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  1. #11
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    Well, I made kind of an impulse buy today. 1989 Dodge Power Ram 50.

    I had been thinking about having as much space as possible in the beginning, but looked back to the days when I could move my whole household in a single trip. I didn't have large vehicles when I was doing that. Besides, an F250 extended cab long bed pickup could get really difficult to turn around on some skid trails.

    I changed my gears towards shopping for small trucks. The rest of the family could fit in the bed in an emergency, and I'd gain good gas mileage for daily use. Heck, 500 miles on a 40 gallon tank will get you just as far as 500 miles on a 20 gallon tank. Plus, if I really decided to change my mind . . . for every 3 "for sale" ads, there is an ad for somebody with a full size truck wanting to trade to a small truck due to economy. With gas prices looking upwards, I may have just purchased something that could increase in value.

  2. #12
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    You bought a Mopar, so all is good. Pics Please

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    It's a Mopar with a Mitsubishi engine... Not BAD per se but you need to know about it's peculiarities vs a 'normal' 4 cylinder. Biggest thing is that you MUST change the timing belt and counter balance belt every 60k miles with a Mitsubishi, not Autozone, O'Reilleys, Advanced Auto or even NAPA, but a genuine Mitsubishi belt along with the various tensioners, don't re-use them. The others will fail and pretty much destroy your valvetrain since the valves will occupy the same location as your piston will at the top of the stroke. The other thing is that oil pump also needs to be checked for wear and replaced if it's wearing along with the water pump and it covers over half the front of the engine block. The good news is that there is a large community dedicated to these engines, the bad news is that you are better off pulling the engine to do all this work if you have large hands depending on how much room you have to work with.

  4. #14
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    So, here's the truck. Nothing special.



    Here it is next to what it will be replacing. I really have a sick feeling in my stomach. I've always wanted a Cougar, and - the rust-bucket that she is - I really wish I could justify keeping it. I guess I can get one that needs a little less "fixing" when I make some more money. I'm already missing the power in the engine. Going from a 302 (4.9 liter) small block V8 to a 2.6 liter 4 cylinder engine might help my wallet and ability to get out in the wilderness, but it comes with many other losses too. :sniff-sniff:



    I won't miss those awful wheels though!

  5. #15
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    Well, if the lack of power really gets you down... that's the same block as the Mitsubushi Starion, so you could always turbocharge it in the future or get really crazy and do an engine swap. Check out this site, it might lift your spirits a little to know you have a highly desired little truck there! :: Project Zero G ::

  6. #16
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    Thanks for trying to keep my spirits up! It will just take a little getting over. I've wanted a Cougar for so long, and when I picked this one up a couple years ago, I found my Heaven. It just fits . . . everything except the wiper switch . . . who ever thought of placing it there?!

    Because of getting this truck, we didn't get around to playing with fire. All my prep work was in doing some checking on the engine and drivetrain, and moving over some of the stuff from my Cougar. I guess that's OK, we had lots of rain this weekend, so building fires could have been difficult.

    Is it wrong to feel like a family member died because I'm going to be losing my Cougar?

  7. #17
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    Well you're in the PNW so there's a good chance you'll find another one in good shape. Just be glad you didn't sink 10k into it and have to sell it for 6k. There are tons of classic cars around in the NW simply because they don't salt the roads in winter. I've seen rust free Datsuns running around for crying out loud!

  8. #18
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    Yeah, my baby is a rust-bucket because I got her from the coast. Sad thing about that type of rust is that it eats from inside out, so you don't see the damage until it's too late. I grew up on the coast and learned that you just can't wash in those hidden spots. A little bubble under the paint appears, and it's all over.

    I see really decent ones every now and again, without rust, for around $4,000. And we've got the largest Cougar parts dealer/yard in the country up in Salem, so it's a good place to get another down the line. It's just that she's my first . . . and you always hold a fondness for your first.

  9. #19
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    Well, I think I'll be stepping up my "what I did today" activity. I don't know why I haven't seen this before today, but if you google "Elenin", there is a comet (that could possibly be a brown dwarf) coming near Earth later this year.

    I guess it was recently discovered, and it's alignment patterns have coincided with the Chilean and Japanese earthquakes. The Chilean earthquake happened before the "comet" was discovered. In September, it is due to pass between the Earth and Sun, creating an extended eclipse, come uncomfortable close to us, then leave us in it's debris trail after that.

    I'll spare the details for any curious bodies to google. Here's a link to a (somewhat) reputable site. Will Earthbound Comet Fulfill 2012 Prophecy? : Discovery News

    Who knows if those earthquakes are actually related, or if anything will happen, but it is just another refresher to the fact that a disaster can happen at any time, and I'm not quite ready enough.

  10. #20
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    Well, over the weekend I went to the range for the first time in about a year for some much needed handgun practice. It pains me to say it but, I will never be the guy that pulls that 'miracle headshot' that saves someone a split second before they get bit. Somewhere along the line I've picked up some bad habits that I can't identify yet! My instinctive point shooting is acceptable, 90% of the time I hit within an inch of where I want (the other 10% of the time I hit the 'hostage' right between the eyes ) but when I take the time to actually aim I'm pulling about a foot down and to the left but not in a predictable way. I did get some trigger time with a S&W Sigma though and aside from the crunchy trigger, it was more accurate than my XD in close range point shooting! That surprised me to say the least. What surprised me the most though was that the love of my life, who hates guns (uncontrollable shakes when she SEES one), nailed every shot, every time, with 4 different pistols and a DAO revolver! The good news is that I might be able to get to the range more often if I buy a .22 pistol, bad news is that my ego is horribly bruised... I'll give a quick experience review in the 'tools' section on them.

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