October 15, 2003

The trouble with UNIX is that one careless move as root can destroy so much. That’s what happened to this month’s diary. Oops. So basically I’m going to try to remember what’s been going on so I can keep track of this very busy couple of weeks.

A few months ago Tire Rack had a great deal on a set of Pirellis that I had on my Jetta. They were $50 each, so I figured I’d buy them, have them shipped up to my parents in NH (I have no space in my apartment for tires) and have them put on before winter. I made the appointment for a Saturday & took the drive up with my stepson. My wife had school on the Saturday, so we ended up taking two cars for Columbus Day weekend to get the tires done, check out the foliage and visit with my parents. Rather than take two cars back, I decided to leave the Jetta there for the week and take a train up the following week when I started my vacation. This meant I would be relying on Wilson as my daily driver for the shortened work week after Columbus Day. Scary stuff. The car passed inspection last Thursday, the 9th, and I found out I had a broken transmission mount — something that is next to impossible to get for an automatic transmission. Other than that, the brakes needed a little adjustment, and the car has been just fine for the past few days. I have noticed it’s pretty loud, and I’m sure it would feel a lot more stable with wider tires and new rims (all balanced), but overall I’ve really enjoyed driving it back and forth to work. Today was the first water-tightness test as last night we had a driving rain and today winds are up to 50mph. I didn’t know what I’d find when I got in the car today, but the interior was totally dry. Lucky me. I have no idea if the same would be true if I were driving in the rain, as I have that rust spot in the rear fender well, but I guess I’ll eventually find out. Next week I plan to finally replace the door seals with the new German ones I picked up from ISP West. But maybe I should save them if the car is staying dry as-is?

A couple weeks ago I saw an ad for a 71 Squareback on the Samba. The car was up in NH, a few miles away from my parents’ house, so my dad went to take a look at it. It was in pretty rough shape, but he eventually talked the guy into selling that car plus a pretty decent fastback for a great price. I finally got to look at them this weekend. The Squareback had been converted to dual (stock) carbs, but the Fastback still had its fuel injection. My dad got the Fastback started, but there is a pretty bad knocking sound coming from the engine, so I’m cautious about what kind of shape it’s in. The battery pan is completely rusted through on the Fastback as well, but other than that it’s very solid. The Square’s front end is completely rusted through in a bunch of places — on each side of the spare tire well, above the fenders, etc. The wiring has been shredded in many places by someone who was maybe trying to fix it, and the pans are shot. Overall, a good candidate for a parts car. I already have a few people who want various parts off it, so it will be going to a good cause. As for the Fastback, I think the plan will be to repair the battery tray for a temporary fix, then rebuild the engine next summer and drive it up to Hershey for the 2004 get-together along with Wilson.