Second attempt at driving from OC to Emeryville (CA) was a success…Got to JJ’s place around lunchtime and we finished putting on new brakes on all 4 corners using the overhaul kit from Midwest (excellent package btw!) The package includes rebuilt calipers (loaded), new rotors and pads. I also have the brake hoses but feared getting that flare nut on the brake line loose might set me back time-wise again (even with the right tool in hand). Will leave that to a local mechanic (ya, I know…) So, the overhaul completely sorted out the issue which “stopped” me in my tracks on the 1st attempt; good to go now.
Except that as my wife and I started the trek back to the Bay, as we began to exit off the 405 in Seal Beach to grab some coffee, we heard a funny noise in the engine bay. As I pull into Starbucks, the red light comes on for the voltage meter – battery is not charging. Look in the back and sure enough, the alternator belt had snapped. Not a problem – JJ to the rescue! We hook up a battery charger and drive about 5 miles south to the nearest auto parts store where they have the belts in-stock…grab part #7300 head out to the parking lot to change….but wait, there is a mechanic shop across the street…I am feeling lazy and not wanting to get real dirty (ya, I know…) so I run across and talk to them…they would like $50 to do the job. Sounds like money well spent, so I drive the car in and after an inspection, they would like to replace both belts (car has A/C) – price is now $60; sounds reasonable to me….hand the car off and sit back in a chair.
Uh oh, the alternator belt is too short…so I run back across the street and pull part #7325…..run back across, nope, too long, run back, pull part #7312…run back, nope still too short….run back, pull part #’s 7300 (again), 7310, 7315, 7320 and run back (anyone remember Frogger?)…7315 is the best fit..mind you, the computer says 7300 is the proper belt (ya, I know)…So after 2 hours of this, it’s all buttoned up and ready to go….enough of that!
Rest of the drive was smooth as butter…took 405 to 101, then up 880. I swear the car ran better and better as we cruised. I’ve missed being this “connected” to the road, hearing every sound, monitoring battery and temperature gauges and of course, that backwards tach was a much welcomed familiar friend I haven’t seen in over 2 years. The car stayed pegged at 190 degrees, except for rising a little uncomfortably high going up the Cuesta Grade, but returned to normal after. Handles terribly – new struts waiting to go on. No leaks.