A Hole in the Water Into Which You Pour Money

The wife threatened to call my new-to-me 2001 Ford Excursion a “boat.” It has lived up to that name in more ways than one:

1) Didn’t pass smog. (Yes, they smog Diesels in California now.) Seller paid part of cost to install new glow plugs, and a defective oil sensor thingy (and the *ahem* defective check-engine light.)

“You sure you didn’t disable that check-engine light for the sale?” “Heavens, no!” “Well, why don’t you pay me an extra $750 just in case you did. I’m an attorney, remember?” “Oh, that sounds fair.” Sheesh.

2) Big oil leak looks to me like it is probably an o-ring in the high-pressure oil pump (or a leak in the pump itself). I’ll get to that later.
3) Rear axle seal gone, leaking onto brakes. Had it fixed. Brakes surprisingly (to me) fine.
4) Front ball joints and tie rods needed replacing.
5) Oh and did I notice the left leaf spring had a big crack? Yes, kind of a bouncy ride, but I thought that was because it was a boat. (Both sets were pretty darned rusty.) Anyway, got both left and right leaf springs replaced.

After I come up for air next week, I’ll look at some new tires, which I knew I needed anyway. At that point she should be ready for the trip to Boomershoot. Except for the oil leak. But I’ll fix that too.

Oh, and later this summer I will need to get the A/C recharged, and fix a few minor electronic thingies. That’s what the factory repair manual is for, which I shall be ordering forthwith following Boomershoot.

Other than that, she’s still a great ride.

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7 Responses to A Hole in the Water Into Which You Pour Money

  1. emdfl says:

    F(ound)O(n)R(oad)D(ead)? heh, heh, heh

  2. Rivrdog says:

    (F)ix (O)r (R)epair (D)aily

  3. Rivrdog says:

    Really, sir, bad seals on a vehicle which should have most of it’s life ahead of it? Something NOT right about that. Today’s seals should last pretty much 200K. New glow plugs? What part of the smog test is THAT? The glow-plug circuit is energized only on a cold engine, and then only for a few seconds. Never heard of a diesel failing for improper operation of glow plugs. If it threw a code for that, maybe the CARB has fallen back on it’s “no codes” rule, but really, how much extra hydrocarbon is put into the air by a bad glow plug or two, failing to fire those cylinders for about 3 seconds? Hell, my M35 military truck doesn’t even HAVE glow plugs and it starts just fine.

  4. Bram says:

    Thanks for the reminders of why I don’t live in CA and don’t own American cars. I feel better about myself.

  5. Davidwhitewolf says:

    Well, to be fair, it does have 270k miles on it, so I expected much of this. But you are right, I might not have expected it from a 270k-mile Toyota.

  6. Phil says:

    I could make a list of what a 270K Toyota would not be able to do. And I’m a big fans of Toys. It’ll be alright.

  7. Davidwhitewolf says:

    Hey RD, California smog for diesels is kind of funny. The biggest part of the test is (no joke) where they stand behind the exhaust pipe looking for smoke. Another big part is confirming that there is an operational check engine light, and that it goes off at startup. This is, I suppose, the main indication for testing purposes that there is nothing wrong with the engine. Bad glow plugs = check engine light ON, so that’s how we got to that situation. And yes, I’m guessing that “No Codes” thing you mention is probably in effect, at least for diesels.

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