Well, repairing my contour has been quite the experience. Just wanted to check the shift cable bushing but in came a nice domino effect of wtf moments. Refer to my thread in the Under The Hood section of the forum for the basic back story. http://www.fordcontour.org/index.php?showtopic=12928
The weather in South Jersey has been nothing but wet for the past 2 months now. Whether it be snow or rain, the ground here just has not had time to dry. Which is where my dilemma comes in. I am eager, extremely eager, to get this problem situated but I have a dirt drive way. For those of you who have never tried before, jacking up a car on saturated ground is a test in patience and more-so in bravery; blocked or not. Now, I just could not get a hold on the jack that I was confident enough to even throw the stand under to get a good look at this damn bushing. Let alone snake myself under the car to take a peak. However, there is a small concrete slab in the backyard where a dog kennel used to be. So, I say to myself, problem solved. The weather lately has been clearing up, but the ground itself (and my basement I might add) is still super saturated, but this small slab may be my savior. Or so I thought anyway.
I get the car out there just fine, but decide that I'm not gonna leave anything to chance and opted to try and use my steel ramps as opposed to a jack and stands. I get the ramps and the car lined up, reverse that car up just a tad to get the neccessary running room to get up the ramps. Put it in first, pop the clutch, hit the gas, and the tires just spin. This is starting to look like a scene from a bad comedy. First the simple issue of inspecting a bushing. That gets postponed and I decide to change my valve cover gasket instead. Only to find that 3 of the bolts were completely sheared. Which of course I had to extract and replace. Then, just when I think I'm catching a break. My car is now stuck in the mud. At this point I think to myself what all self respecting men may think at a time like this. "shiz, I can get her outta there. Just gotta rock her, she aint that deep..." So, I proceed to rock it....
...3 hours later my brother comes back from borrowing my Escape for the day. I, covered in mud at this point, go right for the back hatch, grab my chains, find a good point under the front of the Contour to put the chain, and pull the car out of the nice rut it found itself stuck in. I had to do this, not because I couldn't get it out, but because the car died on me in the middle of it all. Seems like the alternator. I jump it and it starts and run fine, but eventually dies and won't start. Alternator really isn't that old. Nor is the maxi-fuse, but I hope that it's as simple as something like that. Although, granted, replacing the alternator in these Zetech's really isn't that easy of a job. I just hope it's not a major electrical issue, because I hate messing with electronics, I really do. But, first I obviously gotta find a way to pressure wash all that nice caked up mud thats spot welded to the underside of the car right now. I also gotta see if I can't rent some time in one of my buddy's garages with a case of beer or something. Because working on a car in a dirt drive way is getting old fast.