something broke, what a shock!

Just a quick update – and apology since it has been a while….
The Rover is still purring like a kitten and it motors around town pretty well for a 36 year old – thats senior citizen in the SUV world. In fact, it was doing so well that I took it on a road trip down to Lynchburg. Normally a 2 & 1/4 hour jaunt, it was a good 3+ in the Rover. We were feeling like some mud and decided to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and connect up with a trail system known as the P-Vine Trails. They were in fantastic shape (read 100% Virginia red clay mud) after a few weeks of rain. The Rover preformed flawlessly; like a billy goat down the side of a mountain. It was nimble when it needed to be and dug in when the trail got rough.

Unfortunately somewhere along the line, things must have gotten a bit rough. Although it was not discovered until an hour after we had traded the mud for asphalt, one of the older shock absorbers had given up the ghost. Most likely it happened on the rampart pictured above, the axles over articulated, the canvas retaining strap gave way and like Christmas popper being pulled at both ends the shock absorber snapped. The good news is that shocks are a luxury, not a requirement on these old rigs.

After taking it easy on the back roads back to Richmond, I set about to do some research. A few weeks and surprisingly reasonable amount of cash later, I found some replacements (I was talked into replacing all four…why not?). Thats where things got hard. Like everything on the Rover, I ran into snags. Someone decided to weld on the cotter pin that held the bottom part of the old shock to the axle mount. After 30 minutes of prep and another 90 minutes to remove the tire and most of the old shock it was apparent that the new one was not going on without a fight.

So the Rover is limping around town, rear drivers shock in absentia but not down for the count. Next warm(ish) dry(ish) weekend things are going to get nasty with a Sawzall, a blow torch and a pry bar. Stay tuned!

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