Truck Woes

After having a truck that didn’t like to start in the rain frustration broke through my procrastination and I replaced the cables and distributor cap.

Coming home from Ephrata two weeks ago my truck made a loud bang – something hit the under carriage – and the truck suddenly sounded very loud. At first it seemed my valves were effed – had I thrown a rod? Inspection and some gentle driving leaned the conclusion towards an exhaust problem. My local mechanic confirmed my muffler was shot and pointed out a missing bolt in my header – the culprit of the loud engine. My Sherlock Holmes intuition lead me to believe that the bolt ejected from the header and on its exit from the truck’s world – decided to give the muffler a kick in the nuts. So I picked up a new muffler at the local auto store in College Park. Stopped by Midas to have someone burn the bolts off that attachment between the catalytic converter to the rear exhaust pipe – which they did for free! And slappy-pappy, I had a new muffler. 2nd one in 3 years I’ve installed on this truck. Problem is, this really didn’t solve the noise issue. Only slightly. The header bolt is going to be a major repair. I will wait to enlist Kim’s Dad, who is a mechanic, but her family is in NYC – thus requiring a noisy 3.5 hour drive someday in the future.

Today: I’ve been riding most days to UMD, but today had a meeting with the Smart Growth folks about their GIS data analysis I am helping them with, and planned to go to the shop after to make some minor repairs/adjustments and pick some stuff up. So…load up, key in ignition, nothing. Nada. Lights work. Radio doesn’t. Interior light works. But nothing doing. No clicking, and a barely audible straining noise. Perhaps my starter is blown?

Luckily Kim was taking the day off so I borrowed her car for the day. When I returned home this afternoon I tried again. We had some rain last night so I thought maybe my rain-sensitive truck was back again. Nope. Still dead. So I decided to jump it. I didn’t think the battery was dead, but it was an option I could quickly test. Turns out I didn’t need to…

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A quick look at the terminals and cables yielded the above result. Although getting at the terminus of this cable – grounded on the alternator – required me to be contorted over the curb I was parked up against and the removal of my skid plate. An hour later I had the culprit in and.

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~ by Indy on May 11, 2007.

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