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Thinning the herd

Discussion in 'Welcome to Allpar!' started by TommyDodge, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. TommyDodge

    TommyDodge Well-Known Member

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    I recently came to the conclusion that I needed to part with one of my Dodges.
    The City and the State decided to reach into my wallet and take an additional
    $40 per vehicle, per year, plus take an additional dime a gallon for fuel tax.
    The reason for this was to fix the roads. There is over $2 billion in the state treasury
    and they weren't turning any of it loose, so I felt that I had to do something.
    The cost of insuring my 20 year old Dodge Ram and my 13 year old minivan individually
    was the same for each vehicle, so I put my Caravan up for sale. It sold on Thursday and left
    here. The 1997 Ram needed new brake lines so I took it to a local repair shop, where they
    replaced all the brake hoses and put all new brake lines in as well. They used the new line
    that has copper in it to prevent rusting. I am very pleased at the work that was done at a
    very reasonable price, and even more pleased to be driving my Dodge Ram and putting money
    in my pocket by eliminating one vehicle and keeping the higher taxes and fees away from the
    State of Indiana. The new cost of plates for each vehicle went up by 100% in taxes and fees.
     
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  2. geraldg

    Ad-Free Member

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    My question is how much of that money will actually be used to fix the roads or somebody's pocket.
     
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  3. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    Tommy; you said they used brake lines that had copper in it. Something new? The black coated brake lines last longer than plain steel lines. Pure copper tubing should never be used for brake lines, because it work hardens and may crack.
     
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  4. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

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    I just finished replacing all the brake and transmission lines in my '56 Plymouth with nickel/copper tubing and it's supposed to highly corrosion resistant. One thing for certain, it's ten time easier to work with than the brittle OEM material.
     
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  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Correct, copper lines are illegal, but there are lines made from a copper-nickel alloy that are corrosion-resistant, and supposedly easier to bend than stainless steel.
     
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  6. TommyDodge

    TommyDodge Well-Known Member

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    The guy at the shop said copper alloy. He said it was easy to work with. I don't want to sound crabby, but I have heard more than enough lies about road repair and recognize the crap that we hear about road repairs is just that-crap. I have heard this lie told in varying forms for most of my 64+ years-I turn 65 in October. Since I am not able to work on my vehicles any more, I knew the need to find a shop that has a good reputation, and when you live here in a small town it doesn't take long to hear a bad report about a place. The place I went to is a repair shop located in a former Standard oil gas station that was built about WWII and has 3 bays in it. They were the last full service gas station here, and the guy who owns it started working there when he was a kid. He has a good network of places to get parts. He told me there were no parts available via Mopar for the truck at all. I didn't ask where he got the hoses, but the quality of the work done is obvious and I am very pleased. What he charged me was way less than I figured. People who have him do their work have all told me that he comes in price wise at way under the other local places, especially the car dealers and brake shops. The only down side if there is one is to make sure the truck does not sit outside for very long. The area around his shop is where all the town scum lives, punks, druggies, trash that won't work etc. He kept the truck inside at night and ouside where they could see it at all times during the two days it was there.
     
  7. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Indiana is supposed to be a conservative state. Why the high taxes? I'll agree that the Interstates I drive on (70 & 69) need fixing, though the occasional construction zone indicates that they're on it.

    I think you made the right choice in keeping the 1500. Though the mini-van has its uses, a pick-up truck is more versatile.
     
