Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Long time readers of my blog may remember the springtime problems with our old 93 F250 pickup truck. It took a little redneck repair to get it to limp home to NH from FL. Only used it once since to make a load to the dump. Since then it’s sat in the driveway.
Today I decided to move it. A buddy of mine wants it for parts. The engine purrs like a tiger. (7.3 turbo diesels do not purr like kittens) The rest of the truck has advanced body cancer and is falling apart.
The truck hasn’t run all summer, so the batteries were too low to turn the big diesel over. A couple hours on the charger and it fired right up. I locked the hubs and shifted into 4 wheel drive. A roar and a lurch later and the truck climbed up the dirt driveway and onto the pavement.
That’s where it came to horrible stop. There was a long screech of metal things coming apart and the truck was stuck sideways, blocking the road.
Here’s what happened. The non-drive rear wheel on the truck had frozen into place. Even with one wheel not turning, the other drive wheel and the front drive wheel were able to pull it to the pavement. The frozen wheel just dug a trench in the soft dirt. Once it hit the pavement, the stuck wheel had something solid to grab onto. It was too much for the universal join that drove the front axle. That failed noisily and messily.
I had to get the truck out of the road, but it would not move under its own power. The one remaining drive wheel would only spin and smoke. I called my local tow truck guy, but he was out on a call and unavailable for hours.
In an almost desperate move, I hooked a tow strap to my ambulance/motorhome conversion and tried to pull the truck out of the road with that. To my happy surprise, it dragged the truck to the side of the road, stuck wheel and all. The tow strap looked and sounded like a guitar string, but it held.
Now all I have to do is to jack up the truck and see if that wheel can be freed. If it can, the truck could be driven the short distance to my friend’s house. If not, I can always call the tow truck guy.
At least it’s out of the way and I’ve got room for Thursday’s firewood delivery.