Monday, August 7, 2017

In the Clutch

So I don't think I went into too much detail on the blog, but we've been experiencing a series of unfortunate events with our diesel. I know I mentioned the original brake issue, and that we had already scheduled some front end work so it was going to be out of commission for a hot minute anyway. All of this happened in July, but I wasn't super worried because I didn't have plans that involved the trailer until mid-August, and surely everything would be squared away by then -- right?
Famous last words mom.
Hahahahaha. Cue Murphy's Law. So our fabulous mechanic got the front end work sorted out, so all that we needed was a front end alignment (which had to be done at an actual shop, vs our front yard). So we dropped it off two weeks ago expecting to pick it up that evening. After the alignment, it was still doing a little bit of "wandering", so he crawled back under to see what was going on. Apparently some sort of very important box was missing -- a box that stabilized the steering. The brackets were there, but the box was not. Fantastic, right? Since it was already at the shop, we told him to go ahead and order it and put it on -- at this point we still had like 3 weeks before my trip so I wasn't super concerned.
The truck in question. Brienne.
So a day or so later, the box arrived and got installed. Yay, truck is good to go. Right? I'm sure you can see where this is going, lol. Mechanic took it out for one more drive to test the steering stabilizer, and all was well. Until the clutch pedal broke. Fun fact about the actual clutch pedal -- kind of hard to buy alone. Locally, our auto parts store only sold it in conjunction with the gas and brake pedals, which I didn't need. Our normal online auto parts store was similar. And at this point, we had definitely blown the parts budget out of the water (which ultimately wasn't THAT big of a deal, but I also didn't want to spend 3x more than I had to on this stupid pedal).
Owning a truck with 200K+ means maintenance. Oh well. C'est la vie!
So we found an eBay seller (a Ford dealer out of Ohio incidentally) and purchased one. Shipping was going to take a week, and at that point I was getting a little nervous. Luckily, it arrived a bit ahead of schedule, so we got it down to the mechanic and crossed our fingers. He was able to get it installed, and we picked it back up Friday. So fun fact about replacing the clutch pedal in an almost 20-year old standard truck -- that new clutch pedal is going to make it drive like a totally different truck.
We bought this truck before I started blogging, so it isn't chronicled online, but my friends know exactly how much I hate driving a standard. Like hate. Particularly this truck -- it was SUPER hard to learn on. So the year we bought it, I made myself drive ALL. THE. TIME. And I got pretty decent at it. And by pretty decent, I mean I went from killing it 10x every time I drove it to killing it like once every few months. Instead of feeling a deep pit of anxiety in my stomach thinking about driving it, I started picking it for my trips to town. It got to feel comfortable, like a broken in pair of boots.
And then came the new clutch pedal. Ack. I drove it home from the mechanic last week and I'm not gonna lie. There was a lot of swearing on the struggle bus... haha. So I drove it again the next day to the feed store. And again to town. And to the barn. And I'm hopefully working through the pain of breaking in a new pair of boots -- because this truck is gonna be around for a while, and I've got to feel comfortable driving it :)

20 comments:

  1. oh man. i drive a standard as my normal daily driver..... but when i was first truck shopping and thought to keep an open mind toward standards for my truck, idk. it gave me a cold, clammy, nervous feeling. all i could imagine was rolling backwards down some driveway pulled by the trailer trying desperately to not stall out or pop the clutch forward.... bleh. major props to you for making it work!

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    1. I definitely lobbied real hard not to buy this truck (solely based on the standard thing haha). And I'm not gonna lie I've been in some hairy situations with it that make me wanna die a little bit more than once, but it's gotten a lot better as my confidence has improved. But after reading about some of the traffic you deal with, if I lived in your area I probably would have made a different choice haha. But for us, out here, getting that holy grail engine at at the right price overrode my hatred for standards ☺

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  2. I have driven a standard but never a standard truck- I don't know how I would do!

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    1. It was definitely a pretty steep learning curve! But I've been told the plus side is that if I can drive the standard truck, standard cars should be a breeze? Haha.

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  3. I sold my last stick-shift car a few years ago and now whenever I need to drive stick, it's really hard. It's definitely different in every car/truck and I find my smoothness is going away without frequent practice.

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    1. Oh for sure. My husband's daily driver is a standard and I struggle with it almost as much as I did with the truck when I stared haha. If you don't use it daily, easy to get rusty! I'm actually a bit rusty with the truck because I haven't been hauling much this year.

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  4. My noise when automobile problems arise: nnnrrrrrrrggghhhhh!!!!!

    I have a standard for my daily driver but my truck is an automatic. I find myself wishing I had a standard though because it revs so high and shifts so aggressively and dramatically sometimes and I find myself thinking, "TRANSMISSION Y U NO WORK LIKE U SUPPOSED TO?!"

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    1. Yeah one of the reasons we were truck shopping a few years ago is my old Chevy started to really struggle and I was hoping to not blow up the transmission haha. There are definitely things I both love and hate about the standard. Hopefully it lasts me a really long time though ☺

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  5. Ugh. Trucks. I love them. But they can never just break a little. It's always like this! One thing snowballs into ten! Glad you're back in working order though!

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    1. Especially once they start getting up there in age! (Like my ancient specimen haha) 🙂 but yes, super excited to get back in working order and have the freedom to travel again.

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  6. yeesh. glad it's finally home!

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    1. You and me both! Although probably not my credit card 🙈 haha

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  7. I'm glad it's finally home. This sounds like a series of events that would happen to us. (We finally had to let our old Chevy go last winter...)

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    1. It's like losing an old friend! Although at least mine got to come home again. Sorry about your Chevy 😔 we are nursing my half ton Chevy along as a hay truck/general farm truck but I don't know how much longer it's gonna last. And trucks are stupid expensive *sigh*

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  8. Can`t help but love those old trucks!

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    1. I do grudgingly sort of love it, even with the headaches it brings me, haha. I'd have bigger headaches if I didn't have a tow vehicle, so I'll count my blessings!

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