UPDATE 5 on the Dodge pickup whining noise

Just spoke to a friend of my wife who is a car mechanic who makes money by fixing cars.
He mentioned that it could well be a tranny problem.
He advised me that once shit starts on Chryslers, that it only gets worse, and advised me to not do any repairs and to get rid of this truck as soon as possible.
I am inclined to do just that.
i
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And I bet he knows somebody who will take it off your hands too.
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Nope, he has been very good to us. He is a good person and never made any money from us in any way. Never did any work on our vehicles or facilitated any purchases. My wife knew him for a very long time.
i
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Making money fixing cars does not necessarily equate to being a mechanic or technician.

Given the fact that there has been no apparent, concentrated attempt at a true diagnosis on this vehicle - just a bunch of "It COULD be's..." - his opinion is just that - an un-educated opinion.

I've driven many Chrysler products ( ...and GM...and FORD) to well beyond 150,000 miles without major component problems.
Watch out for generalizations.
Most REAL technicians understand that every vehicle has its peculiarities.....and that generalizations simply do not apply to today's vehicles.
Diagnosis by trend ( Oh! They ALL do that....) is not a valid way of solving any problem in today's complex vehicles - yours included.
Sometimes - when backed into a corner where they cannot come up with a decent solution to a given problem - these people would rather say......
"All (insert brand here) are pure junk. Get rid of it before it starts to cost you a lot of money.......(and before you continue to ask me questions I cannot answer!)."
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Well, I mean, he is a car mechanic by trade, works for a car repair shop.

True.
You know, this is all pretty much true.
I hate the idea of buying a new truck, a lot of money down the drain, and *IF* I can somehow fix up this truck and continue driving it for next 10 years, I would be happy. I would rather have a beater truck (which this one is not, sans latest mechanical problems), and retire a few years earlier, or just work less, than pay money for shiny new vehicles.
That said: it all hinges on the likelihood that my latest mechanical problems can be resolved not too expensively.
His opinion is that it is unlikely.
I think that it would not hurt to try to do a couple more things by myself, to ascertain a little more.
What is clear is that plopping thousands down the drain, paying car mechanics etc, is likely a bad route to take. With DIY approach, the cost is less.
i
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On Mon, 2 Oct 2006 15:50:30 +0000 (UTC), Ignoramus16919

DIY is less when you know what you're doing. There are times when it really pays to retain the services of a competent professional. That would be one who *knows* what the problem is, and knows how to fix it the first time, not one who keeps replacing stuff (on your nickle) until the problem goes away. One that won't quote fixed price to accomplish the job is one to avoid. Check references from satisfied customers.
A trap in DIY is to get in over your head, get discouraged, and decide to junk it out of frustration when it really could be repaired by someone who has the necessary knowledge, experience, skills and tools. My son had a Ford Granada we named FPOSOJI -- f**king piece of junk oughtta junk it. It got that name because he uttered those words so many times. But we perservered, kept it running all the way thru his days at the U. He was probably the only guy in Computer Science with dirt under his fingernails. It started every time, even at 30 below at the U. First thing he did when he got his first job was to gleefully junk old FPOSOJI and buy a brand new Ford Probe.
How much $ to put into a vehicle has nothing to do with book value; it has to do with cost per mile after that. I once put over $1000 into a Blazer whose street value was less than that -- and then drove it for a decade afterwards with some minor repairs along the way. I recently put $1500 into a '95 Ford Contour that probably isn't worth that in terms of resale value -- but it only has 50K miles on it and the body is perfect. I expect that one will last another decade.
Stuff can start going wrong on any vehicle after some years and miles. Often it's minor stuff that are easy DIY repairs. Occasionally it's major, but $2K to a skilled mechanic beats $20K to a dealer for a new vehicle, not to mention the increase in insurance cost.
I put five kids thru university and still retired at age 57 -- but I never sent a penny to Detroit or Japan for over 20 years and I carried no collision insurance -- just PL, PD and BI. I kept our cars running, bought the kids $300 hulks that were toad-ugly but mechanically good and did necessary bodywork and paint to make them look nice as well as run reliably and well. Result: cheap, reliable, presentable transportation for several years for each of them. One old Aspen I got for $300 went thru three kids, two accidents, all of the skin from an old hot water heater (bodywork and rust work), still went to the junkyard under its own power.
I don't pretend to be a skilled mechanic. I fixed what I could, hired competent help when I needed it, and knew when to do which.
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wrote:

