Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Tag Archives: Explorer

Oh, The Places I’ve Been..

My Baby

My Baby

Wow – September 30th was the last day I posted in here, huh? Amazing. Well, a lot has happened since then and nothing has happened since then.

First off, I finally got new tires for my truck. BF Goodrich Radial All-Terrain T/A KO 31×10.5×15’s. Great tire, nice look, and a good price. Due to an insanely high electric bill (A/C, come to find out, wasn’t working correctly – i.e. always running), I had to shelve the idea of the M/T wheels for now. Soon though – very soon. I have, however, been able to do other modifications.

Baby's New Shoes

Baby's New Shoes

I bought clear corners for the front and also had some custom door lock pins made up. I’m in the process of refining that design and possibly even exploring the option of making a larger quantity to try selling. We’ll see how that goes.

Thanksgiving and Christmas both took place in MA this year – well, Christmas always does, but having Turkey Day with the folks was a nice addition this year. We didn’t go to the game, however, because the weather was horrendous. It looks like I’ll miss out on the game in two years because my cousin, Greg, will be a senior at Milford High and I’ll most likely go to his game. That means that I won’t have seen a KP Turkey Day game for six years by the next time I go to one! I’ve never gone that long.

The New Year has brought a ton of snowboarding! January 13th and I’ve already got 9 days in. For a weekend warrior, I can’t really complain with that. Ris and Court said they want to take a lesson, so we might do that one of these weekends. My annual WICed Fest group trip was another success with 19 of us heading up to Okemo Mountain for three days. There’s talk of a trip out west next year – Big Sky in Montana and Whistler in BC tend to be the two leading candidates right now. I’ve got to get on that.

Other than that, we’re pretty calm. I’m looking forward to a week-long vacation next month. We’ll be cruising the Caribbean. I’ve never been on a cruise before. Hopefully we’ll be buying a house by this time next year and there’s even (small, very small) talk of thinking about starting a family in the next year or two. All good things….

Well, this site is my newest home on the net. And, I am currently a SuperMod there. Great place, great people AND a great set-up. Just a bunch of blue-oval owners helping others out.

Not much else has been up. I’m officially cleared to return to everything athletic as of yesterday (yeah, like I needed that)…not much else going on. Shake-ups at work, good times at home, and fun times with friends…more later – it’s BEER-THIRTY now!

Slow Week….

Not a whole hell of a lot going on this week. Been working out like crazy – surfing (well, paddling – it was flat) on Monday, weight Tuesday thru Thursday, and Yoga on Friday. It’s nice being busy. Work’s been a chore with major ECO’s being pushed through and the Manufacturing/Planning being big ‘ole babies wanting Engineering to do more of their work. But, I’m sure you all don’t give a rat’s ass about that. Hmmmm, what else can I write about.

Well, there’s the ever illustrious truck and what I’m going to do with it. I’ve found my wheel and tire setup.

This is the BF Goodrich Radial All-Terrain T/A KO Tire. I’m going to get it in the 31″ x 10.5″ x 15″ size. I can’t wait. It’s your basic A/T tire with a nice beefy size and enough “ggggrrrrrrr” in it to look good! The upside to it is that I can get it real cheap for the type/brand of tire it is. The down side is that it’s not that cheap in general.

The wheels I’ll be getting to match my nice BF Goodrichs is the Mickey Thompson Classic II’s. They’ll be 15″ rims with an 8″ depth, 3 5/16″ back-spacing and room for 5 bolts on a 4.5″ bolt circle (stock for my Explorer). I was going to go with the American Racing AR-23’s, but couldn’t justify the extra money and they also would be a helluva lot harder to clean than the M/T’s. Everything I’ve read on these rims is great! I can’t wait to get this set-up installed! Oh, by the way, did I mention that this whole set-up will get shipped to my house – mounted and balanced – for the low-cost of just $890? Unreal, right? I can’t wait!!!

Truck Mania!

I’ve recently been bitten by the bug. My truck has turned into my new obsession. I will have it ready to do some beach-combing next summer! I can’t wait. First order of business is to put some decent sized tires on it (due to popping one this past week) and raise it up a bit. After that, the upgrade list looks something like this:


  • Tires – After popping my right rear the other day (pulling out of PepBoys of all places) and realizing that the tires where going south quickly anyways, this has become a top priority. I’ve been tooling around and found two that I really like.

    I’ve got 235/75/R15’s on there now – I was thinking about bumping up to 265/75/R15’s (or bigger). Any thoughts on this?

  • Driver’s Side Foglight Replacement – Rock busted it while I was playing in the parking lot of a local snowboard hill in NJ. Finally got around to getting the part. Should be replacing it this weekend.

Near Future Mods

  • Diamond Clear Corners & Headlights
  • Tinted (or aftermarket) Tail Lights
  • Explorer Brake Light Decal
  • Uniform Tint in Driver & Passenger Windows
  • Billet Grill
  • Interior Mods – dash knobs, gauges, & door handles are all possibilities
  • Rear View Mirror – Something snapped a year or two ago in this stupid thing and it shakes like hell. Gotta get a replacement
  • Cargo Bay Cover – The spring some how broke (I think one of my buddies – or my wife – pulled it out too far), so it doesn’t retract without manually rolling it back. Needs replacing since I use it alot.

Long Term Upgrades

  • K&N Air Intake
  • Torsion Lift – need more info/how-to info (been doing some research online)
  • Shackle Kit – ditto above
  • Upgrade (stock +6-CD in arm rest) sound system
  • More to come

I’ve got a ton of other stuff I want to tackle including intake and exhaust, not to mention getting the truck detailed next spring and then hopefully repainted in a year or two. All kinds of fun – this weekend starts it all off with a few fixes – replacing the driver’s side fog light (broken at Mountain Creek this winter) and replacing a lug bolt that snapped last weekend while I was replacing all four pads and rotors.

Fun city! I love working on my truck!

The Money Pit I Call ‘My Truck’

You know, I thought was doing good. I’d finally landed a good job (that I promptly quit a few months later) and was getting ready to settle down. So, I figured, what the hell! I’d promised myself an SUV all through college and I’d be damned if I was going to buy one. My Saturn finally giving up the ghost – well, really all that happened was the clutch finally giving out after about 165k miles – gave me even more reason to buy a truck. Buying new wasn’t an option with my skinny pay and a wedding/honeymoon coming up, so I bought slightly used – and, hell, what’s 27k miles on a vehicle now-a-days?

Then things started going to shit. Gas shot up to round about $2/gallon almost immediately after I bought the truck. The roof started leaking. The front brakes went. I needed a new serpentine belt. The rear windshield wiper stopped wiping. I busted a foglight. The rear brakes went. The front brakes went, again. The signals only work when the steering wheel is at its highest position. The hardware fell out of the passenger side “Oh Shit” handle. And a rotation sensor went kaput on a rear wheel. Some of this stuff was covered by our warranty, but most wasn’t. And, this all happened in two years.

Now, mind you, most of this stuff was just normal wear and tear and I’m fine with fixing it. Hell, give me the right tools and the time and I can fix most of it myself. It’s just that, as an SUV, all the parts are super expensive. And, knowing myself the way I do, I know that I beat the living snot out of this thing, so I put in the best of everything. Fun, fun, fun!

And, to think that I want a boat one day…..