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DesertEagle

Hi there!

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After chasing my curiosity about what the off-road world looks like and how people deck out their rigs with custom parts and swaps of all types, I ended up stumbling on this forum after doing a Google search for custom pathys. Started lurking more and more to see what you guys were all about and came to conclusion that you guys were cool enough to sign up for and kick it with. I was hyped to find this forum when I first did and I'm excited to have some time to sit down and finally introduce myself. Yay! 

So I'm not exactly *that* new because I signed up about 5 months ago, but I've never made a post until now mostly due to just finishing up another semester at CC. But a little background info about myself: A young 20-something student who knows nothing about cars and has never been off-roading but wants to dive right into that world with people who know all about those two things. Currently finishing up a B.S. with no set major. Very hands-on, knows how to weld and and wants to learn how to do machining.

I brought my first car about 10 months ago. An '88 Pathfinder with the original VG30i engine running near 200,000 miles on it and counting. Bought her off a guy on Craigslist for $900. (Original asking price was $1,200). Came with 31" tires, a body lift and front/rear towing hitches. The most notable problems she has is slight engine ticking, the front control arms are slightly misaligned (seems like one of the control arms was busted off in the past and was welded back on without being properly aligned on the frame to match the front passenger side arm), the A/C system being completely shot and the odometer not spinning anymore as of a month ago (speedo and tachy still work). Majority of the components in the car are OEM and are starting to show signs of extensive aging, which means that they're definitely going to be replaced in the very foreseeable future.

I knew from the get-go that she was going to be a project car and being a hands-on type of guy more than willing to learn how to do car work makes me all the more ecstatic about what I want to see out of her in the future. I went and bought the Hayden and Chilton manuals specific to the make and year model to help me out, and boy have they been a godsend! So far I've learned how to do the basic routine maintenance care (replaced the fuel and oil filters, super flushed the radiator, replaced the thermostat, changed the engine oil, swapped the spark plugs and plug wireset, etc.). My first major repair that I've done is an amateur front end alignment. Torsion bar looked like it was installed incorrectly. Flipped it around and saw a notable difference in how it handles bumps. Immediately grew a suspicion that the front end suspension might be messed up and that the bar doesn't look straight when the front of the car is jacked up.That's how I figured out the situation with the control arm. Tightened up everything afterwards and now the tires are misaligned again. Didn't help that the car was suspended on jacks when I was turning the tie rods. D'oh!

But anyways, every day is another day to learn what makes my pathy tick. I can't tell you guys how grateful I am to have found this site. Just lurking through some of your guy's threads makes me feel like I'm in the right place to get my feet wet and one step closer to hitting up a trail soon. Before I forget to mention, I have not tested out the 4X4 to see if it still works. That test will be coming very soon, time permitted. 😉

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Welcome!  This place is a great resource and just generally a fun site to hang out on.  We like pics around here, so share some of your rig!  (You have to host them externally.)

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:welcome:

 

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you! And yeah, front end alignment takes a little screwing around. I bought some UCA shims and a cheap digital angle finder to adjust my camber and set up some bedframe and a tape measure to adjust the toe. Takes a while but has worked pretty well for me so far. Any idea when the timing belt was done last?

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On 6/6/2019 at 4:46 PM, mjotrainbrain said:

Welcome!  This place is a great resource and just generally a fun site to hang out on.  We like pics around here, so share some of your rig!  (You have to host them externally.)


It sure is! I'll post some pics in the near future to give you guys a taste of what she looks like. Gotta make her shine first.

 

12 hours ago, Slartibartfast said:

:welcome:

 

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you! And yeah, front end alignment takes a little screwing around. I bought some UCA shims and a cheap digital angle finder to adjust my camber and set up some bedframe and a tape measure to adjust the toe. Takes a while but has worked pretty well for me so far. Any idea when the timing belt was done last?


That's a really intricate methodology you've got. I can see how the shims and angle finder would work when using them, but I'm a little lost on how you'd use the bedframe. Care to elaborate on that?

As for the timing belt, the guy told me it was last done around 60,000 miles ago. Don't know if he was telling the truth on that one or not, but the belt doesn't look completely worn out or cracking either. That's not to say that it's not excused from being replaced alongside most the tubes and some of the connectors.

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The bedframe's just a cheap source of angle iron. Two pieces, same length. Set it up on jackstands or jugs or whatever's handy so it's not on the floor, and push it up against the sidewalls of the tires on either side, sticking forward, with the rear ends lined up the same on either side (so the bits sticking forward are the same length). Then measure between the angle iron right in front of the tires, and again out towards the ends, and compare the measurements. If it gets wider as you go forward, it's toed out; narrower, toed in; the same, zero toe. When you think you've got it, test drive it and then check it again. Works pretty well when you've got a bunch more work to do yet and don't want to pay for an alignment you're just gonna mess up again.

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