Monday, December 24, 2012

Learning when to call it quits...

Well, it looks like this may be the beginning of the end. If you've been following along, you know that I replaced the cylinder head in my 1995 Subaru Legacy daily driver earlier this year, which supposedly cured a misfire issue I;d been having.

As of this past week, the misfire is back, unfortunately. The car threw the same P0302 code again. I did a compression test and verified that I have low compression in cylinder 2. This is the same test I did back in April. I had meant to re-test the car after replacing the cylinder head, but never got around to it. Earlier this year, cylinder 2 clocked in at around 70 PSI. This time, it's showing around 100 psi, which is still bad compared to the other three cylinders, which are showing 165, 165, and 160.

I'm not 100% sure why the misfire took so long to return, but it may be because I cleaned the carbon buildup off the cylinder 2 piston when I replaced the cylinder head. To buy myself some more time, I ran a can of Seafoam through the car this past weekend and replaced the spark plugs. As it is, I think I'll get through the winter (most likely with the check engine light coming on at times). But, come springtime, I'm hoping to be driving the Mercedes project, and hopefully can start looking for a "new" daily driver.

I was hoping for more miles out of this car (I've put around 45,000 very well maintained miles on the car as of now). But, the car has never run quite right for me. I'm guessing that cylinder 2 has been problematic for as long as I've owned the car, most likely due to mistreatment by a previous owner.

Because of the car's overall poor cosmetic condition, including rust, a rear suspension crossmember that's suspect, an aging transmission, an already-patched gas tank, a leaky cooling system, and numerous other issues, it's probably not worth it for me to try and replace the engine, and rebuilding it is out of the question. So, I'm most likely going to end up replacing the car. With what? Time will tell.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The 240D - removing old patch panels

Work continues on the project... though not much of it. I've had two weekends now where I barely got to touch the car. I did get out to the garage last Saturday for a little under an hour to finish pulling up the floor insulation from the passenger side.

I also finally broke out my angle grinder and zipped through some of the rivets holding on the previous owner's patch panels:

I had an idea how big the hole was from the size of the patch panel, but now I can see garage floor:

I had to call it a night at that point and deal with the sudden failure of the fuel pump in my wife's car. This also meant I had to chauffeur her on Sunday, leaving the diesel untouched until this weekend. But, I couldn't get to it right away. Saturday morning I had to deal with a blown water heater (got the plumber out here first thing in the morning and had a new one in before lunch). While that was going on, I finally installed the new fuel pump in my wife's car. She'd rented a car to get through the week.

After dealing with the fuel pump, I called it an (early) day and got back to work on Sunday. But... I didn't get to the Mercedes right away. First, I had to put my Legacy up on ramps to try and fix a coolant leak (seems like it was nothing more than a too-loose hose clamp). Then, I made a few adjustments to try and solve a cold stalling issue on the Vanagon. I think I was successful.

Then, finally... I got to work on the Mercedes for a while. I continued with removing the old patch panels, and finally got them off the passenger side of the car.

With the panels removed, I found an oily, tarlike substance. My next task is to see whether or not I can clean it up. At this point, I'm guessing that my repairs will be a combination of welding and riveting.

The old repairs were physically solid, but the previous owner had done nothing to remove or treat the rust. It was all there under the patchwork. I removed the old patches to correct this. Once I have this cleaned up, I'm going to start repairs to this side of the car.