mark t

where's the spark plug wrench?

Lettuce begin:

Spring Thaw 2013; a Canadian event held every year at the end of April: The $1200 BMW 2002 that I bought for the event came equipped with blow by, bondo and a hastily replaced differential. On the first day of the event we stopped in Lillooet B.C. for fuel and lunch. Michele had been complaining about the blow-by, and I wondered if the 5 qt.container of spare oil would last the three days. After gassing up I looked under the "bonnet" and to my surprise there was no oil filler cap. Yikes! I tried everthing to fill the oversized vent; a shop rag with rubber bands, the plastic top of a potatoe chip can, etc. Finally, I went into the store near the gas station and asked if there were any orphan caps. The busy clerk scowled at me, reached into a drawer and handed me 2 caps. The first one was a failure, but the second one was a perfect fit.

It said "auxillery" on it and appeared to be a for GM truck.The second day we launched ourselves across the sparsely populated B.C. landscape headed toward Kamloops via inland ferry and Nakusp. There was snow, there were trees, and there were animals, but no people. As we headed up the small mountain after leaving the ferry the snow became more prevelent. I started to detect a miss, well ok, a steady miss. Finally 25% of the engine's capacity to produce power was gone. We pulled over and I whipped out my travel tools. Heavy sigh: No spark plug wrench: !@#$$#@@#$%. It was clearly the #2 cylinder that was not firing, however without the correct tool all I could do was connect and reconnect the spark plug wire. Michele looked worried.So, we decided that a three cylinder car was really all we needed at that particular moment. Up the mountain we limped with more and higher snow drifts as we reached the summit, not a soul in sight.However, as we started to descend, we noticed a small cabin, with signs of occupancy. There was a dog standing on the cab of a pick up barking at us and a big burly bearded gent with a running chainsaw in his hand. Of course we had to stop! It turned out he had tools including a spark plug wrench, very similar to the one I had left on my work bench at home. The #2 plug featured a zero gap, but luckily I did have spare spark plugs.The rest of the event was more or less drama free, and thankfully the organizers arranged for hotels along the way to be located next to a liquor store. Canadians have their priorities.

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