Thursday, September 23, 2021


Kubota is moping around. His truck needs parts and he is not getting very many hours at work.

His truck has a radical lift-kit in it and it has not been driven gently.

The CV (Constant velocity) boots are cracked and spraying lube. More important, the cracked boots allowed grit into the joint and they are wearing quickly.

He needs new ball joints. Installing new ball joints requires an alignment.

One of Kubota's rocket-scientist buddies pointed out that longer control arms would mitigate the angle of the intermediate shafts. In stock configuration the intermediate shafts are nearly in alignment with the output shaft and the boots only flex when going over bumps rather than with every rotation.

So now Kubota is convinced he needs longer control arms which would totally mess up the geometry of the front suspension. The good news is that I don't think you can get longer, after-market front control arms for late '90s Chevys.

The other thing is that his tires are rapidly approaching "slicks" status. Oversized tires are more expensive than stock tires. The tires on his truck retail for $340 each while less radical "stock" All Terrain tires might run $125-to-$150 per donut.

I suggested he could save money in the long run if he removed the lift-kit and reverted back to stock. That idea went over like a fart in church. Much of Kubota's identity is wrapped around his driving a "manly" truck.

Some people just have to learn the hard way. Unfortunately, I don't think Kubota will live long enough to recreate 4000 years of wisdom.


  1. Treadwright has that size of tire for 160-200ish. I know remolds ain't for everyone, but it may be a way to make it slightly more affordable for him. I've run them on my "farm truck" 3 years, 10k miles or so with no issues.
    I have no suggestions regarding his CV angle issue... Never lifted any of my vehicles.

  2. sorry he cant learn without experiencing...

    "Manly" stiff is expensive. mostly because its is never enough, and somebody else's stuff is more manly.

    Sucks to be young and ignorant.

    Hang in there dad. Eventually you may be smart again as he grows older.

  3. Stock seems to be best in my experience. Even the cheapest suspension parts from AutoZone, Advance Auto, etc. seem to last quite long compared to the marvels of "Trendy Internet (Re)Engineering".

    Engineers bear the brunt of the jokes when things go wrong... However, there's a reason they designed it the way it came from the factory (stock). Lifts and lowering almost always introduce undesired reliability and/or safety issues. But you already know this.

    I bet if he removed the lift kit and didn't mention it to anyone, 99.999999999% of the world would not even notice.


  4. If he's being honest with himself, he can literally get as many hours 'at work' as he wants. EVERYBODY is hiring right now...

    1. That is a different story.

      He could also be making $200 a week selling his plasma.

  5. You can get away without an alignment for a ball joint job. If all you change is tie rods you can set that with a tape measure. Castor and camber need some special tools to set.
    Lift kits make a pretty truck. They also make mechanics more money...
    I was ASE master certified for over twenty years. A stock setup will make his wallet happy.

  6. Someday Kubota will learn that a squared away vehicle that is clean, dent free and works perfectly as designed is far more manly than some expression of 'manliness' that his truck represents. Kubota WANTS a big truck to attract attention and compliments from his fellow wannabe adults.......

    Adults make choices based on need and not wants. Wants come after all the 'needs' are met.

    He does not need their attention or compliments if he believes that having things buttoned down and taken care of properly is the greater expression of his 'manliness' or 'adulthood'.

    I have seen this play out with my sons and understand better than most.

    Eventually things besides luxuries (big trucks are a luxury) will take the place of Kubota's playthings.

    1. The ever wise and beautiful Mrs ERJ informs me that pushing away from the family and the parent's values is a normal part of becoming an adult.

      On the up-side, he does not go to demonstrations, throw bricks and destroy property. If he has to pick-and-choose which values he rebels against I am ok with him picking frugality.

      As you pointed out, excessive spending on luxuries is self-correcting.

    2. Try these pearls of wisdom from my dad.

      That's not your penis son, it's just a truck.
      The ultimate luxury is reliability.

  7. The cool thing about life - all lessons will be repeated until the objective is achieved.

  8. That's sad, especially combining lift kits with slick tires. Can we say 'rollover'???

    1. Back in the day, we'd call 'em "May Pops" and tell the driver the air was looking a little dirty in his tires.

    2. And flat old lower Michigan tends to have some real deep drainage ditches alongside rural roads. When I lived there, the first snows of winter always brought on a lot of accidents until people remembered that you had to slow down. My neighbors kid died in a deep ditch that way less than a quarter mile from home. I think he'd only had his license a few months.

  9. If that GM truck is 4wd a piece of the frame that supported the front differential assy may have been cut off installing the lift kit. Some fabrication and welding would be required to correct.

  10. It's a right of passage. Back in '86, an '83 Silverado diesel with 33" tires nearly put me in the poor house. I"ve mostly driven beaters ever since. We have a nice car the wife drives. I drive modest cars. Two levels up from beaters.

    I'd try to explain the nuances of automotive things to my mom when I was a young and stupid motorhead. She's say "I just want the Goddam thing to run when I get it it".

    Now that I'm old, I just want the goddamn thing to run when I get in it. Which it didn't the other day. Crap batteries have gotten pricey!

    I've owned everyting from Lexus (the wife's new car) to a beatup "Silence of the Lambs" van. The car don't make the man.

  11. I own five Astro vans. Under $5000 was paid for them and they were purchased over about 7 years. They all run and drive but only one is a daily driver. Four are rear wheel drive and one is a lifted all wheel drive and it is the only one I have problems with. Hoping I have enough parts to keep one running for the rest of my life.

  12. Between the expense of keeping a lifted truck on the road, and the expense of repairing it after engaging the activities it was lifted for, Kubota will soon learn life's most important mathematical relationship between fun and work. The good news is, an empty wallet is easier to get out of the pocket. He should have gotten a Dodge - they can easily fit substantially bigger tires without the need of a lift kit.


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