Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Resurrection Of Ms Swan.....

She's alive!!!!

Got the new battery properly installed, and added the Battery Tender 'pigtail' so I don't have to fart around with the big battery clips. Just plug it in when I get home, and the battery stays topped up regardless of how long she sits. I've been using Battery Tenders and the newer Battery Tender PLUS models for about 15 years now, and they work "As Advertised", with no worries about overcharging the battery. These are NOT 'trickle chargers', which are basically a small power supply, but are "Microprocessor Controlled", low-current chargers with a "Maintain" mode in them.

One good thing I did was to clean all the ground connections where the negative battery lead goes, and clean and grease the clamps and posts.

And wonder of wonders, my "No Charge At Idle" problem went away!

Before, the external voltmeter I have plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet would drop down to 13 Volts -or less- idling in traffic. A quick rev would bring it back to 14.1 Volts, but it was troubling. Now, the voltmeter reads 14.1 all the time, even with the headlights on high-beam, at idle. I'd thought maybe the alternator was dying, but it appears I just had some crummy connections.

But now the radio is dead. It worked fine, crummy speakers and all, when I parked the car at my son's place back in September. Now it's a brick in the dash. I popped the face plate off the head unit and cleaned the connectors, but no joy. I'll have to dig out my notes and see if I can pull the radio out with the console in place. Pulling the console starts to get involved, as there's 4 switches, and several sensors, mounted to the console, and putting it all back together is an exercise in frustration in getting the three wiring harnesses to lay in the space just right so the console can snuggle down to the floorpan.

ANYWHOO.....After I did my fluid checks, tire pressure checks, and verified all the air couplings in the fuel injection intake plumbing were tight, I cleaned the glass and took her out for a couple of hours.

Stopped for gas, and Sum Young Dude offered me $5k for her! I laughed and said I had more than that in her, and he came back with "Will you take $6500?", and that gave me real pause........but I smiled and said I wasn't done with her yet, and thanked him for his offer.

So, we headed out Drake Road, turned North on Taft Hill, and went all the way to Bellvue, where I turned South, and took the road that parallels the Horsetooth Reservoir.

Lots of nice twisty bits and elevation changes, but sadly a 35MPH speed limit. Still, a very pleasant drive after six months without her. And I (generally) obeyed the speed limit.....

Sunday is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 63*, and if the roads are dry, I'll take my wife out for a cruise. She's only had a couple of rides in the car, and that was before I did all the work.

I promise I won't scare her!


  1. Hwy 14 up the Poudre is a nice drive. Lots of twisties and nice geology. Longer drive, continue over Cameron Pass to Rand 2 1/2 hours, 95 miles. Make it a day by going North to Laramie and then back home, another 2 1/2 hours and 150 miles. Walden has a couple of good restaurants. Good roads all the way and not a lot of traffic.

  2. I've driven up Rist Canyon Road to Stove Prairie, and then across to Poudre Canyon (14), and then back to the city via 287 and Taft Hill or Overland Trail.

    Very nice drive, and if you'd like a bite to eat, you can stop at the Mish.

  3. I kept waiting for the Swan 500 or 700 or some transceiver to show up. It took me to your fourth paragraph to say, "hey... wait a minute..."

    Did it pass your emissions tests, or is that later?

    1. HAH! Yep, you're definitely a Ham.

      I'm taking it in Monday. If it passes, I'll get the collector plates. If it fails, I get to replace the catalytic converter and try again!

  4. Most excellent that you got some bugs worked out and finally got to take it out and drive it.
    I have discovered multiple times over the years that cars do not like to sit unused for long periods of time.
    Things like brake cylinders seize up and other not so pleasant things in the fuel system like to happen.
    Seals dry up and start to leak, just all kinds of entropy going on while you aren't watching.

  5. I was (but shouldn't have been) surprised when I looked at the voltmeter and it was 14.1 Volts at idle. The battery posts and clamps were fine, as I'd taken care of them when I first bought the car and had to replace the battery.

    BUT.....every wire has two ends, and Murphy has decreed that the problem will always be on the OTHER end of the wire!

  6. I am a big believer in the Battery Tender. I keep one on my riding lawnmower, motorcycle, and truck. They have extended the life of my batteries by more than double. I am on my 3rd battery on an 18 year old lawnmower, second battery on a 12 year old Harley, and second battery on a 14 year old Ford Ranger.

    1. I have a YUUUUGE Optima "Yellow Top" deep cycle battery I use for my portable solar powered Ham Radio station. I have to keep that battery on some kind of low-rate 'smart' charger in between uses or it slowly croaks.

      The Optima I have now is 8 years old, and was recently used to jump several vehicles. It performed perfectly, and recharged quickly.

      Yup....they "Just Work"!


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