View Full Version : Bye Bye Burly

08-22-2004, 10:39 PM
Burly is my truck. '91 Chevy Blazer. The only vehicle I've ever owned. Got in in '91 when I got my license. Been all over the country with me.

Alas, it's time for me to admit that Burly is dying. Her brakes lock up in rain, snow, and humidity; the doors are falling off; the locks are stuck; the ceiling is falling; the passenger seat is broken; the gas gauge is broken-- which led to the fact that Anthony ran out of gas a couple of weeks ago, and ever since then, the truck won't start right (it sputters and stalls for 5 minutes until I give up and pray for the best)...

Point is, it's time for a new vehicle. All I've ever driven is this truck, and I feel too small in regular cars, so I want another truck. But I have no idea where to start...

After my sister's near-death rollover in her Ford Explorer AND her boyfriend's near-death rollover in a friend's Ford Explorer months later, I know to rule out Ford Explorers. My dad was trying to convince me to wait one more year because there are all sorts of new safety features to prevent rollovers, but only on the new models-- so if I waited a year, they'd be less expensive. But I can't wait anymore-- Burly is totally unsafe.

I'm not picky about looks, just safety. I know there's a site with safety ratings and whatnot... but no idea what that site is. Anyone have suggestions of where to look or what trucks have the best safety ratings?

08-22-2004, 11:34 PM
Hi, Jenna,

I feel your pain. I had my Jeep for 10 years before it went to that great big garage up in the sky. :( I miss ol' Rocky. *sniff* *mumbles something about getting revenge someday*

But I'm sure you're doing the right thing in getting a new vehicle. I need to get one, too! And I'm also hoping to get a truck. I just feel so ... inhuman in one of those little compact cars. And, when you live in the desert, you need yourself a good set of wheels! (Many a time my Jeep got stuck in the sand.)

Good luck in getting yourself a truck!! Here's hoping I can get one, too. :grin


08-23-2004, 01:50 AM
Hey Jenna -- here's one you can check out. It's Phil Edmonston's site. Besides, he has dual Canadian-American citizenship. :grin

LEMON AID (http://www.lemonaidcars.com/)

08-23-2004, 01:57 AM
The google ads are good for something other than humour.

Try this link, from an ad at the top of the page:

www.roadandtravel.com/crashratings/index.html (http://www.roadandtravel.com/crashratings/index.html)

08-23-2004, 04:02 AM

Kelly Blue book

Write down what you want, go from there. I had a Camaro. Sucker died.

Honda never has, and retained value. But not as cute.

Research online. You know.

<img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/image/posticons/pi_sharpteeth.gif" />

08-23-2004, 07:13 AM
Okay! I've narrowed it down based on safety ratings:

2003 or 2004 Honda Pilot
2004 Honda CRV
2004 Toyota Highlander
2004 Saturn Vue

Any comments on these?

08-23-2004, 07:51 AM
I'd go for the Highlander.

Sorry, it's a sword thing. :grin

08-23-2004, 03:09 PM
You'll also want to consider whether or not the vehicle is powerful enough to tow your boat. Based on that, I think the Highlander or the Pilot might be the best of the choices you listed. Have you looked at the Toyota T100? or the Tacoma? Those are both quality vehicles, and can't be too far down on the safety ratings list...

08-23-2004, 09:21 PM
One advantage of the Saturn Vue might be maintenance costs, being an American vehicle. It hasn't been around long enough to really establish a reliability record, tho. You'd be betting a little on it being comparable to how well their other vehicles stand up to wear and tear.

08-24-2004, 03:12 AM
I know a few people with Honda CRVs, and they are very satisfied.

I have to take up for the Fords though - I understand your reluctance with the Explorer (though I drove one until the engine almost fell out and was sad to see it go), but I drive a Ford Escape - it's smaller than the Explorer, probably close to the size of your Blazer, and I've never had any trouble with it. And I have been in two accidents (neither my fault) and the repairs were reasonable.

Happy hunting, and my prayers are with you. I'd rather get beat than buy a car.

08-24-2004, 05:35 PM
The problem with Ford Explorers (as with most SUVs) is that they are top heavy and narrow. Compare one side by side with a Humvee, for example: same height, the Hummer is a good foot wider. Now I'm not suggesting you get a Hummer; they're not only way too expensive to buy and to own, they're just silly vehicles for driving around in. But I defy anyone to roll a humvee without some serious conscious thougt before hand--certainly not by accident.

