Saturday, March 20, 2010

In search of the Holy Windshield wipers

I replace our windshield wipers blades every fall. That way they are in great shape for winter and our rainy spring. They then get cooked in the heat of a Texas summer. This past October, I went to purchase some from our local O’Reilly. They didn’t have the replacement blades and convinced me to buy entire arm replacements. And then convinced me that I needed the new, improved, Aero, dynamic tension (sounds like a line from Rocky Horror Picture Show), blades.

Within about a month, those suckers started streaking worse than the pair they had replaced!

So this Saturday, with a cold front in, rain, snow, I decided to try NAPA for replacement blades and not entire arms. I took my two old pairs with me. NAPA told me they didn’t have the replacements. I decided to try a different O’Reilly. That’s when the conversation got surreal.

Him: “Can I help you?”
Me: “I’d like to buy replacement inserts for either of these pairs of windshield blades” (I had the original Ford blades and a set of Anco’s that had been on it for years.
H: “I don’t think we will have them. You have to buy the whole arm”
M: “I did buy the whole arm from your other store. They are three months old and streaking already”
H: “That’s just the way it is in Texas”.
M: “…….in the summer, sure…not in the winter”
H: “why do you want to replace them?”
M: “I told you, they are streaking and they are only four months old”
H: “So you”
M: “Look. I wish to purchase replacement inserts. If you don’t have them, fine, I’ll try your competion”
H: “I’ll look”

LO AND BEHOLD, he found the holy grail! The $20 “blades” that lasted one month and started streaking, have been replaced with Inserts that only cost $6.

Another racket.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Orienteering and Old Cars

It's been a hectic month. Classes and new projects at work. Orienteering two days in Athens Texas. Mr. G and I are course setters and meet directors at the next North Texas Orienteering Association Dillo-Goat. It is in LBJ National Grasslands, which is mostly forest and hiking/horseback riding trails. We were up there about three days over a two week period. Even in the snow!
There was even a fire north of us in the grass lands. Someone must have been cold in the snow.
We also got the truck stuck in the mud after the snowfall.

Then the old 1969 Mustang decided to give me some trouble starting one day after I'd already driven it about ten miles. When I got home, I took off the air cleaner and found lots of leaking fuel. The carburetor gaskets had given out. I got a rebuild kit and rebuilt it. But it still doesn't run correctly. I traced down 41 year old vacuum hoses were all leaking. Replaced those. The battery cable broke. Replaced all those. The spark plugs were old and fouled. Replaced those. It was funny but except for the carb kit and the battery cables, I had the parts "on the shelf" already!
It still isn't running right. It seems to have developed a vacuum leak, which must be in the carb. I've disabled the choke, since it didn't work anyway. And now have plugged the air passages to the choke. I'll see if that helps.