On the Fly

Since March things have been spectacularly out of rhythm. From work and home life to daily routines and how we function when we’re out in a public space. COVID flipped everyone’s world upside down in some shape or form. For me, I was on track to dig myself out of some self inflicted debt but then the cuts made their way to me. While I’m still very grateful to be employed it threw a giant wrench into my plans.

Any project I may have had my eyes set on or currently in the progress of was either scrapped or put on the shelf. While that’s not a bad thing it made me sit back and review what I had planned out. My trucks been sitting since April and I basically have neglected the cleanliness of the Dart; which both of those instances are out of character for myself I’ve finally decided to get off my ass and get things rolling again.

Starting with the simple things, getting all inspections, registrations and oil changes done this month are on the top of my list. Once that’s done the truck will get the 3″ rear drop shackles installed and I’ll start saving again for a new wheel and tire set up. I’m leaving towards staying functional as it will remain my “work” truck. From there it’s just fixing things I’ve neglected over my 4 years of ownership.

I was heavily debating for a few months about trading in the Dart for a Tahoe or a 4runner but I made the decision to keep it and pay it off. I’m honestly tired of a car payment and just want to be done with that for a while. With that, it’s time I show the car some love. The engines in these things are known to have oiling issues so I have a catch can on it’s way from Modern Performance. After that my plan is Spring and a sway bar to tighten up the handling then add in a OEM+ bored throttle body and a wheel and tire set up. I don’t want to slam it or go crazy because it will remain my daily. While it’s not the BMW project I had planned in March (which I’m slowly saving towards ) I can still have fun and enjoy this car.

Patience

Out of all the vehicles I’ve owned I miss the Lexus more than any of them. Overall it was a solid car from the factory with just enough power and comfort. It was definitely a fun car with a lot of potential. While I’m currently ultra focused on getting out of debt and working towards a house, getting back into a “weekend” car is something I’m yearning for. Practicing patience is something this whole pandemic has forced upon me and I think I’m finally getting there. I hope by fall next year I can hop back in a wagon with My wife and our dog Denver and cruise around in the crisp fall air living our best life. Until then, patience is everything.

More Go.

I’ve got the word “drive” tattooed on my wrist; and for a reason I enjoy driving and have basically made a career out of it. This past weekend my wife, myself and our pup Denver took a drive to a local 100 mile look out. It was only an hour drive but it reminded me how much I enjoy getting in the car and just going. While I don’t have a “fun car” currently to make it more enjoyable, I’ve already got all I need to enjoy these adventures. Less No, More Go.

Full Circle

Years ago when I started getting into cars and trying to find my way I trusted some shitty people. Through various friends of friends I met someone who said they could hook me up with Powdercoating. My first car was a 1992 Saturn SL2 with very minimal aftermarket support. Cool parts consisted of group buy ins and lengthy waits from vendors who weren’t super supportive. The Saturn community had to get creative with oem parts and some ingenuity. one of the cool oem parts to me was a set of “sawblade” wheels. Specs were a measly 15×6.5 but man, they looked cool. I picked up a set about 2 hours away with a buddy and got the tires taken off then dropped them off at the friend of a friend with the great anticipation of them getting refinished.

Silence ensued. One word answers then absolutely ghosted, wheels gone and nothing from the kid who said he could help me out. I was crushed and beyond pissed off. Ultimately I ended up selling the car because of mechanical reasons, though. Here we are 11 years later and I’m slowly accruing parts again to finish that build at some point. This week I came across the same set of wheels somewhat local, the kind old gentlemen is holding them for me. I can feel the excitement starting to build again that I had years ago. I love it.

