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Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/8/13 3:26 p.m.

Autocross, and road racing both.

I spent the day beating around the National Forest in the Samurai with my middle son. We had a blast. We went about 100 miles and burned 5 gallons of gas. Most of it was on rock roads, some of it was pretty sloppy. What a hoot. Cheap and fun. What more can you ask for.

Not to mention that dirt is a lot easier to find than asphalt.

gofastbobby Reader
12/8/13 3:32 p.m.

Nice Samurai! I have done the off road gig. fight the urge to modify and upgrade by adventuring and seeing new ground. That samurai is a plenty capable adventurer.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid PowerDork
12/8/13 3:33 p.m.

I too enjoy the occasional 4-wheeling even though I haven't gone in several years. I have wanted to lift the XJ and go do some off roading, but having no money has not helped that.

HappyAndy SuperDork
12/8/13 5:05 p.m.

I've tried off roading, I don't hate it, but its not for me, the pace is too slow. I think the problem is that I (literally) grew up on dirt bikes, and was ridding an open class bike by the time I graduated HS. The last time that I drove my BIL's Wagoneer , I found it infuriating that I couldn't lift the front wheels to clear even the smallest obstacle.

irish44j UberDork
12/8/13 5:11 p.m.

clearly, you need rallycross.

I enjoyed wheeling when I had my XJ, but around here it's much easier to find asphalt than woods. It was about 5 hours to the nearest "legal" trails. And 5 hours on the highway in an old XJ isn't much fun....

HappyAndy SuperDork
12/8/13 5:23 p.m.
irish44j wrote: clearly, you need rallycross.

I think your right.

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/8/13 5:48 p.m.

I'm practically surrounded by the Francis Marion National Forest and the forest service roads are mostly open for use all the time. There have to be 1000 miles of them within a hour of my house. It takes me less than 20 minutes to be off road legally. The forest also allows dispersed camping and has a bunch of canoeing and hiking trails. I'm hoping the wife will get me a canoe for Christmas. If not, I'll pick one up after the first of the year.

There are also a good number of dirt roads in South Carolina. I'm not looking for places to go get stuck, just places that are way off the beaten path. With that in mind, the next set of tires for the Samurai are going to be a size or two smaller and narrower. I should be able to do that and not lose much capability.

Rally cross would be a lot of fun, but not many people want to play locally. There aren't any events in our region. Read that as a 5 hr haul to the closest one. That ain't happening and standing in a parking lot at an autocross is losing it's appeal.

Seeing as my wife was voted SCCA regional RE for another year, I'll still be doing some autocrossing, but it won't have the priority it has in the past.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
12/8/13 5:53 p.m.

So, uh. How fast can you go on those there forest roads?

irish44j UberDork
12/8/13 5:58 p.m.

Sounds like you could just build a rallycross/rally car and hit forest roads with it. Please to be providing map of said roads to me

Vigo UberDork
12/8/13 6:50 p.m.

I always appreciate an honest self-appraisal. I enjoy being at autocross but i rarely do it anymore, and i borderline dont enjoy being on a road course. I probably would enjoy being off-road. I have almost as much fun working on my cars as driving them, and i have as much fun driving on the street as i do at autocross. These are uncommon (or uncommonly voiced) opinions but i still have a ton of fun doing what i want to do with my car hobby, and i like seeing other people doing what they think is fun even if it doesnt toe the line in a given forum or clique.

In short, well done, keep it up!

HappyAndy SuperDork
12/8/13 7:04 p.m.

BTW, I forgot to add in my first post, that the cleanest Sammy that I've seen in years, maybe even a decade!

Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/8/13 7:55 p.m.

Nice looking Samurai. I love wheelin more than autocross. Who knew you could have that much fun going slow :)


mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/13 8:06 p.m.

once I get the locking mechanism on the diff, I intend to take the Disco out into the Pine Barrens here in NJ. Looks like great fun and your picture is not helping

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/8/13 8:21 p.m.

It's good bonding time with the kids too.

My dad and I use to do that when lived in PA. Allegheny National Forest. We spent a lot of time there. I learned to drive out there and we would go out and bring home all of the wood we could for the winters.

nocones GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/8/13 8:34 p.m.

