Had to get my old heater core replaced. Since a replacement from any MV suppliers for the same bound plate design in copper was like $200 I made a different one from the sizing I cross referenced online. Instead of fitting straight up, it leans backward just slightly since it is 8.75ish inches tall rather than 8.25 like the original. It is aluminum which is a drawback but I was needing some kind of cab heat and defrost for the trip we were taking in the snow. I nestled it in with some padding and aluminum tape and then ran new hoses. I needed to protect the hose as it passed into the box where the old copper pipes would have protruded. I somehow have lost my 4 bolts to hold the lid of the box on so I had to use the aluminum tape to temporarily seal the box up for our outing.
Did a camp out with the local MV owners to our Hamburger Rock location. Was perfect after the heavy snows we had, which were melting off at a furious pace, making what would be called mud soup for all the roads.
While there wheeling around, I almost had to drive down a mountain side of trees to get out of a predicament where I couldn't double back on my return path due to my prior tracks having frozen solid on a north slope. The trial we were following made a horizontal traverse across the mountain side which then turns up the hill diagonally, Being covered in my now frozen tracks made it impossible to climb. Lucky I was able to "nudge" some smaller trees out of the way to make a second path back to the path which got us back on track. Unfortunately my flag pole took lets say... a "turn" for the worst and was bent almost level.
Out on the same mountain side, I did have an unfortunate issue where my power steering steel or copper line split a hole in it. This line which runs from the power steering housing down along the inside of the frame cross member split on the back side of the bend which is between the crossing the frame left to right then backwards where it hits a fitting that sends it through the frame. With this leak I lost about all the power steering fluid out of the pump giving me two 600lb tires to steer with my now manual steering wheel. I about lost my thumbs and gained a week of gym time on my arms trying to muscle the steering down the hill sides. Finally got to a good spot to check things out and needed to add to the power steering pump the only fluid we had on hand (80-90w gear oil), this was to keep the pump from burning up while limping back to camp. .This last turn of the tubing was actually completely encased in old dirt which I had to dig away to find where the actual leak was at. The leak I couldn't actually see but was able to get it under control after being lent three small hose clamps and a sliver of 3/8" hose. Was not able to get the leak to stop entirely under turning pressure but it stopped for just idling and right turns. Left turns got a little runny nose action from the patch.
Made it back home OK. Now after driving the rig around a bit I have noticed it has more power than before with the dual fuel mod. Pulls better but I think if I even had double the power of this NHC250 I might still be feeling its wimpy. On some of the hill climbs I could not pull 3rd gear in low or 2nd in high. So my climbing gear is 2nd gear low range. I am finding wheeling this rig is all about traction, unlike when I had a 400HP Fj40 that threw so much mud out the back that I think it worked more on "Mud Thrust" to make it climb! Not going to get that with a 20,000 lb BOT. But lovin it just the same.