Sunday, November 2, 2008

Heavy Maintenance

Here is the TV station's wheels, a friendly little Toyota diesel minivan who has seen more interesting times than most. It has a 2.3L Nissan Diesel that was obviously an adaptation from the original Toyota engine and sports a "utility" style interior with almost no seats and plywood wall panels. It has been doing it's duties at the station faithfully for the most part but was in need of some TLC just when I needed a project. I spent several days sorting out the wiring and fixing the essentials, like brake lights, wipers, start and stop switches and blinkers. After that was done we tried to start it. It started, but just barely and showed evidence of low compression. Jeff decided to give the engine a "top" overhaul. The plan was to pull off the head, and oil pan and replace the rings. We soon discovered that the cylinder walls were scored and the whole engine had to come out. This development held the promise of interesting times as we are after all, at a TV station, not an auto garage and I, with only half my collection here am the most toolled individual. Thankfully Jeff had a few metric wrenches and an electric impact driver. We also borrowed a metric socket set from the TV station's maintenance closet.
Friday we pulled the pan, head and pistons. Sunday we pulled everything else, the little van is now the proverbial "gutless wonder." Getting a ~300lb. diesel engine out from the middle of a minivan with nothing but a crowbar, some rope and two determined guys was a new experience. All through the project we have faced difficulties but there was always a way out. A personal God who cares about such details is the mechanic's best friend. Especially in a place where friends with tools are few. We managed with the tools we had and nothing has been insurmountable.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I'm glad to see that, even in Bolivia, you still have a little old Toyota to keep you entertained. God bless.