Three down, 21 (minimum) to go…

Yesterday’s misadventures have turned every trip to T&S’s place into a very uncertain expedition – uncertain when or whether I’m making it back home under Jeep power, that is.

I was almost to the top of the plateau this morning when there was a BANG!! and a terrible lurch and I thought, there goes the front axle. Turns out my gloriously strong wire-wrap job on the broken strut didn’t last…

Stupid rusty wire – I wrapped it several times but I guess it only had to break in one place, huh? Anyway I tied it back up with rope this time, probably should have just done that in the first place.

Got to the barn and pasture without difficulty…

T&S used to have two elderly horses they no longer rode – now they’re down to one, so feeding her is hardly a chore worth mentioning. Mostly just making sure nothing bad has happened to her water.

Then I drove toward their house and parked at the foot of the mesa.

Yesterday afternoon I went up their epic stairway and found it too epic for my liking, so this morning I thought I’d try the steep rocky driveway. Normally of course I’d just drive up it in the Jeep, easy peasy. But while I’m sure I could get up, I’m not confident the axle would survive going back down. Hence the parking and the big walk.

Having gone up both ways, I think I prefer the driveway for up but definitely want the stairs for going down. Steep slippery downslopes are where I always take the falls that bang me up, and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully heal from the one that got me two years ago. Can’t afford to get hurt right now. The stairs are steep and weird but safe enough if I take them seriously.

Speaking of taking things seriously, I took seriously the advice about leaving the Jeep’s hood open to reduce heat soak. Whether it worked or not, the engine did start right up when I got back down. Yesterday afternoon I left it running the whole time but that seemed kind of silly.

And speaking of taking silly precautions…

I absolutely need the Jeep or some other motor vehicle for the T&S trips, but only prefer it for chicken chores. Driving to Landlady’s involves a very steep grade that probably wouldn’t bother the axle but why risk it? I’ve been parking at Ian’s ridge and just walking from there to Landlady’s and back to the Lair. No way I want to risk taking the Jeep to the Lair, which means I’m hauling fuel up a steep ridge in 5-gal jugs. Think I’m going to start ferrying the fuel up in my 1-gal jug every trip, because those 5-gal jugs get heavy.

Somebody mentioned that a walking stick might help…

🙂 Yeah, I thought of that yesterday.

Fortunately my back is improving day by day. Today is noticeably better than yesterday, which was noticeably better than Tuesday when I blew it out. Still wearing the brace, of course.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Three down, 21 (minimum) to go…

  1. Mark Matis says:

    You might find a hand truck useful:

    Yeah, I know you ain’t got Orange or Blue handy, but that is what you should be looking for. Right capacity range, with inflatable tires that will work better in somewhat rough terrain.

  2. Paul Joat says:

    Good idea to avoid steep hills with the jeep in that condition, going down and braking when going down puts a lot of weight on the axle, and without that link arm you are taking a big risk of the others breaking and doing a lot more damage.

  3. terrapod says:


    Those brackets must fail quite regularly, there are a number of vendors selling new ones in pairs 🙂

    Grind off the old remnants from the axle, line it up, clamp and weld on a new one.

  4. Joel says:

    Wow, Terrapod, that really does look like the broken part! It never would have occurred to me to look that up on Amazon. I’m ordering one right now in hope it can be here by the next care package drop. Might actually save me money compared to what the local shop would gouge me to fab one up.

  5. Joel says:

    Couldn’t hurt.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Do you have a preference? They’re priced within a couple of bucks of each other, so cost ain’t no issue. Of course, they’re not the real Jeep Service Manuals provided by the factory, but both have reasonably good reputations. Were you in dealer service back in the day? Or local shop? If local, did your shop have either brand? If so, I’ll get you that one since they should still be similarly organized.

  7. Joel says:

    Of the two I’ve always preferred the Haynes manual.

  8. Mark Matis says:

    Ordered. Check your e-mail for the order info. I’ll forward the tracking when I get it, which might not be until next week.

    And like the lady used to say:

    It doesn’t say “Haynes” until I say it says “Haynes”!!!”

  9. terrapod says:

    Well crap, just noticed that Amazon says out of stock. The e-bay one is in stock.

    Do some more digging before ordering any and compare the pictures to the good one on the other side of the axle.. You may want to order 2 as if one grenaded the other may be nearly in same condition.

  10. Joel says:

    If they’re out of stock, Amazon’s ordering bot doesn’t know about it. I just checked, and mine is due for delivery next week.

  11. Jim Price says:

    As someone who has been a mechanic and used a lot of repair manuals, my first choice is always the factory manual. For aftermarket manuals I would never choose a Haynes. Always either a Chilton or Motors manual.

  12. mbumgua says:

    My experience with Haynes has been that when it gets to a complicated repair they say something like “take vehicle to expert for this repair”!!

  13. Paul Joat says:

    Part of the reason those brackets are available is for people modifying jeeps, swapping in axles form other vehicles with different mounting methods. I have seen the link arms broken, yours is the first I’ve seen with the bracket broken, but that control arm looks like it might be an after market part so maybe it’s stronger and the weak link moved to the axle bracket.

To the stake with the heretic!