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.
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.
An old Facebook memory that made me think again...
I’m on the road a lot every day for work. The other day coming home, a car driving by me either kicked something up or something flew off the car, the result for me was a busted driver side mirror.
We live in a wonderful time. I pulled over to check and make sure there was no other damage. Then I whipped out my iPhone (always connected to the internet and the rest of you) jumped over to Amazon where my truck is already saved in my garage and ordered a new mirror.
Two days and five minutes later all is good. Used to be we would have had to hitch up the mules and drive two days into town and order the part, ride the mules back home, wait two weeks to go back to town again and get the part then trade one of the mules for it.
Life is so easy, why is everybody in the world so mad all the time?
So this morning I picked up a 1999 Ford Ranger, technically an antique (but I guess so am I).
Straight stick (as God intended) V-6, basic little single cab truck. It’s pretty much all original but I love to mod on the inside and a little outside.
I’m really wanting to flat black the whole thing, headlights to taillights, tint the windows, etc.
Right now I’m sitting in the Best Buy bay waiting for the stereo to be installed.
This is what I’m starting with:
Old school. With a cassette player.
Im having a Pioneer touchscreen with CD/DVD, Apple/Android CarPlay installed in place of the stock stereo. I don’t have any cassettes anymore and rarely use a CD or even the radio even. Nope I stream podcasts and music.
I love having my maps on a large screen. The latest iOS update gives me even more options with music and messages plus the phone screen remains in an independent mode where, if needed, it can be used without disturbing anything on the stereo screen.
I’m also having a backup camera installed (because I can).
I spent a good deal of time here today. More than I wanted but I’m not complaining. It’s an older truck and the wiring is coded a bit different than what the tech was used to.
We kind of worked together on it and in the end I got what I wanted so all’s we’ll that ends well.
Jay the Geek Squad Tech that worked on my truck (I have a truck again!) was fantastic. He did a beautiful job.
Jay working on the backup camera.
I certainly can’t complain. He didn’t cut any corners and did his very best to install what I wanted where I wanted.
So if you’re in Columbia, SC and you need a backup camera or a stereo installed go to Best Buy on Two Notch and ask for Jay.
Beginning to end.
Start to finish it was an experience and Jay let me see stuff I didn’t know was in the truck for future installs and such. So the time I spent today was well spent.
Time to drop a review and nice email to the manager. I have to tell them that I was impressed.
This is just the start of this project. I’ll be writing more about it soon.
(Special thanks to Mags for letting this happen. She’s too good to me.)