Went up to the mesa and did my morning chores. There are two ways to get there: The long and easy way and the short, steep rocky way. I took the long way up but the short way down. I’m always concerned about the Bumpy Road (its actual name) because the Jeep isn’t young anymore and bits keep falling off. But I still had to do chicken chores at Landlady’s and check in on S&L’s place, and the Bumpy Road takes me right there.
About halfway down the Bumpy Road the Jeep started dragging something. I found a relatively rock-free if not at all level place to get out and have a look…
Aw, crap. I’m pretty sure the front axle needs that strut, but it was just going to have to be all right. I rummaged around in the rear, already kicking myself ’cause I’d never packed a roll of wire. I did have plenty of rope in the Jeep kit but it was quicker (and I wouldn’t have to cut off a good piece of rope) if I just to grabbed one of the lengths that tie the shovel down…
The strut was shoved as far to the rear as it would go so I backed the Jeep till it faced front again, then tied it to the shock mount. The Jeep would either make it down the mountain without torquing the front axle or it wouldn’t.
Turns out it did, so I went ahead and paid my visit to S&L’s birds and plants and then drove to Landlady’s. Tended the chickens, and that’s when the Jeep decided it didn’t want to start. At all.
It’s been doing this for a couple of months now, not wanting to start hot. I chalked it up to vapor lock, and eventually I could always get it going. But not this morning. This morning it would not re-start. Back feels like it’s broken, front axle support is broken, and now there’s nothing to do but hike back home. At least a) the Jeep got me down the mountain, and b) it stopped raining.
I’ll go back around lunch to see if the engine starts after it cools down. If it won’t, I have a serious problem. That was the first of at least 24 trips that absolutely must be made across the plateau and up the mesa, no matter what. If the Jeep is really out of the game, I’m not sure I have a working alternative though a couple of stopgaps come to mind. I’ll worry about calling for help if the Jeep doesn’t start this afternoon.