Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Cash for Clunkers" Fall-out Victim

Last night I was having a major pity party, throwing a bit of a tantrum and in tears. I received devastating (well, for me it was devastating) news yesterday afternoon that the axle that we had a line on for my old Bubba truck had the wrong gearing, wasn't setup for ABS or 4WD. At best, we can hope for an axle rebuild, should we be able to find the parts.

Thank to the efforts of my state's Senators (yes, Debbie Stabenow you are one of the guilty!) push to pass "Cash for Clunkers" in an effort to boost auto sales, there are far fewer replacement parts for vehicles of all ages.  Even more so for a 22 year old pickup.  My beloved Bubba truck was a victim of that *oh-so-brilliant-move* (can you hear the sarcasm dripping here?) and my heart was broken.

Fast forward to this morning, when I did just what the wasteful legislation wanted me to do all along, and I went and "replaced" Bubba with a new vehicle. But not quite in the way they'd hoped for. My new vehicle is a new Ford F-150.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I may have bowed to buying a new vehicle, but no I did not spend the extra $3K to get the new Eco-boost V6 Ford is so proud of. Nope. I got me a big honking V8 that gets an estimated 14mpg and 19mpg. Which is far less than Bubba's 22 and 24.  Bwahahaha!!!

Unfortunately for me, the seats are cloth, not the vinyl that I wanted. The windows are powered, not manual like I wanted. But I did score the only vinyl floor on the lot, and it doesn't have Sync (I fix Microsoft's buggy code all day, I don't want it on my vehicle), it's the color I really like, and it's very plain Jane.  I can live with the pieces that aren't exactly as I wanted, however, I'm not sure I will ever get around to liking the horridly ugly and poorly laid out dash.

I'm hoping to get a special license plate for it, if what I want is available, I'll have to wait and see on that as you can't get special plates here the day you purchase a new vehicle.  Part of the problem of not having the DMV and dealer lots connected by computer. Oh, and you can't buy a vehicle on Sundays in this state either.

Fortunately for my old beloved Bubba truck, it's not completely falling victim to the evil plans of DC.  Instead, it's becoming my project truck. My dear hubby bowed to my pouting and shouts of "I don't want to get rid of Bubba truck!" and we will slowly get it restored as funds and parts cooperate. I could really use having my brother nearby to help with it, but alas, I'm not moving back to my home state and it doesn't look like he'll move my way.

None of this has much to do with writing, other than the impact it has had on my emotions. When I'm not happy, writing doesn't happen, so not much has been done on any of my series and the majority of my characters have been quiet. Except for Jess, who pouted and sobbed with me.

Only truck owners really understand other truck owners attachments to their old work horses, perhaps that's why I love Jess so much.

If you happen to live in the Greater Grand Rapids Michigan area, I highly recommend Tony Betten & Sons Ford. They let me take off with the keys and drive the new beastie around sans sales guy, got it all washed and shiny, gassed it up, and dug for every rebate and discount possible for me. Had Bubba been 5 years newer, I would have gotten another rebate, but alas, no go.  As it was he found us over $4K in discounts to go with our X-plan discounts.

Bubba has a new fan in our sales guy who can't wait until it comes in for the axle replacement so he can see what all the fuss is about. He even hooked me up with a really good parts shop that seems to find the hardest to find parts.  Which is pretty cool, considering the first time I had Bubba there for repair, it was misdiagnosed and they fixed it for free to the tune of $1,800 worth of repairs. Love that they stand behind their repairs!

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