Fiona’s Surgery

This past week I noticed that Fiona’s back brakes were feeling intermittently crunchy and I felt that they needed to be checked as soon as possible. When I would step on the brake pedal, I could occasionally feel a bumpy drag and hear them grinding a bit. Not a good sign. I messaged my mechanic and he said that I could stop by in the morning so he could check the brakes out let me know what state they were at. When I arrived at his shop, he jacked Fiona up a bit took a look, then he took the driver’s seat and we went for a cruise around the neighbourhood to test the brakes and any other possible causes or issues.  After a bit of driving and some swervy turns, we went back to his shop and he looked around with his flashlight.  He found metal shavings on the back brakes and said that they needed to be changed right away, that it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive the 150k to and from work on Monday.   He also noticed that one of the front bearings is wearing and said it was ok for the moment, but should be changed soon. Since he was committed to another project for the day, he pointed me in the direction of his 4wheeling buddy and friend who is a mechanic at our local Canadian Tire store. He also offered to do the brakes on Sunday morning if I couldn’t find a shop to help me out on Saturday.

I love my little town for this kind of help and caring.

Fiona at my mechanic friend’s shop

It was still early in the day so I headed right to Canadian Tire to see if there was time to do Fiona’s brakes right away.  Thankfully, they weren’t completely booked and had time, although possibly in between other appointments. I was so thankful to get in on short notice that it didn’t matter to me how long it would take. The two ladies at the automotive counter took great care of me (one even offered me a job since I love automotive stuff so much!).

While I was waiting for the quote for the brakes, rotors and possibly calipers, my eyes wandered to the wall of tires behind me. I’ve been researching tires for the past couple of months, since Fiona’s current summer tires are getting bald and will need to be replaced soon.  I spied the tires that I’ve been reading up on, the B.F. Goodrich KM2 tires. These are serious mud tires and high in my list of favourites.

A seriously awesome looking tire with great reviews

I asked for a tire quote as well, but have another month to decide. Suggestions and comments from my 4 wheeling readers are gladly accepted!!

But I digress…! Back to the brakes…

Fiona was driven into the bay almost immediately and once she was up on the hoist, I was able to go into the garage to have a look at the issues with the mechanic and his apprentice. I recognized the mechanic from a 4 wheeling trip last spring and I know that he has great skills at building offroad vehicles so I knew Fiona was in good hands. He showed me that one of the rear coil springs would need to be replaced, and the apprentice noted that a lift kit would work too!!  I loved that he suggested a lift, I’ve wanted one since I bought Fiona but I haven’t managed to get to that point yet.  Having to adult gets in the way of fun sometimes!  Hopefully one day though.  But all these injuries to Fiona have  happened because I have to drive 150k, 5 days a week to work. Since a lot of things at work changed over the past few years, I lost my carpool and have had to drive myself on a lousy bumpy highway for over a year and poor Fiona is feeling the pain of it.

That will soon be changing though.

Soon these ugly winter rims will be replaced with summer rims and hopefully, new tires

I was able to look under Fiona with the mechanic. I saw how well the skid plates have protected underneath from damage while 4 wheeling!

Bye for now, Fiona! See you soon!

I figured that I’d have a few hours to wait until Fiona would be ready so I messaged some friends and set off on foot to do some home renovation window shopping before meeting up with them. A couple of hours later, I was a bit surprised to get the phone call that Fiona was ready! The mechanics got the job done faster than I had anticipated, considering they may have had other appointments. One of my friends dropped me back at the store and there was Fiona, looking bright and and ready to roll!

She’ll be going back to see my regular mechanic over the next couple of weeks to have the other issues dealt with but is good to go for now.   In the meantime, I’ll dream about the fun things that I’d like to add to her in the future.

A jeep is never really finished…..

Happy trails, friends!


Feeling better with fresh brakes.


12 comments on “Fiona’s Surgery

  1. I stumbled across your post while searching for more Off Road related blogs and enjoyed reading yours! Definitely gained a new follower. The BFG KM2 is an excellent tire (and they come stock from Jeep on the Rubicon models) but, in my opinion and 15+ years of off roading and 4wheeling experience, there are much better tires out there for the money.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there S.T! Thanks for stopping by and reading! I haven’t written in ages but I have done a LOT of off-roading this summer and have plenty of stories. Now to find the time to write!!
      I still don’t have new tires and will be reviewing a bunch before I actually buy. It’s unlikely that I’ll be purchasing KM2s after doing more research & talking to wheeling buddies.
      I’d love to hear more about your off-roading! I did read your latest post… oh my!!! I used to play ice hockey and have had a few bumps & bruises from (thankfully) mostly pucks but never a skate slash! Glad your nose was put back together!


  2. New coils can be had for next to nothing because of the awesome aftermarket support for the JKs. I swapped my winter springs this summer for a pair off a Rubicon. It added 2-inches up front and an inch in the back (+3/4-inch spacer I threw in to offset the weight I keep in the back).

    As much as it is an inconvience when something breaks on my JK I enjoy the feeling fixing it better than it was when it was stock.

    Happy trails and I enjoy the blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tobias, thanks so much for the info!! I’m going to check the local auto wreckers before I buy new ones and will Youtube changing them myself. If it looks easy enough I’ll give it a go, but otherwise I have a friend that will help me out. I have an aftermarket bumper and 12,000lb winch up front so might need to level it out if the springs are newer… or I replace all 4. I’d love to do a lift, as this would be the opportunity to do it, but it’s not in the budget at the moment. Small steps, right?
      I agree about fixing things myself. Some things I can fix, or change, and some things I can’t, but I’ll certainly find out how big or complicated something is first.
      Thanks so much for reading and following the blog adventures, glad to hear that you enjoy them!
      Happy trails!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know how old your Jeep is Jen, but y0u might need new shocks too. You can find new coils on ebay for $50-100 depending on stiffness . After I install the stiffer springs I affectively leveled my Jeep. (I’ve got a 100LB bumper up front no winch yet. WARN VR10S on wish list)

        I wrote about my experiences, but it wasn’t a write up or anything. You might enjoy giving it a read anyway. I did it in two parts the front first (by far the hardest) and the rear second (easy). The front was hard because I needed to replace so many steering components that didn’t want to come loose.