Childhood

Most of us have inspiration for the things we like instilled in us from a young age. When I was a kid I lived two doors up from a paving company, I spent most of my early years listening for the trucks to come up the road so I could look out the front screen door as they passed. Along with the excitement from seeing the trucks come home from that days job, I would tie my red wagon to the back of my bicycle then toss my Tonka trucks in the back and pretend to be hauling some heavy equipment to the sand box at the base of my slide in the back yard. On rainy days when the trucks weren’t running and my sandbox site was shut down, I would run my moms printer low on ink printing out pages and pages of CAT equipment spec sheets and many other heavy equipment manufactures, dreaming of owning or operating them one day. What can I say, I was a kid with a vivid imagination. Fast forward some 16+ years and I still have that vivid imagination, constantly building some kind of truck in my brain on a daily basis. I didn’t own my first truck until I was in my late 20’s and I’ve owned a few since then but now almost 30 and I’m trying to bring some of that child hood imagining to life. One day I’ll wake up and walk outside to a fleet of trucks in my driveway, making that childhood me very happy.

Reset

I feel like I’ve reset a few times when it comes to the things I’m into and the direction I go in with my projects. I officially moved on from the Subaru about 6 weeks ago when I parted it out and scrapped it due to insurmountable rust. Looking at the cost to fix it versus the car itself, it was time to move on. I’ve had a build in my back pocket kind of waiting in the wings for the right moment; I’ll get to that in a video hopefully in a few weeks. I think I finally found an avenue I can sink my teeth into that truly has me giddy on the inside. Trucks. When I was a kid I use to have notebooks full of trucks I wanted, from simple Chevy pick ups all the way up to Caterpillar trucks I’d see when my parents would drive by construction sites (yes, I’d go home, wait for the dial up internet to connect and look up the trucks). I know I’ve said it before but the horizon looks good for what I’ve got conjured up in my head. Now, to stick with it and follow through.

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Learning

I’m a bit of a “fraud”. I have a few hobbies that include guns, cars, trucks and sports with the only one out of those that I’ve ever been fully committed to has been sports. I practiced weekly and immersed myself in it for 13 years. Unfortunately I haven’t committed the same way to either one of my other hobbies the same way. There are some variables now with the other two like time and money along with other responsibilities. My fiance will be the first to tell you that when I want to do something for myself, I’m 100% focused and committed. When it comes to anything else, I’m not so invested. It’s not that I don’t care because I do, I am just not all in. I won’t deny it because it’s true and I own that. Over the last 6 of 7 weeks though I’ve wanted to make a change. I want to be the best version of myself every day while pushing myself to learn new things, focusing better and more importantly grow. I’ve committed to being healthier which I’m in a groove with now and I do my best to be a better partner than I was the day before to my future wife. My goals now include to fully commit my work ethic to my hobbies the way I did for 13 years with sports. From working on my own vehicles more and not being worried about screwing up or seeming to not know what I’m doing to learning how to properly shoot and handle my guns while improving as a shooter. Embrace the suck and grow from it. That’s my new approach. 

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Excitement

To say I have a fire lit under my ass would be a slight understatement. When I initially got the Subaru back I wasn’t quite sure how things would go with the car. Would I half ass things again? Would it just be a whatever thing until I decided to sell it again? I didn’t know. At the time I also had the IS300. Reality set in and obviously the Lexus has since been sold. I knew deep down that the Subaru needed the attention it deserved. I got back on the forums and started doing what I use to do which was research and read to see what would work and what wouldn’t for my intended goals.

I brought the car down to work  last month which means having it here would allow me to work on it little by little with whatever time I could find.  Cleaning stuff here, installing a part there and being able to really look the car over and assess what needed to be done next. Like I stated in a previous post I underestimated the sentimental attachment I had to the car. From parts trips with Corey to working on it with my dad or calling my best friend George because I had no clue what I was doing. I know I’ll have other projects, in fact, I’m planning them out in my head right now but this car will never leave my possession again. I have a long way to go with the car and I’m creeping up on ten years of ownership which is crazy. I’ve got some obtainable goals over the next 6-12 months for the car and I but I do know things feel whole again.

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