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Friday, February 16, 2007

She's baaaaaack...

I have just returned from the armpit of the big bad city in my pickup truck.

I have my truck back. I have my truck back. I have my truck back. Thank you for playing that country song in reverse.

She's now running a REBUILT CHEVY 350 SMALL BLOCK V8, BORED OUT TO 355 CUBIC INCH DISPLACEMENT, THAT'S A 5.7 LITRE IN NEW-CENTURY SPEAK.

ruh uh uh uh. Hear me grunting over my spanky new motor. It's sooooo clean.

(You can tell I've been terribly urbanized over the last 15 years because we actually took it to a mechanic to do the engine swap. My first pickup's motor got changed with a rented cherry picker- yeah that's really what the hoist is called- in the gravel driveway of our rented house at the time. My ol man told me he'd never ever ever do that again. Well he's all soft, isn't he, he's got a nice warm shop with a hoist in his backyard. Lah dee fricking dah!)

Now I have to spend the next ten days breaking it in. This means putting as many clicks on it as I can, in varying RPMs, to get the motor all lubed up and running well. It's like a brand new truck.

The odometer says 323,000 km. (Sorry, not sure how many miles that is.) We all suspect that somebody a few years back turned the odometer back before selling it. The squeaky dash is a good indication.

But now it's 18 year old truck and it's like new. On the way up the highway it felt... different. Stiff. It seemed to take more foot power on the pedal to get it moving. After a half hour's drive it already felt more responsive.

Oh happiness. Don't get me wrong, I'm severely stressed about the money involved. This is several thousand bucks that we really could have used for other things....like property taxes... and it is not totally paid for yet...but it had to be done. The truck is actually useful again! I won't be constantly worried that the tired old 305 will just quit some day, just grind to a halt, and stop running. It'll be powerful enough to do the things that trucks are meant to do! I am also not very yhappy though, about the amount of gas it will take to do this fun "breaking in" over the next couple of weeks. If Jethro drives it into the city for work, it's going to cost about 5 bajilliwillion dollars in gas. Dammit.


Well screw it. You can't haul a horse trailer with a VW Jetta. I mean, I haven't tried, but I'm pretty sure you couldn't. I'm pretty sure...You can haul bags of oats and shavings in a nice little Jetta but there's always that risk of messing up the lovely carpeted hatch, whereas the truck is just purely meant for all kinds of nasty stuff. It's just the way god intended, okay????

So anyways, she's safely hunkered down beside my house after the maiden voyage with the new powerplant, and I'm all chest painy and finger jittery and leg shaky. I'll just be over here with my beer.

Damn, I love my truck.

24 comments:

Biddie said...

I am so proud of you for driving that scary highway. Way proud. Big time. You rock.

dilling said...

welcome home, truck. can't wait for a photo of Truck hauling Trailer...sigh.
and if it weren't only 10:30 am, i would join you for a beer. sounds good. is that bad?

Heidi the Hick said...

Dilling, beer is not just for breakfast anymore, that's all I gotta say!

Oh, that and, I am really looking forward to a Truck Hauling Trailer photo!!!

Biddie... thank you. That means so much to me, more than you can know.

her indoors said...

yeh she got her truck back! hey can i borrow it!!! ok ok just kidding!!!

Heidi the Hick said...

You wouldn't believe this...I have a neighbour (not one of my beloved neighbours) who called me up one winter night to inform me that her husband needed to borrow my truck.

Like it's the town truck and I have a little sign up sheet.

But you know, I have been willing to move people's junk in exchange for a full gas tank....!

CindyDianne said...

OH Heidi!

I am so, so, so, so happy for ya. And proud of ya too! WUHOO! A working and new, shiny motor! YAY!

Smartypants said...

I know nothing about motors. I *want* to know nothing about motors.

I put my foot down and it goes.

I do know quite a bit about highway driving though. = )

cara winsor hehir said...

will you still resepect when when i tell you that i don't know how to drive?
about hauling gear in a jetta. the farmer lady i used to work for would pick me up after school with live stock in the car (a toyota tercel) chickens that she saved.... taking the goat for a drive....
god love her.... i was sooo embarassed, now i wish i were her!!

cara winsor hehir said...

oh a dats some nice motor you got der, missus.

Heidi the Hick said...

Cindy, thanks for the cheer!

