Hmm, I just realized I never mentioned what happened with my steering caster upgrade. Short answer: nothing. The guy I brought it to had it for about three hours while I hung out in a Starbucks across the street. When I walked back over, it was parked on the side and he sheepishly told me he couldn’t budge either ball joint stud no matter how hard he tried. To his credit, he backed off, afraid he’d break something, and didn’t charge me anything for his time. Looking over both knuckles I didn’t see much evidence of an attempt, but whatever.
He recommended bringing it to the local 4×4 shop to see if I could have someone there work it over for me. This thought made me nervous for several reasons; I get the sense most of these shops are staffed by 22-year-old vape bros catering to guys who want to bolt aftermarket crap onto their shiny new Jeeps.
At the Scout meetup later that week I got to talking with one of the guys who knows a local mechanic who used to work on Internationals, and he suggested I get in touch. This week I’m going to follow up with a phone call, looking ahead to an appointment in the spring. Because while he’s working on this stuff, I’ll have him go over the whole front end and check it for wear.