The last year has been really busy for me and the family. In April of 2018, I decided that I wanted to get the 4Runner back on the road/trails. It had been sitting in a fenced lot in the Mojave desert for ten years and needed some love. I had it towed home where I started with the basics (tires, new gas tank/fuel pump/filter), and worked up from there. Took me over a year, but I finally was able to take it out on the trails. I wanted to start small and work my way up in trail difficulty, so I hit the White Mountain trail (3N17) with SoCal TTORA. I took some video:
The truck performed well. I knew I had a power steering leak, but it has gotten worse. The next steps will be to determine what is leaking (pump, hoses, steering box, or all of the above) and get that patched up. I may start looking into hydro-assist steering, but I’m nervous that I’ll start breaking steering components (knuckles, knuckle studs, etc). I may just wait on hydro-assist until I either upgrade my existing knuckle setup, or move over to a beefier axle.
One interesting observation when I was out on the trails was that most people were running ham radios instead of (or in addition to) CB’s. This was the inspiration I needed to finally take the license exam. I passed the Technician class license exam. You can find me on the airwaves as KN6DVE. I ordered a BaoFeng UV-5R radio, longer antenna, car adapter, and programming cable and have been listening in on the 2m and 70cm bands.