Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And again..

And again I get a strange one. At least this one didn't kick me in the nuts and cause a comeback.....yet.

1995 Pontiac Grand Am with a 3.1L The car was towed in overnight or at least after I had gone home. Dad had taken the keys and the little, if incoherent, information that was left about the problem.

What I could get from Dad when I showed for work was. "It overheated when they where driving it, then it died going down the road and wouldn't start up again. So they towed it here."

Dad had all ready refilled the antifreeze and started running the car. Yes, it amazingly started right up and idled fine. He brought it up to temp and that was when we noticed the crack in the driver side of the radiator. OK, easy enough for that, so far.

The fact that it had died, or stopped running, or didn't start and now it did he handed it off to me for diagnose. Oh fun, Oh lucky me as usual. That and a radiator in this isn't going to be something he jumps for joy to do. Later in the day when I had some free time I fired it up, it idled rough and the scanner I had hooked up would power on and off. I put it in reverse and it died instantly. I did this three more times and each time the same thing. The engine would die. I put it into drive and it stayed running. So I managed it into the shop but as I hit a bump in the entrance to the shop it shuddered for a moment. I knew then I was chasing something odd.

Running it on the hoist I noticed the gauges would go funky at times, lights flicker and generally gremlins jumping around. I knew then my issue was electrical, and most likely a broken or damaged wire. Thinking this problem must have started after the radiator cracked, or should I say hoping the problem was associated with the radiator crack I started wiggling wires in that generally area, the area just below the battery, near the transmission. I also focused there since it would die in reverse, which made me think the engine shifting cause something to stretch and there are a lot of power wires and ground wires in that general region.

About 20 minutes later I found my problem. Now whether it is the chicken, or the egg compared to the overheat I'm not totally sure. The three ground wires attached to a aftermarket, but old, transmission where loose in their eyelets. I started yanking and squeezing wires in that area and the scanner would go nuts. I finally narrowed it there, one slight yank and out they came.

Now, I'm not done with the car yet. I'll have a radiator in the morning. But I am ass-u-ming that the wire issue was present before the coolant leak. The wires shorting out may have caused the coolant fan to not operate. The engine started to overheat, pressure built, and POW, the plastic section of the radiator let loose spraying coolant in that general area and the motor then died when these wires where soaked in coolant and lost any connection. They dried out enough to run the motor, just not well, when it was towed here.

Anyway, that is a theory. I've still not gotten a clear picture from the customer of the circumstances leading up the the breakdown. Once I learn more from them, I may have to adjust my theory.

So, another crazy car issue this week. Everything comes in threes, I hate to see what next week brings.

Later :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mazomanie Car Show

The Mazomanie FunDayz Car and Bike show was Saturday from 2pm until 6pm. I believe there where about 30 cars total and 30 bikes. A vast majority from Mazomanie and Black Earth. I did notice late a Impala that had Michigan plates. I never got a chance to walk down and find out if it actually was from Michigan. I was a little to busy making sure the Beer didn't get cold. It looked like a vintage plate anyway. Regardless, there where a few people that made a long drive out to the first ever car show downtown and that was nice to see. A good mix of Mopars, Fords and Chevy's with only two Imports and they where Euro, our BMW and a VW.

This show has huge potential. They only used and filled the main street for the cars, the bikes where off to the side in a parking lot and there was plenty of food stands and a nice beer garden that Ray from RJ's Saloon put up. Hopefully next year they use some of the other side streets that head towards RJ's and also to Parkin Inn. It could double the area and allow a lot of cars which I would expect to see if word gets out sooner that it is going on.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not trying to take anything away from what they pulled off yesterday. It was a great show. For the amount of people that put it together and it turned out so well is really awesome. No matter the changes I will be taking all four vehicles, and hopefully more, down next year.

