Category Archives: Truck Stuff

Dad Stuff/Truck Stuff

I had another leak on Bruce. Same spot where we replaced the radiator hose.

Come to find out that the part the hose attaches to was the problem.

It was a tough part to remove and replace. We, me and Pop, spent the better part of the morning getting it out and back in. But it’s fixed.

During all this we had to remove a spindle that involves the serpentine belt so that we could actually reach the part. When we cranked it back up there was a horrible screech. Like banshees in a bag on fire beating a group of cats.

The truck still runs. It’s drivable. But they will hear you coming from miles away.

Still, no good for me.


I went on from working on the truck to going to the band competition and helping there, loading and unloading, etc.

84ยฐ in October in South Carolina may as well be 100ยฐ. Long story short, I was already worn out. I hadn’t eaten we’ll yesterday and I got a bit dehydrated fairly quickly. I have some minor problems with a recurring Hiatal hernia problem and I aggravated that.

Also, I try to film for the band and sat in the top of the bleachers in the sun which exacerbated the problem. That’s when Pop came over to check on me.

Good grandparents don’t miss grandkid stuff and they were there watching. Apparently while I was looking for them in the stands, I walked right passed them. I saw them but didn’t see them. Which cued mom to have dad come check on me.

The result was near heat exhaustion, and hernia problems knocked me down last night and today. I’ve been in and out of it on the couch. I feel 100% better than at 3 AM this morning.

Just to back track a bit, the wife received her second vaccine shot Friday. We ended up in the ER yesterday at 4 AM. She’s okay. Working through it. In my opinion our earlier fears are justified. She shouldn’t have been required to take the shot with her medical history. But this isn’t a medical or political page.

Sleep deprivation will throw you for a loop as well.


Today while I was somewhere in the void, Pop came and got the truck and replaced that part causing the noise. He wasnโ€™t asked to. Didn’t have to.

He won’t even let me pay him.

And he told me, โ€œI see what you do for your family and how hard you push. I don’t realize what you do sometimes.โ€

And I said thank you and he went back home.

And I stood in the garage and broke down. Because after all these years, he realizes, and that affects me in a healing sort of way.

And he knows, too.

What I do for my family I do out of love for my family. A lot of the time I do not matter. As long as they are safe and happy and healthy, Iโ€™m good.

It’s a joke from the old tv commercial. People make memes about it all the time.

What my dad knows is that I learned it from watching him. Iโ€™m a product of the way he raised me.

He never set a bad example for me.

Iโ€™m good today. Iโ€™ll be better tomorrow.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.

Seegars

Truck Stuff: Baby Itโ€™s Cold Outside

Well, it ainโ€™t too cold yet, but the mornings are a bit chilly. Riding along in a truck with no heat, fogging up the windows until you get a balance between cracked window air and inside air, is a challenge.

Iโ€™m going to give 1A Auto a shout out tonight because I will always go to them first when Iโ€™m looking to do something mechanical or otherwise with Bruce.

This is a basic heater core flush and isn’t even the correct video for my truck but I have done this before and needed to refresh my memory.

DIY Pro Tip: If you’re gonna go to YouTube looking for answers, watch a couple of different content providers and see what works and what doesn’t.

Start with something simple. Believe me; even the pros won’t have all the answers you’re looking for online.

Just because they say this is what your vehicle should have, it may not. Keep looking.

Find someone that you’re comfortable with following their instructions.


I called around before doing this, and I got some prices that were outrageous to me on something so simple.

As I’ve mentioned before I also have the best shade tree mechanic in three counties for a father, and sometimes you gotta let the old man help to make him feel useful.

He thought there was a problem with the heater control valve.

He thought it wasn’t working, so he learned something today. That valve opens when the fan control is turned on, closes when turned off.

Heater Control Valve

Not all cars, even from the same manufacturer, are made the same. But you’d be amazed how much crossover there is in a lot of parts and interior/exterior body parts and pieces.

Mazda B-2000/Older Ford Rangers for example. This is a pretty good article explaining a lot of that.


Bruce is a pretty basic truck mechanically. I know where my limit is, and I keep pushing it every time.

Sooner or later, I’ll have a completely rebuilt engine if I keep going like this.

