This Automotive Habit Of MineMy favorite car is my next car. What will today bring to my automotive habit? There could be financial ruin, excellent deals, skinned knuckles, and epic mechanical resurrections. We can't save them all, but the cars that land in our driveway deserve a good ol' college try.   

We seem to photograph everything now-a-days. We film our kids, cars, breakfast, cats doing stupid things, even stupid people doing stupid things. We always have a camera with us in our pocket. Twenty-two years ago - not so much. Maybe that’s why I was delighted to see these of the project twelve-valve I’ve been resurrecting.

Many moons ago the truck was actually new and had shiny paint.

These photos were taken in late 1996 or in 1997. I am not positive as none are stamped with the date and time. Look at how nice it once was - the shiny wheels, the perfect chrome bumpers, the clean head lights. I am determined to make it nice again. The wheels have since been tossed. The paint is in dire need of a respray. The headlights are easily replaced as they are very cheap.

I had it half filled with yard waste prior to going to the shop. It took about 20 seconds before it would move and only produce black smoke. That was the final straw.

The truck was finished this week after 1 1/2 months in the shop and another $840 at a shop... all issues related to the engine performance.


  • Numerous air leaks
  • Fuel/Water seperator plugged
  • Lift pump replaced
  • EGR broken sending too much exhaust to the intake
  • Fuel adjustments made to AFC

Why was it in the shop for so long? I told the mechanic that it was ‘no hurry’ but what he heard was ‘go on vacation for a month’.


Why didn’t I do this work myself? As much as I boast about being a diesel expert, I am not. I started beating my head against the wall once I found several fuel leaks. One was on a steel braided line and I didn’t feel comfortable to start chopping up the factory lines. Many articles I saw talked about bypassing all the lines but I thought this was just silly.

I wanted to get the truck to a good baseline before I try anything too in depth myself. You know? Start from a cleaner slate. I’ve had issues with shotgunning parts into cars in the past, which has cost me much more money than having someone fix it correctly to begin with! Anyone else with me?!


Apparently it runs great now. I’ll drive maybe this weekend. It will actually tow and haul once again! But we’ve got a long way to go if it will ever look that GOOD again ^^^