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AdventureTaco - turbodb's build and adventures

Discussion in '1st Gen. Builds (1995-2004)' started by turbodb, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Apr 9, 2019 at 10:02 PM
    #2061
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    AdventureTaco
    I only run the CB when I'm on a trip with other folks - otherwise (and yeah, those same folks will give me crap for this), all the antenna does is reduce my MPGs. I do always have the ham radio running though, since I've got APRS going.

    For the ABS water tank (my home-brew truck shower) - I removed that late last year as it turned out I wasn't really using it. The longer trips, where I'd want a shower, it turns out are late enough in the summer/fall that it never really got warm enough to use. And, while it was sort of nice having an extra 5gal of water...in the end, I never had trouble refilling my jerry can in town, so I took it off.
     
  2. Apr 9, 2019 at 10:13 PM
    #2062
    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    ALL OF THEM!...Then some more.
    need to come to my place of work. Can't see any sculpture really from another one. Save two and that was intention as they Mirror eachother...they are still 2 miles away though haha
     
    INBONESTRYKER and turbodb [OP] like this.
  3. Apr 9, 2019 at 11:06 PM
    #2063
    Dan H

    Dan H Wife thinks I'm having an affair with my Tacoma

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    ProComp Pro Runner shocks n struts Painted engine cover Fog anytime mod Cherrybomb muffler Bestop 3/16 tailgate plate and top cap Where do I begin with all the camo
    Here are a few I took a few days ago. I seen a Bandit but it was altered and not a good pic for this thread.20190406_132508.jpg 20190407_171639_HDR.jpg
     
  4. Apr 10, 2019 at 9:14 AM
    #2064
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    AdventureTaco
    Anza-Borrego Part 7 - So. Many. People.
    March 16, 2019.

    Hills of the Moon Wash turned out to be a great place to spend the night - the the air was calm, just a light breeze that kept us cool and comfortable through the night. The surrounding hills also afforded plenty of privacy, and afforded us a bit of relief from the bright moon, once it got below their ridge lines.

    Of course, the hills - and lack of any clouds in the sky - also meant that we weren't going to see the horizon at sunrise, instead settling for the orange glow that accompanies the waking of a new day.

    [​IMG]

    A few quick photos and I was back in bed - our agenda for the day a lighter one than the previous day, and hopefully one that would afford us a bit slower pace so we could really enjoy our last full day in the park.

    We did some reading and discussed our plans for the morning a bit before getting up for the second time, this time with a bit more light in the sky, the muddy badlands around us just starting to take on their colorful hue.

    [​IMG]

    Today would be the day that we'd once again try - and finally succeed - installing the stargazerless rain fly on our CVT @CascadiaTents Mt. Shasta, hopefully solving our problem of the rain fly never drying out because the plastic windows never absorb heat from the sun once and for all. I got going on that while @mrs.turbodb prepped breakfast - Cheerios and strawberries - for us to enjoy as we watched the sun rise into the sky.

    [​IMG]

    Breakfast done, our plan for the day was to head toward town and a refuel, and then to a few trails in the north of the park. Two of the trails, we'd previously planned - Lower Coyote Canyon and Sheep Canyon. These were trails that others before us had mentioned as "not to miss," so we wanted to make sure we could get out to see what they were all about. Turns out, we added Middle Willows Wash to this trail system as well - which we'll get to in a bit. We also decided that we'd add a couple new trails since we had time for it, and Rockhouse Canyon and Butler Canyon sounded pretty cool in Anza-Borrego Desert Region: Your Complete Guide to the State Park - a book we'd brought along for history and descriptions of the places we visited.

    So, a little later than usual, but still early enough that we were in no rush, we headed out of the badlands and back towards civilization.

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    To get there, we wanted to stay on dirt as much as possible - no point in futzing around on pavement when a reasonable dirt track could get you to the same place, so rather than track out the way we'd come in, we decided to head west on San Felipe Wash, skirting the south end of the badlands and providing us with yet another surreal, green, desert experience.

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    Along the way, we stumbled upon the San Gregorio monument - placed by the park, this plaque commemorated the Anza expeditions of 1774-1775. Their group, 240 people strong, with 800 head of livestock obtained water from wells they dug by hand in the sandy wash. Even today, this part of the valley contained more vegetation and was greener than it's surroundings - a testament to the water underground.

    [​IMG]

    Glad to have potted to monument and to have had the chance to take in a bit more history, we headed back to the truck, which we'd parked on the lawn that was strangely so pervasive on our trip to the desert.

    [​IMG]

    A quick look at our track told us that we didn't have long to go on San Felipe Wash before we'd hit a road that I'd been wondering about since I'd started looking at the route we were planning - Borrego Sink.

