Just a Teaser…Of Tow Rigs and Bike Haulers

Something new this way rolls (well,new to us :P )…

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Posted in General Life Stuff, Trucks | 2 Comments

A Quickie

I did in fact,this week,prep,mask and reshoot the black on the passenger side (non-trim,I refer to the door’s black),I’m very pleased with it (so much so that I now have to respray the driver’s side,LOL,since it was about 85% nice :P ). No pics,been busy with sick kids and such.

I also go tthe new speakers installed in the front doors. Had I known there was such a big hole there,I would have ordered 6.5″ers to replace the factory 5.25″ers,as those would certainly fit. As is,it had new 5.25″ Kickers in there. Issue-the driver’s side doesn’t play,like,at all. I’m wondering if I inadvertently pulled one of the two wires loose as I reinstalled it,since without removing the door handle mechanism (which I didn’t),it’s a tight squeeze in there. Haven’t had op to check it out as of yet. Sick kids and such. Otherwise,it sounds better in there,LOL,actually having sound waves from somewhere in the front :P

Did I mention that we have sick kids here this week? I don’t suppose we’ll be going on our Jeep-camp trip this weekend,sigh. Well,the Wife’s also fairly sick this week :( I suppose we could reschedule it for our anniversary next month,and start a tradition that she and I should have started 22 years ago (going somewhere,just the two of us-doesn’t have to be far or expensive,just romantic). Fingers are crossed.

That’s about it around here. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend :)

 

Note: Always remember what happened 13 years ago today (standing and saluting those lost,and the heros that lost their lives as well- 9/11 )

Posted in Cherokee, General Life Stuff, Jeep, Jeep Project, XJ | 2 Comments

As promised…

Not the best pics I’ve ever shot,and it needs a good soak in the tub (bath…a good washing ;) ) though that doesn’t show as bad in the pics as in person. I still didn’t get the fairing mounted but will one day this week. Pics…

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We did (finally) get the front brakes installed today,though not the rears-sometimes drums are dang near impossible to remove,as was the case with both sides on it today,so an eventual trip to a shop to hire the rear brake servicing will have to happen (bare in mind,other than the occasional adjustment to be made,drum brakes rarely need much servicing). I’m still having an issue though (as tested to see after finishing up today),that I may or may not have mentioned here…under unexpected “panic stops” (like when that brain dead moron in the Honda with the 3′ tall wing pulls right dead out in front of you and decides to accelerate at a rate of 0-60 in 3.5 minutes…),the right rear tire/wheel locks and skids*. This doesn’t seem to affect braking distance (on dry roads,anyways),and it serves the purpose of scaring the be-jesus out of the offender in front of you,LOL,but it may be an issue for stopping safely when icy roads come again,so I’ll get it done.

The Kicker speakers were in fact delivered today while we were out (the Girl was home,and signed for/brought them inside),so I’ll install those installed this week coming,and if weather permits,I’ll finish up the paint work as well.**

Looking forward to next weekend,and hoping nothing prevents/postpones the Jeep-camping trip/trailing we have planned in KY :D Happy last half of the weekend,everyone! :)

 

 

 

*See,our first collective thoughts were that the front pads were most likely so worn that by the tiem they “grab” when forcefully applied,the rears were already locking. This turned out to not be the case,as the front pads were only about 60% into their useful life-cycle. Our next collective thoughts are (as rear drum brakes rarely need anything besides an adjustment) it’s most likely the worn shocks/suspenson being the primary culprit-as there’s an excessive amount of lean/weight transfer in such stops,because the suspension is worn to the point it doesn’t hold things as steady as it should-though they may need said adjustments as well. Either way,if at all possible,I still dont’ want to replace any of the suspension bits until next Spring (so I don’t have to do it twice ;) ) since I’m wantig/planning a mild lift,so we’ll get the new drums/shoes professionally installed soon.

**As you can see in the pic,the passenger side needs resprayed because when I’d sprayed the black on initially,some of the trim paint was pulled up by the masking tape when removed. As I’m going to raise the “line” of black pain tto be even with the trim (where-as currently it’s 3/4″ below…I simply think it’ll look better if raised),I’ll respray the driver’s side as well,and as that raises the line above the rear bumper by 3/4″,I’ll have to mask and spray that as well.

Posted in Cherokee, Jeep, Jeep Project, XJ | 2 Comments

Whoa!

Talk about fast shipping…I’ve already received,and installed the roof rack on the Jeep,it came around 7:30PM,took about 20 minutes to assemble and install :o :D It was a bit past dark when I was finished,so I’ll have to shoot a pic tomorrow. Also,that front fairing,it didn’t include any mounting hardware,so it’s not on there yet,but otherwise,it’s up there. It appears they were shipped from Knoxville,TN,only a couple of hours from here,so…

I wasn’t able to center it up length-wise,as my rear rail’s release (to slide it forward and back) is broken,which I didn’t know,so it’s sitting in the rear-most position (the rail,and therefore the rack as well),which isn’t my favorite position. I definitely want to add the extension later this month.

