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Already owning me

I love the line from 1999's Fight Club, “...the things you own... wind up owning you.” I often quote this line in reference to dealing with my property, vehicles, toys, children, wives, offshore bank accounts... err, I mean cars. Just cars.

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Photo: me
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Less than 24 hours after actually purchasing this fine piece of ‘Muricana - coincidentally manufactured in the same year as the above-quoted movie - I’ve fixed a few things already. Well, one was just “removing the existing receiver hitch because it’s not a big enough drop” but of course it was rusted in place. So I broke out the BFH and some PB blaster and went to town. That was fun. Step 1, buy new (to me) vehicle, Step 2 wail on it with a 3lb hammer.

That completed, I moved on to the questionable shifter up front. This was twofold: 1) the shift indicator was off, so P was more like R and so on, which is confusing although I wouldn’t care if it wasn’t for 2) the feel of the shifter was about as sloppy as my grammar in this post, and you really didn’t know if you were in N, D, or R - or more importantly, P - without checking by touching the throttle. Not ideal. So I r&r’d (and loc-tite-ed) the screws holding a bracket that rotated as you moved the shift lever. Apparently these are known as The Infamous Two Torx Screws up under the dash of this era Ford pickup. Then I looked for the barrel adjuster that drove the position of the indicator, watched the indicator as I turned it and saw... no difference at all. Hmm. Upon closer inspection, the plastic retaining bracket that’s supposed to retain the barrel adjuster was broken and looks to be made of eggshells because I was afraid of breaking it just by looking at it. A carefully located zip tie got the indicator pointing just right, so that’ll do until the new part arrives. And the shifter feels MUCH better! Done.

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Oh, while I was getting a sore neck under the dash I zip-tied some wiring here and there, just to tidy things up. It wasn’t much, but over 21 years a few things were loose that shouldn’t have been. The plow was also added recently, and the wire that powers the controller was just kind of hanging around under the dash (about 18" of extra wire) so that’s properly secured as well. 

So, while I’m sharing this truck with my father, this kind of stuff would just never get done in his hands, so that’s why it’s in my driveway instead of his. He’s 73 and while quite capable, tinkering on this kind of thing just isn’t his bag of tea, I mean, cup of hammers, no wait, ah forget it he’s the one whose ‘79 F-100 has athletic tape on a door handle that I put there in my adolescent ignorance (probably around 1999, seriously) and it’s never been fixed properly. While this truck is in “good” shape, it ain’t perfect, and will be best served in my care.

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