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Wrenching With My Son

Yesterday (Labor Day in the US), my son Brendon and I took the day off to do some final work on both of our vehicles. We started with the Apex Overland recovery points that came off the Gunship when we put the Shrockworks Ultralight bumper on it (which negated the need for the Apex Overland recovery points) and put them on his 4Runner. This was a very simple task, and we had it complete within about 20 minutes.

The next portion of the day’s events took much longer, mostly because we needed to buy some tools to get the job done, namely the 4.25” circle saw. I had purchased a TJM snorkel for the Gunship, but it wouldn’t fit due to the roof rack. So, I decided to make it an early Christmas present for my son, one that will come in handy next week on the trails we will be on as he will be the trail vehicle (I will be lead).

We began the process with Brendon taking out the air box and disconnecting the requisite pieces. He then removed the lining of the passenger side front wheel well which wasn’t very easy to do because of the way the clips are put in. But, Brendon got that part done and we began the process.

Brendon preparing to drill holes in a perfectly good fender.

I cut out the fender template and taped it onto the vehicle while Brendon got the drill out and drilled out the necessary holes. He then cut out the larger hole for the TJM snorkel.

Holes in the fender.

After test-fitting the snorkel, the next scary part of the job was drilling two holes into the A-pillar. He measured twice and drilled those two holes carefully (and they were perfect). I then helped mount the snorkel by reaching up into the fender and tightening the top-most nut as the area was tight and my arm/hands are smaller than my son’s.

Once we got the snorkel bolted on, Brendon connected the portion inside the fender that connected the snorkel to the air box and we finished up that part of the job.

The beauty shot with the red Apex Overland recovery point visible beneath the fog lights and the snorkel prominently in the middle.

We then moved on to working on both of our rigs at the same time, mounting ARB differential breathers. These were super-simple to do, and took roughly 30 minutes to complete from first wrench-turn. We will now feel safer with water crossings.

We finished up around 7 pm, and we were both smiling. We got a lot done, his 4Runner has some added cool factor and usability, and he told me last night he was even getting slightly better gas mileage.

Our next big trip starts later this week, so expect a lot more here soon!

By PaleoMarine

Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 328 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 130 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 20 lbs and is comfortably back in the 170 lbs range. He is a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard and writes multiple blogs about topics he is passionate about.

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