Suburban and K5 Blazer Sold

So we kind of got tired of the old trucks we had and put them up for sale about more than a month ago. It was a rather hard decision since I had invested quite a bit of money into them and taken those trucks to a lot of car shows, including Power Big Meet 2014 with the K5 Blazer. But I just had a feeling that especially the K5 Blazer simply required too much money all the time and a lot of free time to deal with its issues from its age, lack of proper care from previous owners and also rust problems. The Suburban ran more or less fine but since I had owned it for nearly 7 years it  didn’t really give me that special feeling anymore.

Since the Suburban was a TV star here in Estonia it was even published in a yellow magazine – star-SUV for sale! Funny indeed. As I had put the car ad up the truck sold basically in 24 hours. Pretty amazing, everyone says. I got 4300 EUR for it which I think was fair for a 2WD SUV with 300k + km on the clock.

The K5 Blazer sold for just 2900 EUR although I wanted at least 3500. But the guys were just so eager to get the truck and since there was rust dropping to the ground from several places just by touching these areas with your finger I’d say a 2000-2500 EUR paintjob with bodyworks was imminent anyway.

And then we decided to start looking around for an SRT Challenger… I will be writing more on this and it will get interesting for sure since our new car has been ordered and is about to be delivered in 10 days! I’m just so excited about this.

Squeaking Engine? Here Are Some Suggestions

Dear readers,

Tonight I would like to explain how you can get rid of the engine squeak that usually gets even worse in wet and humid weather. If the engine of your car is squeaking annoyingly, especially when idling and running up to 2000 RPM, then you probably have some similar issue that I had. First of all, there are generally three most common things that may cause the squeak:

  • Alternator (generator) bearings
  • A/C Compressor Clutch bearing
  • Serpentine belt

I don’t like when my car makes unusual noises and I do get really pissed off about those things. Therefore, I had to try everything possible to get rid of the noise. First of all I had the generator looked at – one of the bearings was in really bad shape and could have caused noise when running. That was replaced by a mechanic. That didn’t get rid of the squeak and we found another noise source which was the A/C compressor clutch. Keep in mind that you can replace the bearing yourself but you need some special tools for that. In USA those tools can be ordered from most of the auto parts stores.

AC Compressor Bearing Service Tools

Since I couldn’t get those tools quick enough anywhere, I had a mechanic do this as well. When I almost thought that my squeaks were over, the humid weather came and there I was again sitting in my squealing piece of truck wondering what else to try. I didn’t suspect the belt in my case since I had that replaced like 2 years ago and this shouldn’t finish up a belt yet. They are supposed to last 5-10 years just fine. However, here comes a tip for you! When you have a squeak in the belt line and want to diagnose where it is, DO NOT spray WD-40 or any other oil onto the belt. That will kill the belt and it will never stop squeaking anymore. If you want to spray something, use a silicone spray or water. Those will also tell you what you need.

I bought a PRO 1 belt yesterday and today we replaced the belt. If you were as stupid as I was and sprayed oil onto the belt before, make sure you clean all the rollers before putting the new belt on. Otherwise the new belt could get “fried” too. You can use brake cleaner for this process but if you have any plastic rollers, do not spray brake cleaner directly onto those since it could melt the roller. Clean it with a tissue instead where you spray brake cleaner beforehand. In my case one plastic roller was present and that was the automatic belt tensioner:

DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE CLEANER DIRECTLY ONTO A PLASTIC ROLLER!
DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE CLEANER DIRECTLY ONTO A PLASTIC ROLLER!

So we replaced the belt and now it seems to be OK. You should also pay attention which belt you buy – PRO 1, Gates, Dayco and some others are known as fine belts. Do not buy anything too cheap or you will get your squeaks back in no time.

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Engine

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Engine

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Alternator

1997 Chevrolet Suburban AC Compressor

Spring is HERE!

Hey all,

Winter was a very busy time for me and I didn’t have much time to write in my blog. I’m so sorry about this. It’s still good to see you’ve been visiting me and plenty of e-mails have popped in during this time despite the lack of new posts.

But finally, Spring is here! We are all just SO happy about this since this Winter was extremely painful. There was so much snow, a lot of cold and that means a lot of pain in the a** for just about everyone living here. Cars don’t work too well in such conditions, on newer cars it’s easy to break the bottom frame protection plastic with the snow and so on. Those of you who don’t see Winter very often and are jealous at us – don’t be! Really, it’s not as good as you might think. Yes, there is snow. I think I can still find it from somewhere and I can send it over to Abu Dhabi in a box if you wanna see it so much :) Everyone should experience snow in their life just to see what it’s like and experience the winter “pleasures” like skiing and such. But having all that junk for almost half a year is NO GOOD. Alright, enough of this snow talk.

