I took Bridget to vote this morning and then to work. I call it the “Tom Magliozzi Memorial Drive a TD to Work Day.” From now on, every November 4.
There is good news to report: At long last, and after much fiddling, my fake side curtain box is done.
For comparison, here’s an original curtain box being aseembled:
This should keep those Suby pieces from ruining the TD look of the car for the casual observer.
I also got the engine filled with coolant and oil and ran the car up RT 152 a couple weekends ago to see how the cooling system held up. On that run I could not get 4th gear but no matter. She got up to about 195F near the top of the hill and the temp fell on the way down.
I fooled with the shifter this weekend until I got 4th gear, and bled the cooling system again, filled it a little and let her run in the driveway for an hour.
She did not overheat then. She got to like 190 or so. The charging system seemed to work OK too, even with all the lights on and the fan for the heater and the wiper and the flashers.
Everything leaves the volt gauge over 13 except the brakes.
Something in the brake circuit must be hinky.
Anyway. The Gen light did come on in these test: as soon as the rad fan came on the gen light came on. Every time. I watched it through like 3-4 cycles.
The odd thing? The fan does not draw enough to push the volt meter down more than a hair. And I checked the voltage reading at the battery as well. It’s fine. Weird.
So I took the car to work, 18 miles. Stopped for gas even though I didn’t need it. Because the dang gauge reads very low (it was under “R” but the thing took only 6 gallons). The temp gauge did not go too high. The heater works gooood.
Getting the car into 3rd gear started being a chore. Feels like the engine maybe is not quite where it was when I started. Maybe the mounts are bent? Maybe one is busted? I’d have a hard time getting 3rd one shift, then rev it and it’s good the next. Then rev it again and it’s a hard shift again. Hmmm.
Then just as I was getting close to the office the temp got above 195. Just a little. Seemed to climb when I was sitting at lights, and go down when I got back under way. This is disconcerting to me on a morning when the ambient temperature is in the mid 50s.
I went home early to save light and traffic. On the way home she got just about to 200. The Gen light started glowing low again, just like it was doing before the head gasket job. The volt meter still showed above 13, straight through, except for the occasional dip to 12 or just above when I had my foot on the brake.
No sign of the rad fan at any time until I pulled into my driveway. By then the temp gauge read 195 again. So I left the car running with the garage door open to see how long the fan would run, and see how long it would take for it to take the temp down to, whatever, 190 or whatever it takes for the fan to stop.
Five minutes later the fan is still running. Gauge still says 195F (which should be just fine, but why is it not going down like it did Saturday during the test idle?) I shut her down and began pondering.