Saturday, March 22, 2014

Moving Up to Four Wheel Drive

One of the first lessons that we learned in our first winter in Alaska was that although we loved our Ford pick-up and it was great at pulling our rig wherever we wanted to go, two wheel drive just wasn't going to make it for getting around in the snow and ice.  

We made it through our first two winters by using chains and limiting our driving to just around town, but that was a bit frustrating and dangerous. More than once, the chains would work their way loose and even managed to slip off a couple of times. 

The situation became even more troublesome when we found ourselves moving away from the "Banana Republic of Alaska - Homer" to the Interior where the weather and the snow was known to be far more of a problem.  There's no way to avoid having to drive many miles on snowbound and/or icy roads let alone the basic challenge of getting out of our own driveway to get to the road.  Staying "home" all winter just wasn't going to be possible or all that practical.  While the internet helps a lot in creating lots of ways to buy simple necessities, it still requires a trip to the post office to complete the deal.   

SO, we decided that it was time to look around and find a four-wheel drive truck to add to our family.  There was never a question (in my mind, DannyLee is a little more open-minded on this issue) that we would buy another Ford and since we already have a diesel and like our diesel truck that we would look for another diesel engine.  

We originally started looking for another 7.3 liter engine, but the age factor and their popularity along with the fact that we already had one made us look for a newer model.  The cost of trucks these days is outrageous and they seem to be holding onto their value as the newer trucks become even more expensive and extravagant.  

In the end, Elohim kept this truck before us until we were ready to buy and this became the one that we drove home.  You can see that washing the truck has not yet become a priority as it's not as easy as rolling out a hose in below zero temps.  

The first modification that this truck required was the addition of two more heaters on the batteries and the transmission to ensure that it would start when we needed it.  We have a great mechanic that knows a lot about trucks and is very familiar with ours as DannyLee is keen on preventive maintenance.  

The last (hopefully, for a while) modification was the installation of our new Sparebumper.  I learned about this little safety device on one of the Ford forums and I just had to have one.  Tailgaters and careless parkers are high on my list of "pet peeves" and this little addition is supposed to be a deterent to both.  I hope that we never have to fully find out how effective it is, but it's there if we need it.  (Thanks Jeff!)   

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