ORP 011 - Auto vs Manual

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is my co host Jeff can’t pick a rig Bakken...This is the podcast for all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. What's up Jeff?

Announcements:  Website issue

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Listener Feedback:


Enjoying the podcast!

I have a 2011 Jeep JK Unlimited, and have been looking at lifts for a long time.

I hear that some people piece their lifts together from different manufacturers.

Can I use springs from one, arms from another, track bar from another etc?

Also, have any recommendations. Been looking at the 3.5" rock Krawler X factor lift, but would be interested to hear what you recommend. Would like to run 37's with as little lift as possible.



Really enjoy the podcast. I have been wheeling for about 37 years now, started on Honda 3-wheelers back when I was 11 and have had dirt bikes, sand rails, Baja bugs, jeeps and trucks.

I currently have a 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 (my 4 Dodge Ram) and thought I would share my woeful warrantee experience with you since you both have recently gotten new Chrysler vehicles and are going to do work to them.

I purchased my 2012 Ram in January of 2013 and had the dealer install a 6” lift on it for me, not that I do any hard wheeling with it but being a Mega Cab with a long wheel base I wanted a little more ground clearance and to up the tires to 35’s.

In August of 2013 the transmission started leaking and I took it to my local Dodge dealer (not the one I bought it from) and was advised there was an air bubble in the casting of the case and they were advised by the factory to replace the case which they did, moving all the internals from one case to another.

In June of 2014 the transmission started leaking a little again and back to the local dealer it went. They advised me that the transmission had overheated at some point and it was fine so they returned it to me.

In August of 2014 it started leaking again pretty bad this time so back to the local dealer it went again with only 30,000 miles on it. This time the found another crack and requested the factory replace the whole transmission this time. Well after 1 week at the dealer and sending the factory photos and doing computer trouble shooting on it they think that a vibration in the transmission caused the case to crack but asked for some more photos. Well a week more and they come back with the answer that the truck has been lifted and therefore they are denying any warrantee claim. So the local dealer called me to advise me of the factories decision.

Now the dealer I was going to was not the one who sold me the truck or installed the lift kit, that dealer is 200 miles away. The reason I bought one from a dealer that far away is they were the only ones who had the Ram 3500 dually in stock for me to look at before I bought it.

So now I have taken the truck to the dealer I bought it from and waiting to hear back from them on what will be done to fix my truck. At the time of purchase I asked the salesmen if the installation of the lift kit would void my warrantee and he assured me it would not so I wait patiently for their answer to my problem.

While I understand that installing a lift kit will void some portion of a warrantee such as the suspension system and what not but don’t see how a cracked transmission case would be caused, and even if it could would they not have told me this the first time the case cracked even if to just tell me if it happens again they would not cover it. It seems that now that Fiat is involved with Chrysler things aren’t what they used to be.

Anyway just a heads up on how bad things are getting there.

Keep up the great podcast.


Kingman, AZ

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Main Topic: Auto vs Manual

Trip Reports:NorCal Rock Racing






ORP 009 - Beginner Self Recovery and More!!

Welcome to the Off Road Podcast!!  I am your host Greg Bakken and joining me is my co host, and personal rock stacker, Jeff Bakken...This is the podcast for all things offroad.  Whether you're looking for Sunday jaunts on some fire roads or hard core rock crawling, we will cover it all. What's up Jeff?

Announcements:  My jeep is still stock

Checkout Busted Jk http://www.busted-jk.com/

Listener Feedback:

I am enjoying your off-road podcast, I owned a 72 Bronco while in college in 1982, it was not the best off road, sank in the sand, heavy,  I changed the tires and engine and it then needed a new gear ratio.   It was expensive and I sold the bronco, got married and  had  had kids.

I have owned a Bronco II,  UNRELIABLE, A explorer more a family SUV, a  Durango (3 transmissions) not a very capable machine, I now have a daily driver Toyota Tacoma 4x4 awesome, totally stock.

Even after owning all theses 4x4s I don't know much about off-roading, whien I need the 4x4  to continue I usually turn back.

I recently bought a bone stock jeep tj to tow Behind my Rv, take hunting and explore the Colorado backcountry where I live and leave the Toyota clean.

Here are my questions for your podcast.

  1.   What makes a good winch, ie, pounds off pull, cable, vs synthetic rope, manufactures etc.  I here buy American, get a Warn, I'm am not rock crawling just want to venture off and self recover, reliably,  I know never go out alone, but let's be real, going solo is a reality.
  2.   Why are the bigger diameter tires so much better for off road, you need to modify, suspension, wheels, lift, axles, gear ratios etc.
  3.  I seems like all the 4x4 mods add considerable weight, doesn't this work against being more capable, light is right? Right?
  4. I have a Dana 35/30 on my jeep, now I feel like I need to change them  out before changing wheels tires and lifting?   What is the priority.  I want the jeep to sit alittle higher, maybe  31 inch tires but I really don't want to drop the cash for new axles etc, I feel I would be better off selling my new toy jeep and getting one with all the mods done.
  5.  what is the priority of 4x4 mods? Winch, tires, gears, shocks, lift, wheels, lockers, engine, mods, sliders
  6.  How important is having more HP in off-roading.
  7.  What type of trails can a mostly stock basic jeep safely be expected to navigate, ie, how deep of water crossing? What amount of mud depth, what height of boulders, do you have any reasonable guidelines?
  8.   Tow straps, tow chains, recovery gear? What works best for most.

I have many more questions, I will be listening, thanks for the podcast.

Thanks, Greg from Colorado Springs

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Main Topic:Basic Recovery Equipment

Recovery points


Tow Strap

First Aid Kit

Trip Reports: Club clean up run on closed trial.