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2018.06.04
Had a bit of an issue two weeks ago when I brought my 300 in for an alignment after changing out the control arms (worn bushings). I took Monday off and dropped the car off at a different location of the chain that I normally go to (I have a 3 year alignment package with the chain). The last time I went to my normal store, I was a little underwhelmed by the service, nothing specifically bad, just eh. I was under the impression that this specific location was their area flagship store. I drop the car off and about an hour and half later, get a call back saying they couldn't do the alignment because the driver's side arm was actually the passenger side part and that the passenger side spindle was bent. In complete and utter disbelief/anger, I go back down and pick up the car double checking with the manager.

Spent the next week pricing parts and trying to figure out how the heck I managed to screw it up and otherwise second guessing everything that I had did. Other than pulling left a bit, the car drove fine. Fortunately, I had not disposed of the old parts and they were stamped LH and RH for easy identification. Pulled the suspect part out and what do you know, perfect match. Nothing wrong with the control arms. Since that was fine. I'm assuming the spindle (a $400 part, and the second biggest piece of solid metal on the car) was also fine.

Take the car down first thing Saturday morning to my normal store and low and behold. control arms and spindle are fine. As I'm explaining to the service manager the story, the techs hanging around were shaking their heads (spindles don't bend, they shatter, and then only in a substantial wreck). Since the 300 is lowered, my camber and caster are a bit out of wack, but that was expected. Caster on the passenger side is a little high, may have to investigate that one further.

So good news that I'm not completely incompetent. A little peeved at the chain store though.

2018.05.01
After two years of badgering from FCA (Fiat Chrysler) about the Takata airbag recall work that needed done, I finally let the dealer touch my baby this past weekend. I've been putting it off due to some reports of airbag warning lights coming on after having the work done, but finally gave in after the wife voiced some concern. Took the dealer all of about 3 hours to get both driver's and passenger side bags replaced. I suspect 90% of this time was spent replacing the passenger side. So far, everything looks good.

Before taking the car in, I spent the night before cleaning up the car and noticed a couple of paint bubbles starting to appear on the driver's side rear quarter panel, the largest of which is about the size of a quarter. It looks like I will be spending some time this summer perfecting the art of automotive body paint and repair. Not exactly keen about taking doing this on my car, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I keep telling myself if I royally screw up, I can fall back on a body shop.


A couple of other projects that I'll be working on the next couple of weeks: relocating the hydraulic pump on the lift so the driver's door will stop hitting it and extending the 1/2 galvanized air line to tie in the new air compressor.

2018.04.06
Got back from a wonderful vacation in Iceland. This trip has been on my bucket list for several years now and had been delayed for the past four years due to the family trips to France and Ireland (not complaining). As usual, my wife handled the planning and itinerary and also as usual, managed a great vacation despite some weather related hiccups (which is to be expected in Iceland this time of year). We saw numerous waterfalls, glaciers, hot springs and geysers, and most of the touristy hot spots. Since this is my daughter's senior year in high school, this will probably be the last big vacation we take for until college is done with. Some obligatory pictures below.


2018.03.19
I received the compressor parts on Friday and managed to get it back together. While waiting for parts, I managed to snag the manual and found another potential explanation for the oil leaks, wrong oil type. I seems that the previous user had put in compressor oil (makes total sense), but this unit actually uses 10W30 full synthetic automotive oil, which, is great, because this is what I put in the 300. The difference in viscosity didn't do the failing head gasket any favors to say the least.


By Sunday, I was able to fire it up and fix some air leaks from a couple of connections. I found that the regulator valve was busted and the tank pressure gauge was not reading the correct PSI. The state of the regulator gauge is unknown, since regulator broken. At this point, I was able to get the unit up to the 135 PSI that the new pressure switch is set for. Make note of the spill tray in the picture below in case things go south :)


This morning, I ordered a new regulator ($23.34) and two 160 PSI ($12.49) gauges from EBAY upping the total cost of the project to around $115. One note, this unit is considerably more quiet than my 10 gallon Kobalt oil-less compressor.

2018.03.04
Got a little side-tracked from the MAME cabinet when I came across someone giving away a SpeedAire 20gal air compressor. The reason for the give-away was two fold, leaking oil and it only ran on 240v. At the time of the posting, I wasn't really interested, but after a couple of weeks of no interest, I gave in and decided to contact the "seller". The seller dropped off the unit a day later and it was pretty caked in oil. It sat in the garage for another week before I had a chance to break the unit down and clean it up.

After cleaning up the oil, it was pretty obvious where the problem was:

I pulled the compressor case after some grinding, the cracks were just in the sound reducing coating and not the case. I stripped down the compressor and decided that the cause of the oil leak was due to blown gaskets. I ordered a new set, along with a new pressure switch (missing cover, and better safe then sorry) and handle (that was missing) from AirCompressorPartsOnline.com. This set me back just under $80.00.

While waiting on the parts, I decided to hose down the outside of the tank. I plugged the open parts the best I could, but still managed to get some water in. I opened the drain cock and nothing came out despite the obvious "sloshing" that could be heard. I put some air in the tank and still nothing, drain cock is plugged up. Depressurized the tank and removed the drain cock. I set the tank down and the worst concoction of fluids came spilling out on the driveway (one of these days I l'll learn to use a pan). Oil, water, rust, and God knows what else in this viscous sludge. Spent the next 45 minutes flushing out the tank and then running air through the tank to dry things out. Stay tuned!

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