Monday, January 10, 2011

Belt, Suspenders, and ?

A few days back I got a phone call from Victoria informing me that Glinda’s muffler had come loose from the exhaust pipe again. It wasn’t dragging, but the car was certainly much louder. I had not yet gone into work, so I packed my thermal coveralls, knit cap, baling wire, and wire cutters into the Suburban and drove to the school parking lot. As a temporary fix, I slid the end of the muffler pipe over the exhaust pipe and retained it by wiring the pipe clamp to the car body. She made the drive home without issue. The next day it was too cold to work on the car, but Victoria drove it anyway. By the time she’d returned, my temporary fix had failed.

Yesterday, I jacked up Glinda’s right rear, pulled the wheel, and found that I couldn’t slide the muffler on far enough to get the proper clamping force. At that point, I decided to get out the welder and try to make this joint a little more permanent. After thoroughly cleaning off adjacent surfaces, I laid a bead of weld down that bridged the joint. Then I reinstalled the clamp as close to the edge as possible. Finally, in anticipation of this failure happening again, I added some wire attaching the joint to the top of the shock tower. Now when it slips apart, at least the end won’t fall dragging on the ground.

Victoria had also complained that, when on the highway, Glinda started to feel like the engine was missing around 65 MPH. She asked me to drive it to work today to see what I thought. I did, and she was right. I believe the culprit here is the distributor I put in a couple weeks ago. This evening I’m going to drag myself out to the COLD garage and try and put together the original distributor with the new bushing.

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