Tuesday, January 26, 2010


i want the upper right snake one.


if there was a fire, i asked myself, which guitar would i save?

i would save my acoustic guitar.
it cost me $250

i would let my electric burn.
it cost me $2500

Monday, January 25, 2010

ryans birthday

since today is my friend ryan's birthday, i made him a picture of him last nite.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

shipping labels

check out these shipping labels i made.


thanks for the rice-cooker!
i used it to steam up some broccoli tonite!
it worked perfectly - thanks so much for the tool.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

cracked lift block


i noticed one lift block was cracked when i was changing my axle last weekend
the subsequent failure of the block can be dangerous

i used lift blocks to make my jeep sit higher
they helped me gain the clearance necessary for my larger tires

you can see the lift block below
its the silver square block between the axle and leaf spring
two lift blocks are used - one on each side of the rear axle

i didn't want this to happen again
you can see the broken lift block in the foreground
when the block broke, the axle was no longer bound to the body

a few summers ago my lift blocks broke while i was in the mountains on a rugged trail


i used my winch to lower my jeep after anchoring to another vehicle above the obstacle
another winch simultaneously pulled my rear axle backwards to keep the it aligned

leveling the jeep allowed easier assessment of the situation and made making repairs safe

we discussed and exhausted all possible trail fixes
i needed new u bolts to secure the axle to the suspension
we even tried using a receiver mount recovery point as a substitute for the shattered blocks..
..this was too sketchy!
i got a ride to get new parts (1 hr of rough trail + 1 hr of highway)
we installed the new lift blocks and u-bolts on the trail.
i am so thankful to have such helpful jeep friends!

that was 2 summers ago...

the proper way to gain the clearance for larger tires is through fully re-arc'd leaf springs.
they are longer and custom-built to lift the vehicle higher without the need for lift blocks.

i bought new springs immediately after my misfortune on the mountain.

to install them, you simply take out the old springs and put in the new.
i was unable to get my spring hanger bolt out which holds the springs to the frame.

online i found out that this is a common issue, and tends to have negative outcomes.
often times, the bolt breaks off in the frame, and you have no way to put springs on at all.

after noticing that cracked lift block, i decided to have a shop put my new springs in for me.
kent four wheel drive in kent washington just south of seattle helped me out!
they did end up snapping that same bolt off in the frame!
good thing i had the professionals handle it.
they had the tools and experience to fix the problem.

lift blocks
new springs
you can see the rear end sits a little higher

the jeep rides great with the fully arc'd springs!
although, it has increased the rake a bit.. ..i kinda like it.
they should settle a little as they get broken in.


Monday, January 18, 2010


i put a new axle in my jeep this weekend!
it was a lot of fun and i am very pleased.

i have wanted a rear dana-44 axle for so long!
i even had a fish named dana-44 when i lived in florida and chicago.

dana-44 had a friend named princess zelda.
they hated one another.
in summary, i had a pet fish named dana-44:and here is dana-44's namesake, a great axle, the dana-44:
i used to have a dana-35c
now i have a dana-44

the dana-44 is a superior axle to the d-35c

the axle wall tubing is thicker metal.
the center section is larger and stronger.
the differential carrier is larger and stronger.
the ring and pinion gears are larger and stronger.
the brake drums are larger in both diameter and width.
the axle shafts are thicker in diameter and have more splines.

the dana-44 was rarely equipped in a stock jeep cherokee.
it is only found in the 1987-1989 years with the towing package.

so now i have a '87 axle in my '97 jeep.

trouble with my dana-35 rear axle

six years ago in florida my d-35 blew a carrier bearing.
this in turn chewed up the spider gears and i had to replace my differential.
i no longer had the traction advantage from the factory limited slip.

last week, a bad u-joint caused my d-35 to spit out my rear driveshaft.
the resulting failure tweaked the d-35's pinion seal.
these problems are a testament to the weaker nature of my stock dana-35c axle.

i needed to fix my axle immediately.
jeep cherokee dana-44's rarely appear for sale online.
rachel knew i would get one, though, no matter how rare..
..and she was right! and it was in seattle!
and i got it for a good price - $300.00

i belong to an online community of cherokee owners.
click the logo for a wealth of jeep knowledge:
i found my new dana-44 in the northwest chapter for sale forum.
it has the same gear ratio as my current axle:

the swap
i met the seller two years ago camping and four wheeling.
his name is joe.
joe has a few jeeps, and is getting rid of one of them.
he is scrapping it because of engine and transmission problems.
however, it has a dana-44, and he knew it had value!
joe was glad to sell it to me, as a member of naxja.

he just needed my axle to tow his jeep away.

we met at his house to do the swap.

we took both axles out of both jeeps at the same time.

here is a comparison image:
the dana-35c above
the dana-44 below

first we pulled the d-44 from under the donor rig with the bad engine
then we pulled my 35
my jeep is ready for the 44 (the d-44 is on the left)

notice the larger drum brakes on the dana-44 (left)
the d-35 driveshaft (left) is similar to the d-44 shaft (right)
however, you can see the output yokes are different lengths.
this results in different driveline angles from the transfer case.
the d-44 shaft has a shorter output yoke, decreasing driveline angle.
i will keep the extra shaft as a spare in case of emergency.

here is my new dana-44 installed and in seattle

i am very pleased with the performance.
after i did the axle swap, the jeep felt very solid and stout.
the brakes stop me quicker and feel more substantial.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I like to Indian philosophy.

elevator or stairs

one of my favorite things to do is to pretend there is an elevator or stairs.

when people are on the other side of dividers or walls.
then i go 'click' and pretend to press a button.
then i go 'hrrmmnn-nnn-mmm-nna-nnnnnnmmm-mmnn' and bend my knees.

OR i do the thing where i pretend to walk down stairs.