Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Happy birthday to our girl!

7:45 am - Tuesday - March 1st - Newell House, AZ - 50° F, 31% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the north.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies once again, and a forecast high for today of 82° F.  On this date in 2008 TLE and I took ownership of our 1982 Newell Classic......↴

....what we did not know on March 1, 2008 was that our 1982 Newell was delivered to its first owner, Leonard Law of Cherry Hills, CO on March 1, 1982.  Leonard, ironically, was a lawyer.  He owned, and cared for our baby from 1982 to 2004.  We have now owned our Newell for 14 years, and put some 73,000 miles on her odometer since that day.  The picture above was taken from the Craigslist ad in February of that year.  You can see why we were immediately captivated by her appearance.  

Monday was to be the final day of the Thermostat Project.  This was the day I would pour the some 6-7 gallons of coolant back into the radiator, and hope there were no leaks.  Pouring 7 gallons of coolant into the top of the radiator is a slow process.  If you pour too fast the coolant will splash out of the opening to the radiator down to the ground.  Holding a gallon over your head for the 3-5 minutes it takes to empty the gallon jug each time begins to take its toll after the 3rd gallon, and my poor, old, sore shoulders did not like it one single bit.  In all it took me about an hour to top off the radiator.  After each gallon was poured I would look inside the engine bay to see if there were any leaks.  After pouring the 5th gallon I began to see a little 'weeping' of coolant through the gasket, but after torqueing the bolts another 1/2 turn it stopped.  It turns out the proper number of foot pounds needed to secure those bolts is around 40, not the 75 I was told.

As I was getting ready to twist on the radiator cap I noticed the rubber gasket had tear in it, and upon further examination the entire gasket appeared to be much the worse for wear.  I think that cap is about 13 years old (I replaced it shortly after buying the Newell).  At any rate, this is a pressurized system.  The radiator cap is designed for 12 psi of pressure, but if there is a tear in the gasket that will reduce the pressure, and could result in the engine running hotter than normal.  In my efforts to diagnose why the engine was running hotter than normal I completely forgot to check the radiator cap......

I'm not sure if the tear (top) is big enough to affect the psi, but it also looks misshapen, and that cannot be good, either.

.....I had intended to take the Newell out for a test drive to get her up to temperature, but with the discovery of the faulty radiator cap gasket I had to get that replaced first.  I took a drive into Wickenburg where there is an O'Reilly's and a Napa hoping they would have my cap in stock.  When I replaced this cap in 2009 I just went to the local Pep Boys in Ontario, CA and they had it in stock.  I was not so fortunate this time.  Neither store had anything resembling this cap in stock, nor did they know where to get one, so after making a quick stop at the local Ace Hardware store to pickup a couple of things I headed home.

After returning home I got online and checked Amazon to see if they had what I needed, and I found this cap made by Gates for $6......


......it appears to have the same dimensions as my current one, and looks exactly the same, so I placed the order, and should receive it March 1st....one day delivery!  If it isn't the correct size, I'll have to go to plan B which would be to make a new rubber gasket for the current cap.

Once that was done I took a long afternoon nap, and then a long, hot shower.  After spending parts of three days installing that new thermostat I was tired, especially since I spent all those hours on the south side of the coach in the direct Arizona sunlight.  

Thanks for stopping by!

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