        If you’re just off-roading your Jeep a leveling kit is great. If you do any long distance overlanding type stuff where you’ll have a lot of weight in the back you’ll want some rake balance the weight, otherwise you’re jeep will look like it’s sagging in the back.

        Good luck

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Tobias, my jeep is a 2013, only 4.5 years old. I drive 150k round trip to work and when I bought the jeep I had a carpool, then things changed at work and I’ve had to drive myself for the past year or so. This has caused damage to the jeep and has racked up the kilometres. I’ll take the jeep to my mechanic friend to have a look at the shocks too. I just bought a commuter car (17 Subaru Impreza… story to come…) so will use the jeep for wheeling and road trips, but likely mostly highway driving with regular weight in the back, no heavy overlanding stuff (yet, anyways…)
        I’ll definitely read about your experiences, it’ll be good to know what’s involved.
        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh cool! My girlfriend Niecie has a Fiesta we use as a mile muncher (our families live 250-450 miles away. I too have felt the pain of daily driving a JK long distance. I had a 100 mile round trip commute (160k) until we moved last summer. The Fiestas getting old though and we were thinking about an Impreza (she wants AWD) I can’t wait to hear about your experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only had the Impreza a week and I LOVE it! I got the 5 door Sport model to keep costs down (since the jeep isn’t paid off yet) and I didn’t add the navigation package and kind of wish I could have. My jeep has the full nav package and it’s so easy to travel. The Impreza does have apple car play though so I can hook up the phone to the USB and use parts of the phone on the screen, like the map, texting through Siri, along with other options (hands free phone calls, music). I’ll be writing about it within the next month. I think you & Niecie would love the Impreza! I need awd as well because of the winter highway drive to work and Subaru is the master of awd.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you were able to get things taken care of so quickly. The KM2 you mentioned is a great tire, probably the best mud tire out there IMO. Whether it’s right for you, though, depends on your mix of road vs. trail driving. Based on what I’ve read here, it seems your Jeep, like mine, pulls double duty as a commuter and weekend wheeler. If that’s the case, may I suggest one of the more trail-biased all terrains, like the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac (I LOVE mine!), Nitto Ridge Grappler (relatively new, but hearing good things), General Grabber AT2 or BF Goodrich KO2. The latter two aren’t as aggressive as the others, but I’ll let you be the judge. I also often hear folks group the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro in there as well, but I think it’s more mud-oriented and would be more suited to compare with the KM2.

    I’m curious. What is necessitating the coil spring replacement? Wondering if something broke, or if it’s something else. My factory springs, particularly the rears, are showing their age, and give easily when there’s weight back there. I’m not ready to lift yet, sadly, so I have a set of 14/56 takeoffs that I’ll be replacing them with in the near future.

    Sorry to write a novel, LOL. Happy Jeeping, and have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cary!
      Thank you for the novel, I appreciate your input! 🙂
      I’ve been researching tires for ages and had my choices narrowed to most of the ones you’ve mentioned. I was originally looking for an all terrain because of the amount of driving that I do, but realized that I can’t keep running up the miles on the jeep so I’ve decided to buy a commuter car instead & save the jeep for fun things, off-roading, camping & some road trips. I’ll be writing about the car soon, it’s not just a little rust bucket but something pretty special that I believe will take the distances (and winter driving) better than the jeep. I want to keep the jeep for a long time… gotta keep the blog alive.. 😉
      Hence my decision to consider mud tires instead of all terrains. I do know that for the off-roading communities in Australia, the KO2s seem to reign. They’re tough tires that can take the abuse that the outback dishes out and wear for a good long time.
      I’ve got pretty empty pockets right now so we’ll see how the next month sizes up for new tires. As for the spring, the bottom part that wraps around the bolt has broken off completely. I asked if it should be changed right away & the mechanic said it wasn’t super urgent and that I’ve probably been running that way for a while now. I will be taking the jeep back to my regular mechanic to look at sometime this week and will have it changed asap.
      What year is your jeep?
      I actually haven’t noticed any change in how my jeep rides so was surprised to see it completely broken. I’ll try to remember to get a photo next time it’s on the hoist.
      Anyways, here’s a return novel for you lol!
      Cheers for now, have a great week as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s incredible, I’ve not seen a spring break like that without a major trail event or prolonged exposure to a salty climate.

        Mine is a 2009. I bought her in 2013 with 17K on her. She’d been an older gentleman’s toy to go fishing in Colorado. I don’t think he ever even took down the top! I’ve punished my factory coils more than I intended, putting the weight of steel bumpers and a tire carrier on them. Still, I was a bit surprised to see how just the weight of my two kids, ages 8 and 10, compress them to less than an inch from the bump stops!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was pretty shocked to see the coil broken off! I’m not completely comfortable driving knowing it’s broken but it’s clearly not going anywhere so I should be ok for this week at least.
        Great deal on your jeep! Amazing how driving with your kids has worked your coils down though! I was part of a carpool for a few years and drove 3 men in the jeep once or twice a week for about 3 years so that likely has a lot to do with it. I don’t have anything else heavy on the back end though (yet… new cargo basket soon though).
        Vehicles just aren’t made like they were in the old days.

        Liked by 1 person

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