Daily Archives: July 20, 2019

One Small Step . . .

50 year ago today, at 3:17 in the afternoon, Jan scooped up our 14 month old son Chris, and pointing at the TV, said, “Chris, you won’t remember this, but you’re watching a man land on the moon!”


We were living in Tuscaloosa, AL, and were over at our friend’s Dwight and Betty Elliot’s watching the landing on their COLOR TV, the only one of our friends who had one. Which made absolutely no difference since all the landing video was in Black & White.

And I had no idea that 13 years later I would be manning the Color Convertor Console on the Space Shuttle missions. A real dream of mine, especially since my father worked for Boeing on the Apollo project in Huntsville, and Jan’s father worked for Rocketdyne at the Cape.

Well, I got 87.5% of my spark plugs and 100% of my ignition coils replaced on the truck this afternoon.

I say 87.5% of the plugs because no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get one of them out. All the others broke free with no problem. I even got out my 12” cheater piper extension, squirted PB Blaster down into the spark plug well and let it marinate while I did the rest of the plugs. But no luck.

Tomorrow I’ll try it while the engine is hot after we come back from linner. If that doesn’t work I’ll see if I can stop off at my mechanics and get them to get it out.

Hopefully it’s not cross-threaded, or maybe someone forgot the anti-seize. Either way it wasn’t me since this is the first time I’ve done the plugs on this truck.

But the good news is it seems to have fixed my problem, at least the running ragged, stumbling problem. I can still detect a bit of roughness on acceleration, but much, much better than it was. Hopefully replacement of the last plug will fix that. But we’ll see

I did have to remove the Mass Air box to get to 2 of the plugs but that was only 4 bolts and it came right off.

Dodge Dakota Intake

Note: Don’t do what a friend of mine did back in my SCCA racing days and forget to remove the rag plugging up the carb intake. You apparently can spend days trying to figure out why it won’t run.

I had originally planned to do the rear brakes tomorrow, but I think I’ll take a break and wait until Tuesday. I don’t want to make my sciatica flare up again

Thought for the Day: 

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain


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