So, in your search, do look for something with a lower center of gravity and wider stance. Such as your old Blazer. Personally, I like my old 1978 Chevy pickup. Two wheel drive, low clearance, small engine. It's a mess, appearance wise, having had several altercations with other vehicles, tree stumps and one unfortunate deer. But it does the job, gets me around, easy to fix.

Like you, Jenna, I will be most sad when the old green slime finally bites the dust.

MacAl Stone
08-24-2004, 08:22 PM
Hm. For towing and utility I really love my 2003 3/4 ton Dodge Ram Crew Cab diesel. But it's perhaps not as versatile for everyday service as what you are looking for. And I will admit it can be tricky to park.

08-24-2004, 10:47 PM
From the Maclean's mag that just arrived in my mailbox today:

Passengers and drivers of SUVs are nearly 11 per cent more likely to die in an accident, largely because of rollovers...

My brother has a Dodge Ram, though not quite as big as Mac's. He loves it.

(And I have relatives who work for Chrysler... :grin )

08-25-2004, 12:00 AM
My first love has and always will be the Chevrolet Silverado. Maybe because it's the first car I learned how to drive in.

I agree you should keep in mind the kind of environment you live in when buying a car. A Humvee, for example, would definitely look out of place in a city like New York. Though out here, we have a lot of 'em.

Jenna, good luck in getting new wheels.

On another note, the ads above might offer some help. :grin


08-29-2004, 01:02 PM
Hey, a thought just occurred to me...l

Burley may not really be dying. Is it fuel-injected? If so, the problem with it sputtering and dying could just be from running out of gas. When the injectors run dry, they can suck up air. So, when you run out of gas, you need to take it to a mechanic, so that he can bleed the air out of the injectors. As far as the door falling off, gas gauge not working, etc., those things are pretty minor, and if you really love that truck, you might just think about spending a few hundred bucks on getting the little things fixed, rather than going as far as to buy a new vehicle.

08-30-2004, 08:24 AM
Melina, first of all, I'm SO impressed you remembered I have a boat. :grin Second, you're right that this problem may be fixable. Nonetheless, there are so many things wrong with it at this point that it's probably not worth it for me to pay to get them all fixed. The mechanic (who's actually a family friend-- not a crook) told me it would cost about $600 just to fix my brakes problem. Far as I can figure, even if Burly were in good shape, it would only be worth 2 grand.

Pthom: I toooootally want a Humvee. Why couldn't they be even slightly practical? I'd settle for slightly. And you have a '78 truck that's still running?? That was a good investment!

Haven't yet started the actual hunt. Am planning to check out car lots late this week.

08-30-2004, 11:28 PM
My hubby drives a dodge, he grumbles about it daily. Whatever you do check for what kind of gas mileage the vehicle gets. With gas prices these days, I would ask about that right after safety. For good gas mileage the dodge is not your choice. However for towing stuff, it is one tough vehicle.

I guess I did not really help much, but I wanted to add my two cents. Also remember this:

i r e a
x p i
a l
i y


09-16-2004, 06:17 AM
Hey Jenna!

How's the Humvee hunting going?

Dave Barry did a really funny piece awhile ago on why real men drive Humvees. I'll see if I can find it and pass it on to you.

Cheers for now.

09-17-2004, 11:09 PM
Would love to read it!

Anthony did a quick-fix on Burly, which has put a temporary hold on my car hunting. It starts now, but the brakes are still screwy.

09-18-2004, 05:14 AM
Jenna, we have a thing about older vehicles at our house (maybe because my son is a mechanic). I'm driving a 1990 rebuilt chevy (actually the boys call it a , '88,'89,'90 model, or the Johnny Cash truck). I think the newest thing we own is my mom's '96 buick (which I hate). We also have sitting in our front yard my grandmother's 1965 (I think) Impala. And yes it runs, no it's not up on blocks.:lol Of course my other two children don't have such an aversion to new vehicles, both of them drive fairly new wheels (less than 3years). Just thought I'd let you know, old is sometimes okay. Also, you may want to have Anthony, or someone, check the fuel filter. It may have gotten a bunch of gunk in it from the bottom of the gas tank when Anthony ran out of gas.

09-18-2004, 06:17 AM

You get any older with your cars, and you're into historical vehicle territory. I've got one parishoner who drives a '29 DeSoto to church when the weather's nice. His "new" car is a '60 Chrysler.

Beauties, both of them...

