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Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/28/18 3:40 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

If you ever feel the need to trade for a rust-free Suburban please let me know.

docwyte SuperDork
2/28/18 4:02 p.m.

None of your "After" pics are working...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/28/18 4:22 p.m.
minivan_racer said:

Did you link the after pics from a google drive?

Pic should be fixed now.  Thanks for the feedback.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/28/18 4:28 p.m.

Before, the hitch touched the spare tire as shown in this pic. 

After, there is the proper amount of space between spare tire and hitch as seen through the space where the license plate would be.  So, I have a usable spare again.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/28/18 4:51 p.m.

Over in this thread I had shared this recent F250 story....


Last night I very legitimately had the recently purchased F250 towed via AAA.  

I have not had the truck long at all and have not driven it much.  Yesterday, shortly after leaving a stop sign, the engine died very unceremoniously.  Just lost all power.  I costed to a neighborhood side street and off the larger road.  It cranked very strong but did not start.  Gas gauge is still pegged at FULL, just like when I bought it.  

In retrospect, I realized I have never really bought gas for this truck. I have not driven it a lot but should be a little lower than fully pegged at full.  I called AAA and asked for a tow but maybe just gas.  AAA sent me a text with a link to a live GPS track of the truck coming, 20 minute ETA.  I then got another text saying it would be a different truck and new ETA of roughly 20 more minutes.  

When this truck #2 arrived I asked about gas and he stated he did not have and was just told to tow.  As it was getting darker and colder, I did not feel like quibbling so I just had them tow me the 8 miles home.  

This morning I put in 5 gal and it starts right up.  Needle still pegged at FULL.  


Crappy pic of it going onto flat bed.  

Morning pic with fuel


Humorous note.  I had my little 20lb, 5 yr old dog, Barney with me.  The AAA driver seemed new and stuck to the rules that the dog could not ride with us in the tow truck but rather had to stay in the pickup.  From my vantage point in the tow truck cab I could not see Barney.  But, imagine this...for the first time in his life, Barney was completely alone in a moving vehicle.  I imagine him sitting behind the wheel ala Toonces the Cat


Driver was real strict about plates and VIN to fill out his forms.  

A recent pic of Barney:  


I googled "F250 gas gauge stuck" and saw lots of stories of the float getting stuck at the top.  I am happy to report that after filling the tank, the gauge seems to be working.  Based on what I read, I am theorizing that when the truck was rear-ended, all the fuel in the large 38 gal tank sloshed forward, jamming the float to the top.  Upon filling the tank, the fill level was high enough to re engaged the float or slosh onto the float again and released the "stuck-ness" of the float.   

Either way, I have taken to resetting the trip odo at the time of tank fill.  In 300 miles well see how things compare.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/28/18 5:49 p.m.
DeadSkunk said:

I think I need to start attending auctions.

Belleville, MI  Inspection/Preview days on Weds 10am-2pm. Auction on Thurs 9am (you can bid on-line, from home) 



800 cars for March 1st.  My Cleveland branch goes through about 500-600 cars per week.  

Call me. I'll share what I know (or think I know.)   

docwyte SuperDork
3/1/18 8:06 a.m.

About half your pictures aren't working...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/27/18 6:50 p.m.

The Super Duty did its first real work yesterday and did it wonderfully.  

The internet tells me a  Prius weighs 3,000 lb and and empty Uhaul trailer is 2,200 lbs for 5,200 lbs.  A sizable load that did not phase the F250.  I would not call the 5.4L amazingly powerful in this application but it was fully capable.  There were no fearful moments of having maybe "over done it".   Everything was smooth and fine.  In general, the running gear and drivetrain of this 142k mile unit is fantastic.  

Came from Kinsman and E153 St. in Cleveland so my travels were about 20 minutes of surface streets in a real inner-city and then about 50 minutes of hyw travel.   


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/26/18 4:19 a.m.

This summer, the Super Duty has been my go to, tow to, vehicle of choice. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/26/18 4:38 a.m.
spacecadet GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/25/18 4:05 p.m.

truck looks awesome! for the $2500-ish? you have in it, properly solid tow vehicle. 

BeardedOne New Reader
11/25/18 5:12 p.m.

The headache rack and light bar really make this thing look official. Looks like a great buy and nice tow rig.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/14/19 2:29 p.m.

The Gov't Mule put in another good day's worth of work... 

Professor_Brap GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/14/19 2:42 p.m.

Needs more Neon. 

Indy-Guy UberDork
2/14/19 2:49 p.m.

Are you trying to corner the market on Q45's ?


Everytime I see one, I think to myself, that I'd like to own one someday.  What are your plans for this one ?


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/15/19 7:08 a.m.
Professor_Brap said:

Needs more Neon. 

More neon? I think it's actually halogen. Certainly to old (2006) to be LED.  

We're talking about the rooftop light, right?  It still works!  I love the darn thing.  I actually put it on when I am towing with the F250.  I figure I might as well given that for like the towing I did yesterday, I am often a slow vehicle on the road and tow dollies have crappy brake lights given their location to the rear bumper of the car.  I figure it can't hurt to draw attention to myself.  Here, real tow trucks run yellow lights when they are loaded.

Another time, not far from home, I came upon a recent auto accident involving a left turn.  This left one car too far into the roadway but disabled.  I pulled the truck up behind that disabled car and threw on the roof light.  Soon, the cops arrived and that got me a "tank you-fist bump". from the officer.  

However, if we're talking Neon as in Mopar, I've never actually owned a Chrysler product.  Back when I was autox'ing a ton, the Neons and their contingent money were a big thing.  



John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/15/19 7:13 a.m.
Indy-Guy said:

What are your plans for this one ?


This green 1994 Q45 was bought in Dec 2017 and was to be my 2018 Challenge car.  This is my 3rd Q45.  I only owned Q45 #1 for one weekend (Challenge $2014.)  I still have Q45 #2 which is the near mint, hail damaged car from $2015  

Life got busy shortly after the purchase.  The net result was I never had time to get the car fully sorted and even if I had, I couldn't get away in Oct to be at The Show for $2018.  I'd like to get it back down there.  As it sits, it is still Challenge legal but instead, I might just throw the budget out the window and spend as needed  to get the car sorted.  

This Q45 is my 3rd and this one is ROUGH but it is pretty special.  Funny thing is that one of my goal for the F-250 always was to use it as a tow vehicle for this Q45.  In years past, I always drove my Challenge cars to/from the event (succeeding only once out of three trys.)  This one is less reliable and has more potential of "kaboom" so I always figured I would tow it.   Moar interesting is that after over a year of owning it, yesterday was the first time I ever towed it.  

It has a charging issue.  It sat the later half of the summer and now all winter.  It has just sat there in my driveway.  It is sort of in my way so I moved it to a buddies place.  That white building in the above pics is a buddies boat repair shop in "the town next door".  It is an old Chrysler dealership (a pretty small one.)  The interior is chock full of boat stuff but he has a ton of parking lot. 

I had been keeping a Ford Focus over there at his lot.  I had made the decision to sell the Focus so I wanted to bring it home for some sale prep.  Things are pretty tight at home so I moved the Q45 over to his shop, making room to bring the Focus home.  


Professor_Brap GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/15/19 2:31 p.m.

I was making a double joke, I tow a ton with a Dodge Neon, and I love the roof top trouble lights. 


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/13/20 8:57 a.m.

Wow, its been almost a year to the day since this thread has been updated.  The Gov't Mule has been a great truck.  She has needed nothing since purchase just over 2 years ago.  

Here are a year's worth of pictures of an ole truck doing truck things...



sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/13/20 11:30 a.m.

I do enjoy seeing updates from the F250, even if they're yearly

docwyte UberDork
2/13/20 2:19 p.m.

What a score, wish I could find something that nice for that cheap out here.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/13/20 6:28 p.m.

When I bought the truck had 141k miles. So, being nearly 2 years I went and checked the odo and today it is at 147.6k.

I don't drive it that much but I do drive it what seems to me as surprisingly often on around town trips. I try to be sure to get it out an exercise it every so often. 

I have a Johnny Cash disk in the CD player and it gets played most of the time.  It just seems like good, fitting, pick up truck music.  The "big white truck" is my 5yr old daughter's favorite vehicle so she asks all the time if we can take it, and we do. 

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/13/20 7:00 p.m.

A daughter request is why I sold my WRX and kept the Forester. My idea is that if the kids are interested in a car and there is no compelling reason to get rid of it, keep it.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
8/21/20 6:52 a.m.

The Ole Gov't Mule continues to do truck things very well...  

Some pictures from this summer:  


My daughter and I often take this truck when we go to the beach.  A few reasons we drive this, 1) the potential for lots of sand getting in the car and the rubber floors of the truck are the easiest place to clean sand from.  2) if it is a busy day, parking can be sometimes tricky for the on-street parking if we go to downtown Vermilion beach.  I bring my orange cone and have been known to park in places that a "less authorized" vehicle might not be allowed to park.  

One day, recently, upon returning home from the beach and back in the driveway the truck let out the very distinct smell of brake pad coming from the RF.  Quick use of the digital IR thermometer confirmed that the RF side was a lot hotter than the LF side.  Diagnosis: sticking caliper.    Amazon shipped a rebuilt caliper for $72.  I found the problem quick enough to save the pads and rotor (which look very good by the way.)  

On the test drive after the caliper instal and back in my driveway, I look down and the truck has rolled 150k.  

So, bought in late Jan '18 w/ 141k and now in late Aug '20 w/ 150k.  Only 9k miles in 2.5 yrs.  Not a lot of miles but I can only think of a few times that I have driven this truck more than 1 hour from home.  Mostly short trips in the general area.  Super handy to have and other than poor mpg it has been cheap to own. 

Sad to say, this summer, the rust on the right side bed has actually become "perforation".  

Another humorous note.  Most of my recent tire removal, for brake work or other reasons, is aluminum wheel, 15" Prius tires or Miata or Focus, etc.  I will say that I was quite caught by surprise when it was time to reinstall the 17" steel wheel and hyw tire combo back onto the hub.  That sucker is heavy!  

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/21/20 7:53 a.m.

Thinking it's time for a flat bed or a tool bed from my local junkyard. 

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