Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wagoneer leaks and Z clunks...

The roof of my Wagoneer is leaking - again. On the passenger side, by the front corner of the sunroof. Specifically right on Billie's seat. While we were driving thirty miles from home in a down pour. She had to ride in the back seat the rest of that trip. Luckily there is so much room that it was still a comfortable ride for her. It only really leaked when we stopped though. It was disappointing to see the roof leaking again. Although, I can't be too surprised, I have only completed priming half of the roof. And I - honestly - half assed the roof leaks, by using cheap acrylic caulk. This time, I will use real silicone, until I figure out something better, and paint over it again. And use good paint. The roof will be white. I also hope to find a good off-road safari type roof rack to put on it one day. Maybe after tax season. But first I have got to get a front drive shaft installed! I need to have four wheel drive, that is why I bought the Wagoneer after all. I may never really need to use it, but I need it! Hopefully it will not have any issues in the transfer case or front axle once I put the front drive shaft in. It has the "real" transfer case with a 2-hi mode, not the all wheel drive box. So it can't have too much wrong with it, I figure. And if there are problems, I will just have to take it up to my buddy Jimmy at his shop, Columbus Custom Exhaust. He has done a lot of quality work for me, and been very fair on pricing. Otherwise, the Wagoneer is everything I hoped it would be. It has been very reliable so far, knocking on wood. Except for the times I have run it out of gas! Oh! And the heater works! I was very pleased to find that out. I think I need the heat more than I need air conditioning. Not to say I would argue with air conditioning in the Wagoneer either. . . The blower motor is week, but it gets the job done and warms up the truck fairly well. Especially on longer distance drives. From home to work, I still freeze though - in any of my vehicles right now! The heater motor in the Z stopped working. I have to track that problem down still,  but hopefully it won't be too much work. It can't be harder than swapping it from an automatic to a manual.

That's right.

I swapped transmissions in my Z. I tried to sell it, but I had no serious offers and nearly got traded an Anniversary Edition - twice. So, I fixed it. It was fun doing that much work to the car, I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about the underside of my Z, but it was ok. The hardest part of the swap was removing the old automatic transmission pilot bushing and replacing it with the manual one. I rented Advance Auto's and O'Reilly's Automotives' pilot bearing pullers. I broke the one from O'Reilly's and the one from Advance wasn't worth much at all. I packed it with grease and tried beating it out, but that didn't work for me either. So, after a lot of headache, I decided to drill it out. I searched everywhere for a 13/16th drill bit to drill it out with and could not find one that was not a spade style bit anywhere. That's Sear's, Lowe's, Home Depot, and other smaller hardware stores. And auto part's stores. So, I bought a metal grinding bit and carefully as I could began grinding the ID of the old pilot bearing as evenly as possible until the new pilot bearing could just fit. Then I hammered the new pilot bushing in. Not sure how "by the book" all of that went, but, hey - the transmission bolted it and it runs and drives nearly perfect! I say nearly, because there is a funny delay with the motor sometimes. I had the same weird delay with the automatic transmission, but it is more noticeable with the five speed. I will figure it out, and it's not that big of a deal. What is more annoying is the very apparent now rearend clunk! It needs new bushing and a new rear differential mount. I will replace the mount at tax season, but right now it's very annoying and takes away from the smooth perfect ride I desire from my Z.

Anyway, it's a five speed Z now and that's what I really wanted so I am very happy.   

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