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Old 02-13-2016, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
Self Ignition
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I guess I'm posting this because I have no one and no where else to vent this type of thing, and maybe this isn't the place either but it seems to be.

I bought the truck I've wanted since I was 13 years old a few weeks ago. 93 C3500 6.5L Dually. The truck Riggs drove in Lethal Weapon. God I love......and now hate this truck.

I'm a single parent of my 4 year old son. I lost my wife, and he lost his mother 2 years ago to heroin. I'm a machinist so I make pretty decent money but it's nearly impossible to raise a child who isn't in school yet on one income. Daycare is EXTREMELY expensive. Plus child support that's through the roof for my daughter from a previous relationship. (yes I know its my bed to lay in) Either way it makes affording a decent vehicle basically impossible and renders me nearly useless as a father. I can't afford a car payment so I've been buying vehicles $2000 or less and that hasn't been going so well. There's only so much I can do. Our last vehicle a '99 Alero blew intake and head gaskets on us a little over a year after I bought it. I had already put plenty of money into parts for repairs I did myself, and those were just not repairs I was prepared to take on. So I rolled it across the scales at a scrap yard for a whopping $80.

We were without a vehicle for a couple months when I had to take a loan out of my 401K to buy another vehicle as saving is also virtually impossible with the amount of money going out every paycheck, and I was about to lose my son's ride to daycare and my ride to work. I looked for about 2 weeks when I found the truck. The guy I bought it from seemed honest enough. I asked him over and over if the truck was safe to be putting my 4 year old in. Was it going to strand us? Was I going to have to put a fortune into it in repairs? I told him I understood it would need small fixes and that I was okay with it, but that it had to be a daily driver project truck. He convinced me it need a few little cosmetic things and that was it. 3 weeks later I'm finding that I have been lied to. Of course I got into this diesel with no previous diesel experience and hadn't done any real research on what to look for buying a diesel truck because he had another guy coming to look at it that day and I felt it was a deal I couldn't let slip through my hands. I obviously made the decision to buy the truck with my heart and not with my head.

As I write this the truck is outside in the driveway leaking coolant from what I think is the block heater, oil from the oil cooler lines, harmonic balancer and pulley need replaced, and it won't start because the 600 CCA a piece batteries are junk. I've already replaced the air filter and cleaned the box (I should of taken pictures, it was unbelievable), replaced the serpentine belt that looked like it had never been replaced, and put a new temp sending unit in it. Small fixes but fixes all the same. No to mention the 3 inches of mud and debris I had to clean out of the bed of the truck underneath the tool box.

The rub to all of this is having the money to buy these parts, and the time to make the repairs with a 4 year old running around outside in teens and below weather. I mean just to replace these garbage batteries this idiot had in the truck is going to cost at the very least $200!! I had that money set aside for the balancer and pulley!! This thread is just an outlet to vent. If no one reads this that is just fine by me.

I feel as though I'm in over my head. And that I've made a horrible mistake buying this truck that obviously has never been loved by this dufus Sanford and Son moron that I bought the truck from. Whom apparently just beat the hell out of the truck until he'd had his fill of it then pushed it off on the next moron who would be dumb enough to buy it.

Now I'm stuck with a truck that currently isn't running, so no way to work. No way to get my son to daycare. What feels like a ton of repairs to do with no decent weather in the near future and no money to buy the parts anyway.

I love this truck, and have been trying to stay positive about it all. Telling myself that it will get done. But it's hard to drive the truck to work everyday waiting to hear the loud clunk of the crankshaft breaking. Or seeing the oil pressure gauge take a dive because one of the oil cooler lines have blown. And now I won't be driving it at all, rendering me once again....useless.

I thought that by working hard and taking care of your responsibilities life was supposed to work a little more smoothly than this. But it seems that no matter how hard I try, or how much effort I put into anything since my wife has been gone that none of it pans out. Nothing has gone my way in 2 long years. And basically I feel my skin crawling with anger, resentment, self sympathy, and just down right defeat. I feel the nervous breakdown coming on like my own death. I can't take this anymore. I needed this truck to workout more than anything I've needed in a long time. And here I am again.

