Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Job Too Hard For Us

Cletus here:

A feller came in and asked if we would change out the front axle housing and the rear ring and pinion on his Jeep. Seems he put real big tires and wheels on it and now can't drive in 5th gear because the effective gearing is too high. It turns only about 1000 RPM at 60 mph. Like I said, real big tires.

Well, I had to tell him that I couldn't do the job because I specialize in air filter replacement and leave the heavy jobs to Luther. Luther was too busy doing whatever he does and Tierod said it didn't look like a tractor or any other kind of farm equipment so he couldn't so it. The feller was heartbroken but perked up when we offered to tell him how to do it.

First, jack the thing up and look it over real good so that you have a good sense of where everything goes. Think real hard about taking it to a mechanic.

Remove the front axle. That will involve unbolting a bunch of stuff such as tierods, springs, brakelines and the drive shaft. Think real hard about taking it to a mechanic.

Install new axle in the reverse order of removal. It might be handy to draw a picture of where things go. Yep, think about.....

Take rear drive axles out of axle housing. Remove rear drive shaft. Take back off rear differential (that big roundish thing in the middle). Remove ring and pinion. Install new ring and pinion. Measure all kinds of ways and install correct spacers to align the ring and pinion. Replace things you removed to get to this point.

Bleed brakes.

Unjack it.

Test drive real carefully!

Repeat as necessary.

Philosophy for the Day: Leave well enough alone.

Luther here--I wasn't busy, I just think this is a bad idea and don't want to get mixed up in it. I look at it like this--if you done something to mess up the way something works, go back and take that thing away and go back to the way it was before. If you just have GOT to have them big old rumble tires, don't worry about driving in 5th gear in the first place--just leave it in 4th and be done with it and don't go messing up something else to lower the gear ratio back down. Thrid, why in the world don't you get a trailer and towe the thing to where ever it is you are trying to go mud boggin or whatever?

Now, I can do axles and stuff, but it will cost you a lot of money, and the thing is still going to be busy as a haint on Halloween to drive on the public roads--loud, lots of gear whine, hard to hold steady, and ready to flip over the moment you run over a animal. Cletus is a smart man--listen to him.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005



Cletus and Luther and Tie-Rod were somewhat baffled by the fact that they seem to not be getting a lot of questions, until it was pointed out by a Mr. Nate McCord of Utah that there seemed to be no e-mail address listed on the site.

Not wishing to seem backward, they realized they needed some assistance in this department and asked that I help them set up an address for questions.

That address will be

Now then, all of you please be sure to ask them a question or they will get lonely and dejected!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Music Advice

Dear Cletus,

I have always wanted to be a country music singer but I have only a half octave range. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can expand my range?

Woeful in Huntsville

Dear Woeful,

You could do a Johnny Cash and make your woeful range an asset by picking just the right songs, but I have to say that this is a Blog devoted to car advice so I guess I have to tell you that maybe your musical talent lies in listening. Might I suggest a good Hank Williams CD?


Philosophy for Thursday: Stick to to who you are.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


What Car to Buy

As big time automotive journalists, we get often get asked (at least twice now) what cars we recommend for those not so fortunate to own a classic F250. Most recently, we have been asked what a friend should buy to replace her Chevy Cavalier that has 290,000 miles on the old odometer. Well that is a real difficult thing since:

1. I don't believe there is any such thing as a Cavalier with 290,000 on the odometer unless she puts it on blocks at night and lets it run up miles.

2. What could possibly replace a Cavalier?

3. The woman drives like a total maniac so there is a good chance she got killed years ago in a big smash up and the question is just a figment of my imagination.

Since she at least thinks the car has run up a lot of miles, I suppose I should try to answer her question.

Keep the Cavalier. It is obviously an enchanted car and may last forever. If that is not possible, may I be so bold as to suggest a small Suzuki, Kia or Hyundai? All have good long warranties and good prices for well equiped cars.

Another possibility is an F250 down at Bud's Wrecking Yard that is in pretty good condition and it only has 200,000 miles showing.

Luther here--I think you are exactly right. Especially the first part about keeping that Cavalier. She must of found the one they built right, because I'm surprised it's not a pile of parts by now. I would drive that thing until it abosulutely fell apart on the road and wouldn't go no more, then sell it for scrap. Then, like you say, one of those toaster cars would be great. Good enough quality, long warrantee, and actually not bad cars for something that's about like an applience. I actually kinda like that Suzuki Verona, because it has a straight six, just like the Travelall had. A Huyndai would be good, to, because my cousin Ernest works at their new plant in Montgomery. He's real handy.

This post needs some philosophy to be at its best.

Cletus Here: I bolded the philosophy up above there. Although it is not up to our usual high philosophical standards, it is still pretty good.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Battery Replacement

We received this question that I think may be useful to both our readers.


My car is about 5 years old and has been a little slow starting in the morning. I have noticed that the statrter seems to turn a little slower when it the weather is cool. Should I just go ahead and replace the battery before it gets colder?



