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Cars

What's in a name...

I'm still waiting for my new car to arrive.  Above is what I've pre-ordered.  A Subaru BRZ in Galaxy Blue Silica with the Limited package.  Not bad huh?  I'm a little bit closer to having it.  I have a VON (Vehicle Order Number) from my dealer.  It's nothing more than numbers on a screen, but it's nice that things are progressing.  Lately, I've been thinking of a name for the car.  It will obviously need to start with the letter "B".  Brenda?  Betty?  Beatrice?

parting ways

So, a few years ago I sold my project car.  A very bitter sweet day.  I received word on what it's been up to.  Due to various reasons, my project car was semi parted out and sold.  The B16 long block was built up into a screaming NA motor.  High compression pistons were added to the mix of aggressive cams, valves, retainers, & springs.  HP is just under 200 with a 10k rpm red line.  The shell apparently is being built up with a turbo K20.  I'm happy and sad...  I was kind of hoping that I'd see my hatch again some day.  Oh well, at least I have a cool car coming my way in the near future.

Claustrophobic

So, yesterday after using a trickle charger on my car battery and a fully charged jumper box, I was unable to start my car.  It's confirmed, the problem is my starter motor and not the battery as I had hoped.  Kind of sad...  I then jacked up my car and put the front end on jack stands to see just where the starter motor was on my car.  I had read that it's a bit of a pain to reach in this thread.  Boy were they right.

In the above photo, the center box is where the starter motor is.  Point of perspective, I'm lying under my car with my feet out the front of the car.  It's located to the left of the oil filter, above a half shaft (the black cylindrical bar going left to right), which is then above a frame member and an exhaust flex pipe that are physically next to each other.  The frame member is off camera on the left/other side of the flex pipe.  As you can see, my starter motor is pretty rusted.  The previous link contains well written instructions on how to remove this.  Save for this picture.  To remove the starter motor, you need to undo one electrical clip, lift the rubber boot seen on the end smaller cylinder, and then undo a nut.  After that, there are two bolts that can be accessed from under the hood that need to be removed.

Sadly, I lost my nerve and didn't remove it.  Whenever I touch my car, I almost always break something.  My car has seen some unreal amounts of salt in it's life.  Bolts tend to snap whenever I try remove them, no matter how much PB Blaster I use.  Add to this the fact that my floor jack doesn't raise the car very high.  That flex pipe on the left was about an inch from my face.  Normally, I'd just drive my car up my rhyno ramps...  A lot more clearance for this sort of thing.

I also noticed just how much rust there is on parts of the chassis.  There's a frame member that connects the front and rear cross members.  This center frame member also has a center jack point.  When I tried to use this center jack point, I was greeted with a crunching sound as flakes of rust came raining down on my jack.  The front cross member was horribly rusted and was giving while I jacked up the car.  Sigh...  12+ years & 183,000 miles of Chicago driving have sure done their work.

Not sure what I'm going to do.  If I donate my car they will tow it away for free and I'll ultimately get a tax write off.  I could try to fix it myself by changing or fixing the starter motor.  But I'd have to remove it first.  I dunno, when that flex pipe is right next to my head, it's pretty tight in there and I just lose my nerve.  Visions of the car falling and crushing me...  Don't worry I do take proper safe guards.  Wheels chocked with heavy bricks.  A pair of jack stands used and my 2 1/2 ton floor jack as a secondary device for a total of three lift points.  I did take a bar and gave it a few good taps to see if that would help a possibly stuck solenoid.  No change.  Should have sold the car to carmax right after going to the Subaru dealer...

Non starter

As if on cue, my Sentra has broken down...  It's sad.  On Friday night, we had to push my car to the side of the driveway so we could pull Eliza's mini out of the garage.  I'm having either a battery problem or I'm having a starter motor problem.  Both of these were changed over four years ago.  So far, I'm hoping that it's a battery problem.  The battery for sure is a bit tired.  After removing the surface charge, the battery is below 12 volts.  Not great.  When trying to engage the starter, the voltage drops but not by the amount I should have seen.  So I'm now borrowing a jump box and a battery tender/charger.

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BRZ

Yesterday was a big day for me.  I finally picked the car to replace my Sentra.  With all of the problems my car has been building up, it just felt like it was time.  Something that hadn't been true in the past 12 years and 183,000 miles of ownership.  So, after a couple days of email exchanges, we walked into Evanston Subaru and put myself down for a BRZ.  Specifically a manual transmission one in galaxy blue silica with the limited trim/package.  Fun times I've gotta say!

Sadly, the only thing left for me to do is wait.  I may not see my new car for quite a while.  Good thing Diablo III is coming out the middle of next month.  That will for sure keep me distracted.  Ha ha!