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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since some have commented how dead this group is, I thought I'd post my
experience with bringing a '95 T100 back to life.

I have owned a '95 Nissan pickup for several years, which we used
primarily to haul gasoline to our hangar at the airport. Our airplane
prefers unleaded car gas which, at $2.19 per gallon, is a heckuva lot
more economical than leaded aviation gas, which is running $4 per
gallon. Since our plane takes 84 gallons at a fill, you can do the
math. That truck paid for itself in just a few months.

Well, after running 7700 gallons through that fuel transfer tank (that
I had made to fit the bed of the Nissan), the frame rusted though.
Since the fuel tank and pump, weighing over 350 pounds, sat directly
over the break in the frame, I decided it was time to retire the old
Nissan to less strenuous duty.

It was time to find a new fuel hauler.

After scanning the papers for a few days, we test drove a couple of
prospects. We looked at a '95 Ford F250, which was simply awesome. It
sat nine feet in the air, and everything was made out of solid chunks
of steel. Shifting was a chore, the seat was 12 feet across, it had
manual lock-outs -- in short, I loved it.

My wife, who is 5 feet tall in heels, looked like a toy poodle sitting
in the back window. She said "No friggin' way!" -- and we kept
looking.

The T100 was next. We drove it, and it drove well. Best of all, she
fit in it. The clutch was obviously slushy, the inside was beat, and
it hadn't been washed in years. The guy selling it was a finish
carpenter, and it had been his work truck. He was the third owner, and
it had been in Iowa for its whole life. He was asking $4500, basically
blue book value.

It had some nice things going for it. It had a color-matched topper,
which we needed to keep the fuel tank and assorted other goodies out of
the snow and ice. The wife liked the way the seat could move all the
way up, allowing her to shift easily. It had some dings and scratches,
but no rust at all -- a miracle in itself in Iowa. So, I asked the
seller -- a decent chap -- if he would mind if I had my mechanic look
it over before I made my decision. He said that would be fine.

Well, my mechanic returned a two-page list of problems, totalling over
$2000. The clutch was shot. The front brakes were gone. The tires
were bad. The timing belt was 100K miles past due. The rear
driveshaft was toast. They recommended against buying it.

One very good thing about it: It had absolutely no rust, anywhere,
even on the frame. It had been Ziebarted, and washed regularly, even
if it didn't look like it.

Sadly I took the truck back to the seller, with the typed report from
my shop listing all the problems they had found. I told him that
perhaps he might find someone willing to pay $4500 for the truck, but
it wasn't going to be me -- and I handed him the report.

He looked it over, I told him to call me if he would reconsider the
price -- and we departed. I never thought I'd hear from him again.

That night he called me at home, and asked if I could swallow $3000. I
hemmed and hawwed, and told him that I'd sleep on it. The next day I
called him, told him I just couldn't give him $3K for an old truck that
needed $2K worth of repairs, and offered him $2500 -- plus a couple of
getaway weekends at our aviation theme-suite hotel. He jumped at it,
and we agreed to meet for lunch to close the deal.

Meanwhile, I got on the phone and started shopping the problems around
to various repair shops, looking for the best prices.

Within an hour of buying the truck, it was sitting in a local tire shop
getting two new tires, and front brakes. From there, I drove it
straight to the Toyota dealer, who spent the next day replacing the
timing belt, water pump, and accessory belt. (Interestingly, the
dealer's price on replacing the timing belt/water pump was HALF of what
the local shops wanted -- "only" $450. It's not every day that the
dealer is the cheapest, but it *does* happen.)

The next day I drove it to a local transmission shop for a new clutch.
As long as they would have the tranny apart, it made sense for them to
do the driveshaft. This turned out to be a big mistake.

The clutch replacement went quickly, but they had to send the
driveshaft out to a place in nearby Cedar Rapids, where they could
replace/refurbish any wear parts. (Carrier bearings, etc.)

