EXO / BAJA / Lands End #2

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HOLLYWOOD 1

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Another great EXO Run in the books. This run had a bit of everything, a lot of fun, a lot of carnage, “The Curse”, great food, great people, and Hurricane Norma! There were a total of 18 trucks, 4 Rs, 3 TRXs, rest Gens 1, 2, and 3.

Leaving the USA, we crossed into Mexico, and headed towards San Felipe. I still have the title of “King of Baja” for ridiculous failures! I can’t total a truck (it happened), or rip out a front end (it happened), no I get stupid failures!!! In the pine forests where it’s really dusty and really tight between the pine trees, my girl friend tells me we just lost the GPS, it’s black. Sure enough, my Lowrance HDS Live 7 went down, and she couldn’t call out directions. Get to the lake, tell Gordon and he says must be a wire, we’ll check it tonight at the hotel, you know the trails. So rest of the day, ran slower and cautious, kind of sucked, but no other issues. At the hotel, I checked everything, couldn’t find anything. Gave up, put GAIA on my phone. Chase crew was working on other trucks, Gordon asks me if I found the problem, I tell him no. He says c’mon, let’s work it. He asks who installed it, I tell him I did, and he gives me a look! I tell him it’s point to point, hot and ground, a monkey could do it. He gives me another look, LOL! He checks the fuse (I checked, it was good), gets his test light out, meanwhile one of the chase mechanics is now helping, and we’re in the truck checking fuses in the kick panel (just for ***** and giggles). Gordon is under the hood, yells out “found it”. Now this is a new one on me, never even heard of this before, my fuse was good! My fuse holder wasn’t!!! Can you imagine? Snipped the fuse holder out of the line, connected the lines, no more GPS issues.

Broke my cherry in the San Filipe whoops. Never had a flat in Baja, blitzed the last set of whoops before the highway, pulled onto the highway, heard the alarm, saw pressure go from 25 down to 0 in seconds. Luckily, there was a big cement pad off the side of the highway, and we pulled over. Started to get the spare and jack out, FRF member Mattl pulled over and him and his buddy Paul helped us out!

From San Filipe to San Ignacio and then San Ignacio to Laredo there was more carnage in those days, especially the second day than any trip I’ve ever been on combined, let alone one day! In no particular order, sweep truck’s transmission grenaded, Gen 3 starter went in the silt bed, Gen 1 spring pack bolt backed out, TRX broken wheel, Gen 1 flew off the course around 50 feet when he missed a turn, probably totaled, frame bent. Gen 2, my buddies from Tennessee had a catastrophic failure, their right front end grenaded, broke the UCA, LCA, spindle, shock, axle ripped out, broken brake line, numerous flats, and I forget what else! But it’s Baja, and the EXO Chase Crew did a fantastic unbelievable job getting most trucks back up and running (except for the bent frame). Failures in Baja are to be expected, really depends on how hard you push your truck.

The Curse Lives! From Laredo to La Paz. I’ve never completed this stage, and always break. 3 for 3!!!! The trail kicks my ass every year! And it’s frustrating! I can make it through the rock gardens, and rock trails, the deep sand, the 3 foot wash outs, the beaches, and all other rough stuff Baja dishes out. The trail to La Paz is actually smooth compared to the others, easy 80+ mph trail, you just fly on it, yet bites me in the ass every time! I was around third or fourth truck, running great, and in the back of my mind, I’m thinking “this is the year, you’re going to get this, beat this trail!” Then I start catching the Raptor R in front of me, it was about then I said to my girl friend, I smell oil. She asks if it was coming from our truck. I said I wasn’t sure because I started to smell it when I caught up to the R. Well, we all pull over to regroup, sure enough, open the door, strong oil smell, look underneath, dripping! The group takes off, one of the EXO guys stay with me, waiting for sweep, and he starts looking. Once again, the King of Stupid Failures, and he finds it. A rock somehow kicked up, and nicked my oil filter and put a pin hole in it. The ridiculous part is, somehow it got past my skids, didn’t nick the outside of the filter, nicked the inside! A million to one shot! SVC Jeff pulls up in sweep, looks at me and starts laughing “not again”. Towed out, flat bedded into La Paz again, oil change and filter I was back up and running to do the last trail to Cabo the next day. I’ve always been a believer in AmsOil, and after this would never run anything else. Lost about 2 quarts, never lost oil pressure, engine temp never went up. Hottest it got was 221, which I saw the whole trip. If I hadn’t pulled over when we did, I’m sure there would have been trouble, but it all worked out.

In Cabo, most spent Thursday in the pool, drinking and having a great time. Friday morning we roared out of town as Norma roared in. All in all, another great Baja trip! If anyone has thought about driving Baja, look at EXO. Their trips are something you’ll make memories for the rest of your lives. Their safe, fun, challenging, and you’ll meet and make friends. I highly recommend it. Enjoy the pics!
 

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HOLLYWOOD 1

HOLLYWOOD 1

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Pine forest / lake
 

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HOLLYWOOD 1

HOLLYWOOD 1

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Carnage pics (really didn’t take many, but you get the idea)
 

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HOLLYWOOD 1

HOLLYWOOD 1

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More off road, on road.
 

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HOLLYWOOD 1

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At the mission
 

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HOLLYWOOD 1

HOLLYWOOD 1

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Tow out, trailer of shame, LOL!
 

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