Today I went to the other (fairly) local truck stop – a Flying J. They had the elbow connector that I needed to complete my antenna install (to make it look right). I was browsing through the CB stuff and ran across the external speakers. They had one that was really small (about 2″x3″) – I figured that might look OK mounted to the dash, so I bought it. The elbow was $5 and the speaker was $13. When I finally got home (more on this later), I put the elbow on and pulled the extra antenna cable through to the glove box – I now have 2 loops of cable in the glove box. I haven’t decided whether to paint the elbow black (or OD) or not yet. Now the antenna cable goes straight out of the back of the mount instead of looping down and back up.
Next I held the speaker’s bracket up to different places to see where it would be loud enough for me to hear but not be in the way. I settled on using 2 of the screws for mounting the old fording cable plate – they were perfectly spaced, plus I was able to feed the speaker wire through the fording cable hole to keep it out of the way. I routed the wire to the hole in the back of the glove box and tied up the extra wire. Plugged it up to the back of the CB and turned it on. I didn’t hear anything. Then I remembered that the CB has a PA speaker OUT jack back there too, so I felt around until I found the ext speaker outlet and plugged it in there. I changed moved through a couple of channels and then heard a conversation. Turned up the volume and it was PLENTY loud to hear it over the Jeep. I was impressed! Next, I plugged the speaker into my phone to see if I could use it for music – NO GO. You could barely hear it turned all the way up. Oh well – it worked for the reason I installed it. I was going to paint the speaker and bracket OD, but decided against it – I don’t know if it would make it look any more military if it was OD. After inserting the pic in this post, it looks kind of odd being able to see the upper screws and hole with the wire going through it – I might change that tomorrow. I also need to change that white zip tie on the steering column!
I had a little bit of “Death Wobble” the other day when I went for a ride. Funny thing is that it happened when I hit the same dip in the pavement as before (when it wobbled). After I finished the speaker install and changed the oil & filter and w/s wiper blades on my car, I jacked the front of the Jeep up and tried to move the tires. The last time, the wheel bearings were noticeably loose – not this time. No movement in the bearings or tie rod ends. The bellcrank was moving though – a lot! It has about a 1/16″ to 1/8″ of movement where the bushings are worn out (I guess). I guess I’ll go ahead and order the rebuild kit now so I can rebuild it after the rally.
Now, back to the reason it took so long to get home. I had 2 things to do away from home today. 1)Go pick up the antenna cable elbow – which is about 10 miles from my house, and 2)Take the head from my spare Jeep engine to the machine shop to have it rebuilt – the machine shop is about 25 miles from my house. My idea was to pick up the elbow and go back roads to get to the machine shop – about 35 miles – round trip from my house would be 70 miles. I picked up the elbow and speaker and lunch and headed to the machine shop – on the way I remembered that my oil in the car needed changing before I went back to work, and I wasn’t going all the way back to the big city (so to speak) to get it changed. I got to the machine shop and he was closed! So, to salvage all this driving, I decided to go to town and buy oil and filter to change my oil. On the way to town I passed the machine shop owner – I decided to go on to O’Reilly’s and get my stuff anyway. After spending $70 on oil change stuff and wiper blades, I called the machine shop – he said they took a late lunch but were there now, so I headed back out to the shop. I got there and talked to him for a while – he inspected the head and I told him what I wanted done to it. Then I headed home – FINALLY. So, the trip to do those 2 things ended up being 90 miles and taking about 4 hrs! Anyway, it’s done. I can pick up my head the next time I’m off and re assemble it (I forgot to take the valve stem seals to him, so I can either make another trip to his shop or re assemble them myself). I really just wanted him to do the valves and seats, check for valve guide wear, clean it and surface it anyway.
That’s it for this week off. I guess my next installment will be a report about the rally!