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Old 08-08-2018, 04:59 PM #61
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Another mountain hike











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Old 08-09-2018, 12:20 AM #62
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Another hike out with the mountain lions





























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Old 08-11-2018, 12:38 AM #63
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Going to ride the Boulder Creak Path



















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Old 08-13-2018, 12:35 AM #64
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My son wanted to see a whistle pig (Marmot) and a waterfall like in his Rocky Mountain National Park book, so we went and found a water fall and whistle pigs.































https://youtu.be/7npCiX6ScAE
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:36 AM #65
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I love this picture








Here's the first marmot, my son got upset because he was to loud and scared the marmot away.




The next one he stayed quiet so we got like 6 feet from it and he could check it out.




Success, thats a happy kid





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Old 08-20-2018, 11:01 AM #66
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Scoping out some dispersed camping.




I don't have all the LEDs on in broad daylight on a trail, can I still put this on my Instagram or will it get flagged as inappropriate?






























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Old 08-20-2018, 11:01 AM #67
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Spot the 4Runner




















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Old 08-22-2018, 05:56 PM #68
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This one isnít really runner related at all, but oh well.

My wife and I went up in the Colorado balloon.





























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Old 08-23-2018, 02:03 PM #69
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Saturday we took our son on his first camping trip, we went up on the Guanella Pass. Night time at 11,000 feet gets pretty chilly but we all had a great time. We've been putting off camping waiting for little man to get a little older and he loved it. He's so excited to have a tent on top of "his truck".

































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Old 08-23-2018, 02:04 PM #70
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:06 PM #71
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https://youtu.be/zN8Sgrunmuw
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:27 AM #72
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Letís talk about maintenance.

I understand itís a little overkill but this is the routine maintenance schedule I follow for my vehicle:
Every 5K - Engine oil and filter change, tire rotation, grease all the fittings, inspect everything.
Every 25K - Front, center, and rear differential services, clean and oil K&N air filter, and replace cabin air filter.
Every 50K - Trans service, power steering flush, spark plugs, coolant flush.
Every 2 years - brake fluid flush.

I recently rolled 100,000 so I this week I went through and did everything listed above. Iíll get into some of the details, hopefully others can find the info useful, but also so I have everything in 1 spot to reference back to. I feel like I spend time tracking down same info over and over every time I need it.

Brake fluid:
Did you know the generally accepted lifespan of brake fluid under normal operating conditions is 2-3 years?

Letís starting with the basics: The brake system is hydraulic system, hydraulics work on the principal that because fluids can not be compressed is very effective and transferring and applying massive amounts of pressure.

On the simplest level you apply pressure to the brake pedal, that pressure is increased and then a lot of hydraulic pressure goes through the brake lines to the pistons in the caliper, the pistons then squeeze the pads against the rotor causing huge amounts of friction, the friction causes the vehicle to slow down.

A by product of friction is heat, and a lot of the heat gets transferred back to the fluid. Brake fluid has a pretty high boiling point but track use and/or abuse can cause it to boil. When the fluid starts to boil air bubbles show up, and while fluid isnít compressible, air absolutely is. When the fluid boils the pressure you apply to the pedal is used to compress the air instead of transferring pressure to the fluid so it can apply the brakes. The result is the brake pedal dropping to the floor while minimal braking is actually happening.

The brake system has a cap but itís not sealed system. As the pads wear the pistons sit further and further out, the fluid in the reservoir takes up that extra system volume as the pads wear. Because itís not a sealed system itís susceptible to moisture and condensation. Moisture in the brake system can rust out components from the inside which can result in catastrophic failure with no visual warning signs leading up to it and it lowers the boiling point of the fluid. To combat that, brake fluid is designed to be hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture. There is only so much moisture it can absorb before the fluid is considered saturated, as it absorbs moisture it lowers the boiling point further and further and it gets significantly worse once it reaches its saturation point. This is where the service life comes from.

Flushing out your brake fluid is pretty simple but it is a safety system so caution must be taken and double check your work. I always use 2 big bottles of fluid for the flush and I note the fluid level when I start and set it to the same level when I finish. If itís midway on the scale and you fill it, when you do the brakes and reset the pistons to the fully retracted position you will overflow the reservoir.



Start with the reservoir. Flushing the fluid out of the brake lines with old fluid from the reservoir is not really beneficial. Take the cap off the reservoir and suck as much fluid out as you can - even a cheap turkey baster will work. Suck the reservoir down as far as you can and then fill it to almost the top with fresh fluid.

