The joys of auto repair redux

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iantm's picture
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Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 2 2005 - 14:01
The joys of auto repair redux

Well, it's been one heck of a journey. 17 days before my deadline and that clock is ticking loudly. Inspection on both the focus and volvo expires on feb 28. Since I've gotta stay legal, one of them needs to be fixed to pass. Since it's been an ongoing project and I'm still paying $220 a month for it, the focus gets priority.

Right now, I'm down to the nitty gritty - the only things left to do are the steering rack (it's going in to be done on tuesday), the rear brakes ($26 for the shoes at pep boys plus an hour or two of my time), and a pair of tires (just need to get em cheap).

I'm shooting to have the focus inspected and road ready by the end of friday. This should be fun. As for the Volvo, well it's for sale. $800 or best offer, so far no bites on it. It'll sell soon I hope. Good times.

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Last seen: 9 years 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 10 2004 - 21:41
I had to replace my Focus' st

I had to replace my Focus' steering rack too, it was leaking steering fluid and that was eating the dust boots and tie rod ball joints. No fun! Of course, all that mess happened mysteriously after I slid into a curb on ice (no major damage other than a few suspension and steering bits)

I ended up doing it on my back with the help of a friend and a lot of beer. It was a pain in the butt, but I found a gently used rack on eBay with a warranty from the salvage yard (a reputable seller) shipped to my door for $70. Couldn't beat that.

Recently I had to replace the clutch (it wouldn't DISENGAGE! SCARY!) and I guess the passenger side engine mount is next. Oh joy. At least I have tools and experience.

iantm's picture
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Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 2 2005 - 14:01
It's back on the road now ...

February was busy, hectic, and frankly it sucked. Thankfully, it is over. Here's all that went on.

The Volvo sold, the focus went in to have the rack replaced - also needed the hoses and a full flush - $700 and 10 days later ... the power steering on the car works now. I overlooked one damaged suspension component - the passenger side knuckle. Found one on eBay from a salvage yard with a warranty for $40 including shipping. Just need to summon the courage to install it.

The focus needed work to pass inspection. Here's a rundown on all that I went through to make the car compliant with the laws of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Most of these were maintainence items I neglected that needed to be addressed.

1) brake pads and shoes - Changing brake pads is simple, shoes on drums ... one of the most awful things I've ever had to endure. Thankfully, the original set of shoes lasted 72k, so it may be some time before I deal with this again (if ever - a boy can dream).

2) downstream oxygen sensor - easiest repair ever. Jacked the car up, used a 22mm combo wrench after running the car while being careful not to touch anything. No more check engine light (car was throwing a p0141 error - one of the wires on the old sensor snapped)

3) battery - one -10 degree cold snap killed the battery

4) tires - sad how short of a lifespan performance tires have

5) fuses - the reverse lights were dead. After checking wiring and physical connections, it dawned on me to check the fuse. Sure enough - replaced the fuse and the lights work again.

6) metal clip for passenger side window crank - apparently PA requires all windows that would normally open or close to be capable of doing so with minimal issue. (lost the clip when I replaced some bits inside the passenger door in the summer of 06).

Now, it's inspected and all seemed to be going well ... until today. The driver's side headlamp bulb burned out - just the low beam part. Argh. Now I need to replace that bulb. The car has a strange sense of humor, and I believe that it hates me. There will always be some kind of weird issue with the car. (still haven't figured out why the trunk release isn't working - the fuse is fine).

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