The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started... - Off Topic (Non Trade) - Contractor Talk

The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
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The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


I was heading off to work today. Nice little job to finish and get paid. I didn't get 10 miles away and my truck backfired and quit. Luckily I had the trailer and had enough weight to coast to the next exit.

Dead truck. 200 dollar tow bill, 65 dollar part, all day trying to fix it and tomorrow it goes to the shop. Add in the 75 dollar battery for my Jeep, which suddenly has no heater fan and dinner for my buddy who helped me work on it today and it was a really crappy day. Turns out the distributor had come loose, but now it won't time or run.

Tomorrow will be 75 bucks to tow to the shop and 75 bucks diagnostic and then whatever the bill will be, plus another missed day of work.

I've been here before. Work on it at night, run it during the day and miss enough work that I could have made a payment on a newer one each time. If I didn't love my truck so much, I would have been out looking today, but I'm going to give it one trip to the shop and then start looking for a good deal on a diesel Ford.

It is the first time I have had to send a rig to the shop in nearly 20 years. I just don't have time to deal with it any more.

A new truck is looking better and better. To make things even better, my seat broke for the second time last night. I have a cargo strap holding it together now. Nothin' like rockin' it like a hillbilly to impress customers.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Get the diesel ford. Love mine will never go back.

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Old 11-27-2012, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Sounds like it time to cut your losses and start shopping
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Was driving a 01 chevy 3/4 a yead ago, same chit. I put 30-40,000 miles a year on my truck , so I folded into my "fleet" as a work truck and bought a'10 F 150 crew cab 4x4 with a 6.5 bed and say "aggghhh" every morning when it starts up like a champ.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


if it makes you feel better I spent 2,100 on my tundra last week. Starter, steering rack, steering hoses. Truck has 230k on it. Almost junked it and went looking for new, but its nice not having a truck payment every month.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


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if it makes you feel better I spent 2,100 on my tundra last week. Starter, steering rack, steering hoses. Truck has 230k on it. Almost junked it and went looking for new, but its nice not having a truck payment every month.
My 02 Suburban's got 225k on it so far. Aside from a tear in the lumbar part of the back of the driver's seat, it still looks like new (not bad for being in MI). Its kind of started to eat me alive over the past year though. Water pump, rear differential, transfer case; problem is the thing runs like a champ now and I can't fathom a $500+/mo payment. Don't know how you guys do it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


My 1990 Ford was the most expensive truck I have ever owned.
But I did like it.
It was a 3/4 ton on propane, had a 5 spd trans ,air p/w p/dl, and a remote start.
And a nasty $500.00 a month habit, On a good month.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:14 AM   #8
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


It's the payment I don't want. I paid my '96 k3500 off earlier this year and have really enjoyed just running it and not making that payment. It takes a lot of stress off. It only has 154,000 miles, but is starting to get all the little Chevy gremlins.

I really like the model truck I have and if I had 6 or 7,000 to put down on a new truck, I would rather put a performance tranny in it and have some performance stuff done to the engine.

On the other hand three days missed work could cover a couple new truck payments.

Lots to think about. At this point, I need it fixed so I'm just hoping it isn't too bad of a bill.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:18 AM   #9
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


I just wanted a few months without payments too. didn't happen.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


There are a lot of things to consider if you are about to make the leap. Everyone has a different circumstance so some considerations will add up for some and not for others.

Here are a couple things that may weigh into the equation:
  1. There is a section of the tax code called "179 deduction". If you had a good year and would like to reduce your tax liability this is a deduction well worth understanding
  2. A big cost of a new vehicle is sales tax, If sales tax is 7% and a truck is $35K, that's $2450 in sales tax alone. That's enough to do a fair amount of vehicle rehab
  3. New vehicles have low percentage of unexpected costs
  4. Maintaining an older vehicle can bring unexpected surprises
  5. Down time on vehicle repairs is costly in the repair and lost work. A beater should not be relied upon to make a living
  6. If a vehicle is fully paid for one can eliminate collision insurance and possibly save a few $$. A new vehicle will likely have a loan and require collision insurance which could cost $500 or more per year beyond just liability
  7. New car smell air freshener is cheaper than a new truck
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #11
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


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Originally Posted by VinylHanger View Post
It's the payment I don't want. I paid my '96 k3500 off earlier this year and have really enjoyed just running it and not making that payment. It takes a lot of stress off. It only has 154,000 miles, but is starting to get all the little Chevy gremlins.

I really like the model truck I have and if I had 6 or 7,000 to put down on a new truck, I would rather put a performance tranny in it and have some performance stuff done to the engine.

