16 October 2021


 I have had my little Firefly for a little over 11 years now, and the time has taken it's toll.

The back window fell out of the top a while back and I was able to glue it back in successfully, but it never did look right. Now the fabric around the top of the window is actually tearing, and some of the elastic straps that help to fold the top when it is being retracted have stretched out and lost their elasticity.

In short, I need a new top.

There is a highly recommended shop in Raleigh for auto interiors and tops (named, strangely enough, Auto Interiors and Tops) and I took the car by there after work on Friday morning to have them take a look at it. Inspections were done, agreements were reached, and checks were written.

Because doesn't everyone drop a grand or more on their car before going to bed?

Anyway, the car is due in their shop the middle of next month for a top replacement.

But wait, there's more. Ford, in their infinite wisdom, decided to use aluminum hoods on these cars. The idea was weight savings, aluminum is lighter than both steel, and surprisingly enough, fiberglass. The problem with aluminum is that if it is not properly prepared, it corrodes.

And, of course, the aluminum in these hoods is prone to corrode. Look up "Mustang hood corrosion" and you will see that Ford not only knows about the problem, but that they have known about it since 2000 when they first started using aluminum hoods and they have yet to do anything about it. And, if your car is out of warranty (which is usually the case), you get to suck up the cost of repair (yes, there is a lawsuit, but I don't know what the status is on it).

At any rate, the body shop recommended replacing the hood with a fiberglass unit. So, off to American Muscle I went to look for hoods. And holy crap, are those damn things expensive!

I don't know why no one has simply reproduced the stock hood in fiberglass, but they haven't. There is one that is close, except it has chrome vents on the sides where my hood spear decals are. The cost is only a couple of hundred dollars less than a brand new aluminum hood from Ford though.

I finally settled on Cervani's Concept Hood because I like the low profile. It's on order, being shipped to Auto Arts in Raleigh (once again, highly recommended), and will be installed and painted when it arrives.

I got the Subaru back again (Eldest Son had it for a while) as well, and once more it needs transmission work. A definite bearing noise in the high gear. Looking at exploded diagrams leads me to believe that one or both of the rear bearings, just in front of the fifth gears, are bad. Damn, that boy is hard on cars, it seems like it needs expensive repairs every time he borrows it for an extended time.

So I have to pull the trans out of it again. Problem is, no one local can fix it, so either I have to pull it apart myself or send it away somewhere to get it fixed (or put someone else's problem in it). I'll probably just do it myself. I don't really need it right now, so it can wait a bit.

Fortunately the Jeep is doing well (except for the lake in the passenger floorboard when it rains hard). With the winter coming it's about time to put the solid doors back on it though. Maybe I'll do that this week sometime.


James said...

Has it really been eleven years? Seems like such a short time ago we were breaking bread together and someone was telling very uncomfortable stories about you.

Larry said...

It really has been, I took possession of it in July 2010. Time certainly flies.