Heater core flushes are pretty basic affairs. I have heat. I had to write tonight, and this is what happened today.

You guys and gals that want to DIY you can do it. You are going to mess up. You are going to buy the wrong part. You may even screw up a major part. But don’t let that stop you.

I still remember almost crapping my pants when I didn’t really know about the firing sequence when I did a tune-up. Things happen.

Learn from your mistakes and pass the knowledge and the errors onโ€”everything you do wrong is a learning experience.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars

Truck Stuff: 1999 Project

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.) Theyโ€™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.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars

Parts And Praises: Truck Stuff

I listen to a lot of podcasts and I hear a lot of Rock Auto commercials.

I’m sure they have plenty of deals, and that’s great. I needed a part today and searched it while I took a break.

The part was a radiator hose.

This part is roughly $20 less than what I ended up paying at O’Reilly’s ($38 +tax) and would be a significant saving.

But…

It is Thursday the 16th. I work for a living; it’s still sweltering in the South, and I need my truck running with A/C. The savings I would have had would not make up for the lost time.

I do have the choice of driving my other car, which does not have A/C at the moment. It’s great to have that choice. But an afternoon on the highway home would be torture.

I was out the door at O’Reilly’s in five minutes after first having called them to make sure they had the part. No standing around, no wasted time, which is also mentioned in the ads I hear.

Honestly, sometimes I stop at auto parts stores just to look around. I enjoy it. Which is a point the ads try to push. Lots of guys actually enjoy the auto parts store.

I had the part in hand, on the truck, and was back on the road in an hour.

I also hear a lot of โ€œyou have to know what kind of car you have, what type of engine,โ€ etc.

How do you not know this sort of thing?

Right there, I know, these guys have never worked on their own vehicles. And probably shouldn’t be pushing ads to people who do.

I didn’t write this to knock Rock Auto at all. It’s great to be able to get parts at such a discount. I didn’t write this to criticize anyone. It seems snobby, I guess, to write and read copy on something you more than likely know nothing about.

If youโ€™re a man and do not understand the appeal of working on and fixing your vehicle and the satisfaction that goes with it, I donโ€™t understand you. Which I suppose sounds a bit snobby as well.

I have had the advantage of a father who is one of the best shade tree mechanics I’ve ever known.

For those without that advantage, there is a world of information on the internet. YouTube will walk you through so many small and large repairs.

I thoroughly enjoy working on mine. I love my truck. Yes, there’s a song about that.

For the hobbyist and the person that has the time I can see online parts ordering and possible savings.

For a man trying to get to work, I’ll go local parts store every time.


Again, not knocking Rock Auto but I will sing the praises of O’Reillyโ€™s.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars

Today on This Old Truck

I’m refurbishing the interior door panels today.

Well, maybe Iโ€™ll get one done. The deeper you get into something the more problems you can find.

I went to YouTube last night to figure out how to remove the spool handle for the window, and despite the guy knowing that every spool handle came off the same, he was wrong. Instead of a clip to remove said handle, it was a Torx head bolt. Luckily, I have an abundance of tools.

The other problem I’ve run into is a bit of upholstery that has given up over the years, probably to heat. Things wear down. There’s no helping it.

Separation Anxiety

And so I have an armrest sitting in front of the wife’s bread box with Gorilla Glue (not a sponsor) setting up and a couple of paper/chip clips bag holding it all together.

This is a high dollar operation.

I’ve taped up and dropped the first coat on the main door panel for now.

It is 11:34, and now I wait.


13:14

That door is done.

It came out loads better than I thought it would.

And now, on to the other door.

Before and after.

Because you’ve seen the first one, the other is pretty much the same, so I won’t bore ya.

Yep. I was able to get both doors done and still have some time this afternoon.

There’s a lot to be said for doing things yourself. It’s not just saving money. You try new things and learn new things. Believe me; I mess up often enough, but there’s a lot of knowledge in mistakes.

It might be the paint fumes talking, but it’s been a pretty good day.

That’s it. That’s the post.

Seegars

Not Too Shabby

If you havenโ€™t figured it out yet I like to do it myself.

