Murph, the Seasoned RookieSeasoned Rookie with Murph, The Seasoned Rookie.

I've been a bad rookie.

The last several months I've found myself. shall we say, distracted?

Who am I kidding. Valentines day is coming up, a time for love, romance, vomiting, and all that other great stuff. Why not discuss my dilemma here while we can talk privately? Click through for a closer look...Have you ever been involved in a relationship and suddenly decided that as great as things were going, as happy as you were, that you just had to try something different for a while, yet still hang on to the original love? What then happens when you find yourself more and more attracted and involved with the new love, but still want to give the one who held your heart first what she truly deserves? Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...These are things that have been plaguing me the last several months since I drove back to Peoria from Tampa, Florida in my new-to-me Mazda Miata. The idea was to replace my other two cars: My grandmothers Camry, and the Geo Metro convertible which was probably the most effective form of oral contraception I've ever used. Never before have I heard the word "No" from so many people upon seeing that candy-apple red roadster. Click through for a closer look...Dozens of people (ok, three) have written to me asking about what I have in mind for the Suzuki - will I be keeping it or moving on to the Miata spec racing crowd? Rest assured, Rookie Fans, I'm not going anywhere. I've actually got some big plans for my truck, which I plan to document in what could very well be a spring, summer, and fall's worth of articles. This Zuk Renovation ties into my theme of preserving and improving for those of us not interested in 49 inch tires and Cummins V-10 engine enhancements. The plan breaks down thusforthly:

  • Remove the body from the chassis, repair the numerous rust holes, and use some sort of liner (Herculiner comes to mind) on the interior and underneath.
  • Disassemble the heat system and restore some sort of functionality,lubricate the cables and give it all a good cleaning
  • Install new bumpers, since mine is still missing from a driver's edsession (and you know who you are, young lady!)
  • Invent and install a centralized air distribution center.

While the body is off, I intend to check and replace all the seals which are prone to leaking on the drivetrain, as well as repair and/or replace anything else in a usually-hard-to-reach space. So many people have written to me asking why I just don't find a new truck and swap everything over. The answer is simple: Preservation. We don't have an infinite number of Zook's left, people. That, and my truck has been a loyal steed to me over the years and I'd like to keep it around for a while. Will this project be out of the Rookie playing field though? I hope not. I don't expect this to be something everyone does one weekend on a whim - however possibly there will be a little something for everyone here. To be honest I don't have a clue what I'm getting into. I was given a stern admonition from fellow rookie Brian Dow, warning me not to get in over my head - and it's very easy to become overwhelmed when a project this big rears its ugly head. Hopefully the motivation to get this done in time for the 'Melt keeps me moving and done on time. If not, I'll have to find myself a rental Zookie so I can lead the trails again!  

A poll for you! Email your answers to, to be featured in an upcoming issue: What is, in your eyes, the "definitive trail tune" and why?

Until next month. Life is Good. Murph The Seasoned Rookie

07/24/10 08:19


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