Successes and Failures this weekend

Eclat or Excel parts for sale.

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Model: Excel SE
Colour: Silk Red
Year: 1992
Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA

Successes and Failures this weekend

Post by Phantasm »

SO, this weekend I had 3 days and set out to:
A) Replace the radiator
B) replace the A/C Compressor and get the A/C working again
C) replace the warped front rotor(s) and get the brake vibration to go away
D) Replace the suspension and bushes if time allowed

D) Fail; Didn't even think about it as time ran out from projects A,B, and C.
C) Success. Pads not bedded in yet; Brakes have a tendency to pull to the left, have since bled them hoping that helps. Otherwise no more steering vibration under braking. Probably need to check tire pressure too.
B) Success/Fail Compressor install went smoothly (removal was an absolute beast and consumed many hours!!!). I pulled apart many A/C Connections to reseal them and replace O-rings. In doing so, I'm pretty certain I caused a failure/crack at the condenser's top connector in my attempt to break the connection - I think it was leaking anyway, but it's completely done now. The condenser will now need a replacement as it dumps any charge immediately. (R134A converting). So I have a new part (compressor) that doesn't do anything productive at the moment! Replacing the condenser won't be fun and may require the new rad to be removed. Ugh.
A) Overall, A success. The new radiator easily cools the car to the 74*C Hot weather T-Stat while underway (It was 88*F today and humid). In traffic the engine will rise to the 90*C Otter and kick the fan(s) on. One fan (original) is fouling on the shroud due to its very large blades. I'll probably just swap it out for the Thin Ford style. I thought I had fabricated the clearance as it required some modification and trimming to get it to spin free in the first place, but once things settled in, it apparently started fouling again and noted the motor was stalled the interference was so bad when I stopped for petrol and popped the hood to see if anything was leaking/fouled. At that point, I disconnected the power to that motor. Apparently, the Ford fan motor that isn't fouled is sufficient to keep the otter switch cycling on and off at idle. Given the ambient temps and my normal day to day driving, I doubt it's something that needs to be fixed quickly, but will look for a bargain fan to install at my leisure.

Other headache:
Since the A/C Comp was out I replaced all the V belts (sans timing). In doing so, I determined the Power Steering pump was not properly aligned with the water pump and crank pulley. That explains why the belt was showing some odd wear/fraying. I think I have it in better alignment now using some fender washers as shims on the bottom half between the bracket and pump. I have since determined that the PS Pump was a tad noisy before, moreso after I reinstalled the new belt without the shims at first!!!! But now it's much much quieter. so, hopefully I prolonged its life!!! the car actually sounds markedly improved now at idle. The tensioner stop nut on the PS Pump is also partially cracked so it's only good to set tension, not hold it. One day that pump will need tending to, but for now it's doing its job.

Surprise fix:
I noted that the heater seemed to be blasting really hot heat after the rad replacement (the illusion of heat has been meager at best since I bought the car). I can't account for how or why. But my hand could barely stand the heat coming right out of the vent. Something must have cleared out when the coolant was dumped and replaced. Let's hope it stays like that come winter.
1991-92ish Lotus Excel SE Silk Red
2009 Jeep Wrangler X Unlimited 4X4
2015.5 Volvo V60 T5
Previous: 2005 Toyota Prius, 2002 Nissan Maxima SE 6 speed, 1988 Toyota 4Runner, 1989 Toyota 4Runner, 1995 Dodge Neon, 1986 Ford Mustang

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