Purchased 46.5 Acres Near Kingman, AZ | Page 9 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Purchased 46.5 Acres Near Kingman, AZ

I'd like to know what engine that thing has and how he got 400 hp out of it.
No idea. It has aftermarket dual carbs and looks like its 3 feet long. I should have got a picture.

I was going to start the drive back to San Diego this morning but the winds are crazy and not letting up today. 35 MPH side winds in a RV is a bad idea. I will wait until tomorrow. I ran the RV living room slide in because it was shuddering so much I thought it might get damaged.
Dust storm in the valley

Also a hard freeze warning for tonight.

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Am back in San Diego and already tired of the crowds. Daughter had a horse show in Temecula over the weekend. Got back Friday, went to the ranch, picked up and trailered the horse up through 15 MPH traffic for 25 miles. Saturday drove to Temecula and back to watch her test. Sunday went there to watch her test, pack up and bring the horse back to the barn. Tired of driving to say the least.

I have been working on the design plans for the house. Designer sends them to me, I email him back with a list of questions and changes. It's going to take a while to get it finalized. He says it's all part of the process. I'll post up the plans when they get closer to what I'm happy with for input.

Some changes are making the shop 46' wide instead of 50' because it saves me several thousand just in trusses alone. Might make it a few feet longer, but right now it's 46x56. Living space is a little over 1800 Sq ft.

I looked at a few backhoes while I was there. Doing the math, it makes more sense to buy one than rent one. Both are 80's Fords turbo diesels. First one was a 750, huge. 18,000 pound giant rig. Pass. Second is about 5,000 less, a 550. Still might be a little big. Both have been completely restored by a local rich guy who likes farm equipment. The smaller one has 3 buckets, a blade and a loader bucket. He wants $16,000 for each. I was asking the dirt work guy how I fuel one of those at the property since I don't have any diesel vehicles or access to a large quantity at the property. He said I go with him to the station, fill up his bed mounted diesel tank, then go pump it into the backhoe. Good guy.

Forgot I can post pictures now that I am back in civilization.
Last thing the sun touches on its way down is the Music Mountains across the valley

Looking up the canyon from the property edge.

Same day a few hours later

The last day I was there was very windy. It was a north wind that seemed to whip around the edge of the valley and up the canyon. It occasionally made a strange noise that would boom out of the canyon above the property. Hard to describe, but it sounded like a fighter jet doing maneuvers, kind of a deep whoomp, whoomp sound.

The well guys that came out to test it and set the pressure switches are both from San Diego. One of them is a dowser. He found out he had a knack for it and makes good side money finding water. He showed me my aquifer, which is actually a underground river about 30' wide. He said the well is placed near the center of it. I watched him and he did not manipulate the rod but it was moving. Said it's way more than 23 GPM, it's over 50. He said that was the pump capacity they use when testing a residential well. If it does that good, it's a very good well so no need to test it to its real max. Mohave County also classifies a well over 35 GPM as a commercial well that requires a different permit and testing. It was very cool having him do that for me. Made me a believer in dowsing. He also said it's my own personal little underground river water source, since it's coming out of the mountains and there is nothing behind my property but mountains. That's about as clean as you can get. Water tastes good, is clear and cool. I should bottle some for gifts. Hmmmmm.....another idea.

How many feet down is the water?

You could take advantage of the water being that close to the surface for heating and cooling your house.

You could take advantage of the water being that close to the surface for heating and cooling your house.
I looked on line but am trying to figure out how that works with a well.

Not sure if it would work with the well being over 1400' distance and 100' lower in elevation from the house.

I looked on line but am trying to figure out how that works with a well.

Not sure if it would work with the well being over 1400' distance and 100' lower in elevation from the house.
I removed a pool in my backyard and put a closed loop system in. I'll admit I don't have a big enough yard for maximum efficiency, what I did get though is enough for a 2 ton hydronic air handler to cheaply get me through the summer months.

I pulled the front suspension of the Explorer apart this morning. I kept thinking how much easier it would have been with a lift. Some day in the not too distant future......

What did you find when you pulled the front end apart?

Wedgie bushings were hard and split at the top, but there didn't appear to be any metal to metal contact. I think the bump I was feeling is from a worn driver side radius arm rod end. Need a new heater core too. Noticed it leaking when I was pulling the suspension.

@Josh P, I called the contractor and asked him about a geothermal system using the well water. He is not familiar with that stuff. He thinks the county doesn't allow a return into any ground water, but he is going to look into it for me.

Contractor told me that when I do hook the well up to power with its own transformer and meter box that we can have it classified as an agricultural well since there will be a second transformer and meter box for the house. The bill will be much lower for running the well if it's an ag well. Says it's a loophole in the power company's rules about second meter boxes and wells on larger properties. The dirt guy has three wells on his property, all are ag wells even though one exclusively services the residence. They also don't charge a monthly fee for any but the first box.