    This was a road that to me looked like it would be essentially a dry lake bed, with no real difficulties whatsoever. However, I'd found several resources that noted - but did not explain why - it as one of the hardest roads in the entire park! From the name, I wondered if there was perhaps some sort of hole or quicksand that in wet weather could make the road impassable - and I hoped that whatever the reason, that we'd have no issue running it.

    As we approached, it quickly became clear why this could be a difficult road. Sure enough, it was a dry lake bed, but it was a dry lake bed made of silt and salt. Any rain at all was likely to turn this into a muddy mess, impassable by nearly any vehicle.

    The last big rain had been only three days earlier. We drove in.

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    Cautiously at first, it soon became clear that while the ground was soft, it was going to support the truck as long as we didn't venture off the road, and so we continued on - happy that we didn't have to backtrack out, the shortest re-route being 25 miles or so behind us.

    Through Borrego Sink, Borrego Springs wasn't far away, and we used the opportunity to top off the fuel tank before heading out again - up Rockhouse and Butler Canyons - in search of lunch and possibly an elephant tree.

    The roads here were reasonably smooth, and once we got past the plethora of camping at the head of Rockhouse Road, we were happy to escape civilization once again - the super-bloom wildflowers and an eventually impassable rocky road, the perfect place to eat lunch.

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    To give us as much shade as possible, I'd oriented the truck perpendicular to the road and @mrs.turbodb made another delicious round of turkey, salami, cheese sandwiches, which we munched on while admiring the green-and-yellow desert hills around us. We hadn't found the single elephant tree mentioned in the 30-year old book, but that was fine as we headed back the way we'd come and towards a set of trails that I'd been looking forward to the entire trip - Lower Coyote Canyon and some of it's offshoots, especially Sheep Canyon.


    These were roads that - I'd heard from multiple sources - were "not to be missed," and so it was with great anticipation that we started out Coyote Canyon. Having seen many varieties of wildflowers throughout the desert over the last couple weeks, we got a good laugh out of the throngs of people immersing themselves in the "super-bloom" of dandelions in an un-planted field along the side of the paved road.

    [​IMG]

    Our amusement soon turned into a bit of apprehension however, as we continued out Coyote Canyon Road - there were tons of people out here and we were crawling along just above walking speed - minivans mixed with Jeeps, and even a Tesla or two trying to brave the road in order to take in the bloom. It was not our cup of tea, though we did stumble across an Expedition RV from our home state, which we thought was cool, if a little over-compensating.

    [​IMG]

    We continued on, hoping that as we got further from pavement the crowds would thin. They did of course, but not in any way that made you feel like you were alone. Dozens of camp spots along the road were already starting to fill up with CRVs, and though it was a beautiful drive, it was clear that this was likely not going to be a place where we would want to spend the night.

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    Still, we were keen to see what was at the end of Sheep Canyon, and so we pushed on. As it turns out, what's at the end of Sheep Canyon is a campground - and, at least on this day, a full one at that! Disappointed, we made our way through the small loop and noticed a white first gen Tacoma camped in the very last spot - as far from anyone else as possible. "Nice first gen," the owner said as we drove by. "Back at you." replied @mrs.turbodb as we started back down the way we'd come. It was 2:30pm and we were now unsure what we were going to do for our last night in Anza-Borrego. We stopped along the side of the road and started looking at our maps.

    [​IMG]

    As we did, I noticed a guy walking down the road towards us. Unsure why, I got out of the truck as he said hello, and then caught me completely off-guard, "I follow you on TacomaWorld," he said!

    No. Way.

    As it turns out, it was @Pyrifera and he'd been here for several days already, slowly moving further and further up the road as more and more people started filling up camp sites. Now he was as far away as he could get - hunkered down - waiting for the weekend rush to leave.

    We chatted for a while before taking our leave, and decided that we'd give the Middle Willows Road a try - hopefully finding something along it's route that we could call home for the evening.

    As seemed to be the situation through the entire desert with all the flowers, it was a nice drive - and clearly one with much less traffic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Alas, at the end of the road, there was already a Ford F150, it's owner enjoying an afternoon nap, and clearly setup to stay the night. But we'd seen a few spots along the road that looked appealing so we once again turned around and retraced our steps, remarking to each other how we'd been spoiled by the more remote areas of the park.

    It was near the Middle Willows fork that we found a nice little spot near an interesting rock outcropping and decided to call it a day.

    [​IMG]

    Still early, we decided against setting up the tent in case there was a bunch of traffic and dust, and instead setup our chairs in the shade to enjoy a bit of reading and relaxation.

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    Afternoon turned to early evening, and @mrs.turbodb wanted to go explore the area around camp - especially two blooming Agave plants - something we hadn't seen to this point on the trip.

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    In addition to the Agave, we also scampered around the rock outcropping, hoping to discover some pictographs or other cool treasures. We didn't, but we did get some nice views of the valley and had a great time so there were no complaints from us.

