A Cult Car
Thick sheet metal make it durable--so is the motor. Volvo took a V8 truck engine cut in half, to make this 4 cylinder engine. It has bearings and rods are designed for much heavy loads and this makes the engine nearly impossible to kill. People can get literally a million miles between rebuilds with regular oil changes and normal preventative maintenance.
The 5 speeds cars are fun to drive. Their durability means it is a smart economic choice to put money into them--they will last indefinitely if maintained. Parts are cheap. They are easy and simple to work on. Police just don't ever pull them over. It is because they like to stay at legal freeway speeds and purr along at 60 mph--so police expect them to be driven slowly. Finally, they are safe--built around a full roll cage. These are the reasons why there are so many are still on the road today.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I am hearing lots of noise on bumpy roads, none on smooth roads. Something is loose somewhere.
Next I started having an intermittent starting problem. I swapped in a spare fuel pump relay from a junk car--no change.
My back up lights crapped out for the third time. I took my car to three shops and each fixed it for only a short period. The last place disabled all my trailer light wiring, and somehow disconnected my voltmeter light.
So being busy with another boat project, I parked the car for a while. When I revisited it, I located a bunch of relays I ordered some time back, and swapped the fuel pump relay and one other, and the intermittent problem seems to have gone away, but it is too soon to tell.
I put the car up on ramps and crawling underneath, I found a plastic part making rubbing sounds. I taped that up, and that did not fix the problem. There may be another problem making noise. I am debating cutting away some of this part, or finding a replacement.
Which leads me to brakes. My front rotors are scored, and had been making a bit of noise. Not sure if something got in there or what. I might be the dust shields which are no longer available. Mine were getting pretty rusty with holes in places. I wonder if the 1990 dust shields will work, as there is some sort of sensor for the anti-lock brakes in the 1992 version which are no longer available. The anti-lock brakes are not working as far as I know. The anti-lock brakes on these cars are dangerous and increase stopping distance, I'm told, so most people disable them.
So my plan is to install new front brake pads, cut the front rotors, install new wheel studs, and enclosed chrome lug nuts, while inspecting the dust shields on this car and my part's car, and debating the purchase of the 1990 dust shields right now. It seems likely that either rusted dust shields, or else debris from those or the road, caused the early failure of my brakes and rotors. I need a solution.
And it is time to put some effort into bring Sea Dog back into prime operating condition so I can use it and park my pickup truck for a while.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I tried a couple of dual band, 2m/70cm band antenna and finally decided to order a new black antenna to match the trim on the car. It looks good.
I have the Yeasu FT-8500 radio mounted to a spare ash tray. I will be moving it somewhere out of the way, and using a remote separation kit to put the control head above the rear view mirror. I want a stealthy appearance.
I also orders some RAM Mount hardware to attach my GPS to the mirror. I've run the wires for this, along with my antenna wire down behind the trim. I need to hard wire this in, along with my tire pressure sensors. I also need a new stereo antenna.
Still to do, fix the power mirror wiring. I have another set of mirrors and wiring, so I should be able to use the switches or something. Someone broke the driver side mirror. It is still there but shakes in it's mount.
Finally, the car has been giving me trouble starting. It seems to be the fuel pump relay. I need to pull one out of the parts car and install it, while keeping the original for a spare. I may try to open up the spare and check the solder joints. Perhaps I'll buy a new relay, and use the junk car relay for a spare.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I have a couple of little wiring issue yet to do. I installed a tire pressure monitor system, and should have taken apart the cigarette plug adapter. I wired the antenna into the ground. It shorted and I have a replacement to wire in permanently. I don't want to lose my cigarette lighter plug. Also, I want to wire my GPS in permanently.
In the mean time, I am focusing some time on the interior. This car is nearly done but I have been using it as a daily driver and do not want to put a lot of time into it right now as I have other project. Still, I want to keep moving forward with improvements, so I chose an easy job next. Installing a leather steering wheel cover.
I've install these in the past on my K5 Blazer. I liked it so much, that when my ring wore a hole in it, I replaced it with a new one. I no longer wear my college ring as it doesn't fit well. So installing leather cover was not a big deal. It takes about an hour and goes on in a straight forward manner. Aside from tedious stitching, the most difficult part was stretching it over the wheel. In any case, I like it so far. It is more slippery than I'd hoped or remembered on past steering wheel covers, but is does feel a bit nicer and the wheel is more comfortable to touch, grips a bit better, and I expect it will be both cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Here it is:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Seats: The original seats are a bit tired. The drivers seat foam is a bit compressed. The white car's seats have perfect foam. So now that these have been unbolted from the white car, all I need are heated seat elements $150, and new seat covers $? I can't find any information on replacement OEM upholstery, so that means I'll have to have some made.
