Dr. L's ride looses oil pressure and engine February 2006

As most people know Dr. Leisure has been living in the back of a pickup truck since August of 2003. The pickup truck was a 1989 Ford Ranger with ninety thousand miles on it. A four cylinder manual five speed with four wheel drive. A very serviceable truck. With a twenty inch extension and a few solar panels on the roof it was not a bad place to live.

Unfortunately in early 2006 Dr. L noticed that the oil pressure gauge was not indicating oil pressure all the time. Some times it would drop off scale and then rebound to a decent reading.

Obviously something was not right. But what was the problem. Consultations with others in the auto repair business suggested that the oil pressure gauge was probably faulty and it was no big deal.

The electrical test of the gauge suggested that it was functioning all right. A manual test of the pressure at the sending unit port suggested that indeed oil was not being distributed.

Shifting the truck about in an effort to get it where it could be worked on found that one too many miles was driven. The engine tried to seize up. It was clear that the engine was seriously compromised.

Considering all the options it was decided that replacing the engine with a re manufactured long block was the way to go.

Out comes the old on February 14, 2006. It was decided that replacing the engine with a rebuilt would be the quickest way to get back on the road. Disconnecting an engine when the bolts have had twenty years to rust is not always an easy task. But that would not be the biggest problem. The new engine was expected in eight to ten days. A premium had been paid for air freight to get the block here in a more timely manner.

March 8, 2006 the engine arrives in a wood box. Better late than never.

However the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. The engine arrived a good ten days beyond the eight or ten suggested by the seller.

Another five days was lost dealing with a short piece of tubing that aligned the oil pump to the block. A machine shop contacted to produce the part never responded and ultimately Dr L fabricated the part he needed from a Tiki torch tube.

Dr. L grinds down the end of the Tiki pipe to get the diameter necessary for the tube to fit into the existing holes in the block and the oil pump.

The new engine ready for installation. Another five days would be lost over the difficulties on getting the clutch to properly align with the engine. The short of the matter is that it took forty days to pull the engine and install the replacement. Six months later when the clutch went out I replaced it by pulling the engine out of the truck. I pulled the engine and replaced it in three days working at a very measured pace because I did not want to do this again.

Dr. Leisure is no stranger to auto engine repair. He rebuilt the engine in his first car a forty-eight Ford. In his days as a college professor he astonished his colleagues by rebuilding a big block Pontiac engine for his 1970 Bonneville. All toll Dr. L figures he did a good six or eight engine overhauls.

Contrary to rumors circulated by well meaning tour guides Dr. L is not independently wealthy living in the back of a pick up truck because he is eccentric. He is a pauper with an income of under $300 a month. Living in a truck under the circumstances is the only way to beat the high cost of accommodations. Other benefits include food stamps and health care at no cost. Dr. L has no money in the bank or anywhere else for that matter. A loan from a close friend was the only way that the engine could have been purchased. In all about two thousand dollars was spent on the engine and the tools needed to install it, i.e. the engine crane was $300.

Dr. Leisure would like to pay back the individual that lent the money. If one cares to donate the money collected on this page will be directed to the individuals who assisted in helping make it so.

Consider a contribution to Doctor Leisure if you want to help defray the cost of the loan for the engine.  Any money beyond that necessary to cover the loan will be used to maintain this site and the efforts to save Makena State Park.


Friends of Makena State Park

Friends of Makena State Park was formally formed in 2003 to assist the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources in the stewardship of  Makena State Park.

Membership is open to anyone interested in the stewardship of  the unique natural resource that constitutes Makena State Park situated on the island of Maui in the Hawai 'i Islands. The world famous nude beach known as Little Beach is contiguous to Makena State Park.

To declare your membership and to receive the electronic newsletter of Dr. Leisure's Friends of Makena State Park click this link: LittleBeachMaui-subscribe@topica.com  and send a blank email.

Dr. Leisure's Friends of Makena State Park
PO Box 1137
Kihei, HI 96753

--Dr. George R. Harker can be reached by email at drleisure1@aol.com.

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Copyright 2007, Dr. Leisure

©Copyright 2006 Dr. Leisure. All rights reserved.

Dr Leisure