Not much of an update..

Nov 24, 2009 update on Stuc's 1986 Toyota Corolla

..as far as progress goes.

I fixed the starting problem, although I’ve hardly driven it so I never know. It was indeed a poor ground from the starter/engine to battery, although the previous behavior of the car doesn’t seem to follow that solution.

Anyways! I’ve moved back up to Massachusetts and have a job, which is nice, but here we have these things called inspections and well, the ‘Rolla is missing a few things. I’m working on getting it sorted out, just waiting for the right deals…

Oh, right, and she made it all the way up from FL, although there was one point where things were scary. I was driving noticed the voltage was at 12 when it is usually ~14.5 when running. I found that interesting but kept an eye on it. I didn’t think it was going down but slowly and slowly it dropped. Once it was at 10V it started dropping quickly so I pulled off the highway unfortunately onto an exit which was over 3 miles long and went over a bridge and through a tunnel with no breakdown lane, and the battery was barely igniting the fuel at the end. I literally rolled halfway into the 1st available parking space, then pushed her completely in by hand. Since I had everything I owned on me (in that car and my other car, driven by a friend, both packed to the top of the passenger seat), I was able to break out some tools and diagnose the problem. It turned out to be a shorted wire going to the alternator. I had fixed it with a copper crimp and electrical tape (Smart, I know. That’ll teach me.)and it had shorted on the frame.

Also, the car was so loaded down that it was sitting on the rear tires when we first loaded it up. We redistributed several times and were able to get it about 1/8th inch off on each side, but we hit some bumpy highway somewhere and it definitely wasn’t flying, so I had to get tires put on my 2 spare wheels (14x7) because they could tuck under the fenders, and when they were put on we realized they required those crazy toyota lug nuts. Miraculously, I looked in the ‘box of bolts that came with the car’ and exactly 8 were in there, which was amazing, because I had never seen them and probably would have tossed them. So, that worked out. Crazy trip. As you can imagine, arriving was quite a relief.

Here’s a picture!

 

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