'The Storm Tracer' Has Died

Earlier this evening, my chase vehicle of 4 seasons had "car"diac arrest... while we're not sure what happened, it apparently is something very serious. When I started her up this evening, a loud series of clunking noises came from the engine block and she never turned over. Obviously something inside the engine block broke and left her dead in the water. The oil and rest of the fluids look as good as the day I put them in; no leaks or spills under the car; nor any burning fluids of any sort.

While my financial options are limited and I am in NO way able to get myself into a new vehicle, it appears as if a motor swap is in order to bring my baby back from the car-graveyard. She's in great shape, well maintained, and I see no reason to abandon her for this.

In terms of chasing, this came at the best time, but the financial issues attached to this came at a horrid time; fortunately I have the finances, but had to cancel my holiday escape over Thanksgiving, which under the circumstances left by my parents' divorce in January, really hurts a bit.

I'm hoping to have her back and running before the end of the month. While the obvious problems glare me in the face, it has some good news as this may actually be about the same to replace the motor as it would to collectively rid of the nagging issues that were happening prior to this (and may've been related).

I'll update her situation on my blog as time goes on. Anyone who knows me and chases with me oughta know how proud I am of her. I will have her back on her feet before 2006! :)


Sorry to hear that Tony but better now than in May!! maybe we abused it last month punching the backside of that core in Oklahoma :) it was pretty intense in there!!

Mine will have to get a new engine sometime in the next year too i feel. it still runs great and doesnt burn a drop of oil but is at 197,000 miles. Never had any issues with the engine yet. Wish I couls say the same for my tranny. I have killed 2 in the past 3 years. the tranny will be replaced before spring.

I would just get another vehicle but I love my explorer. I have all my equipment just where I want it. It would cost me more to move it all from 1 to another than a new engine would. Ofcourse Kanani would love for me to get another truck. think she is getting tired of my old girl.
Could it be the timing/distributor? If that's screwed up, it'll make a horrible clunking noise and have trouble starting, if it can at all.
Don't let the mileage worry you I had over 300,000 on my 97 ford areostar van it she never failed to carry us to light speed with no notice. :) However a nice young man in a hurry to get lunch,that he never got I might add, pulled into traffic and I squshed him flat. State Farm Ins was nice enough to replace everything in 2 weeks time. 8)
We picked up an engine in Colorado Springs on Thursday for $600; it has 69,000K on it. We're towing my dead car up to Thornton this afternoon and my engine-working buddy, Chris, will perform surgury through the weekend and week to get the engines swapped. I'm hoping to upgrade her status mid-week!
The Storm Tracer is on her second heart as I picked her up yesterday from my friend who put in the engine. Here are a few of the pics taken by his girlfriend of the car with her guts hanging out (not for faint at heart)...







$639.03 - Used Engine w/ 69,000K
$140.98 - Various Parts (fluids, plugs, wires, etc)
$500.00 - Labor Charge

$1280.01 - TOTAL COST

This also included a front brake job! She'll be back on the road for Spring 2006!
Glad to see she's back up on her feet(er, wheels). Look forward to seeing her out in the field because I'll be getting my license in January, am working on purchasing a school/chase vehicle (likely a Subaru Outback or other similar AWD wagon) and my parents said that I can chase the plains in '06! Yeehaw! 8)