June 27, 2012

Vocal Car Repairs

Swearing like a sailor
Those who used to know me years ago might be able to attest that I used to swear a lot.  Industrial-strength Blue (#3727) streak, should have been a sailor kind of "a lot".

I'm certain I still swear way too much around the house, but I've largely cleaned my act up.  You cannot swear at work and I doubt I swear in my sleep, so most of my day is spoken for (pardon the pun).  Believe it or not, I picked up swearing in 6th grade of all places.  I didn't go to a good middle school back in Boston and the kinds of things we said to our teachers.....let's just say I'd kick my own ass if I could come across my 6th grade me some day.

For us swearing at the teacher wasn't quite like the special torment levied on Karen Klein, it was a symptom of a truly messed up educational system.  I won't go into details other to say that if I had stayed on there until high school I would have faced open drug dealers and prostitution in the school.  Fortunately for me my no-good 6th grade butt was shipped back to Iowa for a real education.

I've eaten my fair share of soap back in the day and as I've said I largely cleaned up my act....unless you count when I'm working on something or get hurt (the two often occur simultaneously).

FJ40 Oil Pan Gasket
FJ40 Oil Pan Gasket
This morning I started off at 6:30 AM to change the oil in my wife's car and Maggie, my Toyota FJ40.  My oil pressure was a bit lower than it should be and I expected that I had a slow oil leak.  Sure enough I found that the oil pan wasn't sealed as well as it should be and she was slowly losing oil.  The thing was I wasn't getting oil drops in my driveway like one would expect.  My suspicion is that she's throwing some oil out the back of the pan only while I'm driving.  Fortunately I had obtained a new oil pan gasket in anticipation of needing to do this.

Getting the old oil out wasn't a big deal....oil changes are pretty easy.  Taking off the pan...^%#$@! difficult.  It was held on by about 2,000 12 mm bolts with about half of them being somewhat difficult to get at.  Fortunately the bolts had #2 screwdriver recesses in the head so between several wrenches and a couple of screwdrivers I could get them all off.

Cleaning everything off wasn't hard either.  A box full of rags and a huge bottle of de-greaser, along with a few brushes and a putty knife, took care of any dried-on gasket and cruddy oil.  Putting on a generous helping of gasket sealer was a bit of a pain, but nothing to get worked up about.

FJ40 Oil Pan
Replacing that pan.....I was a sixth-grade sailor once again.  What a total pain in the ass that was.  First I had to man-handle the heavy pan into place about six times, trying to maneuver it into place and then get some traction from the small 12 mm bolts.  Just getting the pan back into place takes me over an hour.  The &^#%$ socket keeps popping off the head of my extension rod, either hitting me in the head or narrowly missing me.  The creeper I was using keeps getting wedged into a crack in the driveway, forcing me to either work at an odd angle or try to muscle myself over into position.  The socket won't go back on easily because there is this latch that is supposed to keep it from coming off.  It seems to work in reverse, preventing me from using the socket, not from getting beaned in the head.  Small bits of oil-soaked dirt try to rain down on my face as I work and at one point I managed to get a wrench smacked hard into my forehead...enough to leave a mark.
This work took me about six hours altogether to finish and when done I was beat and sore from the work and the swearing.  At least Maggie should be good-to-go for some time.

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