New Toy, Jeep not Toyota

So, I wasn’t looking for another Jeep.

After a strange set of communications, I finally got in touch with my neighbor at Tahoe. He had a Jeep he wanted to sell and was looking for help with pricing it and where to advertise it.

I tried to tell him it was worth more than he thought and to start high with a price. You can always negotiate down but not up. Before I had time to find him some local comps, he had put it up for sale on Craigslist. He started low.

When I finally got on the phone with him, I said if it’s still available on Friday, I’ll pay your asking price. This was Tuesday. It was priced WAY low and I had no reason to think it would still be available.

He started getting calls and email from all over. The first one was a scam from the east coast. They even sent a bad check for him to cash.

On Wednesday afternoon, he called me and told me all these stories. He said he didn’t want to bother with returning the calls and emails. If I still wanted the Jeep for his asking price, he would hold it for me. I had to say yes.

Okay, I needed a third, yes third, Jeep like I needed a hole in my head. I mean look at it. It’s a toy. It’s tiny. A sagging stock suspension and 28″ tires! I was embarrassed to drive it in public. The previous two Jeep are in the background. The trail TJ and the project CJ.

In comes Extreme Terrain. A 2.5″ Rough County lift kit. It’s only eight pieces, how hard can it be?

Like any other Jeep project, it fought back. I figured a 2.5″ lift wouldn’t need a spring compressor. I had a coil compressor if needed. Well, I needed it. But mine was an internal coil spring compressor. A quick trip to Harbor Freight and I had a spring compressor.

With the help of a good friend and fellow Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo, we got the lift kit installed.

I had a set of 33×10.5 BFG All Terrains on steel rims on hand so we drove around the block on those and called it good for now.

When I finally got around to installing the BFG Mud Terrain tires on the stock alloy rims, I noticed the lift kit had shifted the rear axle a little too much to the right. It happens with the lift and a stock track bar. No problem, I’ll find an adjustable track bar and throw it in.

Well, I lucked in to a deal on a Rough County adjustable track bar, but the install was not straight forward.

The first bolt I went for was holding the track bar in the bracket on the axle. It takes a Torx bit, but the socket I had it on was so long I could not get a wrench in it because the gas tank was in the way! Another example why every automotive designer should spend three years working as a mechanic before being allowed to design a car.

With a 10mm box end wrench around the Torx bit itself, and a rather long cheater, I got the bolt loose. Upon assembly, I put in a grade eight hex head bolt.

Without instructions, I had it in backwards the first time and upside down the second time. But I finally won.

The stock front bumper was replaced with an aftermarket one that came with the Jeep and matches the rear bumper. Both have a 2″ receiver built in.

The carpets were removed, tub cleaned, carpets vacuumed and reinstalled. New radio, seat covers and shifter boot. Then the cleaning of the exterior.

Everything looks great except for the hood. The previous owner had some kind of chemical spill on the hood and had to repaint it. He used not only a spray can but he chose FLAT black instead of gloss.

Although I will repaint the hood, someday, the flat black does reduce the glare you usually get off the gloss paint.

What’s your next project?

.

Rubicon Ronin


Tahoma Market & Deli

The Tahoma Market & Deli has posted a November re-opening date!

The market has undergone a huge remodel, inside and out. (Please note, this is a old photo.) This is a local market just south of the turn to the Rubicon Trail on Highway 89. It’s a great place to stop and pick-up final supplies on your way to the trail.

In my opinion, they make the best sandwiches in the entire Lake Tahoe Basin. I hope they return with the same great sandwiches and service.

https://www.tahomamarketdeli.com/

The website is a little basic right now but if you need a job, they’re hiring.


Another Rubicon Area Fire

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7254/

Fire resources are responding to the Point Incident north of Elliott Bridge. Initially reported at 6:30 AM the fire is estimated to be at 20 acres, the response includes 7 engines, 3 water tenders, 3 hand crews, overhead resources and additional aircraft on order. For more Point fire information call 530-303-2455. From Inciweb

The Point Fire is on 20 acres but there are winds in the area.

Link below to Bald Mountain camera.

http://www.alertwildfire.org/tahoe/?camera=Axis-BaldCA

The Bunker Hill camera is sometimes pointed in the right direction.


Tahoe Side Paved

Not surprisingly, the Forest Service went too far. I fully understand the hardening of the trail. Erosion could cause the loss of the trail. Sedimentation running off in to the water ways will get our trails closed. But there is no reason to pave the trail.

Last week, the Tahoe National Forest, under the direction of Joe Chavez, paved sections of the Rubicon Trail, specifically along Cadillac Hill.

This project was sold to the Rubicon Partners and users as a hardening project. They were to harden the bypass (that I don’t personally agree with), they were going to harden and stabilize parts of Cadillac Hill that were slowly eroding away and they were going to move and place select boulders from out of the area to spots along Cadillac to act as key anchors for drainages and hardening efforts.

My thanks to Scot of the Hi-Lo’s for providing the pictures!

Hardening the bypass around the fixable Mud Hole

Hardening below the Notch

Hardening below V-rock

Hardening below the Driveway (but it will get kicked out)

I get hardening. It needs to happen. It needs to happen more. What I don’t get is clearing the trail of boulders. If I wanted that, I’d take Highway 50.

I don’t know if those key boulders were brought in from above Cadillac to to be key anchors but large boulders were removed from the Rubicon Trail.

Below Morris, also some hardening took place

Further below Morris

Bottom of Cadillac

There’s not much that can be done right now. Winter will change the trail. Joe can always hire the Spider Excavator to go back out and replace the boulders on to the trail, but he won’t.

Moving forward, I think the users should attach a watch dog to the side of Joe Chavez. Someone should go everywhere Joe goes to make sure he doesn’t do something like this again.

If you remember, Joe’s first day on the trail he wanted to close the bypasses going up Cadillac. He only wanted a single trail all the way up. If I wasn’t there to talk him out of it we would have lost trail.

We didn’t lose trail this time, it was just paved, but who knows what he’ll want to do next time.

.

Rubicon Ronin


Tahoma Kiosk Installed

Today I drove up to the staging area just to see the progress on the new kiosk. And it’s almost done!

It is not what I expected but it’s a HUGE improvement over the old kiosk.

The asphalt coming next summer will run right up to the concrete base.

The new kiosk is much bigger than the old one, which I’m trying to move to the Middle Fork trailhead in Blackwood Canyon. Not only does it have twice the space for posting information, it has the same amount of space on the backside…

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has also developed a new map which will be posted 4’x8′. No need to get out the glasses to figure out where you’d like to go.

.

Rubicon Ronin