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    We headed back to camp as the sun started to drop in the sky, the mountains around us offering some shady relief from the beating of the sun. Having not seen much traffic over the course of the afternoon, we figured it was a good time to setup the tent and start making dinner - burgers with cheese and avocado, and chips. It was a tasty combination that we enjoyed in our chairs, looking out over the valley - the lights of camps and camp fires dotting the landscape.

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    Dinner wrapped up, we got back to enjoying our books and a bit of time with the binoculars and stars - the clear skies and warm temps making for a relaxing last evening in the desert. It wasn't perhaps as we'd anticipated - the sheer number of people catching us by surprise - but we couldn't complain all that much, either.

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    Eventually we headed to bed, with a plan to get up early the following morning - a long two-day drive ahead of us to get home.

    - - - - -​

    March 17, 2018.

    Getting up early turned out to be "getting up at the normal time," since it's always nice to catch sunrise - and we thoroughly enjoyed our last one as we ate breakfast and packed everything away for the trip home.

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    We were on the trail by 7:00am, making good time at this early hour - traffic non-existent, but all the camping spots along the sides of the road now full. We took the opportunity to stop at the Santa Catarina monument near Lower Willows - something we'd passed on the day before due to the parking lot full of vehicles, and with the sun at our backs, admired the view of the Palm Oasis that is Lower Willows.

    [​IMG]

    We didn't linger long before continuing back - we knew that the traffic would pick up early and we wanted to beat as much of it as possible. It didn't take long to reach what's known as "the third crossing" - essentially, a 2-4"-inch deep water crossing (really just a puddle) that keeps the throngs at bay from the remainder of the trail, when all of a sudden I noticed a familiar figure walking up the road towards us.

    No.

    Could it be?

    I mean, it clearly was...

    Yep, there was Pops, his birding scope over his shoulder, out enjoying the morning sun and looking for some life bird. Probably a flockus aroundus, or a shittin onourheadus. Whatever he was looking for, it was smiles all around as I asked him if he was out this way because he knew we'd be here (APRS) or if it was just a coincidence.

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    Turns out it was the latter - he had no idea we were out this way - which was simply amazing. There was literally about a 2 minute window in his walk where we could have run into each other in the middle of the desert, and we did! Cool how life works sometimes.

    We chatted for a few minutes and said some goodbyes, and he headed on up the wash towards Lower Willows as we headed out to the hoards of super-bloomers, stopping for a final photo next to the infamous Jeep-limo which we found a few hundred feet down the road; as expected, unable to make it through the third crossing. :rofl:

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    And then, we hit the highway. We had a long way to go - two full days of driving to get home. We'd stop for fuel and food - including perhaps my favorite food of all time at La Morenita in Turlock, CA - and spend the night halfway home.

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    The trip had been a huge success - double the exploration and double the fun for one round-trip drive. Definitely something I'm going to consider for future trips as well - the cost about the same, but the wear and tear on the truck - and on our bodies - so much less!

    Get out there an enjoy!


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Apr 10, 2019 at 10:21 AM
    #2065
    christyle

    christyle 107

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    I'm pretty sure we missed you by minutes, we camped pretty close to him. Is the spot were you ended up camping the right fork when you take the left to Sheep Canyon? I'm not sure if i'll be heading back any time soon, but if I do, I'd love to be away from the crowds, that night in camp was a nightmare of loud idiots. I've always felt iffy on where you could actually camp. We wanted a campfire too though, just doesnt feel like camping without it....haha

    IMG_5166.CR2.jpg
     
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  6. Apr 10, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #2066
    Borrego Taco

    Borrego Taco Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup:

    You hit most of the roads in the park.

    There is still plenty to see on foot.

    I would not have recommended Coyote Canyon for camping during flower season or holidays for the reasons you found.
     
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  7. Apr 11, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    #2067
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No, we were further up - I think the spot you're talking about is actually the overlook of Lower Willows. Personally, if you go again, I'd recommend looking for something further south, and not out Coyote Canyon at all. The south end of the park is much more remote, and there's tons of dispersed camping.

    Hindsight, ehh? :cheers: Definitely more to see there, I think - an on foot for sure! Curious if you've done Pinyon Mtn Road, and how doable The Squeeze is in a first gen.
     
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  8. Apr 11, 2019 at 9:12 AM
    #2068
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    As always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

    With it making its second appearance in the last few write-ups, what's with the Excel flag?
     
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  9. Apr 11, 2019 at 8:21 PM
    #2069
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man, glad you're enjoying.

    Excel's got a special place in my heart - I worked on it for 19 years, ultimately running the several-hundred person team as we figured out how to make the software that runs the world, even better. The flag is a present the team gave me, and I thought it'd be fun to feature it on a few trips :).
     
  10. Apr 12, 2019 at 4:59 AM
    #2070
    DetroitDarin

    DetroitDarin Member

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    When I read @turbodb 's trip reports, I read it in the voice of Mike Rowe and it seems perfect.
     
