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Sunday
Jul072019

The Bad Taste in My Mouth

Today did not feel good.

No video or pics today, wasnt able to get things together, but spent much of my day wrenching on the car. Spent the last week concerned about a misfire at low RPM, and two weeks with the return of the ABS light.

As usual, much of my spare time gets spent researching what it could be. I'm not a trained mechanic, so solutions don't always come to me right away. The trouble with asking the internet for specific answers that pertain to a 20 year old car is that you often don't get a lot of direct answers. As such I am left with the possibilities ranging from catastrophic vacuum leak to simply air in the brake control module.

Either way, it's been 50,000 miles and 3 years since I replaced the fuel filter, which may contribute to part of the issue. Easy enough, I slide under there, unbolt the old and swap in the new. While I'm under there, I see a worrying amount of rust aft of the rear axle. Really bad rust, such that it might mean failing a safety inspection if I catch the guy on a bad day. This would require cutting and welding to resolve long term: two things beyond my shadetree mechanic experience.

Nothing I can do today. Now the misfire: no signs of a vacuum leak, spark connections look all right. But a new diagnostic computer I just got shows timing advance and fuel trim bouncing around quite a lot for just sitting at idle.

Can't figure that out. Go to the brakes.

My new acquisition shows trouble with the right front speed sensor. But I just replaced all that wiring, so is the sensor itself bad? Also, the ABS module says the rear control will not move. Air in the system?

Bleed the control module, there's a fair amount of air coming out, but eventually clears. Bleed the front brake lines, okay. Bleed the rear left: nothing coming out. Check the other side: still nothing. Back to the fronts, just fine. Module again, clear. Back to the rears, nothing comes out.

Getting dark. Here comes the rain, too.

Usually, as I'm packing up the tools and putting them all back in the trunk, I feel a sense of accomplishment for the work I've done. There's no dopamine fix for today. As I set out to fix two problems, I solved neither and have been alerted to deep rust in the lower frame.

There's a half a bottle of rum on the shelf. It will likely be empty by the morning.

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