Archive for the ‘wagon’ Category

The wagon lives! Sortof.

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Well, I finally tracked down the reason the ABS light was activated in the wagon.  Apparently, battery voltage is one of the tests performed by the Bosch system used in the ’95 Caprice and friends.  Thanks, awesome website!  Anyway, my leaky air shocks were running the battery down and causing the low condition, even though the cool gear-reduction starter GM used on the LT1 (which, as long as you have the bigger flexplate/flywheel, you can also use on a Gen 1 smallblock or any of the big blocks, BTW) was cranking it over just fine.  So, the Battery Tender took care of that.

But I still have a problem with the transmission, and a power steering leak.  The steering leak is easy enough; I just have to replace the lines.  I’m gonna go ahead and put in the cooler return line used in the cop cars, since it has the extra loop of line which works as a steering cooler, and only costs a few bucks more.

The transmission is weird, though.  I blew the pump up a year or so ago, and just fixed it recently.  Now it runs, but what’s happening is that the computer tells the transmission to enter second, the transmission says “hey, I’m in second” – but it stays in first.  And since the shiftpoints are controlled by the road speed (which is annoying when you change tire sizes / gears / etc), you have to continue accelerating to the speed where it would normally do the 2-3 shift – except that you’re actually still in first.  So, the engine’s screaming,but the computer thinks all is fine because you’re supposedly in second.  Once it shift to third, the 3-4 shift happens as normal.

Now, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.  I’m a tad concerned that I’ll have to pull the transmission back out an rebuild it.  But I don’t want to take it back out.  I’m considering just changing the shiftpoints to just skip second gear.  The thing makes enough torque that, with the better rear gears, I could drive it that way – or probably sell it to someone a little less mechanical.  But that’d be mean, and I’d probably feel bad. :)  So, it’ll get fixed.  Anyone with thoughts on how to do so is welcome to contact me. ;)


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There’s now 7 cars in the fleet. I’ve acquired a 1989 BMW 325i. It runs well, but has some minor cosmetic details which need adjusting (just clearcoat on the roof and new seat covers). The windows have been tinted and the stereo replaced now, though, and it’s been all cleaned up otherwise. I’ve been driving it for a few weeks, and nothing’s fallen off (well, the A/C stopped working when the compressor clutch died and the refrigerant leaked out the front and rear seals on the pump, but who needs comfort?), so I’m happy that I can pretty much just leave it alone.

Its probably about time to get rid of a couple of vehicles, since no one uses the prefix for seven (septavehicular?), while five and six are in common use. And Beth will probably stab me in my sleep if I get another just to say that we’re octovehicular. The Wagon and the Scooter are for sale, as a result… :)

wagon rear panel

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I took a picture of the interior panel on the [1995 Caprice] wagon’s tailgate / end gate so people can see where the 6 panel retainers are located. Once you take out the screws on the top edge and the four or so screws around the sides, you still have to pop these all out. The two in the middle are the ones that make you think something’s wrong and that you missed a screw – but you didn’t. :)

The replacement retainers are available through Dorman, so most parts stores have them. I got mine at Advance Auto since that was the closest store to me, and they came in a 3 pack identified as GM fasteners.

wagon rear panel

more fixes

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The passenger-side window’s been fixed, now. The little slider thing at the end of the regulators broke (which is common with the original design), but I got the last new one at the Chevy dealership. Apparently they’ve been discontinued, so I’m off to start hoarding nylon power window slidy deals now.

Tomorrow, the cover goes back on the inside of the end gate.

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remote start almost done

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So, over the weekend (last weekend) a friend came by and helped me install the rest of the remote starter.  Not that I needed help, but help’s generally appreciated.  Anyway, it’s all wired up and almost all works.  “Almost” because the Ford security key thingie (Securilock? PATS?  Whatever) bypass module I got doesn’t appear to work.  It lights up, but it never programs as a new key like it’s supposed to do.  So, I’ve got an appointment at the local Ziebart on Wed to talk to their installer about it.  I’m quite confident that it’s wired up correctly, so I’m hoping it’s just a matter of trading out this one for another one – but I figure it’s worth talking to someone who’s installed more than two remote start systems to see if there’s some undocumented trick that I messed up.  On a positive note, everything else works fine.  The lock and unlock works, and remote start takeover (car’s running, push the button to have remote take over so I can remove the key and lock the doors while leaving the car running) is working.  The alarm all works properly, too and the impact sensitivity sensor is dull enough to not be set off by passing Harleys and similar. :)

So, tonight I started on the remote start for the Wagon, which needs that to bypass the broken key switch.  I’ll write more about that later, though…