7/21/2009

Hello all, John here.

I’m back in Carrollton after a long day in Plano. Last week, I ordered the front bumper, winch and rear trailer hitch from 4×4 Parts. I spoke at length with one of their salesman before signing the papers on the Jeep on what would work. My goal was mostly to provide a secure, safe, and easy attachment point for the Blue Ox tabs, secondary goals were to make the jeep look a bit better and provide a winch mount. Those requirements led me down the road of an ARB replacement bumper. I was quoted about 3 hours for install…

I arrived at 9:00 this AM. The first impressions were not good. The counter people were very stand-offish, and didn’t seem very happy that I was going to wait for it. I told them I had no choice unless they had a loaner vehicle, and being that they quoted only 3 hours, I didn’t see that as unreasonable. They showed me the waiting room, which was a closet with a couple chairs, a TV that didn’t seem to work, and a soda machine for which I didn’t have a coin in my pocket for. Excellent!

45 mins later I wondered out into the store, to peer out the window and see my Jeep still sitting where I parked it. Now, this is a major pet peeve. I made an appointment to be some where at a specific time to have something done to my vehicle. Why give me a time when you can’t honor it? Finally I see them pull it in, and wonder around back to see if I can sneak in the shop. They closed the doors shortly after, so I couldn’t see what was going on. So, I pasted my ass in the chair and played with my iPhone. Well, that kept my attention for another 45 mins, OK, you know better, 20 or so. So, I wondered the store, studying all the displays. Then, I decided to walk down to the gas station to grab a soda and a sandwich. It was a mile each way, so I figured Surely, they would be done by the time my fat ass got down there and back… I do need to interject that it was a nice day, and the walk was sorta a nice distraction. Well, I returned, and used the “Dude, Can I grab something out of my car” line to get a peak at how far they actually are. Well, it was on the lift, and they finally had the original bumper off and on the floor. The Mechanic, Roberto, was an older guy who looked like he had lots of experience, but admitted that he had never done a Liberty before. So much for what the Salesman had to say, of who was conveniently working at the downtown Dallas store today. I left them be, and returned to my cell in the waiting room.

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Roberto and Doug working hard...

I did find the dynamic of the store interesting. Three counter guys, one seemingly semi-normal manager type, that finally came to check on me and fix the TV, and two younger (early 20’s) overweight redneck types who really didn’t care about anything other than surfing the internet at their respective stations… I heard bits of their conversations throughout the day, and figure they were probably surfing where they shouldn’t have been. Then you had the two guys in the back, Doug, and Roberto, both of who had so much work they couldn’t keep up, which was why my job was getting longer and longer as the day went. After it got to be about 4:00, I decided to go see what was up again, and they finally got the bumper mounted, and got to spend some time nosing around making sure it was done correctly.

After talking with the Mechanics, I felt much better, knowing they were doing the best they could with what they had. I am still pissed how the ‘Front of the House” just doesn’t seem to get it. They did a very nice job, and I am very happy with the end product, just not so much with the long wait time. Luckily they charged me what we discussed on the phone… after all I had all day to stew over how I was going to dispute any extra charges.

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The finished product.

The Modification looks good, and is exactly how I imagined it. When i first saw the bumper on the shop floor I was a little concerned as it is massive. It did add some weight to the front end, and yes, it would look a little better still with a couple inch lift and slightly bigger tires, but that isn’t in the budget right now. The lift kits for the liberties aren’t crazy expensive, so I can see doing that some day. It will be really nice not to have to Lug that heavy bar I used to use with the Ford. I will be putting on 2 driving lights yet, and also have to wire the diodes and plug in for the Motorhome wiring, but my initial “Must get done” mods are done for now… But you all know by now that I can never seem to get my vehicles just they way I want them until I am ready to get rid of it…

In other news, the water repair the park has been working on is still a big Mud hole. I gotta say, these guys are really butchers, even if they had to replace the entire length of pipe I can’t imagine why it would still not be done and covered up in 5 days. Whatever. Kinda goes with the park here, everything is sorta done kinda half assed. Oh well, it is still cheap rent and a short commute, and I can’t say I miss all the drama from the KOA!

So that is all I have here, so have a good night.

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