07 November 2007

Fun With Cars

The Aries is now running right, I worked on a few connectors and removed a broken radio suppression cap lead on the coil. I don't know for sure which was the problem, but the car now starts on cold mornings without a hassle like a fuel injected one should.

A little background first.

I told you about the car cutting out on me, and said that I had changed the power module. Well, that wasn't it. I ended up changing the coil on the last morning that the car started fine for me, and that's when I had the problems with the cold weather starts. I changed the coil because the car had cut off on me the night before. I was able to disconnect and reconnect the pickup coil, and the car fired back up.

Thinking back on it, I had messed around with the connectors trying to get the car to restart that night and it started just fine the next morning. So the problem was most likely with that radio suppression cap. I haven't had a problem with it since I took it off, and I have driven the car to work every day for the last week.

Today the youngest and I went to get tires. While we were there we picked out some fabric for the headliner, he picked out a gold dragon with red flames on a black background motif. It should look interesting with a tan interior. The Rampage has a blue cammo thing going, so I guess I can't say too much about dragons and flames.

We also got a set of wheel covers, so now all of the wheels have covers and all the covers match. I was only able to afford two tires, so the other two will have to wait until next payday. At least now I have a spare, and I also bought a scissors jack, so if I have a flat I can fix it.

Next on the agenda is rod and main bearings, there is a slight tapping noise that sounds like it's coming from the bottom end. Lesson learned from the Rampage, this is easiest fixed when you first hear it, otherwise a spun rod bearing will be the likely result. It's not hard to find 2.2 Dodge engines, but it's still a pain to swap motors. Especially now, since I don't have access to a shop with an engine hoist like I had before.

This shouldn't be a large job since the oil pan is easily removed from the bottom without pulling any frame components. The oil is already getting dirty after only 500 miles, so I'm guessing the rings were sticking. I'll change the transmission fluid and filter at the same time.

Now that this car is finally reliable, I can turn my attention to the Rampage. I suspect there is debris in the gas tank that is clogging the intake screen, the car idles just fine but seems to run out of gas while driving at highway speeds. The fuel pump is new, as is the filter, and the carberator has been freshly rebuilt.

First though, I'll have to replace the alternator on my wife's Pontiac. It's been trying to go out for a couple of months now, but I've been putting it off. I do need to get it done though, before it goes out completely. That would put me in hot water with SWMBO. That would be a bad thing.

Maybe by Christmas I'll be done fooling around with cars.

And maybe something to do with monkeys will happen too.

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