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post #451 of 546

Just a quick snap the other day.  She's out and about now; drives like a completely different car!  I won't say perfect, because there's still a pretty bad clunk from the rear end.  The most likely reason is the rear diff mount, which is probably just a perished as the subframe bushings were, but I haven't gotten under the diff to check yet.  New mounts are just shy of $200, so I want to try a different route first.  I'll have more details when I get around to buying the materials, but the original mount and 2-part polyurethane rubber play a role.


The only other immediate issue is an oil leak.  It's a drop every couple seconds, so kind of serious, but it's only when running.  Which makes me think there's positive crankcase pressure, which makes me think my PCV is stuck shut.  So hopefully a new PCV valve will reduce pressure, and prevent oil from getting pushed out.  I still have to track down what seal is leaking though.  


All said, I'm super pleased with the results I've gotten with just a few hundred bucks and a lot of elbow grease.  Cheers, all!

post #452 of 546
Thread Starter 
Coming along nicely, nod[1].gif

You got something special there.
post #453 of 546
Thread Starter 
Sup gents?

I think the "cars we drive" thread is starting to really grow with input from those of us who pay cash, fix ourselves. But are die hard car guys. So if you are a regular poster on here, jump in there. I hope merging the 2 threads could be great for all of us.

Bring your projects, your daily's. Your ideas, and opinions. Let's create a well rounded car community in sf.

After all, we all have a style, and our cars display it. Hope to see you in there.

post #454 of 546
An update:

My search begins in earnest. I just sold my bike today and have some money to play with.
post #455 of 546

I apologize for my recent absence. I have been swamped with my real job and family obligations.  But, I do have an interesting car thrift story.   


Its a long story and involves my adventure in picking up a "thrifted" vehicle. 


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

My stepdaughter is turning 16 this month and we have been on the hunt for a decent and cheap car for her.  My stepson had the chance to buy back a car that he bought several years ago. His ex-wife has been driving it.  It is a 2005 Cadillac STS. It has 175,000 miles. he bought it back from his ex for $500.   We knew it needed some work but felt like we couldn't pass up the chance to get a decent car for such a great price.  We knew it needed a crankshaft position sensor and a new tire and probably needed some TLC.  We felt like if we had to spend $1000-1,500 on the car, we would have a very nice car for $2000 or less.  


The car had been driven for the last 5 years or so and allegedly ran well.  My stepson's ex wife drove it and when she started having problems with it dying frequently, she ended up parking the car at her grandparents house and was driving a newer car.  Her grandfather drove it occasionally over a 6 month time period.  He was the last one to drive it and had a flat tire right by his house.  So, he parked the car and it sat for about 3 months.  


The car was initially located in Davis Oklahoma (about a 3-3.5 hour drive from our house in Wichita, Kansas.  Three weekends ago, we went down to Oklahoma to get the car. We knew it needed a crankshaft position sensor and at least one tire. One of my other stepdaughters lives in Ardmore Oklahoma and her husband has a shop and is fairly handy with vehicles. So we planned to Dolly the car to her house, look it over, get a new tire, and hopefully drive it back to Wichita.


When we arrived we discovered it needed two tires, had no battery and was going to need more work to be able to drive it back. We rented a U-Haul flatbed and towed it from Davis to Ardmore. I changed the oil and put the spare on and looked the car over for other issues. We decided it was not really drivable for the 250 miles to bring it back to Wichita.


After much thought and research regarding a possible transport, we decided I could get it with my truck.  My step daughter's father has a flatbed trailer so we decided to borrow it and use my truck to tow the car back.


My truck is a 92 F150 with the 5.0 and 147,000 miles. I had actually never driven it down to Oklahoma or any other long-distance other than using it to haul things around town. So I was a little concerned about its ability to tow the trailer and the 4000 pound car. But I did some research and I believed that it was capable of towing. I had previously replaced the rear tires on the truck although I did not replace the front. The truck had a new water pump and coolant flush, oil change, spark plugs and wires. I had done this work last summer. I took off last Friday afternoon with the truck and trailer.


