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Everything posted by biggman100

  1. This is for all the folks who like to be outdoors in the winter, in northern PA, and central to northern NY. Not limited to just the NY/PA area, the Pennsylvania sled dog club also hosts events in wisconsin, the new england area, and new jersey. The Pennsylvania sled dog club hosts several regional events all through the winter. The events all center around sled dogs, and sled dog races, but are a fun family event that helps to cure cabin fever. They have classes ranging from pro adult classes, to pee-wee children's classes. At most of the events, you normally don't have to bring your own dogs or sled, a lot of the teams sponsor different activities where you can learn how to handle a sled. This is a quote from their site, http://www.pennsleddogclub.com/ , "Today the club has over 150 members from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey and Alaska. Classes at club races range from the International Sled Dog Racing Association's Sanctioned classes right down to the Pee Wee classes. Sportsman classes for beginning and recreational mushers are also popular. We also feature pure bred classes. Many club members compete in weight pulls sanctioned by IWPA." They are always looking for new members, so if anyone is interested, go to their site and check them out. I have two pre-teen daughters who compete in the pee-wee class, and they seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Another bonus to going to their events is that they go to some very beautiful out of the way places, and most of those places, like the tug hill region in upstate NY, also host several summer outdoor activities. So this is also a way to get info on what is available in the areas that the PDSC travels to, maybe this would help you plan some summer get away activities.
  2. Thank you, Moses. Now if only i could afford to travel a bit more, but things like work, and having school age children, sometimes get in the way of doing much traveling.
  3. I actually have some experience with these. My step dad bought them to attach to his ladder racks when the original clamps broke, and the original clamps were too expensive to replace. He has had them on his truck for awhile now, and they seem to be pretty durable, even in winter weather. They do tend to get a bit stiff if they get too cold, but it doesn't seem to hurt them in any way. And, i have noticed that they adapt to almost any shape, as long as the shape fits inside the clamp. My brother is a volunteer fire fighter, and that's how my dad heard about them in the first place. My brother said they use them to hold all kinds of equipment in the new rescue truck they have. I am thinking of getting some to put in the bed of my Dakota for when i go camping, to hold the coolers and stuff from sliding all over. I usually use bungee cords, but they seem to not last as long as id like them too. A friend of mine said he uses them in his 26 foot enclosed race car trailer to hold down things like fire extinguishers and even to hold the tire racks, because he didn't want the tire racks permanently attached to the trailer. He said he has found quite a few uses for them, from holding gas cans, to tire racks, and even to keep the tool boxes from rolling around. I would say that they are definitely worth what you pay for them.
  4. It is time to start looking for a new vehicle for my wife, and because of where we live, in a very rural, barely maintained in winter area, AWD is almost necessary. She usually drives Subaru Legacy wagons, but, I'm thinking its time to look into other makes and models, just to see what is out there, and people's real world experiences with them. I'm not only looking for information on newer vehicles, but certain vehicles as far back as the mid 1990's, such as the Mitsubishi sedans, Subaru legacy and impreza, and Audi AWD sedans. Since the mid 2000's, we have been buying Subaru legacy's with the 2.5l, but after the last one didn't last because of a recurring head gasket issue, im looking to see what else might be out there, and make an informed decision on our next vehicle purchase. I hear that the pre-2000 Subaru's are good cars, and have been told stories where they have lasted well over 200000 miles, but my wife isn't so fond of the styling of them. She does like the styling on some of the older Audi's, but i hear they have odd mechanical and electrical issues, at least from what i read online, and we both like the styling of the 3 and 5 series BMW, but i hear older ones can be pricey to maintain. What i am looking for is anyone who can give me real world, actual use and maintenance info on any of the available AWD sedans and wagons that are out there. She wont, for some reason that i havent figured out in 10 years of marriage, drive SUV's, minivan's, or pick-up's, which is why im only looking for info on sedans and station wagons.
  5. I was wondering if when you had a minute, if you could look up the part number for the adapter housing, and let me know what years dakotas and cherokees it will work out of. I asked the local yards, and even a couple transmission shops, and they can't seem to find that information. The part number i need info on is 04636372 1.
