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One step forward, Two steps back


moondog

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Well Saturday my van took a crap about thirty miles out - turns out the water pump failed and before I realized it the head gasket blew.  The cost estimate to repair was $2,500 - too much for a '97 GMC Safari that needs brakes and an A/C job. RIP.  The only bright spot was that I was just about ready to drop the cash to get the brakes and A/C done.

 

Since revamping my operation a couple of years ago, I've been steadily accumulating some cash in the account.  I don't have a lot of accounts, just a few good ones so I don't need anything large - just big enough to do 10 machines a day.  So this time I'm looking at something new, no more sitting by the road for 2 hours in bum f*#k in 90 degree heat for me!  Looking at buying the Ford Transit - 23k with tax and license and there goes all my hard earned cash.  I'll be getting by for the next few days in my SUV - kinda like a bad case of Deja Vu as this is how I started but at least the Escape has A/C and good brakes.  If it's not too painful maybe I'll just save the money.

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Look at getting a step van! Those old Wonder bread trucks! Here is the link;

 

Google "Adelmans truck parts". Click on "pick up and van sales"! I am getting one. My birthday present from me to me! A small cummins 4 cyl engine and tons of space!

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Look at getting a step van! Those old Wonder bread trucks! Here is the link;

 

Google "Adelmans truck parts". Click on "pick up and van sales"! I am getting one. My birthday present from me to me! A small cummins 4 cyl engine and tons of space!

Thanks Chris - I checked that out, they've got a couple of '98s for 5k.  Unfortunately they're in Ohio and I'm looking for something a bit newer,  I do a lot of freeway driving and I'm not sure if that's the one plus I wouldn't need all that space but those Cummins engines are work horses.  I think that if I'm going to engage in this exercise in futility, I'll be wanting something comfortable with good tunes and the A/C blasting in my face.

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Chrysler Town & Country LS (long). I loved my '02 and now have an '09. Rear A/C keeps everything cool, good stereo, completely under the radar. I service 20 machines a day with mine and wouldn't use anything else. I use the '02 to run to Sam's once a week a fill the crap out of it, then drive it up Cajon pass with no problem.

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I have done $700 out of my xB in one day, but I did have to make some runs to the grocery store for cans. With that said, I think it's possible to gross $4000/week out of a minivan. The trick is to do your big stops first so you don't haul that weight all day.

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Why not get a full size van in at least a 1/2T size or a 3/4T size to handle any future weight.  You will get at least a V6 engine and can easily find a V8 if you need the power.  Many have rear air, disc brakes and good tunes.

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Why not get a full size van in at least a 1/2T size or a 3/4T size to handle any future weight.  You will get at least a V6 engine and can easily find a V8 if you need the power.  Many have rear air, disc brakes and good tunes.

Frankly, even the Safari was a little bigger than I really needed.  The big down side of the Transit is it's only 1/2 ton where the Safari was 3/4 ton so my rolling warehouse will need downsizing a bit if I go this route.  I've looked at some used ones and hell, for an extra 3k you can get a new one that doesn't have 80k miles on it already.

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All depend how many miles on your GMC van it might be worth it. If van is set up already for vending, spend the money and get it fixed.

 

Unless you got the urge to drive some thing newer.

 

I dumped the F150 for the simple reason of better mpg from the Honda Odyssey

 

my two cents.

 

cajun

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All depend how many miles on your GMC van it might be worth it. If van is set up already for vending, spend the money and get it fixed.

 

Unless you got the urge to drive some thing newer.

 

I dumped the F150 for the simple reason of better mpg from the Honda Odyssey

 

my two cents.

 

cajun

I don't know Mike, a fifteen year old vehicle with 150k miles on it with no A/C and bad brakes is not worth another 2500 in my book.  I did okay, I only paid $3800 for it plus new tires and drove it for three years so I'm not out too much unless I dump a bunch more money into it and then find out it's needs a new tranny or something - time to cut my losses on this one.

