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One day a knock came at my door: it was a neighbor looking for someone who used to live here that was interested in buying her truck. I told her, "Well, he doesn't live here any longer, but I happen to be looking for a work truck." She said, "I'm selling one for $300." We began to walk to her house.

If it was that decent Trailblazer LS 4x4 parked on the side of her yard, that would be quite a buy, I thought.

156k on the clock. Decent interior. One fender dent. New tires. 4WD works. Wouldn't start (dead battery).

She shared with me from her phone some OBD-II scanner codes: P1482 and P0300 (misfire - cylinder 3). I contacted a mechanic friend, sent him some pictures, he said "BUY IT".

So I did. I put a battery in, and it cranked right up. Ran it around town a little. Began running hot. Fan clutch kicked in full with the loud tornado fan noise. Losing coolant.

Replaced the fan clutch and radiator. Solved the overheating problem for a couple of weeks. The misfire stayed until I replaced all plugs and coil packs. The mechanic that replaced the fan clutch and radiator showed me hints of combustion gasses in the coolant. He told me to get some Bar's Stop Leak. I did. It worked great for another month or less. I even went on some relatively long trips with no overheating.

I was using this truck as my work truck, making money with it, so you have to forgive me for trying to squeeze every dime out of it! Last week started the overheating again.

I was in apathy about the head gasket deal. I thought about replacing the head gasket because the original engine leaked no oil. Expensive repair with no guarantees. I gave up and replaced the engine with a used one that had 70k on the odometer. $650 for the engine, $350 for the swap (friend of mine). Took him a weekend. All problems solved. No noises (you can barely hear the engine running), no overheating so far, a little oil leak -- maybe main seal (I put some Blue Devil in).

Moral of the story: A blown head gasket is not the end of the world, and can lead to better things!

$300 - Truck
$500 - Fan clutch, radiator parts and install
$130 - Tune up kit (6 coils, 6 Autolite plugs, a fuel filter)
$1,000 - Engine

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$1,930 -- good work truck (I've already made 3 times that with this truck).


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