July 31stIt all started when Vinny's transmission seemed to be slipping. We would be driving and all of a sudden it seemed to slip into neutral then slip back into gear. Strange and sick feeling as we are driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour. So, we take good ole Vinny to our mechanic and they deliver bad news. Yes, the transmission needs to be replaced, and will cost $3500 to do so! Decision time. Looking back to the last year, we spent a pretty penny getting Vinny fixed for one reason or another.
- The ramp door stopped working a while back, to the point where we had to remove the cable that opened the door automatically. The design is so old, they no longer make the parts for it.
- The muffler was completely rusted out and needed to be replaced, and again, so old it was not available and we had to go to a fabrication shop to get a new one.
- The ceiling cover is coming down, and the floor carpet is coming up.
- The driver's side seat back adjustment lever broke, but the sliding part still works.
- The A/C seemed to not work as well as it did before, but that was fixed even though we didn't want it to be.
- EVERY SINGLE time we took it to the ranch we would need a tire replacement.
- When we did manage to rent another Van to go to the ranch (let's not mention that the thing had a bum tire and needed replacing, as you read here) it was a newer van and still had similar issues to the one we have now.
- The fly wheel was loose and is apparently cracked so it now sounds like a law mower going down the road.
So, in our desire to replace Vinny, we found two awesome truck conversions. One is here in Houston and available to purchase with very few modifications. Another is not ready and only manufactured in Indiana, but there's a dealer in Dallas. That would take about 3 to 5 months to do, and since we don't have that much time to go without a car/truck, we decided to go with the one that's here in Houston.
Now, we get the ball rolling with the dealer, and can possibly drive the truck off the lot Wednesday 8/7, but then we find out we need to have a doctor approval before we can get started with the purchase. Ok, we know our doctor pretty well, so we called and find out it may take 7 to 10 days to get the approval (oh and it cost $20 to WAIT 2 weeks!!!). Why does this process have to be so hard? Seriously, 7 to 10 days to have the doctor find time (we are talking 5 minutes here) to sign a piece of paper? What is this world coming to? And, to top all this off, there were TWO forms and I didn't know that, so I had to go back the following Monday and HOPE they get signed in time!
August 5thOkay, all forms are at the doctor. Apparently another van was sold from this dealer that had the same issues with the doctor's notes, so they are willing to work with us. We have an appointment on Thursday to go sign papers and get some things installed on Dean's Wheelchair. We are also waiting on some running boards to come in. If all goes well, we may be driving home our new truck on Monday, Aug 12th!
August 7thWell, it's Wednesday, and, even though we moved our meeting with the truck dealer to Thursday since my mother is coming in for the Scrapbook Retreat this weekend, THE DOCUMENTS WILL BE READY TODAY!!! How awesome is that?!?!? So, this is one moving part that has stopped. The next obstacle is getting Dean's Chair to ADA to get some work on it for the locking system. Since the chair has to be put on its side for the welding, he obviously cannot be in the chair, so my Mother and I are going to take the chair to ADA tomorrow. Once its finished, we will take the chair and get Dean in it then bring him back to finish the paperwork! Then, a few modifications go in. We are getting running boards installed, an extra door switch, and moving the console over 2 inches to give Dean more room. We may be looking at driving the truck home on MONDAY! Here's hoping!
August 8thThursday - today is the day! I have to go and sign the paperwork, pay for the truck, and take Dean's Wheelchair to the shop to get some parts put on and fit it for the truck. So, I take the busted ole stinky minivan to the shop since I have to take the chair.
I'm signing the paperwork, about half way through, and notice my name is misspelled! I forgot my name is spelled on my insurance card as "DANYNA". DANG IT! Its misspelled on ALL the paperwork, including the bill of sale and the deed application, which is not good. I wait for our dealer to go to talk to someone, and it turns out we can just sign what we have and they will mail us the new copies so we can send them back. Whew! The fitting and signing paperwork took all morning, but we were able to get everything we needed.
There were a few things we still needed, move the console over, add another switch to the door, and install the running boards. Those came in Thursday afternoon (a day late) but the brackets were not coming in until Friday! So, we had to wait for all that to be put in. They told us it would not be ready until Monday.
THE AWESOME TRUCK
Billy and Will working on the switches in the door
Billy is standing on the "Pan" where Dean's chair sits.
Will is a master of making things work for Wheelchair users!
August 9th to 11thI have a scrapbook retreat! I'll write more about this later! I do however hear from Dean that the truck was ready to go Friday evening! YEY!
My mother and me eating at the retreat! :)
August 12thThe day has come! We are ready to go pick up the truck! We drive the minivan again to the dealer, and go sign the updated paperwork, and then go to do final fitting. A few more tweaks were needed, but we got it all settled and drove the truck home at 1:00 pm! YEY!
The EPIC story of how we got a TRUCK is finally OVER! Now that we have it, we get to finally get around town and NOT worry about breaking down. And, we are really looking forward to the first trip down to the ranch!!!
Door open in our driveway
Happy Dean in his TRUCK!!!
We went out to celebrate at Hasta La Pasta in Atascocita last night. YUMMY!
So, now we need a name for the new truck, any thoughts?