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I go to Costco and load the mini-van with 35 club pack cases of soda, to add to the already 6 gases of Gatorade, 2 cases of Monster and 2 cases of water. That's 45 cases fully loaded. Plenty to service my route for the day. Before I go home I top it off for the next day.

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I wasn't aware of the Astro/Safari series of vans ever being considered to be 3/4T chassis.  I do know that if you get one later than 2003 you will get 16" wheels like the big boys use.  Since you had good luck with the Safari why not just look for that again or an Astro?  If you don't feel you'll ever need more room then one of those would still be ideal for putting miles on and for parking.  I'm not a fan of buying new anymore.  The payments just last forever or you're upside down in it from the beginning, though you can take advantage of the depreciation - even section 179 depreciation if it's still available for this tax year.

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I don't know Mike, a fifteen year old vehicle with 150k miles on it with no A/C and bad brakes is not worth another 2500 in my book.  I did okay, I only paid $3800 for it plus new tires and drove it for three years so I'm not out too much unless I dump a bunch more money into it and then find out it's needs a new tranny or something - time to cut my losses on this one.

 

 

My younger brother is a mechanic by trade, and his truck has 350,000 plus miles on it, 1997 F150 v6 and still gets 20+ mpg with it.

 

I'm very lucky for that, he will work on my junk and not charge me and arm and a leg.

 

I did look at box trucks and 3/4 ton vans, just burn to much gas, and upkeep on a diesel is much more expensive than gas. 

 

I don't like those small transit van ford makes and those big thing like those picker guys drive is but azz ugly!

 

;D  ;D  ;D

 

Just make sure it can carry water for you to drink! Man CA is about to dry up and blow away from no rain!

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That just plain sucks buddy. Just will point out that even if you put in a engine AND tranny AND do all the repairs you are out less than 10k and it should easily last another 4-5 years. Anything that you buy will be trash by the time that you are done with it so looking at it from a future value perspective is pointless. Look at what the total actual dolars out of pocket will be.

To me the only advantage buying newer is that you are LIKELY, not GUARANTEED, to have less hassle with future breakdowns. Is that worth a extra 10-15K out of pocket?

Either way you still are spending $$ that could be used somewhere else and I feel for you.

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I don't know Mike, a fifteen year old vehicle with 150k miles on it with no A/C and bad brakes is not worth another 2500 in my book.  I did okay, I only paid $3800 for it plus new tires and drove it for three years so I'm not out too much unless I dump a bunch more money into it and then find out it's needs a new tranny or something - time to cut my losses on this one.

I bought a Astro with hail damage for $1600.... 215,000 miles runs like a champ. Has rear AC and drives good.... Since buying it I have seen a lot on the road. This is probably my 7th one and they all have been great vans.... I get average 18 mpg..........

 

Did they make these in 3/4 ton?  

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Well Saturday my van took a crap about thirty miles out - turns out the water pump failed and before I realized it the head gasket blew.  The cost estimate to repair was $2,500 - too much for a '97 GMC Safari that needs brakes and an A/C job. RIP.  The only bright spot was that I was just about ready to drop the cash to get the brakes and A/C done.

 

Have you considered doing the repair yourself... The same thing happened to me on my old Toyota Hiace but I am lucky as my father is a bit of a mechanic so was able to do the repair.

 

If you were wanting to pay for his airline ticket I could send him over.. ;D  

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I bought a Astro with hail damage for $1600.... 215,000 miles runs like a champ. Has rear AC and drives good.... Since buying it I have seen a lot on the road. This is probably my 7th one and they all have been great vans.... I get average 18 mpg..........

 

Did they make these in 3/4 ton?  

The Astros are 1/2 ton while the GMCs are 3/4 ton.

Have you considered doing the repair yourself... The same thing happened to me on my old Toyota Hiace but I am lucky as my father is a bit of a mechanic so was able to do the repair.