My adventure began!  I had a checklist of everything I thought I would need for the trip including extra oil, transmission fluid, coolant, etc.  BUT, the one thing I forgot to add to my list was the spare tire for my truck which I had taken out of the bed previously when we hauled a new desk my wife bought. So, 60 miles down the road and I have a blowout on the truck.


I called my wife and she brought the spare tire and a jack that was in my garage. As it turns out the Jack she brought was the jack for my BMW and the lug wrench for her car (a Cadillac). So I was on the side of the Kansas turnpike trying to use a smaller BMW jack to lift a full-size pick up. It finally worked and I got the tire changed. The spare tire had some dry rot but I was hoping and praying it would make it the remainder of the trip.  By the time I got back on the road, it was evening and I had a long drive ahead.   Because I was still a little concerned about my truck, I stopped often to check the oil, transmission fluid and tires.  On one stop, I realized I needed to add a little oil to the truck.  I added the oil and filled up the truck.  About 100 miles later, I was getting tired and needed a stretch and decided to stop again.  When I popped the hood, I was surprised to see the oil fill cap was GONE.  Evidently, I had forgotten to put it back on at my last fill up.  It had not sprayed oil all over the engine compartment.  But, I wasn't sure what to do.  I was at a truck stop in the middle of Oklahoma and there was no way I was finding an oil fill cap for a 92 Truck.  I googled the problem and someone recommended using duct tape to cover up the oil fill as having it open was causing a fairly massive vacuum leak.  So, I felt like a true OKIE fixing my truck with duct tape at a truck stop. 


I ended up arriving about 1 am in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  I forgot to mention earlier that the air conditioning does not work in my old truck. I was planning to spend the night at my other stepdaughter's house where the car was located.  She texted me to let me know that the air conditioning was out at their house!  It was a very hot night! 


By the time I arrived I realized that the spare tire and the other front tire were going to have to be replaced before I could travel back. So in the morning I went to Walmart to replace the two front truck tires and I found an oil fill cap at Autozone.  By 11:30 that morning I was on the road with the car on the trailer.  Without A/C in the truck and leaving about 1130 was a bad choice in terms of the heat of the day.


I was a little concerned about pulling such a heavy car and trailer with my old truck so I stopped after the first 60 miles to check it out. It was actually doing great. The truck wasn't getting hot. It was having no problems pulling the car and trailer and was performing much better than I had expected. I was even getting 12 miles to the gallon with the car and trailer. More than halfway home I was feeling confident although very sweaty in the hundred-degree heat. I was singing the praises of my old Ford truck as it chugged along like a true workhorse. I stopped and filled up the gas and got myself an extra large diet soda and planned to complete the remaining hundred miles without incident.


2 miles later, one of the tires on the trailer blew out. So, i'm on the side of the road with a BMW Jack and the spare tire for my truck. I learned that a BMW Jack will not lift a 1500 pound trailer with a 4000 pound car on it. I ended up calling a tow company to come out and change the tire. When he arrived we realized that the wheel on my truck spare was a different diameter than the wheel from the trailer. Although I had noticed that the tire on the trailer wheel was the same size as my truck tire. The tow driver gave me a ride 5 miles down the road where I found a shop willing to take the trailer wheel and mount a proper trailer tire on it. We drove back and got the trailer fixed back up and I was finally back on the road.


I arrived later safely with no more problems. The amazing thing was that The truck had performed flawlessly. So now we just need to repair the issues with the car and get a new tire and it will be on the road!


Just yesterday I changed the plugs on the car and that improved a misfire.  We still need to do a little more work on the car.  But, at this point it is still a serious thrift deal for the car! 


post #456 of 546
Thread Starter 

Love a good roadtrip story, and thrift/diy thrown in.

