Dead Man's Truck - true or not true?


#1

1977 Ford F150 truck - belonged to my sweet daddy who passed on about 10 years back. My husband became the keeper of the truck last year and just won’t act right. (The truck that is…)It used to run fine, but now, sometimes it runs fine, Other times, it will go on down the road at an idle, but sometimes stalls/dies upon acceleration (not every time, but often enough that it is not a reliable form of transportation). It will restart immediately. The problem is getting worse. Outside temperatures when this has occurred range from 70s to 90s, but more often when in the 90s. He has replaced the spark plugs, wires, the carburetor, the fuel pump, the alternator, voltage regulator, ignition module, the gas tank, the sending unit, some of the fuel lines, wrapped any spots bare electrical wires with electrical tape. Homer, one of the many, neighborhood shade-tree mechanics here in Belle Mina, Alabama, says the reason the truck won’t run right is because it is a dead man’s truck and that a truck never runs right again after its owner passes on. Is this true??? Or do any of ya’ll have some other suggestions as to what might be causing this problem. Thanks! Mal


#2

If it is running worse as outside temps rise, I always suspect vapor-lock problems, especially with older trucks. There are some insulation tape products available to wrap around the fuel lines under the hood to try and prevent this from happening.


#3

Dead has nothing to do with it. It sounds like either vapor lock or a fault with the Hall generator in the distributor.


#4

Vehicles don’t care who owns them. They are machines. They have no feelings, no thoughts, no brains, nothing. There is a mechanical or electrical problem with the truck. When you mentioned having to wrap tape around bare wires a BIG red flag went up. If there is a bare wire somewhere you don’t know about it could be the cause of all your truck problems.

Why are the wires bare? Do you have a problem with rodents chewing the wires? It’s quite common, and can wreak havoc with a vehicle’s electrical system.

By the way, a mechanic who tells you such a story is a mechanic to avoid.


#5

I agree with mcparadise. Any mechanic who gives you this line of nonsense just wants to get your truck, cheap. Have you replaced the vacuum hoses? They could be cracked and they can lean out a fuel mixture and ruin the timing. At this age you should just replace them, one at a time so you don’t get mixed up. Is there a fuel filter? Replace it.


#6

I think the myth isn’t that a dead man’s truck will never run right again, but instead that Ford ignition systems on certain years are unreliable. Actually, not a myth. I’d try replacing the ignition module–these are known to act flaky when they heat up.


#7

, neighborhood shade-tree mechanics here in Belle Mina, Alabama, says the reason the truck won’t run right is because it is a dead man’s truck and that a truck never runs right again after its owner passes on. Is this true???

Who’s your neighbor…BigFoot???

Geez…What some people believe…


#8

Of course the truck will be capable of running fine but first you must have an exorcism performed. $350 please.


#9

I know someone who will do the exorcism for 200.


#10

I suppose there is a case that can be made that he was the one that did all the strange wiring and who knows what other half-baked repairs and that now that he’s gone, you can’t ask him about them. So perhaps it won’t run well as a somewhat secondary consequence of it being a “dead mans truck”.


#11

Superstition brings bad luck.


#12

Erm. Tell your shadetree mechanic to put the voodoo dolls away. No, it is not true that a truck is only loyal to one owner.

-shadowfax, who got logged out, yet again.