  11. Apr 13, 2019 at 6:51 AM
    #2071
    TenBeers

    TenBeers Well-Known Member

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    I read a tweet the other day that said, "All enterprise software competes with Excel." So true, made me LOL. It doesn't matter what enterprise software you use, it's useless if you can't export stuff to Excel. My software development career actually started by writing Lotus 123 macros (before Excel existed, and we were running DOS on Novell networks). I was working my way through college and switched from Accounting to Computer Science at that point. Glad I did, but wish it gave me the free time that you have! Someday . . .
     
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  12. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:07 AM
    #2072
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    How-to: Rebooting a Tacoma CV Axle
    March 21, 2019.

    If you own a Toyota Tacoma - and especially if you drive it off-road or with any kind of lift - you're likely to have a CV axle boot crack or split at some point, flinging grease everywhere and making a royal mess.

    I was lucky enough to have it happen on the first day of a two week trip to Anza-Borrego. Winning!

    [​IMG]

    Once this happens, you essentially have three options:
    1. Do nothing. This is the route a lot of people take, sometimes because they don't even notice the problem. For me of course, it wasn't an option.
    2. Buy an entirely new CV axle and replace the one with the torn boot. This can be a reasonable option if you're willing to install an aftermarket axle - they can be had with lifetime warranties from places like Napa. I wasn't though - I want to go OEM (43430-04020) with a part like this, and that meant a new axle would run me on the order of $400-$500. Ouch.
    3. Buy the parts to reboot your existing CV axle. At something around $50, this reboot kit is a more economical option - assuming you have the tools available to do the job.
    It's probably obvious from my descriptions that I decided to go with option 3. Having never rebooted a CV before, I figured this could be a good learning experience - and if worse came to worse, I could always fall back to another option in order to get the truck buttoned up for the next trip.

    The first step - as usual - was to assemble all the necessary parts and tools to do the job. I nearly succeeded at this, but as seems to be the case more often than not, there was one issue I'd run into as I progressed through the project.

    Parts
    The parts were simple - Toyota makes a reboot kit (04438-04021) for these CV axles, and that kit has nearly everything you need: an inner boot, and outer boot, several boot clamps, some new snap rings, and the appropriate grease.

    [​IMG]

    The one thing about this kit that I discovered is that the large inner boot clamp is different than the other three clamps included in the kit. It's the earless variety, which meant that it required a different tool, and was much harder to install then the other three clamps. Ultimately, I found it much easier - and more secure - to order a Moog 3401 CV Boot Crimp Clamp Kit, which installed in the same fashion as the others and allowed me to get the job completed simply and easily (and have plenty of clamps to spare for the future)!

    [​IMG]


    Tools
    Besides parts, there were a couple new tools I had to buy for this project. In all honesty, they are probably tools I should have had in my kit already, but this was a good excuse to add them:
    And then, there were tools that I already had around:
    • 35mm socket - for the axle nut.
    • Wire cutters - for cutting the old boots and clamps.
    • Impact wrench (or large breaker bar) - for the axle nut.
    • 14mm socket - to separate the lower ball joint (LBJ) from the spindle.
    • Torque wrench - to re-torque the LBJ bolts, as well as axle nut.
    • Some brake cleaner, to clean up the CV joints and prepare them for new grease.
    • A bunch of shop towels to mop up all the axle grease.
    Rebooting a Tacoma CV Axle
    Parts and tools acquired, it was time to get started. The process is reasonably straight forward once you've done it once - or maybe even before you've done it once, depending on your comfort level - I was planning to do both axles, and had allotted a day to do it, just in case anything went south.

    I got started - as one does - by removing the skid plate. I recommend admitting to yourself that it's heavy and using a floor jack for this. Just don't take a photo - then you can can tell everyone else you muscled it off with one hand while you loosened bolts with the other.

    [​IMG]

    Next, get the front of the truck up on jack stands and remove the wheel, followed by the axle nut cover. This is my least favorite part of the process - it's always harder to pry this cover off than I expect, and I always feel like I'm marring it up in the process. I've found that a narrow screwdriver and a traditional hammer (not a dead-blow or mallet) works best to pop it off.

    [​IMG]

    With access to the axle nut, remove the cotter pin and capture washer so that you can pull out your uuga-ugga wrench - I recommend a Milwaukee Fuel Mid-Torque Impact Wrench, but you could also use a long breaker bar - to zip of the nut and release the CV axle from the hub.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to get the hub assembly out of the way in order to pull the CV out of the front differential. There are several ways to do this, but I've found that the easiest by far is to unbolt the four, 14mm LBJ bolts from the spindle, and then swing the spindle and hub out of the way, exposing the CV axle and giving it a path to exit the vehicle.

