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Monday, August 29, 2016

Rain

55 miles of liquid sunshine.

The Way West

Morning sunrise in my rearview mirror. Evening sunset coming through the windshield. And the road rolls on between them.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Westward Ho(pefully)

The Beast starts off with a slight delay for a trailer wiring harness upgrade. Noon departure turned into 2:20 but I've done gat worse in the past. At least it's the same day!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Wrong Way Round - Round 3

Two trucks today - almost ...

I am working remotely from CT which puts me 2 hours ahead of my teammates in Salt Lake City. Even though I start at 7am here in CT I get caught up in their time frame and end up working later than I should.

That was today's problem. I promised to fix a defect for our upcoming release and the next thing I know it's 2pm which is too late to go look at trucks. 

I've found two more trucks, the Beauty and The Beast.


Beauty
Beauty:
A step up from the ones I had been looking at in trim level. Low mileage, clean truck, and a reasonable price. Lots of bells and whistles that the other plain jane trucks didn't have. Especially my favorite, cruise control. 

Not just one salesman but two responded to my inquiry. What a refreshing change. More unbelievable is that the stories I got from each of them matched. Either they read from the same fact sheet or the truck is actually what they say it is.


The Beast
The Beast:
Holy cow! Silverado 2500 with an 8' bed AND a dual cab. I may have to register this with the Coast Guard instead of the DMV. It's also a 1 ton chassis with a V-8 engine. I could tow a freight train with this thing. And to make it even more impressive it's a 4x4!! 

Of course it won't sip gas like a Prius but I'll bet I could fit one of the cute little things into the back for a spare.

The Problem: 
Beauty is about 2 hours north, just outside Boston. The Beast is down south on Long Island and about 2½ hours away. Exactly in the opposite directions from each other.

My plan is to leave tomorrow exactly at noon and grab the ferry from Bridgeport to Long Island. After a 30 minute ocean cruise the dealer for The Beast is about 20 minutes away. If everything looks good I'll get back on the ferry and drive it home. 

If not there will be time to scoot up to Boston and check out Beauty. A lot of driving but I intend to own a truck tomorrow. Come hell or high tide.


If the good lord is willing and the creek don't rise ...




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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Way Round In Circles

The old truck is dead. Terry, at Terry's Transmissions, called and told me the bad news. It runs fine but only in 3rd, 4th, and 5th gears. First, second, and overdrive are past tense. If I was handy and had time I could find another transmission and swap it but I don't so the truck is up for sale. Cheap, Very Cheap!

The hunt for another truck has begun but the results, so far, have been ludicrous to bizarre.




This looked like a nice truck but when I went to take it for a test drive the Check Engine light came on in 2 miles. When I got back the Sales Manager assured me (with a straight face) that it was only the oxygen sensor and he already had the part. 

"OK", I said, "I'll come back tomorrow when you get it fixed.

He replied, "I'm very busy, you'll have to leave a deposit if you want me to fix it."

What an incredibly novel sales technique! Show the customer a defective product and then charge them to fix it so they can buy it.



This was the next one I looked at. A 2006 Chevy Silverado. I talked to the salesperson on the phone and he seemed far more genuine that the last guy. He told me that it had new tires and brakes, and that there was room to negotiate on the price.

So off to Rhode Island I go. The truck looks nice but the "new tires" are only on the front. The back ones would have to be replaced immediately. When I made an offer the sales guy said that he had to talk to his father who owned the business. What? You're over 25 years old and Daddy Dearest doesn't trust you to make a deal. No surprise since he wasn't backing his son and wouldn't budge on the price.

Just to put the frosting on the cake, the tailgate wouldn't open. Hello, it's a pickup truck that gets loaded with stuff. Do you expect me to lift my motorcycle over the back when I want to take it somewhere?!?!



I thought maybe a Suburban might be nice so I called up about this one. Maybe it was but the salesman informed me, "That was sold a few days ago." and hung up on me.
Apparently the ability to update their website was right up there with their customer courtesy skills.



This Tahoe was on CraigsList. Since a Tahoe is just a short Suburban I called about it. Sounded like it was worth a look and then a little voice kicked in. "Do you have a clear title on this vehicle" I texted. He texted back that it was lost but assured me that Rhode Island didn't issue titles for 2000 and older. 

A little research confirmed the no-new-title issue but since he claimed to have owned the car since new he would have had gotten one when he bought it. I told him to call me when he found it or could get proof of ownership papers from RI DMV. I'm still waiting ...



I'll end this exciting series with a beauty from eBay. It's rough but sounded reliable. Banged up door, Plexiglas for one of the windows, and no A/C made me think that it would go for a reasonable price.

I put in a bid and waited for the auction to end. I even upped my bid when somebody else outbid me. However, it seems that the owner holds his truck in much higher regard than any of the bidders did. I was high bidder but it never reached the reserve.

And so it goes. I have a rather impressive stack of Benjis sitting in front of me but can't seem to give them away. All I want for them is a fairly priced tow vehicle that will get me to Utah with a trailer attached.

Apparently, that's too much to ask. However, tomorrow is another day and I've started a new list !!




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Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Way West


Loading up and getting ready to take more motorcycles to Utah.



Done it dozens of times. Head down to I-80 or I-78 and turn right. Easy-Peasy.

Or not ...

First the overdrive disengaged. Then the transmission temperature light came on. When I stopped for gas at the NJ/PA border I decided that although it seemed to be running well I should stifle my usual keep going regardless attitude and head home. I had 1 Ducati SS, 2 race bikes, and a 1965 Honda Scrambler. All bikes that I would not like to disappear should I be stranded on the side of the road somewhere. 

Limping home on I-287 and I-95 looped me around the CT hills and along the flatter shoreline. I didn't want the transmission to work any harder than it needed to so I kept a steady 55-60 mph and let all the Saturday night party crew pass me by. Not that they hadn't years ago. 



Home without further excitement. 8½ hours and 387 miles round trip.

I'm guessing that the transmission cooler wasn't doing it's job which means a new radiator. While it's in the shop I'll have them check it over for anything else they see. Rick at Tarca's Auto Repair has always taken very good care of my cars and trucks. Hopefully he'll find time to fit me in so I can get back on the road quickly.

An interesting note is that I appear to have a 5.9l engine rather than the 5.2l that it was described as when I bought it. A few extra ponies never hurts I suppose. The last truck I bought had a V-6 instead of the V-8 I was told. I guess I need to pay more attention to these things next time.


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Monday, August 1, 2016

1970 Triumph TR25W For Sale - Sold!



This bike has been sold. Thanks for looking.

I'm selling my 1970 Triumph TR250W. This would make an excellent ride for the Moto Giro or TT (Tiddler Tour) rides. It starts right up and has no issues. It recently went for a 50 mile ride with no hiccups or problems.



I would describe this bike as great at 15' and still pretty darn good at 5'. Closer than that and you'll see a couple of chips and scratches. A bike you can ride with pride and confidence without the worries of a garage queen.



This is classic Brit Iron through and through without a lot of fiddling necessary. Yes it does weep a drop or two of the 20-50. Probably tears from missing Maggie Thatcher.



New Dunlop K-70s and lots of other new parts to make it run right. As a testament to its Limey heritage two boxes full of spare parts are included. Never know when you might need a spare Zener diode or shift shaft and lever. Aye?



Also a skid plate if you fancy a bit of off-road trailing.



The bike is located in Hebron CT and can be seen at any time. Send a note to braunj@cb77.org or text 781-424-1159 if you want to see it. Delivery for $1/mile one-way anywhere on the North or South American continent. Mileage unknown and sale by CT bill of sale.


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