Tamers Rig Check May 2017

Well – if you didn’t get yourself out to the Tenney’s home for the Tamers BBQ and rig check – you REALLY missed it.

And – even if you went – but left before the last instructional event on rig recovery – you REALLY REALLY missed it.

You missed the insanely beautiful afternoon of blue skies and warm breezes.

And the delightfully prepared burgers and hot dogs – and the full spread of all kinds of yummy salads, side dished and desserts in the kitchen.

And taking a wander through 20+ Tamer rigs parked out in the drive.

But let’s get down to brass tacks here.  I (Moose) take great pride in the rig my lovely Auto-M had built – and don’t mind showing off its capabilities.  It’s kind of a “sleeper” rig – in that it looks pretty stock – but Auto-M had really done a superlative job in building her.  She’ll go just about everywhere Moosenstein will – only in a more refined, sober manner.

Which brings me back to the concept of “Rig Check.”  My dad was a believer before any trip – that our autos got thoroughly checked out.  Oil, coolant, make sure everything is as it should be – and his biggest admonition was that in making sure everything was appropriately adjusted – was to also “check the nut behind the wheel….”

Yeah – that……

So – the last final act of the evening – I wanted to do a little more showing off to show that Auto-M’s long arm setup could get her rig remarkably far up the ramp.  And – indeed – it didn’t feel like it had gone that far before I started spinning tires on opposite corners.  (In hindsight – Mary said I had done just fine.)  It doesn’t take much urging for a little testosterone to interfere with the thought process – and when Curt advised “You could get a little farther if you put your lockers in” – my mind processed that suggestion and said “Yeah – that’s an excellent idea.”

It should instead have been having this conversation:

“You’re driving up a ramp.”


“A ramp to nowhere.”

“That’s right.”

“Just to show off how much give you got in your suspension.”

“You got it.”

“That if you drive too far up it – you’ll just roll over.”


“In your wife’s rig.”


That conversation didn’t enter my head until sometime in the middle of the night as I was reviewing the events of the previous day in my dreams.

Well – I did elect to click in the lockers – not ever anticipating that I should have also had a hand on the shifter (Auto-M’s rig being an automatic) and in low-grunt-dig – the brakes did not hold the Jeep back from its appointed meeting with destiny.

Honey – that is one BITCHIN’ Jeep you built.

The rest – as they say – is history.  I am the first in my memory of Tamer events – to have driven up and off the edge of an RTI ramp – putting Mary’s Jeep on its side.  I’d love to tell you all that I did it to provide a lesson in rig recovery – but that was just incidental.

The takeaways – I never even move a vehicle without putting on a seatbelt.  And it was no different this time – and it held me securely.  There is no belt or safety device to hold back the embarrassment, of which I was in danger of drowning – as I sat sideways – with various Tamer folk popping their heads in to provide encouragement, care, and good natured ribbing.

Also heard – again while the rig was on its side – various offers to lube joints, remove bark from under the frame from the Expo last September, and other spurious maintenance offers.

Dirtball got a hook on under the frame – and gently yet firmly got me back on my wheels.  A fair amount of vital essences (motor and tranny oil) had drained out onto the ground – and we decided to pull plugs first to make sure there was no oil in the cylinders before starting.  Bent rods would be a total downer for the end of the day.  Fortunately – every plug pulled was dry, and she started right up once everything was reinstalled.

A quart of motor oil and 2 of tranny fluid seemed to have her back on her feed.  Although things WERE pretty noisy going home.  The top did not come out of this unscathed.   There was a break in the fiberglass in the back, and a rip at one of the mounting holes.  The top did not mate up to the windshield frame quite as nicely as before – and I was mainly glad that it was not raining.  I’m sure we would have gotten a little moisture out of that gap.

I’m glad to report Mary did NOT kill me in my sleep.  She’s a smart woman – she knows that alive – I will make her top right again.  Although I suppose dead – the insurance would have covered the damage – but not provided the enjoyment she might get out of pointing out to me time and again that testosterone is a difficult master.  Amen to that, Baby!

The hard part – as I was out of the rig contemplating removing plugs – Rudi calls up the current holder of the cowbell – Chad – and puts him on speakerphone.  What a horrible, detestable conversation.



“This is Moose.”

Oh – hi Moose!”

“I rolled at the Tamer Rig check and BBQ.”


“I did it in Mary’s Jeep.”


(Yeah – Thanks Chad…..)

In all seriousness (for just a few moments) it was a GREAT DAY with friends.  (Thanks Ed and Katie!)  And also thank to all the Tamers that helped me with my predicament.  Thanks Ed for the tools and motor oil.  Thank Rudi for twisting wrenched with me.  Thanks Jay and Cindy for the correct tranny fluid.  Thanks Dave for helping me top of the fluid levels.  Thanks Dirtball for the tug.  Thanks to all who stuck their head in the door (Tammy, Kayla, Gary, Casey) double and triple checking that I was okay.  (Yeah – I think we ALL know the answer to that question – almost never…….)

And to my lovely, wonderful wife Mary – who at the end of the day – still loves me – and may actually let me drive her Jeep again……

Thanks for readin’

And Keep On Wheelin’!