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Track bar

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Irv, Sam, and myself hooked up Sat @ 0800 and headed North by NW to Death Valley.  It was an uneventful trip but that was not a predictor of what was to come.  Our first stop for gas was in some out of the way part of what must have been California was a bit different.  We pulled into a gas station next to the Bun Boy, no tell motel and restaurant called the Big Bun Boy, home of the rubber corn dog.  We got our gas and decided to back on outta there.

Not AAA rated, just XXX

Bun Boy Motel

Electrical wire stored under hood

Cut off a piece and strip

Offending broke bolt

Bolt and nut reinserted

Bolt sticks out front and rear

Attach wire to both ends

Wire attached and ready to roll

New replacement Grade 8 bolt

Our first night out we camped in open range under the stars.  If you don't spend some time looking at the night sky in Death Valley you will never know what you missed.  To say it is beautiful may be the understatement of the year.

We spent the following days chasing canyons and trails.  The sights to see are all worth every minute you spend in the valley.  Early on the second day I ooked in my rear view mirror and I see a Jeep with a JEO decal pulling up behind me.  As I grab the CB mic to tell Irv and Sam the sound of Russ's voice comes on loud and clear.  He was to meet us there that day by chance, he found us driving down the park road.

We all hooked up and it was great to meet new friends who faces I had not seen, Irv, Russ and Sam as good a crew as you will find.

I'll let Russ and the other guys provide more details of the trip while I divert here:

Sam was having some issues with his tire carrier post working itself out of the bumper.  As luck would have it it never came all the way out and dropped his spare tire on the road behind him.  At base, camp Sam noticed that the swivel post had come out and asked for my help in getting it set again.  Unfortunately, this was my downfall as I managed to pull a muscle and throw my back out of place.  This more than hobbled me and I knew the pounding the trails were giving me was not helping.  So much to my chagrin, I decided to head home.

Wanting to make the long trip home a bit easier and not doing such a long drive, I headed out that nite and stayed in Pharump NV.  After a fitful nite of backache and a near exploded intestine, I headed home the next morn.  I picked up I 15 S to Needles and was on the way hoping to arrive home by mid afternoon.

I had skipped breakfast due to more than an upset stomach that I had from eating bologna that failed the keep it cool test in Death Valley.  It decided to take its revenge on my stomach and intestines.  I saw an exit ahead with a grocery store, gas pumps, and hopefully a clean bathroom. I also figured on a long tall cup 'o joe to keep the eyelids open.  

I go to make the right for the exit and I notice that the steering wheel turns but the Jeep doesn't.  Then as suddenly as I make the turn the Jeep catches up.  I know something is bad wrong as I now struggle to get the Jeep pulled over on the shoulder of the exit ramp.

I get out and look under the front end of the Jeep only to discover that the track bar is no longer bolted to the axle.  Hum, guess that may be the issue.

Here I am setting on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere wishing I were somewhere else.  I spend the next hour or so wandering the side of I 15 hoping to find a bolt somewhere and of course that leads nowhere.  Then I start looking on the Jeep for bolts that my be long enough to fit.  That too is a dead end.

I crawl under the Jeep and axle to look and contemplate my next step as I know with out some way of bolting down the track bar the Jeep is un-drivable.  As I lay there looking I spy the bolt; it is still sticking out the back side of the hole.  I reach for it and it falls out in my hand.

Upon examination I see that it does not have a bolt head and it appears to have sheared off.  But I do have the bolt and the nut is still attached.  I now know that I use this to hold the track bar but I need to find a solution to hold the bolt in place.

Then I remember that I have a electrical connection and some spare wire under the hood of the Jeep.  I take out my pocket knife and cut a length of electrical wire.  I then strip it and fasten each end to the bolt to keep the bolt from sliding out.

It worked for over 400 miles and the next 6 hours of driving.

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