Being who I am I did, of course, hope that it was simply a random happenstance. The Expy is sometimes a fickle truck and it's been known to have the odd misfire that happens one day and then disappears the next, not to return for a year or more. Friday's drive to and from the office confirmed that this is, unfortunately, not the case. I haven't put the code scanner on the truck yet, but I'm relatively certain it's the same ailment that has befallen that engine before: the ongoing failures of the coil pack on cylinder number eight. This is something of a "known bug" on this particular year (1998) and model of engine (Triton v8 5.4L). I've replaced this coil pack at least twice before, so if I get back "Misfire on Cylinder 8" from the OBD scanner I won't be in the least surprised. However, it's about 3 degrees below freezing outside and I don't have a level surface to work on (read: the garage is full of Stuff, as it has been for the last few years) and I don't relish the idea of receiving frostbite on my fingers or breaking something that's plastic inside the engine compartment. So this time around I'll be sending the Expedition off to a mechanic to have this coil pack replaced. Downside to this plan? Oh yes, there's a downside -- my favorite mechanic moved out of Bolingbrook, closed the shop they moved to, moved again (even further away) and seem to have closed again. The last phone number that lady_curmudgeon had for them has been "Temporarily Disconnected," which is a bad sign. I suspect that once again he's gone under due to poor location, or he's relocated again for the same reason. Regardless of the cause, I don't think I'll be chasing after him. The location he left behind has been occupied by a new mechanic ("Nuno's") and a friend has recommended another nearby shop ("Tuffy's"). I'll give them both a call on Monday and see what sort of lead time and prices are quoted to me.
I hate paying for work I could (and have) complete myself! However, I think in this case (it's below freezing in the winter, the process takes a long time to get done, I'd be out in the weather for several hours swearing at the cold and the components I have to replace while trying to evolve two more elbows on my right arm) I think my comfort wins out over my desire to save a hundred dollars or so in labor charges.
Right here right now
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