On the other hand three days missed work could cover a couple new truck payments.

Lots to think about. At this point, I need it fixed so I'm just hoping it isn't too bad of a bill.
Is it a 5.7L, a 454, or a diesel? I can make recommendations for you, I know those trucks VERY well. If it's a 5.7, short of the fuel pump that I gaurantee will go out sometime soon and probably the intake manifold gasket, it's a great truck that you should easily get 200k miles out of. The 454 will give you the same issues, but you'll also get terrible mileage and have a few other issues as well. The diesel is a decent engine if you don't mind spending about $2k on an injector pump every 2 years.

Also, if you have issues w/ the front end (tierods, ball joints, etc) only use MOOG parts. Everything else is junk and doesn't last (that's experience talking!). If you have a wheel bearing go out on that truck it won't be cheap. You can either get the $70 china bearing, or pay $180 for the good one; pay the $180! Waaaay too much labor to try to save $100. There's also a good possibillity you'll have trouble w/ the actuator in the front axle for the 4wd (if yours is 4wd). Not too expensive and easy to change yourself.

I had a 2000 Chevy 3500 w/ a 454 (pretty much the same truck), and I also had a 96 w/ a diesel. The 96 was a waaaaay better truck. I've also had 3 different Suburbans that were that body style and I got 200k miles out of all of them w/out too many issues. Hope that gives you some confidence.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Turns out the distributor had come loose, but now it won't time or run.

That could cause bent or broken valves, piston head destruction and lots of your money.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


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Turns out the distributor had come loose, but now it won't time or run.

That could cause bent or broken valves, piston head destruction and lots of your money.
It has a distrubutor, so I know it's not a diesel. I don't think the Chevy engines are zero tolerance; I think you can have a timing chain break w/out ruining the engine or the head. Odd that it won't time though. Maybe the gear on the distributor is bad. I had a roll pin break on one before (the roll pin is what connects that gear to the distributor) and it took forever to figure out what happened.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


can find an ugly, reliable truck for less than 2.5 k
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #15
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


A friend of mine had a Jeep that quit on him, it wound up being a stripped distributor drive gear. Ripped us a new one figuring it out too.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #16
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Quote:
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if it makes you feel better I spent 2,100 on my tundra last week. Starter, steering rack, steering hoses. Truck has 230k on it. Almost junked it and went looking for new, but its nice not having a truck payment every month.
Ouch, what year? I have a 2000
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #17
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Try to look at a vehicle as a long term expense and take a close look at the Sect 179 deduction.

If you pay $40k for a vehicle, sect 179 of the IRS code allows you to reduce your income by that same $40k. Now if your a 20% tax bracket you reduce your income tax liability by $8000 ($40k x 20%).

After 10 years of use you can maybe get $5000 for a trade or sale.

If you figure out your cost of owning the vehicle per year it comes out to $2700/yr (($40k - $8000 - $5000)/10yrs).


(this is not legal advice nor is it accounting advice nor is it tax advice as I am not an attorney nor am I a CPA nor am I a licensed tax advisor)
This is a very simplistic example, but once you start paying close to $2700 in repairs per year and or your business becomes hampered by a non-reliable vehicle, then it is time to purchase another one.

Everybody has their own point of return. Some like newer vehicles and will trade their vehicles in earlier and gain larger trade in values. For example: Drive the truck for 3yrs and trade it in for $20,000 and you get a $4000/yr cost (($40k - $20k trade in - $8000 sect 179)/3yrs).

I used round numbers just to make a point, which is, by driving a newer vehicle you get the reliability of that vehicle for the extra $1300 per year or $108/month. You also should have no repairs from a 3 year old vehicle, where as, you may with a vehicle that you own for 10yrs.

I hope this makes sense.

Last edited by PCI; 11-28-2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Disclaimer
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #18
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


Thanks for all the info everyone. Lots to think about. It won't let me thank people this morning. It's the 454.

The distributor is my first thought. We'll see today or tomorrow. It's going into the shop today. The cool thing about this shop is it is ran by a guy who is totally blind yet one of the best mechanics around. Interesting guy. He also drives a car at the local racetrack with a spotter during practice sessions.

Anyway, it's heading over there this morning and we'll see. I usually do all my own work, but just don't have time right now. I suppose that is good and bad at the same time.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #19
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


I have an 07 sprinter with 230000 miles on it all its ever needed was a new alternator brakes and front end still the same tranny motor rear end best vehicle I've ever owned hands down. I love this vehicle that much I would never change brands Mercedes sprinter all the way. Even the driveshaft and unjoints are still original.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #20
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Re: The Nickle And Dimeing Has Started...


I hate truck payments.

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