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  8. TommyDodge

    TommyDodge Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to bring politics here, but the legislature which has a supermajority, in that if all the members of one party don't show
    up, or if they all vote against anything it still passes, and since last year was an election year(governor 1/2 of state senate and all of
    state house, plus all state offices they did nothing with fees, taxes etc., excepting allowing cities in counties that did not have one,
    to adopt a "wheel tax" which the city I live in did. Unfortunately In Indiana whose State Constitution was written in 1851, and is way
    out of date, does not provide the right to a referendum on taxes or most financial issues, this is imposed without the consent of the
    governed. They are counting the majority of the voters to "forget" that they raised taxes and either instituted fees, or raised them on
    45+ different items including raising the plate fee $15.00 for everyone. They raised the old cry that the state is broke, with a balance of
    more than 2 billion in the state coffers, and like so many times in the past they "promised" that they will use the money to fix the roads
    plus do other things like increase money to education, which almost all of that went to charter schools and not the public schools. The
    people who pay the highest percentage of all this is the poorest people and the seniors. Their reply to this is that everyone is paying but
    a semi with a trailer that is hauling 60,000 pounds does a great deal more damage to the roads than a passenger vehicle that might travel
    between 5,000 and 10,000 miles which a majority of vehicles owned by poor folks and seniors ( I drove exactly 3,000 miles with 2 vehicles
    last year). The tractor pays $15.00 more and so does the trailer so they pay $30.00 each more but are how much heavier and travel how
    many more miles? They are also considering making some or all the Interstates toll roads, plus privatizing road projects that the state had
    previously neglected or ignored, including the building of a new bridge that carries a state road, to replace a bridge that was cracked and
    closed in I think 2008 that the state refused to put on the list to be replaced, and the toll on this bridge which is around a mile long +/-, not
    sure will be $2.50 per vehicle. The state has consistently ignored the road problem all the past 8-12 years while it went to you know where so
    these guys are going to be "heroes" because they are going to "fix" the problem. I know of several people who have sold one or more vehicles
    because the simple math shows that they can't afford to be gouged to the extent that is taking place. The tax here is an additional $25 for each
    vehicle plus $40 for each trailer such as boat trailers or trailers carrying snow mobiles or lawn equipment which for some businesses here has had
    some of them to downsize or close. I am on the Board of a local cemetery which some friends company provides maintenance on the grounds
    year round (cemeteries in Indiana are not municipally owned by cities or towns) so their cost for plates for all their maintenance vehicles alone
    went up $500 plus. The result of this is wide spread and people are angry, however the politicians are their usual self-righteous selves in that they
    have the mistaken notion that what they do is always right. I believe the whole thing will in the end prove that they are shooting the problem in
    the foot and we are the ones who will have to pay the bill until we are flat broke. It is a simple case of taking from the poor so the rich don't have
    to pay much by comparison, basically the old pyramid scheme again. I would be against this mess no matter who voted for it and my objections
    are not due to who voted for this, but due to the fact it was done at all, and by who it affects most financially versus who benefits the most
    financially. By the way all the people who have been selling vehicles, every single one has been retired and on Social Security, and some have
    pensions, while some like me do not have anything but Social Security. Which gave me a whopping $3 a month raise!
     
  9. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    One option to consider is a web site that tracks which politician voted for (or against) the tax hikes. And a reminder to consult this site when the next election comes around.

    Michigan's high-tax policies have driven a lot of people out of state (including me) over the decades. One result is that the state dropped from a high of 21 electoral votes in the 1970s to 16 now.
     
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  10. wtxiceman

    Level III Supporter

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    Motor fuel taxes are supposed to be earmarked for roads. 18 wheeler pays quite a bit of those.
     
  11. electjohn

    electjohn Member

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    Calif will be along soon with higher taxes as well as here in Ohio. They can't pay the police and fireman as well as the high pension plans. We have a policeman with 25 years of service retire with one million dollar pension
     
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  12. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    On the lighter side, when NJ instituted the new gas tax, which brings us up to roughly where we were 20 years ago (inflation adjustment, long delayed), we IMMEDIATELY got repaving of roads that were like downtown Beirut, as well as long-postponed work on key bridges. So here, it was important (and bipartisan).

    People still whine that it made gasoline “unaffordable.” Regular gas is $2.08 today. I think it was affordable and inevitable.
     
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  13. Tomguy

    Level 2 Supporter

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    PA now has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, but I can honestly say I see the work. In my area the main artery (I81) is *FINALLY* being widened to 3 lanes each way between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Every bridge is being replaced. There's also a fair amount of work being done on other roads as well with resurfacing and bridge replacements. The taxes were raised but I can see the result of that, which I don't have an issue with. I would have an issue with it if I didn't see where the money was going!

    Now if only the stupid PA Turnpike commission would pull its head out of its [I should have my mouth washed out with soap for using such terms] and stop using the world's worst asphalt. Seriously, they resurface the turnpike every 3-5 years because it NEEDS it, even on low traffic areas. For example, the section between the Pittston and Keyser Avenue interchanges sees about 1/20th the traffic, per day, of I81 (if that) and I81's asphalt lasts 2 to 3 times as long.
     
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  14. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    You do know there are two seasons when it comes to roads in PA - "Winter" and "Construction".

    A few years back we were headed north on I-99. Ran into road construction where they had it down to one lane and it was this way for miles. Then we spotted two workers working on a bridge followed by more miles of one lane.

