atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1799: Setback.

Well...in six hours I got everything finished.

I have one vacuum line which I cannot for the life of me find the proper connector. I know it goes somewhere but the vacuum diagram on the underside of the hood does not show where. But that's not what I meant with the title of this post. No.

You see, the engine is only running on three cylinders. #1 is not firing.

...it fired right up when I went to start it, though.

In order to have an internal combustion engine run, you need spark, fuel, and compression. I believe that I have eliminated spark as the problem.

My current theory is that the #1 fuel injector--closest to the open end of the fuel rail--has ceased to be usable after four years of sitting. It makes some sense: it's closest to the open end of the rail, the garage is not climate-controlled...moisture condenses inside, the injector gums up or rusts, and when I try starting the engine four years later it refuses to cycle. It makes sense.

I really hope that that's the problem. Because if it's not, then I'm going to have to check the compression...and the way I feel right now, if there's no compression on #1, seppuku may be my only option.

My next thought is that I may need to recheck the timing belt. It might be off a tooth--that might cause enough trouble to keep one cylinder from working, although I seriously, seriously doubt it. I have a leakdown tester; I can check for air leakage from each cylinder to determine what the problem is if it's a compression problem. But I'm not checking compression before I try replacing the fuel injector, and since I've got four known good ones on the old engine, I don't even have to go buy one.

Finally, there is the matter of the cylinder head itself. If--for whatever reason!--I bungled something with the valvetrain, I'm going to have to pull the cylinder head and fix it.

That's all the fixable possibilities. If something went wrong with the cylinders, pistons, or rings, that's the ball game, and the old engine will go back in, bad cylinder and all. (Maybe next spring.)

Still, I drove the car down to the end of the street and back home. The new clutch feels wonderful--it's light and easily modulated. If I can't find the place that vacuum line goes, I'll just cap the bitch.

The fact that the engine didn't just fire up and run properly from the get go--I can live with that; that's how things go. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you have to spend some time finding little problems and fixing them.

But after knocking off at 3:30--after six hours of work--I realized that I was not capable of doing anything else constructive today. I had to sit down and tell myself that sooner or later you just come to a point where you have to put the tools down and go rest. No one can do this stuff all day; and when you start getting tired and hungry you're going to start making dumb mistakes.

It'd be nice if I could keep on with it until everything was fixed and running correctly; but I can't. I'm human; I need food and sleep and anime. This is not an insolvable problem, but working myself to exhaustion is not the way to solve it, and anyway this is supposed to be fun, damn it.

The car's in one piece; Code Enforcement isn't going to come down on us for having a partially-disassembled car sitting in the driveway on jack stands. That'll do for now; and later I can fix what's wrong and take my victory lap.
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