I was standing by the pit of a guy in one of the buggy classes of the Best In the Desert Series when we watched the 1784 Jeep Cherokee drive across the field in front of us, cutting the pit course of the Parker 425. We had assumed it was just a newbie who got lost or somebody desperate to get fuel, as we did see the fuel can go in.
As I continued to talk and watch, I realized more was going on. So, I walked over to check out what happened. Turns out the driver shut off the truck to make sure he didn’t kill the fuel pump, but it failed to restart. To make matters a bit worse, this wasn’t even his pit spot.
They tried the common things, hammering the starter and jumping the truck; however, it was no use — the starter was dead. There was no replacement available either because this was a heavier-duty version that wasn’t common.
However, the pit area where they stopped had a starter that could work since the position of the Bendix could be changed depending on how the starter was bolted to the adapter. It was close, but it just couldn’t reach and the bolt holes were still slightly off.
Despite holding it to a proper position with a large bar, the adapter was too thick. That’s when they offered to modify it by grinding down the face of the starter to get it farther in.
There wouldn’t be enough time to wire it in, so with one guy on the ground and another in the hood, they jumped the starter until the truck fired up.
The 1784 backed out, and with a “thank you” and a blare of their horn as they exited where they entered, they went on to the finish the Parker 425.
They did not get scored as “finishing”, as they ran out of the allowed time for Jeepspeed trucks to finish; nevertheless, they did cross the finish line.