The Realistic Rebuild

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As America goes Cuba, politically, it is becoming Cuban – vehicularly.

You have probably read about the aging of the vehicle fleet – that the age of the typical car in service right now is now pushing 12 years old, an age at which most cars would have been scrapped 20 years ago.

But 20 years ago, new cars were better than 12-year-old cars – and so people bought them.

Today, most new cars are more expensive – and much more intrusive. It is almost impossible to find one that doesn’t come standard with an electronic hydra of “assistance” technology that many people simply do not want – either to pay for or to have to deal with. Steering wheels that try to jerk you back into the lane you’re in when you attempt to exit the lane without having signaled first. Even if there’s no one around to see your signal.

Brakes that slam on when the car thinks you’re too close to something. Engines that shut themselves off at every red light. Etc.

There is very little market demand for it. So why is it becoming almost impossible to find a new car that doesn’t come standard with it?

It is the same reason for all the rest of it. The corporations that build cars are increasingly controlled by people who not only prefer to sell virtue – as they define it – but want to force everyone to buy into it. Have a gander – if you can stand it – at the commercials purveyed by major car companies nowadays. They do not tout the sex appeal or tire-frying fun of cars anymore. Or even reliability.

They tout saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. How “green” the thing supposedly is.

And yet, I know no one who wants all this stuff. And I’m a car journalist, with a pretty good feel for what people want – as opposed to what they are getting. Of every 100 emails/letters I get regarding new cars, 99 tell me how much the writer dislikes new cars.

The pushy “technology.” The homogenous, government-template styling, including the terrible blind spots (corrected for by back-up cameras and a bevy of buzzers). Wariness about the long-term durability prospects of 2.0 liter (and less) heavily turbocharged fours connected to eight and nine speed transmissions in 4,000-plus pound crossovers and SUVs. About not wanting a massive – or even any – touchscreen.

About wanting a vehicle they can service – as opposed to the dealer only.

Hence the 12-year-old car. Hence almost 20 year-old trucks, like my ’02 Nissan Frontier. Vehicles that are modern – they are fuel injected and don’t have to be babied on cold days, adjusted every 30 days and – most of all – easily run like new at 12 years old (or 20) if not purposely abused.

It makes you want to hold onto them.

I intend to. Because it’s feasible.

Vehicles made until  – roughly – the early-mid 2000s can be kept running almost indefinitely, with rust being your primary worry. And even that is fixable, if you know how to weld. Even if you don’t, there are many people who do. Welding is a fairly common skill and the tools required are possessed by many, as well. Unlike the highly specialized tools and training as well as access to proprietary data one needs to fix the electronicized everything in today’s new cars.

My truck has a computer, but it does not control everything.

Just the fuel delivery system. The engine, itself, is not much different from the engines made 30 or 40 years ago. It has overhead cams, but that isn’t anything new. Overhead cam engines have been around since the 1920s and have been common since the ’70s. They are as rebuildable as pushrod engines from that era; any machine shop can tackle the necessaries – because there aren’t unnecessaries, such as variable cam/valve timing or cylinder deactivation “technology” – all of which came online relatively recently, to “achieve compliance” with various government ukases.

The EFI system, itself, can be easily – and affordably – replaced, should it ever become necessary. Engines made before the early-mid 2000s can also be retrofitted with “stand alone” aftermarket EFI systems, with their own computers to control the fuel injection. In some cases, it is possible to retrofit a mechanical fuel-delivery system (i.e., a carburetor) on these engines, which requires no computer, at all.

Direct gas injection – which almost all new car engines have now – isn’t simple or easily (much less affordably) replaced. It is integrated with the engine in a way that can’t be end-run or easily replaced with something simpler.

There are holes in the cylinders.

Most of the vehicles from that era have physical throttle cables that control the throttle mechanically (as opposed to electronically, via “drive by wire”). If the vehicle has a manual transmission – like my truck – the transmission is an entirely mechanical component that can be rebuilt using physical parts, as opposed to “software” that may become vaporware.

Even if it has an automatic, it is likely to be a straightforward automatic, with one overdrive gear rather than three and a simple planetary gearset, hydraulic valve body and lock-up torque converter. Very rebuildable. As opposed to throw-it-away-replaceable.

Most of the controls – and – instruments – are likewise mechanical or analog rather than “wired” and digital. There aren’t any Body Control Modules, for instance, that control the up and down action of the side windows or the locking/unlocking of the doors. There are cranks for the windows – and catches for the locks. These may one day fail. But they can be field-expedient fixed.

