03 October, 2015

Our New Ride

Nearly twenty years is enough for the old Isuzu, especially with the roads here in Belize. So, shopping, unless you're Daddy Warbucks and can shop at a bonafide new car dealer, is generally done one of two or three ways.

One, as you're driving around town, look for a vehicle displaying a '$' in the window, along with a phone number. The '$' indicates, as you might imagine, that the vehicle displaying it is for sale. Call the number and negotiate a price.

Two, see a vehicle parked in a lot, there's at least one or two unofficial used car dealers around, and there are one or two official used car dealers as well. By that I mean, selling cars (and probably renting them too) is their major activity.

Three, there are several people who make a career of bringing vehicles down from the States to sell them here in Belize. You might be able to meet one of them (they may also be involved with one of the used card lots as well) and actually put in a request for a specific vehicle. That's what we did.

My mechanic, Rick, put me in touch with Phillip Tillet, as Phillip frequently brings parts down for Rick as he's bringing vehicles down. It was a simple process. I told Phillip, I was looking for a dual-cab or crew-cab pickup, roughly around 2005 to 2007 or so for the year, and that I wanted to spend no more than $14,000 BZD inclusive of bringing it down to Belize, paying duty, and GST.

I made a deposit of roughly half of the purchase price, and then waited about three or four weeks. This was all done on the strength of just a hand shake. No contract or other paperwork whatsoever.

Then, late one Friday afternoon, Phillip shows up at our gate with this beauty. He had all the appropriate customs paperwork in hand. He signed where he needed to. I paid him the balance, and then Monday I ran around and got insurance on it and then drove it to the Corozal Town Hall to complete the registration process. I almost forgot to add, Rick called me and told me he'd given it a good going over at his shop and that in his estimation, it was a good buy.
Our New 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT
Also, while we were waiting for delivery, Phillip called me with the VIN for the Sport Trac. I paid $39.50 US to run the VIN through CarFax (http://www.carfax.com) whch gave it a good bill of health. and a looksee at it's maintenance record. The vehicle came from Florida, had two owners who both were religious about taking it to Oil Can Henry's for lube and oil changes, and that there were no adverse reports available on the vehicle. So, before it arrived, I felt I had somewhat of a leg up on what I was dealing with.
Aerial Shot From the Balcony at Z-Restaurant - Carneval Parade Day
That's not to say that it's perfect. It's not. It has a sun-roof that has been sealed shut. That's fine. I don't think we need a sun-roof with the intense sun down here. The front passenger door leaks a bit. I think some new weatherstripping should solve that. And the rear window, is a slider up and down - at least it would be if it had the necessary equipment and motor.
Diagram of the Rear Window Stuff
The window was there, but not the regulator (4 above), and not the motor (5 above), nor the lower seal (3 above). I have the regulator on order, and am still looking for the motor and the lower seal. The right rear brake rotor is deeply gouged and needs repair/replacement fairly soon. and the steering wheel cruise-control buttons need to be replaced.

All that is relatively minor stuff and can be fixed at leisure. Mechanical and suspension, both seem to be in very good condition. In short, we're happy campers.

I've wanted a pickup again, ever since we moved down here, and now I gots one. I especially like the swooping way the bed is nestled to the cab. A nice touch.
The Back End
It would have been nice if it came with a hard tonneou cover, but you can't have everything. They are available from several sources, so, I'll probably order one before too long.
The Front End
There you have the front and rear ends, coming and/or going, as well as the shot below, showing the other side.
The Other Side

All in all, quite the snazzy set of wheels. Oh, before I forget, it's got electronic everything, windows, doors, rear-view mirrors, thermometer, compass. The list probably goes on a bit more, but that's all I can think of for now. In short, we're very happy with it. Another ten years, this'll be twenty years old and we'll start shopping for it's replacement. Till then...

1 comment:

  1. What a great deal! I am envious of your new wheels. Our vintage Subaru (2001) has only 77,000 miles on it. We bought it new back in MN and had it shipped down when we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. Life in BZ is hard on a car, but we hope to get few more good years out of it.

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