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Linda's Blow Up

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Linda is an attractive lady, late twenties, with an uncanny ability to buy one unreliable car after the other. We work on her car from time to time, often after her current boyfriend or a big chain car repair shop has "fixed" it first
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Certain cars have a certain sound that can't be mistaken. The Dodge/Chrysler Slant Six is one of these. Because of its solid valve lifters and generous valve lash, the motor has a distinctive "tapping" to it, even when the valves are kept adjusted. Since this engine is also known for high mileage and reliability, it's common to find one that has had the valve adjustment neglected that is REALLY NOISY!!

One day I hear that "slant six" sound and think, "Wow1 That's a REALLY noisy slant six!"

Who should arrive, but Linda with her new boyfriend, Baba. Baba had a shaved head and was wearing a special robe of some sort, although Linda was still dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Small talk revealed that Baba followed this guru who was appearing in California. and they HAD to go see him. Their pale yellow Plymouth Valiant (1972) had a really bad oil leak that they needed to fix. They didn't know their engine was about to "BLOW UP!"

When I opened the hood oil was everywhere! I thought,"Well, this oil leak should be easy to spot!"
It looked as though someone had sprayed old oil over every surface under the hood!

I told Linda to start it up.

BANG!!!

If you've ever been severely frightened of startled, you'll know that your perception of time changes. Things seem to move in slow motion. I'm sure the things I describe here took only miliseconds: to me it seemd longer!

First came a loud but muffled explosion which rattled the other car windows. As I watched under the hood, the entire engine appeared to raise up and grow at least an inch or two.

Tongues of blue flame shot out of every gasket joint on the engine: oil pan, valve cover, etc.

Launching off like a rocket complete with its own little plume of blue flame, the oil dipstick arched across the parking lot to land in a ditch. The final volley was a 'PLUK" sound accompanied by a small jet of oil from the dipstick tube.

I explained to Linda and Baba that the mechanical fuel pump had failed and leaked gas into her oil! She definitely needed an oil change and a fuel pump, and that she might need an engine!

I changed the oil and the fuel pump. When it started it was still pretty noisy, but it quieted down after some good oil had a chance to circulate. A testimony to the strength of the slant 6 motor!

They left for California and I didn't see the car again for two years or more.
Then one day I heard that 'slant 6 sound" and thought,"Wow, that's a pretty noisey slant six!"

Up drove Baba in the same old Valiant! He and Linda had broken up quite a while ago (Imagine that!) but they had gone back and forth to California with no problems, then drove it around for the last 2 years..

His new girlfriend (a blue eyed blonde with a middle eastern-sounding name I couldn't quite catch) were going to California again to see the guru and wanted me to tune the car up, change the oil, and check it out!

Baba moved back to Ft. Lauderdale and I haven't seen him, but word has it he still has that old Valiant!


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Thank you for visiting the ECONOMECHANIX WEB SITE. Please feel free to comment. We also serve the surrounding communities of Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, and Newberry! Gainesville has been my home since 1974, and I've loved Gvl and the Gators since I came here in the fall of 1974 to attend the University of Florida. I loved it so much I stayed and opened my car repair business. Originally it was out of the back of a 1963 Chevrolet wagon, but in 1977 a fellow mechanic and I opened an auto repair shop with actual walls, etc. I stayed in the same location for 26 years, and recently moved my operation to property I bought 15 miles east of Gainesville. I am doing most all the repairs myself now, having reduced my overhead from $1500 per month to practically nothing. I do work by appointment only. I mostly work only on my established customers cars, but I will occasionally take on new clients. E-mail me and I will either make arrangements to look at your car, or I will recommend you to someone who will.

George G. Scott, Jr.


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Auto, Car, and Truck Article List

A
ABS: Anti-Lock Brake Systems
ADVANCE: Car ignition timing
ALTERNATORS and Car Battery
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS
B
BATTERIES: Auto, Car or Truck
BELTS AND HOSES
BEARINGS
BODY AND BUMPER REPAIRS
BRAKE REPAIRS: Car or Truck
C
CARBURETORS:Car & Truck
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
CLEANING: Engine Cleaning
CLUTCH REPAIRS: Car & Truck
COMPRESSION: Car Engine
COMPUTER CAR CONTROLS
CV JOINT OR CV AXLES
D
DISTRIBUTORS (IGNITION)
E
ENGINES: Car & Truck
ENGINE CLEANING
EXPANSION PLUGS
F
FREEZE PLUGS
FUEL AIR MIXTURE
FUEL INJECTION: Car & Truck
FUEL PUMPS: Car & Truck
G
GAGES AND "IDIOT LIGHTS"
GASKETS AND SEALS
GLASS: WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
H
HEADS & HEAD GASKET
HOSES AND BELTS
I
"IDIOT LIGHTS" AND GAGES
IGNITION TIMING: Car & Truck
J
AUTO JACKS: lifting cars safely
K
L
LEAN "Car runs lean"
LIGHTS: WARNING OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Limp Home Mode
M
MIL Light
MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS
N
NO START: Car Won't Start
O
OIL CHANGES
OIL: What's right for your car?
OIL LIGHT ON OR GAGE LOW
P
PCV Valve
Q
R
RADIATORS: Car and Truck
RICH: Car runs rich
S
SEALS AND GASKETS
SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT
SPARK PLUGS
STARTERS: Auto, Truck
T
THERMOSTATS
TIMING: IGNITION TIMING
TIMING BELT & TIMING CHAIN
TIRE REPAIR
TRANSMISSIONS: AUTOMATIC
TRANSMISSIONS: MANUAL
U
V
VACUUM ADVANCE
WARNING LIGHTS OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
W
WATER PUMP REPAIR
WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
X
Y
Z

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