01 February, 2008

Zen and the art of Muscle Car Maintenance

With apologies and deep respect to Mr. Pirsig.

The beast (as announced below) has been here for 3 months now and as proven to be yet another avenue for irregular Zen lessons

First, it lost all but the headlights one rainy (of course) night, after visually inspecting the fuses and confirming that the wiring was intact to the tail and interior lights decided to replaced the light switch (which requires removing part of the dashboard) only to no avail, then after carefully “ohming” out the various sockets determined that there was indeed no problem with the wiring, then in almost desperation checked the fuses with the ohm meter and there it was, a very normal intact looking fuse that had been working just fine was in fact was an open circuit.

A few days later it wouldn’t start in the morning – no click clack, not dead but nothing happened when the key was turned to the start position, not having time to investigate took the truck and that afternoon when I tried it again it started right up, so I tried it again several times with no problems and it ran fine for a month or so.

Then a few weeks ago making an evening mercy run to the pharmacy for son the rock god in training who was suffering various symptoms – after grabbing the indicated drugs, proceeded to hop back in the beast only to have it not start, starter motor would not turn – O.K., that’s why I pay for AAA, call them up and a while later the tow truck shows up and proceeds to try the various methods to get it started (jumping the power) nope (rocking it on neutral and throwing the transmission in park) nada (finally jacking up the front and whacking the starter with a small sledge hammer) zilch.

O.K., tow the beast home, of course the weather for the next week is cold and wet so I don’t get to it for a while but did locate a new starter and first day not raining went to check it again, same results, plenty of battery power but the starter was not engaging, visually inspected the wiring to the starter and (try not to make the same mistake more than a few times - but then, I’m a slow learner) checked the relevant fuses with the ohm meter this time and they are all good.

As son is still not up to par I jack the beast up and proceed to remove and replace the starter – trust me, it’s a lot easer to type than actually performing said tasks, with limited access and awkward contortions mange to get the existing one out and the new one connected the first day, 2nd day I finally mount the new starter, jumper the power to check flywheel clearance, button it back up and drop it back down on its wheels – and it still doesn’t start.

O.K., search the web

find some tips

one says check the ignition switch and proceeds to give erroneous instructions on how to access said switch (ain’t wiki’s wacky?) indicating that the steering column needs to be dismantled – after another trip to the auto parts store (after several calls to find the ignition switch and the special tools required) and discovering the brittle state of the turn signal switch, find out that the ignition switch is not where the wiki said, after finding a decent manual for the beast determined that model year it was relocated further down on the steering column and all you need to do is drop the column (two nuts) to access the switch.

After reassembling the steering column and steering wheel (which I’m going to have to do again once the new turn signal switch arrives) drop the column and finally access the ignition switch only to discover that two of the connectors were only half seated.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:42

    Vid, "The Beast" is appropriate, considering the trouble you and your son have gone through with that car.

    Ahh, for the love of muscle...