So, how did our cars live through the Winter? Well, first of all the Vette was ofcourse in the garage so she didn’t really mind. It was cold, yes, but what harm does that really do… However, the Audi and also Suburban were in constant use (especially Audi) and these did experience a few issues.  I can remember that in the beginning of Winter Audi showed its battery light and after some while the systems began messing up and everything died quite suddenly. All the electronic systems inside began to switch off one by one like in a crashing jetliner (yea, it was night in my case, too!) and soon even the transmission and engine began acting real weird. They are completely electronically controlled so what else would you expect… Anyway, I recharged the 110 Amp battery and drove it to service the next day. I first thought that the battery had finally died down in the cold and the systems didn’t want to charge it anymore. However, it wasn’t the case. In fact, the alternator brushes were gone so they had to replace those.

We also cracked the bottom protection a bit and managed to hit an ice ball so hard that a bit of the front bumper paint came off from one place. Should have it fixed soon I guess…  Although that didn’t break anything, I once drove off the road into the snow on a street simply because it was a curve, suddenly such a huge cloud of snow came at night during snowstorm that it just blocked my view completely and since I saw lights of another car coming towards me, I decided to keep to the right and that’s when I hit the snow wall. And there was no help of the Quattro there! We were so stuck that I asked a plow truck driving by to pull us out and he broke his towing rope. Then soon a Dodge RAM passed by who was gladly willing to help us and pulled us out with no big effort. The next time (well, 20 minutes later) I got stuck while just driving in the middle of the country road. The snow had blowed onto the road so much that it got really tough there. Ofcourse I didn’t push the ESP OFF button soon enough so the traction control didn’t let me push gas anymore which brought the situation to a stuck end. There was absolutely no way to get out of there by ourselves since the Audi was sitting completely on its bottom. Soon enough a tractor drove by and although we didn’t have a rope, he drove to the next fuel station, bought a rope for us and came back to pull us out. There are some nice people left in this world, huh?

We didn’t get stuck much more but it was just a lot of pain all the time trying to live your life normally.

But anyway, the spring!!! It’s here, just like I said. As you see, I can’t be happy enough about this fact. It’s a very important milestone this year, I’d say :)

Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED

The Corvette is out of the garage and just before I took it out, I installed the high quality LED daytime running light bars to the front. They are invisible when they are off and nicely glow under the grilles in the nose during the daytime. Although the law requires them to switch on and off automatically depending on the headlight switch setting, I decided to wire them through a separate switch in the “cockpit” so I can always decide myself when I want them on. Interestingly, there is a feature on these lights which automatically dims the lights by about 50% if you shoot 12 Volts to one of the additional wires. S

 

o, I decided to configure them in an interesting manner somewhat resembling the new Audis. Whenever the turn signal is blinking, the LED light dims to 50% while the turn signal lamp is glowing. It’s a really nice effect and probably also adds a lot to safety. I’ll try

to get a video of that for you in a short while.Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED with Sidemarkers

The Vette passed the technical inspection without issues and we’ve been driving it around for a couple of weeks now. The radiator was leaking from last Autumn so I had that repaired and the driver’s side electrical window had lost the last teeth from the moving mechanism so it wouldn’t move totally up and instead made terrible noises. The teeth were repaired and now everything is OK. Ofcourse I’ve been also configuring the carburetor but seems like I can never get it perfect…

The Suburban decided to fail big time… Driving it a week ago we noticed there was something dripping to the asphalt all the way behind our route and I figured out it was coolant. Firstly I thought that it could be the rear heating system pipes since the leak seemed to be near that area. However, it happened to be the typical Vortec engine issue instead – the intake manifold gasket. G

ot it from the shop yesterday and now it’s OK.

A year ago I had the starter and flywheel replaced on the Chevy. However, where I had that job done the guys apparently didn’t know how to properly install the starter on this car and by now the flywheel looks a bit like an elderly grandma with not much left of her teeth anymore. That was found out yesterday in the shop, as well. I was really mad about this because now I need to replace the flywheel AGAIN. And probably from my own pocket. At least I won’t take any of my cars to that shop from now, that’s a FACT. It was close to my home so it was always comfortable to take the cars there, but their job quality is now beginning to show itself. When fixing the starter a year ago they also managed to mess up the distributor clamps which hold the distributor cap in place. They had fixed that with a pair of cable straints and called it done. Now the distributor housing probably needs replacing, too. How can someone work like this? And how could I be so stupid not to act on these things earlier? Should have complained about their distributor solution at least!

Anyway, a  couple of photos from weeks ago of the Vette with the new lights installed :)

Oh, and a little Winter memory from a couple of months ago…

Estonian Winter Road