Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-31-2008, 09:17 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Jammyauto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: santa barbara
Posts: 229
Death Valley weekend trip

After missing the group trip to Death Valley earlier this year I decided that I should deffinatly make it there this year, even if only a short trip. We left early friday morning and check out the Desert tortortise sanctuary NE of California City. From there we made our way to Ballrat. I had really hoped to go up Pleasant Valley at least one way. I was told by a group that had just returned that the SMB was to tall as the trail was really grown over and thier jeeps had just made it under some really thick branches.
We decided to head up Mengel Pass instead. Towards the top we found a nice spot in the dead end trail just below the road to the Barker Ranch House. This spot was just barely accessable by SMB as we had about 5 inches clearance on each side of the walls going in.
The next morning we checked out Barker Ranch, site of Charles Mansons capture. We then headed for the pass. I was really suprised to find the pass was really quite a challenge. About 3 miles of so of in and out of 4wd low and a few times my wife Anna had to get out and spot me.
Here we are at Mengels's grave (above)

Here is the toughest part after Mengels grave

Negotiating the rocks
[/img] http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-12/ ... CN1675.JPG
[img]
There are two very nice cabins on the way down toward warm springs mine and we saw many burros. We camped at warm springs mine and enjoyed a very nice bath in the warm springs.
We left warm springs camp the next morning and headed toward Furnace Creek. When we stopped at Badwater I noticed the ATF was dripping from under the van. A quick glance revealed a power steering leak. I perfomend a field repair on the side of the road and we headed out of town. My original plan was to head up to Saline valley and spend a few days there. We stayed a little way off the road on the cut off to saline valley that nite but I realized in the morning that my small leak had gotten much worse and I now had no power steering at all unless I added fluid which would last about 20 or 30 minutes on blacktop. I decided to cut the trip short and return home. On the way home I stopped at the first ford dealer I found which was in Mojave. They did not have the hose and told me that no one else on my route did either. So I drove all the way home without any PS. I stopped occasionally to add some ATF. Not to have PS but to save the pump from destruction hopefully.
Here is the culprit. The HP hose from the pump is rubbing on the track bar. This should be a warranty issue with SMB as the damage is a result of the 4x4 conversion. I'll give them a call tomorrow and hopefully they can just authorize my local dealer to put in a new hose. Now it also needs a serpentine belt as it got totally soaked with spraying atf. I'll post the results of the repair in a different thread but we had a great time nonethe less.
__________________

__________________
Seth Hatfield
'05 EB350 6.0 4x4
Homebuilt Interior
Santa Barbara Ca
Jammyauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2008, 10:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
cellularSTEVE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,065
Seth,
Glad to hear that you did the Mengel Pass. I think it is tougher than Pleasant Canyon, but again I have only done both in a Jeep, not my SMB. Too bad about the power steering. I assume one of the cabins you went to was the Geologist's cabin. That is the real nice stone one. We stayed there with the group in January. At Warm Springs did you use the pool?

steve
__________________

__________________
'05 Ford V-10 4x4 SMB "50" White
'00 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 Highly Modified
'04 Jeep Grand Cherokee- wife won't let me modify it. :-(
Does anyone really read this stuff other than surfgeek?
cellularSTEVE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 09:12 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Jammyauto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: santa barbara
Posts: 229
Steve, We did check out both cabins but did not stay there. At warm springs we did use the pool up the hill at the spring. The pool at the camp was empty. That was my girls favorite thing from the whole trip. I would deffinatly do that trip again. Did you all go over the pass in January? It seems like it would be harder to go in the other direction.
__________________
Seth Hatfield
'05 EB350 6.0 4x4
Homebuilt Interior
Santa Barbara Ca
Jammyauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 10:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jeffrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 1,483
Garage
Seth,

I'm real glad to hear the you got the van through Goler Gulch, and into Butte Valley and through to Warm Springs. I've done it numerous times, but never in the van.
__________________
'07 RB-50 - My Photo Site -- K1JGS --
Jeffrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 11:03 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
cellularSTEVE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,065
Seth,
Glad to hear you and your girls had a great time.
In January we went as far as the Geologist's cabin from the DV side. We did not go over the Mengel Pass. I have done it both ways but only in my Jeep. Calclimber (Craig) said he would like to do it. I would try it too. Can't wait to go back.

steve
__________________
'05 Ford V-10 4x4 SMB "50" White
'00 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 Highly Modified
'04 Jeep Grand Cherokee- wife won't let me modify it. :-(
Does anyone really read this stuff other than surfgeek?
cellularSTEVE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 11:25 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
charlie56's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: santa rosa ca
Posts: 991
We did Mengel 2 weeks ago going in the opposite direction. (east to West)

I agree with Seth, those rocks in his pics were the toughest. I thought about winching the big one on the left out of the way. Cleared it by about 2 inches.

Lippencott was much easier by comparison. There were two hairpins that were cause for concern.
__________________
... Charlie
EV-2 build is now complete, (yeah right).
KZ6T
charlie56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 09:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Nevada
Posts: 181
Death Valley

Everyone should check their power steering and the transmission cooler lines. The track bar is or could be a problem.


Jeff
__________________
2006 Sportsmobile PSD-----69 Jeepster----BMW1200GS---450 KTM----450YFZ--- 2007 F150----2005 Nissan
myriadmyriad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2008, 09:25 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jammyauto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: santa barbara
Posts: 229
I called SMB west today and they told me that the stock PS hose has to be bent a little to avoid the track bar and it is possible that the bend was not sufficient on my van. They told me that they would take care of the repairs for me. They asked for a couple pictures and to send the damaged hose back to them. I was very happy with the response that I got from them since I had expected them to ask me to bring the van to them to have it fixed. I was also supprised to find out that the hose is only 28.00 new from Ford (list price). I was expecting it to be about 150.00. I'm also replacing the serpentine belt since it got oil all over it. I've never changed this belt but I'm going to do it myself so I know how it's done and then stock a spare in the van. I'll let you know how hard the belt is to change. It really looks buried in there.
__________________

__________________
Seth Hatfield
'05 EB350 6.0 4x4
Homebuilt Interior
Santa Barbara Ca
Jammyauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.