When is enough enough?
Saturday we got the old Ford truck back up on its feet again. It had gotten into a bad habit of coughing, bucking, and backfiring whenever we asked it to move. In the end, the main problem was a faulty oxygen sensor. 19 years and 222k miles on the original one, so there’s nothing to complain about there. This old truck is mostly a backup truck these days. It doesn’t have enough suspension to handle the big loads we put on the other truck. But there are enough times that the other truck is broken down that having a backup is a lifesaver.
Dealing with machines presents us with the question nearly every week: When is it time to replace this old machine? When is enough enough? There’s the old saw about farm equipment held together by baling wire, but modern hay balers don’t use wire anymore. If they did, we’d surely have some holding our equipment together. But it is worth noting that we do have a muffler held up by high tensile electric fence wire, so that might be close enough.
Besides the oxygen sensor work, the old sideboards in the truck’s bed cracked, so we built a new cargo rack for it.
The truck has a few other issues. Besides the mice that live in the seats and the yellow jacket nest in the passenger quarter panel, there is an ever growing list of broken parts. For most of these we just accept their loss and try to decide what is truly essential. The keys are long gone, so there’s a screwdriver in the ignition and no door lock cylinder on the passenger side. The driver side window doesn’t roll, the radio has been gone for years, the hood latch requires lots of banging and shoving to open, the tailgate handle is useless, the secondary gas tank is abandoned, the air conditioner is long dead, and to shift into four wheel drive one must climb under the truck and yank on the transfer case linkage. The frame and body are both rusting away with steel plates and channels bolted across rotted sections. But it still runs, pretty well actually. So we just keep patching or abandoning parts, changing the oil and fluids, greasing up the zerks, and wondering how long until we need to install the Flintstone propulsion unit.