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Losing Our Cool

Losing Our Cool

Well, its been a while since I’ve really been doing any sort of update on the cars.  There has been a lot going on.  At some point, I became so obsessed with keeping the 2g running that it started to kill me inside.  I had rebuilt the turbo, twice.  I had replaced hoses, the alternator 3 times.  I checked mechanical timing, did countless leak tests and boost leak tests.  There was just too much.  Even now, its too much.  Let me start over, from the beginning.

Around May or June, I told my partner that it would be better for her to drive the 2g.  Her trips were shorter and less stress on the car than my 2 hour drive to work, then back in the worst of the heat of the summer day + stand still traffic.  The car always ran warm in the summer when stopped, but I could tell that it was a real issue this year.  At some point, while driving it, a heater hose popped off and dumped coolant.  I had to jump start the car and rescue it that time.

My drive home from the rescue was bad.  I had refilled the coolant, but I could barely shift into anything.  Every so often, my throttle response would collapse and it felt as though I had no TPS again.  There was an issue with my TPS harness coming off the sensor at one point, this felt like that.  Even still, it tried hard to over heat.  What a mess.

I determined that the reason for the power/performance issue was the CAS connector and a boost leak.  I corrected both issues and double checked my coolant system.  I learned how to burp my coolant system.  This tends to be a touchy topic as many don’t think we need to do so in the DSM’s.  I had never done it myself, up until this point.

I also went ahead and installed my after AFPR so that I could verify my fuel pressure.  There was some concern that perhaps the stock one was dying or I was having an issue with delivery.  Either way, I already have everything but the fittings and hoses to make that work, so I went ahead with it.  It was a temporary set up, so nothing on the site about it.  I’ll go ahead and let you know that it had nothing to do with what was going on, the pressure was fine.

I found that my drain plug on the transmission was finger tight and showing about 2 threads.  I also found that my clutch master cylinder was leaking. I also even found that my clutch disk was completely worn out and I had a broken “bastard bolt’s” head right off the shaft.

She had only been driving this poor thing a month or so, what the hell happened?!  After sucking it up, borrowing cars from friends, working from home as much as possible ….. I felt like I finally had things repaired.  I could shift, like a wet dream.  The throttle and response seemed to be right on.  Did I mention backfiring? It was shooting flames under the car during all of this nonsense – I even got that fixed.

A test drive at night looked good, so I parked it for the night and got to bed.  The next day, I’m off to work in it.  Not too terrible, a little sluggish at times but manageable.  This changed over the course of a week, though, and slowly, I started over heating again and my performance just got worse and worse until one day I barely got it home.

Right now, I have to theories on my table.  The first one is that head is warped and gasket blown.  That would certain account for the over heating issue I can’t seem to solve.  On top of that, I believe that a ground in the wire harness is to blame for the performance issue.  This is believed to be the exact same issue that JafroMobile does a video about, though my solution will be much different.

The car was parked at the last time it over heated….  and hasn’t been touched at all.  I’ve since gotten a new head from a donor (Frothy Talon) and slowly been queuing up parts for the rebuild of the 2.3L that we yanked out.  With a custom harness for tucking, made completely from scratch, I believe the wiring issue will go away.  I’ll have that built with the motor outside of the car so that there are no surprises at “go time”.

Stay tuned, folks.  This is going to be a very long ride.

About Ashley Young

I'm a North Carolina transplanted girl reaching my 30's. A few years ago, I procured my first DSM that would eventually mature many of my skills. This website is dedicated to the stories, adventures, and lessons that the car has brought to me over the years.
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