The better 3/4's and I hatched a plan to escape the city and see parts unknown recently. This last weekend we road tripped it up to the dark skies of Great Basin National Park. This also marked the first time the Whale was used as intended (long distance off-road base camp conveyance) and I was fairly nervous. Taking a 25-year-old anything 500 plus miles across the desert with no assistance and little cell coverage was asking a lot. Especially with all the work we've had to do with it over the last year. I was mostly confident but keenly aware that if anything went wrong, we were likely on the hook for fixing it ourselves.
Well, the engine rebuilds done and boy does it sound and drive better. So far the only outliers of the experience are a broken mirror and the AC is broken (great for early summer in Vegas). Working with the shop on those as they were not broken when it was dropped off.
The Cruiser is off to the shop for an engine rebuild.The 4.5L has run like a tractor since I got it (plus some really good valve and piston rattle) and the only way I could keep oil in it was to run 20W-40. Despite this and my ham-fisted wrenching, nothing seemed to affect it or it's reliability. However, we are wanting to go farther out into the wilds so i'm going to fix what ain't broken and have the engine torn down and rebuilt for piece of mine.
Ah fall in the desert. Great temps and clear dark skies. A quick getaway from the city to see some real stars and have no one around for miles.
Only marred by a flat tire on the way home... Looks like the 8-year-old mismatched random tires arn't going to work... oh well an excuse for nicer rubber. Pro-tip, always make sure your used car has a lugnut wrench when inventoring before leaving.
Replaced the original (210,000 mile shocks) with some KYB's as an interim until I decide on a suspension route. Required sawzall and lots of wincing and hoping I didn't cut anything else.... I failed at that, so I'm ordering a new solenoid... sigh.
12+ hours for tear down and rebuild of the leaking front knuckle (that's right, just 1) thanks to some innovative previous solutions to a leaking hub. I don't think its recommended to use bathroom sealant in place of gaskets, but it's all better now and nothing my new 20lb shorty sledge couldn't overcome.
Sounds & drives so much better with no high pitched whines from the front end.