11 Mar 2013

Well, it was an interesting day, and yes, the Guinness signifies success.

Loaded up the car and got it to the smog referee station on-time at 7:15 am. Because I was stressing I had completely forgot that I’d lowered the nose of the car back to regular ride height. This meant that all the way to the place, the bottom of the nose was bouncing against the front cross member on the trailer… not pretty. It did a real number on it, wearing through the clear bra, paint, gelcoat, and about half way through the fiberglass. Alas, there was no one to blame but myself. The only good thing is that it’s only visible from really far away, or if you get down on your hands and knees to look at the bottom of the nose.

Once there we got started,┬áthe inspector said that his network connection with Sacramento (our capital) was out and we’d have to wait for it to come back. One hour… two hours… so much for going to work it seems. Three hours… and I asked why couldn’t we do as much of the paperwork as we could and then they could mail me the sticker. Nope, they have to attach it, and if I left, I wouldn’t get the paperwork that the DMV needs, and I’d have to reschedule and start all over again. Fine… four hours… five hours… grrrr…. and then it all started working. The 40 minute appointment took 5.5 hours, but the car did pass and I do have the paperwork.

With the workday shot it became a “vacation day” so I towed it in for its light and brake inspection. This one went very smoothly, them asking to see the turn signals, brake lights, parking lights, and emergency flashers. No problem – done. So while the day did try my patience, the paperwork is now complete. A subdued “yay.”

As soon as I got home I sent off an electronic application for insurance. Wednesday is the DMV appointment to finish up the paperwork and get plates.

There is one small mystery though… I used a tow-dolly to tow the car to the CHP inspection, so only the front wheels were off the ground. This meant that even though it was in neutral, the transmission was spinning – this may or may not be important. I had the inspection done then towed the car back home. Starting the car in preparation of backing it off the trailer, the clutch pedal wouldn’t disengage the clutch and would grind the gears. I got it off the trailer by turning the engine off, putting it into reverse, then starting it. I later readjusted the clutch pedal stop-bolt, figuring that it had backed out. This time I added a locknut so that it couldn’t come loose again and forgot all about it.

Today I towed it in for its smog check and virtually the same thing happened. There was no problem putting it on the trailer, but when it was started in order to back it off – same thing, it wouldn’t go into gear, as if the clutch pedal was again misadjusted. I checked, and the locknut was still tight… I don’t get it.

This is a “new” car – it hasn’t been driven more than just down the block and back since it’s not yet registered. “Maybe” tilting the car up onto the trailer causes air to get into the clutch line and make it less effective? I worry that maybe the clutch wasn’t installed correctly and somehow the disengagement is changing over time, but why it changes while the car is getting towed is a mystery to me… and I don’t like car mysteries. I guess it’ll resolve itself one way or the other once it’s being driven. I’ll recheck and maybe re-bleed the clutch system, but it’s pretty mysterious… I really don’t want to remove the drivetrain!

Midi says, “All I hear is a bunch of words, when’s my ride?” Anyone else see the flying seagull on his chest?