BOLT Locks

Many of the chores we use our trucks for involves working with toys, trailers, gear, and paraphernalia that we want to stay until we decide it’s time for removal. This means securing things, as unattended and unlocked stuff sometimes disappears, while secured items are removed with much less frequency. Locking is an obvious solution, but it’s doubtful many enjoy adding extra … Read More

Land Rover Series IIA restoration

Land Rovers are not my thing and probably never will be, Series IIA or otherwise. Sure, I lusted after the Defender 90 and 110 when they were officially imported to The States years ago, but I’ve never had a strong desire to own a Land Rover. And while I spend plenty of time in my garage modifying, servicing, and repairing (newer) … Read More

SEMA Show 2014

2014 SEMA Show feature in the Turbo Diesel Register Issue 87. Includes: BD Diesel Performance manifolds, turbos, and differential cover. Legacy Classic Trucks Dodge Carryall and Jeep Scrambler with a 3.0-liter VM Motori turbo diesel. McLeod Workhorse clutch. Cooper Discoverer A/TW winter tire. Dick Cepek Extreme Country mud tire. AEV Ram regular cab flatbed. COPYRIGHT! ALL MATERIAL PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT  … Read More

Introducing The Still Plays With Trucks TDR Columns

There is a new page in the RoadTraveler menu. My Still Plays With Trucks columns from the Turbo Diesel Register (TDR) magazine will be posted there, and I’m starting with the first installment from 2014. It will be a substantial amount of material over time. COPYRIGHT! ALL MATERIAL PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT    COPYRIGHT! ALL MATERIAL PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT  © 2016 James Langan/RoadTraveler.net

Toyo M/T 255/85R16 Part 6

It’s time to finish this slow, drawn-out tire review. If you need some background read the previous related post here: Toyo M/T Part 5 After a mere 1,278 miles traveled over twelve days, the measured treadwear on this set of 255/85R16E Toyo M/T tires went from 19/32″ when new, to 18/32″ on the front axle and 17/32″ on the rears. It’s well known that diesel torque, weight, towing, and high … Read More

VW 2.0L TDI Customer Goodwill

Recently we received VW’s TDI Customer Goodwill package in the mail. -$500 Visa card -$500 VW dealership card -Roadside assistance for three years To activate the cards the registered owner must take the package to a Volkswagen dealership, with proof of ownership, driver’s license, and the car. After the vehicle’s odometer is recorded and eligibility confirmed, the goodwill package is activated. Our loyalty cards are … Read More

Bosch Warned VW To Not Use Software

Maybe it’s in our nature, or possibly our cultures, to survive by winning at all cost, including cheating? Though most learn that dishonesty is not the way, in theory if not in practice. As my friend Mike commented, the ethics of the VW emissions cheating situation aside, didn’t the perpetrators think they would  get caught someday? They should have… http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/09/27/reports-volkswagen-emmissions/72923064/ … Read More

Are Diesel Cars Doomed In The USA?

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe VW’s despicable deceit will hurt the future market for diesel cars in the USA, like GM’s pathetic first attempt to make light-duty automotive diesels decades ago? The action was very different, but could a generally negative public perception of diesel power return? This article argues yes. http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/why-volkswagens-diesel-betrayal-different The author makes valid points about alternative technologies getting better, heck, even gasoline-powered cars … Read More

VW’s “Clean Diesel” Scam

Prelude As a longtime diesel aficionado, I have some thoughts about the recent revelation regarding Volkswagen’s intentional cheating on emissions tests, allowing vehicles to apparently meet standards when they actually did not while traveling on public roads. Looking Back Before Looking Forward We have already passed the crossroads for light-duty diesel acceptance in the USA. The overly belabored weaknesses of 1970s and 1980s G.M. … Read More

Toyo M/T 255/85R16 Part 5

It’s time to continue telling this story, too much has passed, time for closure and for a small blog revival. Depending on your point of view, particularly if you are a Toyo Open Country M/T fan, you may consider this a not-so-happy ending. We will get there together…eventually. Within ten days of ownership these LT255/85R16E Toyos saw many miles of both graded byways … Read More

