Fuel exhaustion incident...

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by denverpilot, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Nate, the situation you're in (having 3 vehicles that are higher miles and likely to wear out at some point) is a lot of what ultimately caused us to buy the Ram... and then the 2009 Mercedes for Laurie. Thing was, the F-350 and Excursion were worn out.

    140k miles seems to be the point where vehicles tend to get more piddling issues. Yeah, a lot of people on here say they're still at 300k and going strong, but I think that the minor day-to-day things that come up are easily forgotten over time. You notice it when you're dealing with it, though.

    The Dodge you have is one that was made in a time when those trucks weren't that nice to drive, so I can understand why you wouldn't want to daily it. My real question is whether you have any towing needs that come close to requiring what you have, and if you'll ever have them again. You seem ready to get rid of that truck, and putting it and the Yukon towards that F-150 you really want seems logical. Get a few more years out of Karen's vehicle and then dump it.

    I don't regret the decision to buy a new vehicle at all. It's nice to be worry-free about it for some time. Laurie's new Mercedes is going to require some work I'm sure (being a 2009 with 96k on it), but a lot less than the Excursion was going to require, and she loves driving it.
     
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  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    By the way, Nate, you're in the stage I was in a few months ago with the F-350. Which means that you'll have your new F-150 in another 1-2 months.
     
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  3. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    The thing is, with most vehicles, that point is actually a lot further away than most people realize. Many people justify getting a new car after having a $1-2K repair bill, or when a car gets to 130-150K miles because it's just going to cost them more money than getting a new car. They only see the big repair bill in one month and think "I could pay 3 months of car payments with that AND have a newer car!" In reality, keeping an aging car on the road is generally always cheaper than buying something new, unless you have an incredibly high rate for your time-value of money and opportunity costs where you simply can't afford to be down for repairs. Usually the only people who fit that mold are those whose vehicle is used for work (truck drivers) and no other vehicle will suffice/rentals aren't available. Driving them until the wheels fall off is usually the best decision financially, however, if people abided by that rule we'd have far fewer barely-used cars on the market!
     
  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like a class-action lawsuit to me... ;) :D
     
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  5. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Gotta love those quick-connect fittings (which getting to release can be a PITA) when it used to be the barb/hose clamps.
     
  6. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I don't like to use vacation days for things like broken cars, etc. I use them for actually going somewhere and having a good time. As such, I have poor tolerance for vehicle issues causing me to burn vacation days. Once a car starts to become unreliable, it's gone. As I said before, that usually falls into the 10-15 year range. We recently refreshed the fleet, one was 10 years old with 170k, the other 17 years old with 170k, and each was starting to act up. Time to move on.
     
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  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Nothing wrong with that. I will usually put up with mechanical failures for a while because they're generally easy to fix and one-time issues. Electrical gremlins are where I start to draw the line, which become more prevalent as wiring harnesses age and corrode/deteriorate. You may fix some misfiring injector connector, then a temp sensor wire breaks, then a few months later the ECU is throwing errors and going into limp mode because it is getting fed bad info. When the electrical systems become unreliable, that usually moves me to cut my losses. It's one reason why keeping the older muscle/classic cars on the road is so desirable to me, because the electrical systems are dead simple and comparatively minimalist. Keeping a '79 F250 on the road at 300K is peanuts compared to a '09 F-250 with 300K.
     
  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The Check Engine light is (back) on, on the Yukon, and the oil pressure sender is stuck at 80 PSI. LOL. Chevy never has done too well in the angry pixies department... the vast majority of minor problems on this truck have been electrical, and I always thought Chrysler was the head of crappy electron management.
     
  9. SoonerAviator

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    No argument there. My '07 GXP chirps at me about a "charging system failure" at startup each time, despite having a new battery, alternator, and voltage sensor installed a year ago. Car runs and drives great, everything charges as it should, it just thinks there's a problem because of the way GM designed the system. The BCM checks voltage via the battery cable-mounted voltage sensor and cross-references it with the ECU-reported voltage. If those voltages are off by X-amount, it thinks there's a charging problem. I don't have the desire to start digging through wiring harnesses with a multimeter to try and track it down since it doesn't impact drive-ability.

