Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If I live to retire, I will NOT be bored...

Owning one (let alone two) of these beasts can easily become a full-time job. There’s always a list of outstanding things to fix, refurbish, or improve. Usually, the intimidation is worse than the actual job, and once you get in there, it’s not so bad. Fortunately for me, the mechanic that I depend on invites me to his shop on my Birthday. It’s a wonderful opportunity to tackle something intimidating, with the added comfort of knowing there’s a well-equipped shop and some master tradesmen about should things go awry. This year, I elected to tackle another (they are legion) coolant issue.; my front heater core has been emitting a coolant “whiff” for the last couple of years. Well there were no visible leaks, the coolant level was going down a little, and I could always smell it…time to get at it. Generally, the job involves removing the entire instrument cluster, dash, glove-box etc. Then, the heater/defroster “Box” has to be removed and split open to extract the “radiator-like” heater core. The bolts that hold that entire assembly to the firewall are problematic. The back (or is it front?) side of them is exposed and they corrode terribly. Even worse, the head is like a Philips screw or X.
Generally, I probably needed a few days as there are several other “jobs” that one should take care of once the dash is out. However, time was just not there as I had to get home in time for my Birthday Supper. Nevertheless, I’m now confident enough to take the dash out on my own at a later date and deal with some less-pressing stuff…I did manage to tidy up a couple of smaller items, and at least the heater “worry” is greatly diminished…
Here's the start of the job, with just the steering wheel and instrument cluster removed.
Now the dash is out...the big black unit in the center is the heater box.
Now we have the heater box out. Note the pinched heater hoses.
Here it is,pried apart and old core out.
This is the new core.
A lot of junk had to be removed...
I ran out of time, but got enough back together to make the drive back home.
More to come...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Two is One, One is None...

The title above outlines my philosophy on most things. I have long been a subscriber to the idea of "Redundancy" and having a backup for everything. You know the drill; One God, One Woman, and at least two of everything else. Recent life circumstances including problems with my older vehicles, varying work schedules of wife, sons etc prompted us to undergo an addition to the fleet. I was looking for a short-term solution. Even though we already have an SUV, we ended up adding a 2013 VW Tiguan Highline 4Motion to the pack. Technically, it's for Debbie, but I've taken quite a shine to it...2-Litre Turbo-Charged w/ 6-speed Automatic...it's kind of the Top of the Line loaded version...thanks to Leasebusters, we were able to assume the last 15 months of someone else's 4 year Lease. I suspect we'll purchase it although we are not obliged to...
My van looks a bit ratty parked next to this gem. Seriously though, so far we are both enjoying it, even though some of the 21st Century bells and whistles are annoying to me...I'm coping though  :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

More Shafty Stuff...

My favorite mechanic has fitted my camper with a left drive shaft complete with 2 spanking new German CV Joints. Hopefully this will solve the ongoing woes. It seems that a "quality" left shaft for an automatic is hard to come by. The shafts for the standard transmission are a little longer and are also widely used on the 4wd versions as well as even the "right-hand" side of mine so they are less problematic and easier to get.
There it is installed, with some new glossy paint to make it go faster. Now I can get on with some more seasonal preparations...

Operation "Johnny Paycheck"

As I plan on exiting my current employment situation somewhere around mid to late 2019, I have launched what I jokingly refer to as “Operat...