This whole refurbishment of this truck is an ongoing thing.
I have a lot of cosmetic stuff to do. Chips in the paint for the most part. I’m actually thinking of a light spray over the major scratches and a dot here and there for the chips. Then a good buffing.
Not a lot of structural damage, amazingly, and not a lot of rust at all for a twenty plus year old truck.
It has been hot, and I didn’t want to do it. Today was a nicer day, and when it’s cooler, I spend a good deal of time in the garage.
Today I went with the fender flares that have been sitting in the garage for at least two months. (She may or may not have been eyeballing them at that time.) They’re a nice stainless steel and black rubber set that should last a long while with care.
I also did a bit of painting on the lowers under the doors and the front part of the bed with bed liner paint. It improved the looks and may provide some protection.
The plastic bumper covers are in surprisingly good shape but faded from their original gray. I went with black this time around. It suits the color scheme.
It’s nice to get out and improve and create. To do it myself. To get dirty again. Although, the shower did feel excellent.
I’m glad the weather is starting to change. It means more time for me in the garage/shop. I guess I may as well start getting things together.
During my project today, I’ve realized something. That grime and dirt you see in the armrest of a work truck has a name. That’s #elbowgrease. I have finished one door, so I might as well move on to the other. #thisoldtruck
If you haven’t figured it out yet I like to do it myself.
I have an old truck I’ve been finding parts here and there for and it ain’t easy.
Ever since Cash For Clunkers the pickins are slim, so I work with what I can find.
Sometimes that means refurbishing a part and bringing it back to life.
It ain’t perfect, but it suits me just fine.
I find that the more I do of this the more little tricks I find. Practice makes perfect.
This was a quick job today to test some paint that I’ve just started working with. I also needed to gauge the space on this piece so that I can install some switches for cut offs on my power to my dash cam and stand alone GPS point. I’m doing that so as not to put any drain to the battery when I’m parked and in store at work. Not that either of those are big battery drainers.
It’s not just the finding and refurbishing, this is fun for me.
It’s a thing that I can sit back from and say, that’s done.
Nope. It was back pain. Sciatica. Intense horrible pain.
Anyway, I got up and made the coffee, stretched a little and got ready for work. Not much to do for except suffer through it and wait for whatever I’ve tweaked to get better.
Getting old ain’t comfortable. But it beats the alternative.
On the way to work I’m keeping an eye out for the right junked Ranger. I’m driving past a car lot that’s going out of business and he has seats, consoles, dashboards and all kinds of other stuff piled outside for different cars. I stopped to take a look because you never know.
No one is there so I decided I’ll stop back by on the way home.
Work was uneventful, one of those days I like so much. Low drama, everyone working. Knocking it out.
I got to hang with Kevin and Riv a bit which is always a treat. We work and cut up and it makes for good days.
I stopped by the place I mentioned and the owner was there. I asked about the possibility of any Ranger parts but that was a negative. He waited around to see if I could possibly use any of the other parts he had. Sadly, no. I didn’t see anything I could mod for the applications I want.
And then he told me about Kenny. “If you go down 102 and cross the three bridges and take the road at the top of…”.
Well, you can’t beat country directions. And I found Mr. Kenny easily.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kenny had only square bodies. Older than what I need. But he started talking junkyards and car guys with me and gave me a lead on another spot. A friend of his.
So off I go on another country direction adventure after filling up my tank (you never know).
As luck would have it this is sorta on my way home with a minor detour.
And then I meet Tim.
And Tim has a goldmine in his back yard.
I walked in an introduced myself and we talked and shortly he gave me the run of the yard.
This is my kind of place. You go out, find what you need, and pay the man after the haggle. If there’s a haggle. Kenny says Tim is a fair price kinda guy.
I’ll find out next week. I didn’t have the cash with me today and he was getting ready to leave in the morning with his family for a vacation weekend. And that’s cool. I wish I’d known or I wouldn’t have held him up at all.
I probably spent an hour out in the yard and I was lucky. I found several pieces that I can use. I’ll be back next Wednesday.
The time out in the heat with the sun on my back seems to have had a therapeutic effect, that and the stretching in and out of junked cars probably helped as well.
I’m a little stoked about my new gold mine. I love a good junkyard. There’s nothing like it if you love cars or trucks and working on them.
Today was long. Today was good. I profited.
I made three new contacts that may become friends but at the least are friendly.
8:00 AM: I’m starting off the day trying to figure the problem out with the truck and these spark plugs. And I may have found the problem. I think it’s the wrong set of plugs. You’d think the guy at the counter would have some knowledge as to what he’s selling you but I’ve trusted too much in that. It would seem he’s wrong.
