Monday, November 4, 2013

And On We Go

I’m sure, gentle readers, that you’ve been on pins and needles in anticipation of my next posting. “Did the new fuel pump fix Glinda’s woes?” “Did Ringo, once back in the control of Ariel, crap out again?” “How bad is the truck?” I hear (or is it see, or not see, or… oh hell I’ll get on with it) all your unwritten questions, and I will now address them. Be forewarned, however, plowing through this missive may raise more new questions than answer existing ones. Let’s start off with the easy things. By Ariel’s silence on the subject, Ringo behaved himself during the couple days she drove him before she went off on a mini-vacation in South Carolina. I pray I gave him enough attention that he provides, at the very least, a trouble-free, safe fall and winter’s worth of transportation.

A brief paragraph on the fleet’s main support vehicle, the truck, and the nasty noise emanating from its rear end (typing that brings a childish smile to my face). I never made it to the dealership. Instead, I put the backend up on jackstands, pulled off the rear wheels, and had Mikhaila “drive” (operate the gas pedal) while I looked and listened for the source of the VERY nasty sound. It didn’t take long to discover the rear portion of the driveshaft start to bounce around as the truck’s indicated speed slowly climbed. After Mikhaila stepped on the brake and put the shifter in Park, I slid farther underneath and jiggled the u-joint. The sloppiness in the yoke indicated that, at best, I needed to replace the differential’s pinion bearings. The dealer only wants $1300 to do the job. Seriously????!!!! The price for new bearings, seals, and gasket was, online, less than $100. Since then, I’ve read a couple online descriptions of the work, and while tricky, it certainly wouldn’t warrant my forking out the price of one-and-a-half Corvairs. So, once I verified the ring and pinion are still in good shape, I’ll be visiting and ordering their Differential Overhaul Kit.

Finally, on to Glinda and her frustrating fuel delivery issues. Last Wednesday it only took me about thirty minutes to R&R the fuel pump with a GUP. A subsequent short test drive that included a full-throttle blast up the highway proved the fuel pump was not the issue. To me that’s a good news bad news thing. Good that I’ve still got a spare fuel pump. Bad that I need to dig deeper to get Glinda reliably roadable again.

On the way home from work the next day, I stopped by CarQuest and bought another inline fuel filter. Once I put Glinda’s right rear up on a jackstand and removed the wheel, I liberated the old filter and immediately thought to myself why didn’t the manufacturer make the filtering medium a different color than rust. Just moving the still fuel-filled filter created a cloud of rusty particles giving the part a snow-globe appearance as I peered through the transparent plastic housing. The new filter went in smoothly, but before the test drive, I took advantage of the raised rear and installed the two lower shrouds so Mikhaila and I could have heat during our morning commute (her to the bus stop, me on to my work). With all wheels back on pavement, the moment of truth was here. The sixty-five mile per hour blast that had brought the car to its knees only yesterday had no negative effect on her this time. TYL – another issue eradicated. An additional item was also crossed off the to-do list. For quite a while, stomping the gas pedal resulted in the engine dying. I’d been attributing this adverse behavior to bad carburetors, but the problem all along had been low fuel levels in the carb bowls.

Friday morning, fifteen minutes after I cranked up the heat during the morning commute, the carbon monoxide detector began to let me know that fixing the exhaust leak needed to be moved to the top of the to-do list. So that’s what I’ll be doing this evening. It’s always something.

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