My daughter is already talking about moving out there. She has become very good at doing accounts payable for a fairly large business. Our neighbor here in San Diego is the senior CPA for a biotech firm and asked her for a resume. They don't even have an office for accounts payable at the biotech company, it's all done remotely so Sarah could move anywhere she wanted. I have a few sites for another house on the property, and all of her horse facilities already picked out. I was looking at the easement road along the bottom of the property when I was out there last. It appears to start out in the right orientation along the edge of the property but moves in so it's about 30' inside the property line. It's supposed to run along the edge of the property. If the horses get moved out there and I can't talk the owners of those two parcels down there into selling, I think I will move the easement road and put all the horse facilities where the existing road is. If I see any evidence of anyone doing any work on those two parcels, I will definitely move the road. If I can get those two parcels, then it won't really matter where the road is because the parcels on the other side of the road would become my daughter's arena, barn, etc.

I forgot to post this. I was way up a trail in Arizona in the foothills of the Music Mountains. I came across this old cattle pen. Look at these handmade hinges.




There was another gate across from this one with the hinges removed. If I owned them, I would be figuring how to put them into the build. Maybe for the barn doors of the master.

Can’t wait to see you get out there full time! Life is so much better this way

Next thing we know he'll be raising rabbit & quail for meat & eggs! ;)

Thanks for bringing us all along on this new adventure of yours!

No rabbits.

I do have plans to plant some tall growing native trees so they will add privacy from the parcels the owners won't sell to me. I figured out last time I was there I can completely block their view of my property with 8-10 large trees. It will also add a little vertical flora to the landscape.

I did some backhoe research and talked to the owner of the ranch where our horses are boarded. He's has 2 Ford tractors, says they are the only models he will ever have. Reliable and easy to repair. Says if I don't buy that 550 he will because it's worth well over the asking price. Dirt guy says I will never need more than that. Guess I will be buying a backhoe next time I go to Arizona. I can always sell it in a few years if I find myself not using it.

Still working on the building plans, it's a process. Lots of decisions to make. It's going to take a while. The floorplan is getting there; I make suggestions, designer integrates them if they are doable, tells me if they are not, or just too expensive or impractical. Roofline, elevations, patios, shop dimensions, etc., still being figured out. Designer is creative and doesn't mind thinking outside the normal box. He does warn me that outside the box equals more cost when it comes to buildings, and comes up with more practical approaches to what I think I want. He will come up with something I really like, like using peeler posts for all the patio supports, which pushes my brain in a different direction so I hit him with a bunch of follow up ideas that may or may not work. We have settled on a south-western rustic feel with a pitched roof. I'm not getting crazy with it, but I want it to have a timeless feel and fit the high desert environment. Designer says he is still enjoying working with me on it, because it's different than a standard residential or commercial building. He says it will be stunning when it's finished, especially with that mountain backdrop.

Your designer sounds ideal.

Your designer sounds ideal.
And cheap by Southern California standards. He apologetically told me what he was going to charge, and I offered to write him a check right then and there. It seems to happen in that part of Arizona to me on a regular basis. I am so used to overpaying for everything that I don't know what a fair price is for goods and services anymore. Since the contractor has gone into business with me building spec houses, I ask him for advice on local prices. He tells me what it would cost him, and how much he would charge someone else. It gives me perspective.

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Backhoe is the machine to have!!
It can do all the dirt moving and digging you will need, especially if you are
Lucky enough to get an extenda hoe”

I skipped getting a backhoe simply because in the ice and snow I needed metal tracks. tires with chains just won’t do back here, not enough traction to push the heavy snow or drive back up the Icy hill. also i have a helper most times so we ended up with a small dozer and a small excavator thinking we can run two machines at a time instead of one machine digging and moving dirt.
I also have a small compact tractor

Also need a dump trailer so I can re locate dirt and haul road making material

Once I pay all this crap off I am thinking of selling the small tractor and getting a larger machine or perhaps the backhoe
They are super useful

I am a member over at heavyequipment.com
I have learned a lot about fixing up the old heavy equipment over there very helpful forum. I have a case 350 dozer and a Takeuchi 35 hours mini ex on there
Parts are a little more expensive then our trucks…. You could say $1800 for rebuilt final drives, $700 to Re core a radiator, $800 to rebuild a ram, it goes on and on… but if we do our own work it’s very rewarding as the machines are now worth way more then I paid for them

These have become my favorite
Machines nothing like digging a big pond or repairing your own road or pushing 2 miles of snow like a big kid on a playground!!