|Yup, those should be connected.|
What was supposed to be a quick look at the truck ended up with Ashley under the front end...where there's some loose connection related to the steering (it was the first of many "bad" things so the details are out of my head now). Then pointing out that one of the exhaust pipes had completely rusted off the muffler...which is also totally rusted. Then looking at the front brakes...which will need to be replaced for the truck to pass inspection (along with a new exhaust). But, you don't need to get a truck inspected if it doesn't even start, right? What had been a running truck 24 hours earlier now turns over but won't start.
So. What do you do with a giant hunk of metal that needs lots of new smaller pieces of metal that you don't have ready and waiting to be installed? Rip apart the insides for a deep clean and smaller/simpler repairs.
Seat, out. Carpet flooring, out. Side panels at the front of the cab, out. Panels at the back of the cab, out. Mismatched (I'm talking one new-ish and one random junkyard mismatched) oval speakers crammed in square stock speaker holes, out...and thrown in the trash. And a whole bunch of other little rubber and plastic parts that needed a good scrubbing, out.
I spent a lot of time with the carpet over the clothes line beating out all the dirt and then hosing it down, spraying it with carpet cleaner, scrubbing 20 years of grime out of it and then hosing it some more until the water finally ran clear. By the next night it was dry, spread out on my bedroom floor, covered in baking soda and being vacuumed. One clean shade of gray.
The rust in the cab was another project. The flaking rust was chipped out, and any rusty spots were scrubbed with a scouring pad or a wire brush. Then Ashley painted over all the rusted areas with POR-15 paint.
A bunch of bolts were sprayed for about the 100th time with WD-40, rusty parts were sprayed with POR-15 metal prep and by the time the sun was going down, the lawn ornament was put to bed for the night.
Tonight I scrubbed all the extra little parts from the interior and then read a bunch of Ford truck forums and watched a few YouTube videos to read about similar non-start situations, what the owners tried and what the problem ended up being. There are a lot of small things to try before groaning some more and sinking a little further under a big project. Let's hope one of the small things works.
So that's where I stand now with Blue. I hope this truck is seeing more adventurous terrain than its current parking space sooner than later.