David Eilers successfully pulled Patterson from Seattle to Pasco, Washington. Normally, the drive takes just over three hours. However, he took the scenic, slow route, with some stops along the way to adjust his front wheel bearings. Apparently, he tightened them too tight (He says he thought he had left some play).
About 10 minutes into his journey he pulled over and felt both front hubs. They didn’t feel hot. Then, he got stuck in stop-and-go traffic for about an hour heading eastbound on I90 (for those that know the area … from Tiger Mountain on Highway 18 all the way to the first big curve on I90 east of North Bend).
He climbed the pass, pulled off at Snoqualmie, and felt the hubs. They were hot to the touch. He loosened the bolts, let them cool, and had some delicious BBQ at Webbs. Everything he and his wife had tried — pulled pork, brisket, sausage, potatoes, coleslaw and corner bread — have been excellent and surprisingly affordable!
They were still feeling hot by the time he reached Indian John Hill east of Cle Elum. So, he readjusted them again. About that time, a father and his sons walked up and asked about the jeep, so he had them sign the right fender.
After Ellensburg, he took the Ellensburg-Selah Canyon Road and stopped to feel the hubs again. Loosening the bolt wasn’t working, so he retrieved his tools and worked on the driver’s hub.
It wasn’t easy, but he finally got it to give. The second hub (passenger side) was more difficult and, after breaking and older torque wrench (it was already in bad shape) he decided to leave the nut a little loose AND try some rougher back roads. It took several hours at 30-40 mph, but finally the bearing was pushed out a little. After that, he was able to up my speed to 60 mph without any heat buildup.
He made it back to Pasco about midnight feeling victorious! Now, he can take a couple days to refine a few things before he, Ann, Fernando, and Hugo leave for Alaska on the 24th!