engine bay

You may have read an earlier post where, I spoke of missing out on the Detroit Free Press half marathon. Well one thing that that gave me is time. I had time to continue working on the pickup and was able to get a lot done this past weekend. On Saturday, I finally got the intake manifold off the engine. It felt strange how that gave me such a sense of calm and peace just by getting to that part.

On Sunday, I spent the morning cleaning up the surfaces of the parts and getting the manifold ready to go back on. I figured that I had read enough, now is the time to as Nike says, Just Do It. Well my version of just doing it was more like a stutter step.

The intake manifold is this big hunk of aluminum that goes on top of the engine and lots of wires and pipes and other electronics hook to it. It has 8 bolts and must be dropped straight down on the engine, so as not to smear the bead of RTV silicone sealant that I put down on the front and rear of the engine block. One site that I’ve followed extensively suggested a good way to do this is to take a particular brand of Papermate ink pen, cut them down and place them in the holes, so that you could line up the heavier intake manifold. Then you would remove the ink pen parts and bolt away to your hearts content. Sounds good right? WRONG. It didn’t work out like that at all for me. One of the ink pens broke and I had to figure out a way to get the broken piece out of the hole where one of the bolts screws in. That took a while, but eventually I got it done. The next thing was putting on the manifold. Now this site did have a good suggestion which was putting on the manifold in “Practice Runs” a few times before you actually did it to make sure you had all the steps and clearances together. That was a good suggestion. Once I put it on, it went real smooth, right up until I was putting on the last bolt. What the heck! It won’t fit!

I had to take the whole thing off and wipe up all the sealant. Then I realized that another hole where I tried this ink pen idea had a part of the pen stuck in it as well. Aaargh. Why me? OK, pull it back together and let’s move on. At least this time I knew just how to get the pen piece out. Let’s try this again. 1,2,3…Like a Glove. Well not exactly; but it did go on just as I had hoped. After all of this I was spent. Energy gone. Amy, my wife, you remember her right? Real nice lady. She must have had pity on me.

I forgot to tell you that to get the manifold on the engine, I figured it would be better for me to sit with my legs in the engine bay. Now that’s a tight fit with the engine and all these wires and pipes and so forth, but I pulled it off even with these hams called calves of mine. Once I was there, I realize that this whole process of getting in and out of this engine bay is too much to do over and over. I try and call my oldest, Alyssia. No Answer. Use my phone…don’t have that either. CRAP. Come on Jeffrey, Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. I take my key fob out for our minivan and hit the alert. This makes the horn go off and on as well as the lights blink repeatedly. Thank goodness, Amy comes to the door and asks me is everything OK. I tell her that I am fine but I need Alyssia’s help since I’m in the engine bay. Shortly thereafter she comes out and gives me a hand, handing me a few tools that I didn’t think I needed.

As I said earlier, Amy must have taken pity on me. Unbeknownst to me while I’m all hunched over the Chevy Silverado Engine, she is in the house, making Peach Cobbler. I hugged her for a long time when I saw it. I was so tired and spent, that cobbler looked sooooo good. I guess you can see why I’m not the thinnest fella. Oh yeah it tasted good to. With a little vanilla ice cream. MMMMMMMM, MMMMMMMMM. Now that’s good. I’m getting hungry again just writing about it.

The next day after work, I put the distributor back on. No that is a little tricky. I had to get it pretty much just like it came off the engine. Otherwise the timing would be all screwed and I may not be able to start the truck. I did mark the distributor and rotor, before removing them, so this went OK. I did have a time getting it to fit just right and to match up with the oil pump, down in the whole of the engine, but it came together. The true test will be when everything is buttoned up and it’s time to start it up.

Always Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

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