Truck Time in the Rockies — Part One: Winch Swap and Taco Repairs

Post by blogger | June 28, 2007      

Let the motorhead games begin. After our big winter of backcountry skiing, we’d let some of our truck maintenance and repairs get back-listed. Our ’03 Tacoma has been running well, but the passenger door window switch and key lock went to failure mode months ago (the key won’t unlock the door). I tore the door apart looking for a frayed wire or something easy and cheap to fix. No such luck.

Black Diamond Verdict backcountry ski
Busting snow with the Silverado and Tabor winch last spring.

Turns out Toyota parts are expensive — as in molded from gold bullion. A power window switch reamed us for sixty bucks! Oh well, the window is fixed now (though the key lock waits for attention). I’m just glad we didn’t need a mud flap. Apparently, if you rip off a flap and bracket that’ll set you back around a C-note!

Which leads me to our fullsize (and cheaper to repair) Chevy — the ’02 Silverado TAV we’ve been running for about a year now. We recently upgraded the Silve’ with a huge ARB bumper and Tabor winch.

The Tabor is a budget unit made for occasional use. Even so, it’s plenty fast, powerful, and got us out of some fairly bad stucks last winter. But after we’d used ours a few times it quit on us (luckily it bit the dust while spooling in after pulling us through a snow bank, instead of in the midst of the job). Before it malfed, the Tabor made a lot of noise and was hard to switch from forward to reverse. It seemed to be defective, and sure enough Chris at CODE4X4 told me that indeed, some of the early Tabors had a problem that’s since been corrected. I’m good with that, as I like the price/performance ratio.

I picked up my Tabor warranty replacement at CODE4x4 yesterday. Install this morning went okay. Getting the thing up into the bumper is like bench pressing a dead cow. I finally rigged it up on my floor jack and got it close enough to shoehorn it into the winch pocket in the ARB bull bar. Will test it and seat the cable tomorrow.

Chevrolet Silverado with ARB bumper and Tabor winch.
Getting started with the winch install. It’s easier with the bumper off, but then, do I really want to take that big ARB bumper off by myself?

Chevrolet Silverado with ARB bumper and Tabor winch.
Install finished. I changed over to an aluminum hawse fairlead, which is lower profile and weighs about seven pounds less than the roller fairlead the Tabor winch comes with. The roller fairlead is better for heavy use with a steel cable, but for occasional use the hawse style (no rollers) should be fine.

Silverado tranny service..
While at CODE I also had the Silverado tranny flushed and filled with high quality synthetic fluid. According to mechanics I respect, most people don’t do this frequently enough. Transmissions are expensive, so if you’re holding on to your vehicle for a while it’s not a bad idea to make sure that tranny doesn’t get ignored. Doing the service with a machine is the way to go, as simply draining the tranny leaves quite a bit of old fluid inside — plus it’s a good way to create a huge mess if you try to do DIY it in your driveway.

Yep, it’s my big week of intimacy with automobiles. But we’ll get up in the mountains this weekend for some alpine hiking and perhaps a bit of fly fishing.



One Response to “Truck Time in the Rockies — Part One: Winch Swap and Taco Repairs”

  1. Mark June 28th, 2007 7:46 pm

    Toyota ain’t cheap, but try Volkswagen. I really like my Golf, but if the alternator goes, it’s off to the poor farm for me.

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