Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 Pismo Jamboree

Having missed the last year, it was great going back out.  Had a lot of fun.  Took along the family and caravaned up with Bob and my brother.  You can follow the link below to the gallery.

>>>>> Click here for the 2012 Pismo Jamboree Album <<<<<

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bolsa Chica Reserve

Linda and I decided to take a walk at the Bolsa Chica Reserve again.  We've done this a couple of times now in the last month or two which is more often than normal, but the air is cool and it's right across the street from the beach.  This time, we were greeted with three pelicans that happen to be an endangered species (according to the photos of different birds posted at a sight-seeing post).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sturtavent Falls Hike

Went on a hike with Linda and Ryan.  It had been a while since going on this hike the last time.  It was more strenuous at the end than I remember.  The total distance is only a little over 3 miles, but the is a pretty steep asphalt incline that got me winded.

Here's a KML file for GPS.  Right mouse click and select to download the file:  KML File

There was a sign that the parking lot was full, so a lot of the people end up parking on the side of the road and walking up to the beginning of the hike.  The weather was sunny and warm with a blue sky and puffy clouds.  We packed some water and went on our way.

The trail is very easy to follow with plenty of signs to keep you on track.  There are some parts of the trail that narrows down.  You'll have to watch your step in some areas because it will cross over small streams with wood and rocks.


You'll also see some small cottage like houses on this trail.  I've never met anyone who live there, but there are several.

When you get to the end of the trail, you're greeted with a raging waterfall.  Even found a small snake resting on a rock.  It's normally pretty empty, but this time, there were a bunch of people who decided to take a "swim".  That guy under the falls must be sitting or squatting down because the water is seriously not that deep.

Next time I'm there, I'll pack some more water and try out the longer trails.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Birthday Dinner

Thanks to Lowell for taking Linda and I to a great birthday dinner at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant at the Ritz in L.A.

The food was great.  I had a chance to taste the BEST lamb chops and the best wine I've ever had.  I almost wish I didn't try out that wine, because I almost can't enjoy all the other wines I normally buy.... and I forgot the name of it!!!

When we got seated, I couldn't help but enjoy the view.  It's been a long time since I've seen the L.A. city from high up.

The view got even better as the sun fell.  Had a great time and will hopefully go there again... and get the name of that wine.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Short drive on Main Divide Rd

Felt like doing a short drive up Main Divide.  It was late afternoon, but it was still warm and muggy.  The clouds look like they're moving in.  Lots of thunder reported in the area.

Evening at home.  Time to do an oil change and possibly do some organizing in the garage.  Family watching Howl's Moving Castle.... a great animation.

ToyTec 3" Ultimate Lift install

Here's a photo of the 4Runner stock.

Package arrival!!

Time to start the work.  Like to thank my brother, Dave, for coming out to help with the install.  Definitely a two man job, because things are never as easy and go as smooth as originally planned.

Removed the stock XREAS lines and the old suspension parts.

Here are photos after the install.

Side profile of the raised truck with new tires.  Since the new tires are larger than stock, the spare no longer fits under the truck.  Had to move it to the roof rack.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Tires!

Finally got the new tires I've wanted for a while now.  Held off on them until I got my new suspension in.  Been running on used tires for the past couple of years.  Good thing, too, because I was pumping air about every two days on one of the rear tires for the past week from a slow leak.

The only thing bad is that the tires are too big for the stock tire carrier, so I've had to relocate the spare to the roof rack.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

CV Boot leak fix on 4Runner

Noticed a leak on the driver side CV boot. The passenger side had been fixed about a year or so ago under warranty. Luckily, there wasn't any tear or damage in the boot, from what I can tell.  The grease did leak out all over, though.

Here's my fix, but I recommend getting a grease gun w/ a needle attachment for around $20 rather than the way I did it.  I was going cheap and thought it would work (which it did), but wasn't worth the pain. Click on the images to enlarge.

You can get a small sized grease gun like this at any local auto parts store.
I started out with a syringe and needle I got from an old inkjet ink refill kit.
But when I filled the syringe and tried to push out the grease, it was too thick for the grease to go through the needle.  What I ended up doing was taking off the needle and shoving the red tube I got off of a WD40 can into the syringe.  This set up ended up working but pushing the grease through the red tube was painstakingly slow and required some hard pushing. Not exaggerating here, it was REALLY SLOW AND PAINFUL TO THE HAND.  Just pay the $20 and get the grease gun.

 1.) Take a flathead screw driver and undo the metal band that holds the CV boot closed.

2.) Take a pair of snipping shears and cut the metal band.

3.) Shove a toothpick into the CV boot to provide a small gap for the syringe tube to squeeze in. This way, you won't have to keep pulling back on the rubber CV boot.  Slide the red tube next to the gap of the tooth pick.  You may need to angle the tube a bit to get it to go in. I did.  Squeeze the syringe to get the grease it.  You will be cursing at this point.  Repeat until all the grease is put in.

4.) Once the grease is in, clean up the grease that leaked out all over the place.  I put a hose clamp on and angled the end upward to prevent it from loosening.

It's been holding pretty well.  I've driven it for about a week, which included sand dunes at Pismo Beach and it's clean and dry.  Will need to keep an eye on it until the CV boot eventually needs to be replaced.  Here's a photo after a week: