Sweetheart’s DIY project involves resection and transplant

Our garage looked a bit like a surgical suite.

My Beloved had a 1994 Jeep Wrangler in there (the most recent of more than a dozen vehicle acquisitions recounted in yesterday’s post), and it got a new heart, er, engine.

Trolling for a fix-up project, he found the Jeep on Craig’s List listed as having a blown engine. The body had potential, so he struck a deal with the owner, pushed it onto his trailer and hauled it home. I got the opportunity to help him push it off the trailer and into the garage (thanks, neighbor, for adding firepower to this distressed damsel’s muscle).

Meanwhile, he located on Craig’s List an operational Jeep motor in, of all places, Manvel, N.D.

For those of you unfamiliar with U.S. geography, that’s 700 miles northwest of here.

One does not typically pack up a motor in a box and mail it away.

Fortunately, our journey of retrieval coincided with a visit home to Minnesota, and I worked in a lovely visit with my cousin and aunt in Fargo, so we didn’t waste a lot of miles fetching this fine motor purported to have only 34,000 miles on it.

A cherry picker, picking cherry motors.

For those of you who haven’t had the experience of replacing a vehicle’s engine (most of us sell the car before replacing the motor), such a project requires a tool called a cherry picker. The name is derived from an instrument used to pick cherries (and other produce) from tall, unclimbable trees, but in this particular case, it’s an implement that hoists an engine in or out of a vehicle.

Tyler didn’t own a cherry picker, but he found a used one on — yup, you guessed it — Craig’s List.

With the ailing patient, the functioning transplant and the surgical equipment to get the job done all in one place, my Beloved spent the weekend installing the new(er) motor.

For those of you who are daily readers, you’ll recall I was cutting fabric off an old shirt and ducking the hassle of sewing a new hem while my Beloved. Was replacing. An. Engine.

He’s amazing.

Mid-surgery, this is a shot inside the hood of the 1994 Jeep Wrangler without ANY motor.

For a few brief and greasy moments, I served as surgical nurse fulfilling the “here, hold this” role while he screwed a new oil pan onto the motor. Like watching video of the inside of a person’s intestine, it was both amazing and disgusting being among the few non-mechanically inclined people on earth to see the inside of an oil pan.

And here’s the kicker (or, perhaps to extend the metaphor, ticker): It works.

By 6 p.m. last night, I heard the purr of an engine emanating from our garage. I’m sure Tyler would extend a big thanks to our mechanically gifted young friend who assisted.

By 7:30, the patient was already up and walking around. We took it out for a spin to get supper.

Once again, we must find room for three vehicles in our driveway.

And my Beloved is already talking about his next project.


5 responses to “Sweetheart’s DIY project involves resection and transplant

  1. Pingback: My husband is a car junkie | Minnesota Transplant

  2. Amazing! Good job Tyler!

  3. I know I sort of contributed to Tyler’s foray into vehicle trading-up land but I must say it has given me pleasure to watch his adventures too, especially as he usually comes out victorious in the end. I am glad to find everything worked, and, as an aside, it is sometimes fun and enlightening to travel to another’s domain as you did with the oil pan job.

  4. Thanks MOM!

  5. Pingback: Forego the highway and take the scenic route through Cheeseland | Minnesota Transplant

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