So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Follow by Email
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
My economy car
When I got married back in 79 I owned a Honda Civic CVCC. It was a tiny two door hatchback. By the time my third child arrived, I needed a bigger car. Besides, we'd driven the wheels off that little car. It was worn out. Of course, we were a young family with not much money, so our options were limited.
I bought an old Dodge station wagon with a small block 318 engine for $50. The car had a blown torque converter. I knew nothing about replacing one of those, but the library had books and I could read. A work buddy found a used torque converter in an abandon car in a field. He charged me $35.
With the help of library books, I repaired the car. When I started it up, the engine made a loud knocking noise. Someone told me to put a can of this special oil cleaner stuff in the engine and it would quiet the lifters. Worked like a charm. Apparently there was some gunk plugging the orifices.
So for less than $100 I had a fully functional car, so I called it my economy car. I could afford a lot of gas because I had no car payments. If I was driving it alone and unloaded, the car got 18-20 mpg. Fully loaded with the whole family for a camping trip it got 18-20 mpg.
I drove it for two years. The only other major repair was a water pump. A rebuilt water pump for that car was $35. A friend helped me change it. No problem.
It had a broken gas gauge so I used a wooden dip stick that I would stick in the gas tank to see how much gas was left.
The old car was ugly as sin. American cars of that time period rusted out badly. The previous owner worked in a safety clothing shop. All the rust holes were patched with Kevlar scraps. The old Dodge was literately bullet proof. There was no way it would ever be pretty, but we loved that car.
After two years we were in a good enough position financially to be able to buy a new car. It was a cheap economy car that didn't even come with a radio, but it was new. The old Dodge had served us well, but how much can one expect from a $50 car?
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.