At the end of waiting five days, this shop announced that the shaft was
beyond repair. (The part that went into the transmission was
egg-shaped.) So, they started looking for a used/serviceable shaft
and, after another day, they found one in Kentucky, which would cost
$350. I said okay.

Five days later, after Christmas, it arrived -- and it was the wrong
part. It was for an automatic transmission, and mine is a 5-speed.
Back to the drawing board. Meanwhile, the guy at that Cedar Rapids
shop (who did all their ordering) was on vacation....till after the
first of the year.

I was screwed.

So, the tranny shop owner finally started looking -- something he
SHOULD have been doing from the start -- and found one in South Dakota.
I okayed it, and he ordered it. Meanwhile, he and his tranny shop
were moving from one location to another -- in the middle of doing my
truck. They transported my truck from the old shop to their new shop
-- a distance of four blocks -- by putting it in 4-wheel drive, and
driving it without a rear driveshaft...

New Year's Day came and went -- and still no driveshaft. I was now
visiting this shop every day, sometimes twice a day, just to keep my
face in theirs. I was never rude, but I was always *there* -- and they
got the message. Finally, they start wondering where the shaft was --
it was now four days overdue -- and they start calling around.

Apparently the shippers had tried to deliver the damned thing to the
old shop (even though there was a big "Moved To..." sign in the window)
and they ended up taking it back to their warehouse in Des Moines,
marked "Undeliverable".

I about had a cow.

After some stern words, the shippers managed to get the shaft delivered
to the shop that afternoon -- fantastic! Unfortunately, it didn't come
with any bolts -- and my shop had lost mine during the big move. They
simply didn't have the bolts to attach the driveshaft, and had to order
new ones from Toyota. They would overnight them.

FINALLY, the next day the bolts arrived -- without nuts. Luckily, the
shop had nuts that fit (God knows if they're the right ones, but by
this time, I didn't care...), and I was out the door with my "NEW"
truck, over three weeks after buying it.

But the saga wasn't over. Remember, this is a fuel truck, so I had to
have the transfer tank, pump, and associated wiring moved from the
Nissan to the T100. So, it was off to yet ANOTHER shop, this one owned
by a friend who had installed the tank in the Nissan, back in '03. At
3 in the afternoon we started moving the tank....

....we finished at midnight -- NINE HOURS later. Because the T100 has
an extended cab, the space between the front of the bed and the wheel
wells was smaller (by four inches) than in the Nissan -- even though
the truck itself is MUCH bigger. So, we had to heat the wheel wells
with a torch, and beat them flat with a ball-peen hammer. This
eventually punched holes in the wells, so we had to tack some steel
back in there, to make the wheel wells whole.

Fun stuff like breathing fumes from burning undercoating and lifting
the transfer tank in and out of the bed half a dozen times (while we
measured, cut and pounded) took many hours. We then reapplied fresh
undercoating, put the topper back on, and started moving the wiring....

....which turned out to be three feet short. The Nissan was a MUCH
smaller truck, and the wiring was too short, too. So, off I went to
Menard's to buy heavy-duty wire....

With that finally done, we started drinking beer, and talking about
what else we could do to make the truck "right". This is always a
slippery slope, but it resulted in some good stuff happening. The
rusted in, "permanently attached" trailer hitch gave way after heating
it with a torch, and beating it with a sledge hammer about four
thousand times. (No more skinned shins.) The induction chamber hadn't
been cleaned in probably 100K miles, and was full of crap and
corruption. We cleaned it with a special solvent and a tooth brush,
and were rewarded with a smoother, more powerful engine.

At last, at midnight I took my truck home -- bringing the long,
seemingly endless saga to a close.

But it was worth it. The truck runs and drives great, the price was
right, and I've got the peace of mind that comes with knowing that many
of the "wear items" on this truck have been replaced. Best of all,
because it's a much heavier duty truck, hauling 350 pounds of fuel in
this thing is a real joy compared to the little Nissan. The T100
doesn't wallow around like the Nissan did, thanks to its MUCH beefier
4x4 suspension.

