Do your due diligence, be patient, and you can find an affordable and reliable Nissan Pathfinder to satisfy your off-road itch.
On the Trail: Hitting Sedona, Arizona's Broken Arrow with Austin Stobaugh
Sedona, Arizona ages better than most of the old western movies that were shot there. Until the '70s, Sedona played backdrop to over 60 Hollywood projects, and the old films certainly do not do justice to the timeless grandeur of the beautiful red rock formations. If you’ve driven through the area you’ve seen the abundant red and orange sandstone formations, but you haven’t truly experienced them until you’ve explored it for yourself off-road. A unique rock layer known as the Schnebly Hill Formation gives Sedona its legendary desert beauty. The colors are especially brilliant to behold during sunrise and sunset, when the sun bathes the area in its most golden light. Because of the scenery and popularity of the trails there, we sent our own Mike Sabounchi to hit Sedona’s Broken Arrow Trail with Desert Race School and Carbon Off-Road’s Austin Stobaugh. In the video, they take you through some of the magnificent scenery from inside and outside of a Lexus GX470 and a Carbon Off-Road modified Jeep JK. (Click here to go straight to the video)
Broken Arrow Trail
A super popular trail just outside of town, Broken Arrow Trail is a 3.6 mile-loop sees lots of traffic from hikers and off-roaders alike. Having said that, there are plenty of turnouts to pull over into and let oncoming traffic pass by. This isn't a trail to rush through, you’ll also want to take it easy so you can take in all of the killer scenery along the way. Some experienced drivers consider Broken Arrow to be on the easy side, but there are some exceptions that we’ll talk about in just a minute.
Mike brought his 2009 Lexus GX470 to bear on the excursion. It packs Eibach 3-inch lift Black Rhino wheels and Rhino Rack Platform Rack and Awning. Austin’s 2012 Carbon Off-road built Jeep JK is a much more custom animal. Not only does it run a 4-inch suspension lift but also front and rear lockers, aluminum bumpers, and Carbon Off-Road chromoly axle shafts and axle housings. Both are equipped with Nitto Ridge Grapplers but are very different beasts in terms of their capabilities. The point being that anyone can enjoy themselves on this trail. Broken Arrow has a rep for being an easy run for almost any rig but if you want to make a full day of it, there are lots of side obstacles and alternative lines just begging to be explored as well.
Points of Interest
After airing down their tires, Mike and Austin got down to the serious business of enjoying the day. Scenic vistas abounded but some stood out more than others, demanding that you stop for photos (or at the least, to drink in their beauty). Submarine Rock was the first of those along the way.
The leg of the trail leading to Submarine Rock runs through single-track forestation. Once you break through atop the rock itself, you’re rewarded with plenty of red stone formations for your viewing pleasure.
Once they’d captured some imagery to mark the occasion, it was off to Chicken Point Overlook. Leaving the single-track forest portion behind, the path opened up and became rockier. Thanks to some expert guidance from Austin, Mike made it up over a technical climb to Chicken Point Overlook.
They rewarded themselves with lunch and a close look at the stratified cliffs that gives Sedona its reputation. With their bellies full, Mike and Austin tackled The Slide next. Take note in the video for some good advice on how to approach obstacles on the trail, and take the time to walk and always observe possible lines before conquering any new path.
Beware the Devil
Carefully approaching obstacles is always a good idea, but when the trails become harder, it's even more important. You may remember a few paragraphs back where we talked about a tricky technical spot on the Broken Arrow Trail. Take special note of any trail with “Devil” in the name, it generally means that it isn’t going to be all nice and cuddly in the ease-of-execution department. Enter Devil’s Staircase, the final rock obstacle at the end of the trail. Austin walked Mike through the proper way to slide his GX470 down the smooth, rocky terrain to the end of the trail. Key to that was keeping the wheels straight, even when it seemed counterintuitive to do so. That’s one of those instances where you learn to just trust the process and not over-think the issue. Especially when that advice is delivered to you from a pro who knows his or her business, like Austin does.
At trail’s end, you have a decision to make: go back to town or go back in again. Seeing as how Broken Arrow Trail has all of those other lines and obstacles begging to be explored, you’ll be tempted to drive back in and enjoy it all over again. And we don’t blame you.
Where to Watch the Video
Enjoy the episode for yourself by clicking here. While you're there, binge the rest of the episodes for more thrilling off-road excursion ideas.
