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New truck

2009-05-17 19:41:35.176537+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

Despite Eric's cautions, I'm now the proud owner of a 1997 Mazda B4000 pickup truck, 113k miles. About time, given that I had three trash cans and assorted other stuff strapped to the roof rack of the Maxima for my early morning dump run.

Now we'll see what all I missed when I was going over it.

[ related topics: Automobiles Machinery ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 20:06:13.957593+00 by: Larry Burton

I think you will like this truck. The engine in the B4000 ought to give you enough oomph for light towing and the bed should be large enough for about any payload you might want to haul. 113k miles is nothing on that truck. What transmission does this truck have in it?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 21:16:18.966722+00 by: jeff

Congratulations, Dan! Photos next?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 21:33:38.676817+00 by: Dan Lyke

Larry, it's the 4 speed automatic. Normally I'm a "stick or nothin'" kind of guy, but the more I read about trucks the more that it seemed that they had better towing capacities with the automatic transmission. I'm assuming 'cause it just won't let you do certain things to the drive train.

There are a few things I want to tweak on it, but they're minor, so I'll get a shop manual and learn a bit.

Jeff, I'll do something shortly. Dripping sweat, and lots more gardening left to do.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 21:44:28.646625+00 by: Larry Burton

You can burn a clutch out in a heartbeat trying to take off from a standing stop on a steep incline while towing a trailer. The automatic is a great choice for your needs.

A lot of parts for that truck are interchangeable with the Ford Ranger.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 21:58:12.392114+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I've been looking at the Ford Ranger a bunch, and except for some sheet metal I believe they're the same thing. Which is why I took Eric's cautions about working on this beastie to heart, or at least plugged some extra frustration factor into the spreadsheet versus a Toyota, and decided that this was enough cheaper that it was okay to pay a little more for maintenance.

Though I'm actually not sure that that's the case, given that more folks work on Fords than Toyotas...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 23:33:03.97919+00 by: ebradway

One thing you probably missed: the third-eye brake light on the back of the cab leaks. If it doesn't, it will soon.

You've got the V6, right? Probably a better choice than the anemic 4-banger I have. On I-70 west of Denver, it barely keeps up 45mph. Granted, that's a difficult climb for any vehicle - but the performance better matches my old VW Bus than my old Porsche 911.

Some people complain about the AC in late 90s Fords. The AC's never given us any problems. The biggest gripe is that the entire front end seemed to go out at once after our first Colorado winter (the roads here disintegrate with the first freeze) - new ball joints, tie rods, shocks, etc., (tires because of everything going out) totaling around $1500 within a month. But that was at 150K.

Another thing - take it to Firestone and get the lifetime alignment. Take it to them for oil changes and have the align checked every 5K. As my friend's professional auto mechanic Father once said: "It's a metaphysical fact that Fords can never be properly aligned."

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-17 23:44:42.49769+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep, didn't notice a leak, but we're not going to see rain for another 6 months, so I'll have to remember then.

Yeah, the V6.

AC seems fine in the "max" setting, kind of anemic in the normal setting, but it's abnormally warm here today. And $1500 for a new front end is still less than a Toyota.

Good suggestion on the alignment. I'm not one to buy Firestone tires (had a scary blowout ages ago, and then the various times Firestone has shown up in the news hasn't helped), but I did get the new tires for the Maxima at a place which sells Firestones and seemed pretty good, I'll check with them.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-18 02:53:06.475875+00 by: ebradway

The Firestone shops sell all brands of tires. You can even get Tires.com tires mounted at Firestone. They just happen to be a common place to do the lifetime alignment. Just be wary of the "we can't do the $99 lifetime alignment unless you get this $700 part replaced" pitch. But even at $799 it pans out after ten re-alignments. We've had the lifetime for about 1.5 years and have had the alignment adjusted about four times. Once, during the front-end onslaught, we were able to save the price of an alignment because Firestone did it for free.

As for the AC, the problems noted are binary - either it works or it's $2000 to replace it.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-18 11:27:05.043526+00 by: meuon

I've owned several trucks with out AC. A '53 and a '66 and an '84. If you use it for truck stuff, you won't miss it much if it goes, in fact, bypass the compressor with a shorter belt and enjoy the boost in gas milage.

Congratulations on your new truck! Will you help me move?

{no , we aren't moving, just get used to the question and have your anwer ready.}

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-18 14:00:41.697258+00 by: Dan Lyke

Grins. Yeah, I figure it's a way to deflect the stupid computer questions:

"Oh, you do computer stuff? My Windows is running really slowly and I don't know why."

"Did I mention that I have a pickup truck?"

And there you go, conversation saved.