What was your news for the week?

Funny how things work. Last week there was so much stuff to cover with Monterey Car Week going on that I had no time to cover anything I wanted to. And now this week there’s so little to cover that I don’t have the energy to try and write things about them. I started a new job recently that will be taking more of my time and whatever little brain power I still have left. Hopefully my regularly scheduled Friday afternoon shit posting will return soon. You’re welcome or I’m sorry.

Until then, I’m opening it up to you. If you did something, saw anything, broke everything, or otherwise interacted with a car in any way this week, sound off. Have a good weekend.

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23 responses to “What was your news for the week?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    The Centennial was dumped outside of my house tonight, with 600$ worth of parts inside, but no work done after an 18 month wait. I’m not even at home this weekend, but I’ll be starting work on the car soon, trying to get assistance from more competent friends. My mechanic, who recently passed away, had 15 cars at his house, in various states of disassembly. I hear that mine was among the easier ones to sort for departure.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      One time I was at a motorcycle meet with my much storied Laverda motorcycle, happy to be talking to anyone who knew these bikes, all two of them.
      “So, yeah I sent some parts off to Lance Weil and he was going to ship me back some parts in exchange for them. It’s been a couple years, maybe I should see where that’s all at.”

      “You do know that Lance is dead, don’t you?”

      “What? No. I hadn’t heard that.”

      “Yeah. Lathe accident.”

      I did not ask after my parts after that. I did get the bike together enough to pass it on to a new owner, and lived to tell the tale.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Oof, that’s a bad twist. Quite telling how small the Laverda-world is.

        I couldn’t just leave the car with his widow though. At this point in time, tempting, but I’m 9k$ in and would love to get this thing together again.

    2. scoutdude Avatar

      Well at least it is home and you can start making a plan. Hopefully the parts that are in your car are actually for your car and that any parts that may have been removed are still with the car. Good luck, unfortunately I’m betting there aren’t many how-to videos on youtube. You may consider checking into a short term subscription to one of the online repair manual companies, IF of course they even cover your car.

      The other thing to check is if your local library has access to one of those services. Mine does and you just log in with your library card number and password of course and you are into the professional grade service information, for many vehicles a direct copy and past of the OE manuals.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        I have access to the original shop repair manuals – in Korean. Works somewhat with Google Translate. This is from the time when Kia/Hyundai were open source on their GSM and they’re still available in Korea. The forum scene is fantastic, despite the language barrier. And, after all, there’s no magic here, it’s a rather simple car – is what people tell me. I hope the radiator is in the car, that’s my main concern – the reason why I hadn’t picked up the car last year.

        In any case, thank you for your support & I might just ask questions here in the coming months, too.

        1. scoutdude Avatar

          Definitely ask away if you have any questions, don’t know how much I can help, but I’m certainly willing to do what I can, even if that is just encouragement and hopefully congratulations.

  2. OA5599 Avatar

    I needed a specialty part (an upgrade sold, AFAIK, only by the shop that pioneered it) and a tool sold by the same shop, and probably a few other places that are few and far between. Several minor hassles trying to comply with their NO SOUP FOR YOU rules to get them to ship, but it’s done now.

  3. Batshitbox Avatar

    Two updates? One big continuum update? Her it goes

    The Econoline: Was put up for sale a month ago. I had a crazy idea that I might buy a Brand New Truck. What? I’m an old school punk rocker. D.I.Y. hardscrabble make what you can out of what’s on the scrapheap, never feed the capitalist machine that demands New! New! New! Markets and New! New! New! Consumers. (Pew! Pew! Pew!)

    The Econoline was put up for sale a month ago because it was at the top of its value estimate. Because Burning Man. (Market! Consumer! Feed!) Some tech-dweeb dreamer will snatch this donkey up and have a great story to tell.

    Well, No. The Econoline did not sell to a Burning Man, ‘Van Life’ dreamer. So I still have some punkity-rockity cred: I still have a 30 year old Econoline in my driveway.

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    I’m going to buy a Brand New Truck!

    This afternoon I went to a Ford dealership and ordered a 2023 Ranger built to my specifications. No money has changed hands, no promises have been made, no 2023 Rangers have ever been built. I have an order in; I have expressed interest. They e-mailed me back.

    I hope to see this through, and update Hooniverse on the goings-on. More importantly, I’m going to look to you cats for advice and guidance. I’ve never boughten a Brand New Truck from a… what do you call a dealership that’s not a used car dealer? Is that just a dealership? Primary Dealer? Factory! That’s it. I’m in the Ford factory system buying a Ford from the factory. Through the system; from a dealership. Evidently.

    What I put in an order for today was a 2023 Ranger with just what I wanted on it. A locking differential*.
    After decades of owning open diff 2WD IH Scouts and the fleet service GMT400 long bed Chev and the fleet service E250 Econoline I’ve recognized what I need; A smallish pickup truck that can fight its way out of a paper bag. For those three times in ten years I find my truck in a paper bag.
    Shortest cab, longest bed.
    Rear seat delete.
    Declined “Tow Package” because it only listed a hitch and a plug; easy D.I.Y. stuff. No transmission cooler, no medium duty brakes, No Sale.

