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About BadDriver4x4

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  • Gender
  • Location
    North Central Vermont
  • Interests
    Wow, obviously cars and trucks. Tractors, boats, motorcycles, lawn mowers, and anything with a motor. Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping.

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  1. It's been a few months since I purchased my Highlander and I have a short term report to make. The vehicle is definitely capable in the snow. It would have been nice to have had more aggressive tires on it during the snow covered months. We got plenty of the cold white stuff this year and at one point I had to plow through a pile of snow left on the road by town road crews that were obviously having problems with the distribution of the fluffy white rain. I have to say that as much as the traction control \ 4wd helps to get you going I find that there is a tendency to lock out power in a skid or slide. It felt as though I had no power at the wheels while trying to negotiate a turn and going into a slide. This really bothers me because I'm used to full control and a loss of power takes away the option to power out of a slide. I'd need to read up on this situation to see if my vehicle model or year has a problem with this particular maneuver, but I can't find a Haynes or Chilton manual for the Highlander anywhere in my area. I like to look at a repair manual when I can, so I will look online when I have exhausted the parts dealers I frequent. (Not on a daily basis 😉 ) There are some other quirks and issues that may belong only to my vehicle so I won't expound on them at this point. I guess at this point I'm more happy than bothered with this choice. It did come down to money and availability, so I can't say that I wouldn't have prefered another vehicle with a better 4wd pedigree, but the dealer had to do some serious repairs to it and the price was getting out of out hand for our comfort zone for a local vehicle. (Rusty or worse) At this point the reliability and features sure outweigh any pet peeve issues. Vehicle Update on July 26, 2020: So, I've had some issues with my 2004 Highlander Limited that I think need to be exposed. I know that everyone's story will differ, but if this can happen to me, it might happen to someone else: At 121,932 miles I had to have the drive shaft replaced, we nursed it for a few hundred miles too long, but I had to come up with $1600.00 + for the repairs. Then recently, the power steering line developed a hole from rubbing against the frame because the wrapping had been rubbed away or fallen off. This was a "cheap" repair of $370.00 +. When you add new rear brakes to pass Vermont's draconian inspection laws, then a new windshield, and the typical tires and a set of steel wheels for next winter, we have racked up well over $3000.00 in the last 9 months. The major issue was the drive shaft. This is a three section, single unit that is priced over $1200.00 for the lowest priced refurbished unit and over $1500.00 for a lifetime warranted unit. The three sections have to be balanced to work together or they will vibrate themselves apart. However, as of right now, as I write this, there is a groaning coming from the rear end that I think might be the "differential". That probably should have been check when the drive shaft was replaced, but it is yet to be diagnosed by a professional. My current opinion is that the Highlander is a decent 4WD vehicle, but as they age you may find yourself paying a lot more than you bargained for. Toyota has a good reputation, but we just didn't get the right car. You can't always find a bargain in the 4WD, 4x4 market when you're on tight budget, so search hard. If we had a respected expert in the area for inspections and troubleshooting, these things might have been spotted before we bought the Highlander—if they could have been spotted at that point.
  2. We had a Jeep Liberty that literally fell apart in the 2 years that we owned it. I wish I had stripped off the plastic kick plate (?) when we first got the thing. Here in North Central Vermont the plastics totally wrecked the rocker panels and made our Liberty a junkyard ornament. So now we have a 2004 Toyota Highlander. It came from a warmer Southern climate and was well cared for. It is a Limited version and has all the goodies including heated seats and a sun/moon roof. All we wanted was a good car with a clean body that wasn't about to die. I'm still learning about the Highlander so I am not exactly sure how this SUV qualifies as a 4x4, but that's what the tag says. So far we have gotten 17.5 MPG with combined driving so I'm a little confused as to why a 3.3 L V6 gets that kind of fuel mileage if not for the weather we've had and the use of 4x4 as needed. We've had it for about a month now and it rides like a cloud on pillows compared to the Liberty. I'm also glad to have room for my knees. If you have never had a Jeep Liberty, and you have the chance to drive one, give it a try. You'll appreciate your vehicle that much more. I suppose after 2 years you get really tired of things like that. I'm not sure if Moses would allow a Highlander addition to this sight, but it would be interesting to know what has been tried and what has been accomplished with the Highlander 4x4. If you drive one, let me know what you think, and about its longevity. Ours has just over 103,000 miles on it now. I can't wait to drive it this summer without the heated seats on.
  3. Almost a year later..... It's interesting to see old posts and think about all the time that got wasted by people trying to mass with your life for no other reason than they are petty little people with delusions of grandeur. I've been so busy I haven't even been able to make use of this wood, but there is always this year. Fishing, and work? Can they coincide? Don't ever let them get you down.
