Apparently my previous post was lost when I did a couple of edits, so going to try again and split it into two parts. If you think you've read it before, then you probably did! LOL!
Just wanted to give an update as it's been a little while and while progress is slow, it has been happening.
Most importantly Juno finally went to the mechanics!! WOOT WOOT.
My guy is awesome - he even came and got it for me since I was nervous about taking it on the road with the stall-from-idle-issue. The BF ended up stranded along the way from Denver several times when it cut out and he couldn't get it started right away. From here to the mechanics is heavy traffic (including the street that runs outside our house), so he had mercy on me and offered to take it in. Funny to think the plates went on it last October and I haven't done more than moved it around the yard :-)
He's replaced the carburetor with the same (another Edelbrock), ran down an exhaust leak–and says I won't even recognize it. Runs smooth as silk. He also was pretty impressed with how strong the engine ran for its age (if you haven't been following it's an 84 360 Dodge Ram V8). Lakota was instrumental on me taking the chance on her so I know he'll be glad to hear that (the previous three mechanics all gave a thumbs up, but I really wanted to hear mine say it). I'm hoping with continued good maintenance I'll get quite a few miles out of her (she's got 67K on her now).
I agreed with the replacement on the carb - the PO said he put $1000 into it, I put $600 before it left Denver for a choke and adjustments, and ultimately Toney showed me when he was adjusting it that it wasn't responding well to those. It's hard to find people to rebuild, it's not his strong suit (although he did drive this exact engine back in the day in Texas he said, hauling a gooseneck), and ultimately having a warranty and the replacement done by my home base mechanic seemed the obvious way to go. He cares that I'm safe. So! Stop throwing good money after bad. Cut my losses-and all those cliches.
This next week he'll be running through my list - fluids, brakes, suspension, lines, sparks, all the major parts that should be reviewed - got a light out that replacing the bulb didn't help, a sticky seatbelt, oil leak, and the shifter display is broken, etc. He's also going to show me the basics of all my fluids–how to change the, what to watch for, listen for, and how to adjust the carb. I'm having him order me spare belts and more difficult to find parts that might be worth me carrying. The belts took 4 hours each time they went off to track down. That was especially not cheap when paying a mobile mechanic. But gas caps, fuel filters are easy and still can be found at any auto parts so just what might be a bear.
I can see that these 'classic' engines might be a challenge at times but I'm feeling good - I can learn a lot of the basic maintenance and get a working knowledge of how it works, so at minimum can talk intelligently to any mechanic and make good decisions. Feel like I have a workhorse. Plenty of power and built well with not the myriad of things that can go wrong like you can with all the computerized stuff.
After that she'll go to the tire place (tires look good and what I could tell on the outside ones, new tires, but need to look at the inside duallies and I think the spare is old).
Then, that's a huge mile maker under the belt. She'll be ready for me to take out and safe!
I'll publish Part II later today with pics. It will be about sewing and curtains! Yeah, I'm nodding off too, already. Okay, I'll add a plumbing update, too.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend either campering or puttering on their rigs (and enjoying it!).