So this post gets us back up to date.
|I no longer need you, Nissan Spring Hanger Assembly part|
So that was one item down. I still needed to restore 4WD functionality.
|People can be so inconsiderate|
When I had calmed down though, I realized I had no practical experience in painting a vehicle and was unsure of how well it would be maintained or how long it would last. In cooling off, I rationalized that I would maybe do a test project of a smaller scale first before committing to doing the whole truck. Before I got the cap, I figured I could at least do the hood which had suffered some rust staining from the bracket that was holding my hi lift. After I got the cap, I figured I could do the cap since it didn't match my truck anyway.
But then when I had beaten almost every part of the truck body in NH, "caution" finally gave way to "opportunity".
|Fans of this blog will recognize this grill|
"Alright, let's drop your diff and get it out there."
I was not expecting that at all. I became the Duke's helper as he guided me through dropping the skids, dropping the diff and ultimately getting the splines out of there. It ended up coming out in two layered pieces. Each time, he welded a scrap piece of metal to it, grabbed the scrap with vice grips, and yanked the spline shaft out. The internals appeared no worse for wear. He even tried to help me track down replacement seals while I was up there as he was willing to help me replace them there on the spot. What a dude this Duke is?!
The parts had to be ordered; no one had them in stock. I thanked him for his commitment of extra time to the cause of helping me get the truck back on the road. He also loaded me up with a cache of spares that he was no longer wanting to have kicking around the garage.
Lighting was poor in my garage during the night which forced me to just chance it out in the sun during the light of day once daybreak came. That, of course, exposed me to wind and lead to some more diffuse patterning and overspray at times.
All in all though, it has grown on me, flaws and all. I kind of like it.
|One of a few final 'BEFORE' pictures|
I had a work event Friday night for which I had to stop a bit early to get dressed for that. And (here's some foreshadowing), I ran into some trouble which extended me through most of the afternoon Saturday.
|Sex on a blanket|
I had a few struggles with the lower retaining bolt which connects the spindle to the lower control arm. A few other fasteners resisted me a bit as well. My main struggle which had me ready to phone a friend was the installation of the inner splines of the CV half shafts.I had a serious case of beginner's luck up in NH when I first succeeded in getting the passenger side to slide into place on only the third try. I did issue an SOS over facebook. The members of my club were compassionate and concerned. But they also largely told me to nut up and do it myself. Haha. I actually gave up for a while on the driver side and started tearing down and rebuilding the passenger side. Then the passenger side gave me a bit of trouble for maybe 3 minutes before plunking right into place. By then, I had regained my mojo and the driver side quickly followed suit.
When I got there, the techs were all like, WTF. One simply walked away after muttering, "Do an alignment...on THIS?!" he hadn't even seen any of the components up close. My truck was getting subjected to paint color prejudice. Another tech was up to the challenge. J and I walked around Sears and then played in a nearby field while it was getting worked on.
|Junior Titan Swap problems|
With the alignment done, I was looking for an opportunity to confirm that 4WD was in fact working and to test out the suspension travel under controlled conditions.
Another guy had posted in the group about going to GWNF. I was a bit hesitant. When Nick chimed in separately about really wanting to get out in his new Jeep, it encouraged me to reconsider...provided I could finish some trimming that appeared necessary following the alignment. I also wanted to try to get new bump stop positions figured out.
I had a failed attempt at getting a bump stop in place on the driver side. There was too much free play, and I feared it might shift into interference with the CV shaft. Ultimately, I cut it off and figured I just wouldn't wheel too hard. I hadn't seen my buddy, Nick in a while. I was anxious to see him and the new Jeep in action.