Sunday 25th June – Maybe It’s the Injectors?

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This morning, after breakfast, I was straight out to the car to pull the throttle body off the top of the engine. I’m very grateful to Dan’s parents for letting me commandeer half of their garage so I didn’t have to work out in the sun. Dan helped me move some cars around and I parked it inside the double bay garage. I only fit by a few centimetres but that’s all I needed. While I was having my quality time with the Astro, Dan suited up in his outdoor gear so he could trim the palm tree in the backyard. He looked pretty legit in his obnoxiously yellow shirt and beanie.

I pulled the interior of my car apart for the second time in a few days, this time leaving the passenger seat in place because I was sick of the lengthy process. It worked out alright and my access wasn’t compromised too much. I took the air filter off and had a look at the vacuum lines around the throttle body. All looked ok so I proceeded to take the fuel injector assembly off. I’d taken it off once before and was careful to not drop any bolts down into the intake cylinders.

After I got it off, I found that bits of broken gasket were sitting on top of one of the butterfly valves. They were fingernail size chunks so I wanted to retrieve them and stop them getting into the combustion chamber. Needing a special tool, I wandered out to see Dan who was just trimming up the last fronds on the tall tree. He told me where I could find the dentist’s hook tool I was looking for, but I stayed out in the yard with him to give him a ground view of the tree and advise how many more fronds needed to be trimmed. He took a couple more down then he was done. The yard was a huge mess of fronds and seed pods, some of which had gone into the pool. I picked a couple up while he set up his repelling system.

Just as I finishing picking up, Dan lowered himself down to the ground with ease. With that, I went back to the car with my special tool. I fished a couple of pieces from the top of the butterfly valve, but in doing so, one of them fell down into the intake cylinder. As I was trying to fish it out, Dan came out to check on me having finished cleaning up the yard. He went and grabbed a couple of surgical scissors that could reach down into the cylinder and a mirror. We faffed around with the mirror and scissors, trying to fish the piece of gasket out of the cylinder. We put a big weight on the throttle pedal to keep the valves open during the process. After I had a few attempts with Dan holding the mirror, he had a go and after I’d been holding the mirror, he decided he’d give it a go solo. I left him to it and set about pulling apart the fuel injector assembly. I heard many grunts of frustration and told him to give it away. Upon closer inspection of the broken gasket, there was plenty missing so the worst had already gone through to the engine cylinders, one more piece wasn’t likely to make much difference.

I pulled the injector assembly apart, having one quick consult of a Youtube video when I couldn’t get the two halves apart. I just needed to pull harder. In the process of doing so, I ripped the gasket apart since it had probably never been touched before. Injectors out, they looked ok to me, not that I really know what a busted injector looks like. The small filter baskets that sat on the outside looked clean enough too, no blockages.

Dan came in to the garage then. He’d finished cleaning up the backyard and was ready for lunch and so was I. We got into Debbie’s car (air-conditioned thankfully) and drove to Costco. This was Dan’s idea, a way to finally get Churros after the endless Mexican search. We had Debbie’s card to get us in and we went straight for the restaurant. We got ourselves a $1.50 hotdog deal, a huge slide of pizza for $1.90 and…. a churro! We ate while people watching, which is pretty high quality entertainment at a place like Costco. People were walking past us with trolleys piled high with hundreds of toilet rolls and massive bags of popcorn. Not only that, we felt out of place because we weren’t morbidly obese.

Dan wasn’t impressed with the food he’d had such good memories of, but at least he got a damn churro! We exited the building and contemplated what other errands we had to run. I needed more of my pill and Dan didn’t have anywhere to be so we drove over to the closest CVS pharmacy where they had a walk-in clinic. I’d used these clinics before when I was sick after leaving work. You go to the back of the pharmacy, log in to a computer and then you’re next in line to see a doctor. There was a couple of people in front of me, but I signed in and Dan and I set about walking the isles, starting in the sex section and finding ourselves amazed at the sorts of things you can buy to “improve” your love life.

Half an hour later, I was in to see the doctor. $89 and ten minutes later, she’d given me a prescription. Ten minutes and $120 after that, I’d explained to the pharmacists that I wanted the whole script now since I was travelling and I had the five month supply I needed. Back home, I was straight into the garage to pull apart the fuel pressure regulator. I’d talked to Dad and that was his best guess now that I’d pulled the injector assembly apart. I couldn’t see anything obviously wrong there either but I didn’t really understand how it was supposed to work.

That was enough work for the day, the kids were over again so it was time to get in the pool. Debbie promised that we wouldn’t have to do any shoulder work since she was playing with them, but one thing led to another and Dan, Emmi and I ended up playing all sorts of games in the pool. Our best trick was having Emmi standing on my shoulders while I sat on Dan’s. Our hands and toes were properly pruny by the time we got out.

Debbie had cooked up some chicken and Peter some left over steak so we had an informal dinner which we ate outside. The temperature was just tolerable enough to warrant enjoying the sunset from the backyard. When Emmi was done with dinner, she joined us outside and proceeded to draw on our legs. Dan had asked Emmi to colour in his tattoos but she seemed more interested in covering my leg in all sorts of shapes and letters, all in permanent marker.

Play time over, the kids said goodye and went home. We were tired, but by the time we’d retreated to Dan’s room and watched some TV we were awake again. Dan suggested to watch a scary movie so we did some searching and found “The Blackcoat’s Daughter”. It was properly suspenseful and had a couple of twists we didn’t see coming, but mostly it was just weird. We had to watch a bit of news afterwards so that we could sleep, not wanting the scary movie to be the last thing on our minds.

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