5.7L, 6.1L, 6.4L, Hellcat & More. There's never been more parts available for Gen III Hemi-swapping your car or truck.
2020 Ultra4 Lasernut Area BFE Beatdown in Moab: NITTO Podiums in Three Classes and Sweeps the 4400 Class
An amazing but brutal race in a new location proved to be challenging for Team NITTO, but ultimately they prevailed!
Driver Battles: Old Vs. New V8 Mustang Drag Race Showdown
In our third installment of Driver Battles: Drag Edition we decided to do something a little different than we have in previous episodes, we paired up an old Mustang against a new one at Irwindale Drag Strip's 1/8th mile track. Not only did we want to see how a classic muscle car would fare against the modern version of a similar model, but it just so happens that certain members of our staff had the right cars for this competition: Mike Garrett has a '16 Mustang GT that we pitted against Greg Friend's '73 Ford Mustang Mach 1. As with any friendly face-off, they immediately exchanged belittling remarks about the other's vehicle and how they would do on the track with little basis in reality.
However, in actuality, these two cars were well matched in terms of general horsepower, torque, weight and tires. Both Mustangs make about 400hp and 400 pound/feet of torque, they're within 400 lbs. of each other, and they're both running Nitto NT555 G2 ultra high-performance tires.
In this article, we'll run through the specs of each car, experience levels, and what each driver had to do to get ready for the race. If you'd like to go directly to the video, click here, otherwise keep reading for a glimpse behind the scenes of this 'Stang showdown. -Admin
Mike Garrett: Prepping His '16 Ford Mustang GT
There I was sitting in my front yard when I got a phone call from Greg Friend, the Digital Content Editor here at Driving Line. Greg had an offer for me. "How would you like to come down to Irwindale Speedway with your Mustang to star in one of our Driver Battle videos?"
It sounded awesome. I mean, who wouldn't want to skip a day in the office and head to the drag strip? The only problem was I'd never actually drag raced at the track before—in my Mustang or any other car and the date was only a few weeks out. Plus, my Mustang has a manual transmission, which can make it harder to be consistent at the track, and I didn't have much time to practice my launches.
And to make matters even more interesting, my opponent for this battle would be Greg himself—AKA the guy who oversees my work here at Driving Line. No big deal racing your boss right?
Greg would be driving his mildly hopped-up 1973 Mustang Mach 1 which he's owned for more than 20 years and has recently given a full overhaul. I'd be driving my bone stock 2016 Mustang GT complete with my son's child seat in the back.
We bench raced the specs of our cars and decided to go for it. Modified classic Mustang vs. stock modern Mustang—with both of us rolling on fresh Nitto NT555 G2 rubber. Luckily, I didn't have much to do in terms of prep, as the car was pretty much ready to go straight from the showroom.
My dad decided to tag along with me to provide emotional support and some drag racing tips during the 230-mile drive to Irwindale and I heard that Greg's father might came along with him as well. We were ready to leave it all out on the track—just two adult men and their 'Stangs, hoping to avoid defeat and disappointment from our fathers.
2016 Ford Mustang GT Specs
|Engine||5.0L Coyote V8|
|Wheels||Factory 19x9" front and 19x9.5" rear|
|Tires||Nitto NT555 G2 255/40R19 front, 275/40R19 rear|
Greg Friend: Prepping His '73 Mustang Mach 1
A few weeks before the date of our next Driver Battles drag race, Kristin Cline, Driving Line's Editor in Chief, asked me if I'd be interested in racing my Mustang against Mike Garrett's Mustang GT. Almost before the words were out of her mouth, I replied, "absolutely!" The only problem was that my car wasn't actually running. I had just started a radiator swap, and I had a transmission pan leak that I'd been fighting for weeks—if I was going to make it to the racetrack on that day, it was going to take some serious hours in the garage to make it happen—not including the shakedown and tuning I'd need to do to keep from embarrassing myself in front of the film crew, my fellow coworkers and anyone who happened to watch the final video.