    [​IMG]

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    To separate the CV from the front differential, use a pry bar between the mating surfaces and give it a little tap - the CV will pop right out, and you can snake it out past your front suspension. Then - as best you can - clean up some of that grease that was keeping your suspension from rusting - and get the axle to a surface that will be easy to clean all the grease off of, because things are about to get messy!

    [​IMG]

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    The first step in the reboot process is to remove the small snap-ring that indexes the axle into the front diff. New snap rings are included in the reboot kit, so I found that it easiest to just pry off the existing ring with a flat-head screwdriver.

    [​IMG]

    Next, it's time to cut off the inner CV boot - for me, the one that had failed. Before you do this however, it's important to mark - with a punch or sharpie or both - the cup and the axle. This is so that they can be reunited - like long lost lovers - in the same orientation during re-assembly.

    [​IMG]

    Then, start by cutting the large and small boot clamps with some cutters, before using those same cutters to slice the entire boot. This will allow you to remove the boot and cup, likely covering yourself in grease in the process.

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    For goodness sake, clean up a little bit at this point. Use a rag and clean off the roller head of the CV axle, so that the next steps aren't quite so messy. It doesn't need to be perfect - we'll get to that in the future - but anything you can do here to not have grease dripping everywhere will be beneficial.

    With some of the grease mopped up, the next step is to slide the snap ring that is below the roller head down the CV shaft a little way. This is important because it will allow you to slide the roller head down the CV shaft, exposing a second snap ring that captures it under normal operation.

    [​IMG]

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    Remove that snap ring - again, replacements are included in the reboot kit, so no need to be overly careful here - and then just like you marked the cup and axle, also mark the roller head orientation on the axle - I made a mark on it that aligned with the other two marks. Then, you can remove the roller heads and lower snap ring from the axle completely.

    [​IMG]

    Don't forget to key the roller head orientation on the axle!

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    Half of the axle now disassembled, there's really only a bit more to do before we start reassembly. The outer joint of the axle simply needs it's boot removed, since unlike the inner joint, it remains assembled through the process.

    Start by cutting the boot clamps. I'm sure that stronger folks could use some cutters here, but I resorted to my angle grinder - it made quick work of the clamps and made me smile in the process. Then, cut the boot and clean up as much grease as you can. Again.

    [​IMG]

    We're doing great! :thumbsup: Everything's now apart and it's time for a bit more clean-up and then reassembly. Start by cleaning the roller heads and CV cup well - a bit of brake cleaner can work wonders here - and lay out all the parts you'll need to rebuild your axle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rebuilding is essentially the reverse of the deconstruction process, so start by wraping some tape around the spines of the axle - protecting the rubber of the CV boots from getting chewed up as they are slid over.

    We'll start with the outer-most boot. Grab the boot that's made of harder rubber/plastic and the large, eared CV boot clamp (Note: it's got to get on now, or you won't be able to fit it over later - tape it up out of the way if it keeps falling down onto the boot), and slide them over the splines and onto the CV, making sure you've got the right orientation. Click the small end into place - there's a groove it will click into - but don't secure the small clamp quite yet.

    Then, flip the axle over so that you have access to the wide side of the boot, and fill it with all of the dark colored grease included in the kit. When you're done, it should be nearly full.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to secure the boot clamps. Using the boot clamp tool, secure the small clamp first by pinching the ear as tight as you can. Then, do the same with the larger clamp. Once you have, you can manually rotate the joint a bit in order to distribute the new, clean grease across all the surfaces.

    [​IMG]

    With the outside of the joint done, it's time to tackle the inside.

    Start by sliding on the small boot clamp (again, you won't be able to get it on later) and the "softer rubber" CV boot - small side toward the center of the axle.

    [​IMG]

    With the boot pushed as far down as you can (likely, the small end will "key in"), use the snap ring pliers to place the new snap ring low enough on the splines to allow the roller head to slide down the splines.

    [​IMG]

    Replace the roller head - remembering to align the marks you made earlier - and then install the smaller snap ring on the end of the splines. Once this is done, you can slide the roller heads up and over the smaller snap ring, and then use pliers to secure the lower snap ring into it's designated slot.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, you can ensure that the small end of the boot is seated in its groove and you can squeeze all of the light colored grease included in the kit into the boot and over the roller heads.

    Looks like caramel, mmmm. ::p:

    [​IMG]

    Then, reinstall the cup.

    [​IMG]

    The last step of the rebuild is to install the CV boot clamps on this end of the joint. The small clamp is easy - assuming you remembered to slide it onto the shaft, since it installs just like the clamps on the outer end of the axle.

    For the larger clamp, I recommend using these Moog clamps so that it too is installed with the same boot clamp tool.

    In fact, I wasn't actually able to get the supplied ear-less clamp installed - it was too tight, and was ruined by the cheap set of pliers I purchased at my local auto store. Of course, in a pinch, some really tight zip ties will work for a short time, until the Moog clamps can show up at your door.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, you've completed the rebuild of your CV. With the right tools, it's not all that hard - just messy. And now it's time to get it reinstalled in the truck.

