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Old January 10th, 2018
JVReal JVReal is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2
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Hello, new to the forum. My son had a nice Ford Escape he was given by my mother, and he got an oil change, and at the oil change place they must have stripped the bolt or something because his oil light was on within a week or two... but since that "shouldn't happen", he ignored it. He called me 2 months later telling me his car shook really hard and then stopped working and that he got it to a parking lot. When I came to check it out, it was dead for sure, he threw a rod for sure. It was dry of oil, and I poured one quart in, had him try to start it and oil sprayed all over the place on the ground. We needed a car to replace this one fast, so he bought a 1989 Oldsmobile 88. It was cheap and ran.

It was a weird feeling because my first car that I purchased out of high school was a 1989 Regency Oldsmobile 98, I was feeling nostalgia big time.

Right off the bat the rear doors won't open. locked or unlocked, they just won't open. It's a bit cold here in Michigan right now, so it's not on the top of my priority list, but its something I'm trying to get information on for when the weather warms up. Both Rear doors won't open from the outside or inside. I'll throw up a thread about it for people to comment on as soon as I'm able to.

Since the purchase, I've had to replace the oil pan (pin holes started developing on the corners from corrosion), I've replaced the front driver side CV Axle, front brake pads and drivers side caliper and rotor, replaced the windshield washer fluid pump.

The most recent event with this car took me about 2 months to get it back in working order, I'll outline it here because it just threw me for a loop.

My son called me at 10 pm (he works nights) saying his car stalled out on the side of the road and won't start. I go over there and can't figure out why, tap on the starter, jump it (because battery was dying by then from several attempts), brought gasoline, nothing worked. His mother and step dad have a big truck so they hook up the chains and pull it back to his apartment, but it does slip off the chain once at a stop sign and something started leaking (turns out to be the power steering return line). We then come back to the car the next day and get it onto a trailer and to my house to be worked on (we pop a front tire trying to get it on the trailer... not a pretty story). I had put the emergency brake on when it was on the trailer... big mistake because that got stuck on. Took a bit to break that loose, but I had to wait until the car was back running.

I change the spark plugs and wires, test for sparks, not getting any spark, and I read that the crank sensor is a common thing, so I remove the belt and find that a third of the belt split the entire length and was lying in the area, but the significantly skinnier belt was still in tact. I pull the Harmonic balancer to look at the crank sensor, and the sensor is just shattered. I look at the harmonic balancer and the teeth are bent all over the place... and I notice there was no plastic shield that is supposed to be there that protects the teeth of the harmonic balancer and the crank sensor (I could not find that part anywhere... i found a part number and the part is no longer being made... ugh #24502098 crank shaft sensor shield).

I replaced the sensor, bent the teeth back as best I could, got a new belt, lined everything up (again without that shield), and started it up. It runs! but I notice the belt was riding on the edge of the starter pulley (harmonic balancer) and wondered why. Upon closer examination, the starter pulley was sitting crooked. I removed it again, and examined it and found that the rubber inside the pulley was cracked halfway around, so even though the harmonic balancer was tight, the outer ring that the belt rides on was crooked. I needed a new harmonic balancer. Ordered one, installed it, and everything was much better.

Here's what basically happened:
The starter pulley/harmonic balancer had cracked rubber so the pulley was crooked, this caused the belt to ride on the edge of the pulley. That edge of the belt eventually wore thin and tore off. Since there was no plastic guard on the harmonic balancer and crank sensor, the skinny strip of belt got down into the teeth of the harmonic balancer, bent them all to heck, and those bent teeth broke the crank sensor... causing no more signal for spark and the car stopped. What a series of unfortunate events.

Now to address the leak from the tow. Found out if was power steering fluid, found the source, bought some high pressure return hose and cut out the segments with holes and replaced it with the hose $8 instead of the $50 for the entire line. I didn't know I had to bleed the system, so it was still whining and the power steering fluid was foamy. I did some more research and learned how to bleed the power steering fluid. At this time it was -10 outside so my desire to be out there was very low. I spent the week with it on jack stands, and every day after work I'd go to the car and lock to lock about 20 times, then add fluid and let it sit with the lid off the power steering. By the weekend the battery was dead, so I jumped it, let it run, did some more lock to lock with it running, topped it off, and let it warm up for 20 minutes. I tightened all my clamps on my patch, and there was no longer any foam, no more air bubbles, no drop if fluid levels after a test drive.

I was finally able to give my son his car back this weekend. I know a lot more about this car's ignition system than I ever wanted to know.

I do have the typical code 41 left to iron out, but I'm in no big hurry for that one.

Its nice to have a project car, but his car and my daughter's 03 Dodge grand caravan were both giving problems at the same time, it was a juggling act to work on both of them. (had to stop working on his car to replace her radiator, rear hub assembly after hitting a curb, and change her blower motor resister).

I'm much more mechanically competent now than I ever was in my youth, and I get a lot of joy out of it. This weekend and next weekend its back to working on my daughters 03 Dodge, replacing her rear axle (she hit a curb and bent it), and replacing her inner and outer tie rods (boots were torn for some reason).

That's my most recent adventure. I'm no professional, but I am very capable, and very willing to learn and tackle these projects. I look forward to gaining a lot of my knowledge by tapping into the collective wisdom on this site.
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