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Not to hijack the thread here


What kind of rebuilt motor did you get? did you install it your self? I have a 94 suburban with 234,000+  getting ready for hunting season.

cap and rotor

spark plugs and wires

fuel filter

transmission flush

air filter

oil and filter

brake pads( first time ever I didn't have to do the rotors)

new tires I am trying the treadwell warden retreads

I bought a bunch of beer (schells october fest) and called one of my motor head buddies over we got most everything done ourselves in front of my house except the tires and the transmission flush

Someday I am going to need a motor hoping to get another 66,000 miles out of her


It was a '97 block, I believe, rebuilt locally and they took my old block as partial payment.  My mechanic then installed it using the components from my old engine(intake, throttle body injector, exhaust manifold, etc.  I think it was about $2,000.  Runs good now with maybe just a touch more power. The original motor was a bit of a disappointment to me as I only got about 178,000 miles out of it.

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Lars, if the timing belt breaks in an "interference" engine the pistons hit the valves and all the **** in the engine breaks.  Very expensive to fix.  In a "non-interference" engine nothing breaks, the engine just stops running until you put in a new timing belt.

One is a very expensive sit on the side of the road and the other is a somewhat less expensive sit on the side of the road.  Replace the belt at the interval specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

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The question of when should a timing belt be changed on a '96 T-100 on Answers.com and the answer was:

"120,000 miles or when it breaks since it is not an interference motor, so it won't do any damage."

I'm no machanic and I don't know what an "interference" motor is but maybe your Nissan has an "interference" motor so if the timing belt were to break it would not cause damage.

I have the '97 T-100 and the same question was asked on Answers.com and the answer was:

"in 97 they decided to extend the change interval to 90,000 miles. the 3400 engine on this model has a very good record for not breaking. let it go til then and you should be fine. one note though, replace the waterpump at the same time. if it isnt leaking yet, it will be soon and you'll save about 4.5 hours labor to remove the timing belt again and do the pump when it does finally go. the pump is about 100.00 and the extra labor is minimal compared to starting from scratch."

Just food for thought I don't know if Toyota's and Nissan's are similar.

Watch for shops that charge you the full rate to remove and replace a part even on a job where that part has to be removed anyway. Make sure that time isn't added to a job if it has to be taken off anyway.

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I've had some minor incidents on the road over the course of years.

The clutch went out of my old Blazer while pulling a boat back from Lake Cumberland but I was able to limp it home.

A leaky water pump (in the same Blazer) caused it to overheat on the way back from northwest PA but I had antifreeze with me and made it home with one refill.

I had a flat tire along a trout stream in Potter County PA and discovered I didn't have a hex wrench to remove the center hub of the alloy wheel. That one resulted in a mile walk down the road to the nearest house where a fellow loaned me his wrenches.

A crack in an intake manifold left me stranded about an hour from home. AAA towed the vehicle and my son drove down to take me home.

Like others have said, I think AAA is well worth the money.

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Kansas Big Dog


I think about this alot as my F-150 just turned 260K miles but not as much about being broke down, but about taking care of the pack of hounds I am usually hauling around.

Most of the locations I hunt are not very remote, but there is no cell service.  I always have plenty of water and food if I had to camp broke down for a few days up to a week.  The beer would run out.  :(

Once I got help, I would just have the wrecker haul us to a place I could camp and I would continue to hunt from there until the truck was repaired.

Currently, I am about 800 miles from home and am heading north from here another 1000 miles tomorrow.  I also have a good mechanic and had him go through the truck before I left.  

We will see how it goes.

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I would suggest traveling with an electronic tablet of some sort with cell-phone internet access.  My tablet of choice is an iPad2.  Here's an example:

I had just moved to Denver from Virginia.  Lot's of errands to run, most possesions still in boxes, spending all my free time looking for a new house, etc.  A very hectic time indeed.  

One morning the car has a flat tire.  I fill the flat with "Fix-A-Flat," and the temporary repair holds air just long enough for me to get to the local tire shop.  However, the shop won't repair the flat tire due to the Fix-A-Flat compound now in the tire, and they don't have that size tire in stock.  

I've got out-of-town guests coming in the next few days.  I hardly ever get a flat, what is the chance of two flats in the same week?  I figure I'll repair/replace the tire the following week when I have more time.  I have the shop swap in the spare for me and call it "good enough for now."

