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.
Making money fixing cars does not necessarily equate to being a mechanic or
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
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!)."
Well, I mean, he is a car mechanic by trade, works for a car repair
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
What you do is up to you, personally, I'd fix it and drive the wheels off
You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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
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,
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.
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.]
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. ;)
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
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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