September 14th, 2006


An open letter to my truck.

Dear Expedition,

I would be thrilled if you trusted me when I tell you that yes, you do in fact have a 5.4L V8 engine. Despite evidence to the contrary, there is no such thing as a 4.725L V7 engine. Even if there were, nobody would want to buy it.

With rapidly dwindling patience,
Your devoted owner

These stupid coil packs can blow me. With a P0304 code reported by the on-board annoyance computer, it is a sure bet that my problem lies with a part that I can buy down the street for about $54 after tax. Of course, I don't have the time tonight to do the work or buy the replacement coil. Even if I had the part in my hand I couldn't start at this late hour -- for one thing, the engine is still far too hot from the drive home. More importantly, though, is that I can't risk leaving the repair unfinished. Tomorrow I need to be at the office early tomorrow for $EMPLOYER's "rah rah rah here is state of the company" presentation. The downside of driving to work and back tomorrow with a misfire is that I am dumping ridiculous amount of unburned fuel into my exhaust system -- something that can wreck the catalytic converter. That's a risk I'm going to have to take.

I expect my Saturday will be full of skinned knuckles and cursing because, naturally enough, the suspect coil pack is on cylinder number four. Cylinder four is the rearmost cylinder on the passenger side of the engine -- nicely obscured by everything! I know from unfortunate experience that changing spark plugs and related components on this vehicle takes upwards of 4 straight hours because of how Ford shoe-horned the engine into the compartment and how much junk (fuel rails, electrical distribution block, etc) they've heaped over the area you need to get at for the work .

No rest for the wicked, right?

The weekends why?