The lift is already paying dividends. On Saturday I backed the truck up onto it and hoisted her up to change the oil. I’m not sure I need to lift the truck to do this—I can crawl under and reach the drain plug without jacking it up—but it was nice to be able to sit underneath and have a look at things.
The downside: getting the filter off is still a hassle. The Frontier requires one to reach into the passenger wheel well to access the filter, and there’s just no graceful way to get this done. If I had cranked the wheel full right after getting the car on the ramps it would have helped a lot, but once she was up there and the oil drained…well, anyway.
Put Bridget up to see about the constant oil drips from what I thought were the valve covers. And here the lift really paid off: from underneath the front of the engine I could see that my driver’s side leak (the one that drips on the catalytic converter and stinks up Planet Earth) was not from the valve cover at all—it was from the cam cover.
Luckily I happened to have the correct O-ring.
This was a switch-out that would have been hideous without the lift, but with the lift was a breeze.
While under there I put the wrench to a lot of nuts and bolts—and discovered a lot of loose ones! After seeing some oil on the left frame horn I discovered that several of the nuts holding the transaxle together were easy enough to turn. These are also the nuts that hold my home-made mid-mount transaxle mount to the frame. I tightened them up, and tightened several of the Universal joint bolts that hold my “Wheel O’ Death” vehicle speed sensor onto the car. Turned the motor mount bolts a quarter turn snug too.
The rest of the day consisted of getting the MAF sensor cleaned out, and dumping some Sea Foam through the Idle Air Control Valve, which my scanner says is problematic. I was going to clean the air filter too but that wasn’t dirty. Checked the transaxle oil level as well and it’s full.
I drove around the block then. The shifter feels unusually right. I am so hoping that tightening up all those nuts and bolts has cured my wandering shift problem–at least for a little while.