That's quite rational. My wife wants me to buy a new one, and I do not want that -- but if the current truck is not suitable, I will have to do that.
I will try to do what I can, being mindful that it may be better to get rid of a problem -- but first I will try to find out the extent of it. I will visit a dealer tomorrow to see what they will say after they drive it.
i
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On Mon, 2 Oct 2006 18:34:11 +0000 (UTC), Ignoramus16919

The moment you sign the dotted line on a new car..you have just taken several thousand dollars and in front of Crom and everybody..set it on fire.
There are literally millions of quality used vehicles out there that dont cost you an arm and a leg so simply drive off the lot.
Gunner, 94 Mazda B3000(Ford Ranger extended) 409,000 miles
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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By "new" I mean "new for me".
i
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That means no one in the family owned it first where I'm from.
Wes S
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You're not kidding!
One time I was buying a $500 "radio and heater" for the winter when the owner claimed it was a "one-owner car" - owned only by his brother and him.
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Only one owner at a time ;)
--
Free men own guns - www.geocities/CapitolHill/5357/

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Ig, You can't get *rid* of a problem unless you *fix* the problem. Trading vehicles is just trading one problem for some other problem. It's not *if*, it's *when* and it doesn't matter what make, model, or year. A vehicle is a mechanical/electrical system, and things wear out and fail. Even if you bought a brand new vehicle, chances are decent there would be something wrong with it (no matter the brand).
When I get rid of a vehicle, it's done all that the lord put it here to do and then some. A vehicle, unlike what most people seem to think, is a tool to get you from here to there and back, it's not a status symbol, it's not an ego trip, it's a tool, just like your hammer or saw. You have to take care of your tools, and you occasionally have to rebuild or replace parts of them. Would you toss out a perfectly good $500 saw just because it needed a set of brushes? No, you would put a set of brushes in it and use it for another 10 years.
Just for info, my current: '87 Ranger - 270,000+, '96 Crown Vic - 178,000 +, '95 Neon - 179,000 (last I looked). All have had various problems at one time or another, from a motor rebuild on the ranger at 187K, to a partial rebuild of the neon a couple thousand miles ago (head). I do 99% of my own mechanical/electrical work. I do not buy new. Did once, never will again. That new car smell is nice, but it costs you $3-5K as soon as you drive off the lot. Hell of a lot of money for a sniff. Look at the cost per mile of your vehicle, and do the ROI for a new one (return on investment). My bet is you can't get that new one to ROI out even in 5 years, let alone the recommended 2 years even if *nothing* went wrong with it, and you had to replace the motor, transmission, rear end and rebuild the suspension on your old one as the baseline costs for the ROI.
I've got $3200 total incl purchase,(excluding tires, fuel, and normal fluids) in that ranger and i've owned it since it had 152K on it. That's a true ownership cost of less than $0.03/mile, and I still drive it 64 miles round-trip every day. The other two are comparable in ownership costs.
Your rear end problem is not difficult to fix yourself. It just takes patience, some reading and understanding of procedures and specifications, and a good manual for the rear. It is not a hard task, I've done quite a few, from cars to tandem-axle dump trucks to racing set-ups. It is just tedious and you need to be diligent with the steps in the procedures. Your rear set up is actually one of the easier designs to work on.
What you do is up to you, personally, I'd fix it and drive the wheels off of it.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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Anthony wrote:

I have an '87 Ranger as well. It was given to me in February of last year. It was on its way to the crusher, and my 79 Dodge pickup still needs the 225 slant six engine replaced. The Ranger needed a radiator, which is supposed to be replaceable from the top. Some moron added a transmission cooler and rerouted the lines, with all the clamps on the bottom. It took about five house to do a 30 minute job. Cost about $125 for the parts.
Last month the muffler fell off. Someone had tighend the clamps so much they they were embedded 1/4" into the pipes. It turned into a two day job cutting the old pieces of pipe off the exhaust and tail pipes without causing further damage. Using a cutting torch where you can't see what you are doing is no fun. I used a claw hammer to unwrap the old pipe as I cut it, because there wasn't room for anything else. Then I had to reshape the tail pipe to get it into the new muffler. All of this while lying in a twist, and having trouble breathing. Cost about $34 for the parts.
I've only driven the Ranger about 7000 miles since I got it, so I have about $0.0227 per mile cost so far.
Playing mechanic is no fun anymore, now that I'm 100% disabled. :(
--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
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Anthony wrote:

