Area51 - Mike's Misc Projects 2013:


Although I didn't know it at the time, 2013 was shaping up to be a very busy year and would end up being our last year at this Area51 location in Mount Pearl as Sandra and I were looking at houses.




Work in the shed began early in the new year as both Maffer and I installed Electric temperature gauges in our Skidoos to keep an eye on water temperature. The temperature probe replaces the air bleeder bolt on top of the water jacket.  Full story can be found on either Maffer's REV project or mine and in the How To's Section.




Also in January the new copy of the Newfoundland Sportsman was out and low & behold my pic made the reader's photos page! It was from my successful Coyote hunt with Maffer a couple years ago in the Goulds.



In February Sandra and I traded in our tired Suzuki Grand Vitara on a new Suzuki Kizashi. Its a 4 cylinder, all wheel drive, midsize sedan loaded with all the creature comforts and leather seats. Its a great vehicle that looks awesome in its pearl white paint, is great in snow, and good on fuel.



Also in February Maffer picked up his new wheels and tires for his Can Am Outlander from Honda One. The stock 26" Carlisle's weren't cutting it so he upgraded to 27x10x12 Front, 27x12x12 Rear Maxxis Mudzillas on STI wheel with built in offset for wider tires. 





They are a gigantic improvement over the stock rubber!





Later in the month I came home to a burning smell in the house, the fire department arrived and could not find a fire, but our landlord's electrician finally found the problem in the main disconnect to the basement apartment. Thankfully there was no damage or injuries due to the faulty fuse.



In march the factory HID kit arrived for Sandra's Kizashi and I found out just how hard it is to change a headlight on this vehicle!



The entire bumper cover has to be removed (as per factory instructions from Suzuki), then there are no less than 5 bolts holding the headlight to the body!



In any case the headlight upgrade was well worth the effort.



Winter mode, even though we purchased the car mid-winter we managed to track down a set of steel wheels and Firestone winter tires at a local supplier.



April saw the next shed project commence, a bunch of work on project Foreman. It started with the replacement of the rear engine output shaft oil seal,





Continued with replacing the stock gutted muffler with an EBay sourced OEM replacement,



and Finished up with swapping out the Standard Shift foot pegs for the Electric Shift model full floor boards. The full story can be found on the 2013 Repairs page on Project Foreman.



My poor ol' Chev Colorado was starting to show its age having recently replaced the transmission and the rear end, the light duty trucks really don't hold up well to commercial use over the long term. I wasn't actively looking for a truck, but one caught my eye in a car lot on Topsail Road so I made a few inquiries.



With the deal made I de-lettered the Colorado and made it ready to trade in against my new work truck.



A beautiful 2 year ol 2011 Chev Silverado 2500HD. It has the 6.0L gas engine & 6 speed transmission, the Z71 Off Road package, 20" polished aluminum wheels and is nicely optioned out with most power options. This truck is beautiful to drive and should not only suit my needs for work, but stand up better in the long term than mid-size & half ton pickups.



Because the 2500HD is so high, I needed a drop hitch to level my trailer while towing so I opted for this Heavy Duty adjustable hitch from Ashford Sales.



French also picked up his new work truck this month replacing his well worn, underpowered 2007 half ton Silverado with a brand new 2013 Silverado 2500HD also with the 6.0L gas engine, 6-speed transmission, Z71 Off Road package and factory polished 18" aluminum wheels. Mark outfitted his new truck with a Space Cap which is a fantastic commercial work cap.



With the new truck in stock Mark and I set about installing HID headlights in the High Beams (as not to blind other drivers) and then installed a stainless steel Westin light bar & 4 Ridgid Dually D2 driving lights to make nighttime highway driving safe.





The following month Maffer's skid plates arrived so he set about installing them in our backyard. Unfortunately the bike wouldn't fit through the gate with the new Mudzilla tires installed so he swapped over to his stock wheels and tires to get the job done!



The OEM plastic skid plates were already in hard shape, these Ricochet Aluminum skid plates are a great upgrade over stock and provide full protection. They are very well built with all hardware lining up well and all edges folded and welded so the skid plates don't hook on trail obstacles.



Later in July I flew to Alberta to spend a couple weeks with Steve, we had a couple days in his Area51 facility finishing repairs to his Honda Rincon by installing a new oil temp sensor and finishing the installation of his Ricochet skid plates.





Just after I left to fly home Steve made a deal and traded his well worn Subaru Impreza on a new 2013 Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab pickup with the TRD off road package. Its a beautiful truck that will suit him well up north.



When I arrived home my new 20" EBay light bar arrived and I got to work installing it in the bumper opening of my Silverado.




The relay harness that comes with the lights is OK and is designed to be hooked directly to a battery and turn on & off with the included switch.



I re-wired the harness and wired the trigger for the relay to the high beam headlights of the truck by tapping into the high beam harness in my HID high beam kit. (I only install HID headlights in my High Beams as not to blind other drivers) This way I did not need an interior switch and the light bar would automatically go out when I dim my headlights as not to blind other drivers on the highway.










Steve also added some aftermarket lighting to his Tacoma with a single row Ridgid Industries Light bar and their custom Tacoma grill mount which makes for a very tidy installation.



For a switch, he ordered a factory Toyota fog lamp switch and installed it in a blank place in the dash next to the actual fog lamp switch.





French finally killed his first Coyote, although to be fair he didn't call it out as it ran out in front of his new 2500HD and lost.



With winter approaching I sourced a set of steel wheels to mount my winter tires on. The stock 20" Aluminum Rims were terribly corroded when I bought the truck, Hickman Motors replaced all four without hassle under warranty so I did not want to subject them to the harsh elements of winter driving. The new wheels were originally silver, I painted them black for a sleeker look.



After nearly freezing to death on an ATV run with French & his new Yamaha Grizzly I went out the following day and picked up this Heat Demon heated grip & thumb warmer kit at Honda One. Its a fantastic kit and easy to install.



With the December Canadian Tire Flyer sales in full swing I came across an awesome deal on a new tool box 60% off! I jumped at the opportunity to have a sensible tool box to organise everything in and picked up 4 sections.



Also in December my Adarac ladder rack came in so I quickly installed it. Its a removable rack that leaves the bed rails attached all the time (which turn out to be very convenient tie down points) and the front & rear racks can be installed in minutes as its not often I need to carry an extension ladder.



Earlier the summer I installed this bed slide that I bartered for from Don French and continues to work quite well for my application. I can load all my parts bins and tools on the slide and pull it out when I need to access them as opposed to climbing in and rolling up the tonneau cover every time. I can even carry my ATV on the slide as it's rated for 1500lbs.



One of my last projects in the old shed was replacing the bumper on my REV that I broke last year running over a tree.



There was nothing else damaged but it was still a PITA to get everything lined up properly eventually having to widen some of the bolt holes to get it to fit properly.



The following spring (2014) we said goodbye to Mount Pearl and moved into our own house in Torbay which has a 12x20" detached garage with nice concrete floor that's finished outside and nothing inside (yet).



This old shed served me well continuing work on a bunch of projects in the 7 years we there, but I truly look forward to our new location and new adventures!


Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith