Friday, February 03, 2006

Spinnin' Wrenches - Taurus, Verse Six

Well, Blogger seems to be having some issues this morning, but I'm going to write this anyway as I unwind from the busy day/night (see previous post).

It's currently 3am, and I'm still too keyed up to sleep - and it's too late to take a sleeping pill if I want to be anything resembling useful tomorrow. Hopefully writing and a few beers will help.

Anyway... on to the wrench spinnin'!

So, Tuesday after work, Capn'Mo and I had everything we needed to get the Taurus, AFLPITA, back up on it's own four feet. We damned near made it, too. We've had the top end of that engine apart and back together enough in the past several weeks that we're pretty good at working on it together - we both know what needs to happen next, and can be working on different things and still staying out of each other's way.

Things were cranking right on along, got the new heads on
(did I mention I hate torque-to-yield bolts?), got the valvetrain together, stop for a function check. Rotate engine by hand and verify all the valves are opening/closing as they should... and #4 intake doesn't look right. WTF? I should mention, #4 intake has a new pushrod - somewhere along the line, the old one got chewed somehow, and we didn't want to risk losing it. And now it looks like that valve isn't closing all the way.

So, pull the rocker arm and pushrod, and compare the new pushrod to the old one... and the new one is about 1/16th of an inch longer.

*skips the ranting and raving that followed in the interests of keeping this a family-friendly blog*

Well, ok, says us. We can leave that valve cover off, and do that pushrod tomorrow night after getting the right one during lunch. Proceed to intake manifolds (yes, on this V6 there's an upper and lower intake manifold...), exhaust manifolds, reconnect everything in the world, putting the power steering pump and alternator back on, as well as idler pulley and tensioner, coolant bottle, etc etc...

Hey... We're just about done!

Um, where's that large-ish bolt go?



Crap. Take the coolant bottle back off, remove the idler pulley and the tensioner, and put the 3rd bolt back into the power steering pump bracket, and put everything back together.

After labeling the car :)

We called done about midnight, having everything together except the afore-mentioned pushrod, the valve cover that goes over it, and the plug wires that go to the coil mounted on said valve cover. Not a bad evening's work, if I do say so myself!

So, Wed at lunch Capn'Mo gets the right pushrod, and we head to Dad's after work to finish up. Get off work at 5, and we've got it running by 6!

... only it was running like crap. Backfiring, sneezing, etc.

Kill it, start checking... oops... somebody (I'm not sayin' who) got two plug wires reversed on the coil pack. Fix that, crank it again, MUCH BETTER!!!

Wait... there's a miss there. Double-check plug wires, all ok. Well, the ECM's definately gone stupid by now, maybe it's trying to sort itself out.

Checked vaccuum, MUCH BETTER (I want to say 16 inches at idle - I wouldn't mind seeing more, but it was a steady signal, rather than the bouncing it was doing with bad valves. I'll take it for now).

Capn'Mo took it for a short test drive, while I waited at the Garage in case I needed to follow in a pickup. He returned and reported that it seemed weak.

Further investigation revealed that the coil pack wasn't firing for #3. Quick phone call and a $55 trip to the parts store later, new coil is on, and AFLPITA is running just about as fine as I could ask!

Of course, that's after Capn'Mo pulled the wire for #3 to observe it sparking, and found out that the new coil pack is sparking a LOT harder than the old one did... as he was leaning slightly below waist-level against the car.

He had to bite his tongue pretty hard, as two of his kids were there with the Wench... He was kinda twitchy for a minute or two...

Anyway, today the Wench reported that AFLPITA is running better than when they bought it. I'm pretty happy about that.

We'll change oil in it this weekend. The oil in it is new, but I'm concerned about having had oil passages unsealed for so long... oil and filter are cheap insurance.

It's also time to change oil in Capn'Mo's truck, my truck, and Lisa's Millenia - I've gotten a little behind, with all my garage time being occupied. So we'll have a big oil-changing party sometime this weekend.

Then it's on to the Caprice, to find out what went wrong in the dash while the Wench was driving it, and a fluid and filter change on it's transmission - just to be on the safe side after its explosive decompression.

And then, after catching up on some of the house projects that Lisa has been VERY patient in regards to with me, maybe someday I can afford to start thinking about some of my project cars again :)


Blogger Dirk said...

Of course, that's after Capn'Mo pulled the wire for #3 to observe it sparking, and found out that the new coil pack is sparking a LOT harder than the old one did...
A feller I went to trade school with died because of a similar accident. Probably. Nobody saw it happen, but the doctor who did the autopsy suggested it as the most likely cause. Apparently he had a (previously unnoticed) heart condition and the jolt stopped him.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Cap' Mo said...

I'm just short enough so that I was grounded really good in a real bad spot.
I've been bitten before, actually got knocked off of the side of an M109A2 while cleaning the batteries and didn't get too scared (I'm not very smart though), but I can see where this could be dangerous for someone with heart problems.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Aaron Neal said...

Come to think of it, a ground strap around the elbow would probably be a good idea when working on electrical systems. Might wind up with a burn, but it would keep the voltage out of the torso.

4:50 PM  

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