The car judging was a little unique but it was mentioned to me they are going to makes some changes in the future. The top three vote getting cars won trophies and anyone there could vote. Rick Henn, from Mazo, with his 66' El'Camino took third. Reynolds, from Black Earth, with his 55' Chevy took second. In first was a car I've pictured here, Cecil Roberts and his 55' Chevy had the most votes. The look on his face was priceless. He didn't expect to win anything but everyone in town knows Cecil and they know he put a lot of effort this winter into getting the 55 fixed up the way he wanted it. It was funny, he mentioned to me "that's two trophies, the heck with putting the headliner in." All I could tell him was. "People don't look up!"

The Edsel, Apache, and Camaro all took about the same amount of votes and we where somewhere in the top ten. The Edsel had a lot of attention and I took some time to talk to some people who where interested in it. Dan spent a good amount of time talking to people about it also.

Overall, great day, can't wait til next year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some days.....

This 2006 Chevy Malibu came in with a serious fuel leak from
mice chewing threw the plastic fuel line at the sending

A new pump module was installed. The FP module was a GM
unit, part number #10374394.

The job went well. Along with the FP module and some other
wiring repairs the customer also had me do a four wheel
brake job. After the car was done, a test drive confirmed
(or so I thought) everything was fine. The wiring repair
also took care of a evap code present due to the mice
chewing threw that sensors wiring.

When we dropped the tank it was half full, I did check the
gauge when it came in. We did not drain it since there was
no way too and the fuel leak had covered the underside quite
nicely. When we had the tank on the ground I swapped FP
modules, and set it back in place and plugged everything in.
The fuel was clean, and I took care not to allow any debris
to get in.

The customer picked the car up and was happy. That night he
filled it with fuel and then called me in the morning. "The
fuel gauge dropped to empty." I asked if he had filled it,
he said yes. We set up a time for him to come in and for me
to inspect my work. At first I ass-u-med it was something
with my wiring but I hadn't done any repair to the wiring on
the sending unit or it's harness, just the evap but
regardless, I thought I screwed up.

Once he arrived he had the good knowledge to tell me that
the gauge was acting in reverse, it was going from empty
towards full as he put miles on. Now I knew something was

I dropped the tank, pulled the module and could find nothing
wrong. Then I compared the two modules side by side (which I
hadn't done before) and knew what was wrong.

The one on the left is correct, the one on the right is
upside down. From the factory whoever installed the sending
unit installed it upside down, the sending unit worked, just
the wrong way! If you look closely at my terrible blurry
picture you can see the one on the left has the wires at the
bottom. The one on the right, at the top.

A new module from GM and all is well.

Some days it drives a guy to drinking......oh wait.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Random cool cars at the shop

Nothing exciting this week. Did a engine for a Nissan Sentra Spec V on Tuesday and Wednesday which went well.

The week before this was in the parking lot. In the coming weeks we are suppose to do a tune-up and some general maintenance. If your wondering. It is a Ford Retractable, believe a 59' was what the owner mentioned. It has been a few weeks, my memory is fuzzy ;)

Also, there is suppose to be a car show in Mazomanie on the 26th of July downtown for MazoFunDayz or something like that. We will take the toys down then most likely find a place in the shade to sit and watch what else rolls in.

It's also my wifes birthday today so off to wine and dine her tonight. I hope the weather is nice this weekend, I'd like to go for a drive.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Cobra work, July

Windshield, Roll Bar and Exhaust installed on the Cobra last week. Dan also finished up the trunk latch and hinges and the hood hinges and pins. It is really starting to come together now. We are still waiting on the Rims. We are also waiting for Christmas......

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Camaro Emblem

So when you are trying to keep up, at least you know what fuel beat you ;)

Emblems are for a 2006 Impala LT. Stick on style.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I think I like Blue

Just a picture from the holiday weekend. I guess Blue is my favorite color, huh?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Maiden Voyage, Edsel

Thanks to my friend Pete who grabbed a quick video of the maiden voyage, Friday, and got it up on Youtube today.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cobra Paint

"Gun Metal Grey" for the Cobra on Monday. I had a open afternoon and a donation of paint, thanks, and a Cobra. This is the end result.