October 2005


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Archive for October 19th, 2005

I turn the key and it goes – or maybe not *updated*

Posted in Life on October 19th, 2005

Do you have any idea how long it takes to drive in a 1.5 inch machine bolt one ratchet-click at a time? Yeah. Bloody forever. On the upside, the preliminary results indicate that replacing the solenoid on the starter seems to have done the trick.

I say “preliminary” because when I took the starter in to Schuck’s today for testing it worked. This means to me that if the solenoid was the actual problem (and all the troubleshooting I could think of plus opinions of a couple other people point to it), it may have been a heat-related issue. Both times it has refused to start were on days where I had put the car through a fair amount of mileage. And let’s face it – even if it wasn’t the whole problem, replacing a 17-year-old part isn’t a bad idea.

So, the WBGF helped me put the whole thing back together (she ended up making the blood sacrifice) and it started a couple times without fuss. The car started again after the round-trip of taking my sweetie home, so I think all is again in order.

Knock on wood…
Not hard enough, I guess.

I was proud of myself for getting up on time for once this week and out the door in such a manner as to show up for work a few minutes early, only to find that the Beastie refused to start – it was doing that cyclic thing with the starter again.

Luckily, I remembered that I have a solid-steel steering column before I started bashing my head against it. I ended up hoofing it down to the train to catch my first appointment downtown, then grabbed B:TNG out of his office to jump the car and take it to Schuck’s for another test, hoping it would fail.

Sure as shit, she cranked and started on the first try. And the second and third tries down at Schuck’s, where they pronounced the battery and charging system “good”.
Razzle-frazzen !#@$!!%^@%#!!!

So, back to the house for a quick lunch and back on the road to work…NOT! Refused to start again. Talked one of the guys at the industrial shop across the street into jump-starting it, and, back down to Schuck’s for more testing. Drumroll please….

IT FAILED!! Yay!!!

They okayed the warranty discount, and I managed to get the new battery installed. (This one is slightly larger and requires me to remove a small body brace. I had also forgot my 13mm ratchet for removing the holding block and ended up buying a new one.)

So anyway, I bring to a close the last car-related post for some time with a happily starting car and a much-relieved author.

If it doesn’t start in the morning, I’m pushing it into the river.

Yay for happy parties!

Posted in Life on October 19th, 2005

Tonight was The World’s Best Girlfriend’s birthday, and the party went off very well. She turned the ripe old age of Beautiful, smiled for three solid hours, and the world is a better place for it.

I am incredibly lucky to have her in my life, and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think it.

I love you, Beautiful.

Dear Auto makers of the World;

Posted in Life on October 19th, 2005

Do you remember the halcyon days or yore when it was physically possible for Joe Shadetree to actually perform routine maintenance and repair of his vehicle? Days when it was possible to actually see and touch a nut or bolt at the same time?

Efficient use of space does not have to mean cramming as much as possible into a space as small as possible. Leaving room for a poor mook to get his hand on a part is an efficient use of space.

Tonight, I encountered possibly the strangest thing yet about my car: a part (the starter) that was reasonably reachable, located at the bottom front (!) of the motor. The problem: a 13mm bolt located behind the exhaust pipe that allowed for at most one click of the ratchet in travel.

One click. That’s all, and to get that click I had to use my torque wrench instead of a regular ratchet because of the depth of reach. It took me a half hour to remove that one of the three bolts. Replacing it will be oh-so-much fun.

Then I had to get the wiring off – a proposition that really requires two hands, but space allows for only one.

I will grant that during engine assembly, this procedure is simplicity itself. It would be nice however, if it were just as easy with the engine actually in the vehicle.

Just a thought.