December 31st, 2003 (Post #39)

December 31, 2003
Missing, Oil Change, Awesome Truck, New Logo
The winter weather has been amazing and all is well with the world when in December, in Oklahoma, you can work on your vehicle without fear of frostbite. One pretty day found me cleaning and reattaching the air dam to the front of the Big White Bus. As usual when I do something “fun” or cosmetic to the truck, the engine wants attention and intermittent engine problems began for the last two weeks. One day all is well, runs great. Next day, 7 of 8 cylinders are working. It was getting very frustrating. I checked each boot and applied some di-electric
grease. It is actually silicone based lube. That way hopefully I will not break another ignition wire with a stuck boot. All of the ignition wires seemed plugged in properly and I found nothing out of the ordinary.

Started her up and she ran fine Sunday afternoon. I started her up on Monday to go to work and again she was missing.

So yesterday I bought a new set of plugs. Champion Truck Plug 4404. I am not recommending them or endorsing them yet. I don’t have any imperical data to share. Quite frankly it’s what the guy behind the counter recommended. They are reasonably priced at $2.49 each. His sales pitch was pretty good and he shared some customer comments along with the pitch so I said what the heck. I installed them that night. There is something about working on an engine when it is still warm, it took the edge off of the light wind blowing and 50 degree (F) evening as it was settling in.

So now the plugs are in and she seems to be running pretty good. Two plugs show some strange characteristics. I will show them to JagGuy New Year’s Eve before he has too many glasses of wine for an informed decision. Six were a gray color, which being that there were 6 that way I am guessing that they are fine. Number 2 was strangely black in a single spot and Number 8 was flat black. I’m guessing that Number 2 was busted and the spark is coming through the insolator instead of the proper path. But more on that if I confirm my hypothesis.

I bought some Castrol GTX High Mileage for this last oil change. My truck has 135,000 on the odometer and I consider that high mileage. The sales pitch says, “helps older cars feel young again”. I’m pretty sure my Rover has absolutely no “feelings” or she wouldn’t treat me the way she does. But I’m coming into my own “high mileage” period and that line spoke to me. Besides I drove my 1993 Ford Ranger 187,000 miles with Castrol and the woman that bought it from me, drove it another 20,000 and sold it to yet another person. As far as I know it is still running.

So I’m figuring that as long as I’m using Castrol how can I go wrong. Besides I got a free Washington Redskins sports jersey for buying the oil. All in all it’s probably a gimmick but I can always put the regular GTX in at the next change and I have a new shirt to wear.

I’ve been considering a dual battery setup. I have most of the parts and my good friend The Ditchfinder just finished his dual battery install and it has it’s benefits. Our good friend Alan Bates doubts the importance of a dual battery, but I promised him margaritas at my next trail ride powered by my second battery so he is all good with it now.

I had some great email with Ozzie at Ozzie’s Offroad this week. Alan sent me his site in a link in the forum. He has a great rig and I highly recommend you check out his site. If I hit the lottery I may have to get me one of those roof rack tents. They are expensive but they are really cool looking. Go check out his site.

I have to give props to my good friend Tom in Chicago for creating a new animated logo for the Rover Defender’s Rover Log. If you didn’t notice it when you came here go back to the main page and check it out. I’m gonna send him a nice beer gift soon.

Three references to drinking in this update. Can anyone tell it’s New Year’s Eve? I hope everyone has a safe new year and thanks for reading the log.