Jeep XJ muffler repalcement

Using a Thrush Glass pack to get more clearance

For years I ran a straight pipe on my Jeep. I liked the sound but after hours on the trail the noise would get to me.

So a couple of years ago, I replaced the entire exhaust system with stock style components. The truck has been nice and quite since then.

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Jeep XJ HVAC controls revisited

Replacing a Vacuum Check valve in the HVAC system

Even after repairing the main vacuum line in my HVAC controls I still had the problem that under prolonged acceleration, the vents would loose vacuum and switch to the Defrost setting. This problem is often caused when someone deletes the vacuum bottle behind the front bumper. However, my bottle is still in place behind the stock bumper.

I studied the vacuum diagram and saw there is a check valve where the source connects to the intake manifold. I tested mine by blowing through it. I could easily blow both ways so the check valve is bad.

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Franklin State forest

White Jeep explores the Franklin State Forest

I have been looking for an adventure to test out my rebuilt White Jeep. I have passed through Franklin State forest many times and been curious about the dirt roads on either side of Highway 156. So today I decide to go exploring.

I started at the park headquarters on Highway 156. There was a map posted in the kiosk but none available to take with me. So I downloaded the PDF to my phone.

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Mazda 3 Wheel Vibration shake

Smoothing out my Mazda 3

My dad bought this 2010 Mazda 3 new. It had tire noise from day one. The rear tires would develop cupping in just a few thousand miles. He had to rotate them often but that just helped mask the problem and never solved it. He went through several sets of tires of various quality brands and all had the cupping issue on the rear.

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Ford F250 Super Duty Parking Brake

Rebuilding parking brake assembly on 2009 Ford F250

When I bought my F250 the parking brake did not hold.  Since this is an automatic, it is no normally a problem.  However, when trying to hook up a trailer the little bit of roll from placing the truck in park can be enough to let the hitch move out of alignment.

I assumed the brake just needed adjustment.  When I could not find the adjuster, I decided to pull the drum off and see what was going on.  What I found shocked me.  There were no parking brake shoes, springs or anything!  It looks like the backing plate rusted out and someone just removed all the parts rather than make the repair.

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