Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bleak Midwinter

Not much happening lately.  We've had a succession of snowstorms that have cut into the available time for the Spit, and what time remains has been further eroded by work responsibilities.  It's hard to work on a car outside, in Colorado, in January.

But I did luck into a warm Saturday last weekend, and took advantage of it to get a little work done.  The new front brake rotors are installed, and, in the process, the front wheel bearings got a good cleaning and a dose of fresh grease.  The hub adjustment process is a bit arcane, and the end float (or bearing play, as I would call it) is a bit different from one side to the other.  I need to grab new cotter pins anyway, so I'll redo the adjustment once I have the new pins, and see if I can get better results next time.

While I was under the hood, I pulled out the battery so that I can begin the assault on the surface rust in the battery tray and the rest of the untreated right side of the bulkhead.  The rust in the battery tray looks significant, but not structural yet.  We'll wire wheel it down to bare metal, hit it with the rust converter fluid, prime, and paint.  I expect the job to stretch over the next couple weeks' worth of stolen winter work sessions.

And while I had the battery out, I hooked it up to my battery charger and received an unpleasant surprise.  The battery seems to have drained and been damaged by the cold.  It's not accepting a charge now, which means I probably need a new $75 battery.  And I suppose I also need a battery disconnect switch so it doesn't happen again.  I have one of these on my battered old 4Runner:

It would be nice to have a switch within reach of the driver's seat, but I'm reluctant to drill new holes through the firewall/bulkhead.  Perhaps one of these two options at right, if I decide the under-bonnet location works. 

Oh, and while I'm listing faulty parts, I noticed that the positive battery clamp is cracked and will need to be replaced.  That's a minor annoyance compared to the battery, but it still adds one more item to the to-do list, which was already frighteningly long.

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