02 July 2010


Today (Thursday) I went to the bank and dropped the insurance settlement check in. Two business days and I'll be able to draw on it, unfortunately with the long weekend that means Wednesday morning.

At any rate, as I was pulling back on the highway I had to make a hard left turn. When I did so the transmission on That Damn Pontiac (henceforth and forever to be known as TDP) slipped. I had to pull over and add another quart to the transmission, so there is definitely a leak there that was being masked by the power steering leak that we fixed earlier in the week (that popped up as soon as we fixed the massive engine oil leak, that happened as soon as we got the head gasket fixed (and put a new timing chain set on to replace the one that started rattling after we replaced the head last year - more on this later), that happened right after we fixed the first power steering leak, that happened as soon as we put struts on the damn thing a couple of months ago, which is where this round of car fixing started).

I tried driving the Mighty Rampage to work last week and the carburetor shelled on me again. The carb has been a constant problem for almost two years now. It also needs a driver's side CV axle and a clutch, and the transmission slips out of second if the revs aren't right when you let the clutch out.

TDP has a familiar rattle in the timing cover again as well. The last time we replaced the head, a little over a year ago, the timing chain started rattling soon afterward. We let it go for a while because we didn't drive the car that much, but when Laura started going to Rocky Mount we decided to fix it. Of course the head gasket blowing on the car hastened its fixing. We put a whole timing chain set on it, but when we opened the cover we found that the tensioner bolts had loosened, and the rattling was the chain slapping against the case.

It sounds like the tensioner bolts have worked their way loose once more. This means we have to pull the timing cover off again and this time we will apply a ton of Locktite on the bolts. TDP has not run trouble-free for a couple of months now, every time we get one thing fixed something else has popped up right away to take it's place.

While reflecting on all of this, I came to a decision. I'm tired of fixing cars. So, while I was in the neighborhood of the bank I dropped by a used car dealer and did a test drive. When I got home I called one of Eldest Son's friends and told him to come get the Rampage. I'll fix the Pontiac and Middle Daughter can have it as a backup (her Mercury isn't in very good shape either).

Next Thursday I go pick up the car in the picture, and a week from Friday I order the Mustang.


cmblake6 said...

Oh, fun. I had units like that in the past. Hate that.

Larry said...

I've always had units like this, but in the past I didn't mind working on them.
Working on your own saves you a ton, and older cars are cheaper besides, so you can save money on an older car that you fix yourself.
I'm getting older, fatter and stiffer than I used to be and I just don't feel like working on them as much any more.
Thanks for dropping by!

James said...

It's about time you get some reliable wheels. The 'stang I get, and am in fact jealous. But dude, a Subaru?

Larry said...

I needed something that would fill the daily driver/camping/fishing car role, plus haul gas cans once in a while and the occasional trash run. The Rampage was great at that. Because it has a tiny short bed the Subaru will not be as good, but it should still get the job done. Plus, since it's replacing two cars (the Rampage and the Pontiac) the four seat cabin is a must-have.
Add the AC and it's got positive points that the Rampage can't hope to match. I'll put a hitch on it and get a small trailer for everything else.
What's funny is that I've always wanted one of these just because (like the Rampage) it's different. The wife often wondered if I had a problem with my brain being missing because of my fondness for oddball cars.
Of course, the 'Stang is just for fun.
Thanks for dropping by James!