All posts by clay

I am currently employed as an engineer on the ship M/V National Geographic Sea Lion, which spends summers in South East Alaska and winters in Baja, Mexico. When not on the ship, I have 6 weeks off at a time, I am always on the move traveling mostly in the western US. I do hope to get off the North American continent soon, thanks to some travel incentives from work. I am a 33 year old male with two children, Mia and Eli, both of which I totally adore. I spend time with them as I can, and travel with them as much as possible. I'm currently living in Northern California, but that changes every year or so. I keep trying to move away, but it keeps sucking me back! At least it's beautiful there. I may be headed to Utah next.....but I'm not too sure about that.

Transmission and transfer case swap

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.

Life is still changing

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.

I’m getting old

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.

Trail Gear rear bumper tire carrier part 2

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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.

Trail Gear rear bumper tire carrier

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I started the project of making a spare tire carrier for the 4runner and was only able to get half way through before getting called back to work early. I did manage to get the 4x Innovations hinge welded up to the bumper and the main cross brace finished up with the destaco latch in place. I still need to make the actual tire carrier piece as well as the mounts for the Hi lift jack, fuel cans and license plate holder. I guess that’ll be in part two.

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