Welcome to the Fleet

1997 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT 5.9L 12 valve 47RE 4×4 extended cab long bed truck

Resurrection of a desert work truck. The diesel spent most of its service life in the harsh desert environment of Death Valley, put to work hauling heavy in the arid heat and punishing sun.

Upon taking delivery of the truck, the 12 valve Cummins turbo diesel proved its potential by making the nearly 500 mile drive to the SF Bay Area. Its 47RE automatic transmission was not my first choice in drivetrain, but if taken care of and not abused, it would work just fine for intended work and overland adventures.

1997 Ford F350 XL 7.3L ZF5 4×4 single cab long bed truck

Result of the search for a diesel truck, that needs to be 4×4 (solid front axle) with a manual transmission and long bed. Single cab to minimize the overall length of the rig, and model year no older than 1997 to be California smog exempt.

Build intents are to be a reliable, heavy duty base camp and work rig. Office in the cab, habitat in the back. Also the ability to carry the motorcycle and mountain bike.

I’ve built an exo cage over the aluminum contractor topper, by cutting up a lumber rack and adding more HREW tubing. The space inside my camper became the overland habitat for weeks into the forest desert and snow.

Lots of maintenance and trail fixes to keep her reliable and 7.3L OBS Powerstroke cold starting without hesitation. Am certainly getting more familiar with the rig.

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L 4×4

Love affair with this body style for its factory V8 engine and challenges with building on a unibody chassis. With a unibody, this rig may as well be a lifted station wagon.

1998 is the final year of the ZJ generation, where Jeep optioned a factory 5.9L (360cid) powerplant over the 5.2L (318cid). It’s a higher output motor requiring 91 octane premium gas.

Build intents are JeepSpeed inspiration of a performance trail rig in the desert. Long arm suspension and coil springs, locked front and rear, and a bit of tube work.

2008 KTM 530 EXC-R plated

A plated dual sport of KTM enduro pedigree with both electric and kickstart, yet carbureted. It is carried on a receiver hitch that can go on the back of the truck or jeep, and it carries and hydraulically lifts the bike from under the frame and skidplate. No ramps nor straps required.

Build intents are full utilization of the dual sport capacity, for both supermoto and adventure riding, and a dedicate rear paddle for the sand. There are even sno-bike kits out there, but I haven’t had the experience yet.

OBS 7.3L Powerstroke Water Pump replacement

Water pump blew up in Death Valley on the eastbound climb up Towne Pass, shortly after taking off and not getting far from Panamint Springs up the 3500′ ascent. The bearings went out, nearly completely apart, but wonky enough the shaft slung coolant all up under the hood by the engine fan draft. Before the…

ZF-5 Manual Transmission Flywheel + Clutch

Addressing the transmission and failed starter motor. Replaced starter which broke at the starter gear housing, and while the ZF-5 transmission and drivelines were removed from the truck, went ahead and had the following parts replaced for $1000 in labor: flywheel, engine rear main seal (Ford p/n F4TZ-6701-A) pressure plate, clutch, shift fork (Ford p/n…

Casa de Lance | Truck Camper Propane

Manchester tank with OPD (overfill prevention device), manufactured in 2000, 1#/5gal LPG tank. Recertified in Aug 2019 (after acquiring camper, indicating that the propane tank was never refilled/used for at least the 9 years prior to taking delivery) Jan 11, 2020 – CaliGas (La Paz, BCS MX) – 8kg @ = $160MX Feb 26, 2020…

Casa de Lance | Truck Camper Solar System

Less than $500 12V solar system, using 2 thin flexible solar panels for a combined 260 watts, on Casa de Lance truck camper. A simple, lightweight, and maintenance-free setup that does not require drilling through the roof, and connects to existing camper battery. Breakdown of the components to put together my exact system: includes Amazon…

2000 Casa de Lance 915 | Truck Camper

Lance Lite model 915 EC , fully self-contained truck camper (aka slide-in, cab-over) for long bed pickup truck Dimensionally: 9’6″ floor length, 93″ wide, 6’7″ interior height, 17’6″ length overall, 61″ center of gravity; 2059lbs dry weight (before options and upgrades) Specs: 33 gallon fresh water, 16 gallon gray tank, 13 gallon holding tank, 4…

KTM 530 EXC adventure build for TAT

So it begins.. added to the fleet, a 2008 KTM 530 EXC-R plated California dirtbike. Taken delivery with relatively low hours & miles (180 hours; 3850 miles | 6200km) on the XC4 motor, she appears to have solid potential from the initial baseline of mechanicals and fluids, and enough initial issues to facilitate getting rapidly…

7.3L Powerstroke diesel – Rapid cold start reliability

06:50 outside of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah14* Fahrenheit (-9* Celsius) ambient temperature Elevation 5200 feet (1580 meters) Cold starts taking longer, requiring several glow plug cycles, and also first notice of an oil leak originating from the oil cooler in the mornings. In this video, am running Motorcraft 15W-40 synthetic oil (https://amzn.to/39hTMX8) along with…

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Ford OBS diesel trucks ending with the 1997 model year generation, make theses the newest possible smog exempt rigs. Ideal for a Cummins swap.

A large portion of the page is dedicated to technical support for the OBS 7.3L Powerstroke.

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