This weekend’s project was to get serious about rebuilding Beta’s 1991 Ford Explorer. It’s 17 years old, has more than 200,000 miles on it, but other than the fact that she overheated it and blew the engine, it’s a decent vehicle with a lot of life left in it.
After looking at used vehicles for several weeks, we came to the conclusion that rebuilding this one is a better investment for the money. So on Friday, we picked up the new engine, and set to work taking the old one apart. This effort, of course, gave HWTFM good reason to make another trip to Tractor Supply and buy a new toy — a 2-ton engine hoist. But we’re not to that part yet.
I got plenty dirty in this project, but that’s just because I have small hands and can reach down into the engine to pick up dropped tools, or unscrew something that he’s already broken loose. When it came to the engine mounts though, the only thing I’m good for is holding the trouble light so he can see what he’s doing. And, of course, documenting his amazing feats.
In trying to loosen the engine mount on the driver’s side, he had his socket extension not fully engaged with the socket, and tugged on it for all he’s worth. After a couple of years of working out every day after work, that’s evidently quite a lot, as he managed to completely twist the end of a 3/8" socket extension. On the left is what it looked like before, and on the right… well, we did have to go buy a new socket extension. And a 1/2" extension, to prevent this from happening again.
The old engine is almost ready to come out… just a few more bolts. Then we get to clean everything that we’re going to re-use (which isn’t much), and put the new one in.
This is not part of standard engineer training, BTW, but swapping out engines is apparently all in a day’s work for a farm boy (which is what he was, before deciding that engineering is far easier and usually more profitable).
I haven’t been completely useless, though; I did fix the window on the Explorer (it had jumped its track), and installed a new stereo and speakers in Alpha’s Prelude. I even soldered all the wiring, so that I don’t have to go back and re-do it later.
I’d rather be at the pool, but once all of my driving children are mobile, I’ll have more leisure time. Taxiing them around has already gotten old.