    Back in 1995 we were headed to Colorado via I-68, then north on I-79 to pick up I-80 and head west. Wife asked me where we were at? Told her "PA". She says, "How do you know? Did you see a sign?" My response was, "No, I didn't see a sign, but I can tell by the construction of the road."
     
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  15. Tomguy

    Level 2 Supporter

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    Yes, it is frustrating that PA will often "Work" on 10 miles of an interstate at a time, with work actually going on in just a small segment (usually 1/4 mile) at a time. That being said, there's been construction on I81 for about 3 years now as part of the bridge replacement and widening project, and they've kept 2 lanes open in each direction for the majority of the work, had very few closures, and aside from rubberneckers the traffic still moves fairly smoothly through those zones!
     
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  16. jerseyjoe

    jerseyjoe Plymouth Makes It

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    It all depends on where someone lives in this state. Rt 9 here is like one big tank trap between Toms River and Atlanic city. Then there is he Pulaski Skyway, marvel of engineering in 1932 that has scared me since 1955. Tax was overdue but where is the bulk going?
     
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  17. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I can see temporary new taxes for new roads, but where is the money from the existing taxes going? If there's a shortage of funds for maintenance, maybe some bureaucrats should lose their jobs.

    OTOH, gas mileage has been improving recently, especially with all of the hybrid vehicles on the roads.

    In addition to gas taxes, license and registration fees should be directed to road maintenance. So should sales taxes on purchases of vehicle-related items (parts, fluids, cleaners, supplies, etc.). I'd also tap the insurance corporations, since they're benefiting from mandatory vehicle insurance.
     
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  18. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Do you know any civil engineers? I do. It’s not bureaucrats that are the problem. Actually, I’ve met some of the state purchasing people. They get lousy pay, work hard, and pinch pennies so hard there’s no picture of Lincoln left when they're done. They've lied to me (as a contractor) in both New Jersey and Texas to get my price down. I appreciate their hard work. Then some corrupt governor overrides them and gives the contract to the people with the biggest bribe (or, under one recent governor, whichever company hired a cousin of the governor).

    The real problem with cost in my state, in my un-informed opinion, is basic corruption. There’s almost always one contractor used for paving, and they don’t do a great job. However, even if you have a totally good and honest system, there are always problems.
    1. There's a demand for ever-lower taxes and never raising taxes even though inflation has taken its toll, and cars get better mileage so that even if the gas tax HAD kept pace, it wouldn’t matter, because people are using half as much fuel per mile.
    2. The cost of some things has gone up because safety standards have gone up — special paint you can see at night, little reflector things for rainy nights, etc. Also we use blacktop everywhere for safety when it rains, but concrete lasts more than ten times as long. The streets in my town were all concrete in 1927; the only ones that get repaved every ten years are the ones they blacktopped.
    3. In the US, we almost never repave roads correctly. In Europe they tear out the whole road and start over from the gravel on up. Here we just dump blacktop onto whatever was there. Sometimes we scrape it first. Regardless, you end up with new potholes right where the old ones were, a month after a road is repaved.
    4. Cars and trucks are getting heavier.
    As for the civil engineers, they seem to be pretty hard-working and they try to save money, but there's only so much they can do.

    Part of what's going on now is we went on a road-building binge years ago, which was good, but they didn't design stuff to last a hundred years; there are bridges designed for a max lifespan of fifty years that we've pushed to eighty.
     
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  19. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    This was a problem in Texas when Rick Perry was governor. The only new expressways he approved were toll roads, and they were built by a company, not just from out of state, but from out of the country. Road maintenance lagged. And now Perry's in Trump's cabinet.

    Regarding cars, I respectfully disagree. Mileage standards have made manufacturers reduce weight wherever possible. This might be why many new vehicle buyers have switched to heavier SUVs, though plenty of lighter ones are sold, too.
     
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  20. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    The numbers are the numbers. I must clarify, though, that I am looking at a 1980 to 2010 trendline. More recent history, I don't have data on, but every new generation seems heavier than the one before, for many cars.

    Our 300C is 4,200 pounds. That’s way more than my big Plymouth Fury or bigger 300M. My Dart is a thousand pounds over my Neon, roughly, plus or minus.

    Average U.S. Car Is Tipping Scales At 4,000 Pounds (at http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/05/business/average-us-car-is-tipping-scales-at-4000-pounds.html )

    American cars are getting heavier and heavier. Is that dangerous? (at http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2011/06/your_big_car_is_killing_me.html )
     
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