Monday, June 1, 2009

Rassle'n with a truck

My diesel truck is 10 years old now. It's been relatively trouble free. I do most of the routine maintenance on it. A few weeks back it gave me a no-start day. Part of that day was to disconnect the batteries. Yes, plural, there are two needed to start this diesel. There are two negative cables, that just go from each battery down to the engine block and also to the truck chassis. But the positive cable, is a doosie! It is about 10 feet long. Yes, feet long. It starts at the battery on the drivers side, is then taped along the radiator running to the passenger side battery. Where it has another post connector. From there, it has a smaller wire to the starter solenoid and the main cable runs under the engine to the starter. This is not small cable either. It is about as big around as your thumb. And attached to something every foot. And covered with that plastic wrap to keep from chaffing. At 11 AM this Saturday, I called a local mom and pop battery shop about putting on new connectors. It was NOT advised, as that one connector would be massive, to join the two batteries and also run to the starter. I figure that much, and had priced out a replacement cable. No one had the replacement cable, and it was $100 also. But this guy DID have one and for $65 and he'd throw in two bolts so I could replace those on the negative terminals also! So, I got the cable and it took a bit over an hour to replace it.

Since I had that done and it was only past 2 PM, and I had nothing else to be doing, I went ahead with replacing the transmission fluid and filter. Which I'd not done for about 100,000 miles. The transmission holds 16 quarts in the deep sump, aluminum finned pan. It's held on with about 20 bolts. All that came off, slimy transmission oil in my hair, shirt, arms, etc.
I worked until 7:30 that night, with a dinner break in there. But it all got done.

Sunday, I washed and re-oiled the air filter. I just need to change the oil on the beast before our vacation to south Texas.

The photo is the old cable, with the rotted ends, and missing all the protective stuff that I'd already thrown away.

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