Back in Southeast

It is nice to be back in southeast Alaska, BUT it’s COLD! I managed to get a little too used to the nice weather back home and all that great time sitting along side the Yuba River has got me spoiled. 50 degrees and rainy. That’s the weather here. Well, at least it’s pretty.

On a good note, the whales and the bears are here too. At least I will have some company.

Ball Joint spacers

Spacers bring the front end up to level with the rear Old Man Emu Coil springs
Spacers bring the front end up to level with the rear Old Man Emu Coil springs

Installation of the ball joint spacers from 4crawler.com went well. I did have to grind the lip off the inside edge of the upper control arm to get it in, but this is standard practice. Every install that I’ve read on these has had to do the same. I took advice from Roger at 4crawler and took off just enough to make it clear and no more. One thing that I did a little differently than I had seen before was that I removed the sway bar from the lower control arms, swung it up out of the way, then installed a bottle jack between the upper and lower control arms to spread them apart, making it easy to slip the spacers in.

The hardest part was figuring out the alignment, since everything changes with the spacers. My advice to everyone reading this is to take lots of pictures and make small adjustments to make sure you are doing the right thing. Also, take note that the top of the tire moves in at the top by adjusting the rear bolt out and the forward bolt in.

This article on Yotatech is very good, but don’t forget to look at Roger’s page as well.


The truck is sitting level now with the balljoint spacers.
The truck is sitting level now with the balljoint spacers.


Assembled and back in business
Assembled and back in business


Balljoint spacer installed
Balljoint spacer installed


Balljoint spacer installed
Balljoint spacer installed


The balljoint spacer installed, looking down from the top.
The balljoint spacer installed, looking down from the top.


Pacific Mountain Cruisers 17th Annual Swap Meet

I had the pleasure of attending the Pacific Mountain Cruisers 17th Annual Swap Meet just outside of Petaluma, CA today. The event was a fairly small, but comfortable gathering of Toyota enthusiasts. Lucky for me, I’m one of those.

During the day I saw between 30 and 40 different Land Cruisers, between 15 and 20 Trucks and 4runners and oddly enough, just one FJ Cruiser. These rigs were everything from completely restored FJ40’s to ExPo’d out 80’s and rock crawling 4runners. A good cross section, in my opinion.

The two big names at the even were Yodaman and Marlin Crawler and both of them did a great job of supporting the cause.

The list of parts for sale at the various folks “booths” varied from small parts for the classic FJ40, to 4runner transmissions all the way up to half stripped and ready to restore FJ’s. There were also several rigs for sale, if one wanted a toy without the work, this might be the way to go.

The even was a great way to spend the day, hopefully next year I can make the trip down again and put out some of the stuff I’ve collected over the years for sale. Maybe you could come to?

Take a look at the photo’s and captions for more info.

TLCA and Pacific Mountain Cruisers

Malakoff Diggins State Park

View of the diggins from the loop trail
View of the diggins from the loop trail
Emily and I took a walk around the Malakoff Diggins Loop Trail today, it was a great experience. I have been to the diggins many times before, but never have I had a chance to see it from the inside. This isn’t a real hard trail, but it’s a good work out on a hot day. I’m not really sure how long the trail is, but I would guess that it’s around a three mile hike, or so.

View of the trail from inside the diggins
View of the trail from inside the diggins
For those of you who don’t know about the park, it’s located about 25 miles north of Nevada City, CA on mostly dirt roads. The drive out is on North Bloomfield road, which is paved to the Yuba River, then dirt up to the park, and it’s clearly marked along the way. The added bonus is that after hiking in the park you can stop back by at Edward’s Crossing for a swim! Head on out and take a look at some cool old mining equipment, support the state parks too!

Lassen Applegate trail

This write up of the Lassen-Applegate Trail makes me want to make a trip.

From the above website:

Seeking a safer and more direct wagon route to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Jesse Applegate and Levi Scott led an exploring party in 1846 to the California Trail on the Humboldt River near what was later to be known as Lassen Meadows (which is at the north end of present day Rye Patch Reservoir). From there they guided a wagon train across the Black Rock Desert, through High Rock Canyon, to Goose Lake, and then westward to Oregon and its Willamette Valley. This wagon trail became known as the Applegate Trail or South Road to Oregon. During the Gold Rush years, the Applegate Trail was used also to reach mining towns in northern California by way of the Lassen Trail, Nobles Trail, and Yreka Trail. For more information on the opening and development of the Applegate Trail, see Trails West’s A Guide To The Applegate Trail From Lassen Meadows To Goose Lake and A Guide To The Applegate Trail From Goose Lake To Southern Oregon. Enjoy your photo tour of this historic emigrant trail.

Sounds interesting, right?