Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heidi’s Back on the Road

Yesterday afternoon, I rushed home from work, donned my grungies, headed to the street to evaluate Heidi. With the display on my multimeter showing nothing but zeroes, I quickly determined the battery – only a couple years old – was completely dead. Off came the leads and the holddown nuts and the battery was out and Ringo’s new replacement was dropped into place. After mating the positive connector, but before attaching the negative, I put a scrap wired taillight socket between the terminal and the connector. If there was a short draining the battery, the bulb would illuminate indicating current draw somewhere in the car’s electricals. I was relieved when the bulb stayed dark. With the battery then connected completely, I vacuumed out the engien compartment so no pine needles would get sucked in, and then poured a little gas down the driver’s carburetor and cranked the engine. After a few seconds, the engine started right up and ran smoothly. I was expecting her stubborn lifter to be doing its clackity-clackity dance, but it was silent. Next check was the generator output to ensure the battery was being recharged properly. The display showed a nice 13.8 volts. Looks like the only issue was the time she sat between uses. I can fix that – just drive her. It took quite a few pints of transmission fluid before the level was up to full. She's always had a nagging tranny leak that I was unable to find and fix the last time I was under the car. I'll just keep a jug of fluid and a funnel in the trunk.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Starting this morning, I’ll make sure she gets used at least three times a week until the salt trucks come. After that, I’ll pull the battery lead and periodically top off the charge with my battery charger. In the meantime, I need to get to Advance Auto and see what a new battery is going to cost because Ringo’s going to need his pretty soon.

After dinner I went out to the garage to continue masking Ringo. With the second door about half-way covered, I ran out of masking tape. One of my stops at lunch today was Lowe’s where I bought a three-pack of tape and a roll of masking paper. I should have enough to finish the masking job now.

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