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Seeing no blood and feeling no pains, I unhooked my seat belt and crawled out. I had rolled and survived with no injuries. Surveying the damage, I quickly noted the saving grace was the aftermarket roll cage added to the stock. I can attest to the strength and durability under stress of the roll over. Rockhard 4x4 produces a great product!
A quick view showed no fluids were leaking. The front drive shaft had separated. The rear spring hangers (and shackles) were bent, otherwise, the suspension appeared intact. Time for recovery operation to put rubber side down.
After re-connecting the front drive shaft, we attached a winch cable to the rock sliders. Oops, that only pulled the jeep along on its side. We relocated the winch anchor point over the top to the roll cage. This time, the jeep came over with rubber side down.
As we picked scattered gear, I did a more complete damage assessment. The tire rack (Garvin Wilderness Series) appeared intact with one gas can holder crushed. Both fenders were bent as was the front grill, hood and windshield frame. The soft top was ripped and support poles bent. And, one wheel rim was cracked; but, still holding air.
Okay, now what? Will it run? It was a short distance back to pavement but a longer distance to home. Was it drivable?
We pried the hood open to see if the radiator and fan had become entangled. Visually, there was plenty of clearance. Turning the key to start, the engine fire up and was soon idling. Next was to see if power could be transferred to the axles, it was.
So, the engine started, the gears shifted and the steering provided direction control. Time to get off the trail and get the jeep home.
Wheeling is always an adventure and should never be taken lightly. Driving a vehicle on road or on the trail requires constant driver attention to where you are going. When encountering obstacles, carefully pick your line. Inattention can (and does) lead to problems.
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