  6. Although it isn't a place for serious off-roading, some of the roads at Happy Valley can be a bit rough, especially in the early spring or late fall. Although 4 wheel drive isn't a necessity there, it is still a nice place to go and drive down some of the roads, check out the dam and the lake and maybe have a small picnic. It is perfect for people who just want a place to go that isn't full of crowds, like malls and shopping centers. Happy Valley is located on route 104 outside Mexico, NY, which is north of Syracuse, NY and south of Watertown, NY, off of route 81. According to the DEC website, the exit is exit 34, off route 81. The place is actually described as a protected state lands area, and there is a DEC office on the property. The property is about 9000 acres total, with roads, some old abandoned farm buildings, the lake, and a few campsites. They do allow overnight camping, but you have to reserve ahead of time. They don't allow alcohol on the site except by permit as far as I know. ATV's and UTV's are allowed in the summer, and snowmobiles are allowed in the winter once the snow gets deep enough. Also, for you adventurous fisherman, just north of Happy Valley, in Pulaski, NY, is the Salmon River that has salmon fishing in the late fall and steelhead from October to early spring. The NYS DEC website will have more information on when the season starts and ends for each type of fish. I know, I sound like a tour guide for Oswego County, but I lived there for quite a few years and loved it there because there were so many things to do summer and winter. Along with touring Happy Valley and fishing, it isn't very far from Lake Ontario, and a couple hours south of the Thousand Islands. There is also dog sled racing, hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails in the winter and ATV racing and trail riding in the summer, boating on Lake Ontario, and a bunch of historical areas for the history buffs—like Fort Ontario in Oswego, which has a very diverse history, or the lighthouses that are scattered up and down Lake Ontario. Oswego, NY also has a major boating festival in the mid summer, called Harbor Fest, that lasts for an entire week, but you don't have to own a boat to be a part of it. Harbor Fest isn't really an activity for kids, it's mostly to promote the boating and local alcohol-making establishments in the area.
  7. While i don't do a lot of serious off-roading, my family and i are big into camping, sometimes leaving on friday with no destination in mind, and just finding a campsite as we go. It doesn't always work, but most of the time it does. But this post isn't about camping gear as much as it is safety gear. Being the adventurous types we are, we tend to end up in some out of the way places, and having 3 young children, the inevitable scrapes and bruises that come with them camping with us. I know quite a few people like to just get emergency supplies locally, which is fine. But at the same time, then you have to build your own emergency kit, which sometimes is a pain. We have been dealing with a company for years that sells emergency kits that come in different sizes. They are pre-packed in zippered cases, so supplies don't get lost. With the smaller kits having just the bare essentials, like band-aids, and maybe some anti-biotic ointment, the full kits cover almost ever emergency, short of the most severe cases. The company is eastern mountain sports, and their website is: http://www.ems.com/home/index.jsp Trust this is helpful to other families!
  8. I have a friend who uses one of the bluetooth scan tools, not sure which model or make though, with it linked to his smart phone, and it seems to be an ok idea, except for a couple things his does im not to fond of. One is that his alerts you if the MIL, or check engine light, comes on, by an audible tone, even when you are driving, which i think would be a bit of a distraction, especially while driving. Im sure you can turn that option off, i have just not messed with it enough to find out. The other issue i have with it is, you cant always retrieve the data for later evaluation, or in my case, because i have a short memory and dont always remeber what codes show up. I myself use the innova series of scanners and readers. I like them because of the wide range of functions you can use them for. My current one is the innova 3160B, which not only does standard code retrieval, but also does ABS and airbag codes on certain vehicles, and can be upgraded online to cover almost any vehicle made after 1996. It also has a data storage function, that will let you retrieve any codes that were present, even weeks after you read the data from the vehicle, as long as the batteries stay charged. Another function it has that i like about it, is that if you connect it to your laptop or home computer, you can print the diagnostic results. You can also get software upgrades, and adapters for most pre-OBD2 domestic vehicles, and some foreign vehicles, namely toyota and VW. One thing im not sure it does, is allow pcm reprogramming, but it may, i just never looked into it, as i dont need to do that alot. It is also kinda of bulky compared to some of the other scanners out there, but, not as big or bulky as the Snap-on and MAC scanners, and a lot less expensive. I paid $199.99 for mine, plus shipping, through wal-mart online. Before i got my new one, i had a basic one, that i got from autozone, and is also available at most other parts stores, and sometimes sears, is an actron CP9575. It was good for basic code reading and erasing, and some basic live data functions, but it didnt do ABS or airbag codes. If all you are looking for is a scanner that you can monitor functions, and read and erase codes with, ones like the cheaper actron work very well. I used mine for almost 2 years, and it worked very well for what it was designed for. After i bought my new one, i gave the actron to a freind, and he uses it quite a bit, so even though they usually run between $99 and $150, they are still very durable, and last quite awhile, so depending on what you are using it for, you will definitely get your money back just in how much you save having a dealer do scans on your vehicles when needed. The big downside for me with them was no battery backup, and no ABS retrieval, and the one i had didnt allow software upgrades. The best way to find out which scanner would work for you, is to go to the manufacturers websites, and look at what each one does, and then decide which one would be best for you. I have posted the websites for the few that i do know of, someone else might know of others. http://www.equus.com/ Equus, makes Innova diagnostic tools, and Equus gauges. http://www.mactools.com/%C2'>