Nice work Proffessor!
post #457 of 546
Originally Posted by Thrift Vader View Post


Love a good roadtrip story, and thrift/diy thrown in.

Nice work Proffessor!




I forgot to add some photos from adventure: 


On the side of the road with the flat: 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



The shredded tire: 



Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



At the pickup location with truck, trailer and new car: 



Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



The view out my rear view window everytime I looked back.  Scared the hell out of me for the first dozen or so times. 


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




Steady cruising at 70 mph with 1500 lb trailer and 4000 lb car (AND 147,000 miles on the truck!) 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



The temperature inside the truck while driving. 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



The very unfortunate trailer tire blowout. 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



Since we all appreciate food, I thought I had earned a "fried pie" during the trip! 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



Home at last! 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



So proud of my old truck.  

post #458 of 546
Damn, that reminds me of when my dad's 1990 F-150 crew with upgraded 250 leaf springs in the rear had a tire blow out coming up the NY Thruway to pick me and my stuff up from the end of college freshman year. He put on the full sized spare, drove 55 mph on it, and got to me in the early evening. Would you know it, 30 minutes from home the spare blew out too.

That was a great truck over all though. A true work horse. Glad it ended up working out for you despite all the ups and downs! Hopefully you can get that Cadillac running like new again!
post #459 of 546
Thread Starter 

Thumbed for Pie. drool.gif
post #460 of 546
That shredded tire reminds me of a couple years ago. Driving back to college through cincy and hit a massive pothole on 75. About two miles later the damn thing let go, hard. Right rear at about 70 mph. I wish I still had the pictures, but the carcass tore the right rear quarter about a foot from wheel well towards the back end. Scary stuff.
post #461 of 546
Finally finished my brakes last night. After getting 3/4s of the way done before I had some thumb surgery I finally had some free time. Replaced both rear calipers and flushed/bleed the system. Had to replace the one caliper that I stripped a bolt trying to get it off. Brakes work like a dream now.

New caliper (and rotor/pads)

Stripped out bolt

Makes bleeding a whole lot easier.
post #462 of 546
Thread Starter 
Nice work! smile.gif
post #463 of 546

Nice Job @jcman311



Update on the thrifted STS for my stepdaughter.   It still had a misfire even after changing the plugs.  Brought it to a shop that I trust and it had two bad coils, so two cylinders were not firing. We ended up replacing the whole side coilpack assembly and it runs SO MUCH better.  My stepdaughter drove it today for the first day of school.  


Here's the amazing thrift content -- total investment for the car including cost of trip to go get it (not including the cost of the tires for my truck) was


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
$1591.81.  That includes purchase price, gas for truck hauling it back, new rear tire, spark plugs, coolant, oil and filter for oil change, and repair of the misfire -- parts and labor!  


I saved us a lot of money by doing the plugs, coolant flush, and lots of work detailing it.  


I still have to do some more detail.  The car was filthy.  I found a professional carpet extractor that I can rent to clean the carpets for only $21.  While I have the carpet extractor, I think I will clean my car and my wife's car, too.  

post #464 of 546

So as an update to my adventures.

I sold my bike... and just bought 2000 miata base model with 102k miles for 3800. Low miles for the year, pretty clean car, and it drives super well. Lucky for me the clutch and trans are solid for a car still on the original. It's been great to learn on and I'm getting the hang of things already.


I think I'm going to do some work on the car myself over the winter with @Thrift Vader 's help. I should probably buy a kit for the water pump and belts ($200) so I can be sure I won't be stranded for something stupid. It's all working so far, but some of the belts are pretty dry. I believe they're all original so it's not really that surprising!

post #465 of 546
Thread Starter 
@nobleproffessor - pics of the caddy!!!!!
Before and after you repaired it would be awesome. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
you done good sir. Saved a car, and made someone happy. Top points thumbs-up.gif

Glad to help rtc. We'll make a Jedi out of you yet. cheers.gif
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