Posted in Farm Truck, Stubbornness, Successes

The Truck has New Hubs!

The truck saga continues.

After getting the truck stuck on Thanksgiving I decided to buy these. In a ’99 Ford Ranger the hubs are locked by vacuum tubes that are notoriously finicky and prone to rotting, so it was highly likely they were the source of my four wheel drive failure. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have manual locking hubs and if they didn’t solve the problem then at least that was one thing I could cross off the list of possible causes.

It was a balmy 40 degrees out this past Saturday so I decided to see about installing them. I called the mechanic and the super helpful man who answered the phone told me that I shouldn’t worry my dainty lady head about four wheel drive and that two wheel would be fine for any normal driving (ok maybe I added the thing about the dainty lady head). But anyway mansplainer – Challenge Accepted!

Honestly the videos on YouTube made it look pretty simple – take off the tire/wheel, take off original hub, put new hub on, put back on tire. And the first one went just like that – easy peasy.

And then I celebrated too early:

Celebratory picture with the second hub which I foolishly assumed would be as easy to put on as the first.

The second one went like this: take off tire/wheel, take off original hub, put on new hub, realize that it’s not locking correctly (i.e., I can still spin the rotor when it’s locked), take off new hub trying not to break off the 12 little tabs that all need to be pulled up simultaneously to get it off, fiddle with the new hub and realize it’s not broken, just misaligned, put on new hub, worry that it’s still not working, take off new hub (much faster this time), fiddle with it some more, put new hub back on, realize it’s fine, try to put back on wheel and realize that my jack is giving out and cinder blocks make terrible jack stands and that I need the truck about an inch higher in order to get the wheel back on, try to use any other jacks I can find, curse a lot, almost tip over the truck, curse more, run over to the neighbors and borrow a jack stand, take out the other jack and put bricks under it to get extra height, jack truck up to appropriate height, put wheel back on, and … success?

By then the sun had gone down and I realized I was sitting in snow, soaking wet and losing feeling in most of my extremities plus my butt. I left E to clean up the tools and return the jack stand and went inside to attempt warm up.  After Advil, hot tea spiked with whiskey, a steaming hot shower, and a sensible dinner of Pizzatinos, I passed out at eight o’clock.

I’m exhausted just writing this….

And I still haven’t tested to see if the four wheel drive is actually working since I need a new battery strap first.


Posted in Farm Truck, Stubbornness, the MUD

And we’re back… (in the MUD again)

It’s been a long time! The holidays saw a lot of visitors at Jugtown so I’ve been laying low and hunkering down to avoid the lack of sunshine and brutal cold. But it’s a new year and time to get back on the horse, or in my case, back in the truck.

And get it stuck in the mud again. Which is exactly what we did on Thanksgiving Day. Long story short – the four wheel drive is still not fixed and my brother-in-law is a bad influence (sorry Ben).

So I’m buying these and hoping they are the answer to all my problems. (every single one of them)

Posted in Farm Truck, Plans, the MUD

In the beginning…

That’s me with our ’99 Ford Ranger we got as a farm truck. Promptly after acquiring it E and knocked off one side mirror and got it stuck in the mud on the back part of the property – for two weeks! I spent a good five days attempting to dig it out of the mud, literally covered in so much mud I looked like a swamp beast. Finally we gave in and called a tow truck. The first guy took one look at where it was stuck and told me that his truck would get stuck in the mud before he could even get to where our truck was. Luckily our neighbor down the street who runs the auto body shop in town said that he could get it out once he fixed his tractor and got his brush-hog attached. E and I had to head to a wedding out of town, but when we came back, there it was, the Ranger, sitting in the driveway covered in mud.

I figure this is a fitting beginning for the Jugtown story or whatever this blog will end up being. I imagine trial and error, lots of errors, will play a large part in our Jugtown story. For example – now I now that I should never attempt to drive the truck back in that part of the property EVER! (seriously it is a swamp and if I had gotten five feet further I would have run smack into a raised wooden pathway and probably busted up the truck even more). Anyone who knows me will tell you that I take everything as a dare, telling me not to do something just makes me want to do it even more. I also will rarely take other people’s advice on what or how something should be done. It’s probably not the greatest character trait, but it does make me willing to try things others would probably not. A certain amount of foolishness (or gung-ho-ness if you’re feeling generous) is necessary for a lot of the things I want to do or have done in life. I have plans, BIG PLANS.