  9. JJ, it would depend on several factors, as to the route you should take to fix this issue. If your actual ground and power cables from the battery are still in good shape, as well as the ends of the cables, and your jeep is stock, and only sees mild off road use, you can purchase inserts that go inside the cable ends to help them fit tighter on the battery posts. These are usualy found at places like auto parts stores, or sometimes even walmart in the battery and electrical section. If the cables are still good, but the ends are the only issue, you can also get inexpensive replacement battery ends, and all you do with those is cut off the old ends, strip the wire back about a half inch, slide the wire in between the two halves, and bolt them down. There are several different types of replacement battery terminals, some are inexpensive, and easy to use, and some are a bit more money, but tend to last longer and hold up much better. If the cables are bad as well, there are several routes you can take. You can usually purchase replacement cables through most local parts stores. If that option is unavailable to you, another option is to measure the length of your existing cables, and see if your local parts store has pre-made cables that have the round ends on each end, and get replacement battery ends, and replace them that way. When I go this route, what I usually do is get the new cables, get marine style replacement battery terminals, and replace the wing nuts on the replacement terminals with the nuts that have the nylon inserts in them, that way they don't vibrate loose. My favorite way to replace the battery terminals, though, is with positive attachment battery ends. These ends are simple to use, easy to connect, and give options for multiple wires, for things such as starter, lights, and other assorted accesories, plus they have different size holes in them to attach different size and gauge wires to. The way you attach the wires is to strip back about a half inch of wire, slide the wire into the end, and then use an allen wrench or torx bit, depending on the style of the end, and tighten a set screw to positively lock the wires in place. And, for severe use, if you strip the wire back a bit, and then solder the end of the wire, then insert it into the terminal, and tighten the set screw, they rarely ever come loose, no matter how rough you are on the vehicle. One of the best places to get wiring from is Painless Performance. They sell everything form single sections of heavy gauge wiring to entire wiring harnesses, for everything from classic, to custom, to off road, to boats, and everything in between! They are the single best source I have found for wiring, from ignition wiring, to wiring harnesses, to custom stereo wiring, for almost any vehicle on the planet. The images i added show several different types of replacement battery terminals, from standard inexpensive ones, to some of the different available more durable styles.
  10. The Dakota doesn't have a lift kit, it is all stock suspension, but, after listening to the previous owner, i wouldn't be surprised if he used it as if it did have a lift kit. He lives in a very rural area, with lots of back roads, and even some seasonal use only trails, that i know he drives on regularly, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out he had been jumping it, or even getting it stuck in mud and using extreme force to get it unstuck. Moses, thank you for your time and effort in finding the information i needed. Your help and advice are greatly appreciated. The next time i have an issue on any of the 4 wheel drive vehicles that my family owns, whether it be ford, dodge, gm, or any other make, i will definitely be coming to the magazine website and forums first for needed advice and tips. With several family members and friends who like to, as they put it, actually use their vehicles off road, stuff is inevitably breaking, and the magazine website and these forums will be very useful to us. A replacement extension housing shouldn't be too hard to find around here then, since the favored jeep in my area is the cherokee and grand cherokee, and there are quite a few of those in the local full service and u pull yards around here. Lastcj7, because one of the mounting points is completely destroyed, and the other has a busted bolt in it, there would be no point in having my existing adapter housing welded.
  11. I have a 1994 4 wheel drive dodge dakota, 3.9l, ax15 5spd, that i need to replace the extension housing on. The extension housing is the piece that is in front of the transfer case, and the shifter bolts into, and the trans mount bolts to. What i am trying to find out is if the extension housing from a jeep will work, since both the jeep and dakota use an AX15. If the jeep housing will work, what years, engines, and models should i look for? Also, is there a difference between a v-6 and v-8 AX15? And, last question, will the complete AX15 transmission from a jeep bolt in and work in the dakota? The local yards say no, but i don't see the trans being that much different between the two makes of vehicles. I need to find out this info because i can find a ton of manual trans jeep vehicles at the local u pull yards, but no manual trans dakotas, so far. The reason i need to change the extension housing, as you can see in the attached pic, is that the person i bought the truck from kind of abused it and didn't seem to care about the consequences. How the problem actually happened is a lesson to anyone who works on their own trucks, though. One of the trans mount bolts sheared off in the extension housing, and from repeated burnouts, and hard 4 wheeling, the other one either snapped or came out. The vehicle was driven like that until the trans slammed up and down enough times on the cross member and punched a hole in the housing. So, if you are going to be rough on a jeep or a dakota, i would recommend changing the trans bolts with something stronger than the factory ones!
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