Re: The New Clutch
The day after picking Roxy up from Eurotechs after getting her new clutch, I headed out on a drive with almost 40 others to the small town of Jerome. To get there, we drove a fantastic road called 12 Miles of Terror before continuing on through Kirkland Junction, Prescott and finally Jerome. Great scenery, great roads, and nice change in weather with rain and temps in the 60s. Added another 380 miles to the clock too.
The more I drive my car with the new clutch, the more I start to think that the last clutch job might not have been done quite right. Crunching into reverse and first has been the norm for me for at least the last 4 years. Those issues are now gone. She also seems to be moving better than before, possibly resulting in slightly better MPG. Not much, just a little. But, it could just be that new clutch smell. I don’t know. I am starting to think that the broken clutch fork is something that has been an issue on my MINI since before the last clutch was installed. Too bad I don’t have any kind of warranty, because that job cost me so much, it would be illegal for me to actually share it with you here.
Everything is working better than it was before. While I hate having to keep having to do these kinds of major repairs, my list keeps getting shorter and I do see a light at the end of this particular tunnel. The only major repairs that I have left is the oil pan gasket (stupid expensive) and power steering hoses (again, stupid expensive). Just need to build up the budget for those, since both, I expect, will cost over $500 each (the majority of that cost is the parts). Yea, like I said, stupid expensive.
One thing that I do like about these repairs is getting a new car back. A car that drives like she is supposed to. Run like she is supposed to and feel like she is supposed to. That part I like.
Less than 25,000 to go. How should I celebrate?
A Few Extra Days
Made a stop today to check on Roxy’s progress. Or, rather, Jerry’s progress with her. So far, so good. Our man is pretty thorough, as you can tell. He even took the time to clean the transmission while it was out of the car! Holy smokes.
Tearing things apart, he tells me everything looks as good as it should. The issue was that the clutch plate started to separate. He showed me what that meant (super awesome) and explained why it’s a problem (super awesomer). Let me look under the car where the subframe (currently on the floor) and transmission usually reside, and I’m amazed at how tidy everything still is.
Besides the clutch, he discovered the water pump was leaking. It’s getting replaced. And, since everything is apart, a new rear main seal too. Just in case. Along with a laundry list of other seals and misc. parts that didn’t really need to be replaced. Because that’s how Jerry rolls. He just tells me what he is doing. Doesn’t ask, just says “this is getting done” and that’s that.
Re-assembly in progress, I get a message, and it’s bad news. Turns out that the clutch fork, a very key component in the clutch actually working, has a very slight crack. The crack itself isn’t so much a problem. The fact that it caused the clutch fork to become bent is the problem. Also a problem since there is a very good chance that they only place to find a replacement (after a very short search) is Germany, where they have 30 of them in a box.
UPDATE A quick call to our man, Mr. MINI Parts himself, Colin at MINI of Ontario earlier today found the required parts (and it’s associate bushings and whatnot). Those parts are now in a box on a UPS truck somewhere between Ontario, CA and Tempe, AZ. You can say it’s nice to know people. BTW, MINI of Ontario should always be on your go-to list of places to find stuff for your MINI. I mean, Colin had the Olympic scuttles, in stock!
Meanwhile, I am getting to spend some quality time with the Eurotechs “Mule”.
An Electric Blue, 2004 R53, riding on a some sweet wheels and airbags. Yea, we’ll be talking about that car in the very near future too!
Repair Log: 276,000-ish
Way back in August, 2009 my second clutch failed me on the streets of Temecula. I was just over 214K miles. Crevier to the rescue, blah blah blah.
Fast forward to, oh, I don’t know, last week. When down shifting, Roxy starting making this really nasty shudder. It started getting worse this week, so naturally, I ask Jerry at Eurotechs if he can take a look. Everything was checking out until he got her up on the lift, which is when we discovered the lower motor mount was shot. Hoping that was the cause of the dreaded shudder, a new part was procured and replacement scheduled for today.
Part installed, Jerry takes her around the block, but the shudder is still there, no matter what he tried. It’s determined that the issue was the clutch and he gets Roxy back on his schedule as soon as he gets the parts. Everything is ok until I go to drive home. After forcing her into first, she started rolling forward with the clutch fully depressed. Reverse behaved the same way, but in, um, reverse.
So, yep. Bad clutch. Lucky for me, I actually “broke down” at my mechanics shop. But it put me in a bit of a jam, transportation wise. So Jerry, being the kind of guy that he is, tossed me the keys to his MINI for the weekend until Roxy gets fixed up! Awesome!
I completely blame Phoenix for this outage. There really is no such thing as “highway driving” in Phoenix. If you are on the highway, it’s on a road full of people that just love to stop, then go, then stop, then go. If you aren’t on the highway, then you are on city streets. Streets with signals that aren’t timed, so you catch them all red. Not only does ADOT not know how to spell algorithm, they also have no idea what it means. For the record, Phoenix is also the only other city in which I will not give you a hard time for owning a auto transmission. I’ve actually encouraged it to a few people. I mean, come on, it killed my clutch in 65k -ish miles.
I’ll be sure to report back when Roxy gets home.
2013 Ford Fusion
Recently, I had the chance to spend some quality time with the 2013 Ford Fusion. If you squint (as Mr. Donovan Resh says), it looks a little bit like an Aston Martin Rapide. 1200 miles in the front seats, I thought I would jot down a few notes.
This is not a performance car. EcoBoost’d 4 cylinder attached to a 6-speed slush box puts this squarely in the ‘car for the masses’ category, but to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. Sure it’s big and long (too long for my garage), but that’s what this car is supposed to be. Quiet and confortable too, with enough guts to get out of it’s own way and then some. And definitely tons of room for passengers, which made up for the small-ish boot. Top notch Grand Tourer it ain’t, but as a car to spend 10+ hours in, it did pretty ok. And, priced at about 25k is a definite bonus. If you are in the market for a car that is bigger than a MINI, you would be well served by checking this one out.
But, before you do, let’s take a minute to pick out one of it’s most serious shortcomings; Ford Sync. (Read on…)
Most of you saw this already. For those of you that didn’t, here it is. 275,000 on the odometer.
Only 25k to go. I have a feeling it’s going to happen pretty quick.