(an expansion on an email to my uncle..)
So, we've had our truck checked out by the fanatic.. I mean mechanic (diesel aficionado who's starting his own business working on them, young guy - 17! - but really knows his stuff) and we had new tires put on (ouch! 6 tires not cheap!) and the alignment checked, and it's in our local garage for PA inspection. Apparently, we got a GREAT deal. All the injectors are solid, the mechanic was a little POed that it shifts better than his truck with the special racing transmission (we pointed out to him that his truck has double the horses and maybe our transmission would suck if it had to do the work his does.) He changed all the fluids for us and sent an oil sample for analysis, which came back great. The turbo leak he found was fixed by reinstalling the turbo shroud and making sure everything was tightened down properly. He wants us to replace the filter with a Ford authorized aftermarket setup, because the air intake was filthy (we saw pictures.. truly impressive dirt.)
At the tire shop, the guy doing the alignment worked on it a while and came in to talk to us looking concerned.. "What was wrong with it?" he asked. "Nothing," we said, "we just got it and wanted it checked out." "Well," sez he, "there's nothing I can do for it but mess it up!" So apparently the alignment is spot on. So far according to the local garage, the brakes are in great shape. One of the front wheel ABS sensors is dead. He said "You might as well have a block of wood in there." It's still at the garage waiting for a new sensor, but we should get it back Monday and then we'll be legal and ready to start on the work we want to do on it.
I'm thrilled! The only thing wrong is the truly incredible amount of dirt on absolutely everything (the inside of the air vents is covered in tan dirt.) It was owned by a trenching company and from the dirt levels, they used it to plow the trenches. Weekend work with a bucket of simple green is taking care of that slowly but surely, though.
We've made a list of the mods we'd like to make, starting with the interior and some simple engine mods.. Have you ever noticed how some projects expand to take up the available room and then some? Let's replace the seats! Ok, the King Ranch seats need to be installed and wired up (that should be interesting...) And while they're out we should do the floor, replacing vinyl with carpet. We'd like the cab as quiet as possible, and that means sound deadening, which has to go in before the carpet does. I want to re-color the gray trim, that means pulling everything but the dash, painting all the removed parts, and masking the heck out of the dash to spray-paint it. Might as well do that while everything else is gone. Well, if we're going to redo the interior color we should change out the headliner. Oops, we might need to pull the rear window to do that, and the ceiling light needs work, and we want to install new gauges, another thing to tuck in while everything is disassembled. Oh, and then there's a grab bar to find and install (somehow -- I'm not sure how one goes about installing grab bars in trucks.) I feel like I'm cramming for exams, trying to learn everything I need to know before we start in on the major surgeries.