This post is just me mind-barfing information about my Thunderbird, which still hasn’t moved under its own power in months.

I didn’t know you were supposed to drain the coolant before removing the cylinder heads. Fluids. Fluids everywhere. I also didn’t know that the transmission dipstick tube was bolted to the cylinder head, so yeah... That got yanked out, and added some automatic transmission fluid to what already looked like an apple Gatorade explosion underneath my car. Also, did you know that the unibody structure of the T-bird leaves less than an inch of clearance between the inner fender and the bolts for the exhaust manifold? That means you have to bust out the engine lift if you want to actually remove those bolts. Which is dang near impossible to begin with because an odd aspect of the Ford FE engine’s design results in the exhaust manifold’s bolts practically welding themselves in place. Then I had to remove the oilpan. Draining the oil actually went flawlessly, somehow, so I didn’t have to add oil to the huge puddle of assorted Christmas-colored fluids being absorbed by the Sahara desert of kitty litter. But then I discovered that they don’t really give you enough clearance to remove the pan because everything gets in the way. After removing things that I have no idea how I’m going to put back, I finally got it off and removed the piston that is supposedly causing all these problems, and sure enough, it looks flawless. Wait, what? A little while later... Turns out, this engine was rebuilt recently, which would be nice except that whoever did it apparently used the wrong piston rings or improperly gapped them, so it runs like crap. I suppose on the bright side, this means when this thing does eventually get running again, it should run like new. There’s still quite a bit of work to do until then, but I’ve bought the parts to fix it, so... This car has nearly broken me. But when it finally runs again... that will be a good day. A very good day. Unless I discover that it still stalls when turning right, in which case I think I might just cry a little.

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Also, my engine fan is asymetrical. I didn’t know that was a thing. Does anyone know why they designed it that way?

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