09-19-2004, 09:28 AM
A DeSoto humm? I know about those. A friend's dad had one. We all treated it the same as my dad's Edsel. We hated 'em (they were ugly as sin), but not so much we wouldn't ride in them. A couple of times a month one or the other father would let us drive their auto to school. Ugly they might've been, but they beat the big yellow bus all to pieces. Actually, I think '70 is the oldest our drivable vehicles will go. With the exception of the family heirloom, grandma's Impala.


09-20-2004, 04:34 PM
Hi Jenna

I am still hunting for the specific one on Humvees. I have been reading Dave Barrys postings in the Miami Herald since May 2002, but I fear that the Humvee one may have been before that.

Anyway, in the meantime, here's his take on old cars (which have character) and new cars (like his Actuary)...


Not 2 fast, and definitely not 2 furious
Dave Barry

So the other day I was waiting at a stoplight in my car, which is nice, but, like most cars today, boring. For example, when you turn the key, it starts. Every time! It has one of those modern, quiet, dependable engines. At least I assume it has an engine: I've never had a reason to look under the hood. For all I know, there's a small alien spacecraft in there, or Vice President Cheney.

Cars were different back when I got my first driver's license, just after the invention of roads. In those days, cars were powered by an insane system called ''internal combustion,'' which involved gasoline actually exploding inside the engine. Naturally this was very hard on engine parts such as the ''carburetor'' and the ''pinions.'' Cars were always breaking down, which meant that, if you were a male, you were always opening the hood so you could glare manfully at the engine until somebody came along who actually knew how to fix it.
In those days, you did not expect perfection from a car. For example, in 1971, I bought a Chevrolet Vega, which was the result of a bet among General Motors designers to see if they could make a car entirely out of plastic and rust. If a Vega had a head-on collision with a moth, the Vega would be reduced to a small pile of subatomic particles, while the moth would flit away, laughing. For several years, the only way I could start my Vega was to raise the hood and use a screwdriver to connect two pieces of metal; any thief could have done the same thing, but no thief ever did. ''He's so stupid, he'd steal a Vega,'' was a popular expression among car thieves.

So by today's nitpicky standards, the Vega was not so much a motor vehicle as a paperweight with a horn. And yet I vividly remember that car, unlike the cars I've had in recent decades, all of which have the personality of a pension actuary. In fact, that might be the formal name of my current car: The Actuary.

So anyway, I was at this stoplight, and a guy about my age pulled up next to me in a Pontiac GTO convertible, 1964 or 1965 I believe, light blue, top down, engine rumbling. I was openly admiring his car, and he looked over at me, and I lowered my window and said: ``Nice Goat.''

Lest you think I am some kind of pervert who was trying to fondle this man's livestock, I should explain that ''Goat'' is the hepcat slang nickname we used to use for the GTO.

''Thanks,'' said the GTO driver, and the light turned green, and he rumbled off, gasoline exploding audibly in his large internal-combustion engine, while I glided forward in my eerily silent Actuary, which I think runs on a computer hard drive powered by nuclear fusion. I knew the GTO guy would probably have to pull over within the next 150 yards for gas, oil, new pinions, etc., but I was jealous of him. I found myself humming Little GTO, the 1964 hit by Ronny and the Daytonas, in which Ronny describes the GTO in loving technical detail (''Three deuces and a four speed, and a 389'') and the Daytonas, not quite in tune, sing: 'Turnin' it on! Blowin' it out! Turnin' it on! Blowin' it out!''

That was from the Golden Age of Car songs, songs like the Beach Boys' 409 (''My four speed, dual quad, positraction 409!'') and of course Chuck Berry's Maybelline, in which Chuck's V-8 Ford (pronounced ''Foad'') chases down a Cadillac, and Chuck displays his grasp of automotive thermodynamics ('Rain water blowin' all under my hood; I knew that was doin' my motor good'').

Nobody will ever write a song like that about my Actuary, or any other modern car. Modern cars are just not songworthy.

The other guys are all jealous of me

When I cruise in my Hyundai Elantra GT

And the girls always feel a romantic explosion

When they learn that my warranty covers corrosion

No, today's cars are just not exciting. I've thought about getting a fun old car, like a GTO, or a vintage Mustang. But then I'd have to keep it garaged, find a mechanic, etc. So maybe instead I'll just get a vintage Vega. I'll keep it in a Tupperware container, which I'll carry in my glove compartment. When I encounter other vintage-car guys, I'll lower my window, and shake my Vega at them. That way they'll know that, inside my Actuary, I am still cool.

04-02-2008, 11:27 AM
Rest in Peace, Burly. We still miss you.