Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

The Money Pit - 2001 Dodge 2500 4x4 Diesel

24. March 2008 13:11 by Rick Glos in

I don't think my truck likes it out here...

When I drove it over the mountains two years ago, it sputtered white smoke as we descended from about 7500 feet over some range in Idaho.  Pulled over at a rest stop at the bottom of the descent, it took a few revs' of the engine for the problem to appear to go away.  Since I'm not a mechanic, and it's incredibly frustrating to be so inept at trying to troubleshoot what's wrong with the truck, 'go away' is synonymous to 'fixed'.  Very much like a PC problem right?  Well no...

A little history.

Timeline Cost
Jan 2006 - Sep 2007
  • Has 'loss of power' intermittently.  When pressing on the gas, truck RPM goes around 3k but speed is stuck around 30 mph.
  • Stereo quits working while listening to it prior to a mtb short track race in summer of 2006.  From that day onward, works only intermittently, and as of about 9 months ago it doesn't work at all.
Sep 2007
  • Upon return from Europe the truck won't start.  Take it to Jen's brother-in-law's shop.  Replacement of alternator and both batteries.
Oct 2007
  • On the way back from Bend, OR.  Truck dies on I-5.  Towed to previous shop.  Told that alternator went again.  Sent for warranty replacement.  Mechanic said I should have dealer run truck through computer.
Dec 2008
  • Based on recommendation of co-worker.  I take it to a local shop in Vancouver.  He finds that my power problems are due to a bad fuel injector pump.  This issue is prominent in Dodge diesels.  Needs to be replaced.  Also paid and extra $100 for a warning light when fuel injection issues.
Mar 2008
  • Truck dies again.  Have it towed across the rivers to the Vancouver shop.  Says it's alternator again.  I tell him the history.  Warranty on parts, not labor.  So for a modest amount, we replace the alternator (a third time) and the belt since it's all cracked.
  • Find out that the power issues when starting out is because the transmission won't shift into first gear... /sigh.  So I have to take it another different shop for that, "sooner rather than later."
  • I'm expecting the alternator to go again... then we'll maybe get to the real problem.
  • I have yet to take it into a transmission shop to get it looked at.  For now, I manually shift from first into drive and that seems to work.

This doesn't include oil changes, gas, and truck payments.

As silly as is sounds, I'd like to keep the truck around for those recreational related trips and the possibility of one day owning an RV again.  I think the facts say to get rid of the damn thing though, because it is a money pit.

Well, as I've always said, if you don't know what to do, don't do anything.


Long Weekend

12. March 2008 13:28 by Rick Glos in

Forgive me cycling gods, for I've have sinned, I haven't commuted to work in almost a week.  In an ironic turn of events, I'm driving 40 miles round trip to work in my 14 mpg 3/4 ton diesel pickup with a cycle commuter tattoo on my shoulder.

At current gas prices of $3.99 per gal of diesel, that's 28.5¢ per mile, $11.40 per day, $57 a week, $245 a month, or $3,000 a year.  That doesn't even include oil changes or maintenance; like a $3,000 fuel injector pump replacement... (yea I guess it's a problem in these Dodge diesels).


Thursday was a day off from work to attend a sad event.  Heidi's grandfather passed away earlier that week and we had to drive 2 hours down to Eugene for the 2 pm service.

A few observations.

One.  I liked how they gave everyone a chance to stand up and say something about him.  It was a nice touch.

Two.  I didn't realize how important organizations like Freemasonary or Eagles can be later in life.  Heidi's grandfather was a member of both.  I didn't know you could be a member of multiple organizations.  The Freemasons did a very nice job at the service and 10-20 of them showed up to pay their respects, dropping a pine branch (forgot exactly the name of this item) each and one of their members actually performed the service.  Also, charity work is a big part of what they do and according to many of the fraternity brothers that attended the service, Heidi's grandfather wanted to help as much as he could.

Lastly.  Is cremation the new way to go?  Or is it a west coast thing?  You don't see very many cemeteries out here as compared to back east.  I can remember as a kid going to my grandparents funerals and they were open casket services at the funeral homes with a short drive to the cemetery for a service.  I'm not religious but I was even proud pallbearer from my grandfather.  Just curiosity.

After the service we went to the Eagles hang out.  Big barn-like structure with a meeting room, bar, pool, card tables, video gambling, and plenty of tables for eating.  Reminded me alot of playing pool above my grandpa's garage.


We didn't get home until late that night.  When I took my socks off my ankles were itching.  I woke up the next morning and had these strange red itchy blotches on the back of my ankles and on one elbow.

Poison ivy?  Poison oak?  Wasn't like I was mt biking through the woods...

We got a new cat.  She's been driving my sinuses nuts.  My only assumption is that having her sleep at the foot of the bed has caused me to break out in hives..

They itch like mad and now it's Wednesday and they still aren't gone.  Forced me into wearing sandals all week and not riding because having shoes on hurts badly.


Got my ink on Saturday.  Think it turned out good.

IMG_3410   IMG_3413

Follow that up with a pot of chili and some New Glarus from Wisconsin and it's a good day.