Need Referral on Great Ford Mechanic, Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Area
I'm considering buying a '96 F-250 4x4 7.3L diesel with automatic transmission located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (I live in Iowa City). It has 148,000 miles on it.
I test drove it but since I don't have experience with F-250's I couldn't really tell whether it was driving/riding/handling as it should be.
The ride seemed bouncy, steering had a fair amount of play, transmission seemed to do this strange double shift-up, and 4X4 (manual lock-outs) was odd- owner said he'd only used it once in the past year-- difficult to get settled into H4-- I suspect it is just my lack of feeling for it, more than anything else... Anyway, I realized that my experience with owning several older Landcruisers wasn't enough to know what was "normal" behavior for this F-250.
Before making the buy decision I think it would be wise for me to have it gone over by a mechanic in the area who has experience with this truck. Someone who knows how it should drive and feel, how the transmission should shift, how the 4x4 feels, steering, suspension, brakes, etc. But I don't want to just take it to any shop. I want to find someone who is honest, reputable, who I'd want to work on my truck should it need it, and someone who knows the truck.
The owner is willing to let me have a mechanic go over it, but discouraged me from using the Ford dealer in Cedar Rapids. I suppose I could go to Carousal in Iowa City, but I would prefer to find a mechanic who has much more focused experience with this truck. Or maybe you can tell me that Carousal Ford is the best around??
Carousel isn't Ford, at least not that i knew, they were Lincoln Mercury, but not Ford, and deal mainly with cars, but that could have changed since i worked for them. I know Mt Vernon has a Ford truck dealer, that's where my old man bought his back in 84, but as for service, I don't know. There is a diesel shop in Mt Vernon my dad uses all the time, but for the life of me can't think of the full name, I want to say Van's, but I can't find it anywhere. I can call him if you like, or put you in touch with a friend of mine to look it over, as he has experience on them, but I already know he doesn't want to work on it, as he doesn't want to work on the PSD Internationals. He worked 9 years as a heavy mechanic, also doing lighter stuff at the same time. He lives west of Swisher.
Thanks for the info! I Goggled Mount Vernon Diesel and came up with
<TABLE class=lis width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=lis1>Diesel-Turbo Services</SPAN></TD></TR><TR><TD class=lis2>1012 1st Avenue North
Mount Vernon, IA 52314-9700
Phone: (319) 895-6092
</TD></TR><TR><TD class=lis3>Business Types: Farm Equipment Repair, Tractors Repair & Service, Turbochargers
This is probably the business you're referring to. Good to know when I need Diesel help!
I have more confidence in the PSD then the rest of the truck-- The PSDs seem to have a pretty good track record for long life. But any truck/transmission with 148,000 miles on it... That's a lot of wear on transmission and running gear, and it would help me make the decision to have someone with more experience with this truck check it out.
Is your friend in Swisher working as a mechanic? If he's got F-250 experience and is willing to go over the truck for me (including checking fluids, brakes, test driving, etc.), I'd be happy to pay him for his evaluation and time. The current owner is hoping that when I get it checked out, whoever checks it out would also do an oil change-- just don't know whether this is the sort of thing he does...
He's free lance, does it at his place. I need to give him a call anyway, as he was after a loan to buy a semi tractor to do a dedicated run, CR to Chicago, to Minneapolis to Des Moines to CR, so would be gone during the week, but he worked there at Freightliner for a few years, and got a lot of experience working on Fords at the Coop on Belle Plaine. He lives well west of Swisher, closer to Norway, right off of 151 there west of Swisher.
That sounds like the shop my dad uses, they are reasonable and good at what they do, and they do more than just engines, they do the whole truck, but if you want more juice from the beast, they are the ones to talk to. When we first got my dad's truck, it was a gutless wonder. Well, my oldest sister ran the motor dry at 45,000, so it got a fresh motor, from them, set up their way, and we thought they gave us the wrong truck it had so much power compared to how it had been. No turbo, no exhaust mod, just got the pump set right.
If you're ever in the Des Moines area , stay away from Mid-States!
Took my truck in to have the rear end rebuilt , and the clowns lowered the ratio 10% , and then said they did it as a favor to me so I could haul my cannon!
I told the clowns that it was the last time that my shadow would ever cross their door and I would bad mouth them until the day I die ... and one of the owners said 'why are you even bothering working on a truck that old?' . This is a Ford dealership saying this!
Gotta say I bought my truck from midstates, and didn't have any problems with them but then again all I did was buy it, they have never worked on it, and probably never will, and as far as asking why you are working on a truck that old, remember they are in the business of selling new trucks, I would have been more suprised if they hadn't, but glad you told us that now I know for a fact they will never touch my truck.
BTW stay away from Gabus, bought a new truck from them in 95 drove it home heard a problem with the trans, and took it back the next day, they wouldn't even look at it, and wouldn't take the truck back told me I drove it off the lot it was my problem, when I told them that the trans had a main bearing going out, he told me I didn't know what I am talking about, and black balled me on fords dealer computor so no one wanted to look at the truck (funny thing I am better certified than any mech they had in the shop) 14k miles later when you couldn't shift the trans anymore nobles pulled it apart, and found both main shaft bearings were bad, and had taken the syncros out, so stay away from them once they get the vehicle sold they don't care, and won't even warrenty the vehicle, oh, and I discouverd that the vehicle had been wrecked which they denied to this day, but a brand new truck with a made in taiwand door on it, paint that was close, and a bent frame, hmmm never been wrecked huh and no I didn't look that close at it when I bought it I drove one just like it (this one was buried in the line) then picked the color came back the next day, and picked it up after my wife got off of work, so hadn't even sat in it till then, but after all it was a new truck
Buddy at work told me that old man Gabus came out and chewed out a salesman for leaning against a new car. And the 'salesman' told him , I don't work here , I'm thinking of buying this car , and Gabus still chewed him out. The guy left and went to Quailty Ford in WDSM.
Speaking of Quailty Ford , I've met Franklin Greene , the owner (co-owner?) and he's a real nice guy. About 6'8" , but still a nice guy.