Monday, October 1, 2012

My Old Man's Old Truck

And we thought Minnesota was hard on our cars ...

If you've been here, you know how rough our road is. After the hard-top road ends, you crawl along better than two miles of dirt road before you reach our little oasis in the woods. In some places, you could call it a gravel road, but in others, it's more of a rocky outcropping. And when it rains here, like today (and it rains here a lot), there's even one rocky outcropping that turns into a lovely little waterfall, which we drive over on our way into town.

So it shouldn't surprise you that our two aging vehicles are in constant need of a little TLC. The other day, riding in our 1992 pickup (mileage in the neighborhood 230,000, a rough 'hood), we started to feel overwhelmed by gas fumes. Now, we knew the truck had an exhaust leak, but that only slightly smelled. (Yeah, it's on Mason's list, but the bolts involved are so rusted out that we've come to embrace the constant cough of exhaust as one of the truck's eccentricities.)

But the gas fumes, they kept getting stronger. So Mason found an afternoon to climb under the truck and it didn't take him long to find a cracked gas line. Who knew that gas traveled from the tank to the engine in this tiny little metal tube that's just exposed? OK, Mason knew, but I didn't.

So he removes the cracked portion of line and replaces it with some rubber tubing. But in all the jostling of removing the bad piece of line, it seems more of the tubing kept cracking farther down the line. Expletives followed, along with more cracking even farther down the line.

After several afternoons positioned on "asses and elbows" (see photo above), two trips to the auto parts store and a good soaking in gasoline, Mason was able to get it fixed.  Or so we hope. We'll find out for sure on our next trip into town.

All this brings you to the fabulous news that my generous mother has just donated her 2003 Honda Element (four years newer than our Jeep!) to the Great Flat Top Experience (she scored herself a fine new SUV in the deal). Get this: The Honda has heat and air-conditioning!! Woo-hoo! So soon we'll be two unemployed persons with three vehicles, living one hell of a life up here in the Tennessee backwoods.


  1. I hope that Honda can take a beating and serves you well for a long time. Extremely bumpy roads do test your patience and the vehicle you drive in. I guess it's worth it to live in your little piece of paradise. I asmire your sense of adventure and your ability to cope with anything.

  2. I'm laughing my a** off at that photo. Priceless.

  3. Donated? Whoa?! Your family must be rich! :) Cracked gas lines repairs are not permanent, Nan. Best believe that you will repeat the patch process for about once a month. Which reminds me, my grandpa had a similar problem with his 1947 Ford COE Truck back then.

    Evelyn Polanco

  4. Hi
    Plz Share this BLOG:
    Free online used auto parts locator service. Find Used Auto Parts, Used Car Parts, used truck parts & used engines Online for your vehicle.
    Used Auto Parts

  5. To me, owning a truck or jeep is a must if you live in a countryside with rough terrains. Good thing you have both. I hope that your Honda Element can withstand the rigors of off-road driving, too.

    pace edwards