Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sometimes I Catch A Break.....

The blue truck died. I knew it was shaky, but Sara just kept 'babying it on'. Finally it started to fail her.
The final blow came last Saturday night at the T/A truckstop in Mount Vernon. Nothing is worse than a broke truck pulling a horse trailer with a hot, tired horse inside the trailer. Ever hear a horse kick the side of a trailer on a hot, humid summer night while broke down on a hot asphalt truck stop parking lot? You can read about it here and here.

I brought the truck to the private mechanic and he told me the news no one wants to hear: The motor was just about shot, I could rebuild it but it would be just as cheap to replace it.

I called Jeepjunkie and he was all fired up to get a crate motor from Chevrolet. I went to Reliable and the motor they had,in stock, was a light duty truck motor and the blue truck needed a medium duty truck motor. They could only warranty it for 12/12.

I craiglisted for motors -- lots of 350 motors out there at all prices and conditions. The terms "good motor", "strong motor", "new motor" mean, I quickly discovered, different things to different sellers.

I shopped motors until I was punch drunk. I learned about "M" code, "L" code, "N" code motors, motors specific to 1979 - 1985 C20 Chevrolet pickups. I learned about intake manifolds, vacuum lines, throttle body motors. I learned about exhaust manifolds and donut gaskets and pvc valves. I learned that a 350 motor from a 1985 1/2 ton won't fit a 1985 3/4 ton.

After two days of agonizing over do I fix it or sell it and get another one. Knowing that Sara likes this truck, it matches her trailer finally helped me decide to fix it. So last night I went to the South Campbell O'Reilly's store and purchased an "M" code motor with a three year unlimited mileage warranty and all the needed parts for $1,492.51.

Today's mail contained a check, via the Horsefarmer and Mr. Miller, in the amount of $1,488.34. Thanks, Mom!


Sara said...

Thanks Dad and Grandma Weezer! I couldn't be luckier. :) Margo will have wheels! Yay!

dirtsister said...

It always works out in the end. Love that pix of your mom.

Jeremy D. Young said...

Thanks for shopping at and plugging the O'Reilly store. Let us know how that turns out.

--just a programmer at O'Reilly Auto Parts