So I went to Dad’s again today to get the brakes installed,and again,as we were getting everything ready (tools,supplies,parts…) to get started,a t-storm rolled through…only this time,as the clouds burst (it was like having someone pour a bucket of cold water on you),I was in mid-oil change,LOL,so while Pops ran for the porch,I finished up the oil change,casually walked inside afterward and rung the water out of my clothes into the tub,hahaha! Good thing I’d brought/was wearing old/work clothes and had dry with me :P

According to tracking,the Kicker speakers will be delivered via FedEx tomorrow (I’m skeptical),but with the weather outside as we speak,plus tomorrow’s forecast being bumped from an expected 40% chance of storms throughout the day to an 80% chance…..looks like I’ll be going back to pops (instead of the family trip to the state park,as it’s beach will be closed) and dodging rain to install the new brakes on it (it’s really past time that that gets done,it’s a safety issue). If FedEx runs early (because I sleep in Saturdays,it’s the only day I get to),I’ll probably install the speakers too.

Anyways,a wonderful weekend to everyone! :D

Posted in Cherokee, Jeep, Jeep Project, XJ | 2 Comments

Of Things Ordered

I went ahead and made an order of some Jeep parts earlier today (with the Wife’s permission of course,hahaha! We both went over the budget/finanaces to make sure it was ok to do so,it was,so I did :P ).

At first I was going to just run downtown and pick up a pair of those Kicker speakers (they were $60 + or – a quarter with tax when I bought the rears),and set back a bit to order some things next week,but when I got to the store,I found they no longer carried that model,and after researching Kicker’s web-site,I found they were discontinued recently…but I found a shiny new pair online (amazon.com),for $38.95 shipped,so they’re ordered.

As this left enough (from the total we’d figured I could spend this payday) to also order the rack I was wanting (which is $118.95 shipped,also on Amazon) with a bit to spare,I also ordered it as well. There are many safari-type roof racks on the market,and opinions on “which is best” run the gammett. I’ve seen what looked like flimsy,cheezy racks going for hundreds of dollars (like…$650 or so,and I’m sure they’re not as flimsy/cheezy as they look to my eye in pics online),and some made from unheard of brands from 3rd world countries going for >$100. This particular rack is from Curt,a company I’ve had years of (receiver) hitch experience with,as well as my Dad and Grandpa telling me they’ve used their hitches/products for literally decades*,and we’ve all always been well pleased with the investments,so for the price and specs,this seemed a no-brainer to me. Obligatory factory pic…

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It’s dimensions are 41.5″ long,37″ wide,and 4″ deep,which fits nicely on the Jeep by my measurements (which I didn’t write down to add here,sorry). I like the looks of racks that cover more of the roof (as in,from front to back-wise) than 41.5″ of it (which looks roughly 2/3 of the XJ’s roofline to my non-scientific-measuring eye,+ or -),but this rack has that covered (pun intended :P ) as well,as it’s a 2 piece unit,and Curt also makes (also available on Amazon,for $56.95 shipped) an extention unit (to slide in the middle during assembly,so it’d have to be taken back apart,but no worries expected there),adding an additional 21″ of length to the combined units (which shouldn’t be noticable,that it’s an add-on unit,BTW,which I’ll prossibly pick up next month or later this month. Obligatory factory pic…

71rPDiDrysL._SL1500_

It seems to me that having only 2 across-the-roof-rails on my factory rack (which these “safari-type racks” attatch to ;) ),when adding the extra 2′ (roughly) to this rack,leaves lots of unsupported acreage,so before I order/add the extnesion,I may hit a couple of salvage yards for score 1-2 more rails to insert/add to my factory rack for added support. Should be simple to add on (mash the release on 1 side,slide it in),and shouldn’t cost an arm,leg,or even a hand or foot,and would dramitically improve the support underneath the new rack for heavier items (such as a 30″-32″ tall spare tire down the road when I go bigger).

