Friday, August 29, 2008

Treading Water

Sharks are known for their ferocity when on the prowl. Their powerful and sleek bodies glide quickly through the water searching for a tasty morsel to devour. Their speed is unmatched by anything else in the water ... unless of course they happen to be say twenty-five years old, tired and ... um ... rusty. Yes, my friends, the Rusty Shark is currently treading water.

Remember the carrier bearing? That's old news. My original intention was to replace the bearing myself but the other bearing bracket broke off Monday evening making it unsafe to drive home. So, the mechanics at Leikin Motor Company did the job. From what I was told, it took three men to finish it. Just think how long it would have taken me. Yikes!

Tuesday afternoon, Sharon dropped me off at the dealership where Trenton and I happily hopped into the car and drove away. It was an exhilarating experience! A smile spread across my face as I drove onto the highway finally ready to test out this 181 hp performance machine. But that smile quickly disappeared when the engine's power took an unexpected nose dive.

To make a long story short, we limped over to the repair shop on Center Street next to the Sunoco gas station in Mentor. The mechanic found that the computer had shut down the engine's power because the oil sending unit had developed a leak. But that must not have been all because, even after replacing the unit, the car only ran sporadically. After running a number of tests, he determined that it was an ignition problem. Fuel was available but there was little to no spark.

But locating the exact location of the problem would have taken a lot of time and money. Rather than sign over my week's paycheck, I decided to tow the car home tonight. Or more accurately, I asked Sharon to tow me home with the minivan. If you've never done that, it is definitely an experience. Our chain is probably 20 feet long. But at 35 mph, there only seems to be about six feet between the two cars!

My fall project now is determining the reason the Rusty Shark won't start.
Possible explanations:
  1. Bad ECU

  2. Bad diode in the ECU

  3. Bad combo relay

  4. Bad ground wire

  5. Faulty ignition wires in the steering column
My guess is that it's #1 or #3. Those answers have been given several times on different forums. Time will tell.

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