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Last: Legalizing Trailers

Spring 1997

Ah, yes, another weird title, but one of those sounds cars make that can puzzle you and scare you at the same time, but more on that later.

I still haven't officially licensed my trailer. I did the chain thing but didn't get around to taking it back to the State Patrol. I was working on some other trailer stuff like a cover, which I wanted to make out of canvas. I searched around and ended up going to a marine type fabric shop and getting some plastic/nylon type weird stuff, but you knew it would last forever, be really waterproof, and not have a hole rubbed through it easily. To finish off the cover I needed to take the trailer over to Monica to help me cut and sew some stuff. West Seattle was a little far to drag the trailer without a plate on it so I went next door (now all you law enforcement people just skip the rest of this sentence) and my neighbor "loaned" me his plate for the afternoon. So now the trailer is really ready to go camping, I just need to get that damn plate.

Anyway, back to the jeep and that tick tick tick, well, not yet. Early in March it was time again for the Swap meet. For some reason I thought at our last meeting we said we were going to meet at my house at 8am on Saturday and carpool down. Well, I got up at 7:30, ate a little, and waited for everyone to show up. 8:30 came and went and I figured nobody wanted to go so I did some other stuff for the day and decided not to go to the swap meet.

Sunday morning rolled around and I was sleeping in and suddenly I heard a loud banging at my door. Who the hell is that? It's Don or course, and the clock says 8am. The swap meet was on Sunday, duh. Don told me Dale wan't going, and he didn't think Scott was going either, and I think Lee was busy doing other stuff so I was just Don and I. I didn't really have anything I wanted at the swap meet but I would probably find something I needed. Maybe some swinging peddles.

What was at the swap meet that wasn't there the previous year were a lot of military trailers. Of course there was going to be a lot of trailers now that I had built my own. It always works that way. I did find some peddles and a master cylinder I could use for a total of $12. Cool.

Now you all know how anxious you get when you have some new stuff to put on your jeep. You just can't wait to tear into it and try it out, or hook it up. Well, we were going on a run the next Saturday, but of course that didn't stop me from tearing out my brake stuff and farting around with the new peddles. I was finally glad to get that little master cylinder out from under the jeep. It was such a pain in the ass to fill up with brake fluid.

After horsing around with it for a couple of days and about $30 in stupid brake fittings and hoses I finally got the new brake peddle in and was ready to test it all out at the Belfair Packrats Fun Run.

Dale, Don and I meet down at the Seattle/Bremerton ferry. It was your typical March day, cold and wet. I had the soft top on, but no heater. We took the ferry across to Bremerton and then drove down to Belfair and the run site, checked in and headed over to the trailhead. Well we didn't even get on dirt before we were stopped at the end of this looonnnng line trailing into the forest. Oh, this sucks. This really sucks. For about the next hour or so, it was move about 2 jeep lengths, turn things off and wait, then move a little more. Good thing I brought a book.

The trail was pretty basic with some watery mud holes here and there. Each time I went through any water, the inside of my windshield would fog up. This was a major pain and on going problem all day. I really need to figure out some sort of defroster and heater. I was also pretty cold, well, more like wet, and I didn't have much of a rain coat on so after getting out a couple of times I was pretty soaked.

Now finally to the tick tick part. The line started streaching out more and we came to a little deeper hole where there was really noway around. I wasn't against deeper water, plus I thought I had already dealt with the fan thing so that wasn't going to be a problem. Don and Dale went through without a problem, then I started through. I'm not sure how deep it got, maybe 2 or 3 feet, when I started hearing a noise that sounded like my fan scraping my radiator again. I drove out the other side, turned off the jeep and took a look. No, it wasn't the fan. What the hell. I turned the jeep back on and there was the noise again, tick, tick, tick. Don said it sounded like an exhaust leak. Ya, what probably happened was my manifold got in the water and cooled down too fast and the thing cracked. Well, nothing else to do but just drive on with the ticking.

We continued on to another big mudhole type area that was pretty chaotic with people driving all over the place. There was about 4 different ways to go. We dropped down into one big rut that came down into another section. Dale tried to go off to the left up another but rut thing but couldn't climb the 4 foot wall at the end of it. I sort of went off to the right through some muddy water, past all sorts of vehicles parked all over the place. There was even a little fire and a tarp setup where a bunch of people were watching others go through the mud. I drove on a bit and parked on the side of the trail to wait for Don and Dale to catch up.

In the process of backing out of the rut Dale was in, he bent his exhaust pipe backwards behind his tire. He had to jack the back end up and take the tire off to bend it back. After a bit, they caught up to me and we moved on.

The rest of the trail was pretty basic with some more muddy water holes and a couple of little hill climbs. We came upon one where a couple of semi stock pickups, open front and rear, were trying to go up this hill that had a couple of ruts that got your tires crossed up. They each took a run at it with no success, the moved back for us to try. With a smaller wheelbase and lockers it was not a problem.

We continued on for what seemed like forever. I was really wet by this time and ready to go home. Finally we dumped back out on the road by the checkin area and soon were on our way back to the ferry. My brakes were not working real well again thanks to driving through the water all day (damn drum brakes) and they really didn't get much better all the way home. Time to figure out disks in the front now that I have a bigger master cylinder. One of my wiper arms also froze up so it might be time to look at that again.

On the good side by the time I got home the tick tick tick noise was gone. I should probably look into that as well. For now though, I need to get a heater and defroster setup. Just in time for summer...

Next: Island Rock Crawlers
My Jeep Adventures
The Beginning
The First Day
The Maiden Voyage
Trail Jamboree
The Worst Day
Slick Hill
Christmas Tree Run
Winter Repairs
Elbe Hills
Swap Meet
Transfer Case
High Rider Trail
Canadian Jamboree
Deep Mud
Rear End
Lake Cavinagh
Getting Away
A Home for the Jeep
Crossed Up
The Island
Jeep Thoughts
Trail Jamboree II
Knock Knock
The Second Rebuild
Legalizing Trailers
Tick Tick Tick
Island Rock Crawlers
The Third Rebuild
The Current State of the Jeep
For Sale
The End