Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Man-mobile.

If you've been reading here any length of time (bless your heart and thank you), you might remember way back when we bought what the girls in our family affectionately refer to as "the purple truck." On April 18, 2006, we bought the 2001 F-150 4x4 from my brother's company when his boss decided he didn't want to put a timing chain and new clutch in it.

In his ever-optimistic-when-talking-about-rebuilding-vehicles mind, Ben just knew he could do the repairs himself and have a great truck for a pretty low price ($1100). So we bought Big Barney, and Ben drove it home, hiking himself forward on the seat so he could reach the pedals (it's a pretty big truck).

Man-squared was twelve years old.

The boys immediately started tearing it apart and bought a timing chain kit and clutch ($400). The details are foggy (that happens with the passing of large quantities of time), but at some point, a problem beyond our capabilities was encountered, so arrangements were made for Barney to be transported to the truck doctor to have the timing chain repair finished by the professionals with the fancy (and expensive) tools.

When the fancy-tool guys tried to put Barney back together, they realized that somehow the cam had shifted, rendering the motor useless. Kaput. Done. Finished. Never to run again. But at that point, they had spent many a fancy-tool-using hour working on it, which meant that even though we had no truck to drive, we still had a huge bill ($1200). Barney was transported back home, where he sat for several years.

Until one bright, hopeful day when Ben had the idea to take the old motor out and put a new one in ($700, 2 weeks, tops—but that's a totally different story that I may or may not tell someday depending on the reaction I get to this one). I raised an eyebrow and looked over the top of my glasses, but wisely kept my mouth shut. And thus began the process of taking the old motor out, an evolution that began several years ago, maybe in 2009?

Truck parts began to be strewn about the property. Some were in Barney's bed, some in 5-gallon buckets in the garage, and a few in the creeping junipers on the hill next to the driveway (I think those are still there, now covered with three years' worth of fallen leaves).

More time passed. Ben began working on his MBA. Then he got sick. Had surgery and recovered. At some point Ben decided when they got the truck running it would be Man-squared's (who at this point is 18 years old) since he is now 6 feet tall and can reach the pedals. Finally a new motor was delivered ($1300) last summer, and the rebuilding began in earnest.

Now I'll make public the confession I shared with Ben yesterday: I never in my wildest dreams thought that truck would run again. I viewed it as a very expensive bonding experience between father and son, even when the three-times-daily trips to Auto Zone were occurring in the last few weeks.

So imagine my shock and awe when I was sitting at my desk working a few days ago and I heard the roar of Barney come to life! I ran out with my camera and videotaped the sound so I could prove to my brother it was true:

Elijah's truck 11/14/2011 from Karen Sargent on Vimeo.

All that was left was getting it registered and insured, and Man-squared now has his truck, which has been renamed "the Man-mobile."

The Man-mobile also has a new exhaust, because what 18-year-old can drive a quiet truck that sounds like his father's? Man-squared chose larger pipes and something not quite as obnoxious as flowmasters, and Ben and I actually like it. It has a deep, manly rumble. And that's important.

So we have Abigail's girly truck and Man-squared's man-truck, and of course, old Blue-and-White. All's right in the world.

Be thankful ~

1 comment:

Jen's Busy Days said...

lol I will have to remember to not count the pennies when it comes time for my boys to fix up some old car with their dad. I look forward to helping too. I don't know much but cars are really interesting.

Best wishes
Jen in Oz