Thursday, June 26, 2008

Redneck fun

Greetings Y'all!

Okay, so the Bronco project was fun, but it's over now. A few months back a friend of mine acquired a 1979 Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4. It has 8 inches of suspension lift, 2 inches of body lift and it's sitting on 35inch tires. Because there is so much lift, the 35 inch tires look kind of small. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I have a redneck streak running down my back much like a skunk's white fur, so as you can imagine I instantly fell in love.

I know, I was brought up a Ford boy and I stayed true to that for a long time. But this truck is just cool. Sure, it's rough, but it's everything I need for what I wanted to build the Bronco for.

Anyway, three days ago I was let down. My buddy had sold the truck to his wifes cousin. The person that bought it is maybe a few french fries short of a happy meal and he makes me look very white collar, so I figured the truck was meant for him. Sad to see it go, but happy to have the temptation out of my life. Then the phone rang.

I was on my way home from work last night and my buddy calls me. He says "Hey, Jimmy's over here and he wants to talk to you about your Bronco."

A little back lash here on the week. Dena and I live in a house with an old oil buring furnace. It works, though it's not that efficient and with the price of fuel I have been slightly concerned about this coming winter. I was looking through the paper in the "freebies" section and some idiot was giving away a tank with some diesel in it. I called, and it turns out there was over 110 gallons of furnace diesel in it. All for free. That is about $400 worth of fuel for nothing. So as you can see I'm already having a great week.

Okay, so I'm on my way to my friends house thinking "he's not going to trade." My Bronco is stock, well used, the paint is falling off. No one in their right mind would trade that truck straight across for my Bronco. Did I mention that his redneck streak makes mine non existant?

I get there and he asks a couple of stupid questions (typical guy kicking the tires kind of thing) like "does it run?". He's a little slow I'm thinking. So finally I just ask him "What are you thinking here? Do you want the Bronco?" and he said "I'll trade you."

As soon as the words came out of his mouth I was ready to jump on it. I wanted to hand him the title, build sheet on the transmission and send him on his way. But I couldn't do it. I had to play this out a little so that he didn't back out due to my uncontained excitement.

So I took a few minutes to think it over. I called Dena and told her what was going on and got her blessing (anyone married knows if Momma aint happy, aint no body happy), and then said "well, I guess I could do that. As long as I can take my CB out of the Bronco". :-) This dumb ass actually said yes. He not only said yes, he started piling his crap into the bronco before he had even heard it start.

Some might see a red flag at this point. What is so wrong with the truck that he's that anxious to get out of it. I've driven it. This thing handles like a train. It corners like it's on rails, but will tip if you go TOO fast. The interior is trashed, the body is rough, but the running gear (the expensive stuff to fix) is all new. With the exception of the engine. It's an old, tired 350, but you can "refresh" a 350 in your back yard with basic (and I do mean basic) hand tools. You just about have to have a degree in engineering to work on the Bronco.

At this point I was feeling a little bad. Not to see the Bronco go, but because I really felt like I was ripping this guy off. I don't know why, but I just didn't trust the Bronco any further than I could throw it. So I told the guy to get in, and I'd take him for a ride in it to show him... well basically what it was. I took him up the highway and down some back roads. He was drooling on himself. It was really sad. He had it in his head so far that he could see no faults in this thing.

So we got back to the house, and I said okay bud, it's got a tail light warranty. If you don't know what that is, you obviously have never bought a used car from a "shady" character. Ask your fathers, they'll know. He got in it and drove away.

A tear fell down my cheak. Just a single tear. It was brought on by the hysterical laughture that was pooring out of my body. I could make twice what I was asking for the Bronco by parting this truck out. Or, I can use it for the purpose it was built for and go bang it against trees (not literally).

In the picture I would like to add a point of reference. Dena is 5'1", and Jarrett is 5'5" ish. The top of the bed rails are taller than the top of my Jeep Cherokee.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Time management is a relative term...

In October last year, I traded a 1967 Chevy 1/2 ton 2 wheel drive for a 1989 Ford Bronco. I wanted a project to work on over the winter/spring months, and Dena wanted something that we could take to the mountains. If only we had stopped to think about the rising price of gas.
My Dad and I rebuilt the transmission in March, and between then and now I have been replacing things with the "since I'm in here anyway" attitude. I finished it up late last month and have given it a few test drives. I must say that I'm very happy with the transmission and the fact that the truck even runs considering my limited experience and the difficulty of working on a vehicle that has more wires and vacuum lines than the space station. Other than a small exhaust leak I'm very pleased with it. And driving it with the top off always gets people's attention.
Now the down side. This thing has a 32 gallon fuel tank. It gets about 15 miles to the gallon, less on the trail because you're going so slow most of the time. With gas at $4.08 a gallon at the cheapest place I have found it will cost $130 just to fill it up to go play in it. I wonder how hard it would be to lift a Geo Metro...?
On the other hand, the Bronco has served it's purpose so far. It was a project for the months I wanted something to do with. It was also a great learning experience, and most of all it gave my Dad and I time to spend together. Well now my Dad and I have another project going (Yes, I mean the Mustang) so that reason to keep the Bronco is gone.
So if anyone around here knows anyone that has a need to spend money on gas, or is in need of a cheap (to buy) reliable rig, let me know. I happen to have one for sale. :-)
I'll have to post some pictures. I regret not taking any pictures of the build up, but anyone that has looked under the hood of a late 80's early 90's Ford V-8, you already know the nightmare of working on one.
On a different topic, we had our first real "party" of the season. I had run into a friend of mine from high school earlier this month and we wanted to get together and have a BBQ. So last week Dena and I decided Saturday would be a great day. We had the kids over and they love to have a fire in the fire pit out back so it would work out well.
Those of you that have been to my house know that I love my yard. I spend a great deal of time mowing and watering and making it look good, although I must say that it doesn't look as good this year as it did last year. Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning at 6:00am. The sun was shining and it was already getting warm. So I started mowing. After an hour of just mowing the back yard, I removed the fire pit, leveled out the ground under it, layed down some bricks, put the fire pit back on the bricks and then built up river rock around it. I must say it looked very nice when I was done, compared to what it looked like prior. Then I mowed the front yard and got to watering.
As the day progressed, the sky looked angrier and angrier. It was ugly. I thought for sure it was going to poor down rain and chase us all into the house. But then it started to get a little lighter and it cooled off and I was thinking it was going to be perfect.
The BBQ went off without a hitch. Beautiful cloudy weather (not too hot). We ate and sat around talking. The kids rode the 4 wheeler our friends daughter had brought over. it was really nice. It got dark and we lit the fire pit up. About 5 minutes later, the sky opened up and it poored down on us. I don't mean that Seattle mist crap of rain. I mean full on, center of the desert, rain drops the size of baseballs kind of rain. It was impressive.
We all grabbed chairs and coolers and ran for the shop.
I found out very quickly that we don't need the fire pit, or perfect weather to enjoy our friends. We sat in the shop for about an hour while it rained and talked, joked and laughed. A couple of us even decided to take the 4wheeler through the puddles in my road. Living in the country, on a dirt road, you can imagine how much fun that was. :-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

The beginning

Hello to all my friends and family. Welcome to the beginning of my blog. I figured everyone else was doing it, and it's not as dangerous as jumping off a bridge or a tall building, so what the heck. Now, we'll have to see if I stay on top of things and actually continue to update this thing or not. Life can be very busy when you have nothing to do. I'll try and keep things updated with pictures as well.
If you aren't interested in things like trucks, yard care, and fire side parties, this may be a little boring for you. I'll try and keep things as interesting as my life allows though. :-)