really fun.
When I finally got back to camp I decided that I was not going to run any trails the next day. The oil problem was just too bad and it was obvious that something major was wrong with the engine. Oil was actually dripping out the left side exhaust and you could see it leaking out all over the left side exhause line.
I was also ready to sell the jeep. Cash in my chips and start over with something else. Actually I thought if I could sell the jeep and sell the CRX, maybe I would get an older Toyota 4Runner and just drive that around as a daily driver and camping and such. My four wheeling would probably be over because I could never modify the 4Runner to the point my jeep was at. I had done all the trails, had a lot of fun, it was just time to move on to something else. I was just tired of fixing things over and over.
I kept all of this to myself for a little while but it was obvious to many that I was not in a good mood. I finally told Don about my decision. We talked a while, had a beer and he convinced me that I would really miss the jeep if I got rid of it. After thinking about it for a while and about all the people I had meet and all the good times I had had, he was probably right. What we decided was that I just needed to take the jeep home and really fix everything that was wrong and do it slow and right. I still wasn't sure but I decided to just think about it for a while.
The next day I rode with Don and Dale and took video footage of the rest of the run. The trails as usual were very fun and challenging and not too long. The whole weekend was organized very well and by the end I decided that I wanted to keep the jeep and made a deadline of the Island Rockcrawlers next jamboree to have my jeep back together and running again. A whole year should be enough to fix all the little problems. I did have a garage and some place to work, so I could take my time.
For more stuff, pictures and stories about this weekend see the IRC 2nd Annual page.
Next: The Third Rebuild