"The Ho" (19)

Eighth Trip (continued)

Our new winch got used a lot on this trip. Either for self-recovery or pulling The Bronconator out of mud holes...

Winching The Bronconator

Dave and Andy trying to keep The Bronconator upright as "The Ho" drags it out of a pond

For some reason the starting problem "The Ho" has largely cleared itself on this trip, it's still not right and still needs looking at though. "The Ho" suffered a few more dents and I managed to rip off the passenger side mirror which will need to be replaced with a cheap generic one rather than the factory finished type which costs around $80 to replace.

The Ho - Another smashed wing mirror

The smashed passenger side mirror
This is probably beyond being fixed with superglue

The passenger seat back decided to collapse whilst going up a steep incline which was funny for me as I was driving, but not so funny for Andy who was suddenly laid on his back staring at the roof.

We also did some damage to the underside of the car, the skid plate protecting the transmission has been deformed, but that's not too bad, it is still capable of doing its job.

The Ho - Cross member

I guess we must have hit this cross member pretty hard to do this to it

There was also a metallic knocking sound coming from somewhere under the car which isn't so easy to ignore. It seems we pushed a bushing out of its seating, so that will have to be replaced. The radius arm bushing is part of the front axle/steering assembly and so now the passenger side front wheel can move backwards and forwards about 6" which isn't too good.

The Ho - Broken bushing

Spot the difference between the right and left bushings

The Ho - Damaged bushing

Here's a closer view of the damaged bushing

"The Ho" still can't climb hills too well and Dave said he sometimes saw one corner of "The Ho" lift completely off the ground. To cure this and to give the vehicle some more articulation we need to make a front sway-arm disconnect. Removing this completely will make it too susceptible to rolling around corners when normal road  driving. The Ford Explorers and Mazda Navajos were very susceptible to turning over on cornering when they were originally made so removing the sway-arms altogether may eventually result in a crash.

The front differential needs to be welded locked up. As we've now got manual locking hubs we can put these in free-wheel for normal road driving.

The rear needs a spring-over to put the springs on top of the axle instead of being slung below it. This will give more ground clearance.

The plastic differential covers need replacing with steel ones. We can damage these whilst reversing and a steel one should give a little whilst the current plastic ones will probably shatter which means the differentials will lose all their gear oil and get damaged.

This page created 10th April 2006, last modified 10th April 2006