The shortest path is the path with the least resistance so I start at the left front. Open the bleeder and stick a piece of vacuum line on the nipple to direct the fluid into a container, with the cap off the reservoir it will have a pretty quick consistent drip. (Personally I use a mighty vac with a fluid catch and apply a little bit of suction to the bleeder just to speed the process up over letting it gravity bleed). Keep topping off the reservoir the level drops. I use an entire big bottle on this step, this ensures the reservoir is fresh clean fluid for flushing the brake lines with. Close the bleeder, your done with the reservoir and the first wheel.

From there one at a time open a bleeder and flush about 1/4 of a bottle through the remaining 3 bleeders leaving you a bit for if you need to top off the fluid back to where you started when youíre done.



You will see a difference in color with old fluid to new fluid.





Itís important to note that the bleeder screws are just blocking or unblocking a fluid passage, they are more or less small hollow 10mm bolts. They donít carry a load, they arenít attaching anything, donít go crazy tightening them, they donít need much.

Brake fluid will eat paint if itís left to sit on a painted surface so when youíre finished make sure to clean up. A lot of people think brake clean/brake parts cleaner is the way to go, itís not. Because the fluid is hygroscopic you literally rinse it right off with water, it will remove it completely and immediately by hosing it off or hitting it with water from a spray bottle. Brake clean smells, itís highly flammable, itís more expensive, and it doesnít clean up brake fluid as well as plain water does.

Now the 5th gens are a bit different than most in the sense that they use an accumulator (basically because the 5th gen is an outdated dinosaur of a vehicle). Because of the accumulator system after flushing the system like this you will get ABS and traction control warning lights in the dash briefly once you start it up and apply the brakes to make sure they hold pressure. It with trip a fault in ABS system for low pressure on the accumulator. You can clear it with any scan tool, code reader, or mobile app that can read the ABS system.

Differentials:
The process is the same on each of the 3 diffs. Pull the fill plug first (you donít want to drain it then find out you canít remove the fill plug and now it has to be towed) and then drain plug. When the fluid is done draining put a new crush washer on the drain plug and reinstall it. Through the fill hole add fluid until it drips out of the hole and itís filled. Replace the crush washer on the fill plug and put it back in. Doing the 3 diffs youíll need one of the big copper crush washers, 3 of the rounded silver crush washers, and 2 of the flat silver crush washers - your local dealer should stock them. Note that even if the fill and drain look the same if one of them is magnetic it goes in the lower hole, the drain hole. 6 qts of fluid total will get all 3 diffs done with a little left over incase you spill some. I use Mobile 1 or Valvoline Synpower - whatever I find in stock locally but either way, a good quality synthetic 75W-90 gear oil with GL-5 certification on back is what you want.

Transmission:
There are 3 plugs (drain, check, and fill) and you want to make sure the transmission is fully cold when you start the process. Pull the fill plug, pull the check plug, then the drain plug (in that order, again you donít want to drain it first then find out the check or fill plug wonít come out or itís stripped or whatever). After it drains put the drain plug back in with a fresh crush washer. Put the check plug back in with the old drain crush washer and use a fluid pump to dump 5 qts of Toyota WS fluid in the fill hole and put the fill plug back in. Start it cold, shift through park, reverse, neutral, drive, then pack up through the gears to park and repeat a handful of times, just a couple seconds in each to help circulate fluid. Then let it idle in park and monitor the trans temp (scan tool or something like OBD Fusion app with the Toyota enhanced diagnostics and a Carista dongle). When trans temp reaches 105-110 degrees pull the check plug back out while its idling and let the excess drain out the check hole. Once it slows to a drip put the check plug back in with a new crush washer and youíre done. Simple drain and fill. The fill plug has a reusable rubber o-ring. The check plug is the 5mm hex one on the pan, ďCHECKĒ is actually stamped into the head of the bolt. I believe the recommended interval is 60K for heavy load usage, and I donít thing they recommend a fluid change for normal usage. Itís not a full system flush, the system as a whole takes 11.3qts if everything is dry and all the fluid is out of the torque converter. With a drain and fill youíll get 4-4.5 qts of fresh fluid in it. Donít worry about pulling the pan to change the ďfilterĒ, itís a just a metal screen.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:43 AM #73
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My son is Two and half and were fnally comfortable with taking him camping for extended trips so my wife wanted to look into campers. Originally she was thinking weíd get a pop up camper as sheís not all that comfortable with the thought of ground sleeping in a tent in the natural habitat of many very large predators. We start looking into it an they are big. If we get one were either paying a monthly to store it somewhere or filling the garage and parking both vehicles outside. We also found out that a lot of soft sided pop ups are restricted in bear country in Colorado. A hard sided pop up adds even more weight that weíd have to be pulling though the mountains at high elevation where the power is already reduced. The cost isnít terrible but its pricy for something decent and if you opt for something with shower and bathroom inside your cost goes up quite a bit. If you donít go for the plumbing whatís the point of spending all that money for a glorified tent while taking up storage space, dragging it all over the mountains, and not being able to access some of the dispersed camping because its to rough of a trail to get a pop up in and out. Campgrounds in Colorado see to tonfill their reservations pretty far out as well. It just didnít seem like a good option for short notice spur of the meant getaways.

