We leave on what will hopefully be an epic adventure in 75 days.

We still need to:

1.  Rent out our condo.  (We are finalizing the details of hiring a property manager…)

2.  Save more money.  (An ongoing constant struggle between our bills and our savings account.)

3.  FINISH THE TRUCK.  (This feels like the big one right now.)



The above image from John Muirs “How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive : A Manual of Step-By-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot” is a good visualization of what’s going on in Richard’s brain.  Just substitute Toyota parts for those VW parts.  All day every day he’s constantly thinking about the truck, what parts we need, when can we install them… how much time is this going to take???

Overall, we’re in pretty good shape considering we started two months ago with a truck that has been sitting for about a year in Richard’s Dad’s backyard.  We’ve made some good progress, but the fun stuff will be seen in an upcoming post, hopefully sooner rather than later!!  We’re updating our Facebook Page regularly so make sure to follow us there for the latest!

This broken torsion bar adjusting bolt is the difference between you reading this and you seeing awesome photos of our complete Old Man Emu suspension install.


After the new bolt arrives from Toyota we’ll have a full blog post of the install.

We finally made a decision on what we’re going to do with our 320,00okm engine.  We’re going to pull it and replace it with a Disturbed Industries 22RE.  Overall it’ll be pretty mild, but it will be uber (what’s Japanese for uber??) reliable.  We used the magical Visa to drop down a deposit yesterday to get the engine build under way.

We (okay, just Richard) went back and forth with remanfuctured vs. rebuilt engines vs. rebuilding the one in the truck.  Due to our deadline there isn’t enough time to pull the engine from our truck, bring it down to the city for a rebuild, and then bring in back for the install.  This scheduling issue would be the main reason for going with a remanufactured engine that could be picked up in Vancouver and brought to the truck or finding another engine core to rebuild here.

The problem with reman engines is that you don’t really know what you’re getting.  These companies throw engines together with whatever stock parts they have on hand (not necessarily from the same engine) and use the least expensive gaskets, pistons etc.  Cheap?  Yes.  Reliable?  Maybe.

Our dilemma was solved when a few people recommended Ryan at Disturbed Industreis.  Ryan will pull from one of his cores and build that for us.  He has built hundreds of 22REs to the same spec, so he’s got it down to a science.  He has also offered to complete a free valve adjustment after the engine is broken in to make sure we’re in tip top shape before heading south. Once the engine is completed we should be able to perform the swap over a long weekend.

This is the general plan for the Disturbed Industries rebuild:

  • New cylinder head casting
  • RV260 Camshaft and new valvesprings, lifter screws, valves, seats, etc
  • Magnafluxed block, bored to .020 or .040 over
  • Machined and polished crankshaft
  • New pistons, rings, bearings, thrust washers, seals, and gaskets
  • New timing chain with metal backed guides
  • New timing chain cover
  • New oil pump
  • New water pump

We’ll pick this up in a few weeks!

Things will get a little more interesting as the months, weeks, and days count down to our departure date, but that’s all part of the fun!  Right??!




  • Brenton

    Nice! You guys should be set once you hit the road…you’ve just gotta keep that VISA going 😉

  • Chris

    Hi Guys, I came across your site on the Expedition Portal forums. I love what you are both doing. My wife, 2yr old and I just got back from a 9 month USA loop. We aren’t fully caught up on the blog.

    Anyway, we are in the process of downsizing from a 32ft RV, to a more expedition style rig we can pull an ultralight trailer with on our next leg through the Rockies

    Thought you guys might enjoy checking out our blog as I’ve enjoyed yours!

    Cheers and if you come to Southern California feel free to look us up, we can show you around the area and some of the awesome local spot.



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