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The Machine & Tooling Budget Took A Major Hit

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Buffalo21

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#1
At 10 am on Tuesday morning, the 6 speed transmission in the 2013 Chevy, long wheel base 3500 service van, decided it had met its expiration date. At 70 mph on Rt 89 in Vermont, just outside of Montpelier, there was a massive shudder, the rpms shot up, with no longer any real positive forward motion. During the shudder, the check engine light came on, which later displayed a series of ominous failure codes. That and the gritty feel and burnt smell of the transmission fluid, total transmission death had become quite apparent.

One of my best friends, runs a transmission shop, depending on conditions of certain hard parts and a new torque converter, the repairs would be in the $3500 to $5000 range. Then the dilemma, as the truck also needs a new set of tires ($1000 to $1200) on top of the transmission repairs, were now rapidly approaching the value of a 2013 service van with mileage north of 150,000 miles.

I looked into a new truck, the vehicles to replace the service van, a new Chevy or GMC van, with the same specs, was in the $38,000 to $40,000 range. Not exactly the kind of expense, I wanted at this time in my life. As the job involves industrial boiler service, in NY, VT, NH, ME, MA and PA, the need for a solid , dependable service van is paramount. After a couple of restless nights, pondering the repair options and the local new truck offering, I broke down and bought a new 2018 GMC, long wheel base, 3500 service van, with a 6L has engine and 8 speed transmission, 9600 GWR and the standard white color.

This was an unexpected hit to the tooling/shop budget, but hopefully this truck with last me until retirement.

My next dilemma is what to do with the older service van, because of the age, mileage and the bad transmission, the dealership was not really interested in the vehicle. The engine is great, there is no rust, the body has a few very minor marks and dings, but a good solid vehicle. A van that has a blue book of roughly $8500, but needs tires and a transmission, is not worth a lot, so now the hulk sets in the driveway.
 

vtcnc

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#2
Sorry to hear about the misfortune. I live in Vermont and the Northeast is HARD, HARD, HARD on vehicles - can sympathize. It's a lot of work, but could you part the vehicle out? A lot of guys may be looking for an engine? Might be worth putting it up on Craiglist as a winter project for some kid looking for an engine? Maybe you can recoup some of the cash that way?
 

mmcmdl

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#3
I feel your pain . I broke down and bought a diesel F-250 to get me up your way in Little Falls NY . I bought it used but it is bulletproofed already , so I'm hoping it'll last at least till retirement . Nice area up there ! As far as my tool budget , I'm unloading most of the shop other than some basic tooling , so I'm 180 degrees from you . :):)
 

Ken from ontario

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#4
Since it was a dependable van, it is only worth something if it's in working /running condition ,maybe your best option is to leave it at the tranny shop on consignment. someone is bound to need the engine or willing to pay the $3500 to put a new tranny and have dependable service van.
 

projectnut

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#5
You could always put it on craigslist. It's bound to get some interest there. I saw an older Chevrolet a few weeks ago advertised as "running at one time". A couple days later it was gone. If someone is willing to buy something that "ran at one time" you should be able to sell yours.
 

RJSakowski

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#6
I had a '99 Plymouth Grand Voyager throw a shaft through the transmission housing on a snowy December night. This was apparently a fairly common problem for this transmission so used transmissions were few and far between. I had few people interested in the engine but after it sat for a while with no takers, we donated it to Bart Starr's Rawhide Boy's Ranch. They take a vehicle in virtually any condition, some for repaors by the boys, and some just salvaged. Anyway, they came and hauled it away.

Green Bay is a good distance from Vermont but perhaps there is a similar organization near you. NPR also takes vehicle donations although they may be more particular about condition.
 

vtcnc

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I had a '99 Plymouth Grand Voyager throw a shaft through the transmission housing on a snowy December night. This was apparently a fairly common problem for this transmission so used transmissions were few and far between. I had few people interested in the engine but after it sat for a while with no takers, we donated it to Bart Starr's Rawhide Boy's Ranch. They take a vehicle in virtually any condition, some for repaors by the boys, and some just salvaged. Anyway, they came and hauled it away.

Green Bay is a good distance from Vermont but perhaps there is a similar organization near you. NPR also takes vehicle donations although they may be more particular about condition.
Good News Garage across the pond in Burlington, VT takes vehicle donations. I think they are tax deductible as well.
 

markba633csi

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#8
There's an outfit called Vehicle donations to any charity (V-Dac) who you could give it to- they have a website. I have given them two cars so far with the proceeds going to my local animal rescue
Mark
 

Nogoingback

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#9
We had a similar thing happen to us recently. Our 2001 Honda Odyssey blew the tranny, but at 250,000 miles it wasn't a
surprise. We donated it to an organization called Charity Cars.

Since the value of your truck is still pretty good, what are the chances you could find a used trans in a wrecking yard and
put that in? You could even buy some used tires there while you're at it. It would be a bit of work, but you might recoup
a fair amount of that value if the trans doesn't cost too much.
 

JimDawson

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If you're self employed the the tax deduction on the new van will almost pay for it with avoided taxes, have a chat with your accountant. The $110K expense out and accelerated depreciation are wonderful things. I bought two new $50K+ trucks that way. My son took a $40K deduction on his new truck last year, and will deduct the rest this year.
 

Aukai

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#11
You may wish to get a take out transmission from a wrecking yard to get the van running, then sell. I'm sure your friend would know of the sources.
 
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