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  #1  
Old 09-01-2016, 08:57 PM
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Sept chat and general BS thread

OK guys, gonna start this one off. Hope everyone is well since few post around here anymore.
Let's try to get together sometime soon, sorta miss seeing your ugly mugs!
 
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:35 AM
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I'm good.
Headed out this morning to get a donor for my F150 engine swap.
The original plan was to use the F150 to pull car trailers and general truck stuff. It took a long time to get the title for it. The last owner lost it, and it had a lien on it that was still valid according to the state. So they had to go through an extended paper chase to get me a title for it. In the mean time I had already got a good running Super Duty so that F150 got put on the back burner.

I wasn't too worried about any of it because I got the F150 really cheap due to the locked up 5.4L. I never autopsied it, never did much of anything at all to it except pull the plugs and scope around it some for obvious signs of why it locked up. I figure it is the timing chains. Whatever it is, it is causing an engine swap. I would expect there would have to be rods replaced and some machine work to fix whatever broke off and locked it up. If not, then it will eventually get rebuilt and put into something else.

The F150 is a 2003 7700, which is the heavy half "work package". It is supposed to have the drive train of a Super Duty with a much nicer ride. I know that body style isn't everyone's cup of tea but I have had a couple of them and I really like them. Right now it is in the old vehicle sweet spot where there are still millions of them running around but are starting to wear out and get scrapped so parts are plentiful.

It also caught my attention initially because it was bi-fuel propane and gasoline. But then since I have been waiting, I learned how trouble prone that system is with the CompuValve so I expect the propane parts will get scrapped. The CompuValve had been removed before I got it. The propane tank in the bed takes up too much real estate and has a very low weight limit to pile stuff on it. So that puts a dent in my plan to actually use it like a truck. The CNG ones I have seen have the tanks mounted underneath but they have very low capacity so the range is really short. Bi-fuel or alternative fuel would be good to have if gas spikes again, but doesn't make much sense for me right now while gas is so low.

I am excited to get started on this project. I plan to do a "build thread" at some point but it will likely be after it is well under way. And depending on what all I get with the donor vehicle it could be a while before the project even gets going.
 
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:11 PM
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When I took this state job I swore I was done turning wrenches for a living. The benefits are great, but the pay is sorely lacking. Had an old customer hit me up to build a 6 cyl. John Deere engine last week. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse, pretty much made as much in two nights as I make in 3 weeks. My body tells me I can't do this work anymore, but my mind tells me I need to get it while I can.
All week I have been hurting, but I can't get the facts out of my mind that I'm wasting myself and my talents at a job for nothing. I am soon to be 52 years old and not in the greatest condition. I have pretty much wore my body out working on heavy equip. for the last 30 years. My conundrum, do I stay at a low paying job for the next 15 years for hope of a small pension or go back to turning wrenches and finish breaking my body down in the next 5 years? I know I can't do both, the pain definitely won't let me.
Sorry to unload on you guys, just feeling down and don't know which way to go.
 
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:57 PM
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Hire an apprentice to do the grunt work. "Pass the torch" so to speak. If you find the right young person to help you in the shop you will be the best thing that ever happened to him or her. And it will keep you from killing yourself on the heavy stuff while still getting the job done.
I wouldn't give up the state job. And only do as much mechanic work on the side as you feel like doing. Let a young person help you and learn from you as they build their own confidence and reputation. That is how all the trades used to work.

I got my donor vehicle! It is a low mileage V10 van wrecked in the right rear. Front is still in great shape. It had a handicap lift and is an extended body so it has the good heavy payload stuff on it. It should be a good one to sell parts off of when I am finished harvesting the drive line out of it.
Power windows, locks, and mirrors, front & rear air, good front & side doors, good seats. And the best thing of all is the low mileage motor and transmission that were undamaged in the wreck. It starts and runs great and the AC still works.
 
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
Hire an apprentice to do the grunt work........ If you find the right young person.......
Good luck with that! These entitled little brats now days don't want to get their hands dirty and if they did they would want a starting salary higher that what I charge for the work. Several years ago I tried to hire someone to help me, just made my job twice as hard. Even tried to hire other supposedly mechanics, they either did a poor job or tried to charge twice as many hours as my customers knew the job took.
Not sure yet what I'm going to do. Knowing what private health insurance costs versus what the state provides helps to ease the low pay, but knowing what kind of $$$ I'm missing out on still hurts.
 
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:22 PM
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I'm doing pretty well. Got promoted at work, so after 27 years as a grunt mechanic I now find myself part of management. It's been an interesting adjustment. All the guys that were my friends suddenly seem intimidated to talk to me. I'm kind of having a hard time not being "one of the guys".

On the home front things are shaping up a little. Don't know if I posted it but the wife's explorer ate a tranny, so I'm waiting on a parts kit to try my hand at rebuilding a 5r55s. Decided not to pay somebody $2600 in lieu of a $300 rebuild kit.

The $500 parts truck I bought for the daughters truck isn't a parts truck anymore... Dude thought the engine was blown, but it's running pretty well now

The big girl is in dire need of some TLC. Hopefully I can get these explorers out of the garage soon and get blue some loving.

Been a busy start to the month.
 
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:08 AM
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Hey Scott, congrats on the promotion! I know the feeling of adjusting to management, still working on that one myself.
Although I have built many power shift trans in heavy equip., auto trans in a car still give me the blues. Good luck!
Sounds like we need to get together for a truck wrenching weekend, my 97 is still in need of a set of injectors.
 
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mechmagcn View Post
Hey Scott, congrats on the promotion! I know the feeling of adjusting to management, still working on that one myself.
Although I have built many power shift trans in heavy equip., auto trans in a car still give me the blues. Good luck!
Sounds like we need to get together for a truck wrenching weekend, my 97 is still in need of a set of injectors.
Thanks! I bought the Ford ATS service manual for the 5r55s. It seems to be fairly comprehensive, so hopefully i can keep the million or so pieces parts straight.

I'm definitely down for a wrench party. I like doing 7.3 injectors.
 
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cookie88 View Post
I like doing 7.3 injectors.
Now if I can come up with the $$$ for the injectors.
 
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:58 PM
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Yes. Thats always the issue with these things. All the really fun stuff is $$$
 
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cookie88 View Post
Yes. Thats always the issue with these things. All the really fun stuff is $$$
$$$ are the one reason that I have considered going back to turning wrenches full time.
 
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:58 PM
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Well I got my engine donor. Already selling parts off it.
https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post16561115
Over all it is better than I expected. All they took off was the wheelchair lift, everything else was still there.



 
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
Well I got my engine donor.

Nice score!
 
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mechmagcn View Post
Hey Scott, congrats on the promotion! I know the feeling of adjusting to management, still working on that one myself.
Although I have built many power shift trans in heavy equip., auto trans in a car still give me the blues. Good luck!
Sounds like we need to get together for a truck wrenching weekend, my 97 is still in need of a set of injectors.
I'm down for some wrenching too.. Never done, or seen injectors done on one of these yet.
 
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tojoski View Post
I'm down for some wrenching too.. Never done, or seen injectors done on one of these yet.
Saturday morning Dave and I are gonna take a crack at rebuilding a transmission. You're welcome to come help. Or watch. Or provide moral support......
 
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