Over Land and Sea plans to show case the many adventures people can have. Some will be easily done by others, some will be once in a lifetime, bucket list, never going to happen again experiences.
Every good adventure must have a beginning. Ours starts with EFI (pronounced eff-E). EFI is a 1986 Toyota 4Runner. She didn’t start life in Alaska but she was purchased in Haines, Alaska.
EFI needed to be picked up and brought to Whitehorse, Yukon for repairs and modification to meet the expedition requirements for our adventures. That trip was an adventure in itself.
It started off with trying to arrange a date to go get EFI. Matthew and I are like to ships passing in the night. We settled on a day and made arrangements to borrow a flatbed car hauler from our buddy Dan (who we will introduce better later).
We got to Dan’s house just after 7 (as Dan will point out we were 18 minutes late). Hooked up the trailer to My 2004 F-350. Right off the bat the right brake light and signal does not function. After a quick light bulb change we hit the road.
Now, to be fair. I am not the best at routine maintenance. I do regular oil changes and such but my truck needs some ball joints and a local shop broke a radiator connection on my truck after another local gas station put gas in my diesel. They JB welded it back on and I didn’t notice until to late to argue so I know it leaks a bit but a spare jug of coolant and all is good. It is on my list. I promise.
So fifty kilometers Northbound on the Alaska highway the ABS light goes on. That’s odd I think. Maybe the trailer has popped a sensor. No worries, who needs ABS anyways. Matthew is riding shotgun and notices the radio cuts out. This is annoying since we have five more hours of remote Northern Yukon and Alaska to travel. Tunes are a must. We figure Otter Falls cutoff is not far away no worries. Cruise control set at 110km(65mph) and all is good. Matthew looks at me and mentions that the gauges are dead. I look down (observant driver I am) and sure a shit no gauges, nothing. Oh crap. Now we are in for it. We pull over at a pullout and start pulling fuses. Nothing changes. We were smart enough to keep the truck running and decide to push on to Otter Falls. No need for gauges, or windows, or heat…
Another ten kilometers and the truck starts to buck and sputter. That’s it. No cell service, we are broke down in the Yukon. Crap!
Pulling over after the truck dies I pop the hood. After a five second survey I find this.
Well, I guess we should have looked at the truck a little closer before departing. I did bring tools but I was not expecting to have a broken power lead. In case you are all wondering this is the lead that goes from the starter to the secondary battery than up links the primary battery (dual battery system). Some back woods engineering got us to going again. It’s a wonder what a few zip ties will do for a situation.
I won’t even discuss the fact that TWO northerners failed to bring a knife with them. My leatherman pouch was empty and Matt forgot his in his truck.
On ward and upward we went. The zip ties were holding. Did I mention the leaking radiator leak?.
Once in Alaska we were getting excited to finally pickup EFI. She was waiting for us but that didn’t stop us from grabbing a few snapshots of the place we live and work in.
EFI is a unique machine. Matt calls it a ‘classic’ vehicle. Well, I will let him discuss that in a different article. As for EFI she is a fairly stock 4 Cylinder, Automatic Toyota 4runner. Not much in the way of a powerhouse BUT the frame and body are solid and that is what we needed to build the expedition vehicle.
Good looking girl. It need a little TLC but its ours.
The trip back to Whitehorse was fairly uneventful. The zip ties did finally let go about 75 km from home. A set of booster cables stood in for the broken cable.
EFI awaits her new life. Stay tuned for the build-up.