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Phil Hansford

My Pajero "Evolution" - Finding a Unicorn

My decision to begin a search for the rare and unique Pajero Evolution was fraught with peril. Being a limited production homologation model, with only 2500 ever produced, were there actually any parts that crossed over to the mass-market Pajero, beyond the obvious things like sheetmetal and glass? Beyond this pressing question, could I still find one in decent shape, 18 years on, that was ready for export? Finally, would I have to pay a king's ransom to actually ensnare the beast?

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John Stewart

But, it followed me home...

Ruger 10/22 Take-DownAfter the mandated California 10-day waiting period, I am still in the market for .22 LR lever action rifle.  My criteria is for a small, light-weight lever action that is easy to stash anywhere.  Well, my local gun store had no lever action rifles meeting my criteria. 

But, they did have a Ruger 10/22 - Take Down semi-auto version with stainless barrel and synthetic stock.  Best of all, being the Take Down version, the barrel separates from the stock and both pieces fit into a padded carrying case. Well, it isn't the lever action that was on my wish list; but, it is small, compact, light weight and easy to stash just about anywhere.  And, it had an appeal that I couldn't turn down.  Ten days later it followed me home.

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John Stewart

Born again, new life for old grill

BBQ Stand to Chopsaw StandThe old grill had seen better days.  Weather and rust had taken it toll on the cast iron body.  But, before heading to scrape pile of history, there was life left in the stand.  The frame was sound.  There were wood platforms on each side.  One end had wheels.  It was the perfect base for my chop saw stand.

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John Stewart

When Springs Break (Part 4)

Front spring installedWas it the springs?  Was it the installation?  Was it the combination?  Within a two week period, I had experienced two emergency repair situations with leaf springs; overall, two broken and two bent springs.  The suspension was a not performing as it should.  4x4 isn't much good without a functional suspension system.

The “Spring Saga” began with “Options for the height challenged” which was a spring-over lift for my 1994 Jeep YJ.  As I was replacing a 4 inch spring lift, new springs were necessary.  The basic lift components were Rubicon Express and I opted for Rubicon Express springs which provided 1.5 inch of spring lift in addition to the spring over lift.  And, I was able to remove the two inch body lift and still clear 35 inch tires.  

While the combination was a great performer on the articulation challenges of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, a major deficiency was soon apparent.  After the breaks and emergency repairs, serious questions were in order.  Why should brand new springs break and bend that easy?  What is it about a spring-over that created this situation?

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John Stewart

When Springs Break (Part 3)

Broken spring with 'spring splint' installed'The "Spring Saga" began with "Options for the height challengedwhich was a spring-over lift for my 1994 Jeep YJ.  As I was replacing a 4 inch spring lift, new springs were necessary.  The basic lift components were Rubicon Express and I opted for Rubicon Express springs which provided 1.5 inch of spring lift in addition to the spring-over lift.  I was able to remove the two inch body lift and still clear 35 inch tires.  

While the combination was a great performer on the articulation challenges of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, a major deficiency was soon apparent.  The Rubicon Express springs were not up to the stress of extreme flexing.  In Part 1 of “When springs break”, emergency repairs were made in order to get off the trail and into the shop for correct repairs.  Time was of importance as Tierra del Sol Desert Safari 47 was coming.  Part 2 of "When springs break" covered the install of a spring hanger reversal and new main leaf springs in the front to replace one broken and one bent spring.  I did make it to Desert Safari and some wheeling.  Final day, while driving slow on a washboard road, I heard an ominous snap.  This time, a rear main leaf spring snapped.  At least this time I had the proper “spring splint” kit to provide emergency repair.

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