So, we decided to revisit the idea of a roof top tent. Itís relatively light weight, its quick and easy to use, you can set it up anywhere Ė pavement, dirt, on rocks, in flooded area, whatever. Where ever you can get your vehicle, you can setup the tent. There no huge camper to store, there minimal weight, being up high puts my wifeís mind at ease, were not restricted in where we can take it, and above all else its convenient and easy, and letís be honest, if itís a chore to use something youíre less likely to use it.

So Iím picky, Iím very critical, thatís no secret. I work in quality testing and development of preproduction and prototype vehicles and technology for the high end lines of a very large automotive group. Itís literally my job to scrutinize, nitpick details, and find flaws in things and analyze them. When it comes to buying stuff, especially aftermarket upgrades and parts for my vehicles, Iím almost always at least somewhat disappointed because things rarely live up to my expectations. On paper I really liked the iKamper Skycamp (https://www.ikamper.com/pages/skycamp) but it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. I really wanted to check it out in person before spending that amount of money on it. iKamper gave me the name of the only authorized retailer in the region and heís just a short drive from Boulder. I called him and we planned for me to come out and check out the tent in person. Itís a very small one man show of a business, little shop, very personal, and he was an awesome guy. I spent over 2 hours there with him going over everything I can say in all honesty it exceeded my expectations. The build quality fantastic, the thought that went into the design is fantastic, the attention to detail was above what I was expecting, and itís even roomier than I anticipating. Lots of simple things add up, like the entire fabric portion is replaceable so if something happens you can replace the fabric instead of the entire tent, thereís a little lip spoiler at the front edge so wind doesnít catch and try to create a gap for dust to get in while driving, the shape of the hinged lid area when opened is perfect to fit a pillow and provide a few more inches of extra room that you donít expect to be there. The sky light design, the high thread count 2 layer fabric that has a small air gap that works like insulation, the available ďRocky BlackĒ finish which is a Rhinoliner bedliner type of coating on the hardshell from extra UV protection, protection for rock hits on the highway and branches while off roading. Even the mattress seems to be just enough that you donít need anything else, and the floor structure is made of a aluminum honeycomb which is very light weight and extremely strong. its literally a minute to go from fully stowed to setup ready to use. Lots of cool little stuff that doesnít translate into pictures you see in reviews and stuff like that (or the reviewers just honestly overlooked).

Iíve checked out a bunch of the common tents Cascadia, Tepui, ARB, and the build quality doesnít compare. Most of the soft shell tents come out of the same factory in China slightly tweaked and rebadged for whatever company. I even looked at a very high end Roost hard shell, that one was great but hugely expensive and only sleeps 2. The iKamper one is the first 4 person hardshell roof top tent Iíve ever seen and they nailed it. iKamper actually started on Kickstarter with the mentality the current roof top tent offerings are not good enough and they got a massive response from people wanting bigger and better. After seeing it in person, messing with it, scrutinizing it, taking it apart, putting it together I was sold on it.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:49 AM #74
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Trying to organize the camping stuff.



We got a bunch of these crates and filled them up. They all latch, relatively heavy duty, all of the tan ones have 0-ring type gaskets to keep dirt, bugs, and moisture out. The big one is the camp stove, pots and pans, things for cooking. Of the smaller boxes one is stuff for cleaning up and rain gear. One is for non temperature relevant food. One is for tools and fire stuff. One for clothes and toiletries, etc etc etc. I still need to get them fully organized all labeled.

In the pic there’s leveling blocks and wheel chocks that will be used with the roof tent but there’s also the ground tent, rain fly, and 2 cots that won’t be needed ones the roof tent goes on. There’s 3 chairs in there, 6 gallons of fresh water, yeti cooler... everything but sleeping bags which will just go on the floor in the back seat. It all stores up nicely under the cargo cover with room for more but we wanted to be able to have everything in there without it looking like we have anything at all when it’s parked.





Not bad.

Now I need to add some more garage storage, I’d like to have it all up on shelf so it’s just fill up the water, grab some food, and toss the boxes in back so we can be be more spontaneous and less planned in our adventures.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:50 AM #75
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Tent pickup!






Littleman was pretty excited to check it out
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