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A May Day in the Hills (almost a mayday!)

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Just the two following updates tonight.  I’m gonna fix some food and relax tonight!

Today, May 15th, the Boise Foothills gods opened the gate at 8th South, which allows for four wheel drive vehicles to head up into the Boise Hills from 8th Street.

So, with the 82 degree weather, it seemed liked a perfect day to drive the mountain. Besides, my new tire carrier needed testing.

Taking off about 2pm, it took about a half hour from the base of 8th street to get near the summit, where a bypass road allows travel along the mountain ridge both east and west.  Along the way, at one point I heard the passenger front tire collide with portion of the fender that sticks out too far.  It make a very loud crunch and I saw the entire right side of the front clip lift a few inches.  Clearly a design flaw!  I got out to check out things out and my initial assessment was that nothing got damaged.

So, I hopped back into the jeep, drove upwards and, instead of reaching that bypass road,  I chose to take a mini 4×4 trail off to the side to checkout the vista that is right before the bypass.  That’s when things went a bit awry.

At this point, I got out and checked the fender more closely.  You can see in the pic that a crack has appeared across the fender … oops!  Moreover, there was some damage underneath the fender.  No worries though, I can repair it all; it just accelerates the need to fix the ‘header bumpout’ on both fenders.

So, after checking out the fenders, I snapped some pics, got back in the Jeep, and, to my amazement, had a problem getting it started.  The engine that was running perfect up to that point chose that moment to suffer some altitude sickness (it’s about 6000 ft there).   It just stopped starting and running normally.  And, without a clutch to feather, I had to rev the engine, drop it into reverse, and try to spin the jeep around so that I could point it down the tricky hill.

To make a long story short, I restarted the engine many times and feared the battery would die before I could get the engine working long enough to spin it around.  However, I did manage to get the jeep pointed downhill and, thankfully, did not kill the battery; but it was far too close.  So, I need to develop a strategy for managing the carb at those higher levels as there are many places at that altitude left to explore.

Here are some pics from where I stopped.  You can see how the trail disappears in back of it. I had to spin the jeep 180 degrees and get it pointed down the steep incline.

Here’s the crack …

Here’s a shot of the carrier with the jack tied on to the back.  I’ve got a solution for bolting the jack onto the carrier, but I’ll highlight that in an upcoming post.

Here’s me with some seriously ruffled hair enjoying the view.  I have yet to discover the jeep won’t start easily.

Here’s a panorama.


9 Comments on “A May Day in the Hills (almost a mayday!)

  1. Dan

    Did you at any time wish you had a manual tranny? I was tempted to go auto as well, but these types of things always haunt the back of my mind.

  2. deilers

    Well, that entire time I wished I had a manual tranny! I needed to be able to feather the clutch to keep the engine going and I couldn’t do that with the auto tranny. I’m just not as impressed with the auto tranny as I thought I’d be.

  3. Dan

    My grandfather always used the manual tranny as kind of a crutch. Since he knew he could always push or roll start it, he would let things go like the battery or starter. I can’t hardly remember a Jeep outing where we didn’t push it at least once. I know a “properly” maintained Jeep isn’t that way, but I’ve pushed it enough times to feel insecure without the option.

  4. deilers

    I compression started my first jeep in more places than i care to count. I once had to compression start it while in line to board a ferry in the San Juan Islands. Then, to get it off, the workers had to push it to start it again. That issue has always been one concern with choosing the automatic.

    The reason i chose the automatic was as an experiment (I’d never jeeped with an automatic). I’ve actually set up my single pedal system so that I can easily switch over to dual pedals if necessary. I was originally going to go with a SM420, but I never liked the way it shifted.

    Maybe a different tranny will be a winter project ….

  5. deilers

    Yep, that appears to have been the weak spot. However, I can’t fault the fender or extending it; it was my own dumb fault for not fixing the tire/fender problem sooner.

  6. Paul

    Oh no.

    Not another learning experience !

    Glad things worked out ok and you didn’t have to walk home.

  7. deilers

    Well, had there been a walk involved, it would have been quite the adventure!

    The good new is that I’ve got the fender mostly repaired, so I’ll have it back on the road soon!

  8. Pingback: Sunday’s run into the hills | eWillys

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