  4. Thanks for your help Moses. I find that it is impossible to determine the price of anything as a seller because everyone likes to take the lowest price paid for anything and apply it to newer or decent items. Now, I will take a low price that was paid, look at the item on it's own merits and try to negotiate a reasonable price. Only a few times have I looked at something so abysmal that it should have gone to the trash bin, but those are rare and the one time I have seen those items I told the owner and then let him offer to sell them for parts. Since the items were old, modified CBs I didn't feel bad when he offered them for a 10th of the original asking price. I can always use parts to fix other radios. Even then I can lose because the board may have been cooked by a bad power connection. It all depends on how much you're willing to risk. Sometimes you even pay more if you can afford to. The other day my daughter was told by a car dealer that an As-Is car didn't have a negotiable price. The car wasn't represented as a Wholesale to the Public, which has become popular because they usually can't pass inspection. Of course that means you're buying a "Junk car" for a higher than "wholesale" price without the possibility of further lowering the price. Something the dealer would never allow if you present them with "book" price. I was told the "book" didn't allow for the un-inspectable car. Does this mean something I'm not reading? But the NADA price for my Jeep LIberty is currently $2800.00 in this category. I'll end up taking $500.00 locally because, as you said, parting out just isn't reasonable or possible. That is especially the case in a town that won't allow you to have a car in parting out condition on your property under penalty of fines. (It's all their property right?? That's why we pay an annual rental fee to the town.) That's a discussion for another forum.
  5. I was wondering if anyone could give me a conservative estimate of what a running, driving, and rusted out 2005 Jeep Liberty is worth parted out? I've been told not even to expect "Wholesale" price because it's uninspectable, that's here in Vermont though, so I don't have a clue what it could be worth in an area where the value is not in a driver, but parts car. Good engine, transmission, transfer case, etc... The "Salvage Yards" are paying scrap prices for vehicles no matter the condition these days, and $150.00 isn't going to get it when the engine alone is worth more than that.Prices in the local CL are all over the place. $1000.00 for an undrivable 201,000 mile car?? Others for $400.00 to $600.00 complete. There's no rhyme or reason. Maybe you can provide some examples from your area. One question remains. What is a Wholesale price? There isn't a real answer anymore. Most people look to an auction report that the public can't see prior to dealing with a dealer. How can you devine the value of your car and the seller's car if all the "Book Prices" are useless? Here in Vermont the Southern car is king.
  6. I didn't mean to bash anyone's choice of vehicles, but I haven't owned a domestic Chrysler that didn't treat me badly. I have owned a few, and the best were those that didn't have American roots. Even those ran afoul of rust or time. I used to have a Jeep Cherokee 4 cylinder, I think it was an 85? (Always thought it was under powered, and no 4x4 goodies in early 90s for it.) I still have a new bumper, bumper hangers, and headlight rings for it. I haven't owned it for 22 years, but I haven't sold those parts yet. I've had a Plymouth Colt, a Plymouth Arrow pickup, a Plymouth Sundance (Junk, major electrical problems.) I owned a Plymouth Acclaim (Good engine, bad body - rust) I owned a Dodge Dakota RWD (Bad motor) Now, this Jeep Liberty. (And the Jeep Cherokee that I bought for my younger ungrateful daughter. (That is a book I won't start here.) ) So, I have good and bad stories about many cars, but Chrysler products in particular have been my Jonah. ( I also owned a 1974 Plymouth Roadrunner. My first big mistake in car trading as a teenager.) BTW, I own a 2004 Ford F-250 Super Duty Diesel that has had no problems. I have a Ford Windstar that has never been a problem until....well, let's just say an accident put it out of commission. I'm buying a parts car this coming Monday to get the parts I need to get the Windstar back on the road without costing a small fortune. So, I like Ford, and even Chevrolet, and had no, or relatively few problems with both. Even rust is slow to overtake them. I do of course have the '79 Jeep CJ 7 project sitting in my yard. Even though it sounds like I have a car collection we live on a shoestring and I now have to do much more work myself, so I'm learning how to do body work and the only car on the road right now is the Liberty, that is until the end of December. If we don't have a "new" car by then we will be walking for a while until we can afford to get the F-250 inspected. (Vermont just enacted some Draconian inspection "laws", and prices for inspections doubled, and in some cases tripled. That's before you buy a single part.) Moses, I fully agree with you. I would much rather have the old mechanical connections to motor and drivetrain. For cars designed for new gadgetry It's all well and good, but trucks should never try to be cars. (I do like a nice lowered '69-'70 Chevy C10 though.) So, please, don't think that these things will or must happen to you if you own a Chrysler product. I've just had bad luck with the ones I've owned. Side note: Does anyone else think that car dealers have found more ways to rip you off than most thieves? IE: a Government Fee? What's that? (No, not taxes) Happy Thanksgiving all, and have a Merry Christmas.
