My truck has a dead cylinder. It will need a new engine to run again. Anyone who has ever loved a truck will surely understand the choice facing me...repair it even though it has other issues; rust, and possibly a transmission problem down the road or say goodbye. The truck was unique with the cab lights and flat primer gray - I never took out the rebel flag with a bass headliner. It was the best farmer's market truck ever, I got more compliments on this truck than you can shake a stick at.

It had character and it was fun.

I have a garden full of flowers to sell, but the farmer's market is over for me. I dont even think I could fit the flowers into my car - my car which cannot do any of the farm chores this truck does. Losing the truck is like losing a lifeline to a way of life. So much of what I do here at Chickory revolves around this truck! Shooting video for the county: the truck goes down dirt and gravel; it can get scratched and dirty. It hauls all the garden supplies; takes the dogs out; and my favorite thing...driving around at sunset just "looking at stuff".

Im crushed and that's all there is to say about it.


  1. Morning Chickory,

    Sorry to read of your loss, it's like losing an old friend. What about a rebuild or a junkyard engine? At a junkyard you could get an engine and trans combination. Take care both problems.

  2. Yeah, what Karl said. You might try a site like this:


    to find a drive train. If you can get the exact year, a direct swap out is not that bad to do (I've done several in my life). Old trucks like yours have lots of room in the engine compartment and not as much polution control stuff.

    About 15 years ago, my brother got an old Chevy truck (around an '85 I think) with a blown engine. Truck was $800, engine was $800 (had low miles), we swapped it in a day. He drove the truck for a year and sold it for $2500. Ford trucks really hold their value and are worth saving.

  3. You love it so much, just fix it. And yes, maybe you can sell it in a couple of years and make a profit. For now, it does all that you want and it will cost to buy a different one that might give your trouble. I know the feeling, my daughter can't part with her first car. It will soon qualify for collector plates!

  4. I wouldn't be so quick to junk it.
    Buzz and Karl offer some good advice.
    Where is the rust though?

  5. Another thought if you want to go the replace/rebuild route, check out the local craigslist. There's a lot of mechanics looking for work. Or check the local high school or vo-tec for students that are looking for work. The toughest part will be finding an engine that old and in good condition.

  6. OK, forget the negative.
    Think of positive that you can AFFORD for right now.
    For example... do you have enough $ to get a trailer? Covered is good, but, some wood and a saw and a screw gun can make that happen with a couple of 2x4s and canvas floor drop clothes.
    I'm thinking if yu can afford fixing it, you would have.
    Surely somebody in Georgia has a working engine wrapped with a POS body. (Haley Barbour, say)
    no...I'm leaning towards selling you the trailer idea.

    Or rent one for the market.
    There's a gal who hauls flowers down to a highway intersection almost every day.
    Not a market, not advertised, just an intersection at 421 (Daniel Boone Highway) and Indiana 32.
    One day, she had a rental van from Hertz. and for about a week, the same thing.
    ($20 a day?)
    Danged if I didn't think that painting was NOT the right career for me. Here was a girl selling the dickens out of those flowers (I'm pretty sure it was flowers she was selling) and making enough to rent a van!?
    I gotta grow me some of THOSE flowers!

    But, either keep the truck till you can fix it (if you can within a half year) or kiss it goodbye. It's a truck.
    You are an artist.
    The truck is fun and all. But you are better than the truck.

    dang it...
    Jeanie clued me into this post in the middle of me making oats, and I make them with cranberries, and guess what?
    Burnt cranberry water (probably welded to the pan)...
    You know he noise you make a lot?
    It doesn't have the same punch for a guy...

  7. Ummmmmm.
    is Big Dog a car guy?
    Can he maybe work a deal with other car buddies?
    You can have Blowfish!
    He once worked a deal with a guy to drop an engine into his vintage Ford truck for beer.

    PS) do not ask him to hang a hammock for you . He can build a pretty decent deck and railing system if you need one of those.

  8. To me, the rust would be the deciding factor. If superficial, go with a junkyard engine/transmission swap. If serious body or frame structural damage (like from road salt or running on a beach), junk it.

  9. Karl: thanks for understanding the truck is my buddy! thats a great suggestion. I might see what they have over at the wrecker lot. I like the body of that 77 truck a lot. and - those cab lights are rare. so...i mean...if i can find an affordable fix....

