Friday, June 11, 2010

What a Day May Bring Forth (ie: blood sweat, and tears)

Verse of the Day:  Jude 4:15"For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

Memorial Day: A beautiful, sunny day, just perfect for being in the parade in Rochester, holding a Scripture banner for all those thousands of people to see. The rest of the family wanted to stay till late at the picnic at the pastor's house later, and I wanted to work on my Jeep windshield wiper problem, so I drove separately with Allen. I needed gas, but I thought I had enough to get to Henrietta, where it would be cheaper than by the highway here. Mistake 1. 

 One exit later, I felt that surging and loss of power. I have never run out of gas before, but I knew exactly what was happening! I had just passed under the bridge, so I quickly pulled over to the side and decided to back up the exit. Reverse being geared low like it is, I had the RPM's pretty high backing up there. The engine was still running, and I figured I could make it to the nearby gas station. As I slowed in preparation for a U-turn on Rt. 5&20, I pushed in the clutch. I wanted to go a little farther back, so I let it out again. Mistake 2.

There was a BANG, and I quickly coasted to the side of the road, just before the exit. Again, I immediately knew what had happened. I had pulled the rear U-joint out of the bearing u-clips. Thankfully, I could see both bearing caps on the road, so I went and picked them up. Dad came back with the van, and towed me to the nearest gas station, so I could fix it in a safer place. I filled up the tank, grabbed some toools, and with my coveralls on, dove under. I got everything back together and the clips pounded back into there proper shape, and carefully drove toward home, intending to do a replacement of the u-clips and bolts. However, I failed to notice another problem. Mistake 3.

  As I cautiously drove along, it all came apart again. This time it did a proper job. It sheared off the hardened steel bolts and lost both bearing caps. Then I saw what had happened the first time. It had cracked the rear housing of the transfer case. So I did what I should have done in the first place: I took the rear driveshaft out, put the Jeep in 4-wheel drive, and drove home front-wheel drive. After the hair-raising experience of backing  up a set of ramps in loose gravel by myself, I was ready to tack the job. Autozone was the only store open on Memorial Day, but thankfully they had the parts I needed, minus the transfer case part. The trouble was getting those broken-off-inside bolts out. One of them was loose, and came out after a few minutes. The other wasn't going to make my life that easy. It was too hard to drill with anything, too far in to get a hold of...

To make a long story short, by evening I had replaced the u-joint, the clips and bolts, and a rear brake line, and by Thursday evening I had redone both back drum rakes, fixed the parking brake adjuster, and replaced the transfer case part (ordered from the Chrysler dealer).
I ran into a bit of trouble trying to blead the brakes, until my brother started pumping the brake pedal instead of the clutch pedal! Then it went okay. I made an appointment and had it inspected on Saturday, and it passed! Thank God, it always works out - as long as we are willing to get a "work-out"!

I never did get the bolt out; I ended up welding the clip on on one side. :-P

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