I've now started working on the dumb little cosmetic things. Today, I
installed custom seat covers (Ebay: $30), covering up the terribly worn
(only on the driver's side) upholstery. (Luckily, the seller had
incredibly heavy-duty floor mats down, so the carpet is pristine.) I
used some of the unseasonably nice winter weather to wash and wax it
today, removing years of grime. It's actually pretty good looking,
under all that dirt!

Now, does anyone know where I can find replacement hydraulic pistons to
replace the ones that used to hold up the back and side windows on the
topper? I'm tired of them hitting me in the back of the head!

:)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
"Jay Honeck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Since some have commented how dead this group is, I thought I'd post my
> experience with bringing a '95 T100 back to life.
>
> I have owned a '95 Nissan pickup for several years,


Completely not relevant to anything in which I read this thread for but
thanks for the read, I read it top to bottom which is rare for longer posts
like that, Cheers.


Scotty
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
> Completely not relevant to anything in which I read this thread for but
> thanks for the read, I read it top to bottom which is rare for longer posts
> like that, Cheers.


Interesting. Thanks for the compliment, but what do you mean when you
say that restoring a Toyota T100 is "not relevant to anything in which
I read this thread for"?

Just curious, since I thought I was writing about a Toyota truck, in a
Toyota truck newsgroup...

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination'
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
>
> Now, does anyone know where I can find replacement hydraulic pistons to
> replace the ones that used to hold up the back and side windows on the
> topper? I'm tired of them hitting me in the back of the head!


Nice story, Jay. Hope all continues well for you.
Call a "Truck Cap" dealer, they should have the struts you need. It worked
for me, anyway.
Bill W
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jay Honeck wrote:
>> Completely not relevant to anything in which I read this thread for but
>> thanks for the read, I read it top to bottom which is rare for longer posts
>> like that, Cheers.

>
> Interesting. Thanks for the compliment, but what do you mean when you
> say that restoring a Toyota T100 is "not relevant to anything in which
> I read this thread for"?
>
> Just curious, since I thought I was writing about a Toyota truck, in a
> Toyota truck newsgroup...
>
> ;-)
> --
> Jay Honeck


I believe he meant that his reply wasn't relevant to the question in
your post, asking about the gas springs.

I hope the following links meet your guidelines as to relevance... :>))

http://www.internationalgassprings.com/

http://www.gassprings.net/

http://www.guden.com/dampstd.asp

http://www.lstechnologies.ca/

http://www.camloc.com/

Google search:
http://tinyurl.com/ymlt29
--
Tom - Vista, CA
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
> I hope the following links meet your guidelines as to relevance... :>))

<Big snip of "gas springs">

Wow, thanks!
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
> Nice story, Jay. Hope all continues well for you.

Thanks, Bill. I spent a few hours this afternoon with rubbing
compound, chrome polish, spray wax, Super Clean, and a bunch of rags.
It's amazing what a good detailing does for a truck!

> Call a "Truck Cap" dealer, they should have the struts you need. It worked
> for me, anyway.


If our truck cap dealer is like our camper dealer, those gas springs
will run two or three times what they're worth. I've found a local
auto parts store that has ordered them for me, so in a few days I'll
(hopefully) have windows that stay up!
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Jay Honeck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>> Completely not relevant to anything in which I read this thread for but
>> thanks for the read, I read it top to bottom which is rare for longer
>> posts
>> like that, Cheers.

>
> Interesting. Thanks for the compliment, but what do you mean when you
> say that restoring a Toyota T100 is "not relevant to anything in which
> I read this thread for"?
>
> Just curious, since I thought I was writing about a Toyota truck, in a
> Toyota truck newsgroup...
>
> ;-)
> --
> Jay Honeck
> Iowa City, IA
> '95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
> www.AlexisParkInn.com
> "Your Aviation Destination'
>


I read it for tech tips and info relevant to me. You post was neither but I
did enjoy the read.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Scotty wrote:
> "Jay Honeck" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> >> Completely not relevant to anything in which I read this thread for but
> >> thanks for the read, I read it top to bottom which is rare for longer
> >> posts
> >> like that, Cheers.

