Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trying To Stay Positive When So Much Is Going The Opposite Way

I haven't posted for a while but I've been busy!! I've been working alot so it's left little time for my horses but I managed to squeeze in a play day with a friend last Sunday. We played on the ground in the morning then saddled up and did FTR out in her big pasture. We did walk and trot and when both were going well, we added in transitions. We practiced getting our go and whoa equal and getting a nice, light back-up. Renegade was really leaning on my hands to begin with but I was as "dependable as a fence post", just maintaining until he gave me the slightest try backwards. After a few repetitions we were backing up softly and if I did have to pick up the reins, I only had to lift with an open hand!! As his reward, Renegade got to just stand and rest quietly while my friend and I visited for a bit. Then it was time to dismount, unsaddle, spend a bit of undemanding time and head home.

Once home, I had to unload Renegade then load a cow to take to auction. Fortunately she loaded easily and fairly quickly. We headed off to the auction and dropped the cow off and on the way back my truck suddenly overheated and the oil light came on. Pulled in to the nearest gas station and discovered no water and low oil. Apparently we'd blown a head gasket just that quickly. I called some wonderful friends to come rescue us and the trailer and called a tow truck for my truck. The news on my truck is not good; apparently it's not recommended to just replace the head gasket but rather to either replace the motor with a used or remanufactured engine to the tune of $4,500 - $4,800. I'm debating what to do...look at used/new vehicles or repair my truck. I LOVE my truck and I really don't want payments!! Plus...I know I've done all the maintenance on my truck, I know what I have. It would be a crap shoot buying a used vehicle. To further complicate the situation, my husband has been unemployed for quite a while now and with the economy the way it is, the prospects don't look hopeful any time soon. It makes the decision about what to do about my truck all the more complicated.

On top of that, I caught a bad cold from someone at work. It bothers me when people come in to work when they're sick and spread it around. Why can't they stay home? I don't have time to be sick and now I've given it to my husband!! Arrrrggggghhhhhh!!

I want to get in the holiday spirit, but it's been difficult. I'm upset/worried about what to do about my truck, our financial situation is getting so tight we're having sell our cows and pigs, I'm going to be looking for a second job shortly, and we're having to cut way back on everything and that's tough because we don't live extravagantly to begin with...we're pretty frugal.

I'm really trying to focus on all the things we do have: our health (mostly, except for this cold), my job, our home, having a second vehicle (even if it is a does run and get me to work), having food on the table, and great friends that love, encourage, and are there for me when I need them. I'm also trying to give over my cares to God; I know he'll take care of me.


Naturally Gaited said...

Agh! Terrible timing for such a big unplanned expense. What if you were to go against the recommendations and just replace the head gasket for now, knowing that you will be facing a rebuilt motor later? What could it hurt? Would it be cheaper?

I'll say a prayer for you guys. :-)

craigeagle23 said...

Thank you, I'll take all the prayers I can get.

I wish it were as simple as just replacing the head gasket but I talked to several mechanics and none of them recommend just replacing the head gasket. Typically what happens is it creates a mismatch between the pressure in the "new" top end/heads and the bottom "worn out/in" bottom end and results in drivablilty problems. I'd really hate to spend $2,800 (at a minimum) only to find out I still need a new engine or a new truck.

Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers!!

livingwaterfarm said...

That would not be true as far as I have researched it. They do not have to replace the heads at all they just machine them. Unless when you overheated it destroyed yours. They can just replace the head gaskets. It's still a chunk o' change but not that much. I'd talk to some more people.

craigeagle23 said...

Hi livingwaterfarm! I may not have been clear in my description. The mechanic wouldn't replace the heads, just the gaskets and they machine the heads. What that does is create increased pressure in the motor/top end because the seal is like new. The problem arises in the fact that the bottom would not be reworked so the pressure mis-match causes problems. I've gotten the same recommendation from 4 different mechanics and none of them know each other.

Thanks for the info though, I'm keeping all my options open and not rushing into doing anything. I want to make sure I make the best use of any $$ I shell out!!

livingwaterfarm said...

What if they reworked the top and bottom??? Is that possible??? What would the cost of that be??? Sorry, I'm all about keeping what you got unless you have no other options. I'm putting money in a car we bought right now because if we got another one I wouldn't know what I'd be up against if it had problems. I'd rather fix what's wrong and know it's fixed than to buy something else and be fixing that and maybe get something that would cost way too much for me to handle. JMHO!

craigeagle23 said...

I'd really like to keep my truck too, I really love it and I don't want to make payments again. I also don't like "throwing away" things. I got a great truck when I bought mine; it was well cared for and didn't have a ton of miles on it. It's given me many years of trouble free service. I hate to think what I might get if I buy another used truck; I might not get so lucky next time!

I've thought about asking that question and most likely will but it's going to have to wait a couple of weeks. I'm working a lot right now so don't have time to do my research. I'll probably start right after the holidays.

livingwaterfarm said...

I hope you can get some answers. I have a car in the shop and just got word on it today. I had an oil leak problem and my dad said it was probably the valve cover gaskets. Come to find out it was the cam sensor o ring. Now it's fine. Also the cooling system is acting up but my dad thinks it's a fan gone bad. We'll see what they say today. Maybe once they get to really looking at your truck, it won't be so bad!!

craigeagle23 said...

I found a place that can get me a remanufactured engine for a reasonable price and they will give me a 3yr/100,000 mile warranty!! My truck will most likely be fixed by spring. In the meantime, I found a nice, clean, used Dodge truck with a topper and bought it so I have a vehicle and my husband could have his truck back. He'll most likely take over the Dodge after I get mine back. So a win-win for everyone!!