I haven’t been out to R&W in a while, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been doing nothing. Since my post about Robert’s wizardry with metal, I’ve been busy flattening my credit card, to wit:
- Two coil springs for the front axle
- High steer arms for the front axle – these will raise the tie rod up higher and reduce the probability that it’ll get whacked by rocks
- Two heated, reclining, lumbar-support-enhanced seats
- Onboard air system with extra 2.5-gallon air tank
- Radiator and air-conditioning compressor
Amazingly enough, some of this stuff has actually shown up on my doorstep!
- I delivered the coil springs to Robert so he could finish the front suspension and maybe – just maybe – get the JeepMonster sitting on its own six tires, instead of relying on jackstands.
- The high steer arms arrived yesterday, but without the bolts needed to attach them to the axle. I emailed the company this morning and they said the bolts will be sent out via Priority Mail. *sigh*
- The seats will take 5 or 6 weeks to build and ship. When I learned this, I talked with a company rep (who actually called me on a different matter, also related to the seats) and asked him to please put a note on my order not to ship them until August 17. That way I don’t have to worry about the seats showing up here in Tucson while I’m off riding around the countryside on my Honda.
- The onboard air system arrived today via UPS. I haven’t yet opened it to check for completeness.
- The radiator and a/c compressor arrived at Hi Speed today and their rep called me. I went there and paid for them and brought them home. This afternoon I checked the radiator and found that its automatic-transmission-fluid cooler, which I plan to use to cool my power-steering fluid, is on the passenger side. I really don’t want to run PS hoses across the engine bay to use the cooler as is, so I emailed the rep and asked if I could return it for one with the cooler built into the driver side tank. Since I sent the email at 4:30 on a Friday, I neither expected nor got a reply – yet. 🙂
Something else that arrived recently is my Premier Power Welder. This is a handy system that runs off a super-powerful alternator (190 amps) to allow me to weld things while I’m out on the trail or wherever. As with my winches, I hope not to ever need to use it, but knowing I have it will make life a little more comforting. And, of course, I’ll be able to use it to help others, too. You never know when something serious, like an axle’s steering knuckle, might break. [True story: I was leading an easy trail run back when the CJ-5 was still running, and we were all on flat ground, just bouncing along a dirt two-track at about 10 mph, when BANG! and I had no steering. My right tire was pointing VERY right and my left tire was pointing VERY left. One of the guys in the group had some welding rods, so we hooked three batteries in series and used jumper cables to complete the circuit and weld the steering knuckle back together. The weld was a mess, and I had to replace that end of the axle when I got home, BUT I GOT HOME. So you never know what you might have to do to get yourself fixed.]
One of these days, soon, I’ll have to go visit R&W to deliver these parts. Robert needs the radiator so he can build the mount for it, the fan, and the a/c condenser; he needs the rear axle u-bolts I bought; and he needs the onboard air tanks so he can build the mounting tabs for them on the frame behind the third axle. He might even be ready for the CJ-6 tub, too, but I think I’ll ask him to hold off on bodywork until I get back from my trip. He already has two 8×10 sheets of steel from which he’ll make part of the tub. And I know he’d like to have me take the CJ-5 frame and axles off his hands so he can have his tires back for other projects – but I need to get the garage done, first, while I still have some space available to move stuff around in.
But that’s another story for another time.