Other than those items,I found a couple stickers I liked,a smaller “US Army” sticker than the one I have stuck to the left rear of my hatch glass (it’s much larger than I expected when I had ordered it,as is the “Pro 2nd Ammendment” sticker on the opposite side,so the new one will replace the too-big-to-my-eye one on there,plus it adds the word Veteran to it,LOL) ,and a “Life Is Good” “Happy Camper” sticker (also smaller,almost exactly the same size as the new US Army one) to replace the pro-2nd one on there now. They also had a “Life Is Good” Jeep pic I couldn’t resist,though I dunno where I’d stick it,LOL :P Pics…

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71F8UrsJx9L._UL1500_

You can tell I’m bored by now…right? I mean,I’m posting up pics of stickers that I bought for a couple of bucks,hahahaha! :P

I’m not sure if I’ll order more parts,or build a drawer/compartment setup (that can double as a place to sleep inside the back of the Jeep with the rear seat folded) for the “next go round”,I suppose it will depend on weather (or vacancy in Dad’s junk shed…er…garage) and how much I have to spend at the time that spontanious combustion of currency in pocket happens,but I’ve been looking at rock rails,swing-out rear spare tire carriers,etc,as well as some lighting for up top and a better battery (I’ve used and been well pleased with Optima’s Yellow Top in the past,a truly deep cycle battery with lots of juice,but also lots of price),cut and mold in some hood vents (to aid in cooling) and some more paint work (Poison Spyder Inc inspired hood paint),a set of 5 aftermarket wheels (black steel “wagon wheels” in 15″ x 8″ or 10″ wide,in anticipation of bigger tires to come),or a set of factory wheels in particular I like if found in a bone-yard for the right prive (also 15″x8″,but with deeper/wider offset)…it’s hard to tell what mood will strike. One thing’s for certain,I do have a specific look to finished (ha!) Jeep in my head,something like this….

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…(pic of a Facebook friend’s Jeep-a few years older than mine-borrowed with permission),with the addition of bumpers,winch and rock rails (she does trail her Jeep,but often when I trail mine,it’s alone with no other vehicles,so getting home unassisted is paramount to me,where-as this friend is a member of a Jeep club in her Virginia town and wheels with a group). That’s about as “big” as I want to go,because for one,I’m more interested in overlanding/exploring/expedition-type multi-day runs off road than crawling over the biggest rock or through the deepest mud,and for two,I intend for mine to be my daily driver and I don’t wish to diminish it’s current reasonable comfort on-road.

If I go the route of building something in the hatch,it will be inspired by something like these (not my pics,pulled from various places online without permission,unknown owners)…

jeep-img_0560 jeep-img_0561 jeep-img_0866 jeep-img_0867 jeep-img_0868

JeepRTT015 JeepRTT016 JeepRTT020

Well,that’s about all I can think of to unbore myself by typing about my Jeep plans/going’s on for now. I’ll try and get some pics from our state park trip (weather permitting…they’re calling for 60% chance of t-storms all day Saturday,and lately they’ve been pretty accurate),and a pic of the Origin 8 CX bike’s new look (from drop bars to “bull horns”) whenI pick it up as well.

 

 

 

*Both my old 1 1/4″ and current 2″ receiver hitches on the Jeep are Curt hitches,BTW. The Camry’s hitch is one of those eBay specials I paid $140 for,and is a completely useless hunk of Tiwaneese metal which no 1 1/4″ bar will slide into without being ground down about 1/8″ on the sides…it will be chucked by Spring in favor of another Curt hitch so’s I can,oh IDK,actually use my bike rack on the Camry,LOL :P

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Regularly Scheduled Maintenance,and Some (unrelated) Bad News

I wouldn’t exactly say “scheduled”,as much as I would “had been putting it off until the last possible minute” maintenance,LOL! Today (being payday/bill pay day) I picked up a pair of brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums (front/rear ;) ) for the Jeep,6 quarts of Castrol Syntek,K&N air and oil filters,and some other lesser fluids (windshield washer cleaner/etc) as well. I’ll go by Dad’s either one day before Saturday,or if not,then next week (thanks to people having been caught dumping their used oil in the crick,we’re no longer allowed to change oil here,sigh). I went ahead and sprung for the “Best” option in all brake components (you know how the auto parts store pulls the part up on the computer,and it lists varying parts as “Good”,”Better”,and “Best”? They’re $96 ceramic pads,FWIW),which will be a noticable upgrade from the stock “worn well too far past the line” parts I’m replacing,LOL :P (note,I also picked up the paint I’ll need to finally cut,mask and spray that Proline ’92 Cherokee body for the RC4WD Trail Stomper to match my real Jeep today as well :D )

As the Camry is also coming up on regularly scheduled maintenance (another 300 miles,+ or -),I also picked up some Syntek and K&N bits for it as well. Next month,I’ll probably put all new brakes on it as well (same parts and “Level” of bits as the Jeep gets). LOL,as the Wife works only 4.8 miles one way from home,I’ve actually been racking up mileage faster in the ole Jeep than she has in the Camry…which seems odd with my being the house Dad :P

This is kind-of maintenance related,I’m planning to redo th esecondary bathroom this month as well. Not so much a remodel (which insinuates new toilet,tub/shower,and sink/etc),as a well done repaint. As I’ll be removing thos etrim strips and filling/smoothing their holes before-hand,it’s a bit more than a simple “mask and roll paint on” job,as I’ll “do it right”,removing the sink/cabinet/mirror and toilet to make for a more professional look.

