I Can't Believe it Survived

Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes

5,000 miles in nine days. This was a truck that sat in grass for a couple years, brought back to roadworthy condition, then absolutely SENT across the western half of the country.

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Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes

It drove from Illinois through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, northern Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, southern Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, then back home to Illinois.

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On the way home we saw the great Salt Lake, visited the Bonneville Salt Flats, and I stopped at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop for the first time despite having passed by it at least ten times in the past.

Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes
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Of the $500 vehicles we rolled with over the past week, the only one that did actually have a breakdown was the bus, and boy did it break down A LOT.

Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes
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Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes

Here’s a list of its breakdowns..

- Steer tires blown (both) in Washington.

- Total brake loss in Oregon.

- Brake loss again in Oregon. Fix was junkyard parts.

- Stuck parking brake in Oregon. Fix was to delete the pulley to the hydraulic system that powers the brake.

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- Air-conditioner killed a generator, which killed the air-conditioner in Oregon.

- Stopped running in Nevada.

- Stopped running again in Nevada.

- Alternator overcharging, killing the bus electrical system in Nevada. The fix for this one was to remove the leads from the alternator and keep the bus batteries charged using a generator.

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- Taillights lost in Nevada. Fixed in Iowa when they decided to attempt to drive the final hours in one go.

- Brakes on fire in Nebraska. Turns out, even though they released the parking brake and deleted the pulley, it somehow locked anyway.

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The inhabitants of the bus basically worked on the idea that they wouldn’t fix anything. Anything that broke they’d just delete and keep driving.

Eventually Sheryl and I left the bus behind to finish the final 3 hours of the drive home. It took the bus 6 hours to do those 3 hours, so I think they broke down again somewhere for something. I know there are definitely breakdowns I'm forgetting, too!

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This past week was the best week of our lives and neither of us could believe it even happened. <3

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Sheryl is a full on Gambler now. In addition to our new Xterra toy, she’s picking up a cheap Chevy HHR and following in my footsteps with having a daily driven Gambler car.

Plan for the Ranger is to drive it into the ground. The American Racing wheels are a touch too big for the truck’s gears, so I’m saving them for a future project. The truck itself will be both a daily and Gambler until something really major breaks, which I reckon will take quite a while with how decent it is. My guess is that the frame will rust out before anything major mechanical breaks.

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Illustration for article titled I Cant Believe it Survived
Photo: Mercedes

Our adventures are not done yet! We plan on another epic road trip this summer, just not Gambler related.

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