    Buzz; the shop says the problem is one blown cylinder. There is a ton of room inside that hood - i could have a mini hideout in there. when i look at trucks to buy -they always have muy miles on them...and then they are ordinary. ho hum. old gray is NOT ho hum. Thanks a million for the link and insight.

    anon: thats it. i do love it. but it will depend on how much the fix will be. I need to get over there and take a hard look at the rust. its mostly in the truck bed.

    foam: im not in a hurry. its broken and thats that. so i will look at the options...ive got another gifted mechanic buddy who might have some connections. if im not in a rush, maybe i can figure out a smart way to hold on to it.

    buzz: that really is the trick...trucks are the most desirable vehicle...everyone needs a pick up. and they are always driven to death. voc/tech huh? i think thats a cool idea. will check it out...the project truck. "greased lightnin"

    thanks boney, sorry about your breakfast, but thanks for this thoughtful comment. My sister had a good idea for the flowers setting up some accounts with restaurants. I would feel even worse about missing the FM if it wasnt so darn humid out. its impossibly hot right now and everyone looks like a ragged out sweating tomato. so..if ihave to miss, now is the best time. a trailer. no. definitely no. what will happen this weekend is people are going to be gifted with bouquets. wish i could give all my blogger one.

    anon: or have him spray paint a chain either! grherhahaha! V is a car guy - not rebuilding or putting an engine in car guy though. more like a "i love cars" guy although on a lot of things he is very capable and has a very good intuitive troubleshooting brain. with blowfish, im sure they could git r done.

    xl: what happened to you? dyslexia? yeah, rust is a big factor. most of it is in the bed - on the bottom. I will get under it and see whats what. theres not much salt all though you know i like to dry around on snow days. (D'oh!)

  10. Oh chickory dear this is very sad to hear but since the truck means so much to you please dont give up on it. Could you possibly get a reconditioned engine and transmission from a car wreckers. When I had my Ford XC Fairmont GXL I sourced various parts from a wrecker.
    I know your Farmers Market days are important to you so could you possibly get hold of a box trailer to tow behind your car until your truck can be fixed?
    Good luck, I do know how you feel, I felt a part of me wentt missing when my car was stolen.
    xoxoxo ♡

  11. Don't give up on it yet ... explore some of the options mentioned above ... hope you can get it running again.

  12. Oh, man, that truly sucks. But don't give up on that truck! I knew immediately why you love it as soon as I saw it, and one of my most treasured memories will always be that golden lit afternoon I got to drive it back to Chickory.

    You need a truck, so it's either fix this one or buy another. Either way it's gonna hurt some, I know.

  13. the Prince's black stallion, a 1993 Ford Ranger with a billion miles (30+ cross Canada trips with his black lab Abby pre-me) passed it's safety inspection this year woo hoo !! - a 2 year sticker. I know tears would've been shed by him 'cause they do not make trucks like that any more - it's power this & power that and every thing's electronic - and just don't get him started on that near & dear topic.

    60 loads alone of garden debris did she carry to the garden debris recycling place not to mention she also carted away the 2 ton chopped up original to the house, 100 year old, cast iron boiler in the big beautiful basement reno back when we were still courtin'

    I'm so sorry, we're so sorry. Hope you can maybe find something similar xoxoxoxo Missy D & the Gang

    ps the Prince haunts the junkyards, finding parts there (like a tail gate) is the reason she passed her inspection again this year - he calls her the Miracle Truck & he loves her.

  14. Is there really a choice here? Burt says fix that baby and get back to doing what you do. That truck is marketing gold.

  15. Would a large new UTV with a detachable dirt-cheap trailer satisfy your needs? Probably better for the gravel road exploration (sans trailer) and for life after the coming apocaplypse.

    Friend of mine uses a Rhino for farm stuff. And there are new ones even more powerful than Rhinos.

  16. Completely understand. Been without my Wrangler rockbuggy for over a year now. Who can afford a new engine? And in my region, another layer of unnecessary complexity, a new catalytic converter since Buttercup can't pass her smogs.
    My repair guy has taken an interest thankfully and I give him something when I get it which could easily take many more years.

    It is absolutely true that a visual artist must have transport to uncover new source material. I slumped for months before I got hip to the fundamental problem, semi-solved by using a friend's truck when available. Sigh...

