Perhaps you can trade a new head for latrine duty.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

I am currently stationed on Suwon R.O.K. Airbase, Korea. I purchased a beater,
or "hoopdee," as many of us in the military do. It ran great for two and a half
months, until a lieutenant borrowed my car. When he returned, it ran on only two
cylinders. I immediately changed the spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and
rotor, all to no avail. The car does not overheat, so I did not suspect a blown
head gasket. All the spark plugs fire, but it still runs only on cylinders
number one and four. I drove it to Osan Airbase car care center, and they say
that it needs a head and valve job. The car is a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron turbo.
Please give me some advice. -- Dan (Captain, U.S. Army)

RAY: I advise you not to lend your car to any more of those lowly lieutenants,

TOM: When you have two adjacent cylinders (two and three) that aren't firing,
that almost always means that the head gasket has blown between those two
cylinders. That's a classic symptom.

RAY: So you probably need a head gasket, and you need to have the head
machined. And that's not cheap. How much is it?

TOM: Well, it depends. Are you paying in South Korean won or U.S. dollars?

RAY: In U.S .dollars, it could cost you between $500 and $1,000 retail.

TOM: But you don't have to pay retail, Dan. Remember, you're a captain! So I'd
pull rank on the guy who borrowed your car. Tell Lieutenant Leadfoot that once
he finishes latrine duty, he can start practicing his head-gasket-changing
skills ..." on that '86 LeBaron, soldier!"

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