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Thread: George's Garage

  1. #271
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    I haven't heard any more about the Touareg, but but my son's friend just got a black FWD 1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT with a 5-speed manual. Word on the street is it has both a cassette deck and an Auxiliary Input - which sounds crazy for '91 but maybe the AUX IN is aftermarket. I haven't seen it yet. Looking forward to checking it out, though, when and if he brings it by.

    The 325ix has been at a German auto repair shop up in Denver to get some front suspension parts replaced for a couple weeks now. I knew we were in trouble when the shop owner said he was trying to get a knuckle assembly or something like that shipped here from a guy he knows in Alaska, but then the guy in AK didn't have one after all, and he told me on the phone two days ago a shop in California isn't taking his calls anymore.

    For all my claims of not finding any rust on the thing, apparently some of the "can't get them anymore" front drivetrain and suspension parts unique to the ix cars are rusted in place, so we're just waiting to hear how painful this will end up being. I can't say I'm surprised. Last I heard, he was going to take a torch and a hammer to try to remove the passenger side front wheel bearing.

    When I took the car in, the owner/tech looked at it and said, "I know this car. I've worked on it before." I wasn't surprised, having seen his receipts in the thick folder of stuff we got with this car that apparently was purchased new in Denver and spent its life here in the metro area. I'm thinking he checked out the front end and then told the previous owner to sell it to some unsuspecting chumps and then leave the state, which he did.

    But is has been fun to drive occasionally, even with a clanky front end. I accidentally hit a big pothole and it made such a noise that I actually looked in the rearview mirror to see if it had dropped any parts on the road behind me. It wouldn't have been the first time.



    It's not CudaMan CleanTM, but at least we washed it once since July. Sorry about the headrests.

    One thing I recently realized is the front seats, while completely manual to adjust, have an Up and a Down position, in addition to moving fore and aft. Pushing the seat reclining lever down instead of up allows the seats to be raised and lowered to what seems like two pre-set heights a few inches apart.

    And the parking brake doesn't work, so I parked it downhill against a curb so I could get out and take a picture while it was still running after I had washed it.

    The wheels still need more work. There seems to be years of brake dust caked in the nooks and crannies.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo, in another thread
    Ahh, I didn't realize the Pilot is more the size of the XC90 then.
    I think so. Here's a 2021 XC60 next to a 2006 Honda Pilot.



    So now we have a Pilot with 220K miles / 354K kilometres on it do so something with. My wife has owned it for the last twelve years. It needs a Neutral Safety Switch as far as I can tell, which doesn't look like fun job to replace: https://www.piloteers.org/threads/wh...ex-4x4.168304/

    It also needs a basic tuneup, I think. It idles a bit rough, so I'm thinking replacing plugs/wires/distributor cap, etc. are called for, but I don't know how just how far behind the times I am with that stuff. I haven't even found the idle screw on the carburetor yet! My son plugged his OBDII reader in and said it's misfiring in some cylinders. Don't know whether to donate it to charity for the tax writeoff, sell it, fix it and keep it for our daughter, or try to stuff a small-block V8 in it.
    Last edited by George; November 17th, 2023 at 12:32 PM.

  2. #272
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Well, I have some sad news about my son's friend's "new" car, if anyone cares.

    Apparently, the young man "took delivery" of the car on Thursday of last week. I'm told the previous owner drove it something like 100 miles to drop it off, which, in my mind, says the previous owner isn't a con man. Although, like you guys, I'm getting all this second-hand through my son, so I don't claim to know anything for certain. I was at work and only heard about all this when I got home.

    I'm told the car has 270,000 miles / 434,000 kilometres on it, but a new engine with about 60,000 miles / 96,000 km. Red flags abound here, but it's no worse than the bad decision we made. My son said it's a real beauty for its age and he raved about how crisp the shifter was when he pushed in the clutch and tried a couple shifts without the car running. It's clean and nice inside and out, apparently.

    On Friday, less than 24 hours after the kid got his new ride, he and his mother (he has his learners permit, not a full drivers license yet) were out in the car after school. Thankfully, they were in a parking lot. They could have been on the highway, in the mountains, up in the lawless hellhole that Denver has become since 2020, or just about anywhere more dangerous than a parking lot when the passenger-side front wheel fell off the car!

    My wife was home by then and took my son over there with our 3-ton floor jack, a jackstand, and one of those 4-way lug wrenches we have in the garage. As near as the boys could figure out, one of the wheel studs sheared off and the other four lug nuts vibrated off. This is why I say the previous owner may not have known if he drove it 100 miles or so to deliver it, because who would take that risk? And we don't know how or why the one sheared off. My son guesses none of the lug nuts were torqued down on that wheel.

    Amazingly, they were able to find the four other lug nuts on the ground nearby and mount the "doughnut" spare tire. I guess the aftermarket wheel (a bronze Advan, I'm told) and tire that came off was okay, but my son said they put on the doughnut so they wouldn't have to jack the car up so far. I don't know why that was a concern with our huge floor jack, but that's what they did.

    The sad news is the front fender took some damage at the top and rear of the wheel arch, as did a piece of body moulding on the lower part of the door. I saw pictures. It's not critical damage, certainly, but now this kid's "new" car that he had for less than twenty-four hours needs body work.

    I feel really bad for him. I would be crushed if that happened to any of the well-used utilitarian cars I buy every decade or so, and I cannot imagine how a fifteen-year-old must be taking this with his first car.

