Monday, May 20, 2013

What broke today

I just realized I could pretty much title every blog post with above, or better yet, change the name of the whole blog to it.  Ha ha(!)

Yesterday I cleaned up the car a lot.  Finally got a chance to go to the car wash, and I pressure washed the engine bay.   I know, I know, always a little risky for electrical problems, but I've done it before and never had any problems.

Anyway, we get in the car to go home from a friend's house. I start the car, glance down and notice the alternator light is on.  I hook up my radar detector (a Beltronics Vector V995, an awesome machine with a bonus voltage readout, totally brilliant!), and sure enough, it's about 12.1v.  No alternator output.  Since child is now screaming, I shut off the headlights (still a little before dusk, so okay) and make for home.  On the way, the alternator output flicked on and was okay for the ride home.  This morning it seems to be down for the count.  I wiggled all the wires, and it doesn't seem to be a loose connection, so it must be the alternator.  It's a Bosch alternator with a separate regulator, with most of the wear items built into this replaceable part.  I found one on eBay for $22.  Next project will be to get the alternator out, change the regulator, and reinstall.

Some good news.  Yesterday I also visited the dealership and showed them my rusted fenders in the hopes that it might be covered under the 12 year, unlimited mileage, corrosion protection warranty.  There was a TSB release specifically addressing the rust areas I have.  The guy at the body shop took some photos and said it was "up to Volkswagen", but he thought it should be covered.  I'll find out in 2-4 weeks.  If I can get those fenders replaced, it will be a major step in the 200k rehab program crossed off the list.

Kind of looking forward to posting something other than car repair, but that's what I'm dealing with right now.

Drive fast and stay close to the break down lane.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Golf's 200K Rehab

Now that my car has rolled 200K, and I've decided the budget doesn't allow me to by my dream Golf anytime in the near future, I've been thinking about doing some other fairly serious rehab.  Over the last 11 years, there have been a lot of things that broke, rusted, burnt out, collected, or what-have-you in and on the car, and I think it's time to address a lot of it.  Since I drive this car so much, it has a chance to really improve my life.  The older I get, the more I realize investing time and money into things you use the most is time/money well spent.

So starting today, here's the partial list of rehab items as they came spewing forth.  I will be adding to this list as I think of things.

  • Headlight lenses
  • Kamei mesh front grill
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rust repair - Fenders, hood, trunk, above windshield

  • Clean out glove box (remove tapes)
  • Fix rear defroster
  • Tint windows
  • Steering wheel
  • Design custom console around shifter/e-brake handle to house:
    • Triple 12V outlets & Remote for radar detector
    • OBD port
    • Inverter
    • Bluetooth receiver
    • Aux jack
    • Phone?

  • Permanent install/wire routing:
Radar detector
12V Triple outlet
12V Cooler
Phone power
  • Driver side blown speaker
  • Driver side door switch
  • Trunk courtesy light
  • Install 12V cooler and 120v inverter

  • Pressure wash engine bay
  • Fix veg fuel line
  • Replace veg filter
  • Skid plate/Belly pan repair

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Obligatory 200k shot

So this happened. Here's hoping it'll make it to 300k before I have to do major surgery on it again!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

On the road again

We had a big trip coming up, so I managed a last minute push and got the transmission in.  Finished Tuesday night, including front brakes rotors and pads, and new tires.  Trip started Thursday. 
The car has been preforming very well.  The new transmission is awesome - very quiet. I even managed to do the 5th gear swap, which was much harder to do on the new transmission. It took a lot more force to get the gears off  for some reason, I had to buy a new impact wrench and modify a new gear puller on the bench grinder. Seriously, I think I spent an extra 4 hours on this (including trips to the store for tools).  I probably had it easy with my old, worn out transmission.

The Veggie Golf rides again!
First leg of the trip saw 46.2 mpg - lower than I'd hoped, but not bad when I consider how much idling with the air conditioner on we had to do (while feeding the baby).  Also, part of that leg was done with my snow tires and roof rack on. 

The round trip mileage was 819 miles.  So I guess if I was going to have a problem, I probably would have noticed it by the end.  All looks good.  Next project, make it look respectable again.