That's a pretty good question don't you think? If you have ever read any of Billy Joe Bob's descriptions of me, my answer may surprise you, but I would go on and replace the battery now. Most of auto parts stores have a battery tester and I'd take the car down and have them test out the battery. Five years seems to be about when most batteries start to get a little weak and there is nothing fun about your car not starting on cold mornings or late evenings when no one else is around. I look at it as fairly cheap insurance.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Car Value

A feller came up to me today and said he has been lying awake nights worrying since filling up his car a couple of weeks ago and then realizing that he had doubled its value. Now he is afraid to drive it because a wreck, which he used to not worry much about, could cause a serious reduction in his portfolio if the gas tank were to be ruptured.

This is something many of us are facing these days. Recently, The value of the old F250 is more and more in the gas tank although I estimate that no more than10% of the value is directly attributable to gasoline since I have recently installed a couple of almost new mud and snows on the rear.

I told the feller that people take different approaches to the problem. Some (who will be unnamed) carpool with their spouse. Me, I try to hitch rides with BJB and Bubba as much as possible.

Luther here--I have been thinking of installing a wood burner in the bed of my truck and a boiler and running a steam line to a turbocharger I got off a Cummins and hooking the shaft of the turbocharger to a generater and use that to charge batterys and use the batterys to run a big electric motor I got from the conveyer plant when it shut down that would be hooked up to my transmission. Its part of that new hybred technolagy that the big manufacturers are doing, except I can cut my own fuel.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


My reason for being here

Cletus and Luther invited me to join in on this blog thing because that Georgia boy jumped in asking silly questions about some German tractor he bought in Alabama. My guess is that his elevator don't go all the way to the top floor if you know what I mean. Evidently he thought since they're from Alabama and the tractor came from there that they'd be able to hep' him. It appears like they give him some good advice, but personally I think he didn't have no business buying a thirtyfive year old tractor that they ain't no dealer support for in the first place. The best thing he can do is hang a For Sale sign on it and park it by the road and go find himself a good Farmall M.

Anyway. the boys invited me to stick my two cents in to answer foolish questions from sodbusters and would-be sodbusters. I hope they don't care about me putting my nose in on some of these here other subjects that they talk about.


How to Hide Things From Your Spouse

I was over reading Possumblog this morning and noticed that Mr. Oglesby has a little problem with some fancy Volvo wheels what done showed up unexplained like on his doorstep. This is the very kind of problem that the old Car Corner was set up to help with.

One way to handle this problem is to just ask out loud where your loved one can hear: "I wonder where those came from?"

Or I have found that it works real good to quietly suugest that the offending article has been in the truck of the Moron Project since it was brought home and now need to be taken out because it is taking extra gas to haul them around. Take my word for it, she ain't never looked.

Note that I haven't said that one should lie, just provide creative misinformation.

I have found that the non-Moron partner doesn't pay a lot of attention to the Project which allows a lot of room for error before being called out.

Daily Philosophical Note: What they don't know won't hurt you, usually.

TieRod here. What I don't understand is why he don't just put them wheels on his car before he gits home from work and not even mention it. Cletus is right, womenfolks don't notice things like that. It might be years and by then, he'll have plumb forgotten that they ain't the original wheels anyway.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Proper Way to Lock Key in Car

I had a feller ask about the proper way to lock one's keys in the car. I can't say that there is a "proper" way, but you do get style points if you are miles from nowhere with no way to call anyone to help.

That, of course, leads to the question of how to get in the car after you lock your keys in. With the old F250, I don't have much trouble seeing as the sliding rear window latch is pretty much for decoration but you folks with the exotic vehicles, such as Terry Oglesby's Volvo, may not have the luxury of just reaching through the rear window. For those I suggest a "Slim Jim" or a coat hanger. Of course, if you have a Slim Jim handy, you probably have second set of keys or are smart enough to not lock your keys in the car to begin with.

A quick alternative to the Slim Jim/coathanger solution is a rock through a window. If you choose that option, I suggest some nice heavy plastic and duct tape to close the hole.

Philosophy for the Day: "If it can go wrong, it will!" Some Irishman

Luther here--I realize I have had some run in's with John Law, but I will say that they have always been real helpful about helping me open my doors before. Despite what Cletus might say, I am not really a brute and will not go bust out a window just to get in teh car unless theyre ain't no other way. And that's good because I tend to be real forgetful and have locked my keys in about eleventy hundred times. Worst time was when I got locked in with them. (That was a joke. I know how to get out just fine.) But our police men around here are very patient and will generally come by and pop the lock open, especially if you are a woman, which I am not, but I always get my wife to call them for me. I finally got tired of bothering them and bought my own Slim Jim that I keep in the trunk. (That is a joke too. I keep it in my wifes' car.)

Tie-Rod here--That's why I allus keep me a hammer in the bed o' my truck. Cletus mentioned duct tape to fix thangs up ifn' you use the rock method. Now, I dunno if ya'll ever thought of this before, but if you do that once you do that once, all you gotta have to git in your truck after that is a pocket knife, which everbody oughta have in they pocket 'long with they car keys.

A sum'at less destructive method is a great long flathead screwdriver, but that only works if you got an older vehicle with vent winders. You kin prise them open with a screwdriver without too turribly much damage.

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