So today I took care of dropping my classes for the fall and starting the ball early for spring.
Tonight, after Dad and I got home from doing a bit of work at my aunt's new house, I decided to check the truck out to see if I could find anything wrong with it.
I let it run for a while, and it started to get a really bad rattle in the upper end (valvetrain, etc.). The rattle didn't sound like it was anything that would cause the engine to explode at an idle, or whatever, so I just let it run and get up to temperature. After it did, I shut it down and fired it right back up. Thing is, it was hesitant to fire and sounded like it didn't have hardly any compression. I tried again, with the same results. At this point I was smelling raw fuel really strong, not like it was leaking on the ground, but like the thing was flooding out really bad.
So, here's what I'm thinking... The computer is totally fux0red. That explains the running rich, the random shutdowns, and the codes getting cleared. Also, the piston rings are gone or broken. This explains the rattle and the lack of compression.
I could be wrong about the piston rings, but it's the only thing that really makes sense. I used a piece of surgical tubing as a makeshift stethescope, but didn't hear anything around the valve cover or head. I pulled the oil fill cap off and put the end of the tubing in there, and I heard the normal noises the rocker arms make. It was a different, more consistent, rattle than what I was hearing outside the engine.
So what do I do now? Look for some TNT laying around town, since it is so abundant, and strap my truck with it. I plan on lighting it and running away at the speed of light.