View Full Version : Ocotillo Wells

12-05-2008, 06:10 PM
This was the second year in a row we have headed out to the desert to for Thanksgiving with family, and sand/dirt toys. Thanksgiving 2007 saw us dry camping at Dumont Dunes, and this year we opted for Octotillo Wells (southwest of Salton Sea). This an enormous off road vehicle recreation area. My son and I both have Jeeps (his is a black '89 YJ, and mine is an orange vintage '71 CJ). All systems in my Newell functioned properly, and I was very pleased with the performance of my genset that was run several hours per day.

My CJ spent 20 years rotting in my brother's driveway. Over the course of a year he and I spent around $14,000 restoring the CJ mechanically, with some cosmetic restoration (roll bar, and wheels re-powder coated, new dtires, and new bikini top). Mechanically we had to replace the front axle, all four brake drums, brakes, brake lines, wheel cylinder, reupholster the seats, master cylnder, distributer, transmission, transfer case, radiator, rear differential, locker, steering wheel, carb, machine head, headers, muffler, and both gas tanks. We probably could have spent less by buying a newer "used" Jeep, and upgrading components, however, this was a sentimental project for my brother and I.

We spent 4 days here eating a lot of great Thanksgiving food, and driving around 70 miles offroad....

12-05-2008, 06:24 PM
Here are a couple of pix of the Jeep the day my mechanic picked it up from my brother's home to start the mechanical restoration. The last picture was taken the day we picked up the Jeep from the mechanic, and just before we spent two days cleaning up the paint. It still has the original paint.

12-05-2008, 10:01 PM
Hey Clarke:

Looks awesome and like a very good time. Thanks for posting the pictures and for showing us the good times Newells are built for.

Have a good Holiday Season.

David and Denise

Richard and Rhonda
12-06-2008, 10:28 AM
Cool, glad to see we're not the only folks who camp for Thanksgiving, although stayin in the coach isn't quite like tent camping

The jeeps brought back great memories. I had a 72 Bronco. I laugh because the solution to any sticky situation in that rig was "give her more gas". That thing would clean out a mudhole.

12-07-2008, 01:42 AM
Richard.......out of the last 5 Thanksgivings we've been out in a motorhome 4 of them. In '04 and '05 we spent time in Northern California (Crescent City) moving down the coast every 2 days, and cylcing on the "rest" days. The last two we have spent in the desert with our kids, and their families playing with dirt and sand toys.

12-07-2008, 05:32 PM
Its good to see someone restore just for sentimental reasons, I too am an old car nut. I have restored several trucks and cars over the years its alot of work but the rewards are worth the effort. Currently I have a 1930 Ford roadster pickup with a 351 cleveland automatic and all the goodies we drive them all, also a 1936 Diamond T 212 I put a 250 hp nissan turbo'd diesel with a 5 spd auto A/C pwr steering still working on the bed but the truck has been to several shows we drive it too. Projects in the wors are a 49 International KB-1 pickup and a 47 Dodge two ton with a dump body Last but not least several years ago I restored a 1961 Kenworth 10 wheeler I use it to pull some of the tucks to the shows around the country. When I figure out how I will post pictures for you guys to check them out. We spent this Thangs giving on the road in our new to use 81 38' 6v92t and had a great time, I'm just getting ready to replace all the fuel lines as I had one star too leak (spray) from scuffing together with other fuel lines I will keep you posted as to how this job goes probably will replace most of the coolant hoses and belts as well.
Later Graham

12-07-2008, 05:43 PM
Graham....no doubt you struggle with finding parts for your vintage projects. That was a major issue on the Jeep CJ5. Our goal was to keep it "original" mechanically. Water had infiltrated he transmission and transfer case at some point in the past, so they were both "toast". I was able to find the exact transmission and transfer case on Ebay in Michigan (local pickup only). My sister happens to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so I talked the seller into delivering it to her home (about 100 miles one way), and she arranged to have it crated and shipped. The tranny and transfer case had been removed from a 1971 Jeep CJ5 about 20 years ago, and had been stored in a barn with gear oil left inside. Had to have a new radiator custom made. Had to search local Jeep salvage yards for various parts. Took just over a year to put it back together, but it has been so rewarding.