    That's reasonably straight forward as well - just the reverse of removal - so I'll only highlight what I think are the key bits.

    First, when re-inserting the CV Axle into the front diff, it can be frustrating to get it fully inserted. I've found that orienting the snap ring so that the opening is on the bottom makes it easiest to push the splines into the diff.

    Second (and I suppose third), don't forget a bit of blue loctite on the LBJ bolts when you reinstall and torque them to 59 ft-lbs. This is critical on our trucks, given the less-than-ideal design of this part.

    Lastly, the axle nut needs to be torqued to 174 ft-lbs. That's a lot. You can do it single-handedly - if there's no one around to press on the brakes to keep the hub from spinning - by inserting a screw driver into one of the blades of the brake rotor, and against the caliper. Those two parts are plenty strong to keep the hub from rotating while you tighten up the axle nut.

    Oh, and of course - don't forget the axle nut lock washer and cotter pin, and your lug nuts should be torqued to 89 ft-lbs!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  13. Apr 15, 2019 at 7:55 AM
    #2073
    Squeaky Penguin

    Squeaky Penguin Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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    Lots of dust and custom dents, Check Build
    You could also buy a quality reman from a place like CVJ. Mine have been holding up well.

    I'd also recommend using a little anti-seize on the splines of the axle that go through the hub.

    Nice write up as always. :thumbsup:
     
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  14. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:06 AM
    #2074
    Canadian Joe

    Canadian Joe Well-Known Member

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    SCS rims 285's OME medium lift
    :rofl:That's Good
     
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  15. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:15 AM
    #2075
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    Haven't read the write-up yet, but definitely will. This might be on my upcoming to do list as I narrow down the list of parts that could possibly be making a clunk. However, I couldn't agree with you more about the anti-seize on the splines of the axle. Having replaced wheel bearing hub assemblies that were basically seized on....this will save you a LOT of headache.
     
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  16. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:08 AM
    #2076
    CowboyTaco

    CowboyTaco $20 is $20

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    Is the difference in torque really 100 ft-lbs difference between first and second gen? IIRC, the axle nut is torqued to 176 ft-lbs on the 2nd gen.
     
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  17. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:19 AM
    #2077
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    AdventureTaco
    Thanks. I've never had a problem getting my axles out of the hub, but this seems like a pretty good idea. Will do in the future. :cheers:

    Whoa, thanks. Typo, fixed. 174 ft-lbs on the first gen. :thumbsup:
     
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  18. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:24 PM
    #2078
    Borrego Taco

    Borrego Taco Well-Known Member

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    You can get a 1st gen through the squeeze. 2/3 rd gens fit, but are more likely to get damaged. Pinyon dropoff or Heart Attack Hill is after the squeeze and worse.
     
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  19. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:26 PM
    #2079
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Good to know about the squeeze. I thought it would be sketchier than Heart Attack Hill (which I thought was just steep/maybe mogully depending on current conditions) - interesting to hear that you're saying the opposite?
     
  20. Apr 16, 2019 at 8:30 AM
    #2080
    turbodb

    turbodb [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ruining Around Utah 1 - Stopped in our Tracks at The Needles
    Just before our two trips to Anza-Borrego, Monte @Blackdawg reached out to see if we were interested in a late-March trip to Canyonlands and some hiking of a few nearby slot canyons - perhaps even some that we'd attempted in our F.U.Rain trip last year.

    Not really realizing how close it was (5 days) to the completion of our trip, and definitely not realizing the work that would need to be done to the truck between trips, I responded in the only way I knew how.

    As it turned out, it was a mad dash between trips. I had CV axles to reboot, skid plates to re-weld, and of course I wanted to get the Anza-Borrego photos and trip report as "ready to go" as I could before taking off on another adventure. I think we can all agree that it really was the definition of a tough life. :rofl: Yes, I'm a lucky dude.

    At any rate, none of those are the real story for today - so let's get right to it. On March 22, I was ready to go by about 7:30pm - the truck repaired and provisioned "enough" that I was confident that it would survive a week long adventure, and me ready to hit the sack at 8:00pm - the same time as @mini.turbodb - so I could wake up at 3:00am the next morning to get going.

    [​IMG]

    Repaired "enough." Looks "legit." :wink:

    - - - - -​

    March 23, 2019.

    As somehow seems to happen, I awoke at 2:58am - two minutes before my alarm went off. Final preparations made - and more importantly my final shower taken - I was on the road south by 3:45am. I had a long drive ahead of me - my goal was to reach The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and the rest of the gang by the end of the day - a 21-hour drive. Crazy, according to ...everyone.

    And so, when I pulled into camp at 12:30am, it was with big smiles and a "you're crazy" that I was greeted by Monte - the only one of the rest of our crew that was still awake.