    If everything goes according to the general way it’s been going since this afternoon, then in a number of months I’ll be mooching around California in a fire engine red, 2 (ish) door T6.2 platform (P703?) Ford Ranger. The very first pre-order that Towne Ford ever got.
    Or if everything doesn’t, the Econoline.

    *Locking differential is available on the FX2 package**. ($)
    **FX2 package only available with splashy “STX” (whatever that stands for) stickers on your flanks and shitty aluminum wheels for another thousand dollars over what he FX2 you wanted was. Dick. ($$$)

  5. OA5599 Avatar

    Are you certain the tow package doesn’t include anything invisible, such as revised transmission calibration or spring rates or gear ratio? Or maybe the wiring harness contains some sort of extra circuit so that integrated trailer brakes become plug and play.

    Looks like it’s a $495 option. At a Ford dealer, that’s less than what you would pay for the parts (without labor) for the receiver plus the harness (based on 2022 Ranger prices). You might save another $100-150 if you buy aftermarket stuff someplace like etrailer, but aftermarket tends to make the harness locations seem like more of an afterthought–often using zip ties and ugly flanges.

    Disclaimer: the last two vehicles I installed hitches on were each 30+ years old, and required drilling into rust while laying on my back. I might be less averse to DIY hitch installation on something where the holes are already there, and clean.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      EDIT: I called today & added the tow package. You might be right, and I shouldn’t believe that what’s on the configurator website is really all there is.
      The only other things on my build sheet were to delete “auto start-stop technology” and “4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot”
      They no longer offer “Radio Delete” so it looks like after 30 years I’ll have an AM/FM radio in my truck

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        At worst, the tow package is close to a wash vs. DYI, after you pay yourself a moderate amount for your time and effort. At best, you’re money ahead. Good move there.

        Do you get money back on those delete items you mention? Auto start-stop seems like something that wouldn’t require any additional hardware in a modern ignition system, so any credit is likely to be from royalties that Ford doesn’t have to pay to IP owners.

        1. Batshitbox Avatar

          Yes, in fact I did get a discount. $50 for the Auto Start Stop delete and $20 for the 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot delete. So maybe I can tell myself the tow package was really only $405. There was no discount for the rear seat delete. There must be some logic behind that.
          Yes, I could have just pulled the seats out myself, but then what do you do with them? I bet that’s what Ford is thinking, too, “What do we do with all these rear seats no one wants?”

          1. MattC Avatar

            Eagerly looking forward to your experience. My Maverick took 11 months to the day from ordering to delivery. My dealership was incredible. The Ford build process and communication not so much….

            The 2023 Ranger should be really nice.

  6. I_Borgward Avatar

    I guided the remote repair of a Volvo via Facetime. Once an iPad was stuffed into its engine bay, I could see that a connector had fallen apart on the back of its alternator. Talked them through crimping on a new connector, attaching it, all better now. That was satisfying.

    K-Jet fuel injection system is still looking hopeless on my 240 sedan. Available options involve annoying quantities of cash, effort and/or pain. So… tired… of… struggling…

    I garaged my 240 Turbo wagon and installed a new center bearing and u-joint on its driveshaft. No more growling! Smooth as butter.

    This left me driving my Econoline for the week. I love it dearly like the old dog that it is, but damn, maneuvering around the big city and with it and trying to park is a chore. I continue to be mystified by those who choose to drive giant pickups as their daily driver.

  7. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    I drove the two old vehicles this week for the firs time in a month. I’m obscurely proud that I didn’t drive the pickup for a month, and pleased that it started right up the AC blew cold instantly. The 2003 Buick also started up but the AC is only blowing cool so it many need a top up. The motorcycles need love now that the brutal heat has abated. The BMW has fresh oil and filter and the Honda is insured but not registered.

  8. Salguod Avatar

    Tried to get the exhaust on the Tundra fixed at my favorite cheap exhaust shop, but they wouldn’t let me leave it and pick it up after hours. They are in a sketchy area and won’t be responsible for any vandalism or cat theft if left after hours. I couldn’t get back before close so I brought it up home. I’m leaning towards buying the parts and installing myself. Probably similar cost with better parts.

    The Boxster is up on stands in mid strut installation. I started last week and haven’t had time to get back to it. I’d hoped to finish this weekend, but not sure if that will happen.

    Meanwhile, I’m driving the Tundra. Still not satisfied with the brakes after replacing almost everything in the rear (one wheel cylinder is old) and the master cylinder. Stops ok, but pedal feel is terrible. I’ve bled the rears twice and haven’t opened the fronts. Not sure what’s going on. Might do a full fluid flush to get any air out of the system.

