I feel like I've had to keep saying that. I think where we last left off with the blog, I had crushed the radiator and had to be dragged off the mountain and towed home. I was internet famous.
There were then the struggles to pass emissions and most recently a charging control issue that I sincerely hope will be resolved this week when my Mean Green alternator arrives. I downloaded the photos from my phone over the past month or so. I'll just narrate the pictures. It has been a story of pain and some mild triumphs. I'm hoping it all comes together for us in the next few months and that the investments I've recently made have not been for naught.
|With the suspension buttoned up in the rear.|
This then forced the issue of what tire...and size... I should get to replace them. I could stay at 285, knowing that there might be a time where I'd wish I had the extra ground clearance afforded by (nominal) 35" tires. Did I truly want to go full gusto and regear both axles to 4.10 and the whole sh'bang given what I'd been through? Do I know what type of condition the engine is in? Does any of this make any sense anymore?
Well, I guess I at least satisfactorily answered those questions because I have pictures of new tires. I have been watching tire prices daily for months now. In many of my posts, either here or on the group page, I've discussed my desire to move into 3-ply sidewall tires to ready myself for an eventual trip to the Rubicon. It was my motivation to get the M205 front differential following the debacle in NH. If I really have any aspirations of running that trail, the time for half measures and what-ifs needed to pass. I was also afraid that the relative bargain I was seeing for the new BFG TA K02s might be shortlived. At $205/tire, it was probably the cheapest I could ever hope to obtain a 35" tire purchased new boasting such stellar characteristics. The one thing I was bummed to discover was that the recommended rim size for 315 width tires is an 8" rim. All of my hoarded wheels are 7". I was going to need to buy FIVE new rims with an 8" width. I was not pleased with this realization. But I did it. Because Rubicon.
The cheapest wheels I could find new on Discount Tire Direct were the Level 8 MK6 in bronze color. There was limited stock available. I ordered 4, thinking maybe I would find a cheap 5th castoff from somewhere locally. Although, as it turned out, DTD didn't have 4 in stock, they stepped up to the table and sourced them all and had them sent to my door promptly. But then they pulled the option for Bronze down off of their site after I purchased. In hindsight, I wished I had ordered 5. I got to thinking about the scenario where, whilst travelling cross country, if I truly needed a spare to get home, I didn't want to be reliant on some wheel/tire of questionable origin. So I bought a 5th tire and went to get a 5th of the bronze MK6. No issue on getting the tire (I was worried that the promotional price might expire by the end of February- it didn't). However, the next cheapest MK6 was a full $20 more expensive simply for a black wheel instead of a bronze one. That's what you get for trying to be cheap. You always pay more in the end.
|Supporting the offroad community|
In the midst of putting that all together, perhaps something went wrong. Or perhaps, it was just coincidence that I did the spark plug work and started having a new, pervasive set of trouble the same day. That evening when I buttoned everything up, the truck was legit running like brand new. It wasn't 'bad' before, but there was a new pep in her step as I accelerated. It felt great. And then on the way to HD, the battery and brake malfunction indicator lights simultaneously flickered on and off. I almost missed them the first time. Then they flickered on one more time and stayed illuminate for maybe two beats before going out. "Weird," I thought.
The next morning, they came on and stayed on as I was driving my son to my Mom's. I had researched potential causes the night before. Those signs usually point to alternator issues. I had just replaced my alternator (as this group knows) maybe 4 months back. It had literally been on one weekend of wheeling (the bad weekend) and had no signs of issues since. Well, I wasn't going to mess around. There was no snow in the forecast and I felt like I knew what needed to be done and could do the job on my own terms. I came back home, called out of work, phoned the old man, and started tearing down the truck to do the swap. I even managed to get the belt off without Dad's help. (I needed his help to get it back on though). Shaved a full hour off of my prior time too. And guess what. The light still came on. This was a Monday.
Over the course of the next week, I literally did everything I knew to do to troubleshoot potential failure points in the system. I had seemed to have a weak second battery in my setup. I bought a new one. No improvement. I looked for faulty connections or worn cables. Anything even looking slightly worn got replaced. Maybe my dual battery switches were faulty. Replaced both. No improvement. I was dropping serious coin basically re-buying my whole setup and nothing was improving.