Hi, I'm new to the forum and hope to enjoy it as well as contribute--once we have a Jeep that is
I'm a mechanical engineer and daughter of a diesel mechanic and married to a former military pilot who's sort of geeky and my number one mechanic to do the heavy lifting when I can't. Between him and me, we push equipment too hard and while we like simple things we tend towards break it, beef-it-up, break it again and then re-design it and go on through the cycle of rebuild it, wear it out or break it, and fix it indefinitely.
We've always pushed the cars we have to do much more than they were meant to do. That tendency started in the 1980's with too small a budget and a desire for exploring Baja and back roads of Mexico. Him, he loved his Saabs, me, I always wanted a Jeep CJ (now called Wrangler) but realized they didn't have what I wanted in the way of towing capacity, 4 doors, and coil springs for that matter... In 1984 Jeep was "overkill" when our budget was slim and our 1974 Saab 99 could be modified to do the particulars of what we needed. A day before the planned weeks of adventure, we'd swap out the wheels, swap out the springs and add spacers (for additional ride height), change the shocks, adjust the bars, put on the roofracks and be ready to go. Afterwards while washing off the dirt, we'd do the reverse swap and happily drive the car to work--planning on installing the custom limited slip differential and wondering who else uses snow-chains for beach driving besides us...
Sure it's been a wacky and happy 30-some years of Saab ownership, crazy fun back road driving and great trips, but all things can come to an end...even including the brand itself.
Finally, now, with parts for our current '76 Saab 99 (that I've had and used as primary driver since '98 when it replaced the '74 99 that had stress cracks everywhere from 460K miles of hard driving...RIP...) constantly unobtainium and even though I keep a spare transmission at the ready, I wonder who I'll get to rebuild then next 'round... and the parts for our '87 900 turbo the same impossible to find situation... and we've made a move to California where the smog emissions testing mean these non-CA cars have to meet CA requirements now (and I have emissions-related parts you can't get any longer) ... No more fun trips -- what if something hard to replace breaks? Even the simple stuff is impossible to find. I've just had one too many parts hunting nightmares, two-too many sessions at the milling machine making something that should be off-the-shelf...
...And now I have a sudden epiphany that the Jeep of my dreams exists today, if I still want it, still body-on-frame but with a longer wheelbase, 4 doors, and coil springs these days. I'm done with cars and going back to my "dream" of owning and using a Jeep.
My husband? I've enrolled him in my dream, he says that since we've had his dream cars for 35 years, he's happy to shift into my plan of buying a Jeep Wrangler. Now hopefully I can find one that suits, is affordable, and somewhere in California or nearby.
Making steering rack parts that used to be $1 but you can't get now:
Happy me when the part I made works:
Nothing like using the car as a truck:
and more truck tasks...I hope a Jeep is up to it, too...
Beach camping Nova Scotia Canada