Sunday, March 02, 2008

Convertible weather

It was 69F and sunny here in the Bay Area of California today. Sadly, I haven't yet switched from the hard top to the convertible top on my Jeep -- before I do that, I want to build a little "trunk" behind the rear seat to keep my earthly goods out of sight of car thieves (since once you put the convertible top on, you have to leave the doors unlocked else they'll just cut in through the top or, if feeling polite, just unzip the rear windows because the zippers for the rear windows are on the outside, duh). So I couldn't put my top down and enjoy the weather. Except...

Duh. You do recall that I own a motorcycle, right? Yeah, your ultimate convertible -- no top *any* of the time! So I took it for a spin just to take it for a spin.

Also did the 18,000 mile service on my Jeep. Not much to it. The most important thing is keeping an eye on the rear diff fluid until its 24,000 changeout, because it's damned hard to get to the rear diff on a Jeep when it's not on a lift (the gas tank is in the way) and I apparently did not get the gasket goop all the way around when I did the 12,000 changeout and it's seeping a little of that Royal Purple 75W140 ($10 a quart and it takes two quarts to change the rear diff, eep!). I took a couple hours longer than some grease monkey because I try to keep myself familiar with everything underneath my Jeep. I've wrenched a fair amount of it over time, between the lifts, shocks, the locker in the front diff, etc., so I'm pretty familiar with how things are put together under there. So I spend time seeing if there's any play in the u-joints, checking *all* the fluid levels including the transfer case and transmission and both differentials, making sure my diff vent hoses aren't kinked and don't seem to be clogged up, giving the radiator hoses a squeeze so I know what they feel like when relatively new so when they get all gooshy later on I know they need replacing, etc... anal? Well, now, if I'm relying on this Jeep to get me out of the outback when I'm 100 miles from anything called "civilization", you might figure that I want to make sure this thing is in the best shape I can!

On oil filters: The first oil change was the "free" one done by the dealer. They put a MOPAR oil filter on it, which is made by the lowest bidder (they've changed suppliers a couple of times over the past few years). No big deal. So anyhow, the next two oil changes I put a $10 Mobil 1 oil filter on the thing. This one, I put a Bosch oil filter. Looking at the construction, it appears identical to the "Mobil 1" filter, but it was $5 rather than $10. All these filters are made by a handful of vendors and, except for Fram (which is junk -- cardboard does *not* belong inside engines), seem to be good quality. So as long as you're buying something that says "Purulator", "Delco", "Bosch", or some other "big name" on it *other* than Fram (which has cardboard inside it), seems you're okay.

Oh -- the Girl Scouts are out in force today. At both Safeway and Walmart I got accosted by the evil expanders of waistbands pushing cookies. Needless to say, I have a few boxes that the evil munchkins got me to buy via the power of cute (eeep!). It's not fair, them taking advantage of a portly old penguin that way! Sigh...

Mencken just vomited his supper in the middle of the hallway, then ran to jump on my lap and start purring. The Mighty Fang is over there licking Mencken's supper up. Sigh. Suddenly my own appetite isn't so good...

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

1 comment:

  1. Dude, the thin mints were sounding good until...

    mmmmm, yeah, nevermind I'm wearing enough of them already.


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