Writer Jon

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About Writer Jon

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  • Birthday 10/27/1959

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    Sacramento, CA

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  1. This was about three years ago, but yes, I sure did have a problem with AAA here in Northern CA about 2 p.m. on a weekday afternoon. Car had a transmission issue, so I pulled off into to a travel stop off the interstate in the San Francisco Bay Area. I wanted the car towed back to Sacramento (roughly 60 miles), figured no problem since I have AAA Plus, which covers up to 100 miles of towing. Well, since they couldn't make my tow and return to the Bay Area before rush hour started, I was told that no trucks were available to make my out-of-area tow until after 7 p.m. Fortunately, I was not on a travelway close to traffic, and there was a restaurant nearby. The car and I safely returned home about 9:30 p.m. that night, some 7 1/2 hours after I made the initial call. AAA probably has a decent response time for "local" tows, but watch out for those "out-of-area" ones. AAA should probably disclose this policy, but I'm not holding my breath...
  2. Here in town, we actually have an auto parts store (A&E) that specializes in parts for older cars. I also deal with local marque club members for parts. If they don't have a part, I can usually get a line on a source for it.
  3. Troubleshooting instructions for Pertronix products can be found on their website at: https://pertronix.com/contact#faqs. I printed off a copy of the troubleshooting instructions for the module in my car and keep it in the glove box if I need it. All you need is a voltmeter (VOM or DMM) to troubleshoot.
  4. I am helping a friend look for a late-model compact car, and found that CVTs are now used in larger cars and some SUVs, they're not exclusively found in the smaller cars anymore. Before you settle on a car, check these two items first: 1) Does it have a CVT? and 2) What is the repair history of the CVT in that year and model? Make- and model-specific internet forums exist for nearly everything out there, so do an internet search and see what the posters are saying. If there's a sticky and/or separate category for the CVT on a given model, I'd be concerned. My trusted transmission shop owner (been in business for nearly 40 years) also advised staying away from CVTs in Nissans and Subarus for the reasons others have noted above. And then there's the cost, I was told that some of the Subaru CVTs can run several thousand dollars to fix. The CVTs are pretty much black boxes. For the most part, there are no internal replacement parts available through either the dealer or aftermarket. When they fail, you replace the whole transmission, whose only source is the dealer, or perhaps a used one from a wrecking yard, if available. Subaru's extended warranty is fine, but check on whether it is transferable to new owners (you) should you buy a used car. We were drawn to the Nissans and Subarus as used cars because there are a lot of lower mileage used ones on the market at lower-than-expected prices. Now we know why.
  5. Interesting and entertaining thread. I always show the repair shop mechanics the manual choke on one of my cars, and remind them, if the engine is cold, it's not starting if the choke isn't pulled all of the way out. Has anyone tried to take a crank-start car to valet parking? Due to the risk of personal injury, of course you wouldn't want to have an untrained person try to crank the engine, but it might be interesting to see if the valet can figure things out.
  6. I prefer leaving original plates on a car where possible, but my 1986 Oldsmobile 442 came from Hawaii and I had to get California plates. So, I went with personalized plates. W42 is the Oldsmobile option code for the 442 package.
  7. When scraping off the old gasket, careful use of a heat gun can be helpful. Depending on the gasket condition, you may be able to heat sections of the gasket and channel and remove it largely intact. If you're going to try the solvent approach, wait for the solvent to completely evaporate before trying the heat gun, you don't want to mix the two. A spark from the heat gun and the right concentration of solvent vapors could be really bad.
  8. And this 1919 example showed up at two shows during Monterey Car Week, the Classic Motorsports Magazine Monterey Kickoff Cruise-in and the Pacific Grove Rotary Concours Auto Rally. Sorry I do not have a better overall picture of the car, I just took this one and a close-up of the engine. I've always been fascinated by Franklin engines. Just took a closer look at the original poster's photo and this is likely the same car, based on the rarity, location, and presence of modern front turn signals.
  9. I missed the question until now. I go to show off my car, catch up with old friends, make new ones, and learn more about cars in general. I got trophy burnout years ago. Which is why my cars are DPC or show-only when I bring them. I see nothing wrong with the awards programs, as for some that's important. But it seems like more and more people participate shows solely to validate their checkbook restoration and/or high-dollar car purchase with an award. There is no joy in receiving an award for these people, it's an expectation or a right for them.
  10. You might also want to check with Metro Moulded Products for your parts. The weatherstripping I bought from Steele for my Impala was horrible, it barely came close to the originals on the car and there were several technical problems besides the fit. The MMP parts needed some work to make them fit, but they eventually did and at least they seal.
  11. Having had a somewhat unpleasant conversation with a trophy hound at the last meet that I attended, perhaps it's not a bad idea to be able to let them progress through the system faster and be gone. It could make the shows more enjoyable to those who are there for the right reasons. It's not just AACA, other clubs are facing the same issue with trophy hounds. Credit should go to those in charge for attempting to improve the situation by making the rule change and committing to monitoring the situation. As the rule has changed, bear in mind that it could change back, too.
  12. I seem to recall that Saturn had actually developed and built the RHD-version wagons for the Japanese market and they didn't sell as well as anticipated. Someone at Saturn figured that marketing the wagons to the US Postal market was a good way to sell off the excess inventory. A great idea.
  13. How about a couple of tire-related ones? Looking for the spare tire and jack on an increasing number of cars is an exercise in futility as they are quietly being replaced by run-flat tires. And in many cases, there wasn't even a full-sized spare that was being eliminated, it was a space saver. I take one of my cars to a shop for tire rotation for warranty purposes. I always need to remind them that there are five tires in rotation, that sometimes causes a panicked look on the tech's face as he doesn't know the rotation pattern for five tires. Also, the tire pressure monitoring systems can be another source of additional expense (think TPMS module replacement) and maintenance troubleshooting issues. Quality tires today are not cheap and adding on potentially several hundred dollars for TPMS sensors doesn't make it any easier. The increasing use of all-wheel drive systems has also made tire replacement more costly for cars so equipped. Many require replacement of tires in pairs or as a complete set. That must be fun when one has a fairly new set of tires and irreparably damages one tire.
  14. Have you contacted the supplier and given them the opportunity to make this right? If it's the company based in Michigan, I have seen cases where they supplied lines that didn't fit but they made it right when given the opportunity.
  15. I wound up using a Rivet Nut from Jay-Cee Sales & Rivet Co, their website is at: https://www.rivetsonline.com. Very helpful people, they sell an inexpensive ($15) tool for installation, too. Pictures of a side view of an installed nut, the installation tool, one nut installed on the car, plus the completed job are shown below. Thanks!