As I’ve been spending my portion of the disposable income (as well as from where I’ve sold things on CL/eBay) on bike camping gear and RC stuff here lately,I think for the remainder of the year,for the most part,I’ll be putting a little scratch into the Jeep. Aside from a few needs that it has* (though I’m honestly trying to avoid buying the rear shocks it needs in hopes of a 2.5″-3″ lift come Spring,which will most likely require longer shocks ;) ),the next round of cash I plan to spend on it are to (finally) replace the front speakers with matching Kicker components like the rear has (after several months with them installed/in-use,I’m well satisfied with them),and I may even buy a roof rack and Hi-Lift jack (maybe with 2-4 fog/off-road lights up there) for it too,as for one I really dig the safari look of those,and two,I’ll actually use it when Jeep camping/trailing (from the used canoe I wish I would buy,LOL,to jerry cans of gas/water,camping gear/etc),we’ll see when the time (money) comes available.

Now the bad news mentioned…one of our much loved “fur-kids”,Moonlight (Austrian shepard,born on the rear deck of the burned house in 2010) has developed cataracts in both eyes,more-so in her right than left. Doing some research,I find there’s a “very expensive surgical procedure” (which has all of the risks inherent to all surgeries,including that the cataract may come back soon after),and a few trusted “herbal remedies” that have shown good results. The most common causes of this (especially at her young age) is eye trauma (which she hasn’t had that we know of),hereditary (very possible,her grandpa-dog,Spot had cataract in one eye that we had sceduled surgery to correct when he disappeared in 2009),or diabetes (possible,but we’re not expecting this to be the case). Tomorrow,I’m going in-person to a trusted Veteranarian to schedule her an apt for a full exam to find out the prognosis,and what would be her best treatment option. We truly love her as a pack-member,family,and I’m heart broken for her,as well as worried as if it were the Boy or the Girl (if it’s not obvious…I’m keeping my mind occupied with Jeep/hobby stuff ;) ). I’ll update on this as I know anything. The herbal remedies aren’t inexpensive,but budgetable,if she requires surgery (we’ll prayerfully make any decisions,after having all info and Vet opinions to weigh),we’ll most likely take a title loan (ugh….been there,don’t ever do that,folks) or a small personal loan to finance it (assuming the vet doesn’t have instalment plans for such). Thoughts,good vibes (to my non-Christian faith holder friends :)  ) and prayer much appreicated :)

Ok,as I don’t slep on the nights before paydays**,LOL,I’m going on zero hours sleep,I’ma go take myself a good old fashioned nap :)

 

 

 

*The A/C doesn’t work (the compressor does,so it needs freon,which means it has a system leak somewhere),but as Fall is here,I’ll most likely wait on that. Before the first sub-freezing temps get here,I’ll need replace the thermostat (which I modded but popping the center out to help it flow freer,thus run cooler) and fix that small water leak,I’m thinking about a transmission fluid flush (not that it needs it,I changed all fluids shortly after buying,including…) and service (better than I had already) both differencials as well.

**The Wife,bless her loving heart,said “why don’t you just turn the computer off so you’ll stop logging into the online bank account every 20 minutes and you can sleep?”,to which I said “it wouldn’t do any good,Love,I’d only keep you awake all night too” (see,it’s normally deposited in our account,whether her payday or my benefits as a disabled Veteran,around 0415-0500,and since the kids gots to be woke’d up at 0530,I simply don’t go to bed for that 30-75 minutes). She asked “what do you need then,to help you sleep and not worry about it…melitonin? Zzzz Quil/etc?”,to which I smiled slyly and said “a governent that I can trust to pay me when I’m owed,what I’m owed,and not have to worry that someone’s golf addiction will divert Veteran’s earned benefits to his addiction fulfilment”,haha! :P (it’s funny because I’m being serious ;) )

Posted in Cherokee, General Life Stuff, Jeep, Jeep Project, Stereo Systems, XJ | 4 Comments

Update on last post

Real quick-like: While I’m in favor of doing exactly what I’d said in the last post (and wasn’t 110% “all up in” going in debt for 23 years to begin with,but as the expression goes “if Mama ain’t happy,ain’t nobody happy!” ;) :P ),when we contacted the realitor to update him about interest in that land,he promptly replied back that he “potentially has other,better,less expensive options than Vanderbuilt” on a similar (if not the same) unit and the same piece of property,so we’ll be trying to meet/sit down with him over this long weekend and discuss options. My thoughts? I do so love that porperty (enough to want to go into debt to buy it),but wishing karma/whoever would simply make their minds up one way or the other so’s I can commit to an emotional response and go on about my business wither way,LOL :P

That is all (for now…),wishing you a wonderful weekend :)

Posted in General Life Stuff | 3 Comments