Wednesday, April 11 2012
The day started out pretty much like I hoped. I was out in the shop before it was terribly warm outside. I began by employing the gear puller I bought a week ago to remove the gear off the camshaft from the other VW Rabbit diesel engine. As I got into the cylinder head replacement job on the Rabbit, I began to see more and more parts and pieces I was missing. The engine has been apart for two years at least. Evaluation of a job for likelihood of completion is part of what I needed to know, since there are three vehicles in question to be worked on here.
By nine AM I had moved on to the next and more worrisome project, the Jeep. It lost power with a puff of smoke a mile out of Wagon Mound NM. We pulled into a fuel station and replaced the fuel filter, although the turbocharger wasn't sounding like it should. After careful analysis, I determined that the turbo bearing and seal were suspect. Best to not try and run the engine with a turbo sucking engine oil at an alarming rate.
We were lucky on a number of levels. It was sending the oil into the exhaust side of the turbo and not the intake side. If the latter were the case, the engine which runs on oil not gas can go into a runaway scenario and the operator would not be able to shut the engine off until the engine ran out of oil, and you don't need to be a mechanic to know what happens at that point.
The other reason we were damn lucky is the turbo could have blown between Clayton and Springer a particularly desolate 80 mile stretch of highway mostly without cell service. Good and bad, typical, right?
The tow truck dropped the Jeep off in front of our shop even after I asked him to just put in the field because there was a vehicle in there already that I'd want to get out before putting the Jeep in. Jack came by early and we worked on the clearing peripherals from around the turbo. There are still tests I can do to determine if my Wagon Mound diagnosis was proper. I do like working on newer vehicles. I know you might not expect to hear this from a guy who hasn't been a professional mechanic since the 1982 VW Rabbit was new.
(April-Showers-2012-puddles back-Garden) I was doing laundry here at the house while working on the cars. "How?" You might be wondering. I took the advice of a Lost Jeeps forum member and wore nitrile gloves. Turbo charged diesels are filthy. I don't know if you recall my stories from years past concerning turbo replacement in the Isuzu Trooper; it is as Mike Rowe says, "A Dirty Job." Clouds began to form shortly after noon. I was working on the Jeep in front of the shop, and needed to shift my plan a bit accordingly.
Jack and I sat and talked for a while in the backyard after I had taken the laundry off the line. We're more than likely going to be working on his house this Summer as well as ours. He needs a bathroom and roof work. We're talking about a new kitchen. Jack has a wonderful insight concerning the kitchen design. I was lamenting about the location of the kitchen in the north side, because of the views from here. He suggested that kitchens can be a personable gathering place in a house. Made me think, and that's a good place, especially considering the potentially scary projects hanging fire in the shop.
(April-Showers-2012-front) Well before the rains hit, I pulled the wheels off our trailer which we had borrowed off of Slim's diesel generator, installed them back on the generator. Jack hooked up to the generator and we pulled it out from in front of the shop where it has sat for years. This gave us the space to pull the Rabbit straight out and park it so it can easily go right back in the shop when the Jeep is finished.
(April-Showers-2012-Jack's-frontyard) This precipitation is really going to be a big change from last year's Spring drought. Expect the unexpected at least this ought to be New Mexico's weather motto.
(April-Showers-2012-Gopher) Jack drove me down to get the Shiny Red Blazer for today. As depressing as it is having both of our vehicles in the shop we are grateful to have both of Clara's cars to drive in the interim.