Lots going on with Maytag. Many things fixed...
The reverse light has been flakey since I did the 5-speed swap. In fact, right after the swap I bought a brand new switch. Then it stopped working again and I've ignored it. I dug in again last weekend and after much sleuthing, including determining the ONLY thing that could be wrong is the transmission, I figured out the culprit: When I put the backup switch in I used a copper washer (thinking you always put washers on plugs in transmissions, duh).
It turns out no washer is required (RealOEM proves this out) and, in fact, a washer moves the engagement point of the switch just enough that the switch won't engage.
But the real job of the past weeks has been fixing the AC and the weird noises that I had in the center console. To wit:
- AC failed on way back from 5erWest last year. Assumed it was the compressor. Verified R12 was still in system.
- Heater fan was noisy. I obviously picked a poor specimen when I put the interior together last year.
- You'll recall all the hoopla here about the heater fan resistor pack. The symptom way back then was the fan would race to a high speed even if off or on #1. The brand new resistor pack I put in last year did not fix this.
- Some weird buzzing from center console after car was shut off.
- A horrible whistle from the heater box area at speed.
- I didn't actually get the bulbs behind the HVAC controls in right, so only half the controls lit up and I had a nice backlit effect behind the grills.
I pulled the heater fan (PITA on cars with the fuel coolers!) and while it was quiet on the bench, I found another in my collection (maybe from the car I just parted?) that not only looks better but was silky smooth. I cleaned the cages nicely before putting back in.
I swapped in a different HVAC control unit and this has fixed the racing fan issue. So it wasn't the resistor pack afterall.
While the fan was out and the center console completely disassembled I began hunting down the whistle. While driving around at speed (I needed to be 60+ mph) I could reach in the heater vent and push on things (like the vent that opens with the middle slider) and get the pitch of the whistle to change.
Originally I thought it was those vanes, so I pulled out the heater box and redid them again. Of course I spilled coolant everywhere doing this.
I was convinced this was it. Convinced. So I put everything back together enough to test drive again. Nope. NO change.
I was still pretty convinced it was the heater box but decided I needed to rule anything else out (like something in the cowl). So I did this:
I also taped around where the coolant hoses enter the car. No change with either of these attempts.
It must be the heater box! So, I get to spill coolant everywhere again. But this time I was smart and put rags down under the car. Except I didn't put them in the right place and coolant still went everywhere. Sigh.
This time I went after the vanes controlled by the top and bottom sliders. I redid them and again was confident I'd solved the problem.
But this time I was REALLY smart and used this old fren that I had lying around from the last time I was fighting with heater control valves.
I'm glad I did that because test drives proved I hadn't fixed shit.
Stymied I gave up. And had a beer. Or something. Anyhow, some time later I got the idea to open up another heater box I had to see if I could see anything different. This is the one I pulled from Minerva's parts car. Isn't THAT special?
Poking around, comparing things I did notice something: All the old heater cores in my collection have some amount of insulation completely around the end with the pipes. The new one I put in last year only got insulation on half (no pic):
The source of the whistle then became obvious. That insulation is needed! If you replace your heater core with a new one, PUT new insulation around that end!
After putting things back together (again), test drives proved I had finally fixed the whistle (well, THAT whistle; my sunroof seals need replacing too).
Got the compressor back from Jay Stratton. He sure makes them look nice.
I got the blower fan/evaporator setup well enough, and hooked up the 'like new' compressor (after filling it with oil per spec). My R12 guy came out and tested to ensure no leaks and then gave me a dose of R12. We started it up and it blew cold and seemed to be working great.
Then a test drive... Nice and cool. Quiet fan! However, I noticed every time the compressor would engage it sounded like a 1940s ford tractor up there. I stopped and took a little video. After about 10 seconds you'll see the clutch engage and you'll hear what I mean:
Jay now has the compressor back at his shop (he's covering shipping) and seeing what went wrong. I had to have my R12 guy come out and evacuate the system again which is a bummer.
I set about putting the console back together. I won't recount all the details, but trust me when I tell you that it all does get easier after you've done it about 15 times (5 or 6 of those times was this time because of all the 'oh shit, I forgot THAT' or 'frak, that damn bulb fell out again').
This is a re-enactment. I'm sharing it so you can learn. When you do this, stuff something in that vent that goes down to the floor boards. Or have a long magnet thingy available and pray you have good dexterity.
I took this before testing everything. Then I discovered neither the top or bottom sliders would work properly.
Turns out I had messed up the little turny things on the cable ends that adjust travel when I was futzing with the box. So apart it came again.
Then I got it all back together only to notice the insulation sitting on the garage floor by the rear wheel. Apart it came agian.
This is where I gave up on Friday night and said fuck it I'm taking the Porsche for a nice Italian dinner by my lonesome (Julie was out of town).
On Saturday I got it all back together. No leftover screws either. Getting the glove box back on was much harder than I remember, but shockingly the driver's kick panel went on with no fuss. Yay.
(Yes, I took the care to put it ALL back as it should be. Shame on YOU for leaving that flappy thing off, or not installing the plastic piece that goes over the AC lines).
(Yes, I know the carpet piece for the heater duct is missing. Heck if I know where it went; it was there when I pulled it all apart).
(Yes, I know the piece of anthracite trim that goes between the instrument cluster and steering column is missing. I've been ISO *two* of them forever since this one is missing and Minerva's is beige. If you have, I want!).
I also tried fixing the fact that my active check system regularly insists I have brake light issue. After reflowing the soldier on the best looking module I have, i thought I had victory.
Alas, after a test drive...
I dunno what to do next on this other than bridge the reeds as the PO of Vlad had done. Any other suggestions?
Next up is getting those Spax off and H&Rs on. I'll keep you posted on the AC compressor drama too...