Off-road hoonery shares one thing with racing hoonery: the NIMBY people hate it. Like a track event, any off-road trip is precluded by a long drive to and through the middle of nowhere.

The desert has its own rugged beauty. This is one of the many spectacular views on the trip out to the Ocotillo Wells SVRA.

Jeff brought Project 4-Runner along for the ride. This was an excellent chance for him to find out the nearly stock vehicle’s shortcomings and work to improve them.

My, er, chariot is a little rougher around the edges. Bought for $600 from some stoner in Carlsbad (it had a smashed front right header panel and a lot of AA pamphlets in it), my Jeep Cherokee (AKA “XJ”) is the S13 of the off-roading world: cheap fun with enough aftermarket support to build to any level you want. Like the S13, some yahoo wrote an article about how cheap and capable they were, and finding one for a song isn’t possible anymore. Total budget for this rusty eyesore?  $3200. 

Our campsite for the weekend was a friend’s spacious 80 acre lot in Borrego Springs, CA. 
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018 7:47 AM
Love this! I’m looking into putting together an overland setup for the reasons you mention — the wife and kids coming along is a huge one for me. Could you explain more about your suspension geometry, or link to a good article about it? It seems like there’s a lot of different viewpoints out there but I figure MotoIQ=accurate.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:30 PM
In short: keep it low, keep control arm angles minimal, and don’t go long arm unless you keep it linked. Radius arms make great flex, but the axle chattering on unloaded climbs like this and whacky anti-dive values make for less traction. You do get a nice ride at insane lift heights, but it’s not really worth it.
Friday, April 20, 2018 6:10 AM
Thanks! Any articles you’d recommend as well? Or perhaps MotoIQ could write one about off-road geometry?
Monday, April 23, 2018 9:42 AM
Stick axle or IFS?
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