28th Jan 2010, 21:46


Original author here: It is January 2010 and I have much to report. Economy doing poorly, my hours have been cut in half and I can't keep up with the price of gasoline, $2.83/gal. at the same time. Looking for work means driving around often with the possibility of a longer commute. So my conclusion is to downsize and get a 4 banger, 4 door car that everybody in the house can borrow if they need to.

After being very patient, I was able to sell my truck for the asking price of $1,200. It had 127,000 on the odometer and the same set of tires as reported earlier. I had to charge it with freon last Spring, with no other problems except one.

The starter motor, a carryover component from the original motor put onto the re-manufactured motor got way too unreliable. I would have to jog the key over and over and over to finally get current enough to start. I removed the starter myself after quite a learning experience with wrenches. These two bolts are different lengths, and you simply must keep track of that, as well as which one had the washer spacer. The starter was totally stuffed with dirt and carbon, but the primary failure of the motor was where the brushes make contact with copper winding plates. Brush plates were worn far down. These plates are replaceable easily, and the autoparts store has little drawers of them, but I opted to salute the old starter motor and thank it for its service, and replace it with a new one. I think it cost in the neighborhood of $146. It sounds great when I turn the key and hear a confident 'wham!' of the solenoid and the engine turn over fast.

I never needed to do anything to the universal joint, differential, driveshaft nor anything to do with the transmission. Still it has that harsh vibration at 75mph. I never fixed what was really not broke, just imperfect.

The 1991 Dodge D250 was a good truck, reliable as heck, but did not have the following of crazed hobbyists like a Chevy C/K10 or 4X4 Chevy or '78/'79 Ford does/did. This was an economy truck of basic needs. But people liked the old fashion looks and it did turn heads. The cab had lots of headroom if you wear a tall cowboy hat and are over 6', which I am not. If you consider driving one of these extensively, be aware that the sun shades don't flip down very far to be perfectly comfortable because the cab is so high. If you have lower back issues, which I did not, consider that even though a hot vinyl seat feels really good, you will not be able to recline the seat back at all. So get used to sitting pretty straight all the time.

A pattern of rust began to bubble up along the top of the front of the cab just above the gutter on the roof. But it never leaked. I had to fix the windshield wiper linkage too in the last year; this is a pain as well.

I drove this truck for 8 years, and it was like getting rid of your favorite pair of jeans or losing your dog.