I’m taking the plunge. For more time than I care to admit, my 1996 Chevy Pickup has been running a bit rough. The idle is around 1500 rpms, while your sitting still instead of the normal of 600 rpm. I’ve taken it to a couple repair shops and have been told by both that I need my intake manifold gaskets replaced. The first place I went to said they would charge around $600.00 plus parts and knowing how much they mark up for parts, the job probably would be hovering around $900.00 or so.

The second shop flat out told me that the cost would be around $1000.00. Welll, that gave me plenty of pause. I had to buy a set of tires last year because the slipping and sliding was getting a bit dangerous. Along with the higher revving engine, I hated driving my truck in the winter. Now what is the purpose of having 4 X 4 pickup in a part of the country that gets its fair amount of snow if you can’t drive it. My sentiment exactly. The elephant in the room is $1000 on a fifteen year old pickup truck with 140,000+ miles.

I’ve always wondered if this is a repair that I could do myself. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty. Just this summer, my youngest child, Jorden, helped me put a new alternator in the truck after it bought the farm. We had a good time and felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment after we completed the task. Compared to intake manifold gaskets, I imagine, this will look like child’s play.

I checked around on the internet and was happy to find a couple sites, where regular guys like myself, chronicled their experiences with this very same repair. They discussed the parts needed, had plenty of pictures and a lot of text explaining what they did and the problems they faced. I was elated. The parts appear to cost around $150.00. I would only have to input the time.

Well I checked around and found all the parts on Amazon.com and ordered what I needed. I thought about just going to a shop nearby, but some of the parts were significantly cheaper for the exact same item and manufacturer. I’m taking the plunge and I think I will take along this blog for the ride.

I consider this somewhat a story of keeping up with a survival skill as it is important to learn new things and save any money you can to put in more important areas in your life and family.

This will probably be an ongoing series of a few blog posts chronicling how it all went. I’m looking forward to the truck running much better and getting back to being fun to drive. I’ve got a feeling I’m really going to test my motto found below. 🙂 Wish me well.

Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

Jeffrey Washington


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