35th July 2003

I finished putting my truck together after sorting out the last of the rust on the front. I can honestly say now that there is now NO RUST at all on the body!!! not a claim many Samurai owners can make!
Set off for Daniels house at around 2pm. The plan was to do this extreme lane Dan had already found and checked access routes to. Rain was bucketing down and had made the ground extremely boggy, and the rocks were trecherously slippery. started off down this lane which was a bit overgrown, and then we reached the 'fun' bit. Basically its some huge, random, rock steps going down a steep slope. Oh and theres two 90 degree corners to negotiate. AND some trees! what a lane! -

Enter from the top left of the picture, turn sharp right between the 2 trees, down towards the camera and out to the right. Simple. As. That.

Dan lines up to tackle it first (as always!)

Apologies for the blurriness and hands in the picture, it was raining VERY heavily and we were trying to keep the camera dry!

The first major step which has to be taken at an angle due to the tightness of the track...

'The Hand Of God' Dan on 2 wheels! he sticks his hand out the window onto a tree and rocks the truck sideways!!! a VERY wierd experience that is. HOORAY! I've found something Dave cant do! HAHA

The rough section. Extreme caution is required as theres a huge ditch just behind the camera and you need to make a sharp left to avoid it. The rocks are so wet the brakes are nearly useless!

Look at that articulation!

a washout at the bottom of the rocks.

Next its my turn. oh goodie!

Creeping off the first step [note the bright-red hammerite fuel tank guard! it matches the rest of the underside!]

Excellent spring droop and that wheel is so far in the air! (by the way thats NOT the spring that broke!)

Manoeuvring into position for the 'sidways drop'

There she goes!

Notice the nice foliage adourning the rear bumper/wheelarch!

assessing the next bit

I must be mad!

Not bad at all for a completely standard suspension setup!

Look at that rear wheel!

Safely down

That just shows you how capable Samurais are in standard form. Those rocks were so wet and slippy it was unreal, not to mention liquid clay running everywhere.

After the adrenalin settled we headed off to another lane, this is the last pic we took. halfway up the lane, a dry-stone-wall has collapsed and lies in the middle of the track. this needs to be driven over, a very bumpy lane!

After this lane we headed off to get some food. stopped at a chippie. next we drove round to the other side of 'The Steps' to see if Roych Clough was open yet. still no luck there. We headed off to find a lane which we spotted in the distance as it ascended a hillside. Sadly this turned out to be a gravel track. we headed out the end and onto a tarmacked road. went splashing through some nice deep puddles (its a male thing!) drove over a small pot-hole in the road, it wasn't deep, and i hear a twang/crack noise from the rear.

Suggested to Dan that we stop so i could have a look. And its a good job we did! The drivers side rear leaf spring had snapped! to top leaf had snapped just in front of the middle clamp and was sticking up. By the looks of the break, it had been eroding for some time as there wasnt alot of shiny metal. As all the other leaves on that spring are clamped to the top one, it meant that really the front of the spring wasnt connected to the car at all!

We jacked it up and took the wheel off. Just my luck Dan had left his tools at home stating 'we wont need them' when we left his house. All i had were the basics and 6 zip ties. We managed to zip tie the top leaf onto the others and it seemed to hold. We set off very slowly with me leading so dan could keep and eye on the rear.

'I dont want you going above 30mph' he said. fine with me! Proceeded to drive very smoothly with no sudden change in direction or speed, i managed to avoid just about all of the bumps/holes in the road. After stopping to check it was holding (and to let the HUGE queues of traffic past) several times, Dan very kindly escorted me to Ripley.

It had been OK for the last 20 miles or so, so i let him shoot off along the A38 to get a grilling from the missus! i managed to get home and all 6 zip ties had held and done there job! They are trully amazing!

Hope the trucks repaired for next sunday...