Friday, February 6, 2015

29 year old starter died ...

Well, this is the first time that I've updated the blog since my accident in my '89 Dodge Daytona Shelby.  I won't beat a dead horse so if you didn't know about my accident you can read about it here ...

What a waste of a really rare car through no fault of my own.

Fast forward to me being without a daily driver, unable to ride my '04 Honda CBR600RR due to my injuries and having to pull the '86 TA out of the garage to use as my temporary daily driver.

Things could be worse ... like if your 29 year old classic Pontiac Firebird decides to drop its starter in the parking lot of Toys-R-Us and strand you while you're injured from a really bad wreck and you don't have the ability to fix the problem yourself.

That kind of worse.

Not much of a story to tell here ... waiting on my '91 Corvette to be delivered from North Carolina by private transporter so I'm driving my '86 TA until the Vette gets here.  I take my TA to my chiropractor, leave the chiropractor, head to Toys-R-Us to see if any new Star Wars 6" Black Series figures have come in and my 29 year old starter gives up the ghost.

I guess as far as starters go, that's a pretty good life for a starter ... a long life.

It was just one of those things ... you park your car, you walk into Toys-R-Us, you don't find what you're looking for, you walk out, you get in your TA, turn the key, everything in the dash starts up but when you turn the key in the ignition ... nothing.

Now, I've been around cars most of my life and I knew ... deep down gut knew what the problem was.  For the miracle of internal combustion to happen you need three things; air, fuel and spark.  I turned the key off and turned it back on.  The electric fuel pump was pressurizing like it should, if the initial start-up whine from behind me told me anything.




Last time I checked there was still air outside ... so ... check.

That meant spark.

I popped the hood, checked the battery connections ... clean and non-corroded.  I wiggled the battery cables ... tight.


That meant it was only one thing ... especially since the motor wasn't even turning over let alone catching.


I sighed, hung my head all the way back, closed my eyes and asked God "why?"

I didn't get an answer so being one not to pout or sit down and go to pieces when something bad happens in my life, I looked at the situation.

I had a bad starter.  Now, how the starter went bad from the time I turned the TA off, went in TRU then came back out is probably something that involves a lot of mathematics put into the basic form of equations on entropy so I skipped that.  This was here and now, I had a perfectly running '86 TA that wouldn't start.


Since I was recovering from having to be cut out of my '89 Dodge Daytona Shelby back in November, I figured there was no way that I could call my dad to come pick me up, run me to Autozone, let me get a starter, jack up the TA in the parking lot, replace the starter and get on with my day and my life.  Right then, my back and the pain I was in pretty much told me this was going to be a tow it and pay someone else to fix it resolution to my problem.

I called my family mechanic.

He sent a tow truck.

We towed the TA into the shop.

A day later, I had it back ... and my wallet had gone on a $184 diet but ... 

Life ... what can you do? 

When you can't do for yourself you've got to pay someone else to take care of the problem for you.


All the preventive maintenance and TLC in the world won't help you if your starter gives up the ghost.  That kind of strands you ... effectively.  One piece of equipment goes out and ... you're stuck.

I can't say I was really happy seeing the guy shove an old broken ratchet into the lock hole of the tow bar.  I rode with him in the cab of the wrecker and all I did the whole trip was look in the rear view mirror expecting to see the ratchet give way and my '86 TA go swinging or rolling off into traffic.

Loaded on the tow bar of the wrecker.  We tried to get it on the rollback but the wrecker operator couldn't get the rollback under the TA ... not without doing damage ... so I told him to just bar it.

And away we go ... and away $184 goes from my wallet.  Sigh.