As James May would say: GOOD NEWS!

It's not the Dacia Sandero, but it is the Eagle. And it's on its own feet again.

I put the rear drive shaft back in and tested it, and it worked perfectly. The exhaust is all the way in and clamped together, and (temporarily) hung with 16-gauge mechanic's wire. I serviced the rear differential and wired the transfer case selector (also temporarily) in 2WD. Stock-sized wheels and tires are on. It's been another busy weekend, and the Eagle now rests on the ground instead of jack stands.

This is right after I put on the new wheels and tires:


Sunday night we had some dinner guests over, and right after they left, I nervously climbed into the driver's seat and fired up the engine, still not knowing exactly what would happen when I put it in gear. Then... well, there's a video which I don't seem to be able to embed here, but it's viewable at where all this stuff is cross-posted. My kid's reaction is what you might call priceless. He seems even more excited than I was.

  • Reinstall starter and brace
  • Put in the transfer case
  • New transmission fluid cooler line to replace the one I had to break
  • Fix speedometer
  • New u-joints for the driveshafts
  • A new driver's side CV axle in the front
  • Install new exhaust components
  • Change oil and brake fluid
  • Some new seat belts ($$)
  • New (stock) rims and tires ($$)
  • New shift indicator cable (which keeps the gearshift from moving accidentally)
  • Service the front and rear differentials
  • New gas springs for rear hatch
  • Insurance, restricted-use permit, emissions, title, registration
  • Flush coolant and repair heater core with some stop-leak and a prayer
  • Fix whatever makes the A/C compressor scream when it's on
  • De-grease the engine bay
  • New under-hood insulation
  • Interior detailing
  • New paint job. Desperately needed. ($$$$)