> >
> > Interesting. Thanks for the compliment, but what do you mean when you
> > say that restoring a Toyota T100 is "not relevant to anything in which
> > I read this thread for"?
> >
> > Just curious, since I thought I was writing about a Toyota truck, in a
> > Toyota truck newsgroup...
> >
> > ;-)
> > --
> > Jay Honeck
> > Iowa City, IA
> > '95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
> > www.AlexisParkInn.com
> > "Your Aviation Destination'
> >

>
> I read it for tech tips and info relevant to me. You post was neither but I
> did enjoy the read.


Great post Jay. I too have a 95 T100. 2wd, regular cab, long bed, 3.4
V6 Auto Trans. Bought it in December of 2000 for $5K with 219,000 miles
on it. Had it been anything but a Toyota, I would have kept looking.
June of '02 rolls around, at 252,000 it blew a head gasket. I'd read
that Toyota had issues with head gaskets, so I called my local dealer
and they told me to drive it in (slowly) making sure it had plenty of
coolant. They ran the VIN and this truck had not had the HG's replaced
under the factory recall. So, they tore it down. A couple of days
later, the Service Mgr. called and said I had some pitting in the
cylinder walls from coolant infiltration as a result of the blown HG.
Needed a new short block. BUT..........since it was a result of the HG
blowing and not a maintenance issue on my part, Toyota would cover the
cost of the short block. I didn't have to scream or threaten or
anything. I'm now a Toyota customer for life.
So, now the truck has 335,000 on it and still runs very well. I too
have the ratty drivers seat. The ebay seatcovers - fit well? Well made?
I don't know how many miles your truck has, but after the new short
block, I started running Mobil 1 5w30 synthetic and either the Toyota
factory oil filter or a Purolator Pure One. Doesn't burn a drop between
changes - and thats every 8K.
There's a website, I think it's called 4x4wire or something like that.
It contains a lot of good maintainence info for 4x4 Toyotas.
Good luck and enjoy your truck. Mine has become a project. I'm going to
keep it until it clicks over a million! I think I'll make too!

Charlie
Kansas City
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
> Great post Jay. I too have a 95 T100. 2wd, regular cab, long bed, 3.4
> V6 Auto Trans. Bought it in December of 2000 for $5K with 219,000 miles
> on it. Had it been anything but a Toyota, I would have kept looking.
> June of '02 rolls around, at 252,000 it blew a head gasket. I'd read
> that Toyota had issues with head gaskets, so I called my local dealer
> and they told me to drive it in (slowly) making sure it had plenty of
> coolant. They ran the VIN and this truck had not had the HG's replaced
> under the factory recall. So, they tore it down. A couple of days
> later, the Service Mgr. called and said I had some pitting in the
> cylinder walls from coolant infiltration as a result of the blown HG.
> Needed a new short block. BUT..........since it was a result of the HG
> blowing and not a maintenance issue on my part, Toyota would cover the
> cost of the short block. I didn't have to scream or threaten or
> anything. I'm now a Toyota customer for life.


That is an incredible story of customer service at its very best,
Charlie. Glad to hear Toyota still stands behind their products. (I
have owned a '69 Corona and a '91 Previa, in the past.)

I was treated very well by our local Toyota dealer, who (as I stated
previously) replaced the timing belt, water pump, and accessory belt(s)
quickly and (relatively) cheaply on my T100. They were BY FAR the
cheapest quote in town on that job, which was really surprising to me.

By the way, here's a new webpage I put together about my T100:
http://alexisparkinn.com/new_mighty_grape.htm As you can see, it
cleaned up *very* nicely!

