I did a little more fabrication on the rear bumper recently. The hi-lift jack needs a home, so here is what I came up with.
The old tires where getting a little dull, so after a bit of craigslist surfing I found a set of Goodyear MT/r tires mounted on stock wheels for a song. The tires have pretty good tread left and should be good to go for a while. Especially since I’m putting around 3,000 miles a year on this rig now.
Word History: In South Africa in the 1800s, a common way of talking about the length of an overland journey was not in miles but in treks—the original meaning of the word trek in English was “a day of traveling by ox cart, one stage in a journey by ox cart.” (Transport in the vast spaces of colonial South Africa was often by ox cart, as it was on the Great Plains of the United States during the 1800s, too.) Trek comes from Afrikaans, the language of South Africa that descends from the dialects spoken by the Dutch settlers in the region. The British took control of the Cape Colony of the Dutch in 1806, and eventually the descendants of the Dutch settlers, called the Boers, left the Cape Colony because of economic problems, conflict with the Xhosa, and discontent with British colonial authorities, who had forbidden the slave trade and postulated the equality of whites and nonwhites. From 1835 to 1843, more than 10,000 Boers, the Voortrekkers (“The Foretrekkers”), traveled north and northeast as part of the Groot Trek (“Great Trek”) and established independent Afrikaans-speaking states that were eventually incorporated into the British Empire and became part of the modern nation of South Africa. As British settlers arrived in the South African colonies in the 19th century and British influence in the region grew, many Afrikaans words entered the English of South Africa. Eventually, in the 1900s, trek began to be used in other varieties of English with the meaning “a journey or leg of a journey, especially when slow or difficult.”
I finally got around to swapping the original transmission out of the 4runner. While I was celebrating the odometer rolling over on 300,000 miles I realized that it was time to get this done.
What I did here was swap out the original G58 5 speed transmission and chain driven transfer case with a rebuilt W56 transmission and transfer case from a 1986 4runner. This is one of the stronger 4 cylinder combinations available from Toyota, which makes it a good swap. At the same time I also switched out the stock 2.28 low range gear set with a 4.7 gear set almost lowering my ratio by double. At the same time I also swapped in a twin stick shifter that allows for seperate operation of high and low range as well as two and four wheel drive. To top it off I finished off the swap with a new budbuilt crossmember and skid plate.
I’m looking forward to getting out for some wheeling soon to try it out. The little bit of testing I did was impressive. The low range gears are extremely helpful for getting over and throught tight spots.
As I’ve said before, I’m going through a bit of a change in life lately. Settling down a bit for sure, but also shifting focus as well. The days of the high milage road trip and adventures to other countries are on hold for a while, and I’m ok with that. For now I’ll be doing small day trips and over night jaunts for the most part. I’m trying to regain my desire to document all of that, but I’ve somewhat lost it. The pictures aren’t so inportant, the proof not as needed that I was there. I’m ok with that.
Lately I have been doing a ton of hiking. As the weather turns here I hope to get back into snow shoeing, which I used to do quite a bit of years ago. If I see some cool stuff, I’ll post it up.
It’s funny how I used to travel around and do cool things. Take pictures and soak up the world like a sponge. Now I don’t do so much. I must be getting old, because all I really do is work around the house, talk on ham radios and fix old cars. Nothing exciting about that, right?
I guess this blog has been transforming just like me, so I might as well keep on going. Hopefully I don’t fall asleep before I finish this post, because that’s what old guys do apparently. I asked my kids what they thought I did all day while they were at school, you know what they said? “You take naps!” “Like 10 naps!”
Boy, I guess I better figure out how to liven my life up a bit.
Anyways, I think I hear some other old dude calling CQ on the radio, so I better go before I get my nap in.
In an effort to keep this fairly light weight I decided to go the minimal steel route. I added gussets where I thought I needed them and it turned out very strong. I’ll pick up some studs and lug nuts tomorrow and take some pictures after I have the wheel mounted.
Next up is a mount for the Hi lift jack, a back up light, the license plate, and a couple gas cans. Stay tuned.