Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thanks Murph, You Dick.

I spent a good deal of the day yesterday doing some vehicle maintenance on both cars that were due for oil changes.
My wife's was only 75 miles overdue, mine?

4,000 miles.

Before I hear of bunch of people freaking out and calling me a lazy bastard, I had a pretty bad oil leak at one time and was dumping a quart of oil in the fucker on a regular basis until I got it fixed so that isn't a true picture of the condition of the oil.

As a matter of fact, it was still cleaner than the stuff in the wife's car.

So anyway, I like to do my own oil changes still, because I can.
It's not that much cheaper than some of those quickie oil change places and it's a hell of a lot messier, plus I'd like to get my hands on the asshole who designed the engine in my wife's car.
That one is a real bitch.

Besides all that, it gives me a chance to lay eyes on things, looking for problems that haven't manifested themselves yet.

So I get all done and pull mine out and move it over to get hers in.
No biggie.
Got all done and then had to snake a drain line for the washing machine.
After that it was kick back time.

I go out and get in my rig today to run down to the store real quick and when I get out, I see a trail of liquid behind my car.

I went in and when I came out I took a closer look. First I stuck my finger in it to make sure it wasn't just water.

Oh, hell no, it's fresh oil.

I slide under the thing enough to put my hand on the filter to make sure it's tight, which it is but there is oil just running off the fucker and there is already a puddle under it.

I got home and see a trail leading out of the driveway into the street and a puddle in the driveway too.

I whipped in and snagged a drip pan to throw under it and a pair of channel locks.
The filter is tight.
I took it off anyway to look at the gasket. It's good too. I put the damn thing back on and opened the hood to start looking around.
Way in the back on top of the transmission bell housing is all wet.

I reached in and started the engine to be greeted by a fucking geyser spraying up underneath my distributor!


I know there is an oil sending unit for the gauge down on the side of the block because that was where one of the previous leaks was coming from and I replaced it.

I get a flashlight out and take a closer look and sure as shit, there is another sending unit for the oil pressure, this one must be for the idiot light.
They are called that because whatever went wrong bad enough to cause that light to come on means it's too late, idiot.

Just out of the blue it decided to take a shit when I started it up today.

Did I mention it's right directly under the distributor?

From experience, I happen to know that it takes a special socket to remove and install them too.
Yes, I have one.

This is because some clever fucking bastard engineer thought it was a good idea that some people not be able to take them out.

Just for good measure, they put it right under the distributor which means they want you to take that out, to use their special socket.

Fuck you, Mr. Asshole engineer, I have been to Grandma's house before.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Knipex Cobra Pliers.

I have two sizes of these wicked little units.Neither of which were cheap.

The big set was $75 and the little set was $40, twenty years ago when they first came out, from a Snap On Dealer.

They have saved my ass many times.

There was just barely enough room under the distributor and between it and the hump in the firewall for the bell housing, to get the little set in there and get the damn thing out.

I win.

Of course then I had to go get a new one and clean up a huge mess but I can check that one off the list.

I am just very thankful I didn't go to work today. I would have found this problem out on the freeway, when that little red Idiot Light came on.


  1. All's well that ends well.Good job on the workaround!

  2. Replies
    1. Squirting straight up the side of one of the connector blades.

    2. Yep, the diaphragm failed.

  3. Has anyone in the history of like, EVER, done repairs to their vehicle and NOT had ten times more hassle with it than it shoulda took? I'd say ya got lucky on this one!

    1. I remember while working at the Lincoln/Mercury dealer, they came out with this total piece of shit front wheel drive convertible CAPRI that was made in Australia.
      The thing was garbage new.

      The oil sender was on the back side of the engine, under the intake manifold and behind a damn bracket.
      Basically you would have had to take the manifold off to get to it.

      The manual said to use "an appropriate tool".

      Code speak normally for a Ford "special" tool.

      None existed and warranty was paying three tenths of an hour to change it.
      I heated up a 17 MM wrench and bent it in 3 places trying to get around that bracket with no luck.

      I finally got pissed off and used an air chisel and broke it into eight pieces before I could get a wrench on it.
      Screwed the new one in with pliers, took all the pieces to send back to Ford and put them in a box marked "Some Assembly Required".
      Never heard a word about it from those fuckers.