ROI? I bought a real nice looking lincoln continental 1983 year out of the junkyard that they said had a bad motor in it. They delivered it to my place for 300 bucks. I expected to put a new engine in it but I figured I would see what was wrong with the engine anyway. It cranked but didnt fire. No spark from the coil. I took the power pack out and went down to a friends place who had a similar car. I put the power pack in his car and it didnt work. As I was handling it I noticed a broken wire where it came out of the potting compound. I fixed the wire and the car started. I ran back and put it back in my car. The car ran fine with a couple of other minor parts changes, sparkplugs, Thermostat. I put over 40k miles on that car with virtually no repairs. The previous owner stopped me once and noted to me that that was once his car and he got rid of it after dumping a bunch of money in it. New exhuast system new brakes, new tires, new everything that it needed, well almost everything. My vehicle today I bought at an auction for 900 bucks, ford aerostar 1995. It had a cracked windshield and a flat tire. New windshield 175 bucks, tires 150 bucks. I put over 50 k miles on that and its still running. I did have to replace the wires and plugs, and the water pump, but its running well and exactly the vehicle I need.
John
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wrote:

............. If worse comes to worse, get a complete "meat ball" from a salvage yard and swap out. .............

=======================What are you -- some sort of Commie??
It people like you and Gunner that only buy what you need in the way of a vehicle, and run it until "it won't run no mo'," that is causing the current problems in Detroit. How dare you keep *YOUR* money in *YOUR* pocket when Ford and GMC need it so badly. And think of all the poor politicians that need that slaes tax, and licence revenue. Its time to pass a law to outlaw old cars and force cheap screws like you to buy new cars. Remember -- its for the children!!!!
[I currently drive a 1978 Mercury Monarch with c. 130,000 miles and a 1990 T'bird with c. 310,000 miles. Drove a 74 SAAB until a few years ago with 280,000 miles. Front u-joints went, and it was no longer economical to repair, here in Kansas.]
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OK... I will see. I will check if this is tranny related or rear diff related.
i
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On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 22:12:34 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

I bought my current truck brand new (my only new vehicle so far) and it has served me well for 15 years now. I paid $13,777 for it, custom built from the factory to me.
I've put about $2,500 into it in those 15 years. 3 new sets of tires, tie rods and drag link, a set of brakes, 2 sets of platinum plugs, a cap and rotor, a set of plug wires, 2 batteries, a starter, an alternator, and a 4-sp auto tranny overhaul ($1,825 by itself.)
Repair time, mostly mine, was about 20 hours altogether. I spent more time waxing the truck than repairing it (before the paint went.)
Down time was 4 days for the tranny, and usually an hour or two for the other repairs. The starter went out at a home improvement store and I got a ride to AutoZone 4 blocks away. They loaned me the tools and I put the new starter in within an hour, getting the paint back to my house painter just an hour late. <g> The rest of the repairs I did at home with my tools. Other than the tranny, the truck has had no other downtime, only actual repair time of an hour at a time.
The truck has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. I just love it. (I used to do most of those repairs to -each- used vehicle I owned each year or two. <g>)

My new cost was $0.145/mile.

I'll echo your sentiments to Ig and say "repair the nut" (or have it done.) Unless, of course, he wants a real truck, like an F-series. ;)
--
STOP THE SLAUGHTER! || http://diversify.com
Boycott Baby Oil! || Programmed Websites
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You're probably in over your head on this if you haven't narrowed it down between the transmission and rear yet. No offense intended, it's just you need to develop a better troubleshooting method, and on a vehicle you need running isn't a pleasant place to learn. I think it'd be worth your while to take it to the dealership to have them troubleshoot it and tell you what's making the noise. Should only cost you an hour of labor or so. Then you'll know for sure what's wrong and won't be relying on guesses from people who haven't seen the truck. That way you can make a sound decision. A reman transmission isn't terribly expensive to get and have installed; so if that turns out to be the solution, I think it would be worthwhile unless you simply want a new vehicle. Whatever's wrong, it's cheaper than a whole new (or used) truck unless you get a hell of a bargain.
--
B.B. --I am not a goat! thegoat4 at airmail dot net

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On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 23:06:18 -0500, B.B.

B.B., I will take my pickup to the dealer tomorrow at 7am. I will see what they say, I will ask them to do a test drive.
i
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