    The wife's '07 GMC Sierra had an intermittent "lean cylinder bank" error for a year before I got around to fixing it (just needed a new rear-O2 sensor). Her '99 and '01 GMC Sierras had all sorts of electrical oddities (A/C stuck on, headlight switch failure, dimmer switch failure, gauge cluster failures). I haven't had anything other than a heater core failure and alternator failure with my 3 Ford trucks, so I have no reason to abandon the brand. The only "bad" car I've had was a used '91 Ford SHO, which had a head-gasket failure which was expensive to fix at the time. Transmission seal failed shortly after, too, which was a lot of expense for a car I bought for $4K in high school, lol.
     
  10. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    The smart decision is to buy a Ford F-150 and never buy another Chevy. Can Hear Every Valve Rattle On Long Extended Trips.

    :stirpot:
     
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  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL. I can’t think of an acronym for listening to cam phasers rattle for the Fords.

    They all have their problems. I didn’t even know what a cam phaser was (or what a stupid engineering design they are) until Karen’s barfed, since I’ve not been a “Ford guy”.

    Cam phasers set on kill, Captain! LOL.
     
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  12. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Yea I had a 2005 F-150 5.4L...I was lucky I never had any issues with it. The new Ford motors are great though (imo).
     
  13. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    My moms Ford will give a "low battery charge now" message every time the key is turned on. Even after a new battery was installed and while sitting with a battery tender on it. :rolleyes2: :nonod:
     
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  14. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I kinda figured that's what it would be. But it also points to another question of why the system didn't cut the power to the fuel pump when it stopped getting fuel at the engine. I think that's been a standard safety feature pretty much forever. If it doesn't get fuel up front within a few seconds after the pump starts, it cuts the power to the pump.

    A partial break could explain that, though. It would still be getting some fuel forward in that scenario.

    Rich
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Yep it was getting just enough fuel to run.

    I’ll be interested to see just how much fuel went overboard at the fuel pump from ignition on to the guy knocking on the pax window. I’ll fill it at the station right next to the Service place when I pick it up tomorrow mostly out of curiosity.

    I know about 10 gallons went overboard while driving it.

    Filling it from clear empty at the pump when it literally stalled at the pump was 24.1 gallons. The most I’ve ever had to put in it. It’s too small a tank for something that draws about 17 MPG and it’s a bit annoying on road trips.

    I noticed a really big tank is an option on the new F-150s. That’d be a nice feature to have. 30+ gallons. With the better fuel economy of the EcoBoost, that’d make it long fill cycle.
     
  16. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I had a mid 70s blazer that had a 36 gallon fuel tank. I am pretty sure that was standard.

    With gas at 89 cents a gallon, that put the hurt on my wallet......
     
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  17. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I'll probably get the banhammer for this, but
    1) just like on the airplane Its best to fix the little stuff as it comes up and don't let it pile up; :cool:
    2) I find it ironic that a guy who just undertook major reconstructive surgery on the 414 to keep an engine from falling out of it is ready to toss his road vehicle over "piddling issues" ;)

    Just sayin' :D

    Seriously though, like a plane there's virtually nothing mechanical on a North American truck that can't be rebuilt or replaced. It's body corrosion that usually ends the life of my trucks - sort of the road going version of a rotted out spar.

    I had Mrs. GRG55's GMC out for about a 50 mile trip today, and it runs remarkably well. It's almost a perverse little contest among the neighbours to see how far we can "push it" before we have to, um, push it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  18. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Don't worry, you won't get the banhammer. ;)

    I understand your points and you're correct that everything on the trucks can be rebuilt. While I have the capability of dealing with those things, the other question is at one point one just decides it's time to move on. If the F-350 were black exterior and had a manual transmission, I likely would've put an engine in it. But it wasn't, it was a color combo I was never thrilled with, and it had an automatic (which I hate).

    The other question is whether you want to spend your time and effort. I can't afford a new airplane, period. I can afford the new truck, though. And I also just don't want to mess around with my daily driver vehicles for a while, because I'm busy enough with day job, family, non-profit, and doing things like major reconstructive surgery on the 414 to keep engines from falling off. Well, I suppose that surgery is (hopefully) done for a while, and now I'm focused on other things like avionics upgrades for the ADS-B mandate (not to mention general safety) and a looming double engine overhaul, potentially new windows at some point...

    Yeah, I have better things to spend my time on than fixing an F-350. :)
     
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  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    After sleeping on it, I’m not buying new for right now.