 

If you were wanting to pay for his airline ticket I could send him over.. ;D  

I haven't worked on any cars since my VW days.  As for doing the repair myself - read this http://mrgreywolf38.hubpages.com/hub/Removing-the-Engine-from-a-1997-GMC-Safari

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I really think steve should give me mod powers right now so I can put moondawg out of his misery. I will start by banning everyone with a name that starts with M. I like the idea.

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Why not get a full size van in at least a 1/2T size or a 3/4T size to handle any future weight.  You will get at least a V6 engine and can easily find a V8 if you need the power.  Many have rear air, disc brakes and good tunes.

 

I second AZ on this one, I bought a 2005 express 2500 with the 4.8 V8 for around $2500 and its been great, I get around 17-18mpg with cold A/C and quite a bit of room. I was running out of an expedition, and now looking back I don't know  how in the world I pulled that off.

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I had an Astro that served the purpose for 4 years and a drunk was nice enough to rearend me and then run off so I was left with a totaled van. Luckily though I found a high top conversion Gmc Savana for 2600 so hopefully it will hold me for the next 4 or 5 years.

John

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I have a step van and I have put about 15,000 miles on it and $1200 in repairs. It will probably last me a long time without major repairs but if it ever dies, I'm getting a van.

The step van, while being about the size of an ice cream truck, has way more "capacity" than most passenger vehicles in terms of pure volume, but here are some things to consider.

I spend about 40 hours each week working out of a vehicle, so it's worth spending a little more for the comfort. 40 hours is about 20% of your week. About 30% is spent sleeping by comparison.

Gas is expensive, so saving money in fuel can easily warrant a better, slightly more expensive vehicle. If you can do it with less trips, that helps too.

Parking can be a pain. I like smaller vehicles because people are usually less observant of your minivan than of your big box truck, plus you can park a van in a regular parking spot.

A large vehicle may need special equipment to repair. A minivan or full size van can be repaired anywhere.

And this is my biggest gripe about the stepvan... 30% of my cargo area stays EMPTY so I have a path to work out of. With no side doors, and with the front entrance blocked, I have to keep a path clear for myself. It's dead space. A minivan can be packed full and different stuff can be accessed quickly from different doors.

The transit connect is an awesome vehicle. It gets great gas mileage on certain models and it seems like a good choice, but I would rather pay $4000 for a nice minivan than $20,000 for a transit connect. The cargo is probably better in the minivan and you might never make up for the additional $16000 with saved fuel.

I don't need another vehicle right now but I agree with spending more for added comfort. I just don't think the transit connect will be worth it for you.

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 I would rather pay $4000 for a nice minivan than $20,000 for a transit connect. The cargo is probably better in the minivan and you might never make up for the additional $16000 with saved fuel.

 

 

I think you hit the nail on the head, you can buy a lot of fuel for the $16000 in savings + have more cargo room. I thought when I first started that the transit connects were the only way to fly, but I now am biased toward the full size cargo vans just because of the combination of descent mileage, simplicity, cargo room and parts availability. I also like the nissan full size cargo vans (cant think of the name right now) but the price tags are way out of my reach.

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I think you hit the nail on the head, you can buy a lot of fuel for the $16000 in savings + have more cargo room. I thought when I first started that the transit connects were the only way to fly, but I now am biased toward the full size cargo vans just because of the combination of descent mileage, simplicity, cargo room and parts availability. I also like the nissan full size cargo vans (cant think of the name right now) but the price tags are way out of my reach.

Nissan NV? The gas mileage is not good on those from what I've seen just FYI.

Check out the new Dodge ram master or whatever they are. Ford is also coming out with the Ford Transit, not to be confused with the transit connect. I'm not sure which will be better but the Dodge sure looks nice. I'm biased toward Ford because they didn't take a bailout.

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I really think steve should give me mod powers right now so I can put moondawg out of his misery. I will start by banning everyone with a name that starts with M. I like the idea.

 

 

Well then I'm kicked off TVF!

 

Mike is my name, cajun by trade!

 

;D  ;D  ;D

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