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Old 04-01-2014, 09:04 AM   #1
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Get the TV back in shape for the season

Those of us living in the colder parts may find that our tow vehicles don't get a lot of use in the winter. Not only does my old truck get poor gas mileage, but it has a tendency to lose traction in the least bit of snow. So I use it rarely in the winter and when I do I'm not pulling anything with it.
The result is that by the time I'm ready to put it back to work, its condition has gone downhill enough that I need to work on it a bit before putting our Rocky behind it.
The oil has sat in the engine sump for months, and combustion acids (or raw fuel from a little blow-by) have had their way with the engine block. Likewise, the coolant hasn't circulated for weeks, giving rise to the chance for particulates in it to settle out, with my luck probably in some vital channel of the cooling system.
Fuel doesn't stay in peak shape forever, and the stuff in my tank has likely started to congeal by now, and who knows how much longer the battery can keep turning the old ticker over? Finally, the tires have sat with the same side down for a long time. Add their tendency to lose a little air over time and you have the perfect situation for developing flat spots in the casings.
With all that, I've developed a sort of "spring training" regime for my Silverado. I'll share it for what it's worth.
Rather than go out and spend a fortune to change the oil, top up the coolant and battery fluids, or rotate the tires, I slowly work out my truck over the course of a couple of weeks. You'll understand what I mean when I say that I came up with this idea at the gym.
What I'll do is I'll start the engine and let it warm to normal temperature while I slowly drive it back and forth the length of my driveway. Once it's up to temp I'll begin with a small load--say, an appliance cart loaded with the winter traction sandbags I've just taken out of the truck bed. A good chain or braided steel towline is needed here. Just lash the cart to the hitch and pull it slowly around the block a few times, until it starts to feel like the truck isn't working as hard as before. I have two rules here: first, absolutely no passengers on the cart, and second, no sudden stops.
That's it for the first day's workout. There's a tendency to overdo it at first, but take my word for it: go easy. A broken axle can ruin your whole day.
The next day repeat the routine, then go back home and stack your washing machine (just an example--mine was handy there on the porch) on the cart with the sandbags. Go around the block again several times.
By now you get the idea: over the next several days slowly increase the load you're inflicting on the TV. In my case it's usually the fridge or the freezer that get a ride next; they're right there next to the washer so they're handy. Once the TV seems to be taking it in stride, try pulling something heavy WITHOUT the appliance cart. The neighbor's gun safe comes to mind, but there's more of a story there than we have room for.
If you take it slow--don't expect the TV to snap back to the shape it was last year right away--you'll soon have the old vehicle purring happily along once again. Then hitch up the Pointy Palace and roll off into the sunset. Happy trails!
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:23 AM   #2
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Lucky you ... i have to replace my 4 summer tires and pull and replace the spark plugs to get mine back in order ... problem is .. that you have to remove the intake manifold to replace some of the plugs ...

d-mo
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Great advice, Lee! This year, once winter broke - the Titan needed a new battery. That took a few days to receive. Last year was the new Load E tires & the year before was replacing the leaf springs in the rear of the truck....hopefully we are ready to tow for the season! On another note, switching from my winter tires to regular tires on my SUV daily driver - 2 are flat from the bead not sealing....brand new tires. We go in Friday to have them readjust the weight, as DH suspects this to be the problem with air escaping.

Great reminders for our tow rigs so we can proudly tow our bubble window flatties down the road! Haha
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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Um...It's April 1st. Tongue was firmly in cheek when I posted this. It was fun coming up with it!
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehamguy1 View Post
Um...It's April 1st. Tongue was firmly in cheek when I posted this. It was fun coming up with it!
Great job. You put out the bait, set the hook and reeled them in.

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Old 04-02-2014, 12:11 AM   #6
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Gee - And here I was all set to break in the Titan to small motorcycle tow first. Haha I initially had skimmed reading your post the first time & then had a laugh the second time...esp at my serious response. Very entertaining. My most memorable April Fool was was a dramatic morning phone call to my Dad asking him to please pick me up at the Tijuana jail. He was mad and cursed & said ok, he was on his way. I had to yell "April Fools" before he hung up and got in his truck to get me. He cussed again. Funny it never crossed his mind I mightve been kidding. Oh the young and foolishly wild days...now I am believing in trying to work in my truck for its tow season. HuhThanks Lee. Ha I need to read more carefully before I lend a response to your posts from now on!
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #7
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When I was younger no one took me seriously. Now that I'm older nobody thinks I'm joking. I'm prone to saying the most ridiculous things to my friends (and to shopkeepers, cashiers, etc.) and they look at me like "Really?" My wife says I'd better be careful when I comment that my ten dollar bills came out better than my fives, for instance.
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