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Old 08-25-2016, 07:15 AM   #1
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Civilization Has Come to Montblanc

The process of turning my 1-ton chore truck into something resembling a tow vehicle has begun!

First a haircut: Removed the stake sides.



What a difference in the noise. No squeaks and rattles from the rack body!

This afternoon, it goes to the mechanic to replace the leaking exhaust manifold and have a look at the front end. I drove it to work, pushing it through the turns. I was pleasantly surprised by how well something that tall and heavy hugged the road. I did notice that there is a bit of 'imprecision' when holding lane. It's not much and my just be the fact that it is a 7,200# truck, not a 2,200# sedan. But, lets get a professional's opinion on it, just to be safe.

Next week, the transmission shop to replace the filter and fluid. Plus professional evaluation.

The next choice is a hard one: Deal with the seats or the barely worn 2007 vintage tires?

Also need a spare rim and tire.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:35 PM   #2
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Delivered to the mechanic Thurs @ 1:30.


Should be ready Mon/Tues. Keeping fingers crossed that it won't be hideously expensive.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:49 PM   #3
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Assuming this has the MT that you really wanted? What year and mileage? Any other specs?


Cab body looks pretty good, but you might spend a few hours and many spray bombs of Tremclad on the frame...


The lane holding could very well be those LTX M/S tires. Had those on my old 1st gen Pathfinder; they squirmed a bit on dry, but handled snow great.
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
Assuming this has the MT that you really wanted? What year and mileage? Any other specs?
Cab body looks pretty good, but you might spend a few hours and many spray bombs of Tremclad on the frame...
The lane holding could very well be those LTX M/S tires. Had those on my old 1st gen Pathfinder; they squirmed a bit on dry, but handled snow great.
No, this is most definitely NOT My Dream Truck. This is my 2003 F-350 4x4 chore truck with the dump body and snowplow hookups. 5.4L V8 gasser with 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. Factory equipped for towing. All I had to add was a brake controller.

Last time I checked, it got 11 mpg in mixed driving, with an unrepaired major vacuum leak and lots of wind resistance from the rack body front panel. I haven't put enough miles on the thing since I replaced the power brake booster to get a good read on fuel consumption.

The tires have to go! They are over 9 years old (MFG 2007 week 46). If I'll be over 50 miles from home, it'll be on fresh tires. Also those tires are so hard/dried out I got the truck stuck on the road while plowing during the rough winter two years ago.

The 'steering issue' I felt seemed more like wear in the steering box or a ball joint or 3. The thing tracks straight. Little or no bump-steer. Its just those little twitches one needs to keep a vehicle in lane were actual movements of the wheel. I just don't know if I'm being picky or there actually is something that needs to be fixed.

The chassis got a coat of Rustolium back in 2012 when I moved the dump body from my last chore truck (1984 Chevy K20) to this one. 4.5 years and under 5,000 miles has not been kind to the frame.

After the transmission work, I'm going to a body shop to discuss fixing the roof. There was a work light up there at some time. Now there is a rusty hole with a wire sticking out. A major crease from some odd load. Plus scratches from transporting the auction win compact FEL & backhoe home. If the roof can be straightened out, the hole filled and painted something close to the rest of the truck along with putting some kind of durable coating on the frame for under $2K, I'll have that done too.

Then THE SEATS!!!!!

Again, this is in-no-way-shape-or-form my dream truck. I am just catching up with a whole lot of neglected maintenance on my chore truck. While forcing it to fill yet another role.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:46 AM   #5
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Stopped by the mechanic's shop this morning.


Wanted to see how full the cuss jar had gotten....


Work not started yet. "Parts are expected in by UPS, today."
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:31 AM   #6
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Was the cuss jar a little fuller when you left...?
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:34 PM   #7
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Was the cuss jar a little fuller when you left...?
Nope. I know how frustrating the task that I am paying for is. I did the same job on the other side 3 years ago and have been dreading balancing things out ever since.

There are 3 drivers in my life. With 5 cars & trucks between us. No pressure to get it back home. Whenever it gets done is fine.

Right now, I have a very good relationship with the service writer (owner?) of the shop. He knows I know cars and doesn't try to bamboozle me. I know he is trying to run a profitable business and I don't rake him over the coals on price.

Also I don't envy the mechanic that will do the actual work. When it is finished, I will be giving him/her a large tip. Not sure if $100 or $50. It will be well earned!
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:15 AM   #8
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Just got the truck back from the mechanic.


Wow, what a difference! No exhaust noise in the cabin any more.


It's actually almost pleasant to drive. Next stop transmission shop for a light going over.


Seats and possible roof repair.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:39 PM   #9
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Back from transmission shop.


It is actually almost civilized already. Now to deal with the seats. A quick eBay search shows $1,000-$4,000 for complete seats that should fit my truck.


Time to pull out the credit card and order something nice.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:29 AM   #10
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Drove Montblanc home last night.


50+ mile ride at speeds up to 70MPH with the windows closed and the A/C on. It is a regular pickup truck now. Quiet (the worst noise is a wind whistle on the outside antenna). I was able to listen to the radio and hear more background stuff than I ever knew was there!


Have you ever noticed the phone ringing an other sound effects going on under the music in Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry"?


I bought a new radio at Best Buy (AM/FM/CD/SAT/HandsfreeBlueTooth).
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