Short and sweet, if you have the ability and the knowledge to DIY your car maintenance, do.
I had a bad oil pressure switch in the Ranger, and after watching a couple of videos, I realized that these guys (and one gal) weren’t working the same engine. All the others were on the bottom, mine in the back, up top. Easy fix. A booger to get in.
I also swapped a couple of plugs I think were fouled from my leak. Hopefully, this will fix the problem of the rough starts in the morning. But we will see tomorrow.
An oil change and some clean up later and I am hopefully good to go.
I saved time and I saved money. I also enjoy doing this myself. Experiences may vary.
Y’all know what tomorrow is. I have a lot to be thankful for.
A home. A family. A good job. So very blessed to have all I have.
I complain to much about what happens and not the results of what happens good or bad.
I need to change that. I will change that.
The boss called me today about my new part-timer, and she’s the lady I mentioned the other day.
He asked me if I was going to talk her up to him. I told him I didn’t need to. She’ll show him. I have all the faith in the world in that. She impressed me when we worked together years ago.
I’m thankful I’ll be getting some help.
I’m thankful that at fifty-three years old, I’m still working and learning.
I learn little things to make my days easier at work every day.
Tomorrow morning I’m learning yet another thing on the truck—oxygen sensors.
Bank 2 Sensor 1 is failing, causing the fuel system to work in a closed-loop, according to the log.
I don’t understand all of it, but I know where that oxygen sensor is and how to change it.
This is causing misfires. I can’t feel them but the OBD can read them. The truck starts a little rough but settles in quickly after starting out if the drive. My MPG has actually increased by .5 miles per gallon.
If it weren’t for the OBD reader and a check engine light, I probably wouldn’t notice.
It’s good to learn new things. I feel like I’m tweaking this here and there and I can’t really complain about twenty-two year old parts failing.
I worked over a good bit last week, and I set a little money aside for this. I needed more light on the road. I bought these Bruce these.
I’ve been thinking about going full LED/HID on the truck. I don’t even know if there’s a difference between the two technologies. I’m old and the eyesight ain’t what it used to be.
Running the roads before dawn and with the deer running, it’s already risky sometimes. So here I am.
This took a bit longer than I expected. The problem is that this isn’t just a simple screw the bulb out and replace situation. I had to remove the entire assembly. It’s a PITA. The headlamp assembly is probably one of the more secure I’ve come across. They put some thought into it for it to be this difficult.
I’ve got to say though; it’s a learning experience. Now I know what to expect when I change out the actual assembly around Christmas. The wife is gonna take me what I want for Christmas and this is it.
I plan to install smoked covers all around. Fog lamps, headlights, and tail lights. I like the look. It’ll make Bruce better looking.
I don’t think you can tell much difference in the lights right now from the pics. I’m sure I’ll be able to once I get behind the wheel in the dark. Which I’ll be testing as soon as the sun goes down.
Anyways, I had the chance to spend the afternoon in the garage doing something I enjoy.
These made a world of difference. The headlamp assemblies are so old the color is off.
But when they’re replaced, it will be about perfect.
I had another leak on Bruce. Same spot where we replaced the radiator hose.
Come to find out that the part the hose attaches to was the problem.
It was a tough part to remove and replace. We, me and Pop, spent the better part of the morning getting it out and back in. But it’s fixed.
During all this we had to remove a spindle that involves the serpentine belt so that we could actually reach the part. When we cranked it back up there was a horrible screech. Like banshees in a bag on fire beating a group of cats.
The truck still runs. It’s drivable. But they will hear you coming from miles away.
Still, no good for me.
I went on from working on the truck to going to the band competition and helping there, loading and unloading, etc.
84° in October in South Carolina may as well be 100°. Long story short, I was already worn out. I hadn’t eaten we’ll yesterday and I got a bit dehydrated fairly quickly. I have some minor problems with a recurring Hiatal hernia problem and I aggravated that.
Also, I try to film for the band and sat in the top of the bleachers in the sun which exacerbated the problem. That’s when Pop came over to check on me.
Good grandparents don’t miss grandkid stuff and they were there watching. Apparently while I was looking for them in the stands, I walked right passed them. I saw them but didn’t see them. Which cued mom to have dad come check on me.
The result was near heat exhaustion, and hernia problems knocked me down last night and today. I’ve been in and out of it on the couch. I feel 100% better than at 3 AM this morning.
Just to back track a bit, the wife received her second vaccine shot Friday. We ended up in the ER yesterday at 4 AM. She’s okay. Working through it. In my opinion our earlier fears are justified. She shouldn’t have been required to take the shot with her medical history. But this isn’t a medical or political page.
Sleep deprivation will throw you for a loop as well.
Today while I was somewhere in the void, Pop came and got the truck and replaced that part causing the noise. He wasn’t asked to. Didn’t have to.
He won’t even let me pay him.
