Sunday, June 24, 2012

Seems like I beat on this keyboard about this before, but I can't be arsed to check.  That's quoting Andy McNab, of course. (the arsed part)

You may recall that I put rear brake shoes and drums on my pickup back in March.  1994 F150 that had about 128000 miles then.  Nearly 130k now.  Now it has a leaky brake line, and all the other brake lines are so rusty that I wonder how they hold in the oil.  Did you know that the front brakes get about 1000 psi; the rear brakes are given about 300 psi?  Looks like more than half of those steel lines are rusted away in some places.

So...my options are limited:

  • fix it myself
  • hire someone to fix it
  • buy a different pickup
  • don't fix it, just keep adding brake fluid until the rest of the lines rupture
Option 1:  probably $30 for parts, unless the bleeder screws don't come loose, then parts cost could double.  Time...several or many hours.

Option 2:  couple hundred bucks

Option 3:  Several hundred bucks each month for several years.

Option 4:  crash, possible lawsuit, totaled pickup=buy different, see option 3.

I observed a few other things while under there:
  • exhaust hangers are broken
  • shocks may need replaced
  • spring bracket needs replaced
This will probably double the earlier guesstimate of cost, since Stumpy is fishing in Canada until July 2.  Of course, I could take it to Galen, but he may charge more, dunno.

I'm not keen on doing this job...I'm too fat to be rolling around on the ground under the pickup for hours, at odd angles, straining my neck, busting my knuckles, getting brake fluid and rust and sweat and dirt and paint and spray lube into my eyes, nose mouth and ears.  It's just not that much fun anymore.  

Oh, hell, who am I lying to?  It was never much fun.

I think that if I had a lift I would do the work.  Being able to walk around under it, being able to use arms and shoulders with full natural leverage makes a lot of difference.  But how would I know....I've never had a lift!  

Where do you "draw the line"/make the decision when it's worth fixing or not?  Looks to me like less than 2 months of payments will make the pickup whole again, with good safe brakes and suspension.  If I knew that I could go another year with no repairs....it'd be a no brainer...but what will break next?

Clearly there is a formula that the geeks/nerds/pinheads know all about but the rest of us don't.  It can't be nearly as hard as rocket surgery or brain science...you can get a learn from home kit from Sally Struthers for those.  

Let's see if we can noodle this out....if the monthly expenses exceed the amount (each month for xx? months) you'd expect to pay per month for a new acquisition, it's clearly time to consider replacement.  

What if the cost of repairs or expenses exceed the perceived value of the vehicle after xx? months??  You'll note "perceived value" otherwise knows as "blue book".  Raise your hand if you're skeptical about the color of the book.

For example.  Blue book may say that my pickup is worth $1500.  And let's say that these repairs we're considering will cost $500 this month.  What if next month there are no repairs....but the A/C totally died in August...$900  Now we've spent 1400, which we could put toward a new vehicle....but now maybe there won't be any repairs for months and months, costing nothing....whereas and therefore a new vehicle would be (at least) $400 per month every month, repairs not withstanding.

BTW, I'm typing this after midnight, so I'll be surprised if it makes any sense at all.  

Blue books says (maybe) 1500, but I think it's worth more, to me, anyway, because I know the history...I know that I replaced the water pump 10 years ago and that I greased the Ujoints yesterday.  I know when this was done, when that was done, how it has been driven and cared for.  (poorly)  $1500....3 months of payments.

I guess what I'm getting at is this:  Sometimes spending some money on repairs is worth it, until it's not....and that separation/ delineation is different for everyone.  

If you hung on and read every bit of this....congratulations, well done.  You need a life and perhaps therapy.  How does that make you feel?

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