A guest entry by J.
Saturday Aug 4th was an interesting day, one that started on Thursday Aug 2nd really.
That's because Saturday Aug 4th was the JJ Kane PPL, PECO, and Municipalities auction in Norristown PA. With a preview on Aug 3rd. Which naturally brings us to Aug 2nd and a set of meetings and con calls that kept us down in southern Maryland all of the 2nd. Add in the fact that the latest Bourne movie was playing at 12:01 AM that night and Thursday went on forever. (Two bits of good news: the movie was good and Catlinye didn't get sick -- dramamine seems to have helped a lot.*) We got up early on the 3rd *groan* only to find my other problem customer’s problem had morphed again. So with one thing (Driving back to PA) and another (The problem just went away?!?) we missed the preview for the auction.
Now the flyer I'd gotten in the mail indicated that they only had one truck we were interested in, but OK the next chance to check out the truck would be at 7:15 AM on the day of the auction. So because of work instead of a nice leisurely preview of the trucks we get...
Rising at 6 am to get there 7:30 AM-ish for a 9 AM start to find that they have 900 items for bid, Six of which are trucks that meet our base requirements. Step one, find the trucks that may be suitable for what we want. Step two, try not to fall over in the already sweltering weather. I hate August.
One of the possible trucks has a rusted-out oil pan. Rusted-out oil pan you say? Yes a rusted-out oil pan. Meaning the truck was parked and sat long enough to rust out from the outside in. Or worse yet water was getting into the oil case and sitting in the bottom of the oil pan hot and eating the metal away. Or as one wag put it while we were checking over the trucks: "You have one of two problems with this truck. One, you'll have to replace the engine fairly soon, or two, you'll have to replace the engine now." Someone got a bargain at $3,000 I'm sure, assuming they have a replacement motor handy. Otherwise they're looking at another 10 grand if they want to actually drive the thing.
The next possible truck was an F-750 boom truck. If you know trucks enough said. If you don't you don't really want to know, suffice to say its more truck then any four people could ever use. Unless you’re using it as a platform for a 100 foot boom.
Then we get to the meat of the matter four trucks two F-350's an F-450 and an F-550. All pretty much built on the same chassis so any one of them would do.
The F-550 though had "Body damage" per the brochure. Sure looked like frame damage to us from the way nothing lined up but what do we know.**
The F-450 would have been cleaner if it had been used to house pigs. Add in the fact that it would have cost a fair bit to replace the bed NOW because it just needed it, and you have a too expensive truck at the price; I dropped out of the bidding on it.
That brings up the first F-350 a truck that combined the worst aspects of the 550 and the 450 in that it was filthy and the hood would not close, in fact it had close to a one inch gap on one side and a half inch gap on the other. In other words this truck had been hit as well. Add in the filth in the interior and it’s a no go.
But like Goldilocks we found a truck that may be just right. Yes it’s a work truck (F-350 dual rear wheel) and has been worked hard meaning it’s fairly ugly***, but the engine seems sound, the transmission seems sound and everything lines up so the frame appears to be straight. Factor in the wholesale price paid and we have our truck. Lots of mods to come on it and I'm sure Catlinye will at some point be convinced to put up before and after photos. But for now that is done.
[ *I get motion sickness watching action films due to the currently popular cinematic techniques of hand-held camera action and jerky jump scenes. Even closing my eyes doesn’t work; the strobing lights on the screen do it to me right through my eyelids. I was able to watch the whole movie, though I kept flinching at the flashes and waiting to get sick.
**The driver’s side door wouldn’t close completely (but almost!) The passenger side door showed the unmistakable marks of being hit with a hammer to crease the metal on the front edge so it would open and close. How do I know? I’ve done that to a car door before ;)
***It’s filthy. I don’t want to touch the seats. The ABS light is on. It’s got a severely rusted flatbed. The rear door on the driver’s side has a significant dent. But if the frame and mechanicals are sound, we got a great deal. Next stop, the diesel mechanic. -C ]