And he told me, “I see what you do for your family and how hard you push. I don’t realize what you do sometimes.”
And I said thank you and he went back home.
And I stood in the garage and broke down. Because after all these years, he realizes, and that affects me in a healing sort of way.
And he knows, too.
What I do for my family I do out of love for my family. A lot of the time I do not matter. As long as they are safe and happy and healthy, I’m good.
It’s a joke from the old tv commercial. People make memes about it all the time.
What my dad knows is that I learned it from watching him. I’m a product of the way he raised me.
Well, it ain’t too cold yet, but the mornings are a bit chilly. Riding along in a truck with no heat, fogging up the windows until you get a balance between cracked window air and inside air, is a challenge.
I’m going to give 1A Auto a shout out tonight because I will always go to them first when I’m looking to do something mechanical or otherwise with Bruce.
This is a basic heater core flush and isn’t even the correct video for my truck but I have done this before and needed to refresh my memory.
DIY Pro Tip: If you’re gonna go to YouTube looking for answers, watch a couple of different content providers and see what works and what doesn’t.
Start with something simple. Believe me; even the pros won’t have all the answers you’re looking for online.
Just because they say this is what your vehicle should have, it may not. Keep looking.
Find someone that you’re comfortable with following their instructions.
I called around before doing this, and I got some prices that were outrageous to me on something so simple.
As I’ve mentioned before I also have the best shade tree mechanic in three counties for a father, and sometimes you gotta let the old man help to make him feel useful.
He thought there was a problem with the heater control valve.
He thought it wasn’t working, so he learned something today. That valve opens when the fan control is turned on, closes when turned off.
Not all cars, even from the same manufacturer, are made the same. But you’d be amazed how much crossover there is in a lot of parts and interior/exterior body parts and pieces.
This whole refurbishment of this truck is an ongoing thing.
I have a lot of cosmetic stuff to do. Chips in the paint for the most part. I’m actually thinking of a light spray over the major scratches and a dot here and there for the chips. Then a good buffing.
Not a lot of structural damage, amazingly, and not a lot of rust at all for a twenty plus year old truck.
It has been hot, and I didn’t want to do it. Today was a nicer day, and when it’s cooler, I spend a good deal of time in the garage.
Today I went with the fender flares that have been sitting in the garage for at least two months. (She may or may not have been eyeballing them at that time.) They’re a nice stainless steel and black rubber set that should last a long while with care.
I also did a bit of painting on the lowers under the doors and the front part of the bed with bed liner paint. It improved the looks and may provide some protection.
The plastic bumper covers are in surprisingly good shape but faded from their original gray. I went with black this time around. It suits the color scheme.
It’s nice to get out and improve and create. To do it myself. To get dirty again. Although, the shower did feel excellent.
I’m glad the weather is starting to change. It means more time for me in the garage/shop. I guess I may as well start getting things together.
I listen to a lot of podcasts and I hear a lot of Rock Auto commercials.
I’m sure they have plenty of deals, and that’s great. I needed a part today and searched it while I took a break.
The part was a radiator hose.
This part is roughly $20 less than what I ended up paying at O’Reilly’s ($38 +tax) and would be a significant saving.
It is Thursday the 16th. I work for a living; it’s still sweltering in the South, and I need my truck running with A/C. The savings I would have had would not make up for the lost time.
I do have the choice of driving my other car, which does not have A/C at the moment. It’s great to have that choice. But an afternoon on the highway home would be torture.
I was out the door at O’Reilly’s in five minutes after first having called them to make sure they had the part. No standing around, no wasted time, which is also mentioned in the ads I hear.
Honestly, sometimes I stop at auto parts stores just to look around. I enjoy it. Which is a point the ads try to push. Lots of guys actually enjoy the auto parts store.
I had the part in hand, on the truck, and was back on the road in an hour.
I also hear a lot of “you have to know what kind of car you have, what type of engine,” etc.
How do you not know this sort of thing?
Right there, I know, these guys have never worked on their own vehicles. And probably shouldn’t be pushing ads to people who do.
I didn’t write this to knock Rock Auto at all. It’s great to be able to get parts at such a discount. I didn’t write this to criticize anyone. It seems snobby, I guess, to write and read copy on something you more than likely know nothing about.
If you’re a man and do not understand the appeal of working on and fixing your vehicle and the satisfaction that goes with it, I don’t understand you. Which I suppose sounds a bit snobby as well.
I have had the advantage of a father who is one of the best shade tree mechanics I’ve ever known.
For those without that advantage, there is a world of information on the internet. YouTube will walk you through so many small and large repairs.
I thoroughly enjoy working on mine. I love my truck. Yes, there’s a song about that.
For the hobbyist and the person that has the time I can see online parts ordering and possible savings.
For a man trying to get to work, I’ll go local parts store every time.
Again, not knocking Rock Auto but I will sing the praises of O’Reilly’s.