    May you find the solution soon. Real soon. We are attached to these big wheels because they have brought us sheer joy and proved worthy of their metal repeatedly in so many thrilling achievements. Hang in there.

  17. Oh no! Well don't scrap your old truck...there must be somebody in your area who can fix it inexpensively...go down to your local mechanic and cry...big alligator tears...tell him your sad story and about the flowers and the farmer's market. Mechanics are usually good guys with big hearts....

  18. Here is one possiblity: Locate one of those thick farm equipment catalogs which have ads for serious agricultural needs and salvaging old, wrecked tractor parts, etc., usually they also stock farm truck parts too, engines and the like. If you make the deal with them yourself, your mechanic's price will be a lot less.
    Have all your truck specs handy when you call them. This is a link to the one who stocked what I need for $1,000 less than my mechanic's quote. I found this place in an agricultural supplies catalog. Still can't do it, but its good to know they exist.

  19. dianne: the issue is: the money spent and what might be bought for that same money. First of all - I dont have the money. I have some, not all. Second: the interior is shot. the dash has major gauges in it (part of the charm, though!) and there is rust in the floor. XL, or LX - yep you were right. *pulling up floor mats is a good idea* Your car was stolen? was it recovered? what happened? who knew things like this happened in Oz.

    faery: thank you! i am looking at it all. this week, i have to paint and well. I would like to win some prize money and there is a decent judge this year. Im down to 7 days to deadline though. why can i never get it together earlier? grrrrrrrrrrrr

    moi: i can still see me you boxa and shamy er, 8 abreast in the cab. You looked good driving the truck. oh heck, you just look great driving anything.

    susan: you are so sweet. truck love is a big love, a deep and abiding love. a truck has your back! nothing is cooler than a vehicle you can crash into something and shrug it off with a chuckle! i miss the afternoons with the truck, big time. V is doing the cowboys job now: hunting parts on line.

    shamu: I hadnt thought about what the PatronSaint of NoGa mountains; protector from all inbred evil would say! He would say "repair it and cover that bench with neoprene!" and, add a compound bow rack while youre at it.

    Troll: maybe...ive always gravitated towards a beater because: I can afford that and I dont have to worry about it. Rhinos, huh? I'll look that up. V thinks a 4-wheeler with attachments is the way to go. very suspicious, that idea.

    Nina: i remember the demise of the wrangler! I know what you mean about source gathering...looks like you are just riding around but its filling the minds eye. A lot of art production is spent on the seeing part - but it looks like goofing off to the uninitiated. I had a pretty good start on getting my repair the roof money together...and now. isnt always this way?

    deborah: you know, alligator tears worked so much better 20 years ago. I think my mechanic is pretty honest - i mean, it costs what it costs. V is looking for me because he is better at it than I - he found this truck on Craigslist. I leave the search to the expert. In the meantime I will moon over old grays photos.

    nina: thanks for the link! I think I have on of these catalogs somewhere...i was looking at the fencing way back when. That is a great idea. Like I said, I have some of the money -trick is how to apply it best. thank you, friend.

  20. Super sad and really hope you somehow manage to keep it running. I love that truck, but I especially love you when you're driving it; it's like poetry.


  21. yep,
    she's a beaut --
    so sad to see her ailing

    the dilemma: heroic resuscitation, or let her go quietly -- that's a tough call, c -- wish you best

    × × ×


  22. Trade art for the labor, pay for the parts --keep the truck, Pup.

  23. Yes my car was stolen from a car park. He busted the lock on the door, busted the steering wheel lock, hot wired it and went joy riding, held up a petrol station, did a few break and enters, the police spotted him and there was a high speed police chase with POL-AIR helicopters. After wrecking my car he abandoned it with police in pursuit, bashed a police woman and he got away. My car was towed to the police lock up where it was finger printed by forensics and they arrested the creep not long after. My car boot was full of stolen goods, he is now doing time in jail.
    My poor car, she was violated and wrecked. :(
    xoxoxo ♡

  24. I know the feeling. Not only am I also a Ford truck owner, but I recently had to part ways with another beloved vehicle just short of 300K miles and over 20-years.

    I don't know what I can write that would help ease the pain, except that your truck can no longer be erroneously implicated in area hold-ups, illegal poaching or gas station drive-offs.


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