On Thursday morning, I took the Jeep into Louisville Four Wheel Drive. We had finally had enough of the bottoming out anytime we went over a decent sized-bump or pothole. Linda wouldn't even consider going off-road anymore.
For those that are new, we bought our 2003 Jeep Liberty in 2007. I won't go into the ins and outs of that decision. You can review that in our entry called "Reasons For Our Jeep Re-visited". :)
One of the reasons we purchased the Jeep was to do some off-roading. Since we spent a lot of time in Moab, Utah, a Jeep mecca, we decided to outfit the Jeep with skid plates, a bumper and winch, and a lift kit. We put the skid plates and bumper and winch on in 2008. The heavy bumper and winch made the front end sink down. I wanted a lift kit all along, but the heavy front end made it almost necessary.
We had the "budget" 2.5-inch lift kit from Daystar installed. What I didn't know at the time was that the labor to install it was the most expensive part. Had I realized that, I might have gone with a better lift kit, but noooo. I tried to save money. That decision just cost me a bundle.
The ride was great the first couple of days, but we quickly found that the rubber spacers in the lift kit caused the springs to be compressed too much. There was virtually no leeway in the springs and we started bottoming out.
So, after a year, we bit the bullet and made the expensive decision to remove the Daystar and put in a better lift kit. It was either that, or remove our heavy-duty bumper and then we might still have to remove the Daystar.
After consulting with Charlie at Lousville Four Wheel Drive, and understanding the job would cost about $1,000, we had him order a BDS Suspension Coil Springs Lift Kit.
The new kit came with new, bigger springs, and new shocks for the rear. Should have done that in the first place.
Anyway, I dropped off the Jeep and my Dad picked me up. We had breakfast and then visited his 95-year-old sister, my Aunt Maude S. She's still amazingly sharp even if she has trouble getting around.
Before long, I got a call from Charlie. He needed some parts that were taken out when the first lift kit was put in. Yikes. We certainly didn't have the rubber insulators. Charlie made some phone calls and his wife went to pick up two. There was a third one across town and I agreed to go get it. Unfortunately, the fourth one was in Chicago. Sheesh. I ordered it and hoped it would arrive Friday morning.
I went after the part and Mom went with me. Ultimately, I got to have breakfast with Dad and lunch with Mom while trying to get the Jeep taken care of. :)
During all of that, Linda was driving the truck. She helped her Mom price a bunch of stuff for a future yard sale.
Later, Linda picked me up and we went to dinner with Joyce & Woodie and their friend Marcus. We had a good time and Joyce & Woodie might just come up to visit us in Michigan. :)
Whew. It was a long day.
The next morning, Friday, I made a phone call while keeping my fingers crossed. Great, our part came in. I ran over to get it while Linda was having her coffee, then I picked her up, and we headed to the four wheel drive shop.
Charlie showed us exactly what he was doing and why we were having the problem with the other lift kit. He said he'd be done in an hour.
We filled the truck up with diesel, got a bite to eat, and then stopped at Staples to pick up a webcam. We're hoping to do a little bit more with video and I've had my eye on this Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks.
We picked up the Jeep and tried it out in the field behind Louisville Four Wheel Drive. Charlie said that it wasn't 100% because the bumper and winch are just too heavy, but he said it was a lot better and probably 80-90% fixed.
Linda was happy with the performance. She tried to make it bottom out in the field, on a gravel area, and all the way home and it never did. Good deal. :)
We took the opportunity on this beautiful afternoon to do a little packing. It's supposed to rain all weekend, so we got some things done while the sun was shining. Then, we just relaxed and took naps while we had a chance in the afternoon. :)
Before we went over to my parents' house for dinner, I tried out the new webcam. It works great. :)
With our satellite internet, we've been cautioned that Skype doesn't work well due to the latency in the signal. However, with Mom's new computer, I decided to set it up once we got to their house.
I downloaded it and got it set up on her machine and then set it up on my laptop. Since we were both on her high speed internet, it worked perfectly and she was pretty excited about it. Those of you with Skype accounts will have to give her a call. :)
I got her sister, my Aunt Pat, signed up and they were able to call and see each other on the computer. Cool. :)
After that, we had dinner and played some cards. I think they are starting to realize that we will be leaving on Sunday. But we will be back through in June as we go to and from the RVSEF Lifestyle, Education & Safety Conference in Bowling Green, KY.
Eventually we headed home. Once we got there, I called Mom on Skype just so she could see how it worked. There is certainly a delay with the satellite internet that takes some getting used to, but it's workable. :)
So, another busy couple of days. At least the weather was beautiful.
Tomorrow, although the weather is supposed to be lousy with lots of rain, we'll be having fun at a Derby Party. Looking forward to that. :)