      Three tenths of an hour my ass, that is 18 minutes.

    2. I remember that front-wheel drive "capri" - came out the same time as the Mazda Miata (MX5 for those of you Down Under). Horrible weight distribution, hideous understeer, ugly as fuck, and didn't deserve the Capri label (a friend of mine had an original Mk 1? GT Capri, with the 2-litre V4 - fantastic car until black ice on a curve halfway up a hill destroyed it one day).

  4. How bout Dat. I've got three different sizes of those Knipex pliers ! Bought from the same source as you way back about 90....Ain't no doubt some of the best grippers on the planet. They've saved my ass many a time !

    1. Very much worth every penny and then some. They grip so hard they will peel mild steel if it turns inside the jaws.

      I guard those things very carefully.

  5. I spent an enjoyable weekend in the driveway piddling with cars also. Warm weather, cold beer, rockin' tunes blastin' on the garage stereo...

    First up was the small block V-8 2000 Silverado with 141k miles on the clock that I bought from my brother-in-law a year ago. AC compressor was grinding itself to pieces, so I cut the belt off 'cuz I'm a cheap bastard and the evaporator has a leak anyways and I sure as fuck ain't gonna drop hundreds of bucks to have cold breath. Fuck that.

    Then I changed the oil...first time since I've owned it, and I'd put less than 4k on it.

    BIL says he had the oil changed right before he sold it to me, and he's the type of guy who doesn't do it himself. (When I got it, it was over a quart low.) When I pulled the oil pan drain plug, chocolate pudding-like goo poured out! I was horrified! I spent several hours pulling sludge out of the pan. Longest oil change ever.

    Oh yes...the oil filter I found on it was the wrong one also.

    BIL is the type who takes care of his vehicles, but pays somebody to do it. With all that sludge, I suspect he got several oil changes that were done with a pencil.

    With the Chevy done, next up was the oldest son's 2002 V-6 Taurus which we purchased from dear old Mom. She takes care of her shit because she was constantly nagged by my old man, so there was no sludge coming out a the Ford. Finished it up in less than 30 minutes.

    A good weekend with valuable missions accomplished. Simple shit, but fulfilling.

    1. Walt, I would dump a quart of tranny fluid in that Chevy engine.
      Transmission fluid has a ton eighty of detergents in it and will flush that crap out of the oil journals.

      I also had an old Ford six banger I got out of a wrecking yard once.
      After I got it in and ready, it started and ran on the first crank. Unfortunately, it also had a bunch of gunk in it.

      I actually drained it and filled it with diesel and let it idle for about five minutes, twice.
      Cleaned it right up but ya gotta watch out for the bearings when ya do that. A 50/50 mix would probably be safer.

    2. Crap, another thing you can do is run DELO 400 in it for a while. That shit also has a ton of detergents in it.

    3. that was the way to do it 20 years ago. I was told by an engineer working in the oil testing business that new transmission oils will damage an engine.

  6. They now suggest to change your oil every 5000 miles.

  7. I can understand your frustrations,I have a nissan terrano 2, 2 .7 diesel {ford maverick in usa?}.to change the oil filter it is necessary to remove left front wheel to gain access.then to get the bloody thing out it needs to be tilted so that oil pours everywhere.I finally solved that problem by running the engine dry after draining the sump, only for a few seconds of just fine.

    1. Pretyy much the same set up.
      My wife has a Ford Focus.
      While I will admit it has been a pretty trouble free little rig, the oil filter set up sounds just like yours.

      If I turn the wheels all the way to the left, there is a hole between the front end parts to get it out but oil runs everywhere.
      It is a bitch getting the new one in as there is a hose right where the back of the filter goes when you are trying to start the threads. and you need a double articulated wrist to get in there.
      These people have obviously never heard of a remote mounted filter.

  8. oil change timing / mileage is over rated. how many of you have seen a car parked or destroyed because they failed to change oil. precious few is any. no oil is bad but delayed or missed oil changes are not usually why car engine wear out.


Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, some peoples stink more than others too. Remember, I can make your opinion disappear, you keep the stink.

Fair Use Notice

Fair Use Statement: This site may contain copyrighted material, the use of which may not have been authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: “” If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.