I have an old truck Iโ€™ve been finding parts here and there for and it ainโ€™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 ainโ€™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 Iโ€™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. Iโ€™m doing that so as not to put any drain to the battery when Iโ€™m parked and in store at work. Not that either of those are big battery drainers.

Itโ€™s not just the finding and refurbishing, this is fun for me.

Itโ€™s satisfying.

Itโ€™s a thing that I can sit back from and say, thatโ€™s done.

And I have something at the end of it.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.

Seegars

One Mans Junk

I woke up at 5:15 this morning.

Not because of an alarm.

Not because I was excited about today.

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 Iโ€™ve tweaked to get better.

Getting old ainโ€™t comfortable. But it beats the alternative.


On the way to work Iโ€™m keeping an eye out for the right junked Ranger. Iโ€™m driving past a car lot thatโ€™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 Iโ€™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 didnโ€™t see anything I could mod for the applications I want.

And then he told me about Kenny. โ€œIf you go down 102 and cross the three bridges and take the road at the top ofโ€ฆโ€.

Well, you canโ€™t beat country directions. And I found Mr. Kenny easily.

Do you see what I see? Ainโ€™t she purdy? With a lot of elbow grease and love she could be a jewel.

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.

You may see junked cars. I see possibilities.

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 thereโ€™s a haggle. Kenny says Tim is a fair price kinda guy.

Iโ€™ll find out next week. I didnโ€™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 thatโ€™s cool. I wish Iโ€™d known or I wouldnโ€™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. Iโ€™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.

Iโ€™m a little stoked about my new gold mine. I love a good junkyard. Thereโ€™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.

Thatโ€™s always a good thing.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.

Seegars

Little Things

My wife loves spicy food. So much so that sheโ€™ll get a plate of spicy food and thatโ€™s not enough for her.

Nope. Then sheโ€™ll go to her standby. Texas Pete.

Heโ€™s the only other fella thatโ€™s any competition for me in life besides our son.

I donโ€™t like spicy foods much. I might throw some Texas Pete on a burrito.

I do admit that Texas Pete rode with me in the army just in case I came upon some chili mac, which was likely to happen.


I got off work today around 1:00 and decided Iโ€™d go for a ride and make sure the truck was good. A long ride was needed. Maybe just wanted.

I was riding along and looking for places that might have a junked Ranger.

I need a few interior parts. Some plastic odds and ends. The interior is pretty great, amazingly. No tears in the seats. The dash and carpet are nearly pristine.

On down the road I ended up in a nearly ten mile long construction zone. I started counting Dollar Generals.

I also ended up in need of a bathroom.


My wife loves something else. Those little Smarties Mega Lollipops.

We usually find them at a candy store in Maggie Valley on vacation where she buys several. She doesnโ€™t allow herself many treats like that. Iโ€™ve found them at Dollar General here and there so I grab them when I can.

Theyโ€™ve been sparse lately, like lots of things yโ€™all might favor the last year and some change.

I hit several Dollar Generals on the way today. Six in total. Found three of these suckers on the way at one store. Still stopped at two more.

I donโ€™t know why.

It makes her happy.

I guess itโ€™s love.

Itโ€™s the little things.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.

Seegars

Road Warrior

So here we are again. Making our way through the world trying to find basic commodities.

Toilet paper didnโ€™t bother me much.

I didnโ€™t give a crap about hand sanitizer.

I have to have fuel. I work on the road between four different locations. This requires that I drive.

So now Iโ€™m sitting in a line reminiscent of the 70s.

I was alive when the gas shortages happened then. I donโ€™t remember much.

I remember the lines.

People are panicking and a lot of them donโ€™t have anywhere to go. The word is that most of the public is unemployed at the moment.

So whereโ€™s the rush?


Anyway, forty-five minutes later and two gas stations and my tank was full.

This whole country can be shut down in a relatively short span of time over something we take for granted. Things can be disrupted very quickly.

I know I wasnโ€™t in a very good mood this morning. I got to my first store and had a quarter tank of gas. I wasnโ€™t going to be able to make my second store. I pride myself on getting the job done. If the company sets me an impossible task, wellโ€ฆ

But sometimes you just have to let things go and do the best you can.

I need to make that my mantra or something.

Thatโ€™s it. Thatโ€™s the post.

Seegars

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