I actually drove DeTruck out on it's first (for me) trip onto busy streets with traffic! What was the lucky destination you may ask... The gas station. The poor truck has run out of gas in my driveway twice now, so I wanted that problem to end. My neighbor, Patrick, was brave enough to go on the ride with me even after I painted the picture of the truck dropping out of gear and sitting dead while blocking three lanes of busy traffic. His job was to jump out and deploy the traffic cones I bought for such an occasion while I crawled under the beast and re-engaged the driveshaft.
I had already spent two hours under the truck on Sunday rebuilding the pump-engage mechanism. I don't think it will actually work now (i.e., I don't think I can use the knob in the cab to engage/disengage the pump) since it took a solid hammer blow to engage it last go round. But the original mechanism serves to keep it from coming out of drive, so that may be good enough. I'm okay with crawling under the truck if I need to engage the pump.
I put 20 gallons into the tank. Using a dipstick, it appears to be almost topped off. I've put 55 gallons into it total. Driven maybe 6 miles, idled for maybe an hour and a half total, pumped water for maybe 20 minutes. I have no idea what size the tank is, but my guess is about 35 gallons. Maybe more. I need to start troubleshooting the gas gauge and sensor. I'd be happy enough with a calibrated dipstick, so that may be an alternative effort. Using my 'safety' calculation of 3 MPG, I can probably go almost a hundred miles on a full tank, plus or minus 50 miles :-)
I'm getting more excited about putting hot rod flames onto DeTruck. I've done a lot of research into vinyl and magnetic flames. I like the idea of peeling them off if I ever manage to get some money by renting DeTruck to a movie company. Here's the link to my 'agent' CoolCarCasting
. We'll see. My current thinking is to buy vinyl shelf adhesive and cut my own flames. This would be a good excuse to finish the computerized sign maker project that is in year 4 at my house.
Meanwhile I am not the first to put flames on a fire engine, check out these amazing pix
I'm really excited about the prospect of taking my 4 year-old on his first ride in DeTruck. I'm a bit hesitant until I get a few miles without breakdown under my belt, but soon soon.