First grease of the year

Oh my it’s been a while since I’ve updated this.  Since I last wrote, I put The Bus away for the Winter and got it back out of Winter storage.  Both of those events were blissfully uneventful!  Today I finally got my knuckles dirty for the first time this year…

…but first the recap:

Here’s a video of the last mile from 2016:

And here’s a video of the first mile of 2017:

And here’s a neat compilation video that Google Photos made of the first day out:

And that basically catches you up on the uneventful events.

So today I finally got dirty and got in the engine compartment and tinkered around!  As proof, I present my dirty fingernails:


And this was after I’d used the hand cleaner stuff!

Today’s projects were all pretty simple: Replace the alternator belt, check the points gap, tweak the timing, get the weatherstripping out of the bottom of the driver’s door and put it back in the front of the window frame.

Well, things never go quite as planned and I spent over two hours cursing at my new alternator belt.  The old one was squealing and I figured it’s been over two years time to just replace it.

Frustration! Anger! And a stream of language that’d make a sailor blush!  At the end of it all I wound up putting the old belt back on and tightening it down reeeeeal good so you can pluck it like a guitar string.  The old belt, you see, was from CarQuest, a reputable auto parts retailer; the new belt was from AutoZone, a discount auto parts retailer.  Upon much closer inspection I found that the old V-belt had more of a “V” shape than the new one, which was much more flat.  Even though they were the same length, there was just no way to get the new one to go on.  I guess you just can’t trust Korean-made belts!  The good news is that the old belt is working just fine, it just needed to be tightened up; and I went and got my $5.99 back from El Zone Del Auto.

The points gap was spot on, though it took me 20 minutes of digging to find my .016″ feeler gauge.  I advanced the timing a good bit and I think she’s got a bit more staying power on those long tall hills now, which is good, because she was feeling pretty doggy.

I started taking the door panel off to get the weather stripping out and the door clunked me in the head.  It wasn’t too bad, just a little love tap, and I think that was just The Bus’ retaliation for all the swearing earlier in the day.  I managed to get the strip out without having to take the door panel completely off, which was a very good thing, and I superglued it in place so it won’t slip down again (I hope).  Time will tell if this really fixes that weather stripping.

The next thing I need to do is replace the front brake pads, I don’t think I’ve replaced them in about 13 years.  I need to see if I can “borrow” somebody’s driveway space to do it.  My lease clearly says I’m not supposed to work on cars here. The property manager has been pretty kind about letting me do simple stuff (like belts and points), but I have a feeling that if The Bus leaves the ground that might be where he says “that’s enough.”

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