Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mechanics 101

Two weekends ago, my guys were raking up piles...and piles...and piles of leaves from our yard.

Around here, we use our 1973 Chevy pickup (affectionately known as "The Blue Goose") to transport the leaves from our yard into the gully just beyond the back yard perimeter.

Just as they were unloading, Gregg noticed a quickly-forming puddle of liquid under the truck - antifreeze.

Now, I'm not a mechanical genius, but I can tell you that when antifreeze is running out of an engine like there is an open faucet, that is NOT a good sign!

Gregg and the older boys quickly rolled the truck into the shed and went to work trying to figure out what was wrong.

A freeze plug was corroded and leaking in a very bad way.  Don't ask me the details beyond that...but I can tell you that in order to "get to" the freeze plug to replace the < $1.00 part, it was going to require lifting the entire engine.

Bad news...

No engine lifting experience...what are we going to do??

After asking around for a couple of days for advice from more-knowledgeable mechanics, my dear husband came up with a plan.

He and the boys would hoist the engine just enough to get to the plug - using an array of boards, jacks, and cement blocks.  (I was having serious scenarios of 1000+ lbs. of steel landing on one of my guys.  Not good!)  Gregg convinced me that is was completely safe, and I tried not to worry.

By Saturday, they had carefully created their contraption, hoisted the engine, and managed to free the tattered freeze plug.  Yay!!  (And, no injuries!!)

They managed to replace the plug and began putting the truck "back together again."  That required remounting the starter, the manifold, and the fuel pump...and, of course, remounting the engine as well.

Gregg and Caleb working from the top of the engine...
Nathan working from underneath.

In the course of this, the fuel pump was replaced incorrectly and the fuel pump push rod was bent EVER. SO. SLIGHTLY. 

The truck would not run.

At almost midnight this past Saturday night, and a YouTube video later (who says you can't find just about ANYTHING on YouTube??), Gregg was determined to be done with this project, so he began work correcting the fuel pump.  The bent push rod wouldn't budge - NO. MATTER. WHAT.


So, for 2 days, they tried various ideas to remove the bent push rod.  Finally, Gregg came up with the idea of JB Welding a nut to the rod and creating some type of wooden contraption with a large bolt running through it - in hopes of pulling the bent rod out. 

I had no real concept of what he was describing to me in his plan...but, guess what?!?!  It worked!!

Last night, they managed to remove the bent rod and replace it with the new one we had ordered ($20).

And the truck runs like a champ!  Whew!!  We are all pretty excited. :) 

Total cost of the project was approximately $30.00 and about 40 hours of toil.

And the benefits included Gregg, Nathan, Caleb, Elijah, and Isaiah spending time together and learning some serious mechanics.  Even our 7 and 8 year olds were able to see how tiny hands can help in big ways!  We call that homeschooling at it's finest! ;)

And this Momma is praising God for an injury-free, low-cost, finished project! 

Mechanics 101...hopefully the last hands-on project for a while!

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