So, I’ve driven Jeeps for a long time. When i bought my JK, i was coming from an XJ daily driver, and a YJ crawler. Sold the YJ, and traded in the XJ on my shiney new JK Sport. I have a lot of faith in the Wrangler brand, but the things so comphy and whatnot that I have to admit that I had my doubts. I know its a sound base, but jumping 21 years from my 1992 wrangler to a 2013, i had my misgivings.
Today, those were shattered. I’ve loved driving my JK since i got it, ive had very few chances to get it off road, and to be honest, not much motivation to do so. I’m a lot older and wiser that I used to be, and the chances of breaking my daily driver on the trail.. well, its just not that attractive. Dont get me wrong. I do love wheeling, but I aslo dont have the pockets to dish out expensive repairs after a weekend of fun.
Anyway. Today is the last day of Rabbit season here in Pennsylvania. I opted to stay home instead of going out with my dad and one of our buddies chasing rabbits in the snow today. I had things to get done at home. So I was surprised when my wife, daughter, and I were sitting down to a late breakfast, and my cell phone starts to ring. It’s my dad…
Dad: “Hi, Is this AAA? (laugh)”
He, his dog, our buddy, and his beagles, are all stuck in the snow. Our buddy drives a Ford Ranger, 4wd, and my dad drives an 06 TJ, mild lift, on 31’s. And both of them are no strangers to off-roading. So when they asked me if I could come up and get them unstuck… I was a tad hesitant, but I couldn’t exactly tell them no. So off i went.
Now, i have a 100% bone stock JK Sport. Dinky little stock tires (what are these, 28’s?) no lockers/limited slips, just base of the base JK with a few little addons. So, I dove deep into the old bag of tricks. I threw a bunch of plywood and lengths of 2×4 into the back. My hi-lift, every tow strap and chain I could find, shovels. Then i took a look at the sway bar. 2 bolts? Hell, theyre not even rusty. Took that off. Then I stopped at my dad’s and grabbed his come-a-long, more straps. Off I went. On my way I called an old friend (the guy that got me into Jeep’s actually) who also owns a wrangler, and told him where he could find us, and he headed on out too.
The road to them is in pretty deep snow. Over a foot. There’s points where I can feel my axles hitting the snow. So i kept it in 4-hi and tried to keep the speed up for momentum. I had a few oh-crap moments where i felt things bogging down when i ran out of the rut’s they’d made on the way in, but no major issues.
So, i got to them, and found my dad and his TJ just about parked on the side of the road. I thought maybe he’d gotten himself unstuck, and was waiting for me to get there to get the ranger out. Nope, that’s where he was stuck. So, i throw it in 4-low, and creep into tow-strap range. Give him about enough of a tug to break him out of the holes his tires dug in the snow, and he’s free.
The Ranger, on the other hand, is about 60 yards up, sideways across the trail. He had gotten along, and decided that it was getting too bad, and tried to turn around. That’s when he got stuck. He has this great idea. He asks me to drive up and down the trail he took in, packing down the snow, so he can get out easier. Ok, i’ll give it a shot. I kept it in 4-low, and basically walked all over the trail to and from him. Not a single problem. Then i turned it around and we put a few straps together to get from me to him. A little tug, and he’s free too. So both of them are now unsuck, and my buddy’s not even here yet. I give him a call, and he;s about 5 minutes out. He’s on the road to where we were, making the same high-speed (relatively) trek through the snowy road to where we are. We decide to wait for him.
So, my “little” stock JK sport made short work of getting two stuck vehicles out of the deep snow. I dont think disconnecting the sway bar was necesary. but i figured it didnt hurt either. I didnt expect that i’d need the articulation, but whatever, it was surprisingly easy, and i was able to readily reconnect the sway bar when I got home.
So, thank’s for reading! Call me a happy (or, happier maybe) JK owner! I feel even better about buying the JK now than I did before. Thank’s jeep for keeping true to the wrangler name