Friday, November 4, 2016

The Head Gasket Chronicles.

When last we left, I had just finished a productive day off from work and was looking forward to getting a few things done in the hours before I had to head off to work. 

Wouldn't be much perhaps, but with small nibbles, whole meals are consumed.

How did I do?

Last finger on the hand
 There was something holding me up.  And it looked like this...

That thing, there in the middle.
In order to access many more parts, I needed to get the fan clutch off.  That required a tool I didn't have.  So, there would be a trip to the auto parts store.  Time was limited that day, so I looked around for something big to take off and found.

Something little instead.
 Yeah, that wire was sitting right on top of the AC compressor.  It wasn't hooked up to anything, just sitting there.  This, of course, means it is vital to the operation of the vehicle and will certainly be my doom.


What can I take off?
Pretty blue color. Get rid of it.

The lower radiator/turbo intercooler, whatever it is. Came off, no problem.

Upper radiator hose. Comes right off there at the radiator no problem.

This is what never seems to get mentioned in shop manuals and write ups like this.  Something simple, like pulling off a radiator hose, will drive you batty.  No matter how I pulled, pushed, twisted and tugged, it wouldn't come off the other side. The hose clamp is one of those types you have to squeeze with pliers instead of unscrew and it was also built in to the actual hose, so I couldn't just move it up or down past the ridge on the pipe underneath.

I sweated, struggled, cursed and spat at that damn thing for an hour.

I wanted to cut it off, but had visions of it being some specialty radiator hose for a hundred million dollars or something. Besides, it should just COME RIGHT OFF!

It didn't. Thus endeth day five.

Yeah.  Take that radiator hose.
I returned the next day, in the few hours before work for...

HA! Didn't have to take off my shoes.

And I brought reinforcements.

I got the fan removal wrench as a loan-a-tool from Autozone (thank you Autozone.) I also got a breaker bar for the serpentine belt tensioner pulley. And look right there.

A replacement radiator hose.

DIE MOTHE...uh, sorry.  Much quicker that way.

Then, I attached the wrench to the fan clutch and turned. 

And the whole thing turned with it.  I had left the serpentine belt on because I heard it would keep everything still when I turned the nut, but alas, no. 

Again, I appeared to be short a tool.  However, the universe occasionally makes up for things like radiator hoses that don't come off.  Right there, in front of the truck, something caught my eye.

Something that was sitting there acting as a lock on a sliding window.

Is that what I think it is? Nah, couldn't be.
No way that happens, right?


Holy Cow look at all that room.
Probably best if I remember how that goes on.
 Then, it was off to work.

The next day, I gave the whole truck the finger and just rested before my shift in the ER. 


Then, on my first day off, I went back at it.

But, I forgot to take a picture of a seven so,


Day seven started with a bang. I took the AC compressor off and pulled it out of the way. I read on a diesel forum that I could just take it over to the passenger side battery tray and didn't have to disconnect the pressurized hoses. YAY!

Then it was a bunch of fiddly little wires and connectors that I hadn't been able to reach or needed to get out to get at things.

Such a pain in the butt.

And yet, these pictures will be vital to putting it all back together.

Yeah, that connection right there needs to be made.

That looks hard to reach.
I got tired of chasing down wires and realized there was this thing that straddled the whole engine that was blocking access to so many thing.  I think it is called a crossover tube. 

It is the black tube just to the left of the blue hose. 
And, of course, it has a little hellish rubber hose.
The little freaking thing took forever to get off.  But, I'm improving.

Then, I took off the pipe that goes into the blopck from the radiator. The two thermostats were in it. I took a video to remember which one goes in which position. It seems important. If anyone is interested in seeing the videos, I will post them. Just ask. Otherwise, I'll save the time.

Then, it was the big fu*(&ng metal thing.  I don't know what it's called, so that will have to do.  It can be seen best in an older picture as I didn't take a good picture when I pulled it out.

Looks different huh? It's the big downpipe in the center.

Came right off. Then I started working on the alternator and the brackets holding the alternator and the ac compressor.

Note the lack of a big fu(*^&ng metal thing

And this bracket.
 As I took the bolts out for the AC compressor bracket, I noted the bottom hole had a much longer bolt than the rest. It is the bottom hole.
Pointy finger!

And pointy finger at the bolt!

And that was about all I got done on that day off.

Today, I was primed for more.

Not really.

I was tired. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We decided to say to hell with it and take the day off. 

We went for a walk in the woods.  We found mushrooms. 

It was good.

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