Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cindy and I take the TA out to breakfast at Huddle House then I run it over to Autozone.  They test the battery this time and determine it is a bad battery.  The battery is only two years old so I get a free replacement.  I buy new bolts as well and swap the battery out.  No more charging problem, it's nice to pull up at a stop light or stop sign, turn your blinker on and actually have it work correctly (i.e. "blink" about 30 or more times a minute).  The AC is low so it's not blowing cold but since it's that crappy R-134A I can replace it when I get the chance.  The compressor seems fine, it spins and cycles just no cold air.  

The air deflector still isn't installed and the TA runs hot, like 240 plus degrees.  I take the TA home, park it, pop the hood and let the engine cool.  A little XBox (Halo 4) and a quick nap lets the engine cool.  I wake up, head back out to the garage, ramp the front wheels, chock the rear and clean up the air deflector.  I disassemble it, wash it, dry it, paint the bolts, reassemble it and then crawl up under the TA to install it.  I have twelve bolts to reinstall it.  They are all the same size bolts, brand new (I guess the shop lost the original bolts and just gave me new bolts when they returned the spoiler).  I mount the spoiler and install the six center bolts no problem.  

Then ... problem.  

The other six bolts, three on each side, are much smaller in size.  

I find one bolt partially screwed into the retaining clip and thank God for small blessings.  I compare the bolt that I have to the one I found stuck in the ground effects ... no comparison, the outer three bolts are more like trim screws.  Great.  I tell Cindy the situation, hop on the '04 CBR and ride a mile up to Autozone to get some screws that match.  Ten minutes later I'm back under the TA and the air deflector is installed.  I clean up and take Cindy out for pizza at R&K Pit Stop in Foxworth.  It's a good little drive and the TA not only has no charging problem but it runs amazingly cool ... like 160 degrees ... all the way.

The TA still has a burned out driving light - passenger front and if there's one thing I can't stand it's a car with a burned out driving light.  I priced a few replacements and ... sheesh, they're proud of them.  Passing through Walmart that night I see a pair of high intensity driving lights, the correct shape and size, for $20.  Let's see ... I can get two, better, driving lights with full wiring for $20 or I can replace one driving light with the same kind for $49.  I take a chance and buy the driving lights at Walmart.  I'll get them on when I can.  Maybe I can just splice them into the factory wiring harness ... I'll have to check their load and compare it to how the factory driving lights are set up.  One thing I will change is the fact that when you flip your headlights to high beam the driving lights go out ... whose dumb idea was that?  Let's see ... you have headlights and driving lights but when you really need a lot of light thrown in front of you we're going to automatically cut off two of your lights and just brighten up the main lights.  I guess they didn't want you blinding anyone with the driving lights ... sometimes GM did some things that just made you scratch your head and wonder if automotive engineers had ever ridden the short bus before GM hired them.

Oh, well.  Air deflector reinstalled.  Cooling problem solved.  Alternator and new battery installed.  Charging problem solved.  AIR pump replaced.  Not a bad weekend so far.  Now I just have to go from front to back and replace every single #$%^&*@#! ounce of fluid, every #$%^&*@#! filter and check everything mechanical (linkages, etc.).  I also need to get the parking brake fixed (you can yank it up but it's not holding anymore and another thing I can't stand is a vehicle that doesn't have a working emergency / parking brake).  The AC is going to need to be charged before spring and summer but I've got time.  I've got a dual electric fan setup in storage (taken from a 1988 TA with a 5.7 liter TPI motor) that I want to drop in with a toggle switch for those hot summer nights spent cruising, I want to yank the stock radiator and replace it with a newer modern replacement and I want to tune her up.  I think she's missing a little.  I know I haven't changed plugs in her and I've had her six years now.  It's time for a good bit of TLC.  

Come spring I think I'll drop in a JET Stage II computer chip that lets me run a cooler thermostat .  I've got to get another T-top storage bag or I've got to get the one I have a new zipper sewn into it.  There's still the tear on the driver's side Recaro seat that I'm going to get creative with.  The body is right and now it's time to get the motor back to top shape.  She doesn't smoke, she doesn't burn oil but she needs some love ... and maybe a transmission mount because if I get on her more than a little hard and she kicks down into passing gear the transmission sometimes "clunks" under the car.  I had the same thing happen on my old '90 Formula Firebird and it was a bad transmission mount so ...  

After that, I think I'm going back with all new Edelbrock Performer coil springs, KYB shocks and struts and maybe a complete front to back Hotchkiss suspension setup (sway bars, bushings, etc.).  I've still got a pair of subframe connectors (SFC) in storage but no one around here wants to put them on.  If they were bolt on I might do it myself but they're weld-on and I don't have a rig.  It's a lot to do but it's not a lot of big stuff because the big stuff right now is optional.  It's just a whole #$&%(#*& load of small stuff that I've got to wade through and do as I can.

I've missed getting the TA back into the local show circuit ... missed three shows that I  know of plus the annual Cruising the Coast.  I'll be taking the TA to Deal's Gap later in the spring and running it on the Tail of the Dragon.  My car club is hibernating right now (yeah, hibernating, in Mississippi!) and probably won't rear their heads or rides until March sometime but by then there will be shows after shows.  The old girl is back and better than ever and I can't wait to get back in the local show circuit.

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