Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Saab progress! (aka, "the joy of working on a modern car")

Kind readers of this blog who weren't in Lawrence in mid-June probably don't know that my lovely Saab 900 Turbo Convertible was barfing up engine coolant right before the SF Writers Workshops started. Everyone is probably aware that I have a little less than no free time during the summer, so for the past couple of months, the Saab has remained motionless under my carport, slowly growing a coat of alley-dust.

A short time ago, I purchased a new water pump from eBay, my home of car parts. It just arrived a couple of days ago, during which time I've been studying the shop manual and examining the Saab's engine compartment. If you've ever peered under a Saab hood, you're probably aware that the engine is mounted longitudinally and backwards; that is, all the pulley-driven accessories face the firewall at the back of the compartment, with barely enough clearance between the bolts and the body to squeeze a wrench into position.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the photos in the manual are lies, lies I tell you! One shows the water pump being gently lifted out of position... but that was on a car sans-A/C. Naturally, mine has A/C, and the compressor stands right over the water pump, rendering it virtually inaccessible. Yesterday, fatigued and grouchy after hours of cursingly removing bolts I couldn't see as I worked (joy!), I decided I'd just have the thing towed to a garage to have them finish the work.

I woke up this morning feeling like a wuss. I mean, heck, I've done all manner of restoration work. I've rebuilt engines with my own two hands! I can fix this thing!

So I resumed work. And - viola! - only several hours later, the water pump is out! Just a few minutes ago, I got back from the parts store bearing all-new belts, because those previously on the car all got soaked with coolant (oh, did I mention that one must remove all five - yes, FIVE - belts to remove any one? Hooray!).

Just finished a ham-and-cheese-on-rye sandwich for dinner, cooled down a bit, and am about to head outside and hopefully finish the job.

PS: Re: the subject line: Some of you might not consider a 1990 vehicle as "modern," but compared to most every other car I've ever owned, it's at least a human generation newer. That's, like, 12 generations in vehicle-years.

PPS: Oh, not sure I mentioned before that I repaired fuel-pump issues in early June. Next up: A/C repairs. Woohoo.

Tags: vehicles

  • AnLab Award finalist!

    WOOHOO! I'm a finalist for the AnLab Award for my novelette, " Ashes of Exploding Suns, Monuments to Dust"! Analog Science Fiction &…

  • Publishing News!

    Analog just published my essay, “ Literal Metaphors, Science Fiction, and How to Save the Human Species” on their Astounding…

  • "Why so little socially progressive speculative fiction?"

    This post couldn't have appeared on my Tumblr dash at a better-timed moment: …because I’m working on a question someone posed…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.