    Sadly, his father has a disability that prevents him from helping with such things, and they live in an apartment without a garage, so I feel worse and worse for this kid the more I hear. But, life goes on, and I'm sure this will only make him stronger, and all that jazz...but damn.

  3. #273
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    That sucks. Tough learning a life lesson so swiftly. Though I can't say that "torque the lug nuts" has ever been something I did as soon as I bought a car. Maybe I will from now on.

  4. #274
    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Sadly, his father has a disability that prevents him from helping with such things, and they live in an apartment without a garage, so I feel worse and worse for this kid the more I hear. But, life goes on, and I'm sure this will only make him stronger, and all that jazz...but damn.
    That's a rough start for sure. I hope the kid is prepared for what he's getting into with an old car with that much mileage. Expect to see him at friend's houses working on it.

    Looks like some meaty tires on that beautiful teal MR2!

  5. #275
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CudaMan
    Expect to see him at friend's houses working on it.
    Yes! We talked about that on the day it happened. I'll sneak a spy photo for you guys if the opportunity presents itself.

    I'm told the car is out of the shop after some surprisingly minor repairs to whatever hit the ground that day and is operational again.

  6. #276
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Rebuilt front right axle fresh off the UPS truck last night.

    I delivered it to the shop up in the breakfast burrito district this morning. *burp*


  7. #277
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    New parts are so satisfying.

  8. #278
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Turns out my son's friend with the 3000GT SL has underground parking at his apartment. I was glad to hear it's not sitting out in the weather. It's repaired and running again, although it still needs cosmetic body work from the wheel coming off, I'm told.

    I still haven't seen it, but I met and was quite impressed with this bright young man the other evening when he, my son, and another friend went to the only high school in our area that offers auto mechanics classes. They also have a welding shop and a wood shop there also. We took a tour during their open house for next-semester enrollments.

    All three boys had the idea they'd take turns carpooling to that high school each morning to take auto mechanics and then use a free period to drive back to the nearby high school where they all attend now. I was the only parent who went in with them. I kept my distance so they could be together without me breathing over their shoulders, but I watched and listened.

    It was fun to hear them scheming and plotting and planning and realizing it wasn't a reasonable proposition.

    "Fifteen miles each way, twice a day, five days a week is like a hundred fifty miles per week, and in the winter, too! Our old cars won't stand up to that!"

    The Mitsubishi owner suggested that doing this throughout their junior and senior years might leave them short of credits to graduate, if they were to use that many free periods for driving back and forth, instead of just going to their current high school and taking classes all day like everyone else does. It's like they've grown functional brains or something. Amazing.

    But then, they started talking about installing twin turbos in the SL, so maybe I judged too soon.

    The shop didn't impress them much - despite a VW-powered sandrail in there - and the shop teacher had a sarcastic personality that reminded me of the Comic Book Guy, so I'm glad they unanimously decided it was a bad idea.





    Last edited by George; December 9th, 2023 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #279
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    I can't say I regret the path I've taken but there were a few times I wanted to take structured classes on auto mechanics and welding. I still haven't, aside from some online classes.

    Back when I graduated (2001) it was VoTech or college and I didn't have much of a choice. I even went to college a half day my senior year of high school. If I could've spent that time going to VoTech and still getting into college I would have much rather done that.

  10. #280
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Here's an update, if anyone cares, and because it's more fun than working.

    Got my son some tan Weathertech floor mats for Christmas for The Red Menace. Amazingly, they were in stock and ready to ship when I called to inquire. The front ones fit really well. The rear ones were trim-to-fit but turned out just fine for something that will seldom be seen. There's not much legroom back there anyway. They were sort of a necessity, since the one-size-fits-all mats the car came with didn't fit properly around the pedals on the driver's side. It seemed like a hazard if it slipped up over the gas pedal while driving, so we removed it.

    Next, we need to install a new heater core hose - a little guy about four or five inches long with sharp turns at each end. It goes back near the firewall. The old one was leaking coolant when it got back from the shop. My son ordered a new one that didn't fit, and then learned there was a recall some thirty years or so ago resulting in a different part than originally installed. So, now we have the "new" new part and just need to take a few minutes to install it.

    Dude has been working hard and spending his paycheck hard too. He got a raise, too, since the Colorado minimum wage went up on January 1. He's already talking about where he might work next when he turns sixteen in a few months for higher wages. I admire his hustle and hunger for money, even if this old car seems like throwing good money after bad.

    We have a big pile of suspension parts, ball joints, shock absorbers, and other stuff in the basement. He tells me he just ordered a front shock tower brace as well. My wife got him a torque wrench for Christmas also. Son tells me they don't make the kind I learned on in high school auto mechanics class with the pointer over a range of numbers on them anymore. His is some new-fangled thing with a rotary dial on it, although I haven't seen it in use yet.

    Today I'm at work and my son's friend is over with his 3000GT SL, which I still haven't seen. They're replacing one of the front axles. I am convinced they'll screw it up and the car will be stuck in our garage until it can be towed away. Hopefully I'm very wrong. Son says it's a quick and easy job. I guess we'll find out.

    Here's a rear sway bar upgrade he's excited about. That part starts at about 12:17.



    Meanwhile, my now fifteen-year-old Honda sits outside in the snow, but I figure mine is depreciating and his is hopefully holding its value. I will pass his in mileage pretty soon. I'm at about 134K miles and he's still at 136K.

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