Wednesday, January 6, 2010


This morning Blackbeard wasn't feeling well. The cold weather was getting to him, I suppose.

We purchased Blackbeard in the Spring of 2007 from a Craigslist ad. We were just getting started with our building project and the $800 we spent on this 4WD beast was easily the best tool investment yet in terms of value per dollar.

Building involves a lot of transport of unwieldy, heavy, cumbersome stuff.

Here is a list of known problems Blackbeard has:
1. Missing grill
2. Bent fender
3. A fuel pump that mysteriously runs after the engine is switched off and you turn off with a Fonz-like whack to the side of the fender
4. A makeshift battery cable terminal because the original one occasionally would get a faulty connection due to excessive corrosion and the truck randomly wouldn't start
5. A missing knob for the windshield wipers (we keep a pair of vise grip pliers in the cab to turn the knob stem on and off)
6. Torn upholstery in the cab
7. Missing seals on the windows between the cab and the bed
8. A dented tail gate resulting from a 1000+ lb load of batteries crashing into the tail gate one time
9. Missing/broken hydraulics for the shell back window (I've been hit on the head more than once by the window crashing down on me and it hurts!)
10. Broken handle to the tail gate so that now it won't open (will have to get this fixed ASAP)
11. And, now, an engine that won't start when too cold and wet

Despite this long list of problems, the truck has many terrific features:
1. It came with a shell that makes carrying most loads a lot less trouble because I don't have to tie them down.
2. The 4WD works well and the truck has enough power for all we need it to do.
3. It has a working radio and cassette tape deck which we put to great use listening to books on tapes on long days of errand-running.
4. It's big and ugly and imposing and people get out of my way when I drive it.

Ask me sometime to tell you about the time Blackbeard's drive shaft got twisted clean in half and I went to the Pick-n-Pull to get a new one and installed it in the driveway over a foot of snow and ice.

Here's to hoping Blackbeard starts up without a hitch tomorrow. Long live Blackbeard!

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