So also power windows not controlled by Body Control Modules. It’s just a switch, electric motor and some wiring.  No computers.

The truck, like most of the vehicles its age – has a keyed ignition. There is no “chip” in the key. An unchipped physical key can easily last 50 years or more (I still have – still use – the original ignition key that came with my 1976 Pontiac) and is easily replaced, if lost. The ignition switch the key goes into is also easily replaced – or gotten around – in the event it fails.

Good luck getting around a fobbed and chipped push-button ignition.

Point being: If you own a car made before the early-mid 2000s, you should be able to keep owning it – because you can rebuild it.

For as long as you like.

Just like the Cubans do.

Or at least, for as long as it takes for new cars to return to being better than the old one you’ve got.

. . .

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69 COMMENTS

  1. Out of my 3 Audis, my ’02 A6 Avant is the clunkiest, least road worthy, most beat up, and voted most likely to die a painful death soon.

    BUT… it has an actual key that goes into the ignition, although it still has a chip. At least it’s not push button and I have that programmer thing that can tweak the settings of the car. It has a 5-spd automatic and zero “driver assistance” features. I mean, beyond old-school cruise control. And I mean the oldest school cruise control, it basically keeps a minimum speed. Does not brake, never mind adaptive.

    Problem being that old V6, though naturally aspirated, clearly needs to be rebuilt. It already fouled the factory cats and I replaced ’em with after market cats. Burns oil like it’s going out of style. Exhaust rattle and check engine because of the cats.

    Otherwise, it’s a great old car that I’d like to keep forever and ever… much to my wife’s chagrin.

  2. I had thought of cylinder deactivation myself, and didn’t know anyone actually produced such and engine. It appears to have yielded disappointing results in your ad there, Eric, with only a 6% increase in fuel efficiency. For the added complexity, I’d say it isn’t worth it.

    • That was first tried some 40 years ago, when Cadillac reduced their engine all the way from once having been FIVE HUNDRED (500) cubes down to 368, or 6.0 liters. This was in the early days of CAFE, and we’d just gone through another “oil crisis” which also helped to shit-can Jimmy Carter’s failed re-election bid against Reagan. Caddy called it the V8-6-4, for how it progressively de-activated engine cylinders, depending on driving conditions.

      This setup fared even worse than Chrysler’s ill-fated “Electronic Lean Burn” of a few years earlier, and for much the same reasons. Inadequate development and testing, and also failure to disseminate proper diagnosis training and repair procedures even to dealers, let alone garages. Another thing that for all practical purposes the “shade tree” mechanic was “verboten” to touch. Many Caddy’s equipped with this ill-fated engine were traded in, QUICKLY, and those stuck with them had the de-activation setup disabled by the dealers, with the EPA, by then under Reagan, more or less told to “butt out”.

      • Sad story, Doug. That was probably some engineer’s hope and joy, and it seems that it was implemented horribly, and I’m sure the poor bastard was shafted or close enough. Interesting, though. I’d like to read about that debacle.

          • THIS! ->
            ‘Another rare and advanced feature introduced with DFI was Cadillac’s truly “on-board” diagnostics. For mechanics who had to deal with the 368s, the cars contained diagnostics that did not require the use of special external computer scan-tools. The new Electronic Climate Control display, along with the MPG Sentinel, provided on-board readout of any stored trouble codes, instantaneous readings from all the various engine sensors, forced cycling of the underhood solenoids and motors, and on the V8-6-4 engines, manual cylinder-pair control.’

            …Should’ve been on ever car made since the early ’80s.

  3. Older trucks are where its at, recently purchased a 1999 S10 2.2 5sp 2nd with 180k miles, got it for 200$ needing only a windshield due to a fallen tree limb. The gm 2200 is one of the cheapest and easiest rebuilds of any vehicle engine, and yesterday snagged another S10 of same vintage with the 4.3 that runs and drives well, with brand new tires for 600$. So for less then 1k$ I have a 30+mpg 3 pedal truck, and all the parts and spare tires one could ever need. Plus I have a tire machine, lathe, and a portable cylinder boring machine, and a 3k sq ft welding shop to keep it all going.

    • You have quite the set-up, Rusty. I hope to be there, sooner or later. I DO however have the old trucks, including my ’94 S10, ’98 Ranger and ’90 C1500. And I intend to keep them running for as long as I live, with things headed in the direction they are.

