To answer the question in this posts title, yes. Yes I do!
This past weekend was the Simcoe Long Weekend here, which meant a nice three-day weekend and we were going to pack all our camping gear into the trailer and head off to the wilds of Ontario and camp on Crown Land and perhaps do a bit of offroading with the Jeep.
But the weather gods intervened and promised to deliver us yet another one of their miserable wet and cool weekends, so we opted to instead of camping of rock crawling, we would instead hang out around the nasty city and on the one sunny day of the weekend we would pack the family into the Jeep and head to Niagara Falls.
The decision that we made to cancel our camping trip was a very good one. There was a tornado watch and a torrential downpour where we were going to be camping, there never was a tornado but there were some pretty strong winds, which anyone that goes camping in a tent can attest to, is not a fun thing when you are sleeping with nylon or canvas as your shelter.
But on top of that, the torrential down pour actually flooded out many campgrounds during the weekend. As folks came back from their long weekend in the woods, they posted their pictures and each one made me more and more happy that we in fact decided to stay home.
On Friday night the oldest of my children went to a party with his girlfriend and his car dies, so that hubby and myself had to drive up and pick them up and get his car towed home.
On Saturday the husband and kids went to Canada’s Wonderland and spent the entire day walking around the park and having a great time on the rides together. I spent the day at home with the little man, and the two of us had fun playing and hanging out together.
Sunday the kids announce that they are worn out from their walking around on Saturday, so it was just hubby, little man, myself and two of the three dogs loaded up into the Jeep and our friend, his son and dog climbed into their Jeep and we all drove down to Niagara Falls along the lake shore, a nice scenic drive. Everything was going fine, until we got into Burlington and got stuck behind a very slow driving older gentleman on a stretch of road that was one lane and there was no passing. The drivers in this line of cars behind the man who insisted on driving less than 30 in a 70 zone were all losing their minds, but none more than my friend, who isn’t a fan of long drives to begin with. So as soon as the opportunity presented itself for him to pass, you better believe that our friend and a few other drivers gunned it and drove past the car moving at a snail’s pace. When we finally made it around the slow driver we pulled in behind our friends Jeep and we noticed that his rear shock was hanging low, about an inch or two off the road, and in danger of hitting a bump or something and being ripped off. So we called him up and gave him the heads up. He pulled off into a gas station, pulled out his big bag of bolts that he always carries in his Jeep (which saved us last Simcoe Day Long Weekend when our trailer hitch got mangled and a few bolts got sheared off, and we borrowed some of his bolts to fix it).
He dug around in his bag for a few minutes but wasn’t able to find the right size of bolt, all of them were too skinny, about 1/8″ when what he needed was a 3/4″. He was about to just stick in one of the smaller bolts to just make do until he could grab a bigger one, when his son piped up and announced that he saw a big bolt in the glove compartment, so his Dad rushed in and grabbed that bolt and ‘ta da‘ the bolt was perfect and my son’s friend was so proud that he saved his Dad and the Jeep. He wore the biggest grin for quite a while.
After that averted disaster we decided to stop for some food, and after driving around, looking for a place with a parking lot where we could watch the dogs in the Jeeps while we ate, we decided on an Italian place, which I have to say I have my doubts to it being Niagara’s Best Italian Eatery, and I will never go back again.
But after we ate our friend noticed that our U-Joint was busted and lucky it was still holding together, so we were able to drive home on it, with the plan to fix it on Monday.
Monday, the husband runs out and grabs a new U-Joint and starts getting to work, taking his tire off and that’s when he starts to make some startling discoveries.
Back in February the transfer case for our Jeep just exploded while we were driving along the highway one night. It was not fun, and it ended up damaging a lot more with its flying pieces.
A transfer case after it’s blown apart
The Jeep was in the shop for months, getting new parts and rebuilt. The mechanic is one that we’d been going to for years, and we thought he was amazing and the would treat our baby with tender loving care, ok, maybe not so much tender loving care but at least he’d do a good job like he’d done in the past.
But as the husband started to do the work he realized that the mechanic hadn’t actually done such a good job, since the nuts holding the tires on our Jeep were not all there. He hadn’t actually pinned the U-Joint in and that’s why it broke. The more he went over the Jeep, the more he realized that the mechanic had done a very slack ass job. We should have known something was up when he let us drive home with our Jeep and he hadn’t even put any oil into the engine.
So, we’ve resolve to not use that mechanic ever again. And the hubby is going to go over the Jeep with a fine toothed comb to see what else is done badly, maybe even take it into mechanic that works on modified Jeeps like ours to ensure that everything is done properly and that nothing more will go wrong.
But the reason that we’re feeling pretty lucky is because if we’d gone offroading this weekend, we would have ended up with a broke Jeep, who knows how bad or how expensive. So glad the weather gods made it so we cancelled our camping plans, this was one of the luckiest weekends we had in a while.