Smarty, I used to do a lot of highway driving, usually with two toddlers and a critter in the car. I"ll get back to it someday. I'll get my nerve back.

Cara, I still respect you if you don't drive! It just warms my heart to think that if you did drive, and you had a goat, that you'd take the goat out for a drive...I think the goat would like that.

Nicole Brackett said...

There's nothing like truck love! Now go fill that sucker's bed up with FEED! :-) Congrats on getting your ride back.

Anissa said...

I have truck envy. My main character drives a truck, so I get my thrills vicariously through her. Glad you're back in business!

dragonfly183 said...

My ex husband had the engine replaced in an old camero when we were dating. The mechanic told him that the parts have to "wear" into each other and that the more you drive it the better it will feel. Thats why you noticed the difference.

LeRoy Dissing said...

Heidi...you sound like you are "in love" all over again. What do they say about Chevy trucks? Built like a.....

Heidi the Hick said...

ROCK! Everybody sing along with Bob Seger! Yes Leroy, I'm very happy to be reunited with my darling truck and hope we have many more happy years together!

Dragonfly, that's exactly right. Jethro took it into the city today and reported the same thing- really stiff and gutless until halfway there, but by the time he was downtown it only took a little tap of the gas pedal to make it go. This is the first time we've transplanted to a newly rebuilt motor. Pretty exciting...

Anissa it just warms my heart that you have a pickup truck driving heroine!

Nicole, its next trip out to the farm will include a feed store run, for sure!

LeRoy Dissing said...

How many miles you have on that body (I am talking about your Chevy truck now!)? I have an Oldsmobile - I know old people's car but it is an Intrigue that I love. Has 217,000 miles and I am going to let it take me as far as it can....I hope 300,000+++

Let's hope that Chevy can keep up!

Heidi the Hick said...

Well, the truck body which is a 1989 ( I myself am a 1970 model and have less miles on me than I feel like I do) has 323,000 km on it which I believe is about 200,700 miles. But, like I said, I figure somebody turned it back at some point. Especially when I think back to how very tired that old 305 was.

However we bought the darn thing because it was still in great shape. After all the repairs we've done since late 2003 it is in EXCELLENT shape!

I think cars can go to 300,000m as long as they're taken care of. Our 2003 Jetta already has close to 200,000 on it. We plan on driving that car for another ten years at least. Diesels often run up to 500,000 as long as the body is cared for.

I do hope to be driving it for years. My dad's truck is over 50 years old and he still drives it every summer!!

LeRoy Dissing said...

If your Chevy looks as in good a shape as you, I am sure the body will go another 20 years Hiedi. Just hope the transmission lasts. I had to replace mine once already. Don't know if yours is a stick or automatic....hopefully a stick. Much better with pickups.

VW diesels last forever so as well as you take care of vehicles, I have no doubt you will get many miles on it.

SkippyMom said...

Beauuuuuuutiful! I love reading about you & your truck - I am a car loving girl myself and I know how you feel - I had a truck for years and gosh, I miss it....congrats!

It is so great to see you got it back and it is so purty!


Hugs!

captain corky said...

Sweet looking engine. Enjoy the Truck! Some day I'll have a real truck...

Kari said...

Ooohhh. Ahhhh. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a big truck!!

Miss you something awful. E-mail me sometime. odell.kari@gmail.com
I promise I'll answer. :)

Heidi the Hick said...

Why thank ya, Leroy...I'd like to have another 20 years driving the truck and another 30 at least after that for me...as long as my crickety spine holds up I'll be okay.

Aw Skippy, and Corky, I'm so pleased that you like my truck!

Ok I'm off to see if Kari wrote anything new...

Notsocranky Yankee said...

Nice engine! I'm glad you are back behind the wheel.

We just had to put a new engine in our Toyota Camry -- it only had 138,000 miles on it. I'm not excited about it. In fact, when I look at that car I realize we're stuck with it for a long time since it's not worth anywhere near what we've spent on it now.

Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Heidi:

I traipsed over here from Ree's blog when I saw one of your comments. And I found your truck. I think you might like mine, when I get'er done.

It's an 89 Chevy S10 into which I'm stuffing a 1974 (December 14 casting date) 350 .. mine's bored to 362 ... with Edelbrock aluminum heads, manifold, carb, and Comp Hi Energy Cam. Can hardly wait to finish it. It'll be fun for an old guy (our kids were teenage when the engine was cast)