Saturday, September 27, 2014

I went from San Berdoo to Kalamazoo, just to get away from you

This year I discovered traveling, and that's been a bad thing for Grace. She gets neglected far too often now. Perhaps the following will explain why my updates lately have been so few and far between.

Pear Lake, Seqoia NP
Pear Lake,Seqoia NP
Monkey Temple, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Balian Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Somwhere in Bali, Indonesia
Dirt Bike Tour, near Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Tokyo, sometime around midnight
San Bernadino National Forest

So that's what I've been doing while not working on Grace. Leave your hate mail in the comments section, thanks.

Obviously I haven't made all that much progress, and on top of that I've made another stupid mistake. You know what they say about measuring twice and cutting once? That only works if you measure correctly one of those two times. Turns out I didn't know what I was doing when I measured my driveshaft. Due to a little rust on the transmission yoke, I didn't insert the driveshaft completely so when I measured how much to remove, I was off by one inch. Let that be a lesson kids, don't be stupid like me.

Trans mount finished and installed
Shortened aluminum driveshaft
1.75" of trans yoke protruding from tailshaft housing
The yoke should generally protrude about .75-1" from the seal on the tailshaft housing at ride height. Turns out the yoke was on me (harhar) and I'd had the driveshaft shop cut my driveshaft too short. Not really knowing what else to do, I turned to the slightly delusional but quite helpful and competent TurboFord community. 

TurboFord is a forum I joined in the end of 2003 while plotting to turbo my Ranger. I was a senior in high school, and to me, was the only real reason for the internet to exist besides finding pictures of sweet mullets and ogling the new Mazda RX-8. To this day I still remember an article on a mullet website about a non-celebrity who drove a Chevy Celebrity. Well, I did a little interneting, and I found that article which I'll repost here. 
Although you wouldn't know it from the name of his car, Mark Hansenfuss of Pocatello, Idaho is a perfectly normal person. While not himself a celebrity, Mr. Hansenfuss drives a 1987, sky-blue Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport. An individual well-grounded in reality, the hard-working Sam's Club stockboy has never been one to let his car's fame and celebrity status go to his head. "A lot of people ask me if there's a lot of pressure, you know, driving a Chevy Celebrity. I mean it's not like it's a Dodge Diplomat. I mean, I'm driving a Celebrity here, I'm driving Jennifer Lopez, not Dick Cheney. But I don't let it get to me. I just try to keep my feet on the ground and remember the little people who made this possible." These "little people", to whom he refers, are in fact Hansenfuss's parents, who purchased the car for $1700 at a police auction. Hansenfuss is also renowned for giving his car treatment worthy of a true celebrity. "I change the oil every 3,000 miles. This baby has new shocks, a rebuilt carb, a CD player, a zebra-skin seat cover for the front bench seat, a performance muffler, split-fire sparkplugs, red windshield washer arms, a big "Chevy" sticker in the windshield, and I always use floral scented cat litter to catch the oil leak on my parent's driveway." Hansenfuss added that he has tentative plans to add a sticker to the back window depicting the popular cartoon character "Calvin" of "Calvin and Hobbes" urinating on a Ford logo. 
Although his is the sportier Eurosport model, with a stock maplight, power mirrors and foglights, Hansenfuss would clearly rather have any Celebrity, rather than no Celebrity. "When I was looking at cars, I looked at Plymouth Reliants and Hyundai Excels. Boooooring. It's like 'hey, I'm so Reliable and boring, buy me.' Or 'hey, look at me, I Excel in all my classes at school, I'm such a nerd'. No sir. Not for the Hansenfuss. It's Celebrity for me, or nothing." 
Mr. Hansenfuss has been a mullet-wearer for 14 years. 
I don't know who the original author was, but God bless him (or her). But once again, I digress. The guys at TurboFord were  kind enough to point me in the direction of a driveshaft spacer, to which I will herafter refer to as "the unstupider". The unstupider fits between the driveshaft and the pinion flange, essentially shortening the distance the driveshaft must span. This would have worked smashingly if only the Mustang and Explorer used the same pinion flange. They do not. So now I wait for a new unstupider which I hope will work. Keep those internet fingers crossed.

They built it right
The unstupider
The unstupider doesn't fit, thererfore I am still stupid

In other news, it seems I've purchased a Jeep. I've wanted an XJ for a couple years now and after shopping around I found a good deal on a 98 Cherokee with 172K on the clock. The only hitch is that it is in Utah, so my brother picked it up for me and a friend will drive it down to California for me in a few weeks. I need to fight the itch to modify this one so I can get Grace up and driving and sell the Subaru. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

No filter, just my phone and Utah's golden hour