2012 Jeep JK Tire Selection Dilemma

With all my posts about tires it’s not surprising that I receive mail asking for opinions and advice on tires. A gentleman named Guy from Washington recently asked for my input. Below are his questions and my replies. My review and comments on the 255/85R16 Toyo M/T on my old F-350 will continue. Howdy, hope you can help me a bit with a tire … Read More

Toyo M/T 255/85R16 Part 4 – Starting Slow

This blog has been defunct for too long, and I’d considered taking it offline. However, it continues to get measurable views everyday, without me posting a single word. During the 19-month hiatus a few new readers even subscribed, apparently looking forward to future posts should any be forthcoming… So instead of killing the blog, here is a small revival effort. Thanks for visiting RoadTraveler.net. … Read More

Toyo M/T LT255/85R16E Part 3 (Trailer Leaks)

Unloaded But Dripping Wet I parked and leveled the Avion with Charlie’s grass between our trailers. My provisions were unloaded from the F350’s bed, mirrors moved to their in position, and the RV trailer wiring connector was moved—from directly under the Reunel rear bumper up to the frame—to prevent unceremonious removal during the occasional butt drag. These few chores are necessary to … Read More

Toyo M/T LT255/85R16E, Loaded, On-Highway

Just two days after the Toyos were mounted it was time to put them to work. The first part of my testing involved towing our vintage 30-foot Avion travel trailer. I often weigh my outfits before heading out, though I was leaving much later than planned, so I bypassed the local truck scales. For trips like this with 65 gallons of … Read More

Toyo M/T LT255/85R16E Mount and Balance

To balance these 255/85 Toyos we used the static method that I prefer for big tires, but had never used on these forged aluminum 16×7-inch F350 wheels. Living up to their reputation, the high-quality Toyo M/Ts balanced well with relatively little weight. In addition, the Centramatic tire/wheel balancers I’ve run on this old Ford for several years insure the assemblies remain … Read More

Toyo M/T 255/85R16E Purchase

My friend Sean needed tires soon but didn’t want to spend the money to purchase my Dick Cepek F-C II treads I’d offered, until he suddenly needed tires now. A freeway road-hazard punctured one of his old and very worn Toyo A/T 265/75R16E treads. His wife Shelly was driving their 2002 F350 crew-cab, 7.3L Power Stroke, pulling their loaded 36-foot … Read More

Favorite LT255/85R16 Part Two

Favorite 255/85 Part 2 Over that past several weeks I’ve found myself seriously considering a new set of 255/85R16 tires for my old F350 (Pull Dog), which was recently put back in-service after an embarrassingly long hiatus. Maxxis Bighorns or Toyo M/Ts are the only treads I’ve been considering, both readily available from Les Schwab Tires where I do much … Read More

Iveco Massif 3.0HPI Overland Camper

World Overlander Sighting After my encouraging encounter with the Dutch Bros. Coffee barista this past Saturday afternoon, I continued south on U.S. Route 395 through Carson City, Nevada. From a distance and several car lengths ahead in the right lane I saw an unusual vehicle. A hard-sided, custom and possibly self-made, chassis-mounted camper on the rear of a small four-wheel-drive pickup … Read More

Big Wheels and Spare Tires

Maybe I need a new category, unexpected encounters of the good kind? I drove away from home this afternoon heading for a hardware store hoping to find two bolts to get my F350 spare tire carrier operational. There was a special radio show on channel 60 Outlaw Country (Sirius/XM) hosted by Elizabeth Cook that I was enjoying so I didn’t want … Read More

Armstrong Ratcheting Wrenches and Customer Service Part 2

As detailed in my first post about Armstrong Ratcheting Wrenches Customer Service I purchased a new, surplus tool kit that included a good selection of Armstrong reversible ratcheting wrenches. The 15 mm wrench was missing its guts, making it only an open-end wrench. These tools were purchased when I learned of a good deal, and except for the cursory initial inspection, they sat … Read More

Eezi-Awn 1600 Roof Tent Review

Second Time Winner: Choosing an Eezi-Awn Series 3 1600 Roof Tent By James Langan We have a pop-up camper for luxurious overland travel but there are times when the tracks are too rugged or we want to travel lighter and leave the trailers and big rigs at home. We could rough-it and sleep in a ground tent, but the earth … Read More

My favorite LT255/85R16?

