I’ll admit it.

We have gone through our BS1 and rebuilt it so many times that about the middle of the year, I just gave up and put it toward debt snowball, rather than stopping debt snowball and having a BS1 with nothing to show for it. I guess in reality, I have been doing BS1 in a hodge podge manner, since whenever unexpected things came up I just paid for it, rather than putting it on a credit card. But I never did go back to a separate account for emergencies thing.

So here’s my question. At the end of January, I’ll have $1,100 to put toward debt. Should I just keep doing what I’ve been doing, or should I create a formal, BS1 savings account?

It just seemed last year like there was always something…and I was never winning.

Only took about 30min to get the carb off the motor.

And that was at sunset with failing light, so we finished up by flashlight. Which definitely wasn’t ideal. Also not ideal to do the work in the living room, but since we don’t have a garage or workshop, it was here or out in the cold icky weather. So I’ll tolerate a house that smells slightly of gasoline, over being out in the cold and rain.

Disassembly is usually pretty fast – I expect we’ll spend half a again as long to put it all back together and then get all the adjustments dialed in. We didn’t change any of the adjustments taking it apart, but we found things like one idle fuel mixture jet was at a different setting than another, when they should be the same (and one of those jets was also bent, which just made us think ‘huh??’) And then putting it back on the motor should be another 30min. Hopefully not in the dark. So far we’ve got about 10hrs into it, expect another 12-15 before we’re done.

We’re done with disassembly, and DANG.

In the process of that disassembly, we found GUNK completely blocking one of the two barrels (it’s a two-barrel carb). That’s basically the same thing as saying that half a person’s airways were blocked. No wonder I was having issues – my truck couldn’t breathe! Nasty, thick, heavy, black, gunk that is probably a combo of oil and fuel which couldn’t move through the carb the way they were supposed to. We haven’t diagnosed the “why” part yet, but that will come once I post some photos to a Ford Ranger enthusiast forum and have those folks help me diagnose it. But just sitting here mulling this severe a blockage, DH and I figured we would have been into at least $750 if we had taken this to the shop. But by doing this ourselves, so far we’ve spent $95 and two afternoons, parked at a work table in front of the TV on a nasty rainy weekend. Time VERY well spent.

For anyone and everyone thinking to take on a project like this, I think the main thing holding them back is the idea that they won’t know what they’re looking at, and/or won’t know how to put things back together. What I’ve found is that there’s a phenomenal amount of documentation out there to help folks do work like this, and there are forums and discussion groups (like the DR list talks about finances) where folks can post questions and get answers, often with very little turnaround time. The shop pro’s are as close as the computer and the library. I can’t even begin to describe how much this has benefited my confidence in my ability to troubleshoot problems, and “take control” of my truck’s well-being. This was a massive blockage, and now we’re taking care of it, for a fraction of the cost of taking it in for servicing. For folks looking at servicing their own vehicles, go slow, do your homework, document what you do, take lots of pictures, and read read read read read. But by all means, GO FOR IT.