Two days ago, a great disturbance was felt on the roads.
...Okay, a small -- somewhat tatty -- disturbance. It's green, boxy, and had a whopping 67 rampaging communist-remnant ("Made in Chechoslovakia") horsepower as new.
It's a 1994 Škoda Favorit, in Caribbean/Sea green. And it's mine!
This weekend has, thus, been a flustercuck of back-and-forth runs to the local Halfrauds for the myriad tiny bits and pieces that I needed. (Oil, coolant, a freaking jubilee clip/hose-clamp, fuses...)
Keeping my cool...
Today was when I decided to change out the water (...no, seriously, water) that someone had filled the cooling system with, for something with anti-freeze properties. The forecast for this week is -3°C, and I'd rather not have a burst radiator or cracked block; I've pretty much drained my bank account as it is!
Simple enough, really. Except there's no drain tap that I could find, and the hose-clamp on the lower radiator hose turned out to be a blob of rust -- naturally -- so it would not unscrew.
Edit: There is one! It was just hidden under all the crap that had built up, clinging to the oil that was drooling out of the leaking sump gasket.
So I went down to the parts store, got a new hose clamp and some spare fuses while I'm there, only to discover I'd left my wallet at home; being clever, you see, and not wanting to get it soaked in coolant while I was trying to take the hose off.
So that turned into another round trip while I retrieved my wallet. Returned with the stuff I set out to get; managed to break the bucket I was using -- thankfully before I'd poured anything into it -- and had to rummage for another one.
Once I'd gotten another bucket under it, and brutalised the hose-clamp off (Grab screw-y bit with pliers and pry it back until the clamp snaps), I aimed at the bucket and pulled the rubber hose off!
...and was subjected to two fountains of rusty water, one downwards towards the bucket; the other upwards from the metal pipe I'd just removed the rubber hose from, and down my sleeve.
At least it was warm.
After some proper coolant was put in (40% mix, which is probably good to much colder than the car will ever see), and system burped, it turns out that the cabin now has working heat and the temperature gauge works. +2 working features.
With the cooling system seen to, I've got a fairly short list of things left to do.
Sort out the leaking sump gasket. The gasket around the sump is seeping oil, and shows signs that someone has attempted to fix it with badly-applied RTV. New gasket and oil-filter ordered; and I'll change the lot in one go.
This may also involve a lot of de-gunking and other cleaning of the engine; particularly around the crank snout end, where road-crud has picked up the oil and has started to glop (Technical term) up, managing to get on the alternator belt.
Edit 2015-2-7: Sump gasket leak fixed; apparently someone fiddled with it before me, and left all the bolts on the sump -- barring the three that are harder to get to, on the rear of the sump -- barely more than finger tight. No wonder it leaked.
New gasket and filter are on, new oil is in; also sorted out the valve clearances, and it both sounds and runs significantly better than it did.
Hunt down the lighting gremlins. Neither the rear fog-lamps nor the reversing lights function; they've got bulbs in them, and the bulbs don't appear to be broken... which means I have to chase through the electrical system to find the fault.
Current prime suspect is a bad ground, as the dash light for the fog-lamps comes on whenever I put the car in reverse; which suggests to me that power's being fed back somewhere, so I probably have a bad ground point. Naturally, my multimeter is in my toolbox at work, which is why I haven't started futzing around with it; I'm also waiting on a service manual, so I have a wiring diagram to follow while troubleshooting.
The other main suspect is some potential butchery behind the dashboard from when someone 'installed' an aftermarket radio/CD player
The radio was also 'installed' using folded cardboard and expanding foam; with the speakers held in by what appear to be wood-screws screwed into the metal of the body. There are some real butchers around...
Edit: Yup, bad ground. Attaching a wire between the boot-lid and the body of the car -- temporarily installed by a half-turn wrap around the gas-strut bolts, then tightening them down -- has cured this issue. Next step, a little more involved, is replacing this bodge fix with something a little neater than a length of wire taped to the gas-strut that holds the boot-lid open.
Gremlins, part deux. The blower only works on low and medium settings; so I'll have to fiddle with that -- probably lost the resistive segment for high-speed -- to get it working as it should.
Edit 2015-2-8: It appears that the switch is busted, giving no output on the highest switch setting. Blargh.
Edit 2015-2-23: Not quite sure where the fault is, now. Switch appears to work just fine, having tested it with a multimeter. I've ripped out the wiring between the switch and the blower motor; currently, I only have one speed: the highest.
Plan is now to run another two wires, one for each of the other two speeds, and put inline resistors in them; bypassing the suspect resistive pack completely. That'll get done eventually; but, so far, I'm not spending enough time in one journey for having a single-speed fan to get too aggravating.
Figure out what the hell is up with the rear window resistive de-ice thing. Both wires to the rear window were disconnected, and the terminals on the window are seriously corroded; which makes me think that it's broken in some way, but I've not checked it yet.
Edit 2015-2-10: Works just fine. Woo-hoo.
Shifter-linkage. If I have a passenger in the seat next to me, I have to punch them in the leg to reach first gear, then gently caress their leg to get to second; this is a little awkward, so I shall have to see if it's worn out bushings or something in the shifter.
Features to come?
Tachometer. Seriously, I have no idea what I'm revving the engine to (Other than "The moon"). The other space in the dashboard, the same size as the speedometer, is taken up by a clock that doesn't even attempt to keep the right time.
So that'll probably go, and I'll fit a little cluster of gauges in its place; engine RPM being one of them. Not sure what about the others; perhaps lambda/AFR, maybe? (If I can find one that isn't festooned with LEDs.)
Edit: Clock isn't removable without butchering the whole PCB behind it. Still haven't figured out where to put the tacho; nor how to drive it, as tapping into the wire I thought I should, did not give me the intended result.
(In fact, after the splice came apart the first time I went to start it after removing my test-leads, it didn't give me a start at all. Not a good feeling on a dark Sunday evening, when you need the car to be running for the Monday commute.)
LED backlighting of the dash and controls. Seems a little funny saying that, just after complaining about things festooned with LEDs; but I plan on keeping it outwardly looking close to standard, but with a little more brightness than the tired old incandescents.
12v socket(s). There appears to be a blanking plug where there should be a lighter-socket/12v socket. (This car is old enough that it would be a lighter socket. It has ash-trays; including one for each rear seat.)
I might also fit a USB charging port at the same time; perhaps in a blanking plate that fills the gap where the radio used to be; which would also hide...
A bluetooth audio receiver and small-ish amplifier, so I can listen to music on longer journeys. Both of these would be fitted where the radio used to be, and hidden behind a blanking plate.
This will also require some speakers, since I'll be removing the half-assed ones. I intend to full-ass things on this car.