      • That c1500 will run forever, I have an 88 k1500 with near 400k that’s still driven daily and plows snow 5 months out of the year, I do a dozen driveways or so, and we get lots of the white stuff lol, my favorite time of year. It has its own addition on the shop so is always inside in the winter ready to go.

        • Yep, I love my C1500. Nothing I’ve ever had is as easy to work on, and the 350 is still a mighty engine, simple and pure.

          But Rusty, 5 months of snow?! Here in Phx, we won’t get 5 days of snow in a year. Probably not even 1, most years.

  4. I wonder if the vehicles getting older thing is caused by lack of interest in newer vehicles, stagnant wage growth, or older vehicles simply becoming more reliable.

    • Hi Anon,

      I think all of these are factors. It is a disastrously poor financial decision to buy a new vehicle given the cost of new vehicles – and the cost to insure them and the cost of the property taxes levied upon their owners. In my state, for instance, I would be be paying probably 8-10 times as much each year for several years in property taxes were I to buy a new Nissan Frontier valued at $30k vs. keeping my old Friontier, which is valued (by the government) at around $3,500.

  5. What is the geared gizmo to the left of the oil pan? Must be all new parts in the photo.

    Since hydrocarbons are obtained from fossil fuels and hydrocarbons provide plenty of energy to power civilization, one commodity has increased in price almost five fold.

    Coal is priced at 243 USD today, back in November, coal was 53.36 USD.

    Price Graph for Coal

    That’s a lot of wampum, so they say. Something ain’t right.

    More darkness ahead.

    • It kind of looks to me like a carburetor or an old style air intake could bolt on top of it, but those need gears.

      My best semi-educated guess, is that it’s part of a belt-driven supercharger system.

    • It’s gonna be a hoot, watching Cal Fire attack them million-acre blazes with electric chain saws, backed up by semi-trailers full of batteries and chargers.

      Likewise, PG&E trying to trim right-of-way with electric equipment.

      Those commies might literally burn in hell.

      • It’s insanity.

        I’ve got a battery powered electric lawn mower, which half-built myself. I bought an off the shelf one a few years ago, and it was terrible, about 1/3 HP and could run for 20 minutes, tops.

        I tripled the power, to 1HP and made it able to run about an hour, by installing a very efficient motor, expensive controller, and a bigger battery pack. My lawn mower weighs twice what a normal mower does, and needs to charge for about three hours after that one hour of usage. It works fine for me because I’ve got the time and money for such stupid projects. I did it as a learning experience.

        Now, imagine a gardener who works for low pay who has to get a heavy mower on and off his truck, and gets a total of 1 hour a day out of it. Now, sure, you can have additional batteries, and each 1 hour of battery will cost you approximately $450 for the spare pack. Who’s going to pay that? It’s ridiculous.

        My stupid CA city is also banning leaf blowers of all kinds – electric or gas, due to the pollution from blowing dust into the air.

      • Well, I now own a Stihl electric (corded) chainsaw, which is adequate for my needs, mainly cutting up downed tree branches on a standard suburban lot.

        But, no electric chain saw (corded or cordless) of which I am aware would be adequate for serious saw work. For that, you need a gasoline powered saw, period. So, USFS, CalFire & local FDs will no doubt get exemptions of necessity in order to perform their duties. The Feds may well decide that State law does not apply on Federal property. FU Sac’to, IOW.

        Where does that leave the local arborist or tree service? I have no idea, but I know you are not going to cut down any sizeable tree with any electric chain saw model now in existence.

      • I’m one of the tens of millions who have left California. After the Evil Jerry Brown came Deukmajian and Pete Wilson- an assortment of spineless quisling republicants, then the nuts and the commies and assorted freaks took over and rigged elections against decent folk. The election of the hapless and worthless Aarnold (sp) was an opportunity squandered.

        I often wonder what would have happened had we all stayed? Cali is a beautiful place and used to be the best in the USA. Now it’s a communist hell-hole. And nothing will improve as long as people just politely leave instead of standing up and telling them this isn’t a f*$king democracy and you don’t get a vote on much at all.

        A lot of folks would like to see Cali leave the union- but that’s a variation on what’s already happened. The California power structure has to be made to obey the law, and the only way that will happen is when enough republicants admit the error of their ways, “backing the blue” and supporting the drug war because the rights of those damned dirty hippies just aren’t important.

        Well, I can dream.

      • Just wait until their landscaping bills skyrocket.
        These idiots think all they are doing is stealing time from homeowners that do their own work. Little do they know the homegamers are the least time sensitive. The pros are VERY time sensitive. Every minute counts. Making them go slower with less power cordless equipment and recharging times never mind the expense of the tools is going to make the bills go way up.