I am debating the merits of:
- Cloth--comfortable, but perhaps not as durable as OEM cloth
- Leather--very nice, and I can get heavy cowhide for the seat surfaces, and perhaps vinyl for the elsewhere. Expensive and it means replacing the still good rear seat upholstery.
- Ultra Leather--feel like leather, but easier to clean and more durable.
- Used power seats. Adds the luxury of power seats, but at the hassle of making up new mounts for them. A good set of leather power seats would cost about $700-$1000.
New heating elements are quite nice and provide heating at two levels for the seat back and seat bottom. Luxury.
Carpet: New carpet is available un-cut pile or OEM loop. I'm leaning towards the OEM loop, but so far, only finding the cut pile available. Still looking for this. Installing new carpet with the seats out, should not take all that long.
Line-X (U-POL): I thought I might as well spray in some Line-X type material to seal the inside of the car. This stuff is cheap and easy to use. On top of that will go some Reflect-X for heat and sound insulation. This idea being to insulate the inside on the floor. At some point I'd like to add some Dynamat to the doors to make the car quieter, and Dynamat and Reflect-X above the head liner for additional sound proofing.
Wiring: I can run some wiring for the heating elements, and power mirors at the same time, as well as perhaps a ham radio mount. I'd like to install a Yeasu FT-8500 dual band radio in the car or else one of my Icom 706 radios--a bit better for long trips. Or both. It would be nice to have an HF radio and either a whip antenna with a clip to secure it at the rain gutter above the drivers window, or else any of a series of Ham Stick antenna which I already have. Putting the wiring under the carpet makes for a neater job.
Cleaning: the last thing I'll need to do is clean the dashboard area and the inside off all the windows and rear carpeting.
Nothing on the above list is all that expensive except the seat covers. I will not spend a lot of money recovering seats if I can buy nearly new used power seats for less money. For now the direction I go will be based on the cost of the seats. I may just install the carpet and other things and wait on the seats for a wrecked 240 with nicer seat covers.
The only other interior task is to build a support for the rear seatback, which when folded down doesn't lay flat. I'd like to use the space under the rear seat for storage. Some sort of support would be helpful. Storage trays for this area would be nice also. I may build something out of plywood and cover it with carpeting. This would be a long term project as it is not that important. However, I don't have much left to do, to make this car as perfect as I want it.
I'd also like to report that after an erratic start, the newly installed Cruise Control is working great. My only complaint is my knee rubs on the side of the console and gets painful on longer trips, so I should probably add some padding right there.
Finally, with the white car in the garage, I can pull it's fuel tank and use that car to take measurements for a fuel cell. If I can carry 30 gallons, my range will double and along with the cruise control, longer trips will be more inviting.
Monday, July 30, 2012
One thing I'd like to do is take the seats out and replace the covers with new covers. Her seats were much more comfortable than mine. Also there are lots of nice parts I can sell. It has the Tachometer conversion, Voltmeter and small clock. Plus the engine ran good. I should either sell that or save it. The clutch and transmission are good. She wants the stereo in her new car. Tires are old and not worth anything. It has lots of nice interior trim, but not in my color. I may try to salvage teh fuel tank for use on one of my trailers that I'm building into a service trailer for work in the woods. I would supply gasoline to field equipment.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Looking forward, what is next after this? I'd like a larger fuel tank--instead of 15 gallons, I want to carry 30 gallons. With Energy Saver A/S tires I should be able to achieve a range of over 900 miles. I was getting 32.5 mpg on my last set of tires which were 60% worn which reduces rolling resistance. I might see a slight reduction in fuel economy at first, but I expect it to improve as the tires wear in some. I'm hoping to at least maintain that 32.5 mpg and hopefully improve it. I'm sure in the long run I could see as much as 34 mpg with these tires and keeping my speed under 60 mph on the highway.
Other goals are installing two Ham Radios and two antenna mounts. And finding two four way switches for my power mirrors.
The next issue is to fix the turn signal stalk and cruise control.
I also discovered there is a problem with the mass flow sensor which explains my high fuel consumption. I dropped it at the shop for that. I may ask them to take a look at the cruise control--just to wrap all that up.
My next projects will be to install an arm rest, and repairing the drivers seat lumbar support.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I have the motor in now and it is running great. It has all new gaskets, a new clutch kit, and all new seals. Unfortunately, I have some sort of bearing noise now. It might be the rear end. I will find out soon. It is difficult to tell where the noise is coming from so I will need some help to figure that out.
Other problems to be resolved are some wiring issues. My turn signals stopped working and when my lights are on, the dash instruments short out. Hopefully, I'll have all these remaining issues cleared up in the next month.