Welcome to Retroman40's World!


Unexpected "Surprises" and other day to day issues

What fun would any vehicle project be without a few unexpected "surprises".  I've run into a few along the way here.  Like I said in the intro - if you aren't ready for stuff like this to happen, pick another hobby!

Horn (June 2012) - I was aware that the horn didn't work when I got the car.  The "surprise" was exactly what I had to do to get a functioning horn.  In my way of thinking the horn is a somewhat simple circuit.  Before making any changes, I first wanted to test to see if the horn itself actually worked.  I did this my basically running a wire from the battery to the horn.  When I touched the horn it sounded; ok, it isn't the horn.  My next step was to test the relay.  It is located under the dashboard and only required slight contortion to reach.  I pulled it out and tested it on my work bench; when voltage was applied it closed so it wasn't the relay.  I then took the airbag out of the steering wheel to test the switches; they both worked.  To me this meant only one thing - there was a problem in the wiring somewhere.  Electrical issues like this have driven me crazy for years.  The only solution with most electrical issues than can not be solved easily is to start from scratch.  That's what I finally did.  Using an old push button switch I ran a circuit from a 12V post near the battery to the horn.  Do I like the set up?  Not really, but since I am considering a new steering wheel I will address the possiblity of making the installation a little more elegant in the future.  For the time being, I have a functioning horn that works off a push button that is installed to the left of the wheel.  I did the job so it actually looks like it belongs there.

Interior Flooding (November/December 2011) - After a torential rain I found some dampness had accumulated on the passenger side in front of the seat. It didn't take me long to realize that there was a couple leaks. The first was easy to find - there was a small hole in the floorboard under the carpeting. I quickly dispatched of that hole with some "liquid metal", a small square of aluminum and some RTV sealant. Unfortunately that didn't quite solve the problem and upon even further inspection I found that there was a slight leak where the front of the floorboard meets the side panel. Again, nothing a little "liquid metal" couldn't take care of. Alas, this wasn't the total solution either (this started getting old). I found the final leak and after liberally dousing the area with Rustoleum Hammered Finish paint and RTV Sealant, I finally put the leaks to rest. Mother Nature provided the real test with the first rain. I was quite pleased to find no water in the interior after and some rain showers.  I am even more pleased to report that this fix has lasted throughout 2012 and into 2013.

Loose lug nuts (December 2011) - I decided on a nice day to drive the Camaro to the golf course. Coming home I thought the front end was going to shake off. There was a fairly substantial vibration that was making the steering wheel shake in my hands. For a moment I thought I had somehow not put the rotors on tight enough. I jacked the car up but when I went to take the tires off, it was exceptionally easy. Still, I did a complete front end inspection (again) and found nothing wrong. I put the tires back on and really tightened the lugs. The car ran fine with no vibration. Unfortunately, after another 16 mile round trip to the golf course I felt the vibration coming back! I tightened everything up and it went away again.  I was pretty certain that I needed some new lug nuts so it was off to Auto Zone.  Five new lug nuts later and the vibration was gone. 
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