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.
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.
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 “you have to know what kind of car you have, what type of engine,” 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 you’re a man and do not understand the appeal of working on and fixing your vehicle and the satisfaction that goes with it, I don’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’Reilly’s.
Well, maybe I’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.
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.
I’ve taped up and dropped the first coat on the main door panel for now.
It is 11:34, and now I wait.
That door is done.
And now, on to the other door.
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.
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.
So here we are again. Making our way through the world trying to find basic commodities.
Toilet paper didn’t bother me much.
I didn’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 I’m sitting in a line reminiscent of the 70s.
I was alive when the gas shortages happened then. I don’t remember much.
I remember the lines.
People are panicking and a lot of them don’t have anywhere to go. The word is that most of the public is unemployed at the moment.
So where’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 wasn’t in a very good mood this morning. I got to my first store and had a quarter tank of gas. I wasn’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, well…
But sometimes you just have to let things go and do the best you can.
I wrote about fixing my truck Sunday. As a part of this ongoing project (and yes, there’s a lot to do) I’m going to be posting here and there about it. This blog is my daily outlet. This is why I’m here.
🎼Some days are better than others…
Today was great!
I’ve been using OBDLink (Apple) with my OBD scanner. It’s a nifty little tool that can drop all kinds of info on ya while you’re on the move. My primary concerns this week are engine coolant temp and the voltage on the battery. I replaced the thermostat several months ago. The battery was dead Sunday. So worth watching over. The MPG was a plus today.
I drove home with the A/C on this afternoon. I also fueled up at a station that may have had okay fuel. But as far as gas mileage I’m pretty happy with either number.
Before I figured out the problem with the plugs it was getting 22/23 mpg. This is a huge improvement.
For a twenty two year old truck this is pretty phenomenal I think.
I have a little bit more mechanical to work on. I have some plans for the exterior and a few more improvements to the interior look and functionality.