When I built my first "Mighty Grape", I heard from aircraft owners from
all over the country -- and now I'm hearing from them all over again!
The new "Grape" is a hit!

:)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jay Honeck wrote:
> > Great post Jay. I too have a 95 T100. 2wd, regular cab, long bed, 3.4
> > V6 Auto Trans. Bought it in December of 2000 for $5K with 219,000 miles
> > on it. Had it been anything but a Toyota, I would have kept looking.
> > June of '02 rolls around, at 252,000 it blew a head gasket. I'd read
> > that Toyota had issues with head gaskets, so I called my local dealer
> > and they told me to drive it in (slowly) making sure it had plenty of
> > coolant. They ran the VIN and this truck had not had the HG's replaced
> > under the factory recall. So, they tore it down. A couple of days
> > later, the Service Mgr. called and said I had some pitting in the
> > cylinder walls from coolant infiltration as a result of the blown HG.
> > Needed a new short block. BUT..........since it was a result of the HG
> > blowing and not a maintenance issue on my part, Toyota would cover the
> > cost of the short block. I didn't have to scream or threaten or
> > anything. I'm now a Toyota customer for life.

>
> That is an incredible story of customer service at its very best,
> Charlie. Glad to hear Toyota still stands behind their products. (I
> have owned a '69 Corona and a '91 Previa, in the past.)
>
> I was treated very well by our local Toyota dealer, who (as I stated
> previously) replaced the timing belt, water pump, and accessory belt(s)
> quickly and (relatively) cheaply on my T100. They were BY FAR the
> cheapest quote in town on that job, which was really surprising to me.
>
> By the way, here's a new webpage I put together about my T100:
> http://alexisparkinn.com/new_mighty_grape.htm As you can see, it
> cleaned up *very* nicely!
>
> When I built my first "Mighty Grape", I heard from aircraft owners from
> all over the country -- and now I'm hearing from them all over again!
> The new "Grape" is a hit!
>
> :)
> --
> Jay Honeck
> Iowa City, IA
> '95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
> www.AlexisParkInn.com
> "Your Aviation Destination"


Jay,
Your T looks great. Green and tan interior. Same color as I have. You
didn't specify if you have a 3.4 or not, so I'm going to assume you do.
Some issues I've discovered. BTW, I do most of my own wrenching.

There will come a day when you turn the key and hear a "click" instead
of an engine cranking. It's a common issue with Toy starters. The
solenoid contacts get worn down over time. The good news is they're
easily replaced and cheap. Less than $20 gets you back up and running.
Again, look around on the web for a fix for this issue. It's out there.


When changing plugs, use the OEM Toyota plugs. They're special double
electrode NGK plugs and my local dealer sells them for less than $2
each. Also, plug wires - ditto. The OEM wires are vastly superior and
cheaper.

The MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor gets dirty with time and age. It's a
hotwire type sensor that utilizes temperature drop coverted to a
voltage to tell the ECM the volume of airflow through the intake
snorkel. The MAF is easily removed and cleaned. Electronic cleaner is
the juice to use. Again, websites can be found to tell you how.

Just a little advice from one who's been there.
BTW, your facility looks great. Aside from being a gearhead, my second
love is Aviation. How did you come up with a pitot tube from a Habu?
That's very cool.

Charlie
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
> Just a little advice from one who's been there.

Thanks for the tips, Charlie. Keeping a high-mile vehicle running
right is always a bit of a challenge, but it's made a bit easier by
being a Toyota. They really make things right.

> BTW, your facility looks great. Aside from being a gearhead, my second
> love is Aviation. How did you come up with a pitot tube from a Habu?
> That's very cool.


Thanks. Bill Fox, a project coordinator at Lockheed for 32 years (and
former head of Area 51), is an Iowa native who donated everything in
our Blackbird Suite. He's an amazingly kind and generous guy -- who
just happens to know more top-secret aviation stuff than anyone else on
the planet!

