Sunday, September 30, 2007

Working on the Focus

I hate this car.

Dad originally offered me $150 to do the brakes and fix the heater. Brakes are easy, and I thought the heater problem was easy too. I put water in the car, and the heater worked again. Except that by the next morning, it had all drained out. So I pulled the car into the shop to inspect it, and found that the heater core was leaking. This I has suspected for a long time because sometimes when you turn on the heat, without the air conditionings drying effect, the interior would become humid, and the windshield would fog up. So I looked in the Clymer manual and found that to replace the heater core, you had to remove the entire dash, including steering column, both airbags, instrument cluster, the stereo and all the climate controls. I decided that this wasn't a $150 job. Dad said "fine then, I'll have someone else do it." I told him that he wouldn't find anyone else that would do it for $150 either. He didn't. The dealer wanted $875. So he agreed to pay me $400. Now, two days and half way into it, and still not even close to the heater core, I'm still not sure it it will be worth it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September's Blog Post (or, 'Some Shit I've Been Doing')

I have a few projects on the burners for the end of September. The project that has been on the front high burner for most of this month, but has been moved to a medium burner for the time being, is my bike. I have the engine completely torn apart, and have repainted the case in the original silver color. The fins on the cylinders and head are a lot harder to clean up, but they are almost done and ready for some clear coat to prevent corrosion. One thing that may keep in on a medium burner for a while, or even put it on a back burner, is that I need to re-plate the bolts that hold the engine case together.

On the front burner now are two projects: selling the Toyota Camry that was my sister's car, and fixing some things on my dad's Focus. All I think I'm going to do in the Camry is have the tires balanced, spray paint the hood white to match the rest of the car, and maybe do a bit of shampooing on the seats and carpets. When I sell it, I'll keep half of the profits from the sale.

My dad's Focus needs new bearings in the rear, the front brake rotors turned or replaced, and a heater core and maybe fixed linkage. He has no heat, and I don't know why yet, but I do know that the heater core has been leaking. It fogs up inside when the heat is turned on if the air conditioning isn't on also. This probably requires the entire dash of the car to be torn apart.

A future project that hasn't even made it onto a burner yet, as it's still in research stages, is to put an electronic fuel injection system in my Beetle. There's a system called MegaSquirt, that consists of a fuel injection controller and software to program it, to which you hook up fuel injectors, oxygen sensors, heat sensors, and a couple other things, and with a bit of sensor tuning and tweaking, will calculate at any given point the proper fuel air mixture, and inject the correct amount of fuel into the intake of the engine. It shouldn't be very hard at all for me to make and gather the parts I'll need, and the control unit is very inexpensive. If this had existed when my Volvo went out when I was in high school, I'd have put one of these systems in. So this I will investigate a little more and see how doable it will be on my car, or if it will be one of those things that I learn enough about to realize that I'll never get around to doing it.