Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Spending time with the car

Today I took the green car to see Don the mechanic.

I have to smog test it sometime soon. (And paint it)
The first thing we did was go to see one of Don's friends who does smog tests.

He won't smog test some of Don's more customized cars anymore, because he doesn't want to get in trouble.
But he will put a car on the testing machine and tell us how it will do, without charging the $85 test fee, and putting the car's info into the government controlled computer system.
Knowing what the car will do, we can then make the changes to fix the problem before going to a smog station.

I didn't want to get Don's friend in trouble, so I didn't take many pictures of that.

My car did really well. Two years ago, it passed with those numbers. (I forgot what it ran)
This year, the state lowered the acceptable levels of hydrocarbons (HC) from 108 to 86 at 15 mph, and 80 to 56 at 25 mph.
So it almost passed but not quite.

Next up will be doing something to improve the car's emissions...

Since I had the green car at Don's shop, I asked him to take the headlight motor apart and see why it wasn't working.
Firebirds (and Corvettes, but not Camaros) have the headlights that flip up. They go bad all the time.
We did the red car not that long ago.

Lon, a member of the car club, has a business making headlight motor repair kits, so we always have these parts around.

Here is what a headlight motor looks like once it is removed from the car:

                                                 knob ^

The most common problem is that there are small plastic gumdrop-shaped bushings inside the motor and after 20 years they get dried up and turn into dust. They go into the part C.

We replaced that, but the motor would still spin freely and not raise the headlight up.

Another less common problem is that the metal rod (A) separates from the metal part (B).
That can be fixed by drilling a screw into B.

Don had a set of tap and dies, which was something that I hadn't seen before.
These are for making a hole for a screw, but they were too large for this project:

Fortunately, Don had another headlight motor where part A and B were still connected.
He took the headlight motor all apart again, and used that.
Now the headlight would crank up and down if you turned the knob.

We put the headlight motor back in the car and flipped the switch and nothing happened.
We plugged another headlight motor into the plug and that one worked.
So something in the motor (part D) was probably burned out.

Don had another one of those, but it meant taking the WHOLE headlight motor apart again.
I had to go to work, so there wasn't time to do that.
At least now I can raise the headlight by opening the hood and turning the knob manually.

My next visit will be Saturday to see what can be done to improve the car's emissions.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, I better stick to art? I used to be able to change the fan belt on my old Porsche! ;o)