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Valentine One Radar Detector

eesquared
03-06-2011, 09:57 PM
Welcome to the Elky Project!
The Elky is a 1986 El Camino. It has a 305, V8, 5.0 engine, 2-coil radiator, single exhaust, and 49,000 original miles. It is repainted the original gold (tan?) and copper factory colors. The seats have been recovered. The power window motor has been replaced, as have all the window seals. It needs new carpet, the dash is cracked, it has idiot lights instead of gauges, and will eventually need a new paint job because the hood is oxidized. The heater works well, the a/c works (now), the radio works, the tape player does not. But for now, we are fixing the mechanical stuff so it will run better.
First on the list of things to do was change the oil, tune it up, change the air filter, air up the tires to specs, and add some fuel cleaner. Next, we had to replace the windshield washer motor. Just a few minor things to get it road worthy since it will be my every-day car.
The next thing was to have the air conditioner fixed. When I bought the car a month ago, the a/c worked. Last week, it was blowing hot air. Since it had a new compressor, I took it to the shop that did the work. They checked for leaks and found none. They charged it up with coolant and added some kind of dye stuff: all at no charge, not even labor! They told me to bring it back to them if it started the same symptoms and they could use their nifty-swifty ultraviolet light to check where the dye is leaking. I thought this sounded reasonable; hubby confirmed. The store manager was under no requirement to honor the warranty on the compressor since the car had changed owners, but he did it anyway. So, we will wait and see if it leaks again.
Kudos to the store manager! I have sent an email detailing his exceptional customer service to the corporate office. I appreciate that he went above and beyond his warranty requirements for me. So, if you ever encounter an honorable mechanic, be sure to send praise in writing to his boss. He will appreciate it, his boss will notice, and your relationship with Mr. Mechanic will be strengthened all good for the next time you have to take in your car.
Next update: installing headers, replacing water pump, replacing radiator

Eric
03-07-2011, 06:17 AM
Welcome to the Elky Project!
The Elky is a 1986 El Camino. It has a 305, V8, 5.0 engine, 2-coil radiator, single exhaust, and 49,000 original miles. It is repainted the original gold (tan?) and copper factory colors. The seats have been recovered. The power window motor has been replaced, as have all the window seals. It needs new carpet, the dash is cracked, it has idiot lights instead of gauges, and will eventually need a new paint job because the hood is oxidized. The heater works well, the a/c works (now), the radio works, the tape player does not. But for now, we are fixing the mechanical stuff so it will run better.
First on the list of things to do was change the oil, tune it up, change the air filter, air up the tires to specs, and add some fuel cleaner. Next, we had to replace the windshield washer motor. Just a few minor things to get it road worthy since it will be my every-day car.
The next thing was to have the air conditioner fixed. When I bought the car a month ago, the a/c worked. Last week, it was blowing hot air. Since it had a new compressor, I took it to the shop that did the work. They checked for leaks and found none. They charged it up with coolant and added some kind of dye stuff: all at no charge, not even labor! They told me to bring it back to them if it started the same symptoms and they could use their nifty-swifty ultraviolet light to check where the dye is leaking. I thought this sounded reasonable; hubby confirmed. The store manager was under no requirement to honor the warranty on the compressor since the car had changed owners, but he did it anyway. So, we will wait and see if it leaks again.
Kudos to the store manager! I have sent an email detailing his exceptional customer service to the corporate office. I appreciate that he went above and beyond his warranty requirements for me. So, if you ever encounter an honorable mechanic, be sure to send praise in writing to his boss. He will appreciate it, his boss will notice, and your relationship with Mr. Mechanic will be strengthened – all good for the next time you have to take in your car.
Next update: installing headers, replacing water pump, replacing radiator


Sounds good!

Be advised your car has (originally, anyhow) a Freon (R-12) based AC system. Freon has been banned; you can still get it but it's expensive and some shops won't work on these systems because of the cost of the necessary equipment/compliance costs. I am guessing your car has had a retrofit kit (uses 134a refrigerant) added when the new compressor was installed. This is important to know because the two refrigerants (Freon and 134a) are not compatible and should not be mixed in the same system.

FYI: I've read that 134a molecules are smaller than R-12 molecules and so they more easily permeate seals/hoses - in other words, leak - especially when 134a is used in older systems originally designed for Freon.


On the radiator. I am betting you could easily drop in a factory-type HD radiator such as was used in the same-era Monte Carlo SS. If you increase the power output of your engine, you will need more cooling capacity to avoid overheating. Also check Be Cool radiators (check with Summit Racing or JEGS) and maybe consider a high-flow water pump, too.