I was asked about my favorite 255/85R16 tire these days. Favorite? Just one? Singular? This was a tough assignment for me. All my buddies know it’s impossible for me to have only one set of truck tires in my shop. It depends on the application, but what’s my final answer? For most of us price is at least somewhat of … Read More

Dick Cepek and Mickey Thompson Change Load Range D For E

Some of the great load-range (LR) D enthusiast tires are going to be improved to load-range E designs. This is only an improvement if one needs the higher load rating, and can be a negative if you don’t (see Wheels, Tires, and Sidewalls from Jan. 2012). I understand manufacturers’ position, if they make all or most of their heavy-duty light-truck (LT) … Read More

Ken Block-San Francisco-Gymkhana Five

Not a typical RoadTraveler post, but it’s all about location, location, location. This is one exception to my distain for low-profile tires, and this is not a truck. There is a nexus as there’s some off (above) road travel. I particularly like the sideways jump and turn. Turn up the speakers.

Ford’s F150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Succeeds

Ford Motor Company has a resounding success in their 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine. In February 2011 the power plant was made available in the F150 pickup, and by April Ford sold 35% of their F150s with the little engine that could. By September Ford had sold 75,000 EcoBoost F150s and forecasted the take-rate would reach 45 percent. In December 2011 Ford … Read More

RoadTraveler’s 100,000 Mile Challenge Part 2

Real World Examples 1) 1996 F350 7.3L Power Stroke, 4.10 differential gears, 5-speed manual transmission. This truck was conservatively modified with thirty-three inch tires, heavy bumpers, and mild engine performance modifications. It should be noted that the older (pre-Super Duty) Ford pickups had relatively poor brakes compared to the later 1999-up trucks with four-wheel disc brakes, though they’ve never been … Read More

RoadTraveler’s 100,000 Mile Challenge Part 1

I’m not talking about an engine or chassis making it to 100,000 miles. The days when it was a major accomplishment for vehicles reach 100k without an engine overhaul or major repairs are in the history books. For decades now vehicles have been built to higher standards, are more reliable, and it’s no great achievement nor are bragging rights attached … Read More

2010 Tacoma & FlipPac Camper Tire Q&A

Recently I received an email from Cliff with a few tire questions for the RoadTraveler (RT) blog. Below are his questions and my answers and comments, it’s a long one…Tires, they’re what’s on the menu today 😉 Background provided by Cliff: I have a few questions I hope you wouldn’t mind answering.  First some background; I daily drive a 2010 Tacoma … Read More

Armstrong Ratcheting Wrenches and Customer Service

As part of my goal to put together a complete, high-quality tool kit for my Tundra, I purchased a set of SK 3/8-inch sockets (SK 3/8″ tool set). As handy as sockets can be, combination wrenches are often more practical and it’s easy to have a need for both when away from home. I considered reallocating a big set of … Read More

$4 Per Gallon, $75 Pump Shut Off, and Range

Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Overland Expo near Flagstaff, Arizona, and spent four nights camping in our new-to-us Four Wheel Camper. To maximize our time at the event and accommodate our work schedules we were forced to drive the full 730 miles to the Overland Expo in just one day. To reduce our time on the … Read More

7.3L Power Stroke, firing on all cylinders.

The short video below shows and tells the story. Was there any doubt? Yes, the engine was a little slow to fire, but it had been weeks since the motor ran, long enough for prime to be lost. RoadTraveler.net, rollin’ forward. Copyright © 2012 James Langan

Odyssey PC1750 Jump Start

When the two Group 65 Odyssey PC1750 batteries in the old F350 would not ignite the 7.3L Power Stroke, my solution was to get a third Odyssey battery. Not a new, replacement battery, but the Mall Crawlin’ Distance Runner from the garage, which has an identical Odyssey 1750 under the hood. I also retrieved a set of booster cables. The … Read More