How a flat tire turns into some major upgrades
I got laid off my job about a month ago, and it's been a whirl wind of van upgrades ever since. First was a couple new tires, since I ripped the side wall out of one on an off road excursion. (backing down a muddy off camber trail and sliding into a tree branch) That required pulling the rims and taking them in, but then I got a good look at the brakes. Might as well do a brake job. But the rotors are pretty rusted, so I guess it's time for a new set of drilled and slotted ones. Well, if I have to pull one differential apart anyway, I might as well install the new 410 gears and limited slip. Since the van's already apart, (can you see how this is going?) now must be the time to get that new Aluminess bumper and box on order from Ramsey.
Meanwhile, having been under the van a lot, the exhaust system finally got to me (it was really in need of some help, the back half fell off twice in Baja last year) So a quick trip to the muffler shop and what does the guy say as I pull it on to the rack? "You here to find that exhaust leak"? What exhaust leak, its just the muffler and pipe hangers... right? No such luck. He heard a leak at the manifold. I was aware of a couple of broken studs when I bought the van, but it never leaked until yesterday (at least I didn't hear it before) I spent about an hour soaking the nuts in Kroil and working my way towards the lower forward most manifold nut thinking I'll do the hardest ones first. When I finally worked out how to get a wrench on it, the nut turned surprisingly easily for a turn or so, but then I discovered I had sheared the stud with nothing more than light hand pressure. Time to re-evaluate that project. I now have an appointment on Fri to have them all done at a shop who says they do about 5 to 10 a month. My guess is they will do it a lot quicker than I could and my sanity will be saved this way. So, on to more fun projects. I then got a back up camera installed in the hopes it might save me from slipping off the trail again or running over someone. Next was the fancy antenna mounting bracket for my ham radio antenna, but it just didn't work the way I wanted, so I fabricated a new one, and then ran a primary 12v feed into the cabin for the ham radio and a new bank of 12v outlets and USB charging outlets. (to be mounted in the new wood console) This is to power the Ipad I use for navigation, and all the other misc stuff that seems to need plugging in all the time. Oh yea, the Ipad got a new Ram mount that the wife loves, no more holding by hand. It's been a busy month, and it's amazing how a simple flat tire turns into a lot bigger job, but I'm determined to get done and get on the road by Xmas, hopefully with no more flat tires.......
Agile Ride improvement package