Friday, December 31, 2010

Jeep. It's Time For Something New

Given that 2010 was largely a bust as far as cycling goes, I didn't really keep up the blog habit. Hopefully 2011 will be better on the bike, in the meantime this is going to become a blog for my new toy.

A 1986 Jeep CJ7. It kind of surprised me at first when I realized I wanted one. I think it all started with my spending a month in Yellowstone. Outdoors is a great place to be. I tend to forget that when I spend a lot of time in SF. Yellowstone got me reading about Grizzlies, and there seems to be no better author on the subject than Doug Peacock. Reading Peacock led me into reading the Monkey Wrench Gang, and that's what planted the seed of wanting a Jeep. Continuing to read Ed Abbey only reinforced it.

The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws. - Abbey

So after some pondering and some researching, I found the one I wanted. It had been sitting for a long time, pretty much unused, so I knew it was going to need a bunch of work, but everything looked in good shape, so I brought it home.

That drive home was a pretty memorable one- maybe not as memorable as when I flew my airplane home, but still pretty good. I only had to drive maybe 40 miles, but with the Jeep needing a carb adjustment and hitting on 4-5 of the 6 cylinders, it took a while to get home. I stayed to the back roads, which meant residential areas, which meant stop signs, so the 40 mile drive took about 2 1/2 hours.

I had already made an appointment to take it into Golden Gate Jeep the next morning. The first thing the mechanic asks me is "You know you bought a project, right?" I chuckled and acknowledged that yes, I was prepared to spend some money on my newest machine. The next day we spent about 15 minutes going over the list of stuff that needed to be replaced. Carb, plugs, cap, rotors, T-stat, water pump, vacuum lines... on and on. All was expected so I was prepared for it. So we prioritized the list and he got started.

I was hoping to have it for Christmas, but that didn't happen. Too much work needed, not enough time. Then I was hoping to have it to drive to Vegas next week (actually this weekend), but I was advised against it until I spent a bit more money on it. Since one of the reasons behind getting the Jeep was to have it to drive the desert trails around Vegas, this was a bit of a bitter pill.

So yesterday I get the call that it's ready to go, I pick it up and am pleased with it's much improved condition. I brought it home and E was helpful in getting the neighbors to move their cars a bit so I could fit in "just for a couple of days".
This morning we were going to go for a drive, nope. No starting today. So we go get a new battery- again not a surprising discovery. I replace the battery and voila, nothing (ok, not "nothing", but nothing good). So I pull the starter, yep it's busted.

Now I'm waiting for a new starter to arrive, Hopefully when I come home next weekend I can bolt in the new starter and go for a drive. If nothing else, I need to be able to move it out of its current parking space, lest good will amongst neighbors be tested.

Maybe next time I'll post a picture...