Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Truck is Back

Even though I’ve owned a half dozen cars throughout my life, I really think I was a repressed truck guy all along. Since I’ve owned a truck, I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I’ve owned this 2004 F150 since November 2003 because I needed a truck with a backseat to put the car seats for the kids, as my first truck was a single cab and quite useless (I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place as I lost money on the deal, of course). The whole while that I drove my current truck, I hated the wheels and tires, and as I said before, they made it look small and weak. So, half of me was thankful the tires wore out, not that I sabotaged it or anything; it just worked out nicely in my favor.

I just couldn’t wait until I got new ones.

The wait ended yesterday when I went to pick up my truck, shoed with huge tires and fantastic wheels. Just look at the before and after picture at the left of the page and tell me that the truck doesn’t look better with these 35-inch tires… just try and find a reason that it doesn’t look better, just try. It's impossible.

Natalie was thrilled to see it back in the driveway again, and she ran out to look at it when I came home. The tires are as tall as she is, and she made faces in the shiny wheels.

It drives like a freight train, and I get to see the world from a higher vantage point, which just adds to the coolness factor! Despite the many large trucks in my town, I actually got looks as I drove down the road, partly because of the wheels, but mostly because the new design of the F150 looks great lifted. The larger wheels makes the engine work a little harder from a standing stop, and I have to relearn all of dimensions of the truck, which makes parking a little difficult again; Since my perspective is slightly off by the height it seems that I’m closer to things than I actually am, so I'm not able to swing the truck into a compact space with confidence as I once was.

What I don’t like is that, since the truck is taller it has a higher center of gravity making for a slight roll during turns (the technical term is "yaw"). It isn’t that bad, but it forces me take the corners a little slower (at least until I get used to it), which is probably a good thing in the long run. Also, I’m not used to getting in and out of it yet, and the first I’m I got out, I almost fell on my face because I wasn’t thinking about the extra foot of freefall. As well, I literally have to climb up into it, which makes me think I’m actually operating it like heavy equipment rather than merely taking it for a drive.

However, it looks great, doesn’t it?

Oh yeah, and the brakes work good too.

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