Monday, October 3, 2016

Truck repairs

Last week my truck blew a manifold gasket while a rain storm drenched the city. I barely got my youngest Jedi to school in time. Sadly, I limped home to call work and tell them I was going to be late. The folks at Auto Zone were more than helpful and the way they described the procedure I thought I could fix this.
Because the week was so filled with errands and running around, I only had about an hour each evening before the sun set and made it impossible to figure out what I was doing in the dark. That and I had to wait until Friday to buy the new gasket.

You know how one project can evolve into several mini projects? I put a new gasket on the thermostat as well as the manifold, a new air filter and even a new rubber tube that the mechanic experts at the store had trouble naming.

The You Tube videos I found were helpful to a degree, (The captioning sucks.) I ended up buying a repair manual to help guide me through the process. This was probably the best decision to come out of this experience.

I spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday under the hood. Cleaning, scraping, getting layers of grease off. At one point I dropped a razor blade into the just sealed manifold. I couldn't fish it out and I couldn't shake it out. Sadly, I ended up tearing the whole thing apart and started over. Even I knew I couldn't simply leave it in the engine. That means I had to buy a new gasket at 28.00 dollars a pop.

The wife unit had an idea: since I did all the hard work, and my oldest two daughters were good at putting things back together, I should let them do it while I'm at work.
To say I was a little worried would be fair. If I'm being honest, I felt my girls would do okay and things would work out.
Of course there were problems. I didn't have the manifold seated correctly and they couldn't bolt it down. They then did the next natural thing to do: they reconnected nearly everything else.
I gotta say I was impressed the fuel rods were on correctly and the alternator assembly was solidly in place. Except we had to tear the whole thing apart again to adjust the manifold.
The girls insisted I go inside and take care of dinner and make sure the little one was doing her homework.

After several setbacks, the girls are back on track. Manifold in place, things tightened down. I don't care if I don't get any sleep tonight, the truck needs to be done.
We've got lights set up and the girls are doing their best.
I am so proud of these two. They call me when they need brute strength to move or hold something and I'm going out there in a bit to reconnect the serpentine belt, but I have a feeling this is going to be done tonight come hell or high water.

P.S. We were done just after Eleven PM. Drove it around the block. My girls did great work. I'm proud of them.

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