Easy come, easy go…

Boy, I was feeling rich when I went to town yesterday. By the time I was done replacing the (nearly new) rear shocks and a coolant hose on the Jeep, not so much. But the rules of synchronicity have always been that I don’t always get what I want but what I need usually comes around if I keep my eyes open. In this case, a cash windfall arrived a few hours before I learned I needed to spend more money on the Jeep. So I’m not bitching. The busted shock is fixed (I’ll get to the other one probably tomorrow if the weather holds) and a leaking coolant hose is replaced.


Somebody asked for a photo of what happened, and the above pic should illustrate it clearly enough. The tops of both shocks have shifted over (that apparently being what the shop manager meant about there being a problem with the bushings) and the one on the left then got torqued and broke right in two allowing the top of the shock to become the bottom of the shock, dragging on the ground.

I bought the February shocks online, basically the cheapest thing available and that may be what led to my having to buy them twice. No doubt they’d have worked okay on pavement but the Jeep sees pavement once in every two or three years. The new new ones are more expensive and at least appear more robust.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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15 Responses to Easy come, easy go…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Joel, that was me asking for a picture.

    Now that I see it, nothing like bad engineering to cause problems – take a round pin and flatten it on two sides making for a stress point on either side They made a cheaper mount by using the flattened and notched pin at the top where most other off road capable trucks use a big honking bracket on the frame and a straight grade 8 bolt as pin (have worked with military trucks, ergo the honking parts).

    Glad it was a simple fix. Now don’t throw away the old shock, you can fabricate a new mount for it and re-use the rubber bushing which gives you a spare or two to keep on hand.

    Nothing like being frugal, eh?

  2. Speaking of people asking questions, I’ve tried looking through the blog but I’m missing it: if you don’t mind, how did you lose the leg? Before or after you started hermitting?

  3. Joel says:

    Long before. I t-boned a stopsign-running station wagon with my motorcycle in 1972. The handlebars crushed one leg and tore the other off at the knee. I collected various other injuries when what was left of me plowed into the ground a couple of dozen feet down the highway. Could have been worse: I flew over the hood instead of into the B-pillar, and I was young enough to be as close to immortal as most people get so I lived to see an emergency room.

  4. bmq215 says:

    Thanks for asking, Zero (and Joel, thanks for being willing to share). I’ll admit to having been curious myself but was never quite bold enough to ask. I’d worked out that it wasn’t war-related but thought it might have been an industrial accident of some sort. Your answer will likely work its way into my occasional musings about getting a bike of my own.

  5. Jim Price says:

    I’ve owned three motorcycles in my life, and been lucky enough to never crash one. But all three were fairly short-lived. I sold the second one because I decided I liked all my body parts arranged just the way they are. I managed to resist the urge for another one for 20 years before I broke down and bought the third. I rode is only occasionally and it finally sat in the garage for 9 years before I got rid of it, . . . for the same reason. It’s been nearly 50 years since I bought that first one and I still have to fight the temptation for another one. Unfortunately, I’m no longer young. But fortunately I AM a lot wiser.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    When you need parts and are not in a desperate hurry, these guys:
    https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/jeep,2001,wrangler
    tend to be the least expensive, and carry a LARGE variety of choices from “I’m gonna dump this piece of crap as soon as I can, so I don’t want to spend any more than I have to” up to “I’m gonna keep this forever and want it to work as well as possible for as long as I have it.

    You MAY be able to beat them on price at times, but they are a good starting point to at least find part numbers for items you need to replace, and a basic idea of what it will cost.

  7. terrapod says:

    I second Mark on Rockauto, I have been using them and 1-A auto for several years and they have provided good quality parts at reasonable prices.

  8. Mark Matis says:

    And by the way, the little red heart next to an item says that it is one of their most popular parts of that type for that vehicle, if you want to choose something that has a good chance of working properly. Of course, to the extent that your vehicle has been modified from stock configuration, the parts MAY not fit. But then you have the same issue at your local shop/dealer, unless they are fully aware of the mod history or happen to recognize the proper part.

  9. Hans Falkrin says:

    Sorry to hear about the shocks, just had to replace the shocks on both vehicles a forester and tacoma. We live in a medium size metro area on the east coast, both are serviced on a regular basis but apparently the city roads lack of maintenance is causing a rash of shock damage according to the local auto shop. Once again my sympathy with shocks. Keep up the good work!

  10. Andrew says:

    You are no pavement traveler, at least your Jeep isn’t. The farther off of flat, maintained roads, the more expensive parts will be.

    Next time you’re upside down under the Jeep, check out the engine mounts. Banging around in the bush and bumps will whack any rubber parts, bad. And replacements that can stand up to what you do to that poor vehicle will cost. Unfortunately. Unless you’ve got a good junk yard around of dead off-road jeeps somewhere you can pillage from.

    Off road ain’t cheap. One of the many things most pseudo-preppers forget in their post-apocalyptic plans.

    As to the leg, well, my wife saw the arsehole who ran over her coming like some evil entity. She had a choice of deep ditch full of metal scrap or gravel roadside. She chose gravel, but the jerk, who was slowing down while weaving side to side, suddenly straightened out and picked up speed. Cracked her engine block through her leg.

    She still has her leg, but, well, might have been better if they had lopped it off for all the trouble it has caused her since.

  11. Ah, thanks for the reply. My money was on Diabetes, motorcycle, and cancer, in that order.

  12. Joel says:

    Nope, I’ve never had diabetes or cancer. I have had a couple of crappy old motorcycles.

  13. Zelda says:

    I third Mark on RockAuto for dependable auto parts information. I also use Nordstrom’s Used Auto Parts and Car-Part.com. This year I’ve bought a lot of used parts for my very much older SUV and gotten top quality, clean as new at reasonable prices and reasonable shipping through both of them. Shipping waits are sometimes inconvenient but except for O’Reilly’s occasional new parts things have to be ordered and shipped no matter where I buy them.

  14. Zelda says:

    What Andrew said about motor mounts. Replaced mine a few years ago and was gobsmacked by how beat up they were and how little of the rubber was left, like flat little ribbons of rubber. Somehow I just never thought of motor mounts as a routine maintenance item, but for a lot of vehicles they are. And what a difference it makes to have new, heavy duty.

  15. Mark Matis says:

    For what it’s worth, polyurethane bushings make the ride slightly rougher, but last longer than rubber bushings. So if you do end up replacing the engine mounts or similar stuffies, they might be worthwhile. They cost more, but last significantly longer, and you don’t have to spend your time replacing them when they wear out. I realize time is cheaper than $$$ for a hermit in your situation, but your back might disagree.

To the stake with the heretic!