Please just don't be that guy that turns driving forest service roads into offroading/rock crawling,mud bogging, and other stuff that tears up nature. In Wisconsin I couldn't believe the amount of damage guys on 4 wheelers would do to public land in the interest of "fun".

LainfordExpress HalfDork
12/8/13 8:57 p.m.
Vigo wrote: I always appreciate an honest self-appraisal. I enjoy being at autocross but i rarely do it anymore, and i borderline dont enjoy being on a road course.

This is a discussion I've been having with some friends lately. They really want to road race, and I've been looking into it as well, but for the cost, I'm just not sure I'd enjoy more than autocrossing. The best part of autocrossing is BSing with people, and it seems like there'd be less time for that at a road race. Not to mention you're spending a good bit more.

Feedyurhed Dork
12/8/13 9:03 p.m.

I think the nicest thing about off roading, even if it is slow, is that you are in the vehicle and driving . I have grown to not enjoy auto crossing so much anymore as you spend most of the time waiting for a 1-2 minute run. I have spent hours at a course for only a few minutes actual driving time. Yes I do enjoy watching the other drivers too but I prefer driving. Also, 4 wheeling is particularly nice because you can take your family (and dog!) with you in the vehicle.

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/13 5:36 a.m.

Cool. Find a local club, they can turn you on to locations and offer tips.


GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/13 7:17 a.m.

You really sure you want to downsize those tires? If they're not actually causing any trouble I'd say you should stick with them, a little bit of tire diameter makes a big difference in obstacle clearing ability and don't forget that Sammies naturally have the ride quality of something between a Willys GP and an airplane crash.

IMO giving up offroad tire size is worse than giving up hootus length

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
12/9/13 7:30 a.m.

I was into off-roading a bit when I was younger until I got into mtn bikes... and that killed 4-wheeling for me. I'd be more apt to get a dual-sport than another 4x4.

RossD PowerDork
12/9/13 7:33 a.m.

I found out recently that with more than 4 inches of snow in the national forest (check local listings) that you can go cross country riding (off trails) with snowmobiles.

Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
12/9/13 7:35 a.m.

I think you’re on to something. Off roading is great fun and can be enjoyed by the whole family, off road wins out 11 times out of 10 compared to autocross or racing at least in my household. We can swap drivers and carry on having fun.

The rest of the family have no interest in and don't enjoy being at a race track or autocross, and yes my wife has tried it. She spent some time at a Bondurant run school up at Oscoda Mi once, she was quiet good, but had no interest. Board stuff on the Nurburgring so went to the bar to people watch instead. She loves country roads top down cruising, she loves off roading in the sand, but asphalt doesn't interest her or the rest of the family. As she likes country roads we tried TSD's, no interest. We have some friends who's property has been used in the past for rallycross, loves the chance to go and do half a dozen laps, less than zero interest in hanging out all day for a few laps, working, waiting.

I won't give up the occasional dalliance with the asphalt, but if I suggested getting into off-roading the rest of the family would jump at it.

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/13 7:40 a.m.

When I had my Sammy, the club I belonged to would run a 4X4 101 every spring. This was to get everyone ready for the new season and show newbies tricks of wheeling. Put a towel over the steel cable so when it breaks the towel slows its speed and it may not actually hit your windshield.

Who knew?


volvoclearinghouse HalfDork
12/9/13 7:44 a.m.

My wife was a bit against me having a path around the back few acres to practice rallycross with. My question is, would you rather have me "tearing up" Mother Earth with my car or pave it over with asphalt, oil, gravel, and tar? Doing it with a car in nature to me is a whole lot less damaging than grading it and covering it all.

Not that I don't enjoy a good road course from time to time though. There's a time and a place...

Cool Sammy. I bet a SBC would fit in that.

fasted58 PowerDork
12/9/13 7:49 a.m.

After road racing I attended some events sponsored by the local EC4WD club. Hill climbs, drags, side by side obstacle course and what I would describe as a 4X4 rally cross through the woods... what a hoot. Another club did mud bogs and trail rides. I never finished my 4X4 projects and I'm too busy for it now but still very interested.



or google 4X4 clubs/ events in your area. The people I met there were good folks, same passion for the sport as seen here.

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