Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Wagon Returns

Quick post today, I think. Before I start, Hapy 21st birthday to T. It has been an amazing ride, and you have grown into an incredible person. So hapy to have had you in my life, my friend.

Some Background
Late last fall, I remarked on how many cars we removed from our driveway in a short amount of time (See Herd Thinning). One of those cars, K's 2004 JettaWagon has returned. Back then, it had sat for almost 18 months because of transmission problems. He was collecting money to do a 5-speed swap, but that proved too elusive. Between the changing prices for a kit from folks on TDIClub to difficulty finding someone willing to do the job (much less at a reasonable price), he resolved to fixing the transmission and selling it. $1500US later, the transmission is better than new and one of the front axles has been replaced.

On the inside, the driver seat had lost some of the leather on the seat bottom cushion. Based on his conversation with an upholsterer, that was probably caused by a faulty seat-heater. This news gave me immediate pause, since I have just completed the seats in our beloved Oliver. I will just make sure that the seat-heaters are on an ignition-switched circuit so they shut off when the car does. Anyway, K had the driver seat re-upholstered in a fairly-close color match. It's not perfect, though, and both Boo and I can see the difference. Which wouldn't matter if we hadn't been the ones buying K's car.

Snow Flashback
You see... years ago, when Boo and I shared that old condo we hit the mountain a lot. Pretty much, if we had the boys, we were going to play in the snow. The condo was just too small for anything else with 4 boys. One of those night-ski nights was especially icy at SkiBowl. I wiped out trying to navigate off of the Lower Bowl run onto Low Road when I hit solid ice (See Holiday approacheth). I landed on my left elbow and even now, over 6 years later, it still doesn't feel quite right.

That same night, Boo came flying down Lower Reynolds and as she entered the "whoopdies" near the bottom she hit some ice and landed on her back and backside with her right arm reaching back, hurting her shoulder. Like my elbow, her shoulder still isn't right. It was so close to the holidays, but we wanted to have her shoulder checked out. By the time she could get on-schedule for an MRI, it was Christmas Eve, so we didn't exactly get the A team. I have long concluded that the initial scan and scan reading was not done well, but every subsequent discussion starts with a specialist saying "they didn't find anything on the MRI", not bothering to look at the results themselves. That's the American medical system at work. Anyway, since her shoulder acts up from time to time, driving a stick-shift in rush-hour bumper-to-bumper, rubber-banding traffic greatly aggravates it.

For a short time, we had a nice Jetta sedan with an auto-tranny, but the hated 2-dot-slow engine See Welcome 2dot0). Boo drove that, and greatly appreciated the non-stick for her shoulder. She loves to drive a manual, mind you, just the hurt shoulder really took away a lot of that joy. Remember that I failed to recognize the state of the timing belt and it snapped days before we were scheduled to move (See Oh Snap). So, we sold the car pretty much for what I'd paid for it, leaving Boo back in a stick-shift car. Until now.

When K started talking about selling his car, Boo and I talked about helping him out, and helping ourselves along the way. Flash has over 210k miles on him. His interior was a horrible mess when I bought him, and the body has taken a lot of abuse. The JettaWagon, on the other hand, had about 130k miles on it, and was in incredibly nice shape; much nicer shape than Flash was when I bought him. So, we bought it. Now, Boo has a auto-tranny TDI JettaWagon.

Like with any new acquisition, there were a few things that needed to be fixed. The battery in the remote is dying. The brake lights all fire up when the headlights are on. The leather seats don't match. That's it so far.

I replaced the single-filament bulbs that had been installed with dual filament ones and the brake/tail lights work properly now. I did note that in the book for bulbs at NAPA, they incorrectly reference a single filament bulb. So, this is probably common for DIY folks.

Anyway, rambling post today. More car content is being generated. Maybe, if the weather is willing, I'll be able to pull the cover off of Hapy and evaluate him for Summer fun. Thanks, as always, for following along-

No comments: