Monday, November 30, 2015

Fix, Drive, Repeat

Quick post today. Just a reflection on what's been successful in my repair efforts. Perhaps more importantly, what's been successful in helping me figure out when something didn't go quite right.

Pick One Thing
So, you want to fix a bunch of stuff on your project car. That's awesome. Having a list is really fantastic for when you go shopping for parts or want to troll the chat boards. Your list could be daunting, and that's okay. Sometimes, you'll look at your list and think "well, I could do this at the same time as I do that". Unless those two things are within the same system, don't do it.
For example, you could look at an electrical issue, like your radio doesn't work and at your brakes needing to get new shoes. No, they aren't related at all. Still, don't do it.

Fix that One Thing
This is pretty obvious, but there's more to it than just fixing the item on your list. Do it well. Do it completely. If you're running new wiring for some fog lights or some accessory, complete it. Test the circuit with the wires hanging wherever, but then re-do it correctly. Run the wires a safe way. Zip-tie them into place. Solder the wire junctions, heat-shrink over the solder joint, and then wrap the wires with tubing. Don't just do it good enough so you can get to the next thing on your list. If you do, that item will re-appear on your list as something you need to do again, once the slap-together job fails.

Enjoy that One Thing
Once you've finished the one thing, go enjoy it. If it was fog lights, go drive around with them for a few days. Get comfortable with them. Tweak their trajectory. Leave them on by accident. After you've had them in operation for a few days, check them off your list and start thinking about the next thing.

If you touch lots of things, even just two things, and something goes wrong, you can't be 100% sure of what caused it. You'd think that if you only touched the brakes, how could something electrical fail. Great question, but when you're dealing with an old car, where everything is a little fidgety, something could have gotten bumped in the process. Case-in-point, I reached up to get the defroster to point more directly onto the windscreen and lost my wipers in the process. Had I messed around with a few other things, I would have been chasing ghosts for much longer.

That's it for today. I spent some time today working on my accessory battery circuit. I found that the main ground I had in place was not effectively grounding the circuit. So, I moved it. Now, the cabin lights are better and the stereo works again. Neat. Following my own advice, I'm going to leave things alone for a couple of days and let things settle out. As always, thanks for following along-

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