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A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

My car, “Murphy”.

Posted by Iszi on June 5, 2007

Yup, I’ve named my car. Don’t know if I’ve already mentioned this, but his name is now “Murphy”. Let’s see how things have gone so far, since I’ve had Murphy…

  • Immediately or not long after purchasing the car, in which “everything worked” according to the the “dealer”:
    • Discovered turn signals/hazards didn’t work. Fixed at dealer’s cost.
    • Discovered stereo system to be malfunctional. Dealer said he would refer me to someone for repair. Not done yet. I’ve just been living with it.
    • Discovered radio antenna not working. Still not done either. Living with it.
    • Heard “clicking” sound coming from wheels. Suspected tie rod ends and replaced them, but no change. Currently suspect control arm bushings. Parts have been acquired. Installation pending.
    • ABS and Traction Control failed due to bad ABS wheel speed sensor. Have part, installation pending.
  • Late last year, the air suspension system started to leak and eventually failed completely. Replaced air struts with coil conversion kit.
  • About a month after fixing the suspension, lost 3rd and 4th gear in transmission:
    • Tried replacing MLPS. Still no good.
    • Tried replacing transmission with one from a ’98, working on a friend’s driveway. Various circumstances forced us to abort the operation. Drove the car in 2nd gear while searching for an alternative.
      • Meanwhile, replaced rear shocks which were completely toast.
      • Discovered malfunctioning aftermarket alarm system.  Disconnected it, and now the passenger power door lock won’t work.
    • Had another friend try installing the ’98 transmission at a Ford dealership, with adaptations for compatibility in the ’93 vehicle. “New” transmission failed shortly after installation.
    • I gave up and took the car to a local “Remanufactured Transmission” shop.
      • Tried re-building the ’98 with appropriate adaptations for compatibility. Transmission “shifted funny” according to trans shop owner.
      • Re-built old ’93 transmission, trans shop owner said it’s good. Over the past week and a half I’ve found:
        • Speedometer off by at least +10%. Suspect wrong speedometer gear accidentally used in rebuild
        • Transmission shifts late in full throttle.
        • Vehicle makes buzzing noise with light throttle, when in Park. Suspect valve body. Could be due to adjustments made during rebuild process. Also could be related to the late shifting problem. May or may not be related to previous transmission failures.

The good news is, the car is driveable for now. But, I don’t know how much downtime (and I’ve already had too much) will be needed to solve the remaining transmission issues. Fortunately, anything more to do with the transmission should be getting covered under the shop’s warranty.

After the transmission is free and clear, I’ve got parts and plans for:

  • Replacing upper and lower control arms in front.
  • Upgrading rear sway bar.
  • Replacing brake calipers, pads, and rotors.
  • Full tune-up.
  • Replacing ABS wheel speed sensor.

Hopefully, when I’m past all that I should have a car that (with good maintenance) will last me for a good few years to come. It’s just getting past the transmission that seems to be the big hurdle. My head is probably going to explode if it comes back from the shop again with any more problems after I take it in to be fixed next weekend.

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One Response to “My car, “Murphy”.”

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