    Thought process is this... I’ve been part time at the office now for a year. I kinda want to teach a bunch once I have the CFI rarings all nailed down. So, I want the time free when needed and the office is still crazy enough to mostly let me set my own schedule.

    They may still tire of that and desire me there true full-time or even totally gone at some point and I kinda want options open that paying for a new truck would close, at least for now.

    Getting the Dodge into the driving rotation some more helps the total miles on each vehicle go down a bit and gives a bit of an “out” on the mileage problem looming of replacing multiple vehicles at once. So I’ll do that on non-slippery days.

    Also did finally get back to the whole insurance quote thing a few days ago and don’t really feel like changing vehicles in the middle of that. Messy.

    My mood may change again. I’m allowed. I do want a new truck, but I also want no payments on it. So I’m thinking about busting my butt to save up the difference. But I know if I’m flying I’m not really busting my butt at work, completely.

    I kinda like that equipment trailer idea, but haven’t seen anything that cheap. Lots of growth and construction going on here, equipment trailers are stupid expensive here right now.

    The tow truck guy was fun, did I mention that? Asked him about his truck (F550 flatbed) and diesels and he immediately launched into complaints about the 6.0 Powerstroke in it costing him a small fortune to fix years ago, and how he had a newer 6.7 but “my son is driving that one, dad gets the OLD truck...” and EGR and DPF deletes done on all of them with all the parts hanging around to shove them back on the trucks every few years for Colorado emissions tests. LOL.

    Busy guy. Had a huge spiral notebook of calls and notes and spent about half the trip to the shop slowly reading off phone numbers in Spanish to someone who was obviously the call taker at the office and seemed a little “slow”, but he was patient with them.

    Shop owner recommended him and the tow guy said they’d know each other for at least ten years.

    Thats probably the coolest thing that came out of this. We found a reputable shop in the sticks out here but this happened so far into town we needed to tow it somewhere closer and I threw a dart based on location and online reviews.

    Ended up finding another reputable shop, owner and I talked quite a while and he’s also a Denver sprawl escapee living out in Strausberg, and has his long time Aurora location in a tiny strip mall with four double deep bays and the place is obviously really busy. Fair pricing, talked to one of his mechanics for a bit and folks seemed normal and happy, and just a solid all round shop.

    And it’s really conveniently located on my commute and an easy hop for Karen from her day job too, so if we have to do a drop and pickup thing, at least three weekdays we can help each other out with rides from there.

    No flashy upsells or anything obnoxious at all. We talked (owner, one mechanic and I) about the neighborhood where I broke down and we all joked we either rode dirt bikes or old school ATVs out there as kids and there was literally nothing out there. It was past the end of the earth back then. The mechanic joked that he chased an Elk on his three wheel ATV once out there until it decided it was mad and then he got the heck out of there.

    So... old Coloradans. I can dig that and happily give them Business if we need something worked on. Same with our shop in the boonies, it’ll just depend on when we need to pick up. Boonies shop near the house is better for weekend pickup. :)
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Oh. And I checked.

    He marked up the part a pretty good percentage, depending on where you buy from (online vs local), but he did tell me and I confirmed, he only uses AC Delco parts for fuel lines and stuff like that. He probably had to order that bad boy from a dealership locally to do it in one day, so that explains the markup.

    Too many busted aftermarket cheapies came back with problems.

    But he also joked that he won’t pay Delco prices for the frame rail hardlines. If those are busted, he gets the replacement from a junkyard. Too many wrecked Chevys to ignore the cost savings on those, just pull them and clean them and inspect them, and put them on an older truck.
     
  21. rmciottijr

    rmciottijr Line Up and Wait

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    So what was the problem? Sounds like the fuel regulator.
     
  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Understand completely.
    Now, if it had been a GM, like Nates...:D

    I am thinking about what I am going to have to do to replace Mrs. GRG55's Sierra and my F350. Both are starting to rot out in the usual place over the rear wheel wells. :sigh:
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  23. patlaw

    patlaw Filing Flight Plan

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    Thankfully a lot of people feel the same way you do except they start getting rid of them at 65,000 miles. As a result, I drive for cheap. Doing so leaves more money for fun things, like airplanes. My car is a 2003 Tribute. My wife's car is a 2000 Lexus. We're going to continue driving both until they have to be towed to the junk yard. What's a car payment?
     
