Further Adventures In Wrenching

Mostly not mine, for once.
Not that I didn’t have to fuck with mine too. That would be too much to ask.
I had to go over to the wife’s folks and work on the little rig we gave her Mom a couple of years ago that suddenly wouldn’t pass emissions.
I figured it would be the typical Little Old Lady only drives it 22.5 miles an hour everywhere thing but no, not this time.

They said it failed because of a lean misfire on bank one, which flipped a code, which caused the Check Engine light to come on, which is an automatic fail.
Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Since it’s a fucking four banger, that narrowed it right the fuck down because there is only one bank.


Over the phone I thought maybe it was a dirty fuel injector but no, pack up a bunch of tools and drive over there because it is causing a bunch of drama and get it over with.
It’s little Ford Focus with a bazillion miles on it but it has always been pretty fucking dependable, which is why we gave it to her in the first place. On top of that, I did a bunch of work to it right before we gave it to her so I wouldn’t have this problem.

So I get over there, hook up the code scanner, yep there it is, except it tells me it is cylinder #2 which is more info than I just had. Clear the code and start the thing up.

At first I didn’t notice anything right off but as soon as I got around front and opened the hood I could here what sounded like a miss.
Having been bit by these modern coil packs before, I turned the fucker off before I pulled the plug wire, they will light your ass right up.

Started it back up, no change.
Stuck a screw driver in the end of the plug wire on 2, started it again and held the screwdriver about an 1/8th of an inch off the aluminium valve cover, still no spark. Swapped wires from 1 to 2, still no spark.

Bad coil pack.
Ran up to the parts house 1/4 mile away, got a new coil pack and plug wires. Threw that shit on, fired it up and it’s good.
I drove the shit out of it for twenty minutes to clean out any Granny crud and checked it again with the scanner and it’s golden.

My Father In Law has a Chevy Tahoe and the check engine light was on in that thing too so I scanned it while I was there.
It has a bad 4WD Low switch on the dash.
Cleared the code so the light on the dash went away and he was happy, says he doesn’t mess with the 4WD anyway. At that point I was done so I went in and had a couple of slices of pizza and chit chatted for a few minutes before I took off.

Mine however, fucked me on the way over there.
I had the wife follow me because she was going to stay and watch the football games on today and I wasn’t going to stay for that shit.
I stopped to get gas a few miles from their place and my rig wouldn’t fucking crank over and start after I filled up. Luckily I was able to push it away from the pumps as there was an incline right there.
Also lucky,she was right there in her rig.

HMM, I’m thinking. It has what looks like a new battery in the damn thing and I know the alternator is working.
The starter is supposed to be new also. I just put a new positive cable on it too.
I hooked up the jumper cables and the old bastard fired right up.

I just went ahead on over to their place and started in fixing their rigs but I did double check my alternator and it’s working fine.

After it had sat for a few hours, it fired right up when I went to leave.
So when I got home, I pulled in, opened the hood and left it running so I could double check the alternator.
Yep, still good. I shut the bitch off, tried to restart it from under the hood while I had a meter hooked up to the battery and RUH, Ruh, ruh, clickity click click from the solenoid.
Since I had a volt meter hooked up and was watching it while I tried to crank it, it went from 12.65 volts to 8 and then 6 under a load.
I yanked that fucking battery out to find that it is one of those “used/reconditioned” motherfuckers. Yeah, new my ass.
So I swiped the one out of the Sprite, which is also a used one out of a wrecking yard and also very questionable.It was made in 2013 it says so it’s gotta be on it’s last leg too.
It’s been sitting doing nothing for a few months and wasn’t at full charge either.
It did manage to start the Bronco but it went clear down to 8 volts doing it.
I have my trickle charger on it at the moment and just priced a new Group 27 battery from NAPA.
At $125 plus mine for a core charge, it’s twice as big and $15 cheaper than the one I just put in the wife’s car.
I’ll be doing that here real soon, especially if that used one doesn’t cut it after all.
If it still acts up like this with a new battery and only when the engine is hot, the starter is going bye bye too. I have no idea where it came from or who rebuilt it.
They don’t cost all that much and I will get one with a lifetime guarantee.

5 thoughts on “Further Adventures In Wrenching

  1. Dayum: Phil, you are handier than pockets. That bs, right there, is why we went to 90 – 96 dodge diesel trucks to minimize the computers and hocus pocus and voodoo.
    Good for you


  2. Or, you can slowly transition your fleet to diesel……….no wires, no sparkey stuff and a lot less hassle to maintain. My wife is the holdout, does not want to deal with “smelly” diesel. Still, that Bronco seems to be shaping up as a fun purchase once the gremlins are banished.


  3. When you buy a new battery, get the MAXX from Walmart. It’s only a bit more $$$ and it has a 5 year warranty–3 years free replacement plus 2 more years of pro-rated replacement. There are Walmarts everywhere, and you don’t even have to save your receipt since they use the date sticker on the battery as evidence. Just look for a battery with the current or previous month date on it to be certain you get your full warranty period.


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