I used to just run the straight Q&A. Lately I’ve been trying to make the stories you read on GBXM more story-like. This takes additional effort. I have all the questions and answers on the screen in front of me, but adding the insights and commentary takes a little time. I have to read through everything, determine an angle, think about the arc of the story, then weave the questions and answers into a narrative. If I get it right, you read the story and it feels like I was sitting down face-to-face with someone discussing their vehicular adventures.
There’s over 20 stories currently in the works, many of which are 99% ready to go, save that last bit – identifying the arc and weaving everything together. That last bit is where the magic happens. That’s the hard part. Which is why you’re reading about my own automotive adventures this afternoon instead of one of those other 20 stories this morning. It’s easier to tell the story you know by heart.
I spent so much time working on my truck this weekend, when the sun set last night, I didn’t have it in me to put those critical, finishing touches on anything. I’d rather tell my own story between tickets and phone calls at the day job (I don’t do this for a living – yet) than risk botching something someone I respect has taken great time to share with me. Besides, it’s a good way to show you just how much effort goes into this magazine – it can get in the way of real life. My truck has been down since mid-December!
WORKING ON THE GALANT AGAIN
It felt good to be working on the Galant again, even if only in a literal sense. Experience tells me you can fit two cars in a two car garage, right up until you start to take one apart, at which point you can fill a three bedroom house. 195/2000 – the sum of its parts, anyway – pretty much takes up my entire garage. Rocinante sits behind it in the driveway. I use the rear deck as a sort of workbench since it’s closer to the truck.
But when I found myself needing a clean, flat space to re-assemble the head. My workbench is pretty cluttered at the moment, so I decided to throw the hood and a nice cardboard box on 195 and work under a clamp light. Ended up being a pretty decent setup!
I had cold beer at arm’s length and lowdown, dirty blues playing on the stereo.
This whole project started when Rocinante decided he didn’t like oil filters anymore. Pressure relief valve in the oil pump must have seized, as he was popping filter gaskets left and right, making my driveway look like a superfund site. Unfortunately, replacing the oil pump pretty much requires removing the head. This is my first G54B rebuild, and it’s proved challenging.
Ironically, I wanted an older truck because I thought it would be simpler, mechanically. To some extent, I was right, but if you notice the head of Medusa, I mean, the Mikuni carb in the picture to the right, you can see where I was mistaken. I’m literally going to have to order something like 40 feet of vacuum hose to replace all the old, cracked ones.
You can also see the second gasket I bought because I misplaced part of my complete gasket set from Bruce Roller. #facepalm
GETTING A HEAD IN LIFE
Taking a step back, as I was cleaning the head, I discovered little metal balls wedged in a corner. Left overs from media blasting, maybe? Says a lot about the aftermarket company selling these things.
Then I cleaned out the threads for the rocker assembly. Turns out they were full of oil and metal chips from the last time someone ran a tap down them.
Oil pump aside, this engine was just a ticking time bomb. It’s too bad I threw the old oil pump out last weekend. I bet I’d find something like this in it. Midway through the afternoon, I got a text from Josh Mead, showing me a picture of his latest acquisition. a black Gen I Pajero looking a lot like mine. I sent back a picture of mine.
PROGRESS FEELS GOOD
Getting back to work, I managed to get a lot done. More progress in one weekend than in the preceding six combined. The AC compressor is mounted, as is the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, heater hoses, valve cover, and some of the easy vac lines. Not a whole lot left to do, but I was still unable to wrap it up before it got dark; starter, exhaust mani, radiator, fan and hoses, sort the last of the small gauge vac lines, maybe clean up the rat’s nest of wires running to the coil, fluids, and a final once-over before I can crank it up. Hopefully, I can finish this project next weekend, though I’ve only got one day of weekend since I’m covering the night shift Sunday and Monday next week.
I’ve got to get back to work (at the day job), but hope you enjoyed this this one. We’re all in this together. If you trust me to share your story with the world, you can rest assured I’ll be putting my absolute best into it. Sometimes, though, real life gets in the way.
Until next time, keep going fast with class and press on regardless.