    We chatted and laughed for a few minutes, and then I was ready for bed - one of the best nights of sleep I think I've ever had in the tent.

    - - - - -​

    March 24, 2019.

    As I'd fallen asleep, I'd wondered to myself if there was any way I'd be up for sunrise. On the one hand, it's a time of day I love to see - the colors in the sky, the calm solitude of the morning as the earth wakes up; on the other, I wanted to sleep! And so, as it started to get light out, I have to admit feeling a bit of relief as I heard the light pitter-patter of rain drops on the tent.

    No one likes putting a tent away wet, but for me, it meant another two hours of blissful sleep.

    [​IMG]

    Still, by 7:30am, several of us were up and out of our tents. A round of introductions and how-do-you-dos were shared, and I got my first look at the surroundings - spectacular as ever in this part of the world. It was really too bad that I'd driven through all this in the dark the night before!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As the clouds cleared and things started to dry out a little, we got breakfasts made and camp put away - Monte having mentioned that he wanted to be at The Needles Visitor Center by 9:00am (opening) so we could get our permits and whatnot. We were right on time as we headed out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was when we got to the Visitor Center that we got our first several pieces of interesting news. When the Park Ranger heard where we were headed (Horse Canyon), I think his reaction was right along the lines of, "No you're not, that road is impassable quick sand." And then, to drive the point home he added, "It even says so on the web site."

    Well, OK, we decided - we can just cut that part out and head south after enjoying our time in Canyonlands. To which we got a stern, "You're definitely going to hit snow on that route. Take some photos and bring them back here so we have some on had for others."

    Hrmm - stopped in our tracks. This was going well already. :bananadead:

    In the end, we worked out a route that we were going to give our best shot, and got our permit dates all settled for the new route, and then set off into the park and towards our first trail - Elephant Hill. On the way, a quick stop at Wooden Shoe Arch, named for obvious reasons.

    [​IMG]

    Before long, we were at Elephant Hill. We all aired down, and then set off in two groups - having been warned several times that we had to do the initial climb and descent in groups no larger than three vehicles. This is because the road begins a steep climb immediately upon leaving the Elephant Hill parking area, and is clearly suitable for 4WD vehicles only. Almost immediately, a fun-but-intense-if-you're-not-ready-for-it stretch of hill-climb leads to a small turn-around pad some 150 feet above the parking area. This small, strategically placed flat area serves two vital purposes: it allows the vehicle to make a 180-degree turn before heading into the next switchback, and it provides an opportunity for anyone who might have second thoughts about continuing to turn around and make a hasty retreat back to 2WD land.

    [​IMG]

    At any rate, it was a good thing that we split into groups, because while Monte and Brent (@PcBuilder14) were on their way up, another ranger came over to check Brett, Heather (@BossFoss and @MrsFoss) and my permits and "meter" us up the trail.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Being the first group(s) of the day, and clearly more prepared than other groups they encountered, we were released relatively quickly and it wasn't long before we were all back together again near the top of the first hill. It'd been a fun climb and a great "intro" to dirt - nothing too difficult, but still with lots of ledges and bumps, exercising our rigs from the get-go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the views from the top - breathtaking. Having never been to The Needles District of Canyonlands before, it nearly caught me off guard. It was like being surrounded by the Doll House from The Maze - needles everywhere in the distance, and colorful canyons in the foreground as we started down the back-side of the first hill.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, it turns out that this back-side descent is a bit interesting. See, the switchbacks are so tight that you can't actually make the turns in the forward direction - so you take the first one forward, then back down the next one, and finally take the last one forward again. Talk about a blast! We all made it with no problem and carried on, enjoying the scenery as much as the trail itself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we continued on our way, the trail was a great mix of dirt, rock, and ledge - nothing too stressful given that we were all reasonably prepared, but still lots of fun. We each took it at our own pace, all of our trucks clearly up to the task. Even the 3rd gen (Brent's truck) that was mostly stock was doing a great job negotiating it's way over the landscape.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With the possible exception of Boulder Basin, this may have been my favorite trail to date - the sunny day adding to the enjoyment for all of us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We made frequent stops along the way, generally just after the more technical sections of trail so that we could all catch back up to each other. It was great to be in and out of the trucks, each time, Monte saying that we just had "one more" little rocky section ahead and then the trail flattened out.

