Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Too busy to take the day off.

So, off to work. Did I mention it was 31 degrees and the garage has only one oil heater we keep in there to keep the cat from dying? 

It was cold.  And iron engine parts stay cold.

But, time's a wastin'.

Bur first, did I mention I wrote a book?

And for a glorious moment it was beating Jenny McCarthy.
 Sorry, I'm easily distracted by shiny objects.

The engine. Got the gaskets in, heads back, new injectors.  Time to rock.

See, this looks organized.
 I took a few days and cleaned everything up as nice as I could make it.  As per the instructions, I installed all the head studs and went to install the gasket.
Ohhhh, progress.
 Short lived progress.

The gasket wouldn't go on. The down pipe for the turbo was in the way and I couldn't get the gasket on without bending it all crazy.  That didn't sound like a good idea, so I pulled all the head studs back out and only left the two in where the dowels go to hold it in place.

Better, now to put the rest of the head studs back in.
 Then, I grabbed the heavy-ass, cold, and obnoxiously unwieldy head and fought it into position over the studs. I started to slide it down and it stopped.

It refused to go any further. It didn't want to come back off either.

This can't be good.

So, I let it go and looked. It was catching on this accordion folded part of the exhaust pipe.  I imagined all the terrible things that were happening to the threads on the studs. 

Curse word.

So, I pulled it back off.
The dreaded horror pipe is to the left.
 About this time I was pulled away to go to a neighbor's Christmas lunch. It is Christmas Eve after all. And, I like these neighbors, so I went.

For about an hour, then back.

I loosened some bolts and tried to wiggle things out of the way and I came to a conclusion. Either the whole exhaust manifold had to come off, with some very difficult to reach bolts, or the heads needed to go on before the head studs.

Oh yeah, and to reach the bolts to remove the exhaust manifold, I had to remove some of the head studs.

So, the head studs came back out except for two just to help with alignment.  Then, the head studs went back in... For the third time.  Did I mention it was cold metal? My fingers were starting to go numb.

Got that sucker on there.
 To make sure everything lined up, I decided to get the driver's side head on before torquing down the passenger side. And, I had learned a few things.

I knew the driver's side would be more difficult because the lean in is more awkward due to the steering equipment and the firewall was in the way. If you recall from tear down, the far right, bottom bolt had to come out with the head as there wasn't enough room to pull it out any other way. So, it had to go in with the head. 

Talk about a pain. It is hard enough holding that heavy, oddly-shaped, and cold head out at full extension and trying to line it up with the block. Now I had to hold a bolt in place too? 

So, I tried braining it instead of muscle-ing it.

This was the result.
 I left the studs out, except the one held in place by the two rounds of electrical tape holding it up, and set the head on.  Then, I screwed in the studs. 
 Then, Sarah sent Max out to inform me she had hot coffee waiting for me.  My numb fingers and nose told me it was too good to pass up. I could come back out after and torque everything down.

But, she also gave me a Christmas Eve gift. 

The torquing will have to wait.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

We Interrupt This Program

With breaking news.

The book is live people. 

The book is live.

Last night, I finished the last touches on the Adventure Nickel book and uploaded it to Amazon.  You can purchase it RIGHT NOW.

There will be a presale.  All presale orders get counted on the day of the release (1-6-17). If enough people buy during the presale, we could find ourselves on a best seller list and that helps with advertising and book bundles and the like.

So, wish me a Merry Christmas.  Buy the book.  I kept the price low because I want people to read it. If you do buy it, please review it honestly.  Also, I wouldn't feel bad at all if you shared a link with some friends.

I'm totally geeked.

Now, back to work on the truck and at the hospital.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Back to work

Yeah, like I was taking lots of time off.

So, the heads were off and at the machine shop getting tested. I also sent the injectors in to get cleaned and tested.

Then I went to work on the book.  Yeah, for those who don't already know, I have a book coming out soon. Just as soon as I finish it.  Which, if I keep up the work rate I am currently at, should be in around two weeks.

So yeah, busy.

The heads came back.

Pressure tested fine. Vacuum tested fine. Not warped.  They machined .006 and sent them back.

The injectors didn't fare so well. 

Five of the eight failed testing on the return part.  Apparently that is an early indication of failure.  I have the report and can speak about it all in some depth for those that are interested, but most probably aren't, so I'll spare you.

I ordered some new injectors online for the price of two virgin souls each. 

Cripes these things are expensive.

The cheapest reliable place I found them were Injectors Direct. Andrew seemed nice and they shipped fast. 

Everything else will have to wait for judgement.

So, what did I do today?

Big moment.
Changed from lefty-loosey to righty-tighty.
Wait.  I might need something a little beefier.  Maybe something a little more precise than just "that oughta do it."

I love the smell of new tools. The cost however...

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

First I have to finish cleaning stuff.  Now, I know I should have been doing the cleaning while the heads were in the shop, but it's been cold.   I mean below freezing in a large, unheated garage cold.  Working with liquids on a cold, iron block in below freezing temperatures was just more than I could bear. 

I'm a wimp. Sue me.

So I stayed inside and worked on the book.

Today was cleaning the block and getting all the old RTV sealant off of the intake manifold. I also cleaned out the head bolt holes.

Maybe tomorrow I can attach a head or something.

Shiny, clean heads

Brushes for cleaning out bolt holes.

Still pretty cold. I can think of a better thing here.

When it's cold, they're cold. Take them inside.