Performance, Fabrication and Tuning

Vacation Update – Flagstaff, AZ

My Dad grew up a Boy Scout. Though he didn’t make a career of it, Scouts made an impression on him.

Keeping in mind the Scout motto of “Be Prepared” we travel with all manner of “tools” on board for our Davis family vacations.

Of course we have the normal necessities like a spare tire and a lug wrench, these are flanked by the less common but somewhat normal tire patching kit and air compressor and those are all backed up by the “Davis Necessities” that include (but let me stress) ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  1. Spare Serpentine Belts
  2. Spare Wiper Blades
  3. Kitty Litter
  4. Tire Chains
  5. Duct Tape
  6. Trash Bags
  7. 4 full sets of hand tools
  8. Windex
  9. Rags
  10. Hand Cleaner
  11. Toilet Paper
  12. Tow Straps
  13. Tire Chocks
  14. Rain Ponchos
  15. Blankets
  16. Tarps
  17. Matches
  18. Flashlights and abundant batteries
  19. Etc…

Now…however random they may seem, there is a need for all of these items. Trust me…


Today, while traveling West on I-40 at a particularly legal pace of 65mph, Dad heard a noise.

Being a career mechanic, Dad can’t just “hear a noise”, oh no, that noise must be found.

Being 300 miles past Albuquerque, New Mexico and 30 miles outside of Flagstaff, Arizona our options were limited. We settled for the likely explanation of a failing wheel bearing and set out to narrow it down to a side.

Weaving back and forth in the lane, we determined it was the left front wheel bearing as turning right caused the noise to grow louder (in any car, the outside wheels will be loaded heavier during a turn, typically this loading causes any noise to become more pronounced).

Now knowing where the noise was at, we needed a plan.

Brainstorming through the options of having the truck towed, taking it to a dealership, forging ahead, or just fixing it ourselves, the answer became obvious.

We would plan the perfect scenario and swap it out.

I’d love to take credit for the circumstances and location that unfolded later but I can’t, fate and chance took over and delivered us a Harbor Freight Tools and an OReilly’s Auto Parts that share the same parking lot in Flagstaff. I mean really, what are the chances!?!

With the perfect location scouted, the work began. We knew we needed a couple of special tools, the T55 Torx bit to release the brake caliper and the 35mm socket for the front axle retaining nut. Of course we found both and more at Harbor Freight.

Armed with a shopping cart full of tools, a new wheel bearing and a Git-R-Done attitude we started the timer and got to work. From the time we busted the hubcap off to the time we popped it back on was 34 minutes and we did it all IN THE PARKING LOT!!!

Not bad if I do say so myself.

The moral of my goofy little story here is

“Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Just do it and prove them wrong.”

– Cole

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