Happiness Is a Big Black Truck In My Driveway

So. This happened.

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You’re looking at a very large, very unexpected, F250 Powerstroke Diesel parked in front of my barn.

I’d like to take a lot of credit for this, as if I wrote about it on this website and then the clouds parted, angels sang, and a pickup just, poof, appeared in my driveway. Instead what happened is that my uncle Scott saw the dejected look on my face earlier this week, took pity on me, drove around until he found just right truck, hounded me until I called the girl to go check it out, and then answered all my questions about tires and rust and mileage on diesel vs. gas engines until I was satisfied enough to buy the thing.

So, moral of this story, I’m really sorry if you don’t have an Uncle Scott to help you get your shit together and buy a pickup so that your left eyeball stops twitching. Because that would really suck.

Also, I find myself oddly compelled to figure out how to change spark plugs* and replace a hinge on a tailgate and Bondo a rust spot in the wheel well. Exactly zero people who read this website are surprised by that.

Now… just how long do you think it will take me to figure out how to get that ridiculously heavy cap off the back of it without any help?

*It has come to my attention that diesel trucks don’t have spark plugs. But they do have something called glow plugs, so maybe I’ll try to change one of those things some day.

32 Responses

  1. My suggestion? Pull into your garage/hanger (whatever you call it) and sling some ropes around the roof supports. Cinch them under the shell, tie them off, lift it about an inch off the bed and drive away.

    Your method of lowering it to the ground will depend on if you’d like to keep it or not. 😉

  2. Chris beat me to the gist, but I was going to say pullies and a tie-off point in one of the barns – probably with padded/carpeted boards to stabilize the cover when raised fully. That way you can reinstall it for dry hauling in the fall to spring, and still have the working space under it. My garage had something similar for kyaks when I got my house.

  3. Good for you!! Hang on to the top – you will want it for something, sometime! Great ideas above on how to remove and store!

  4. Now I can hardly wait until you paint it yellow, I wonder how many coats you will need?
    Why won’t you keeping the cap on the truck? Isn’t it a good thing to have if it’s raining, so the materials you are bringing won’t get wet? (wood can get warped, hay can get moldy…)

  5. Diesels don’t have spark plugs, but I know that wasn’t the point of your post. DIY repairs are a great way to save money, both by doing work yourself and by knowing enough about your vehicle to not get shafted by a garage that’s doing repairs/inspections for you. Just don’t forget it’s a diesel when it’s time to fill up. Seems obvious, but you wouldn’t be the first person to make that costly mistake.

  6. Maybe you could train the boys to become a pulling team. Hook them up to some ropes and the cap and have them pull it right off. Though then you would probably need to get your neighbors to help chase them down after they get the crap scared out of them when it crashes. Then they would run all over the yard with it dragging behind them. Just kidding. Probably not a good idea. LOL 🙂

  7. If you have rust, bondo won’t stop it. However get some POR15 (paint over Rust) and apply it over said rust. It will stop the march of time. POR is used by car restoration experts and can be painted over (it’s black) in a body color of your choice (apparently black!). http://www.por15.com/

    Ford diesels have a few “quirks”. There are some very inexpensive relays and you should keep a few spares tossed in the glove compartment. They have a tendency to fail at inconvenient times and it won’t run without them. The good news is that they are plug and play.

    You may also need a block heater if you have any intention of driving it during the winter. Read up on diesels – more frequent oil changes, water separators, etc….

  8. WooHoo! Congrats on the truck purchase! El Katz gives great advice on the relays, etc. Nothing worse than being stuck somewhere, getting a $200-$300 charge for towing and repairs, then realizing all you really needed was one little plug-n-play relay. Talk about twitching eyeballs!
    With just a modicum of maintenance, that Ford diesel will run longer than you. Great find, and great job by you Uncle Scott!
    I’d recommend leaving it black, but coming up with some wild colored DIY Diva magnetic signs for the doors!

  9. I’d say a few strategically placed saw horses on the ground and a strong back (literally, stand in the back of the truck after you’ve unclamped the top from the truck, of course, and lift it up just a few inches and walk it toward the saw horses). At least that’s how I always did it! PS…if you’re going to take the cap off, make sure you always have tie-downs for the crap you buy. I must have 50 tie-downs from having to buy them every. single. time. I have to haul.

  10. Congratulations, She’s a beauty! My daily driver is a very similar truck…only without the rust and topper. 🙂 I hope she treats you well.

  11. One word: EMPOWERMENT !

    Knowing how things work (and even more so, being able to fix things) is incredibly empowering.

    I look back over the decades on my “interests” and jobs through the years, and I realized the common theme throughout was always about being able to fix things (and at the very least to have a working knowledge of how something should work.)

    Especially the things that people seem to often be most intimidated by “professionals”, like health-care, auto repair, computer repair, carpentry and home repair.

    At the very least, a working knowledge of those subjects becomes an excellent BullshitFilter when needing someone else to fix your stuff.

    So go… go learn about them thar glow plugs.

    Empowerment, baby, empowerment! 😀

    (Oh, and definitely heed folks’ advice above about keeping the shell, especially in a SAFELY hoisted way that will allow you to put it on fairly quickly, whenever you need it.)

  12. There are relatives who are just the bomb.. good job Uncle Scott… is this “an old man’s baby”?… what a great phrase for this context!

  13. Welcome to the Cult of the Diesel Pickup Truck! Feel free to snort derisively when you see lesser trucks at Home Depot.

  14. I used 4 ratchet straps attached to large eyebolts in my garage rafters to lift up my truck shell. It takes me about 20 minutes to get it on or off by myself. I hardly ever use it, but sometimes it’s necessary to have, like when I suddenly decide I have to buy a new pygmy goat and it’s raining. Goats hate getting wet.

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