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Happy New Year(recent trip)

Happy 95 everyone.
Below is a little write-up of my recent loop to NH and recent repairs on my
87 5000S.

Couple days late but it's my first post this year.
Just spent a 900 mile roundtrip from NY up to NH White mountains and around
Boston and back home. Nice drive. Running new Pirelli P4000 in the front.
Quiet tires and not bad traction in the dry. NOt as good as snows in the NH
mountains though. (as expected) But most of my driving is on well ploughed
and salt/graveled roads and highways. I seldom see messy snowy roads. Watch
me eat my words when the predicted storms of 95 hits. I survived last year
on really old Goodyear GT+4's.
Mileage was around 27. (34 gallons in 900 miles) The 'winter' gas probably
didn't help mileage. Nor did all the ups and downs in NH and Vermont.

My new little BEL 635iP worked pretty well. Never expected to use the laser
detector in the device. I was wrong. Driving west on Mass. Pike, I got 2
alerts. The second time came in the 55mph stretch of the highway. A trooper
was parked on the breakdown lane on the down-hill side a hill. He already
had 2 cars pulled over and nabbed the car next to me as well. He just
walked out of his cruiser and pointed at the car behind me to pull over.
Ouch! The detector squawked twice as I crested the hill so I guess the
trooper checked both cars as we came into view. I was cruise controlled at
69mph at the time. Lucky, as there is so little, if not non-existent
warnings from laser.

I was playing with the #11 readout from the diagnostic computer. Car
usually had 14V or more when starting up. The Blower motor and climate
control brings voltage down to 13.7 easily. Most driving on the highway at
around 3000 revs keeps voltage at 13.7. Using lights and my stereo doesn't
bother the alternator too much. But switching on the 55/side driving lights
drops everything to 13.5 volts. Don't even think about using the rear
defroster with high defrost mode when idling. I once dropped car voltage to
12.6V during warm-up idle. I should have driven off sooner but I didn't
have 1st gear till tranny got a little warm.
The alternator is stock 90A unit from Bosch. I'd love the 120A unit from
the Q ships.

Recent repairs:

The brake light switch died during Thanksgiving break. I was stuck in
Boston till the repair shops opened again on Monday. Annoying!. T'was
exciting driving to Boston without brake lights. Had to make sure I wasn't

Found my slow coolant leak. The heater (hot water) valve died. It was
leaking coolant on the tranny. I should have looked at it sooner than
trying to leak for the leak around the radiator. But I now have a new upper
radiator hose.

Finally got around to repairing the exhaust manifold leak. Done at dealer.
Was too cold and too involved of a job for December for me. $300 later and
no more tick, tick, tick at startup. Now I can use the heater without
sucking in exhaust gas when engine is cold. It's good to have heat in
mid-state NY winters.
The most startling thing on the repair bill was the price of the hardware.
$4.20 for a lock-nut. Must be some impressive lock-nut. Too bad I needed 10
of them for $42 to keep the manifold in place. Wonder how difficult it was
to extricate the broken stud from the block. But I guess that's why I paid

That's it for now. I probably wrote too much already. Now why can't I be
this verbose on my thesis. :-?

Ernest Wong
email: esw5@cornell.edu