jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
jemyl ([personal profile] jemyl) wrote2011-10-23 10:51 pm

More Van Saga

The new icon is my male cat, Brudder. He got his snaggle tooth fighting with his now deceased litter mate, Little Boy, about six years ago, before Little Boy, who looked just like Brudder but with very, very green eyes and a bit coarser fur and a smaller size, met his maker at the talons of our neighborhood hawk. He almost made it home too, that evening, but the hawk got him next door. I cried for days and still miss the little guy. He and Brudder were Mama's kitties from kittenhood. Now I try to protect Brudder from a similar fate, but he really loves being outside for some part of each day, so I figure I'll keep him in from about four or five pm until morning which agrees with both of us. He also has come to like his creature comforts of a soft place to lie down and a pleasant air temperature. LOL

My van is affectionately known as Big Blue for obvious reasons once one looks at it. Big Blue is a 1989 Ford Econoline 250LX with a 351 V8 engine, an old but quite serviceable Braun wheelchair lift in its side and rust all over. Big Blue passes everything but a gas station to whit she will only hold up to half a tank of gas without leaking around her tank seam, she gets 10.3 mpg on the highway (which is 99% of my driving here), burns and leaks oil to the tune of a quart every 20 miles and has radiator problems such that she uses about a quart of water every time she goes ten miles or more and has a brake fluid leak on one of her rear cylinders such that she uses about a quarter cup of DOT#3 every sixty miles or so. I carry oil, water and DOT#3 as a matter of course. She also has a special switch to get power to her auxiliary fuel pump and no A/C, didn't come with it. I always run with all the heaters on full blast and windows open as much as I can get safely and dry-ly.

Big Blue gets me there, most of the time, and will run about 55mph easily and safely without complaining. Much more speed than that and she sucks oil, sucks much more gas and tends to overheat a whole lot more.

This week I had a new problem with Big Blue. On Sunday last week I found that she had a flat passenger side rear tire. It took me until Friday to get the right compressor located and my body functioning without anitbiotic caused dizziness and nausea well enough to get the compressor on her tire long enough to get it aired up full enough to drive Big Blue into Hawthorne to get the tire fixed or the spare put on.

Sadly, the tire had a hole in the sidewall, from dryrot according to the young tire guy. The spare was and is good so it is on Big Blue now. A serviceable new tire for her will cost from $114 to $195 there. She takes 215-85-16 tires and the ones she has on her now are actually the $195 variety i.e. Firestones. I don't like any of those prices so did NOT order a tire. Tomorrow I have to go into Palatka so I will spend the morning as I wait for the bug man and meals-on-wheels delivery lady calling the tire places I know about in Palatka to see if they happen to have a good used tire for Big Blue. I wouldn't do that except I figure I can put it on the spare and I plan to get rid of Big Blue in about four months provided I can sell enough stuff so to do, and I do need to do that. $1500. I figure I can find a good used small pick-up or SUV for that price or maybe a small van. I don't want to have payments either. Something better than Big Blue with maybe double the gas mileage would be great. I can then save for a bit better vehicle from there.

It just seems to get harder and harder for me to get ahead. If I cannot find a good used, affordable tire, I will have to run with no spare for a while, which I do not want to do as it leaves me in the position of having to buy a tire immediately should I lose another one.

Just thinking about this tires me out (pun intended). Time to get a bit of food. I made some really good soup today and I have a couple of bowls of my yummy chicken and grains left in the freezer. Mmmm, the freezer calls! Peace---Ellen