The Street Legal Rock Crawling League (SLRC) is an entry-level, off-road competition series. SLRC allows drivers to test themselves and their vehicles on challenging rock-crawling courses. 2021 was the second season for SLRC and I had as much fun as I did the first season.
After the first season, I had to devote my time to diagnosing and repairing my Wrangler. I broke the ring gear in the front axle and destroyed the transfer case.
Both the front axle and the transfer case were rebuildable. I opted to not only rebuild but upgrade these parts before the start of the second season of SLRC. I swapped out the Dana 30 in the front for a Dana 44 and changed from an NP231 transfer case to a 241OR RockTrac.
It may not have been necessary, but I also improved the front suspension. I replaced the short control arms with a three-link long arm kit from Currie and added 1-inch taller springs.
There were plenty of familiar faces from last season, I was surprised by the number of new faces at each event. Not only from the competitor side but there were also a lot of people that attended events.
The staff was awesome, the events were well organized, the weather was less cooperative. Most of the events were cold and rainy this year. Having a wet course made the obstacles feel much harder.
In fact, I did not make it to the end of a single course. More bad news I separated my rear upper control arm mount from the frame. Bent my exhaust, and ripped out a valve stem on course. This caused a tire to unseat from the bead partway through a course.
Given some of the damage other competitors incurred this year, I have no room to complain. The good news is that all of the upgrades I put into the Jeep held up to the abuse.
I don’t know if there was any performance gain with the upgrades installed in the off-season. As far as vehicle capability goes, any parts I add from this point on are likely to have a minimal impact.
There was one factor that made a huge difference this year. That was communication between the driver and spotter. This season my wife was the driver, and I was the spotter. Coming out of last year I realized how hard it was for teams to communicate. There is a lot of noise and pressure on a timed course. This year I took a cue from the professionals and got a two-way communication system
Having a good comm system allowed me to clearly speak to the driver. No more having to run to the vehicle window, shouting, or relying only on hand signals. The reduction in miscommunication allowed for the driver and spotter to be more in tune. We were much calmer during the events with greater situational awareness.
I felt that I had a better grasp of how to analyze and approach individual courses this year. I felt good about what I was able to do, and I had a great time competing.
Looking towards season three.
Off-road enthusiasts know there is always some part to change or upgrade. My parts wish list has no limit, my reality is I have limited time and budget. It is important that I focus on where I spend both.
Tires are the single biggest factor when it comes to off-road performance. I would like to go bigger and move away from a radial. I don’t think I am prepared to spend money on new tires when I still have tread on my current tires.
That brings me to the one repair that I must do before prepping for the larger tires. I have to repair the rear upper control arm mount. I’m torn between repairing it or using it as an excuse to change my rear suspension. Only time and money will tell what direction I go.
All other upgrades will be in preparation for larger tires. It would be best to change my gear ratio and reinforce the C’s on the front axle to prevent bending them in the future.
SLRC is a great event. My wife and I enjoyed wheeling with this group of people. Despite the inclement weather during our second season, we can’t wait for season three. I hope that some of our readers are able to join us on the trail.