    Luckily for us, that was far from the case.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Section after section, the trail just kept going. And giving. Giving fun, that is!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And as we got further into the park, the views kept getting better. We were quite literally driving into The Needles. Of course, looking back on it, this probably should have been obvious to me before even setting out, but I enjoyed it immensely.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And then, we reached the one spot in the trail that Monte hadn't been sure about when we'd set off. Rather, he had been sure that it would be no problem for the three of us with first gen Tacomas, but Brent's third gen was quite a bit wider - some 8" wider to be precise. "The Squeeze" as it's known, is a tight section of trail that threads it's way through granite walls on either side - in the end, just wide enough for Monte to guide Brent through, with his mirrors folded in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By now, we'd all been enjoying ourselves long enough that we were starting to realize that lunch would be a good idea. Not to worry, we weren't far from a great destination to enjoy our sandwiches at the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers - so after a quick chat on the plan, we got back in the trucks and made tracks the last few miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our bellies full - we'd smartly decided to eat before the short hike to the confluence - we made quick work of the half-mile trail to the overlook, where we got a view that was apparently "just OK," according to Monte and Devin, who mentioned that the delineation between the Green and Colorado rivers wasn't as pronounced as it had been on their last visit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still, I'd say it's a good day when you see two rivers join in the middle of one's meander!

    We hung out for a while just enjoying the view and savoring the moment. We said hello to a few hikers that passed, wondering how jealous they'd be when they stumbled upon our trucks just a little way up the trail - their hike having been a more strenuous 9-mile affair, on which they'd likely started out the day before.

    And, eventually, we decided it was time to get underway. We weren't in any big rush, but we also knew that between us and our planned camp just outside of the park was a good 12 miles of road that we'd want to enjoy - our pace slowed by the surroundings.

    [​IMG]

    Even as we made our way back up from the confluence, I found myself in and out of the truck on several occasions, to capture sections of trail we'd driven just an hour or two earlier - the Silver Steps for instance, especially nice in the opposite direction.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We continued on, again into The Needles. Again, Monte trying to remember the terrain from his previous trips, with varying levels of success. Again, none of us caring that when he said there was "just one more" rocky section, that two or three would crop up almost immediately.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, we got to S.O.B. Hill - what I'd venture was our most technical section of trail so far (though I suppose that one could argue that depending on their perspective of the initial up-and-down switchbacks). A sharp 90º turn that connects two adjacent rifts/valleys, this was the only section where any of us sustained damage on the trip - Brent's bed hanging just far enough back that his bumper dropped onto some rocks as he made his way around the sharp turn.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just a nice excuse for that aftermarket bumper if you ask me. :wink:

    The rest of us with first gens made it through just fine, our taller tires and better departure angle making our lives easier - and soon, we were on our way west again, now in the heart of the tall needles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As if our drive hadn't been beautiful enough all day, it now got really hard for me to not be out of the truck every few hundred feet. Monte would later say that he'd taken fewer photos that normal - something I laughed at, knowing that I'd been left in the back of the pack, able to stop whenever I pleased - no need to worry that I was holding anyone up.

    Does it get any more glorious?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, we'd made our way through the heart of The Needles - the views opening up once again in front of us. We were nearing the edge of the park - and our camp site - and still, it was hard not to stop and admire the enormity of the landscape around us. Egg-shaped boulders that had been split open as if to make a giant-sized breakfast; spires balanced on narrow bases, their pointed tops reaching towards the sky; walls of rock towering around us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And to do it in a place where the roads were fun and the crowds were limited - that was just the icing on the cake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the end - and despite our best efforts at slowing ourselves down - we made reasonably good time. That, combined with Daylight Savings Time, meant that we were in camp around 5:30pm with plenty of light to goof around and explore our surroundings - a nice change given our propensity (or at least perceived propensity) to end up at camp just as it's getting dark.

    The first order of business - naturally - was to get the tents deployed.

    [​IMG]

    Then, it was everyone for themselves. And that meant - among other things - it was time for a bit of bouldering.

    [​IMG]

    This being the first night we were all together, we also started a tradition - at least for this trip - that I really appreciated: dinner when we got to camp. On past trips, dinner often takes a back seat to relaxation - we all get setup around the camp fire, and before you know it, it's dark and cold and you have to go off and scrounge up dinner. I much preferred Heather's approach (and we all followed her lead) of getting dinner taken care of right away. Cooking, eating, and cleaning are all so much more enjoyable when it's light (and not freezing) out!

    Dinner's consumed, we were all now in relaxation mode - breaking up into various groups to chat about various things. Some enjoying the camp fire, others likely checking out and discussing various truck modifications.

    [​IMG]

    And then there was sunset. It had been a beautiful day - just enough clouds in the sky to make it interesting - and that meant a nice sunset to boot. First of course, the orange light filtering through the atmosphere onto the red rocks around us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And then, the light in the sky.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For me, it was a fitting end to what was a special day in Canyonlands - friends new and old, enjoying the outdoors and all it had to offer, thankful for what we'd experienced and looking forward to more.

    We gathered around the fire and chatted about our plans for the days to come - our plans a bit up-in-the-air given the earlier warnings from the Park Ranger, but all of us looking forward to whatever was in store. And, as we called it a night relatively early (another great tradition on this trip) we all knew that we were in for a treat the next day - assuming that is, we could actually complete the 12+ mile hike to Druid Arch.

    But now we're getting ahead of ourselves...
     

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