  6. “Or at least, for as long as it takes for new cars to return to being better than the old one you’ve got.”

    Question for you, Eric (and whoever else might want to answer it) – do you see us ever returning to those days again, when new cars were actually better than the ones they’re replacing? I’m not so sure I do.

    • I think a Collapse must happen first to make these grand plans fall apart or a big enough political and cultural change that the occult technology gets released, otherwise no with the path we are on.

    • DIY, literally. Machine shops that do rebuilds are a lot less common than they were 30 years ago. If you just need to hone the cylinders or bust the ridge off the top, you can do that, but boring, fluxing, decking and crank turning require a good shop.

      • I think they’ll just make illegal/make untenable the rebuilding of ICE cars at a certain point and cite emissions as the cause. Look at how they’ve made glider kits for semis illegal. Maybe an exception for antique cars; then we would really look like Cuba.

  7. Just returned from driving my 13 year old Sonata, V6, to Florida and back to Nebraska. Car ran great, even over rough roads. Got 28 mpg driving at 70mph most of the way. Tires stayed inflated.

    Change keeps on happening, nothing stays frozen in time, not even durable products that are probably better than newer ones. The sweet spots in life are just that; spots. We pass through them and change occurs constantly. Whether we like it or not, cars and trucks are going to change, with the valuable features changed from one to the other. Politics plays a role, unfortunately, but there is not much we can do to stop it in our current climate.

    People value different things today than they did 40 years ago. Holding on to the past causes some pretty intense negative emotional responses. No returning to the “way it used to be” ever happens, or is going to happen. Our best response to change is to become adept at adapting. Hybrids, battery cars, and gas cars are going to be around for along time. I guess the current pressure is to obliterate freedom of choice in all areas of life, including transportation. We’ve adapted to it until now.

      • Pretty well, Publius, pretty well. As it has for all of us here on this blog. The last 3-4 years have been very good for me, personally.

        Are you going to prison for your principles? Tell us when, so we can note it for posterity, and move on.

        • In an unjust society, where does a just man belong if not prison?

          That doesn’t mean I want to go there. But you can only push a man so far, and I’m rapidly running out of adaptive abilities.

    • ‘The sweet spots in life are just that; spots. We pass through them and change occurs constantly.’ — Andy L

      It does. Think back to when you were 19, say, or 25, and amorous, inquisitive, malleable young hotties just fell into your arms. It is literally impossible to go back, even if you’re a gray-haired billionaire now who can buy himself a 30-year younger trophy wife. It’s not the same; never could be.

      But change falls into two categories: the inevitable; and the maliciously imposed. The former, like aging, we have no choice but to accept. The latter, we can fight to the last ditch.

      Do not go gentle into that good night,
      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
      Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
      Because their words had forked no lightning they
      Do not go gentle into that good night.

      — Dylan Thomas

      • Yeah, thinking back that far when those ‘young hotties’ were interested in me hurts my brain. Still trying for that Florida woman, but our respective covid line’s in the sand are getting in the way.

        I’ve raged in the past, when I believed most people were worth raging for. We already accept malicious changes: taxes, seat belts, helmets, security at airports, the list is long. When it comes to being coerced into injections, I believe that is my line. Best paying job I ever had, if they decide to go with Biden on injection or job, then I may have to drop my job. Good luck finding another one. Pretty soon we injection free types will be herded on a reservation, probably south dakota.

  8. Still daily driving the 1986 Diesel Blazer I bought when I was 22 in college in 2009. Biggest recurring maintenance item is rust and greasing all the fittings and U joints every oil change
    I taught myself to weld and hand hammer sheet metal to fix the rust, (all you need is a sheet metal hammer, vise, and small piece of railroad track) and repainted the outside with spray cans. Looks good and rust free now from 30′ away, and added about 100lbs of new steel, so hopefully I will be good for another 7-10 years. I’m Planning on driving it until I cant take care of it either from age or finance, but its pretty cheap to operate and insure

    • That sir, is a keeper. I suggest taking advantage of some of the readily available patch panels on Ebay for the body patches, they are cheap and come out better. A lot of modern diesel guys sneer at the 6.2, but it is a great, reliable, economical light truck engine. Don’t try to pull a building or a 25 foot trailer with it and it will give you decades of loyal service. I’ve had several, and my neighbor has one with over 800k miles on it…

  9. “The corporations that build cars are increasingly controlled by people who not only prefer to sell virtue – as they define it – but want to force everyone to buy into it.”