  7. Found a junk yard fix to the seatbelt alarm issue. Grabbed a belt buckle clasp and modified it to fit. No noise, and belts are still 100% safe. Too bad that didn't stop the need for complete brake work with e-brake rebuild, steering rack, new muffler and final exhaust pipe replacement. (Muffler was good except for the part leading to the rusted off pipe.Couldn't be saved economically.) I'm sure there is something else major I'm forgetting. The most recent "repair" was a new transmission mount and U-joint. If it weren't for the fact that it's the only inspected and running vehicle at our disposal right now I wouldn't have done that much more work on it. The rocker panels are about gone past the center of the vehicle, and rust in other areas came on quickly. The rear suspension is also shot. (Uninspectable in Vermont without $1000.00s worth of repair, and not worth that.) I doubt I'm the only one to have these problems with a 12 year old Jeep by Chrysler, but it has convinced me that I will NEVER buy another Chrysler product EVER again. It seems as though they all die on me way too soon. I'll stick to Willy's and AMC era Jeeps from now on. Looking for a newer SUV now.
  8. You'll do plenty of reading and research to get a project in shape. Here's the Shop Manual now. I hope you'll check out Faxon Auto Literature http://www.faxonautolit.com if you need to find a quality reproduction shop manual for your vehicle. More to follow.....
  9. alheim, I think you may be a little more concerned with the intimacy of who works on your Jeep. We can all relate, especially those who have worked so hard for our dreams to come true and those still hoping for their dreams to come true. If you want to learn how to pick the right mechanics I suggest you stick to certified shops with certified mechanics and then talk to some of the mechanics to see how much they understand and if they do their own project cars. For some mechanics it's a job and for others it's an extension of who they are. Look for the ones who are proud to show off their rides and insist that they work on your car. Did you hurt your arm so badly that you can't work through the pain? Have you considered making friends in a Jeep Club and having them help you in your garage or theirs? A few beers may get you into the right doors. Don't make it such a chore, and at some point you have to see your Jeep as just another thing. It's not your wife, or your Mother or Father, so find a good mechanic or continue at a slower pace, It's up to you.
  10. Oh yeah, if you're a bolt head that wants to go out of shape and make me mad, just watch out or I'll turn you into this: As the expert Doug Marcaida on Forged in Fire likes to say, "It will cut!". Well, this is what my little torch will do. I left the hole in the steel beneath it perfectly round and untouched. I told you I have had some experience with a torch.
  11. OK, so, I got some better pictures, found some more rust. Yeah, like that wasn't going to happen and I got some free stuff that will help in the future and just make the Jeep a little more interesting. First some daylight pictures of the Jeep without the plow hydraulics in place. A "what if" picture of a possible future look. Thanks to the plow hardware still being on the Jeep there were some holes to fool around with. Now, for one of the things I found in a FREE listing on Craig's List. This is a Jerry Can that just happens to match the color of my Jeep. (Well, it's red too.) I also brought home 100 ft. of air hose. 2 - 6K jack stands, some flashing (other projects?), and an Edelbrock Air Cleaner. (I don't know if it will fit my Jeep, but it was free and cool.) OK, so I might have to do some updates on my daughter's 2001 Cherokee Sport for a while, but I just can't keep my hands off of this old girl if I have the time to spare. I have to get to the Salvage Yard and get some of the essentials that I need. Slightly unrelated, here's something I picked up a little while ago that may help with space. So, if I hadn't said it before I have had a storage unit full of my tools for about 14 years now. It was broken into once, (Well, twice really, they returned for more stuff after stealing the top of my tool chest.) and if I can fill this thing, or better yet, have a little room to work in, I may have a tiny shop for doing something out of the weather. At least I will eliminate $65.00 a month in storage fees. (Yeah, I don't want to add up how much that has cost me either.)(I say me most of the time, I actually want to say our family. Unless I really mean me.) So let's kick this up into high gear, when the arctic air mass passes, and really work at getting some real progress somewhere. Oh, I'll be posting some pictures of how I'm supporting all of this as things go along. You gotta have that little extra to do these things you know. (Unless you have a source of free parts.)
