Everything was fine until I went to the back of the truck to get the supplies. I'd remembered to grab paper towels before I got oil on my hands, for once; after a few minutes' work I'd gotten the drain pan in position and even unscrewed the drain plug without getting oil on my hands. That and the paper towels--score two for me!
But when I went to get the stuff out of the back of the truck....
The lower corner of one side of the box was darkened with oil. As it turned out, one of the bottles of oil had a leak. *sigh* It did not leak much (perhaps 1/5th of the quart) but it was enough to make a mess of the box. All the oil bottles had oil on their bottoms.
Fortunately, I've got a piece of carpet scrap laid down in the back of the Jeep. If any oil seeped through the box, the carpet caught it. Still.
...anyway, got the filter off, did all the usual stuff...and while trying to keep from dripping oil from the nicked bottle, I opened it while it was horizontal right over the battery. Sploot.
Cleaned up that mess, filled the oil filter, spun it on tightened it the required 3/4 turn. Fine.
I filled the crankcase with the required 6 quarts of oil.
While that was going on, I had a gander at the air filter. Maybe that's why my fuel economy has been sucking; it's been 15,000 miles since I replaced it. It still passes the "light" test (where you hold it up to the light and see how much gets through) but c'mon--fifteen thousand miles, so I replaced it.
Then I decided to check the PCV valve. ("Positive crankcase ventilation" valve, and I had to think about it to make sure I was using the right term.) I pulled the hose off the manifold first, then grabbed the PCV and tugged--
...finished putting in the oil in between digging that bitch out of its grommet with a screwdriver. Jesus. And a search of Advance Auto's web site listed some aftermarket nonsense and "check back later for availability!" O'Reilly's web site showed something that looked about right, but how to get there? Without the PCV elbow oil would splatter all over the place, and with the hose off the intake manifold the idle would be stratospheric. The Escort's not insured right now (see also "I'M F-ING BROKE!!!") so I'd either have to get a cab or ask my uncle to drive, unless....
It's not really a critical part. It just provides a vacuum source for the crankcase; worst case it would backfeed through the fresh air vent. So all I really need is some way to plug the holes, temporarily, so I can drive over and buy the part. How do do that?
Well, I grabbed a fitting cap from the toolbox, so that took care of the manifold port; but what about the PCV grommet on the valve cover?
"When in doubt, use the old standby," I told myself. "Put a sock in it!" I grabbed a shop rag and stuffed it into the PVC grommet.
Started her up without trouble, drove over to O'Reilly's. There was nothing over by the filters and PCV valves that would work, so I went out to the truck and grabbed the broken one and came back in hoping to find something that I could bodge together to fill the bill until I could find the right part.
In the Help! section, I found part number 47057, PCV elbow for Jeep 4.0 liter I6 engines. Hallelujah. An exact replacement, and it cost less than $6 with tax.
I was going to grab some dinner while I was out--I'd thought KFC--but that left me with $2 in my wallet, and I wanted to get home and update the Jeep's maintenance log before I forgot what the mileage was.
Could be worse. Anyway, at least I managed to get that much done today.