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Top 10 Things Not To Hit with Your Truck on The Road. Beer cans are OK.

Sometimes driving can be a little boring, anything out of the ordinary on the road can often peak your interest. One of my favorite things to do while on a long road trip is to crush aluminum cans with my drivers front tire. The exercise sharpens the skills of the driver. There are however, things you should definitely swerve around.




#10) Tractor trailer tires “alligators” can wrap into a wheel well or even worse damage a fender.


#9) Branches and fallen foliage can easily penetrate tires or thin aluminum coolers and radiators.



#8) Mason or bricks may not do so much damage to your truck, but the cars behind you would be damaged badly.


#7) Lumber can make a good day go bad quick, if the wood doesn’t blow a steel belt in your tire, it can be ejected rearward.


#6) Auto parts fall off every day, avoiding them is paramount.  I cant even begin to describe the pitfalls there.



#5) Cardboard boxes can be deceiving.  They may contain nothing but air, but they also may contain nails, steel, or kittens.


#4) Mattresses seem unassuming, soft and springy.  What could go wrong?  Wrap one around your driveshaft and learn.


#3) Live animals are more capable of evading your direction than dead ones.  Try to avoid them both.  Antlers and bones have been known to destroy a trucks meaty rubber, along with other undercarriage parts.


#2) Disabled vehicles are very vulnerable to collisions when parked on the road.  Ruining two days IS worse than one.

other cars

#1) I shouldn’t have to elaborate the points of concern around avoiding your fellow human.  Don’t hit people!



There are, of coarse many other things you shouldn’t hit.

These are the things we here at STL Diesel make a point to avoid.

Don Harbaugh

STL Diesel



Fuel Tank Rust, Cause and Prevention.

Have you ever looked inside your steel fuel tanks?   You probably don’t want to.


Many models of pickup trucks have steel fuel tanks that are not internally lined with anti corrosion material.  This means nothing if the truck is constantly being driven, but if it gets parked for any more than a month moisture will condense on the inside of the tanks and corrode.  The rust becomes loose and falls to the bottom when filling with fuel.  The best way to prevent this from occurring is to fill your fuel tanks to the brim before parking the truck for extended periods of time.  A full tank of fuel will ensure there wont be any air gap from the fuel level line to the top of the tank. This little piece of advice will save your tanks, injectors, pumps, fuel filters and wallet.

This happens so often we always advise removing and inspecting fuel tanks when debris is found in the fuel filters or a high or low pressure fuel pump goes down.  There cant be anything worse than repairing a problem and immediately contaminating new expensive fuel system components.

Have you experienced this concern before?

G56 broken

2010 Dodge 6 Speed Explosion, Southbend Dual Disc Clutch Failure?

Its hard to believe that a Southbend Dual Disc Clutch would fail and damage a G56 transmission.  These transmissions have been known to fracture the case while pulling a sled or lots of weight. There is even a steel brace available to strengthen this known weak spot.  However, there is no product available to keep this from occurring.

While investigating a grinding noise on a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 a customer was concerned with, the technician found a couple of very interesting things that prompted us to dig further and remove the transmission assembly.  What we found was nothing short of apocalyptic. The understanding we have accepted for the failure, was that the center section of the dual disc assembly seperated the locating lobes and the pieces from that damaged the transmission case and engine-to-transmission adapter. What do you think?  We will try to have this case repaired by an aluminum welder, but there are no guarantees in life.

Don Harbaugh – STL Diesel


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Practicle Jokes, 10 Safe Ways To Stir Things Up + 10 Unsafe Ways.

Every job has its difficulties, and auto/diesel repair is riddled with them.  One way to offset this dark element of employment is to commence practical joking.  Many technicians prefer not to disturb their cohorts while working, but there are moments of the day that aren’t filled with diagnostic or repairs.  This time can be used constructively, or not.  Here are ten things I have seen in a shop environment that would be considered the most common and relatively SAFE ways to stir things up.

  1. Grease under tool box or car door handles.
  2. Reorganization of tools in others tool boxes.
  3. Throw a charged capacitor to an unsuspecting operator.
  4. Actuating a car horn at inopportune moments.
  5. Blowing up a coolant or oil jug under someones tool box using shop air.
  6. Closing a hood on some one in a compromising position.
  7. Pulling strategic fuses in a vehicle to exhibit acute symptoms.
  8. Covertly drop a tailgate on a truck backing up.
  9. Long zip ties attached to driveshaft.
  10. Use a rack to lift a large tool box high off the ground.

These next ones should NOT be performed by anyone, but have been documented as “Impractical Jokes”

  1. Brake clean torch
  2. Air bag discharge
  3. Acetylene contained in a bag or balloon. (cant say how it works, or how to do it)
  4. Use silicone to adhere tires to the ground.
  5. Baby oil in washer solvent tank.
  6. Detaching an automatic transmission’s linkage.
  7. Open cans of tuna under a cars seat.
  8. Disconnect inner door handle linkage on vehicle.
  9. Remove schrader valves from tires or fuel system.
  10. Baby powder in air vents.

It should be assumed that retaliation would be acceptable if you perform any of these against your peers.  Be warned that payback is a Bi#ch.

Do you have any practical jokes, if so please comment.


Transfer Case Fluid, Should it Be Checked? Some Say NO!




New developments show that transfer case fluid may be unnecessary.  So many owners, oil change locations and other responsible automotive service centers neglect to inspect the level of fluid in this integral drivetrain component.

The fluid in the transfer case in question was undoubtedly empty for some time.  Fluid not only helps lubricate wearing components, but more importantly cools the steel and aluminum components that generate gobs of heat.  The chain in particular experiences most of the heat, and stretches.  If stretched too long the chain will jump teeth on the front output gear generally ending with a shattered case.  Heavy 4×4 action can also cause this to occur.

You are not stranded!

Don’t fret yet.  If this happens to you *simply cut the chain off (or don’t) and drive it (gently) back home, to a shop, or *off a cliff.  The vehicle will still motivate its self with only the rear output shaft functioning.

*Don’t sue me if you die.

Poorly produced bio fuel settles the organic material to the bottom of the fuel tank

Alternative Fuel Fails

In the not too distant past diesel owners raced to perfect the perfect bio fuels.  Understanding what is, and what is not good for a diesel fuel system can’t be identified until a failure occurs.  Like this one, individual took soy based vegatable oil and filtered it.  Adding no substantial chemicals, not cut with regular diesel fuel, just filtered soy veggy oil.  There was a moment when the truck seemed to run off of this concoction, but soon after the truck sat for a few weeks, the soy began to gel.  Taking up residence in the fuel tanks, filters and housing was a tar based material settling in a thick black film 1/4 deep.  A brave technician used his natural flavor detection system to identify this substance as SOY!