  12. OK, so there is no place to discuss other tools generally, and Pnuematics in particular. I went ahead with the purchase of the older compressor with the questionable tank and the extra "new" tank to go with it for $200.00 the picture from original owner is below. (I haven't had the chance to take it off of my truck yet to get my own pictures.) It turns out to be a 2 stage Kellogg-American built between 1910 and 1925 (http://kellogg-american.com/company/). I did get a picture of the makers plate, although it isn't very good. The owner had quite the time locating the tags on this compressor. It has quite a bit of overspray on it. As far as I can tell the motor is a replacement as the "Stock" originals seem to have had Delta motors, and this one has a Westinghouse 3 HP. A picture of the motor plate. But then I decided I should have a backup, and since I love old American made things I picked up this beautiful Craftsman Oilless compressor Sprayer. It was only $700.00 so I was lucky. OK, so I tried an April Fools joke late. This Paint Sprayer was something I inherited from my father. We'll see what's left of it when I get it torn down and dried out. So, what's really interesting is that I picked up 100 Ft. (2-50 ft lengths) of air hose on Thursday for free. There are a couple of other things that I got that will go in another post about my CJ-7, but it was quite a trip to pick up a few free things from Craig's List. Now we're living in a Winter Wonderland again with an Arctic cold front moving through. From the 50s to the 20s in 2 days. So, any advice for how best to check the tank on the Kellogg American Compressor? If it's usable, or can be fixed to be safe, any advice on how to hook it up to the 60 gal. Craftsman tank for more volume? I only know how to use a compressor, but I have never really seen much about setting up a "shop" system. Tell me how you've done your system. Pictures appreciated. Anyone else have vintage tools?
  13. OK, so I made some headway on the Jeep today. I really don't like plows on Jeeps and since the plow hardware was coming off to do all the work I need to do, I got the hydraulics off it today, and really looked over the rest of the Jeep seeing where all the weaknesses are. It's amazing how much you miss or don't want to think about when you pay a small price for a vehicle. Is there more work than I expected a few days ago? Of course there is. But take a look at what I've uncovered so far and what would you do with a nearly unmolested classic like this. BEFORE AFTER I wanted to get a picture as soon as I could so I took one as it was getting dark. I will take a better picture tomorrow. Now, to answer the question of what this Jeep CJ-7 is supposed to be. Here is a picture of the firewall mounted VIN plate and I will decipher it below the picture. Jeep CJ-7 Serial Number decode J9F93EC848377 J = Jeep (Jeep Corp) 9 = 1979 F = 3 Speed 93 = CJ-7 E = 4150 lbs (Gross Vehicle Weight) C = 258ci. 2 bbl Engine Serial Number 848377 The more independent I become on this project the more I consider what I want to do with it. Then, I think about what I can do if I find something even better. I really love the classics. I think the AMC Jeeps are as new as I want to go for myself, and maybe I will move backwards through time as I have seen a package deal for old Willys at a decent price. However, they were disassembled or otherwise inoperative and would be much harder to transport as is. First things first. Let's get this one done and in the books. To Be Continued.....
  14. I have found a rather adequate sized commercial style compressor that has a leak in the tank. I don't know the make or model. I have the owner looking for more information. Here's his picture. The Sear Craftsman tank comes with it. If the original tank can be welded, and I know a great person for the job, could I use the extra tank for an expansion tank? I would really hate to try to stick the old compressor on the new tank. The asking price for everything is $200.00 Thanks Moses. More Jeep CJ - 7 content coming soon.
  15. Moses, I know that the best air compressor that I can get is what I should aim for, but is there a smaller portable alternative that I could use for multiple purposes such as a source for a plasma cutter so that I can afford a plasma cutter like the one you directed me to earlier? I'm not convinced that the plasma cutters with the built in compressors can really do the job and the prices of the Hobart units at Tractor Supply seem to have jumped significantly. Also, I think it would have to be able to supply a media blaster. Impossible, or just a matter of trying a little harder to find an inexpensive used compressor that can meet my needs? I'm more convinced than ever that I need a dedicated space to work on these projects. Maybe. We'll see what the future brings in the way of work and storage options where I'm at. Well, I'm looking at an air compressor tomorrow, but it's an unknown that seems to be too expensive. It certainly hasn't been snapped up yet. I'm going to be picking your brain as I learn more about every aspect of this build. I'm pretty sure I have a Spicer 20 transfer case connected to Dana 30s. It is all going to need work and is there any business you know of who replicates the interior VIN sticker that was scrubbed off of my dash by the former snow plow controller? I want as much of this Jeep to be as real as I can make it. Thanks for the help.
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