Sunday, August 19, 2012

"If You Relax a Bit ~ You Get a More Harmonious Outcome"

Ever been 'round somebody that when there's a sudden sharp noise you look 'round and poof! they're gone? You hear a little wheezing and when you look under the table there they are grinnin' back up at you? :)

Welcome to my world. But then, just when you least expect it... if you quit fighting it and let the breeze blow, it'll all come clear.

Sometimes a guy can forget himself and it takes a quiet word from somebody to tickle him to stop scramblin' and take another look.

Many Thanks for the multiple "slow down Cowboy" comments. It takes such sometimes to catch your footing when you're slidin' down the slippery slope! Kinda like having a big bush to reach out and grab hold of as you whizz on by.

So, the comments got me squattin' in the dirt scopin' out that suspension again... and tryin' to put it all into the context of what we're wantin' to do over the next several months to a year... Massive reconstruction of this old rig don't really fit in there anywhere very well. Lucky for me I've got equal amounts of stubborn and bad attitude.

The quickest way to get me to stir up some blood sweat and tears is to back me into a corner and tell me "You Have To... You got no choice"... Oh, really? :) I don't like getting backed into corners. I just naturally dig in my heels and get grumpy about it.

The more I thought about this the more I questioned my idea of fixing what Might break in the future; in our current sitchy-ashun... or swappin' under pressure either. I don't like being pushed.

Also, I can't but admit, mindful of that lil' experience last summer with the pin box and that... ahem... "Welder"... double ahem! ... up in West Yellowstone; when I set about weighing the ifs and maybes of this current repair situation; I kinda got off balance. But... with time for thought and another Full Sail ;) I decided that maybe it was worth one more conversation. The upstart bein' I tracked down a Real Welder just a mile down the road from where we're parked.

He rolled his rig up to the Hansen Arena and in not much more time than it takes to write this post up... He did his magical metal burning ritual... and actually made it so easy I believe I may just do the other three corners the same way.

Makes you a bit more confident when a guy has a properly set up mobile rig, materials for proper bracing and plating... and... he don't have any trouble just strikin' an arc!!!

I showed him the failed spring hanger and what I thought could be done.

He looked at it careful and agreed my idea made sense and is what he'd do himself so he started burnin' iron.

You can tell pretty quick about a guy as soon as he starts laying out his tools.

As soon as "Big Pete" started looking at things I felt my ang-zy-uh-tee slippin' away. :)

Unlike last year when I almost couldn't resist the urge to be sick all over my boots!

He prepped and repaired the cracked hanger.

Pulled the inside hanger in and got it welded back to the spacer...

...and then added a plate between the two boxing them, that should add a lot of strength and reinforce the two sides.

*Repaired, Boxed and Strong!*
 Yup... When that Grizzly is comin' hard... the worst possible thing you can do is freak out and try to RUN! :) It can be a lil' spooky... but sometimes what ya gotta do is just stare the sucker down.

This takes the pressure back off and we're ( I'm) back to normal conjurin' and schemin'. :)

Anyhoo... if you're ever in the Laramie area along I-80, and are needful of a competent welder you can trust to do a proper Mobile Job on a busted rig... Give Big Pete's Welding a crack at it. The guy saved the day this time for us!

* A Genuine Welder... not a wannabe!*
I'm still wary of those other suspension points. What's gonna happen in the near future is I'll have the other three corners boxed like this'un... and then I'll have that welder run two pieces of 3" channel from one side to the other, front and back, as braces to stop those long hangers from getting warped around like they do.

Currently, the Bill of $140 bucks takes care of the immediate problem; puts us back on the road safe; while whuppin' the hell out doing a $2500 major surgery or the cost of swapping rigs under the gun. Since the fatigued axle isn't "Catastrophic" bad yet I'll just keep an eye on it... I have time to find a place to inquire about the reliability of tweaking these old axles. 

On the Road Again


KarenInTheWoods said...

Whhheee heeeee looks like a good fix! Gotta love them REAL WELDERS who understand their craft and can skillfully make it better than new! We found one on the road to repair a broken shackle on our old travel trailer.... Quick as a wink he had us done, and later we went back to his shop to have the other three beefed up before they broke too.

Sharlotte said...

I am so glad you found Big Pete. Now I can stop worrying about you and Heidi getting stranded miles from help in one of your high country back country camps. Could just imagine the service call price for someone to come out to help. Keep on rolling my friend.

Anonymous said...

Yep, looks like a REAL FIX, BETTER THAN NEW. Gotta love it.

You are real good at hanging in there and finding a real good solution when needed.

Good luck - stay safe


Anonymous said...

Yep, sometimes our mind takes us on a wild ride. After having a local "expert" fix a hole in my aluminum boat in Mexico, it was a long time before I ever let anyone repair anything. If I couldn't fix it, it didn't get fixed. Then you run across gems like Big Pete, and put things in perspective.Easy Does It.

Don said...

You might want to check with an axle alignment place. We had one tire that was wearing really fast; the alignment guy was in the $150 range and now we are running straight down the road again. Of course, getting the right guy is as important as getting Big Pete the welder.

Cindy Kingma said...

Wahoooo!! Ya beat ole Murph this time, big Guy! Bet your trick is to feign defeat, then pull a handy man like Pete out to do what he does best. And that is to do a welding job worthy of his craft! Your strategy is a good one; until dinero is a more comfortable option for the blueprint you've got in mind for a different rig. Pats on the back for patience and a good welder!!

Ken said...

Just checked my 2001 Sunnybrook and the same thing is starting to happen. That's a good fix that you're doing. My frame looks just like yours, same configuration, same jake plate. "Happy Trails" and stay safe. :-)

Mike said...

Good lookin' repair! I would have wanted to add some plate down both sides for additional stiffness, but then I'm known for over-kill too. I'm sure your repair will hold up for more miles than the original.


Brian said...

Thanks All.

back in Fort Collins for a few days. The eventual plan is to brace the other three corners just like the repaired spot. Then add two 3" channel cross braces to further improve it all.

Working on it Don! ;)

Ken sounds like he found a fault. It's a good idea to develop the habit of making a "walk around" with your morning coffee...or when you're fueling... etc... just watching for "new" things that need attention. Better to catch 'em Before they completely fail. ;)

Mike; I sure understand "overkill". Actually, that's what my "First" instinct was... replace the whole suspension. mount and axles. Sometimes I gotta just cool out and do repair "lite". :)