#11 Jeeps Only – The Trans America Trail

August 10, 2020 It’s MAINTENANCE DAY!


We’ve experienced some mechanical annoyances along the way, and today was “let’s just deal with it” day. Thankfully we’ve had no major breakdowns, just manageable problems. The TAT rarely gets anywhere near a major city, but we found the best mechanic in Arkansas in little ol’ Clarendon which has a population of maybe 2,000.

VADER has had a subtle growling noise coming from his LS powered JK. The plan was to just get an oil change, but Mike immediately diagnosed the transfer case mount needed attention. After fabricating a new bracket, and providing a couple of new bolts and lock nuts they were ready to go. Whew! Disaster averted!


Meanwhile, rslagle was getting a dreaded Jeep factory error code. He broke from the group to make a run for the closest Jeep dealership in Little Rock, Arkansas. The dealer replaced the cam positioning sensor and cleared the code. He met us back at the next camp the same evening.


Due to the heavy load and constant pounding of the trail, Tinshanty’s rear coil springs were becoming increasingly fatigued and bottoming out. The Jeep Commander had recently undergone the major overhaul and the Old Man Emu rear coil springs selected just weren’t up to the task. As we were getting near Tulsa, the decision was made to leave the group early the next morning to try find a better solution. Perhaps some air bags. Google found Midwest Expedition Outfitters (MEO). We spoke to Freddie at the shop who said come on in and we’ll figure out the best solution. They’re overlanders just like us! We’ll be leaving for Tulsa when we break camp tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.


Beats Working got an oil change, but luckily this ’06 LJ Rubicon is running better than ever! They had a scare weeks before the start of the TAT which almost ruined their trip, but a recycled ECM sourced from Minnesota saved the day. This is a California spec vehicle and the original ECM seems to have been a bit restricted. Hmmmmmm 🤔 Getting rid of some California and adding some Minnesota seems to have given this car a new life, and way better gas mileage! Score!


An usjeeper has been trouble free! (Knock on wood). Although this rig was “camp chair challenged” as Peter didn’t think to bring one. That just took a trip to Walmart to get a chair and problem solved! 😁


While we’re at it, let’s go to the car wash!


In spite of the late start, we still got in some good miles through beautiful Arkansas.

Really sad duck decoys, but the Volkswagens below are the best yard art ever. Great presentation!

Whaaaat!?? there really is a Booger Hollow?

Chair’s looking good Peter!

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