Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I've been thinking I may change the name of this blog to "Night Wrenching". Swing shift seems to work pretty good for me to get some work done on the cars. Do you still call it swing shift if you're working on your own projects?

For a long time I've wanted to add air springs to my Land Cruiser. Two years ago when I bought the van I put them on right away and have been pleased with them ever since. Even before then I had thought it would be great to have them on the truck. This Fall when I bought the travel trailer it became more necessary and I've just been waiting for a chance.

This last week that chance came. We have a trip coming up where we might be taking the trailer so I really wanted to get past this. As luck would have it, I've been assigned my turn to do the night shift at work. This is nice because of how I acclimatize myself to the new schedule. For the two days before my shift I stay up late at night, so basically I end up with some extra time by myself. This is very productive time for me and this time I used it for truck work.

In the picture above you can see the red marshmallow-looking thing inside the spring. This is the airbag. It takes up space that used to be occupied by that black cone-shaped thing in the lower right corner of the picture. That cone is basically a back-up spring for hard bumps.

The trickiest part of this process is getting the spring out. Now, that's really not all that tricky, so I'm not talking about complex surgery here. The instructions state that you have to unbolt the lower end of the shock absorber to let the axle droop farther. I didn't want to do this since the shocks are very old and I didn't want to deal with broken fasteners. I'll let a shop handle that when I decided to put new shocks on (which should be very soon). Anyway, that extra time of monkeying with the shock drew this process out quite a bit.

The next night I put in my new front brake pads that I'd ordered almost five months ago. While I was at it, I tried to install some spring spacers that I bought for the front axle almost two years ago. They didn't fit right so I had to abandon that project for now. Maybe I'll try again in a few weeks.

Now the truck is ready for some action. I might be looking into tires soon. The Toyos that I have are great. They've only got about 45K miles on them and plenty of tread but they're almost 7 years old. The insides look a little rough and I can see more cracking than I like. We'll see what happens.