In the past five years I've built five trucks to go on Ultimate Adventure-an Avalanche, the Tacoma, my Clampy Toyota, the FJ Cruiser, and last year's UAJK Jeep. Most of the time I've built these with the amazing help of some awesome shops, and though we were on a tight timeline, everything fell into place in the final hour so we could hit the trail. But this year just wasn't my year. As many of you know I've been working on my Fun Buggy Project for more than three years now and Ultimate Adventure 2008 was supposed to be its debut. For the past four months I've been putting in overtime at Poly Performance to get the rig ready to wheel. But in the 12th hour, after finding two blown head gaskets on a brand-new crate engine, and fighting overheating gremlins while the buggy was just idling in the shop, I decided the Fun Buggy would stay home this year and I'd find another way to attend UA. (You'll get more buggy buildup info in future issues, but here is a sneak peak.)As many of you know I've been working on my Fun Buggy Project for more than three years no The plan was simple: With a little work I would take my '86 Chevy Army Truck on Ultimate Adventure. I had less than 24 hours to swap on the 37-inch BFG Mud Terrain KM2s off of my Red Sled Project, install a new Skyjacker pitman arm since the old one had gotten loose and worn out the splines, and stuff a Detroit Locker in the front axle to meet the front and rear locker requirement. Luckily I had a good friend and salesman from 4Wheel Parts bring the locker home from work and we wrenched into the night getting my camo pickup ready to wheel.The plan was simple: With a little work I would take my '86 Chevy Army Truck on Ultimate A At 8 the next morning, I was ready to leave. I would be convoying to South Dakota with Art Director Extraordinaire Alan Huber and Wild Web Editor Jason Gonderman. They would be riding in luxury in our '08 Land Cruiser project truck; I would be sweating in the loud, hot, and rugged Army Truck. Our first stop was Baker, California, for a fresh strawberry milkshake. This is where we also pulled the belt off my failed power-steering pump. And since I run a hydroboost system, I also lost the power to my brakes. It was 104 degrees in the shade.At 8 the next morning, I was ready to leave. I would be convoying to South Dakota with Art Next stop Las Vegas, where we found a power-steering pump at one AutoZone and the required pulley puller at another. Driving through Vegas traffic with no power steering or brakes is fun, especially in the desert heat with a manual transmission. The swap went relatively easy, no one got hurt or burnt and I found the culprit to be a stuck piston in the power-steering pump, most likely due to a small piece of dirt, a very good reason to add a filter to the steering system.Next stop Las Vegas, where we found a power-steering pump at one AutoZone and the required I was back on the road and cruising at nearly illegal highway speeds later the following day and we made it north all the way to southwest Wyoming when I notice a small leak coming from the speedometer cable on the transfer case while refueling. It was a little loose so I tightened it and got on the road. Less than 5 miles later the truck made a small pop and coasted to the side of the road. It wouldn't move and made a bad grinding noise. Lucky for me, invited readers Patrick Deming and Jeff Mello were coming down the same highway and were able to fit my Army Truck on their trailer for the ride to Rapid City, South Dakota.I was back on the road and cruising at nearly illegal highway speeds later the following d Once at Twisted Customs in South Dakota, I pulled the inspection cover on the transmission and was greeted with the sight of very little gear lube and the smell of burnt parts. I found most of my gear lube had pumped out of the NV4500 transmission and into my Lowmax 205 transfer case, thus starving the gears for oil until they burnt themselves up. It was an impressive break, and time to pull it all apart. This adventure wasn't going to be cheap.Once at Twisted Customs in South Dakota, I pulled the inspection cover on the transmission On the first day of wheeling I hiked the trail and took photos of the rest of the group. The rockcrawling in the Black Hills is awesome and I swore I would return with my Fun Buggy when it's done, but the next day when everyone else left for North Dakota, I stayed behind to try and fix my broken rig. Tune in next month to see whether I fixed the old truck, traded it for a hot-rod El Camino to get home, or if I'm now a South Dakota resident making my living as a tour guide at Mount Rushmore. Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!