A few days later, me, my girlfriend and our two guests are on the road in very heavy, fast moving Saturday evening traffic.  I am in the fast lane, when suddenly a tire blows out.  With the sudden loss of a tire, its all I can do to safely get the car pulled over.  On the left shoulder.  Barely enough room to open a car door.  Cars whizzing by at 70 MPH just a few feet away.  I then remember that my spare is flat.  Talk about a sinking feeling in my stomach.

I pull out the iPad and do a search for towing services in the area.  I then use my cell phone to call the nearest one and arrange for a tow.  

While waiting for the wrecker, I do a search for tire shops in the area.  It is almost 7:00 PM on a Saturday, and most place are closed or about to close.  I finally find a shop that will be open for another hour.  I confirm they have a set of tires that will fit my car.  I make an appointment with them.

The wrecker finally shows up.  Hauls us away with no problems.  We get to the tire shop 15 minutes before they close.  Because we had an appointment, they bump two other people who were ahead of us and put on the new tires.  About 2 hours after the flat occured, I am back on the road feeling very lucky that the flat tire didn't turn into an all-night ordeal.

Not that it will work in every situation, but that iPad with its instant access to the internet was a life saver that day.


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I'll PM you my cell phone.  Anywhere within 4 hours of NE Ohio (not that there are any birds within 4 hours of here!).

I also agree with pretty much everything said so far.

Nissans are great engines but that belt has to be done.  I don't recall it being quite that expensive on my Wifes villager but that was a decade ago.

We put 5400 miles on our 2003 Expidition with 130,000 miles on it this summer and I did pretty much everything thats been listed.  It ran like new and I would turn around and do it again.


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Scratch, if your from NJ, don't take this as an insult, I was from NY and it holds true there also. You might be better off breaking down out in the boonies. They will not charge $125/hour for labor. And they will probably not soak you when your back is against the wall.

I have had work done all over the country and once your out of the east and major cities costs go way down. We broke down in Georgia when the kids were young. Garage came out and towed us back, took us to a hotel, return a second time with our luggage, picked us up the next morning and the total was shockingly low. Good luck and don't sweat the small stuff.

Better to go hunting and break down than never to go hunting at all.

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Just upgraded my AAA to Plus. A free deal that came in the mail with the option of keeping it or back to regular plan when it expires. I'm happy this could be the only good luck I have the rest of the year.
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For long trips, if I'm not flying I get a rental. Prevents miles, wear and tear on my vehicle, I usually get better gas mileage and eliminates any headaches. For our MI trip this year I got an Escape for $170 (divided by 3). Locally, trips are usually under 200 miles and I have roadside assistance.
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Biggest thing I learned from my little “Subaru without tire iron episode” was never to trust Nancy to put everything back together in a car after a flat tire……..

In all seriousness, after trailering the horse long distances I make sure each truck has everything I could need for the issues I can imagine encountering.  All preventative maintenance is kept up to date and then AAA is there for emergencies.  In the winter, new items are added to the car for the obvious differences between being stranded in summer vs. winter.

Tundra is pushing 150K miles now but rolling on newer rubber (from November last year) and some new suspension components as we broke a sway bar a while back.  Engine has had all the normal belts and filters changed etc……basic stuff.

Subaru is a little sketchy at this point, I need a new radiator as it runs hot with the A/C on in temps over 85 degrees at highway speeds………winter we’re fine.  But with 175K miles on it, I’m not surprised……and low and behold, the tire iron was pulled from the shed when I got back from the fateful trip up the mountain.  

The diesel rig has 92K miles or so and carries everything to replace tires, trailer tires (no small feat with a horse on board)…..also a Come along is nice to have.

I think another aspect of running the older rigs is to know where not to go.  Especially when I’m alone I don’t take as many chances on sketchy roads.  3-5 years ago, that Tundra went places that really pushed the limits……driving it down ATV trails etc.  No more.  I’ll just walk a little farther.

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Reminds me of a commercial I saw on television yesterday. A guy was pulling a horse trailer and drove into some mud and water. He became stuck and, next thing you know, he has the horses harnassed up and is using them to pull out the truck and trailer.

Sadly enough I think it was a commercial for one of those products like Viagra but it was a neat commercial none-the-less.

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Reminds me of a commercial I saw on television yesterday. A guy was pulling a horse trailer and drove into some mud and water. He became stuck and, next thing you know, he has the horses harnassed up and is using them to pull out the truck and trailer.

Sadly enough I think it was a commercial for one of those products like Viagra but it was a neat commercial none-the-less.

Seen in many times.....cool commercial......I can hear the music in my head for it

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