The junkyard crawl

XyloVan needs new seats.

Lord, visit this site how we need new seats.

Legions of nameless alcoholics, seek slouching through this former taxi-bus’ years of service for a sober-living facility, site have shredded the fabric.

Looks like someone force-fed meth to a sackful of starving cats, gave it a good shake, slung it inside and slammed the door in 100-degree heat. The ensuing tooth-and-nail brawl for survival left a fine webwork of tattered polyester (and a few questionable stains) draped over age-browned fabric, itself shot through with rusty springs.

It’s bad.

So off we go (after an already-exhausting morning sledding atMt. Pinos to the junkyard. I had called around, and the one place that told me they had seats that should fit (everything from ’78 to ’92 in Ford/GM interiors is interchangeable, apparently) that has an ’86 Ford van is down in CarsonContinue reading The junkyard crawl

Changing valve-cover gaskets on a 7.5-liter Ford V-8

This is a hardy old bucket. The motor’s in good shape (76, this 000 local miles), medical the transmission whines and leaks but still has plenty of life in it. It has new brakes and tires, and feels rock-solid.

But the motor leaks like a sieve, so I thought I would tackle the only leak-plugging task I’m capable of without an engine hoist and a ton of spare time – replacing the leaky valve cover gaskets.

I learned how to do this on an old four-banger Volvo B-18 engine 25 years ago, from a mechanic who had trained with shade-tree tough-guys in South Africa.

Here’s how it goes:

Continue reading Changing valve-cover gaskets on a 7.5-liter Ford V-8