You can read about him here: http://alexisparkinn.com/bill_fox.htm

Thanks again!
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
'95 T100 4x4 Extended Cab
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"
 
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·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On 8 Jan 2007 18:02:22 -0800, "Jay Honeck" <[email protected]> wrote:

>> Great post Jay. I too have a 95 T100. 2wd, regular cab, long bed, 3.4
>> V6 Auto Trans. Bought it in December of 2000 for $5K with 219,000 miles
>> on it. Had it been anything but a Toyota, I would have kept looking.
>> June of '02 rolls around, at 252,000 it blew a head gasket. I'd read
>> that Toyota had issues with head gaskets, so I called my local dealer
>> and they told me to drive it in (slowly) making sure it had plenty of
>> coolant. They ran the VIN and this truck had not had the HG's replaced
>> under the factory recall. So, they tore it down. A couple of days
>> later, the Service Mgr. called and said I had some pitting in the
>> cylinder walls from coolant infiltration as a result of the blown HG.
>> Needed a new short block. BUT..........since it was a result of the HG
>> blowing and not a maintenance issue on my part, Toyota would cover the
>> cost of the short block. I didn't have to scream or threaten or
>> anything. I'm now a Toyota customer for life.

>
>That is an incredible story of customer service at its very best,
>Charlie. Glad to hear Toyota still stands behind their products. (I
>have owned a '69 Corona and a '91 Previa, in the past.)
>
>I was treated very well by our local Toyota dealer, who (as I stated
>previously) replaced the timing belt, water pump, and accessory belt(s)
>quickly and (relatively) cheaply on my T100. They were BY FAR the
>cheapest quote in town on that job, which was really surprising to me.


You have a smaller dealership in a smaller town, and they know all
the other competition in town - hell, they sell parts to them all, and
know they have to stay competitive. And if they try anything sneaky,
word gets around. Fast.

And Toyota Corporate has gone above and beyond to cover stuff under
warranty they really don't have to, but they want to retain customer
goodwill so you'll come back again.

But try getting the same work done in a big town with a corporately
owned dealership, and the outcome will be slightly different, as they
have less incentive to keep the prices down - They don't have to worry
about a few people going away mad, negative word of mouth can't dry up
the work in a big town enough to matter to them...

They'll give you a good package deal on combo work like a water pump
and timing belt together, and new drive belts while putting it back
together - but only AFTER they try sliding it by you by simply adding
together the full price of the three procedures as if they were being
done separately. If you don't realize you're being charged to R&R it
twice and balk, they just made an easy extra $250.

>By the way, here's a new webpage I put together about my T100:
>http://alexisparkinn.com/new_mighty_grape.htm As you can see, it
>cleaned up *very* nicely!


Hey, so did the inn. Just don't tell anyone that the new wing with
the huge basement is named "Project Greek Island II", okay? ;-)

IMPORTANT: Go get a Flow-Through style RV Vent Topper of some sort
(Maxx-Air or Ramble Vent) for the shell roof - with that gasoline tank
in there, you need continuous ventilation, convection should be
enough. Any little leak and fumes build up, and it doesn't take much
of a spark to go BOOM!

>When I built my first "Mighty Grape", I heard from aircraft owners from
>all over the country -- and now I'm hearing from them all over again!
> The new "Grape" is a hit!
>
>:)


Yabbut, how does the FAA feel about your running the plane on car
gas? Is the engine authorized for it? I know there isn't that much
difference (other than octane and price) but I also know the Feds get
/really/ picky about certain things like that... (D'Oh!) ;-)

I've talked to a few helicopter pilots about the liberties taken in
the movies - like the old "Land the Jet Ranger near the pumps at the
desert crossroads gas station and saying "Fill 'Er Up!" to the
wide-eyed attendant" gag.

Response being you are allowed to substitute #2 Diesel for Jet A in
a pinch, it's the same basic stuff and will work fine, but the TBO on
the jet engine just went down to 25 hours.

--<< Bruce >>--
 
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