Well, maybe I’ll get one done. The deeper you get into something the more problems you can find.
I went to YouTube last night to figure out how to remove the spool handle for the window, and despite the guy knowing that every spool handle came off the same, he was wrong. Instead of a clip to remove said handle, it was a Torx head bolt. Luckily, I have an abundance of tools.
The other problem I’ve run into is a bit of upholstery that has given up over the years, probably to heat. Things wear down. There’s no helping it.
And so I have an armrest sitting in front of the wife’s bread box with Gorilla Glue (not a sponsor) setting up and a couple of paper/chip clips bag holding it all together.
I’ve taped up and dropped the first coat on the main door panel for now.
It is 11:34, and now I wait.
That door is done.
And now, on to the other door.
Because you’ve seen the first one, the other is pretty much the same, so I won’t bore ya.
Yep. I was able to get both doors done and still have some time this afternoon.
There’s a lot to be said for doing things yourself. It’s not just saving money. You try new things and learn new things. Believe me; I mess up often enough, but there’s a lot of knowledge in mistakes.
It might be the paint fumes talking, but it’s been a pretty good day.
During my project today, I’ve realized something. That grime and dirt you see in the armrest of a work truck has a name. That’s #elbowgrease. I have finished one door, so I might as well move on to the other. #thisoldtruck
If you haven’t figured it out yet I like to do it myself.
I have an old truck I’ve been finding parts here and there for and it ain’t easy.
Ever since Cash For Clunkers the pickins are slim, so I work with what I can find.
Sometimes that means refurbishing a part and bringing it back to life.
It ain’t perfect, but it suits me just fine.
I find that the more I do of this the more little tricks I find. Practice makes perfect.
This was a quick job today to test some paint that I’ve just started working with. I also needed to gauge the space on this piece so that I can install some switches for cut offs on my power to my dash cam and stand alone GPS point. I’m doing that so as not to put any drain to the battery when I’m parked and in store at work. Not that either of those are big battery drainers.
It’s not just the finding and refurbishing, this is fun for me.
It’s a thing that I can sit back from and say, that’s done.
Nope. It was back pain. Sciatica. Intense horrible pain.
Anyway, I got up and made the coffee, stretched a little and got ready for work. Not much to do for except suffer through it and wait for whatever I’ve tweaked to get better.
Getting old ain’t comfortable. But it beats the alternative.
On the way to work I’m keeping an eye out for the right junked Ranger. I’m driving past a car lot that’s going out of business and he has seats, consoles, dashboards and all kinds of other stuff piled outside for different cars. I stopped to take a look because you never know.
No one is there so I decided I’ll stop back by on the way home.
Work was uneventful, one of those days I like so much. Low drama, everyone working. Knocking it out.
I got to hang with Kevin and Riv a bit which is always a treat. We work and cut up and it makes for good days.
I stopped by the place I mentioned and the owner was there. I asked about the possibility of any Ranger parts but that was a negative. He waited around to see if I could possibly use any of the other parts he had. Sadly, no. I didn’t see anything I could mod for the applications I want.
And then he told me about Kenny. “If you go down 102 and cross the three bridges and take the road at the top of…”.
Well, you can’t beat country directions. And I found Mr. Kenny easily.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kenny had only square bodies. Older than what I need. But he started talking junkyards and car guys with me and gave me a lead on another spot. A friend of his.
So off I go on another country direction adventure after filling up my tank (you never know).
As luck would have it this is sorta on my way home with a minor detour.
And then I meet Tim.
And Tim has a goldmine in his back yard.
I walked in an introduced myself and we talked and shortly he gave me the run of the yard.
This is my kind of place. You go out, find what you need, and pay the man after the haggle. If there’s a haggle. Kenny says Tim is a fair price kinda guy.
I’ll find out next week. I didn’t have the cash with me today and he was getting ready to leave in the morning with his family for a vacation weekend. And that’s cool. I wish I’d known or I wouldn’t have held him up at all.
I probably spent an hour out in the yard and I was lucky. I found several pieces that I can use. I’ll be back next Wednesday.
The time out in the heat with the sun on my back seems to have had a therapeutic effect, that and the stretching in and out of junked cars probably helped as well.
I’m a little stoked about my new gold mine. I love a good junkyard. There’s nothing like it if you love cars or trucks and working on them.
Today was long. Today was good. I profited.
I made three new contacts that may become friends but at the least are friendly.
My wife loves spicy food. So much so that she’ll get a plate of spicy food and that’s not enough for her.
Nope. Then she’ll go to her standby. Texas Pete.
He’s the only other fella that’s any competition for me in life besides our son.
I don’t like spicy foods much. I might throw some Texas Pete on a burrito.
I do admit that Texas Pete rode with me in the army just in case I came upon some chili mac, which was likely to happen.
I got off work today around 1:00 and decided I’d go for a ride and make sure the truck was good. A long ride was needed. Maybe just wanted.
I was riding along and looking for places that might have a junked Ranger.
I need a few interior parts. Some plastic odds and ends. The interior is pretty great, amazingly. No tears in the seats. The dash and carpet are nearly pristine.
On down the road I ended up in a nearly ten mile long construction zone. I started counting Dollar Generals.
I also ended up in need of a bathroom.
My wife loves something else. Those little Smarties Mega Lollipops.
We usually find them at a candy store in Maggie Valley on vacation where she buys several. She doesn’t allow herself many treats like that. I’ve found them at Dollar General here and there so I grab them when I can.
They’ve been sparse lately, like lots of things y’all might favor the last year and some change.
I hit several Dollar Generals on the way today. Six in total. Found three of these suckers on the way at one store. Still stopped at two more.
So here we are again. Making our way through the world trying to find basic commodities.
Toilet paper didn’t bother me much.
I didn’t give a crap about hand sanitizer.
I have to have fuel. I work on the road between four different locations. This requires that I drive.
So now I’m sitting in a line reminiscent of the 70s.
I was alive when the gas shortages happened then. I don’t remember much.
I remember the lines.
People are panicking and a lot of them don’t have anywhere to go. The word is that most of the public is unemployed at the moment.
So where’s the rush?
Anyway, forty-five minutes later and two gas stations and my tank was full.
This whole country can be shut down in a relatively short span of time over something we take for granted. Things can be disrupted very quickly.
I know I wasn’t in a very good mood this morning. I got to my first store and had a quarter tank of gas. I wasn’t going to be able to make my second store. I pride myself on getting the job done. If the company sets me an impossible task, well…
But sometimes you just have to let things go and do the best you can.
I wrote about fixing my truck Sunday. As a part of this ongoing project (and yes, there’s a lot to do) I’m going to be posting here and there about it. This blog is my daily outlet. This is why I’m here.
🎼Some days are better than others…
Today was great!
I’ve been using OBDLink (Apple) with my OBD scanner. It’s a nifty little tool that can drop all kinds of info on ya while you’re on the move. My primary concerns this week are engine coolant temp and the voltage on the battery. I replaced the thermostat several months ago. The battery was dead Sunday. So worth watching over. The MPG was a plus today.
I drove home with the A/C on this afternoon. I also fueled up at a station that may have had okay fuel. But as far as gas mileage I’m pretty happy with either number.
Before I figured out the problem with the plugs it was getting 22/23 mpg. This is a huge improvement.
For a twenty two year old truck this is pretty phenomenal I think.
I have a little bit more mechanical to work on. I have some plans for the exterior and a few more improvements to the interior look and functionality.
8:00 AM: I’m starting off the day trying to figure the problem out with the truck and these spark plugs. And I may have found the problem. I think it’s the wrong set of plugs. You’d think the guy at the counter would have some knowledge as to what he’s selling you but I’ve trusted too much in that. It would seem he’s wrong.
(Further on I’ll be talking about O’Reilly’s. I didn’t get the bad plugs from there. – Credit where credit is due.)
I’ll be taking off to the parts place with a little more knowledge this time and the manual and truck info to back me up.
But first, church.
I’m at O’Reilly Auto Parts and my man Chuck here confirmed part of a problem. I was sold single platinum plugs instead of double platinum plugs at the other parts place. The plug in five split and is causing misfire. These plugs couldn’t handle the workload.
We may be onto something…
1:00 PM: I got back home, stepped out of the car and directly to the truck. I went to work on replacing the plugs.
I started at one and went to six. I didn’t pull a wire until I had the previous one gap checked, greased and seated. That fifth cylinder misfire was because of these old plugs. That would be number five in the lineup pictured above. Absolutely the wrong equipment for the application.
2:14 PM: After about an hour I was back on the road but it wasn’t all rainbows and roses, no. The battery had died and a cell had went bad so I was off to another O’Reilly’s to see about a new battery.
The truck isn’t cutting back like it was and no check engine light. No misfire. This, for me, is huge! I love my truck but it has to be usable to stick around.
At this point I was only into this little adventure for blood, sweat, and $32.00 USD. I was dreading having to shell out for a new battery. They aren’t outrageous but they aren’t cheap either. And this battery was only a year old.
But then I guess there was a bit of “whiskers on kittens“. Turns out the battery I bought a year ago was under a two year warranty at O’Reilly’s. Those fellas helped me out big time to day.
A BIG SHOUT OUT to O’Reilly’s and to their employees. Gene and Jim in Camden, SC and Chuck in Lancaster, SC. They were super helpful and knowledgeable today.
And also, I’m thanking God. It’s getting hot and there’s no air in the Escape. The Ranger has super cold air. I prayed over the truck last night hoping that this was the problem. I needed it and it was granted. So thank you Lord for the hands and mind to work the problem and the grace to let this happen.
5:50 PM: I haven’t eaten all day. I was all about getting this done. And now it’s almost supper time.
Time to shower, eat, and relax. Tomorrow’s Monday.
This has been thrown off the rails for quite some time. I’ve been having engine problems that I couldn’t figure out, but I think I may have sorted the problem.
It has to do with the plugs.
They’re gapped wrong OR there’s a specific type for each side. A thing I’ve never seen or come across, ever (the specific type, not the gapping). At least that’s what it’s saying in my owners manual. So I gotta take a peek at the plugs in there now.
If that solves the misfire it will be so much easier than what is next in line. Changing out a bad fuel injector. Something I’m not qualified for but am willing to take a swing at.
If you were to ask me what my dream car is I would tell you several years back that it was a ‘68 Ford Mustang.
I just love them.
To me, maybe not to you, they are beautiful cars. I love the way they sit, I love the way they move. How they almost look at you as you walk by, maybe giving you a little wink, tempting you to take a spin.
There was a time that I would have given most anything to own one.
But, times change, people change.
I’ve come to realize that my dream car changed into a dream truck. Maybe not a dream, perhaps more like a happy life.
He’s a green 1999 Ford Ranger. I came into possession of him for a few grand. Low miles, decent truck. It has its problems and I’m working through them.
The pic above is nearly identical to my truck. When I’m done with this project it will be black and chrome. I love the contrast between the shiny and the dark.
The feeling of shifting and driving and enjoying something so simple, that’s a better dream for me.