Monday, April 4, 2011

Under the Hood - The Mechanical Menace

The engine compartment is a part of the car I would rather avoid, being as mechanically inclined as, say, your average couch potato.  However on occasion the dreaded region cannot be avoided.

1) A p/s overview of the engine compartment

One task I performed was to change the valve cover gasket.  They are notoriously weak in the 2-liter engines and tend not to last very long.  I have read that you can apply some sort of gasket compound when replacing the piece to strengthen the seal but I am not knowledgeable enough to do so with confidence.

2) From the d/s

I bought and placed the dust covers for the strut mounts. The trick was to guess whether or not the mounts were original or after-market.  Each, of course, takes a different sized cover.  With a 50-50 chance of being right I deduced correctly that the mounts were not original and so lucked out on the first try.

Another problem that was fixed as a condition of my purchase of the car was the brake booster. The old one was as hatched as a year-old egg.  So the seller replaced it with a re-manufactured unit.  He also replaced all the brake cylinders and shoes. Now my car screams to a stop whenever one of those ditsy Seattle drivers decides to text a friend while approaching a stop sign.

2) The new brake booster - one less thing to worry about for many many kilometers.

Above the booster is the inline fuel filter, which I changed not long after acquiring the car.  The old unit looked rather dirty, and with a $4 cost from NAPA Auto Parts the decision to install a new filter was a no-brainer.

However when I got the car the windshield washing system had been removed.  I did find the reservoir in a box in the trunk.  First thing was to acquire the bracket to fasten it to the body of the car.

3) The washer fluid reservoir, safely attached

The bottle also lacked a cap and I was lucky to find one of those cool ones with the hose ends on it.  La Jolla Independent even sent me some extra hose for free.

La Jolla also thoughtfully provided a pump, without which I would have been forced to enslave hamsters to turn a tiny wheel in the engine.

6) The pump is correctly installed here beside the washer relay, which originally dangled from the firewall when I bought the car.

I read on that the 2002 nozzles would work in place of the NLA 2000 ones for squirting the juice.  And so they do.  They had to be bent carefully for proper aiming; the slots in the hood make positioning difficult.

4) The fluid nozzles, visible on each side of the plastic shelf

Also visible in the photo above is the Ireland Egineering Electronic Ignition I added.  No more points to worry about.

Now, if the gods are pleased, I'll only have to open the hood to check the oil every once in a while.  So far the car burns none.  Knock on sheet metal.

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