Friday, February 22, 2013

Confined to quarters

I’m doubly stranded today – without wheels and rained in.

Actually I’m not completely wheel-less because my mechanic gave me a crappy Toyota loaner but I haven’t used it other than to get back home from Duncan.  That was on Monday. 

Air bags are a known maintenance item on Towncars after about 5 years.  Ours is 10 years old and likely was still riding on the original bags so we were overdue.  Knowing that, I had purchased replacements but was hoping I could make it through to spring when I could install them myself.  No such luck.  After I got back out here I noticed that the car was dragging its ass by morning and at the same time I realized that I could hear the compressor running way too often.  Finally one morning it dragged bottom leaving the parking lot and I knew that time had run out. 

Of course I hadn’t bothered to bring the replacement airbags out here with me so that involved a whole separate adventure when Canada Post briefly lost them but by Monday of this week I had my airbags.  When I phoned my mechanic in Duncan he leaped at the chance to put something in his shop so Monday afternoon he pulled the old bags out and after some difficulty stuffed the new ones back in.  That was the point when we discovered that the more pressing problem was that my compressor had worn itself out.  That wasn’t entirely unexpected either – they are a known service item at this age too. 

What wasn’t so expected was the price that Ford of Canada wanted for a replacement compressor - $800 – plus rush delivery to Duncan if I wanted it in any reasonable time frame.  Bastards – nobody stocks squat anymore.  I thought a quick internet search was in order and it turns out there is an outfit called Arnott that specializes in air suspensions.  They air freighted a new compressor from Florida to Duncan for less than $300 delivered.  My guess is it got here faster than the Ford product would have and I expect the Ford item would have been a reman, not a new one. 


The picture is the real reason that I am confined to quarters today.  There’s been a big high anchored over Hawaii for a while now and the systems are coming over the top of it and then falling down the coast.  They bump up against the Rockies, get diverted south and dump rain as they rise up the face of the mountains.  Today we’re getting a normal wet coast pissing rain event.  We did get a brief window of sunshine yesterday & I leaped on the opportunity to get my power cables strung in anticipation of installing the solar panels.  I’m still waiting for my cheap SS u-bolts but Marilyn mailed them earlier this week so they shouldn’t take too much longer.  I’ll definitely need a couple of sunshine windows to get that project completed.

The guy that sold me the panels was full of promises that he could supply the controller as well but a couple of nights ago I got tired of waiting for that to happen.  So now I’ve got a Chinese built controller somewhere in the mail between here and Taiwan.  Chinese wire connecting Chinese panels to a Chinese controller mounted on Chinese aluminum angle iron held on with (maybe) North American SS bolts.  So much for supporting North American manufacturing.  At least I still drive Fords – well not this week but most of the time.

No comments: