mr. grey’s open heart surgery day (part ii)

i believe we are successful…

…and the only reason i’m not more positive is because there’s still smoke, but there’s also still a shit-load of oil gunk all over his engine bay, including the exhaust manifold. but this was the scene yesterday:

all gaskets came out relatively hitch-free and completely tool-free, and were even still a bit more pliable than i expected…but a few parts were NOT, which is probably where the oil leaks came from. which left mr. grey looking like this for a bit:

but all (i think – yes, after all these years i still have pretty massive doubts about my mechanical skills) seems to have gone back together easily, until a vacuum hose snapped, and i didn’t have time to go get another, so it all got put off till today (which was just as well since i wanted to do a tune up and cut it pretty fucking close on time with all that had to happen before we ran os to his mma class).

so today was tuneup day, and when you look at the old versus the new plugs:

and REALLY look at the one that was acting a fool:

you understand. now, i had some panic moments when ALL the plugs had oil in their threads and looked like shit, but i read up a bit and found…

a. oil in threads is normal on and aged M54 engine, which he would certainly be with 260,000 miles over half of which has come since the last tuneup


b. plugs will look like that after that many miles, let alone one with that many miles

the real panic kicked in when all was assembled and i had the “moment of truth” where he was restarted. at first he wasn’t having it, so of course, i doubted my work. but he had been sitting at this point for almost a month, and on top of that when he was last started (but didn’t make it out of the driveway) he had constant misfires (see above plug pics) and the last time he never through a code, but his memory woulda held them and shut down the cylinders to protect him. so i frigid started an i-6 that was running like an i-4. and he ran like SHIT. wouldn’t start, had to give constant gas, rev the fuck out of him, and then he’d die. but i ran him LONG enough to throw a code. blanked said codes and he started like a dream! ran smoother than he has in years! so i drove his pollen covered ass to the car wash and washed him THREE times. then we went on a ten mile test drive where i got him up to 75mph for the first time since 2017.

that needs to happen more often!

but first i need to pull his fan set up just do i can clean the fuck out of the engine and see if i can trace down a slow coolant leak. then it’s oil change time.

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