So our most exciting news from yesterday is that Marlan and Jenna got engaged. In other words, there’s hope for grandkids on the horizon. Last spring when the kids were all here to pick up the Malibu Jenna made it clear – no rock – no kids. Meanwhile Marlan’s twin brother says he won a bet with RJ regarding the timing of the announcement so maybe that twin link isn’t a myth.
I got my not too ugly truck cap out of the shop yesterday morning but I’m sad to say it turned out pretty fugly. It may only ever get used for this one trip so I’m not really concerned. On the other hand, if it appears that we might use it more than once, I can always sand it down and shoot some more paint on it. Painting is all about the prep and I simply didn’t do anywhere near enough prep. My main focus was hitting the weather window for painting and – let’s face it – I’m not the most patient guy so getting it done trumped prep. It needs a good sanding followed by a couple of coats of high build primer with heavy sanding in between each coat. Then it might be ready for a repaint. As it is it will look OK from 100 yards and vehicles approaching from behind likely won’t really notice how ugly it is until they pull out to pass. By then it won’t matter and we’ll probably never see them again anyway. There’s also an element of security in having the ugliest truck in the parking lot. That approach has served us well with our dinghy – having the crappiest dinghy at the dinghy dock eliminates the need for elaborate dinghy security arrangements. So perhaps having the fugliest truck in the parking lot will offer some security to whatever is covered by the cap.
From this distance and with this lighting the fugly truck cap looks passable but trust me – up close it looks like shit.
With the truck cap out of the way and sitting on the truck I was able to finish up the wiring on the trailer and get it moved to the little house for winter storage. Then I put the truck on the hoist to get some winter oil in it and that’s when I discovered a disaster waiting to happen. My front hubs were likely original which means they have roughly 340,000 km on them and they were showing their age. The seal that initially caught my attention turns out to be a notorious Ford POS that fails within a few thousand miles of installation and really doesn’t matter because its just a dust seal. But it got me poking around the 4WD stubs and it quickly became obvious that the driver side bearings were really bad and the passenger side wasn’t far behind.
Somewhere I’ve got a set of straight snap ring pliers but the key word is “somewhere” so I wasn’t able to finish pulling the hub. The pliers I can find have a bent nose so they won’t reach deep into that hub to remove the circlip which is all that is holding the hub on now. I went through this with my 2001 Superduty but I didn’t do the work myself that time. Ford front bearings are not replaceable on these trucks – you have to buy the complete hub. That increases the cost but it makes the bearing swap pretty simple – you pull out the old hub, slide in the new one, tighten four bolts and replace the circlip. No bearing pre-load to set – Q.E.D. as father liked to say. I’m going to replace the locking hubs at the same time because the old ones are pretty tired. That will make the project a fairly expensive one because I am using genuine Motorcraft parts but I shudder to think what it would have cost if one of the hubs had failed on Roger’s Pass or worse on Vancouver Island. When I went through this on my 2001 I first noticed the bearing failure going through Claresholm on the way to Calgary. As I recall that was roughly a $3,000 bill by the time I got the truck back from Marlborough Ford and we didn’t replace the lockers that time. That was over 10 years ago so its not likely that the cost has decreased in the interim.
SWMBO has been in a baking frenzy for the last few days. Mind you, the baking frenzy will in no way benefit the residents of this house – her art group is holding an art and bake sale as a fundraiser. So I get to smell the baking but if I want to eat any of it I’ll have to buy it back this afternoon. In between episodes of baking she got the ceramic tile mostly finished up in the bathroom and it looks really good.