That same day I went out to the garage and started wrenching. After a few late nights in the garage I had the new aluminum radiator buttoned up and functioning properly, but I still had to tackle the trans pan, which meant dropping the pan and replacing all the fluid. As anyone who has ever done work on a Ford trans C6 or AOD can attest to, it's a messy job, and I was fed up with the warped tin OEM pan. I was able to get a machined, cast aluminum pan from Trick Flow the weekend before the race and hustled to get it installed and leak-free as soon as possible so I would have time to drive the car and tune it. Thankfully, the installation went smoothly and I had it on the road the next day.
All the while I was working on the car, the thoughts of losing to Mike and his '16 GT were swirling in my head—while he didn't have any experience at the drag strip, Mike does have a lot of experience driving stick, plus tons of track time—so I knew he wouldn't have any trouble managing himself and keeping his cool when it came down to the day of the race.
I used to drag race my car all the time, but it had been a good 15 years since I'd done it. Plus, his car had a horsepower rating higher than mine, and here's the kicker, much lower gears in the rear end, Mike's got 3.73:1 gears where I have 3.55:1 gears—which make or break a car in a race as short as the eighth-mile.
I drove the car every day before the race to make sure it was in good working order, but as the day of the race drew ever closer I still felt there was more I could have done to squeeze a little more power out of it. My dad was there supporting me and helping me every step of the way, and even offered to tag along for the race, which I whole heartedly accepted—I'd never been to the drags without him being there to watch. He's got a lot of experience drag racing and would be able to coach me throughout the day of racing, and I was extremely thankful for his help.
Win or lose, I was excited to race the old Mach 1 again, even if it meant hearing about the loss from my coworker for all of eternity (as it is when racing any good friends).
1973 Mustang Mach 1 Specs
|Engine||351ci Ford Cleveland V8|
|Engine Mods||Edelbrock single plane aluminum intake manifold, Holley 750cfm Carb, Thundermaker cam, Crane roller-rockers, Crane Fireball ignition, Crane Hi-6 ignition system, Aluminum radiator, Edelbrock aluminum water pump|
|Drivetrain||Built Ford AOD transmission, B&M slap shifter, Lentech Stage 2 valve body|
|Suspension||Lowered, KYB shocks|
|Wheels||US Mags 17x8"|
|Tires||Nitto NT555 G2 245/45 R17 front, 275/50 R17 rear|
Surprise Twists and Where to Watch This Episode
And of course to make it a true driver battle—and not just a matchup of cars, they also fought it out in a pair of identical, front-wheel drive vehicles.
You'll have to watch the video to see how things ended up, but the final result was nearly too close to call. Let's just say there's a lot more to drag racing than meets the eye, especially in a heads up race like this.
A must-see 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Apply to Be Driving Line's Newest Vlog Star!
We want to pay you to create and star in Driving Line’s newest vlog! If you love watching YouTube car videos or have always thought you could make something more interesting than what you see you there… we’re looking for you! Bonus: we want to pay you to make your own automotive vlog AND it’ll live on Driving Line’s YouTube, being served out to our large audience. You’ll also receive valuable help and guidance from a team of our expert staff. It’s like Shark Tank, but for YouTube shows!
How to Apply
- Create a short (1-2 minutes) audition video of yourself
- Upload it to your own YouTube channel
- Send us your video submission’s YouTube link via our “CONTACT US” page*
What to Include in Your Video Submission
- We want to hear what your vlog will focus on, such as diesels, off-road builds, drag racing, overlanding, garage tech, engine building… you get the point!
- Tell us and SHOW us why you’d be great starring in your own vlog.
- Think about this as a mini-pilot—talk to us, but also give us a little taste of what you might expand upon in your first episode.
What We’re Looking For In Our Next Vlog Star
- You must be fun and engaging to watch! Show us something that interests us or make us laugh.
- This isn’t a live Facebook feed. We’ll give you tips and guidance along the way for improvement, but you’ll need to know how to shoot and edit your own content above and beyond just holding your iPhone in front of your face.
- Take us into your world! What part of the car world do you live and breath in? We want to see that genuinely and learn more about it.
- People that we select to move forward with in this process will get a 4-episode pilot vlog spot on Driving Line, which we'll pay you to make. If all goes well, then we'll keep it on as a regular series!
And that's it! As soon as we receive your submission (the sooner the better!) we'll review and contact you if interested. So, be sure that the email you use when submitting via our Contact Us form is the correct email to reach you at. We can't wait to see what you'll create!
*When sharing a submission, you are giving Driving Line permission to use that content to promote this project across all Driving Line properties and channels.