    My dear, Eric, do you believe it is the government calling the shots in all of these situations? Do you believe it isn’t the business going to government and stating “this is what we want and if you want to be re-elected you will push this through.”

    Let’s take the HVAC industry for example. Do you believe the refrigerants are constantly being changed and old refrigerants being phased out because the government says so? Who do you think is writing the codes that contractors, suppliers, and distributors have to follow? Look up SMACNA, ASHRAE, and ASME. These organizations, which are made up of the largest HVAC contractors in the country. The dictate to the rest of us what the standards are.

    Why would they do such a thing? For profit. If one phases out refrigerants and they can no longer be purchased then Henry Homeowner needs to upgrade to a new HVAC unit, because the R-22 refrigerant that leaked out of his evaporator coil is no longer available. Henry then pays $8K for his new R-410A system. Since the HVAC overseers really can’t go back to the American public and say that their goal is to make them spend more and purchase new equipment they use lingo such as “climate change” and “safety”.

    What would government do if GM, Ford, and Dodge gave Uncle Sam the finger and said “We are making the cars that we want to make and we don’t give a flip about fuel standards.” Yeah, I guess they could fine them. Who is going to make it stick? The three biggest automakers in America supply hundreds of thousands of jobs. Is Uncle Sam going to close them down? What would this do to Congress’s coffers when the Big 3 stop contributing to campaigns? The reason that fuel standards increase is because the auto industry backs it. They sell new cars. Because of this Mary Barra stashes another $21 million away annually.

    • Hi RG,

      It’s both – government and corporations (and corporations and government). They have become inextricably linked – and work together to screw us.

      It makes my point that corporations are Bad News – for us.

      I can’t get together with my buddy Tim and design an 80 MPG commuter car – or rather, I am not allowed to sell such a car, because of the impossibility of “achieving compliance” with the various government “mandates” and “standards” that the major automakers fully support – because it prevents competition from entering the market. And government then “loans” companies like GM our stolen money, to prop up their failure.

      To paraphrase Julius Streicher: Corporations sind unsere ungluck.

      • Hi Eric,

        I am a believer that businesses run government, government doesn’t run businesses. Government is bankrupt. Congress passes initiatives that reward these large corporations for the money that these large corporations contribute to them.

        How does one conquer this? Become a large business. Build a product or a service that is needed or wanted by everyone. Was anyone aware of Apple before 2007 and the launch of the IPhone? Facebook? Tesla? Large businesses are a constant rotating bunch. No one stays on top forever.

        I understand where you are coming from. We all know the system is corrupt. I think very few of us would disagree with this. Let’s look at it like a game of cards. We sit down at the poker table and everybody is expecting to play “Texas Hold’Em”, instead the dealer says we are playing “Let’s Go Fish.” Well, nobody wants to play “Let’s Go Fish”, but we can’t change the game, because we aren’t the dealer. Many will decide to fold and walk off. Some of us will stay and play, because we may win and then become the dealer.

        I believe libertarian ideas are the most honorable and should be implemented, but I also realize that we will not be able to promote these until enough free thinkers are able to renovate the system. So we play the hand we are dealt. We may not agree with it. We may absolutely abhor it, but we cannot change it until we win.

          • Hi Horst,

            Yes, but government is ran by the corporations. Example, look at our race for governor in Virginia. The Republican candidate is a former manager of the Carlyle Group and the Democratic candidate is a former chairmen of the Federal City National Bank.

            Government did not create itself, it was created by businessmen. The problem is they stopped running it as a business and instead they use the American taxpayers money as their personal slush fund.

          • That’s like the question the teen hacker puts to “Joshua”, the maniacal NORAD supercomputer that he had running the “Global Thermonuclear War” program…

            “Is this a game? Or is it REAL?”

            Joshua’s response? “What’s…the…DIFFERENCE?”

    • The change in refrigerants directly coincides with the expiration of DuPont’s patent on R-22, among others I can’t remember. The point being, as you somewhat illustrated, is that the state created the corporation and so are in control of them. On the other hand, the corporation uses the state to insure its monopoly, with bribery attached. They are in bed together, exchanging bodily fluids for profit and power.

    • HVAC is largely a racket IMO. So many places do not sell parts to the public. Finding a place that sells the part you need to the public can be a pain. When I replaced the heat exchanger a few years back it took me a lot of searching to find some place that A) sold them and B) sold them to the public. Then there was C) the price. I eventually found the upgraded stainless steel version at place that did the old fashioned call and order system. Called them up, ordered it, they shipped it to me.

