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08 August 2007

6 plugs down...

...and a new exhaust system to go. i'm a mechanical engineer, but i've never been much of a mechanic, per se, in the car sense. not much of gearhead, not interested in horsepower, 0-60 in "x" amount of seconds, but i've been pretty bored, so i bought spark plugs and a new exhaust system. i've been trying to out the plugs in for about a week now, but it was always threatening to rain. today, i had to wake up early to take TheMom's car to the dealership for some warranty work, so since i was up, i decided to try it out. did i mention i was dumbass enough to do this in like 94° degree heat and probably 80% humidity? btw, i was MUCH dirtier from this job than the picture portrays. i had to clean up a few times to visit TheRuss for tools, and so as not to muss up TheMom's new white walls.

i started around 10AM, got all my tools together, planned out my deal. it was looking good. i figured i'd start back to front, driver's side then passenger side, as the back plugs looked to be the toughest, i wanted to get them out of the way. i'd gotten the first plug wire off and was trying to ratchet the plug out when i dropped the ratchet. i spent the next hour or so trying to get my ratchet back from the bowels of the driver's side axel/wheel-well area. i tried my hands, magnets, i ended up looping a rope around it just enough to lift it and then dropped it through the bottom to the ground. i was correct, they did get a bit easier as i moved forward, so i was glad THAT part of the plan at least made sense. the only thing is the further forward you go, the more you need extensions and swivels you need. luckily, my neighbor, TheRuss, has just about every tool imaginable, so i ran up there and borrowed a few pieces. the right side went fairly well, only a few banged knuckles and no more dropped tools (well, i used a tip we use at work of tying a rope around the tool and tying the rope to a stationary object so if you DO drop it, it doesn't fall ALL the way in). overall, i averaged about an hour per spark plug.

i moved on to the left side and things only got worse. i got the spark plug socket stuck on one of the plugs i was installing, so i had to get ANOTHER ratchet to get it out. i pulled one of the plug wires off and the contact stayed on the plug (bad, so now i needed to new wires). i was having to lay and kneel on fine gravel to get to some of the park plugs (i later find out upon returning the tools to TheRuss, that it is much easier to do spark plugs if you jack up the front end... the front tires drop and the access is much easier). after installing the 5th of 6 plugs, it started to piss down rain. in my rush to get everything out of the rain, i dumped my toolbox on the deck, pieces everywhere... i wasn't in a good mood. luckily, the rain didn't last long though it made the humidity worse. in no time, i was back at it and working on the last plug. i had TheSister go down to the hardware store to get some new wires for me, and i decided to replace them all since i had to replace one.

the moment of truth... it turned over no problem. sounded the same as before. apparently it was a waste of time, but NOW i know the process. it was kinda fun, though my back is a bit sore. TheRuss keeps asking me why i'm putting all this money into this piece of crap truck... boredom. that's all i can say, i don't expect to reap anyp benefits since when i buy my new truck, i'll either send this one to the junk yard, give it to TheRuss, or try to rebuild the engine with absolutely no know-how at all. sounds like fun. you can see more pix of me "in action" over at TheMom's site where she blogged about the endeavor.

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