Big Trouble in Cylinder 3

I’ve been having some trouble with Fezzik lately. It’s always something, but sometimes–it’s something else.

This past Thursday, Fezzik came down with a misfire on the way home from my late afternoon interview with Joe. I was up until midnight trying to fix it. I knew I didn’t fix it, but I was optimistic things were better.

Fezzik ran fine to my presentation interview Friday morning, but the misfire returned–just as we started climbing out of the valley to go camping that afternoon around 5PM. Family camping trip cancelled.

I was up at 5AM Saturday, and drove to Eric’s house in south Phoenix, where Adam let me borrow his Mitsubishi MUT-II factory diagnostic tool. Got the TPS dialed in, and headed home. Misfire returned. Ugh.

I started working on Fezzik in earnest Sunday night. There’s about an hour of intake manifold stuff blocking access to the spark plugs. Took me about two hours. I got everything ready to pull the plugs around midnight. (This was a Zen experience I’ll get into later.)

Thinking I only needed another two hours to put everything back together, I blew off my 5AM alarm and didn’t get back to it until a little after 7AM.

I finally got everything back together and got in the shower around 2PM.

The misfire returned just after sunset, on our way home from a fireworks show.

Josh thinks it’s the valve cover gasket. I hope he’s right. It’s either another four hours turning wrenches in the heat, two days before the big California trip (the week before going back to work)–or it’s an engine rebuild in the middle of Phoenix summer.

What bugs me is all this effort is just triage.