      So many things are pretty simple to do yourself but industry practices and sometimes government is used to prevent people from doing so leading to a high priced service industry. Outside of refrigerants there isn’t much help for the HVAC business but given how many places don’t sell parts to the public it can be pain getting the part you need.

  10. My first Chevy, 2004 Silverado extended cab, 107,000 miles still going strong. Instrument cluster works now and again, but she is a keeper.

    • Mark, I had my instrument cluster rebuilt for $90. It is an easy fix in my 03 Silverado. EBay has a number of after market and straight up repair services. Check it out.

  11. Both of my vehicles are Toyotas and are both over 20 years old. My ’98 Camry originally belonged to my parents, then my mother sold it to me after my dad passed away and her eye sight started going south. It has almost 250K miles. I purchased a used ’99 Sienna in 2014 for 5k, and it currently has 208K miles and still going strong. They have both always been garaged so there is no rust on the body of either vehicle. I plan on keeping them as long as I can.

    • Hi Steve,

      Those Toyotas are superb long-haul vehicles; especially their engines. Toyota’s V6 is one of the best engines made during the past 40 years. They are overbuilt, under-stressed and for that reason super reliable. Hang onto these!

  12. In the rustbelt states with heavy winter dousings of salt and now greenish liquid “pretreatments” that are squirted under pressure into the road surfaces…….

    Your car/truck will simply rot if driven daily in that crap. That is the limiting factor here bar none. Forget about the engine. Change the oil/filter every 10k with Mobil 1 full synth and call it a day.

    I’ve tried everything from frame-up prep and pre-painting frames with noxious POR-15 cyanoacrylate paints to every kind of gooey undercoating known to man. Boeshield, Fluidfilm, all of em.

    Now if everything goes to shit and the salting/green liquid (that also destroys aluminum btw) dumping stops, we then maybe our frames and suspension/brake bits will have a chance for 15+ years…

    • I don’t love my vehicles. One I do love to drive, the other one is a tool. Not big on washing and waxing. However, what I am big on is undercarriage washes. Which I give each on at the most a monthly schedule in winter months.

    • I live in NH, and have found only one solution that works: frequent washing with a strong underbody spray.

      I have 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 172,000 miles, all of those miles here, and the underside still looks like a Texas or Florida car. In heavy snow, slush, ice and salt, it gets washed at least once a week. Even if it seems pointless, because you’re just driving right back out into the same salt and slush, it does makes a difference, the salt doesn’t get a chance to soak and wick into every gap, seam, weld or joint.

      When I can’t get to a car wash, or don’t want to pay good money for it and it’s warm enough, I use one of these hooked up to the pressure washer:

      https://smile.amazon.com/WARMQ-Undercarriage-Attachment-Extension-1500-4000/dp/B0878QXTX7/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2OB4DC3XDDI1F&dchild=1&keywords=underbody+sprayer+for+pressure+washer&qid=1634135368&sprefix=underbody+pressure+s%2Caps%2C249&sr=8-4

      That said, I despise that spray on road treatment crap. Here, it gets cold enough where snow is “dry”, on the road it’s almost like sand. In many cases it would be better to not apply anything at all, rather than a bunch of treatment solutions that turn that dry crystalline snow into three inches of slush, ready to hydroplane you right into the woods. Salt can be adjusted or not applied at all, but when all the roads are pre-treated with that spray on shit, everything becomes a slushy mess.

      • **Note to webmaster:

        Up until this point in the comments, when everything was hunky dory, Anti Federalist’s comment strings out to the right into the ads, as a result, it’s danged difficult, next to impossible, to read. There’s no scroll bar so some of the text disappears off to the right of the screen.

        While I haven’t had that issue elsewhere, I suppose it could have nothing to do with the website & I need to update my Brave browser?

        Version 1.27.108 Chromium: 92.0.4515.107 (Official Build) (x86_64)

        Idk. Just a heads up.

  13. Anecdotally, it is my observation that I am seeing more people fixing and driving older trucks lately as new vehicles have been difficult to obtain — even if you’re willing and able to pay the obscene sticker prices.

    Personally I just picked up a rust-free 2004 truck for a build project…. I plan to have that one for a while.

  14. Drove into work today in my 21 year old GMC Sierra. It’s more pleasant and cheaper to drive than the BMW X3 (which I regret buying).

    My brother drives into work every day in a 24 year old GMC Sierra.

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