The trials and tribulations of a dinero challenged drifter pushing road worn equipment down the trail. Or in the eloquent and simple words of a great American Philosopher; "Aw KRAP!"
A couple hours or so after I made yesterday's post we hauled out of PIR and pulled into Costco, just up the road a short ways to stock up a few supplies for the desert...
Now, I've known we had one axle with a failing alignment. We've been rolling easy workin' to squeeze all the good out of what was left. The tires were wearing odd... but not alarmingly fast, so I was hopin' we had some time to juggle things around and work it all out.
The idea was to fudge a bit and try to squeak by... and maybe get a few other "things" working that would make it a non issue. Long time readers kind of know where this is goin' already don't you? ;)
Yup... whenever the Puss gut Ol' cowboy has a plan... DUCK! It's a sure and certain fact that SOMETHING is gonna get flung his way and ya'll don' wanna git 'tween him and what's aimed at him!
Well... just a couple of days before pulling into PIR for our race week I got into a last second situation with one of those parking lot Parnellis and kissed a curb. Most times, that'd not be an issue...
But... it is ME we're palaverin' 'bout here, so ya already know it WAS an issue... right? ;)
OK, if you climb the curb easy and straight on, generally it's no big deal, 'bout like kissin' your aunt. Not a pleasant thing but it's quick and you run off with little damage just tryin' to wipe that gawd awful smell of her lipstick off your face.
How-some-ever, this was more like that lonely old matron done grabbed you with both hands and smeared that lipstick all over your lips! Yup... a Big, Wet, Aunt Bessie Smack! Blehhhh Yuck!
I got cornered into a deal where I had to unexpectedly cut sharper, and for a second or two my focus was on the other driver... that distraction proved juuuust long enough to NOT catch that the driver side wheels of the 5er were gonna clip the island curbing rather than missing it with my oh-riginal trajectory.
Ten or twelve thousand pounds don't have to be moving very fast when they run into parts that aren't supposed to be run in to... to do some damage. The wheels hit at such a shallow angle, it was the sidewall and now it's quite obvious, the wheel itself that took the hit rather than the tread. (I'm hoping just the wheel and no spindle/axle damage)
Somehow I didn't notice how severe the damage was for a few hundred miles. :( It wasn't till we were leaving PIR that I finally spotted that tire wobblin' back there. I'm guessin' at every stop for those last few hundred miles it must have been parked ON the bad part of the tire so it wasn't visible; 'cause when it's up on top it jumps out at you like a pavement princess working the parking lot at a Baptist convention!
Contrary to my usual routine of checkin' tires/wheels whenever I make a turn to that side and they're visible... advancing old timers syndrome apparently had me miss the wobblin' for a couple of runs. I wonder where the hell I was lookin'?!! I sure don't remember any Bikinis!
The left rear now has a bad tread separation deforming the tire and the wheel itself is dancin' like a hoola girl... arrrrrgggghhhhh. I can only attribute it to that lil' dido in the parking lot... clear back in Utah!
End result is; with rapidly growing "issues" with both axles, rather than turning west for Quartzsite we cut back NE for Glendale and my sisters place.
The plan is to get on the horn today to a place I know of in Gilbert, Arizona. It's an RV Suspension alignment/repair shop that has a pretty good rep for quality work. I already talked to 'em yesterday afternoon. I needed to sit easy for a bit and weigh all the possible options. Doing that made it rapidly become crystal clear, so even a stubborn Ol' buster like me could see; there's really only one option... Patch up the old rig one more time.
Yup. Started with Three options; Expensive. Real expensive and Oh - My - God - How Much?
Considering that as always... Expensive is gonna be a test of the ee-lass-tissity of a dollar, them other two are clear out of the game.
Today I'll lock down an appointment and try for a realignment of both axles and at this point, possibly wheel bearings.
My hope is the axles are just Knocked out and not Fatigued. If that's true we can escape for several hundred dollars of repairs... pretty much, once again... what we just made working the NASCAR race. If they are fatigued that means replacement...and we're talking... standing on the corner with a pathetic message scrawled on a piece of Cardboard and a forlorn and despondent look on a three day bearded face! ;)
If we can luck out and have an axle alignment, and replacing one bent rim fix the issues, we should still have enough of our NASCAR labor and tax return left to replace our aging house batteries that we've somehow managed to stroke another whole year out of! We'd intended to replace them Last winter down here... but had to make the decision to pay the Vet for Lily's cancer surgery.
Sometimes I think I should have gone into juggling rather than chasin' cows and sellin' hardware. But you know what? The world just keeps on turning... no matter what predicaments I get myself into. It's all just Life in the West, and at least I've got a rig to repair.
Not what I planned to do... but, one more time, what I can do.
You Can't Do Anything But Laugh At It All.