El Nino is coming!

Holy shit y’all.  It feels like two weeks since my last post.  Life has been so crazy.  Since we got back from Colorado, I’ve been on two wheeling trips with AZWJ, one trip with NAU4x4, driven to the Sierras, supported Nona at a Soulstice run, torn out a muffler, shredded a transmission mount, torn out and replaced rusted spring perches, gone to SEMA for the first time, detonated a half shaft, and lost the heater (as soon as it got cold, of course…).  And yet, inexplicably, I still managed to come up with a couple cheap ideas to share.  In due course.

On top of all of that, there was a surprise lightning round of lay-offs at work that pretty much nuked any motivation I might have had for bloggering.  I’m happy to say now, however, that I survived this round of layoffs and will be around Flagstaff for at least another year to regale you with my tales of woe and broke Jeep-ness.

Let’s begin.

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The Jeep, The Maxima, and the mountain

I find myself apologizing for being too busy to post so often anymore that it seems to have lost it’s meaning.  The thing is, I am truly sorry that I don’t update this site as much as I should, but I’m out experiencing life instead of hunching over a laptop at a desk.  And for that, I make no apology.  To be sure, I’d rather we were all out living life instead of wasting bandwidth reading my silly words.  Alas, this is the world in which we live, and it doesn’t look like this “internet” fad is going to fade away any time soon.  So with that out of the way, here’s why I haven’t written you in so long…

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SITREP: OnBoard Air and drawer system completed. For now.

It seems like the Jeep has been torn apart for forever now.  But as my birthday gift to myself, I got all the parts put back in the Jeep.  There’s still a few broken things from recent trips, but at least it’s all put together.

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As it turned out, everything went very smoothly back together.  I measured the area I needed to cut out to go around the head, cut it (with a sawzall in jigsaw fashion.  I’d have been in some shit if I’d have got caught…  Also, danger, blah, blah, blah), trimmed the carpet to fit, and violin!  It’s done!  The compressor head isn’t even exposed to any damage.  Heat has been a thought, but so far it’s stayed plenty cool, even when running constantly.  There is a wind tunnel from the back seat to the back of the jeep though, so it’s not that surprising.

Still trying to figure out what to do with those stupid latches though.  In my infinite intelligenceness, I decided to take the latches completely off, so now I get to hear the drawers clacking all about while I’m driving. yay.

Now off to track down that obnoxious clanking that’s recently developed up front in the suspension.  or finding a new transfer case, since mine seems to have suddenly forgotten how to 4-hi.

On the upside, I got to go in a helicopter this week around Sedona AZ.  That definitely makes up for all the Jeep breakage.

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I love my girl.

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so. very. dope.

The thing about Rough Country…

I want to start by saying that I haven’t been paid or compensated by anyone to say anything.  I paid for my lift with my own money and turned every bolt with my own tools.  This is my opinion and my experience.  No filter, no bias.  I’m writing this because I see people post about Rough Country and it’s competition, and I see talk and anecdotes but I never see proof.  I never see any useful information.  I’ve endeavored to offer factual information here as much as I can, but since experience is so subjective, all I can offer in the end is what I went through myself.

Now for the stuff:

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My Memory Lane is covered in tire marks

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I got to go down to Phoenix this weekend to see the NASCAR race.  It was a great race with a lot of drama, and the typical NASCAR fare.  I really don’t want to play it down, this was an epic weekend; an eliminator race, taking place right after the “Keselowski Incident“.  But the race isn’t what I’m thinking about right now.

It was lap two on Saturday afternoon, just as the tires were really getting sticky, that I smelled the race fuel, and that acrid stench from the tires.  I was immediately taken back to Tustin California, 1996-ish.  My uncle had brought me along to a race that he was driving in, (SCCA – He drove a Formula Ford Lotus 51, for anyone interested) and it was my first real race track experience, and I was IN PIT LANE!  Paul Newman was three cars ahead of my uncle, and I had just met the guy that invented IMAX.  At 15, I was in WAY over my head, but it was absolutely that weekend that, if it wasn’t destined before, sealed my automotive fate.  I still get the chills when I think about hearing the roar of a Lola coming down the back straight at 120mph.

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