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Old 02-13-2016, 09:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel your Pain and can only offer a prayer. I know that some think that wouldn't be the answer but it has helped me from time to time.

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Old 02-13-2016, 09:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow I hate to hear that. In your area aren't there organizations you can turn to? I hope you have tried. Just remember this. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel . Right now it's not bright, but it is there and that, is the truth . Please don't give up hope.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I feel for ya Marvin. Venting is good. I have no idea who you are...but it's time to get on your knees and send your problems to the Lord buddy! You belong to a church? Most church's have an awesome support group for folks in need. Best of luck to you. Many of us have also been in dire straights...and have pulled through.

Hold your head high and continue doing what you have been doing...your very best.

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Old 02-14-2016, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
Tom S.
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Sorry for your troubles!

Have you considered leasing? I've seen some screaming deals, for example a Chevy Cruze for $88 a month with no money down. I generally don't like to lease, but it may be a good short term solution that would provide you with reliable transportation for a few years.

As for day care, as others have pointed out, look into organizations that are out there to help single parents. Also, have you checked Social Security to see if your child is eligible for any benefits from your wife's SS account? If she worked at all, your child may be eligible regardless of your income.
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Last edited by Tom S.; 02-14-2016 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Vent away....

In your situation I don't know that I would be looking at a vehicle like that. As diesels go its a fairly inexpensive one but in most cases you have to do all the work yourself.

I would be hitting craigs list and looking for cars that there seems to be tons of with really high miles, I'm taking well over 200k. That would be an indicator of a reliable model then the trick is to find that one with less miles like say 170. High enough that it does not have some crazy low mile value but based on similar models maybe only half way used up. When you start to narrow it down hit the forums and see what the issues are and if there are specific variants you want or want to avoid. For me I have had great luck with late 90's Buicks and Oldsmobiles with the 3800 engines. You can often find a one owner that has not been abused. They generally ride good and have good safety ratings. Cast iron block and heads are a big plus unless you like doing head gaskets all the time. The 3800's have intake issues but its an easy not too expensive fix. I'm sure if you do some reading about 'foreign' cars you could also find some models there too that have an extra reliable reputation and are common enough to be cheap. IF you see something 'cool' keep looking. Cool cost money, you want the dime a dozen 'old person' car.
98 Burb K25 4.10's 250K miles, new to me, pretty clean and stock.
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Have you made an attempt to talk to the Dude that sold you the truck? Maybe he would be gracious enough to help some how?
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
Self Ignition
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Have you made an attempt to talk to the Dude that sold you the truck? Maybe he would be gracious enough to help some how?
I actually thought about doing this but I figured I would cool down a bit so that I didn't rip his head off. He just seems like one of those "if it ain't broken down, down fix it" types. A "scrapper", scabbing other trucks together and such. All things I found out after the purchase of the truck conveniently. I still have his number, his name is actually LeRoy so maybe theres some good karma there or something?
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There are organizations to help you. There is no shame in seeking help.
Suck up your pride and go to your church or local public offices and ask for help. Thats what they are there for.

I second looking into Social Security for your son if your wife worked any kind of job, its there for him as her surviving child.
Also look into daycare financial help. I believe some state agencies offer it.

As for the truck, the 6.5 section here is full of guys who help. Maybe someone is close by who can lend a hand?

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Last edited by TheBac; 02-14-2016 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah... 6.5's are a pile of money to bring back from the dead if they are rough. Bought mine for 4500 have over 8k into it now and will soon be 9K probably will be sitting at 13-14K after bodywork and mods... Cheaper than an LB7 at least...

I live approx an hour and a half away and have done oil cooler lines before. They are alot easier on 2wd. I have a spare oil cooler with good threads if yours strip out taking out the fittings. So all you'd need are the lines I could chip a little for parts too to help out.

I rely heavily on my parents as a backup, but help them out alot on their farm and around the house so it evens out. Do you have any favors you can call in from parents/friends etc?

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