This Is Why You Don't Go Off-Roading Alone

Back in 2019, I took a $500 Postal Jeep on an epic road trip. Due to numerous mechanical and structural problems, my journey got off to a late start. By the time I arrived in the off-road promised land, the Easter Jeep Safari was over, and I was out there all alone. But didn’t stop me from going off-road with my junky little mail carrier. Perhaps it should have, because things went poorly.

You’ve already read about how much of a shitshow it was getting stuck on the trails of Moab all by myself due to transmission thermal troubles and fuel delivery woes, but now you can see how it all went down in motion picture form. Yes, a picture that moves. And it’s in color!

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The main takeaway is that off-roading alone is a terrible idea, mostly because you could wind up stranded, but also because there is some inherent danger to off-roading. You’re taking a heavy machine over big rocks — bad things could happen, and you’ll want a way out in an emergency. I figured things would be fine, since Fins & Things isn’t that tough of a trail, but in a two-wheel drive Postal Jeep without low range, it was tough. Very tough. The Jeep’s geometry, suspension articulation and low-end torque were great, but without low range, that torque converter was churning at low speeds, creating far too much heat in the transmission, rendering it useless.

This video comes after last week’s episode, which showed my brothers and me stuck at the base of a Rocky Mountain pass trying desperately to diagnose a brake problem. The Project POStal episode prior to that included a tour of one of the most fascinating car collections I’ve ever seen, way out in the middle of nowhere, Colorado.

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Definitely watch all of the Project POStal episodes if you can, and get ready for both the finale next week, and a full rundown of my most epic road trip yet: The trip to Washington to fix an impossibly-broken 1958 Willys FC-170.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.

DISCUSSION

BiffMagnetude
BiffMagnetude

“The dangerous Wolf Creek pass”

Seriously? It’s only dangerous if your car sucks....People commute over it year round.

“Perilous Rockies??”

Man, the hyperbole is strong on this one.

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