(Further on I’ll be talking about O’Reilly’s. I didn’t get the bad plugs from there. – Credit where credit is due.)
I’ll be taking off to the parts place with a little more knowledge this time and the manual and truck info to back me up.
But first, church.
I’m at O’Reilly Auto Parts and my man Chuck here confirmed part of a problem. I was sold single platinum plugs instead of double platinum plugs at the other parts place. The plug in five split and is causing misfire. These plugs couldn’t handle the workload.
We may be onto something…
1:00 PM: I got back home, stepped out of the car and directly to the truck. I went to work on replacing the plugs.
I started at one and went to six. I didn’t pull a wire until I had the previous one gap checked, greased and seated. That fifth cylinder misfire was because of these old plugs. That would be number five in the lineup pictured above. Absolutely the wrong equipment for the application.
2:14 PM: After about an hour I was back on the road but it wasn’t all rainbows and roses, no. The battery had died and a cell had went bad so I was off to another O’Reilly’s to see about a new battery.
The truck isn’t cutting back like it was and no check engine light. No misfire. This, for me, is huge! I love my truck but it has to be usable to stick around.
At this point I was only into this little adventure for blood, sweat, and $32.00 USD. I was dreading having to shell out for a new battery. They aren’t outrageous but they aren’t cheap either. And this battery was only a year old.
But then I guess there was a bit of “whiskers on kittens“. Turns out the battery I bought a year ago was under a two year warranty at O’Reilly’s. Those fellas helped me out big time to day.
A BIG SHOUT OUT to O’Reilly’s and to their employees. Gene and Jim in Camden, SC and Chuck in Lancaster, SC. They were super helpful and knowledgeable today.
And also, I’m thanking God. It’s getting hot and there’s no air in the Escape. The Ranger has super cold air. I prayed over the truck last night hoping that this was the problem. I needed it and it was granted. So thank you Lord for the hands and mind to work the problem and the grace to let this happen.
5:50 PM: I haven’t eaten all day. I was all about getting this done. And now it’s almost supper time.
Time to shower, eat, and relax. Tomorrow’s Monday.
If you were to ask me what my dream car is I would tell you several years back that it was a ‘68 Ford Mustang.
I just love them.
To me, maybe not to you, they are beautiful cars. I love the way they sit, I love the way they move. How they almost look at you as you walk by, maybe giving you a little wink, tempting you to take a spin.
There was a time that I would have given most anything to own one.
But, times change, people change.
I’ve come to realize that my dream car changed into a dream truck. Maybe not a dream, perhaps more like a happy life.
He’s a green 1999 Ford Ranger. I came into possession of him for a few grand. Low miles, decent truck. It has its problems and I’m working through them.
The pic above is nearly identical to my truck. When I’m done with this project it will be black and chrome. I love the contrast between the shiny and the dark.
The feeling of shifting and driving and enjoying something so simple, that’s a better dream for me.
So this morning I picked up a 1999 Ford Ranger, technically an antique (but I guess so am I).
Straight stick (as God intended) V-6, basic little single cab truck. It’s pretty much all original but I love to mod on the inside and a little outside.
I’m really wanting to flat black the whole thing, headlights to taillights, tint the windows, etc.
Right now I’m sitting in the Best Buy bay waiting for the stereo to be installed.
This is what I’m starting with:
Old school. With a cassette player.
Im having a Pioneer touchscreen with CD/DVD, Apple/Android CarPlay installed in place of the stock stereo. I don’t have any cassettes anymore and rarely use a CD or even the radio even. Nope I stream podcasts and music.
I love having my maps on a large screen. The latest iOS update gives me even more options with music and messages plus the phone screen remains in an independent mode where, if needed, it can be used without disturbing anything on the stereo screen.
I’m also having a backup camera installed (because I can).
I spent a good deal of time here today. More than I wanted but I’m not complaining. It’s an older truck and the wiring is coded a bit different than what the tech was used to.
We kind of worked together on it and in the end I got what I wanted so all’s we’ll that ends well.
Jay the Geek Squad Tech that worked on my truck (I have a truck again!) was fantastic. He did a beautiful job.
Jay working on the backup camera.
I certainly can’t complain. He didn’t cut any corners and did his very best to install what I wanted where I wanted.
So if you’re in Columbia, SC and you need a backup camera or a stereo installed go to Best Buy on Two Notch and ask for Jay.
Beginning to end.
Start to finish it was an experience and Jay let me see stuff I didn’t know was in the truck for future installs and such. So the time I spent today was well spent.
Time to drop a review and nice email to the manager. I have to tell them that I was impressed.
This is just the start of this project. I’ll be writing more about it soon.
(Special thanks to Mags for letting this happen. She’s too good to me.)