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Well we made it ok, the plane from Atlanta to P.R. had to go back from the taxiway to the terminal cause the the pilot smelled something burning so we had to wait for the mechinic to change a recirclator fan that went bad. (1 1/2 hour delay)
The Sunbird is running good even though no reverse ( it worked once) Had a leak in the top of the windshield gasket between the body and the gasket. The prevoius owner filled it up with silicone , but it started leaking again while we were gone so I redid it yesterday as we have had rain everyday this week. The water was in the car when we picked it up from my wife's uncle house on the drivers side front to back( kind of funny in travels front to back as you drive) I got it dried up last week but now I have to do it again.
Other than dry rotted/ low on air tires, all is good on the car, coiuldnt ask for more ( other than the Reverse )
Been using it as a pickup truck to carry barrels, pallets, wheelbarrow and such with no problems............... Great on gas also even with the lockup disconnected as it was $ 1.00 a liter when we got here ( now down to .96 a liter)
Plenty of other Sunbirds around town, spotted about 3 or 4 so far...........................
Painted the hubcaps silver yesterday and adjusted the back brakes, found the real water leak in the cowl/ firewall area, ( been patched up before with bondo) but found a new spot where the body seams meet on the firewall, I need to patch that up.( ran out of stuff to do it) .
Had to use the Sunbird as a pickup again Wednesday as we bought a gas grill at Kmart and it was too big to get inside the car. So we lashed it to the open trunk, said a prayer, and made it home 20 miles later on the highway.
Got some bad cheaper gas Monday, car ran like crap till Wednesday till we got some better gas.
Thats all for now........................Doug in P.R.
Took the Sunbird on a long 35 minute trip to Ponce on the highway yesterday to try to find Home Depot. Suspension is shot but we made it ok. Bought a toilet and 2 Miami windows, put the toilet in the back seat and the windows in the trunk. Passed a dead blue 4 door Sunbird abandoned on the side of the highway.
Car seems to ride better when loaded, , took the highway halfway back, got off to take the coastal route back home due to road construction nortbound on the highway. Our electronic toll pass sticker on the windshield is on yellow anyway so we need to charge up the card before it gets empty.(red)
Went to the hardware store in town later, and the reverse worked again for only the second time since we moved.
Got back and gave the car its first bath, doesnt look half bad now..
Well yesterday was another adventure with the Sunbird, as we decided not to take the highway to avoid tolls. We wanted to stop on the way to Home Depot at Kmart in Juana Diaz. We looked up the location on the web, and decided to make a run for it. Well , just like the directions for Home Depot, we took one way and got lost. After driving a while looking at the Hertz map we had from the rental from the airport, we finally had to ask someone. To find out, we just drove in a big circle. Kmart was just off the highway exit if we would of took it.
After that we took the Highway to Home Depot, got 6 windows and tried to load them all in the car. That worked out sort of OK but one of the larger Miami windows didnt fit in the back seat with the other 3. So it ended up sticking out the trunk a bit on the way back. out of Home Depot, we spotted a white 4 door Sunbird heading in the other direction. A girl was driving and by the looks of it, her A/C wasnt working either.............
Charged up the toll pass today (only one spot in town) but looked at one of the rear tires and found some tread missing and belt showing , so it needs new tires before another adventure................
Ended up putting on the donut spare to make it to Guayama to look for tires. Stopped at Pep Boys but they didnt have the bigger size I wanted.The guys on the Jbody forums recomended 205/70/14 that would be the biggest that would fit. The car had mostly 185/65/14 ons on it with one factory size 185/70/14.
Way too low for around here with the pot holes and the low manhole covers.( they dont raise them when they repave)
Went to Advance Autoparts/ Western Auto and got a set of 205/70/14's ( last 4 in stock) The drive home on the toll road was like night /day. What an improvement! Dont feel the bumps,shakes and engine noise anymore.
And no scraping of the exhaust either........................
Wednesday afternoon when the rain let up, I decided to tackle the small amount of airflow out of the vents. Basicly took the whole bottom of the dash out to find the problem which didnt happen. I found that all the vacumn dashpots were working except the defroster one was a little slow. Someone else was looking for the problem before because they removed the blower fan and didnt reseal it. I gooped it up with some silicone and the airflow improved some but still not enough. I will flush the fan housing out with the hose soon in case the heater core is clogged with leaves and junk.( couldnt tell from the backside under the dash)
I was running the cooling fan off the blower wire under the hood for a quick fix when I bought the car in February, so I hooked it up under the dash to a key on Red wire that someone had hooked up the alarm back in the day when the car was new and now is long gone. Reminats remaining are the stickers, hood switch and the red minilight near the column.
I had to move the shifter lever while taking apart the dash a couple of times , so after it was all put back together, I went to go somewhere and put it in gear and nothing! ( gee I wonder why that ziptie was on the shiftercable to the trans was for) To hold it on cause the clip was missing?A quick wire job fixed that for now.
Friday early AM was a trip to Home Depot to get plumbing supplies and some other stuff. Got 2 small windows, 6 blocks , fittings and valves and 2 ten foot copper pipe. Rolled down the passenger window, put the pipe on the rear deck, and tied them to the window frame. I taped the end to the antenna and away I went. Just my luck it started to rain halfway back, so when I got back to Salinas I rolled up the window as far as it would go cause it started to downpour by then.
Thats all for now as the Sunbird adventures continue....... should get the Silverado this week cause the container made it to San Juan yesterday!
Updates: No truck yet ( stuck in the PR government looking to get more money out of us for Tax Purposes - They think we are a shipping company)
Sunbird running fine, killed the battery leaving the running lights on at a dusk run to town on Tuesday. I bought a Battery charger a few years ago while here so no problem.
Went to Home Depot in Ponce early Friday Am during TS Sandy, man it was pouring the whole time there and back, other than some wet carpet and fogged up windshield, no problems. Had to forge some deep water when I got back to Salinas due to flooding. ( 7 inches of rain this month so far)
All is good...............thats all for now.......
Gave the Bird a wash yesterday since no rain in the forcast. Touched up the hubcaps with some silver paint and tried to flush out the blower housing which made it worse
Checked the net and found it was a common problem with these cars to clog up the heater core with oil and dust. Look like the housing will have to come off for better access to clean it proper.
Fixed the sagging headliner board also with some spray adhesive near the back as it was upstructing the rear view. The velcro that holds it up was shot.
My truck is still on hold cause the P.R. gov wants to check it in person now...., container is due at our house tommorrow. to unload . ( we have 3 hours or they charge $75 each additionaL HOUR!) Borrowing a Ford F800 flatbed which is only 7" shorter than the container. Just worried if the container is too tall for the wires on the street.
Well, finally after the long delay got the Silverado yesterday after a six hour runaround in San Juan. Didnt take the 'Bird with us as the wife was nervous it would break down. ( I have more faith in it than she does, used her uncle as a guide and her cousin's Lancer to get there) First to Toa Baja to get a paper from the shipper, then to the government office in San Juan, then wait in line forever, then back to the shipper to get the truck after paying import tax. Then try to beat the traffic out of San Juan before rush hour. After a quick fuelup, we made it out just in time!
Ive added some pics of the bird to show you all how it looks ............ STILL NEED TO GET A DAY TO WORK ON IT!