The other day when I was taking my triumphant victory lap around the Bronco with the David Bradley Tractor, I stopped and took a picture of the momentous occasion,
As I was originally going down the sidewalk on the other side, I happened to get a glimpse of a wet spot under the Ford, right about where the transmission is.
I noted it mentally and then promptly forgot about it.
Yesterday, when I went to put my crap in it and head off to work, I saw it again but it was a bit bigger but it didn’t look like transmission fluid so I ignored it again.
I got in the old bastard, fired it up and sat there for a minute or so until it warmed up enough for the idle to come down, just like I do every time I drive the fucker. Then I pulled up and made a hard left turn towards the curb on the other side of the street and was going to back up and do a three point turn.
As I was turning, I glanced in the mirror on the drivers side just to make sure someone wasn’t barreling around the corner and saw a trail of liquid.
Awwe Geeze, WHAT NOW? I backed right the hell back up to where I started from, shut it off and got out to take a look.
Bigger than shit, it’s Anti Freeze.
Great, what, the water pump shit the bed or something?
Wait, why is it coming from behind the engine?
It ain’t just leaking either, it is running off the transmission and making a puddle already.
Shit, now what?
I opened the hood and didn’t see any hoses leaking or anything obvious so I started the sonofabitch up again and slid underneath it to see if I can figure out where it’s coming from.
It’s running down the back side of the head on the drivers side, around the bell housing and making an even bigger puddle.
So I crawled up into the engine compartment and am trying to peer into the back side of the engine from as high up and as far back as I can and I don’t see any reason for it. No hoses there.
Then it dawned on me.
The fucking intake manifold.
You gotta be kidding me.
I have done those before on the 5.8 Liter engine and they are an absolute bastard, especially in a 4 wheel drive.
Somewhere, I have an Allen Head socket, that I had to grind the socket part down on so far, that the edges of the Allen wrench part were starting to stick through, just for one freaking bolt, right in the middle, of the upper plenum. That was from twenty years ago when I was still at the dealership. Longer than that actually, probably twenty five years ago. Allow me to correct that, it’s not an Allen Head, it’s a fucking Torx Bit.
You have to use a long extension with it just to get down there and get it seated, you can’t even see the cocksucker as far as I remember.
That’s just one bolt.
That upper plenum is a bitch to get off.
Basically, everything you see in the middle section of this picture has to come off just to get to, the actual intake manifold.
You have to do the same thing just to get to the valve covers.
You can bet your ass I am changing those gaskets while I am into it that far.
This is no small job and it isn’t going to be cheap either.
Just the gasket kit alone ain’t gonna be cheap. I’m just going to get a freaking Head Gasket kit and be done with it instead of trying to get everything piece meal.
The worst part is, that I know the crank bearings are worn out because when it gets warmed up and you come to a stop light, the oil pressure drops to zero and the red engine light comes on. Once in a while I can hear the rocker arms rattling too, a sure sign of low oil pressure.
Basically it needs an engine but I ain’t got three grand to get one and have somebody swap it out. I sure as shit ain’t gonna try and do something like that out in the street in front of the house. Those days are long gone for me.
So, FUCK THAT.
It’s going to wait for a bit.
This is why I keep an extra vehicle. The Caballero has been extremely dependable since I got it and have only had the usual problems associated with an older rig. The heater core, fan clutch and radiator.
It’s a runner, knock on wood, so I am going back to that. It gets twice the gas mileage anyway.
Of course The Wifely Unit ain’t happy either, she hates every rig I own but this one especially. She really, really hates this one.
I absolutely hate newer vehicles, this issue right here is the perfect example why.
They are complete bastards to work on.
I’d really like to find a mid 60’s Ford 4 wheel drive in decent shape but they are few and far between in the first place and expensive as hell for a good one when you do find them.
On the other hand, if I could find a decent Chevy Blazer……..
I wouldn’t have near the trouble as I do with these fucking Fords and they are cheap and easy to find parts for.
Oh well, wish in one hand and shit in the other, I guess I asked for this so I’ll just have to suck it up and fix the damn thing, eventually. Maybe I will do this manifold gasket, throw a muffler on it and try to find another idiot with too much money.
I’m already upside down in this thing but I really like it. One of the reasons I bought it is because it was at the tail end of the era when you could actually rebuild a vehicle and keep driving it, unlike the disposable fuckers they have now.
It would have been nice to have gotten a couple of years out of this thing before it just started falling apart.
It never, ever, ends with me.