Saturday, February 14, 2009

Car Repairs

As you may recall, we got into an accident on the way home from Colorado after Christmas. For a while I waffled about what to do. It probably wasn’t worth it to fix up the car, but I really didn’t want to spend money I didn’t have to buy a new car. Plus, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find suitable junkyard parts that would work. It looked like our poor car was probably going to go to the junkyard unless we could find someone who wanted to buy it and fix it up.

But then, luckily, I saw an ad for another ’93 Buick Regal Limited—same year, model, and trim package—with a blown head gasket. The owners decided it wasn’t worth it to fix their car, so they were selling it. I paid them $300 for it, and Mr. Anderson helped me tow it home and push it to the side of the house. It was a great find, because the body parts I need are in good condition, and there are several other parts I can salvage off it, too—a window motor, a door lock actuator, the cruise control servo, the power antenna, and a couple other miscellaneous things.

Just for kicks, I decided to document my progress on the two cars as I took them apart and put them back together. Here’s a picture of our car, the Regal Beagle (so named by Cicada), after I took off the bumper cover, which was smashed and hanging off.

Beagle 1

Getting the rest of the bumper off was fun, because the bracket on the right side was bent backwards and I couldn’t get the nuts off. I eventually managed to wrestle the darn thing off by bending the bracket back a bit with a big metal bar I found in the garage, unbolting the left side, and prying the whole thing off.

Beagle 2

And here it is with the right front fender and fender liner removed. The hood hinge and strut mount to the top of the fender, so I had to brace the strut against something and hope it didn’t fall on my head and kill me as I worked.

Beagle 3

And here’s the donor car, which for obvious reasons I will call the Teagle. [Edit: Okay, Brinestone informs me that it’s not so obvious. Teal + Regal Beagle = Teagle. Get it?]

Teagle 1

Here it is after removing the entire bumper assembly and the right headlight.

Teagle 2

Now I just need to get the fender off the Teagle and make the swap. I also need to do something about the headlight bracket on the Beagle, which is bent so badly that I’m probably not going to be able to straighten it myself. I think I’ll try to drill through the spots where it’s welded to the frame and swap the brackets. I should probably replace the bent bumper bracket, too. It’s kind of slow going, since I’m trying to work after I get home in the afternoon and before it gets too dark, and it keeps snowing on me to boot. You’ll just have to stay tuned for the next exciting installment.

Car Repairs, pt. 2

Grease Monkeying 2 Replies to “Car Repairs”
Jonathon Owen


2 thoughts on “Car Repairs

    Author’s gravatar

    A real man doesn’t take his car to a shop. He fixes his car himself, with his own hands. In the snow, uphill both ways.

    (In other words, you’re awesome for doing this.)

    Author’s gravatar

    Don’t give me any encouragement, or pretty soon I’ll be rebuilding transmissions in the bathtub and putting project cars on cinder blocks in the front yard.

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