  9. scoutdude Avatar

    Well I did have to replace the radiator in the Mountaineer, all is good now. It is one of those vehicles with the stupid cooling module style of mounting where the bolts holding the radiator to the bracket are threaded into j-nuts on the radiator. On the other side of the bracket sits the transmission cooler and AC condenser. I looked at the factory procedure, numerous youtube videos ect. Many say to pull the bracket out of the car with the trans cooler attached which requires a special version of the hose disconnect, that I don’t have, or to unclamp the hoses at the cooler which is difficult due to the space. It just blocks access to one of the bolts holding the radiator to the bracket. I was able to unbolt the trans cooler and using a bungie cord was able to hold it up and over enough to access the bolt. So no recovery of the refrigerant, no disconnecting trans cooler lines, just a little contorting and feeling around to get the socket on the bolts that you can’t see once you try and put a tool on it. Guess I should have done my own video so others don’t think they need to try and disconnect the trans cooler hoses and then have to deal with the mess and checking the trans fluid which is not an easy thing with the 5R55 transmission family.

    I pulled the diff cover off of the Marauder to see if the magnets had attracted any more metal. The first time I pulled it about 250mi after the repair there were large amounts of shavings stuck on the cover on the other side of where I placed the magnets. This time I ran it about 700 mi and unfortunately there were shavings. The plus side is that the amount of the shavings were much less, maybe 1/4 ~ 1/3 as much as last time. I’m taking that as a sign that there aren’t other things shedding material and it just picked up the last of the items floating around in there. The oil that came out had much less greying too. Trying to decide the next time I should go in there and take a look. It was down a bit on oil and I did confirm that the pinion seal is leaking some. Not sure what to do about that since the 8.8″ uses a crush sleeve so the “right” way to do it is to pull the diff, replace the crush sleeve and reset the pinion bearing pre-load. If I’m doing that I think I”ll use one of the solid sleeves and shims so that it is set and forget.

    Later today I’m taking the old motor oil, gear oil, filters and coolant to the hazardous waste mobile. It happens to be right near the gas station with the cheapest price around right now, $3.99. So I’m taking the F-250 and will try putting gas in it for the first time since I replaced the EVAP canister. I’m hoping and will have my fingers crossed that I can put fuel in at full speed w/o having to pop the hood and detach the EVAP line at the purge solenoid. I’ve been doing that every time I fill it up since I’ve owned it. Thankfully I don’t drive it that much. I just changed the oil in it yesterday while waiting the hour before torquing the diff cover bolts on the Marauder. Last time it was changed was 9/5/21 and I’ve put a whopping 2,350 miles in that almost a year. Part of that of course is gas prices and me using the F-150 much more since it does get a little better MPG. The other thing is I’m still paranoid about someone stealing it after the attempt last year. The F-250 is going to be the focus of my automotive efforts in the near future. I need to figure out what alarm to buy, get that installed and also replace the steering box which is getting a little sloppy. I also want to add power door locks to it to work with an alarm that locks/unlocks the doors when you arm/disarm the system. Thankfully the motors just snap in place on the latch and are used on lots of Fords. So I just need to find a fish Taurus or later in the wrecking yard to get the motors and the wiring to the doors. I’ll home brew the rest of the system to interface with the alarm and a button. Then it too will be ready for winter.

    1. scoutdude Avatar

      Update, took the truck and filled it up with just sticking the nozzle in, setting it on the highest flow latch position and didn’t touch it until it clicked off, rounded up to the whole $ and it was full. No going painfully slow or having to disconnect the line under the hood! Should have done it long ago, but since I drive it so little I didn’t have to do that very frequently. It was also nice to be able to pull up to the haz drop off and not have to worry about the person opening and closing the doors w/o damaging things.

  10. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    a few months ago i ordered a cheap beater Nardi wood wheel from japan for my little old benz. this week it arrived and looks/feels way better than i expected, so i have the adapter and horn button on order to finish it up. it’s so nice i might have to find another for my Miata.

    i got it from croooober, a used parts website that ships globally. the shipping is very slow and pretty pricey, but there are some good deals to be had. worth a peek if you want something with that jdm sparkle and can afford a long wait.

  11. peugeotdude505 Avatar

    I bought a 1999 Lexus RX300. 297000kms, some front end damage.
    Lots of little dents and scratches from the senior citizen previous owner who stopped driving last year.
    The AC condensor is held on with zip ties but blows cold!
    I feel like I may have overpaid at 2850$ but did find a stack of service records in the glovebox so that’s good.
    Comfortable and nice interior.. good stereo with 6 disc CD change and tape deck 🙂
    Some things that will need attention at the next service, high idle ( vacuum leak ) and suspension needs som refreshing ( swap bay end links/swap bay bushings were noted on the last service receipt)
    Glad to have a car again, although it was fun to ride my motorbike a lot for the 3 weeks I didn’t have one.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      That’s a good project – congrats! Any pics?

      1. Peugeotdude505 Avatar

        Thanks! It is a solid beater ( so far)

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