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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This is kind of a long-winded story, but it is something I thought a lot of you guys would appreciate.
I was rear-ended on the day of the iron bowl by some idiot in a mustang. I should not have been driving but a newboy was paying me a lot of money to pick him up from airport. It was quite possibly the worst day for traffic in Tuscaloosa and he actually pushed my tire into the side of my bed, bent my leaf springs, shocks, and driveshaft. My fan also barely nicked my radiator when the engine rocked forward from the drive line impact so it was leaking coolant. I had a terrifying adrenaline rush and pulled over immediately then called the police. The guy who hit me had no insurance and was in his girlfriends mustang that crumpled like a tin can. He begged me not to call the police.

When the police officer showed up he wrote him 3 tickets, my truck was towed to the shop and the cop was nice enough to drive me back to my fraternity house since all of my brothers were on the quad getting ready for the game. I have worked on their trucks (Police tahoes) before at the dealer and made friends with some campus police prior to this so we bull****ted on the way back and shared stories. I got home and was upset but realized there was no point in crying over spilt milk and rushed to the quad as fast as I could, double-fisting careful not to spill my chilled nectar.

All of these naysayers on Facebook (it is almost as if some get a rise out of others misfortune) kept telling me my baby was totaled and that I was going to have to find a new truck. The frame was not bent in the slightest. The adjuster came out and looked at the damage then came in and we reviewed the GM published labor times (since they try to jip you) and what the ballpark cost of parts were. He came back a second time for a supplementary estimate and wrote me the final check for the damaged transfer case. I was actually able to save my insurance company money since I got my parts at cost as opposed to normal customer price. It was a win-win for both of us.

I went to the preferred shop for my insurance and they told me it would take months to fix and that they would use junkyard parts. It did not make sense to me to pay someone to put used or inferior parts on my truck when I could do the job myself knowing it was done professionally and honestly. It was also an opportunity to work on my own truck (which many of us love to do). They also only had 1 real diesel mechanic and a dozen body shop guys.This was unacceptable to me so I left my truck out of commission till I was able to put it back together over Christmas break. I was able to even get a 100% rust-free mint bed from TN. I'm talking not even surface rust on cross members. I located it on facebook and had a buddy drive up with a trailer then rewarded him handsomely covering all expenses and more.

I replaced the
1) Leaf springs
2) radiator
3) trans mount
4) transfer case
5) drive shaft
6) bed
7) rear bumper
8) Rear shocks
9) new magnaflow 5 inch ( I left off the offensive 7 inch tip)

With the money I saved by doing the labor myself I was able to buy and have a bed painted, purchase a new front bumper and have that color matched as well. I also picked up a spare low-mile 6-speed 4x4 allison that had a cracked bell-housing(sustained drive line vibration or probably 4x4 launches bc of output shaft splines) (I tore it down and only issues are galled output shaft and wornish C3 clutch packs( they only receive oil when applied) and the housing) for $300 from same guy I bought bed from in TN. I suffered for a month without being able to drive it and hear that sweet sound of a silky-smooth clattering typewriter mixed with a deep and jet-esque whistle we all adore, but in the end it paid off and I ended up bringing it to the body shop just to throw the new one on there after I had them paint it that week.

Looking back I am not necessarily glad that it happened, but my truck is certainly better off. It was a growing experience and a maturing event. I plan on never getting rid of it and will restore everything eventually. I want my children to be able to drive it, clean it, repair it, and care for it the same way I do. With the EPA and their authoritarian regulations growing increasingly stringent every year there may come a time decades down the road when internal combustion engines and more importantly "dirty diesels" will be relegated to off-road use only and banned from the highway in the name of electric or eco-friendly vehicles. Anytime you see an old pickup truck that looks as new as the day it was made it is because some man made the decision to keep it that way and respect the machine.

"Down in his barn my uncle preserved for me an old machine –For fifty-odd years to keep it as new has been his dearest dream". The song "Red Barchetta" by Rush encapsulates what I am saying perfectly. It is an ominous but yet uplifting story and a glimpse into the Orwellian future. For Western Man, our Faustian spirit only partially illustrated through innovations and technological achievements have distinguished us from other men, taken us to space and deep oceans are carried on possibly through genetic memory? or learned passion from our fathers and grandfathers. In a time when so many young men are ignorant of working with their hands or unable to complete such basic tasks or appreciate a well-running machine it is imperative that the enthusiasm we all have for our machines (whatever it may be!) must be carried on and nurtured. Crippling nihilism and perverse decadence has decimated the generation of contemporary young men and re-purposed their energy to trivial matters or instant gratification that is visible in our woefully-inept modern day regressive culture.

I was so sad to see my baby in such bad shape but also so angry at the guy for his negligence. The two opposite emotions of rage and sadness counteracted each other and I was simply in disbelief. I have never hit someone as I am an incredibly attentive driver, why did God wish this upon me?

Moral of the story: Material things and possessions do not matter, trucks can be replaced, and or repaired. It is better to see setbacks or inconveniences as a challenge and an experience to grow. At the end of the day it is relationships and humanizing experiences that matter when we are on our death bed or our legacy that echoes in eternity. That is part of why I am so eager to finish these coming finals and return home to my graying parents and spend my summer with them. Many people especially young and social ones tend to forget that as we age so do our parents. This will be a nice break before I return in the fall to help out with rush, begin club lacrosse, and work again. Not all college students or fraternity boys are hedonistic, alcoholic, slackers who can memorize an NFL teams starters but cant change a flat tire or swap a washing machine. I hope everyone has a blessed day and enjoyed my little story. I have been incredibly busy with my fraternity, school, work, and girls. I haven't posted in over 2 years since I transferred from community college back home and it is refreshing to be in the midst of other helpful, like-minded enthusiasts. I'm glad I logged on to this gem of a site! Make your corner of the world a better place and try to be humanizing, you'll find that you'll be happier and it costs nothing to be kind. God bless all of you and enjoy the season of rebirth, he is risen!
 

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