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  24. Indiana_Pilot

    Indiana_Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    My new RAM runs fine... the new Fords are FUGLY


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  25. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I am still waiting for the new Studebakers to come out.....

    http://www.studebakermotorcompany.com/home/home/

    [​IMG]

    Ok, so the picture is a 1950 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe. Sadly, I don't think the new Studebakers will look like this.
     
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  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    So just for follow up, I immediately filled it when I picked it up. Besides the 10-12 gallons lost before the fill up, it took three gallons to replace what was lost at the gas station. Pretty impressive for what little time the pump was on.
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Good thing it didn't get lit while you where driving, you would have turned into the Colorado comet driving down the road.
     
  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    An afterburning 5.3L. :)
     
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  29. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Sorry, I much prefer to shift the gears myself than to let some chair-bound programmer who doesn't know a Kozy Koupe from a power slide determine years in advance which gear I'm going to use at any given time, because it mostly guesses wrong . . . . .
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Very true of automatics of yesteryear, but I’ve watched a lot of videos of people driving and towing behind that tranny and it’s pretty darn smart.

    Plus nowadays they also give you anywhere from three to six “modes” to select from on most of these new era automatics. The “pilot” has plenty to play with if desired.
     
  31. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    When the tranny isn't in the gear tbat I want, it's easy to make it downshift, but up-shifting is only possible in some vehicles with either the optional floor shifter or paddles. Have yet to see a way to upshift with the ubiquitous Detroit steering-wheel-mounted PRNDL stick. Having to so so with 8 or 10 gears is just silly . . . . Put a stick in the floor and a clutch pedal beside the brake, I enjoy driving my vehicle, not just steering it down the road.
     
  32. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Apparently my auto transmission is smarter. It won't upshift until the conditions are right. I can force it to upshift, but it will go tight back to where it needs to be. And it downshifts, loaded or unloaded. Unloaded it will be more aggressive on downshifting if I am braking hard. Loaded and hard braking it will downshift and the tach will jump up to 4350. It has a downshift RPM limit of 4500. Funny thing is, the Outback does the same thing. With the cruise control on it will downshift and upshift as needed. I pay attention while driving, which is fun for me.

    I have two buttons, one marked (-) and the other marked (+) for up or down shifting if I ever think I am smarter than my tranny.

    I drove truck for a few years. I had sticks in my race cars, except the one year I went drag racing. I drove stick when I was younger because I knew how to fix a standard transmission. The truck I have now is the second automatic, first with A/C and first with more than a simple AM/FM radio. I'll never go back.

    Besides, once rolling I never used the clutch again anyway, upshifting or down shifting.
     
  33. chartbundle

    chartbundle Line Up and Wait

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    I broke down and got an automatic this time, since short of a real truck I wasn't likely to get a diesel with a manual. Honestly the 6 speed automatic in the baby diesel does ok. Can force a downshift on the shifter or just lightly tap the brakes and it will know to downshift. If I don't drive with a lead foot I can get 25-30mpg so I'm not going to complain for now. And honestly these days driving is such a pain in the ass with all the other traffic I don't drive for fun any more. If they had offered it I would have loved to have gotten one of those fancy radar cruise controls so I don't get ****ed off at the idiots who think that somewhere between 40 and 70mph is a constant speed.
     
  34. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    My new Outback has adaptive cruise, I didn't think i'd like it but it makes driving in traffic more enjoyable.
     
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  35. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Aaahhhhh!! Live in the boonies is great. If I'm behind 2 other cars going to work, it's crowded . . . .
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    There’s also a number of them now that when in towing mode will “speed hold” on a downhill if the brakes are tapped, by downshifts.

    The stuff is really really smart. The question is, with all those brains will the sensors and other junk needed, last as long as a manual that hasn’t been abused. Probably not.

    But I’ll take the lack of longevity if it isn’t TOO great, for the much smarter shifting and solid fuel mileage differences when in the economy mode(s).
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I want the “automatic adaptive don’t hit the damn deer that just jumped into the road” cruise control. I hope they’re working on that. :)
     
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  38. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    One of my sister-in-laws drove one of these, a '55, in the early '60s.

    IMG_0301.JPG
     
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