June 12, 2011

My black, rusty 'pet'

OKay, it isnt actually mine, but it's my dad's 1980-something Datsun 120Y. He's given me the responsibility of maintaining the car in proper running condition and keeping it clean. So every 3-4 days I'll have to start the car and drive it around for a while so that the battery doesnt go flat and let the parts work a bit and keep them lubricated. So 2 Fridays ago (3rd June) I went to start the car after 6 days of not using it (30th May was the last time I ran the car). So I pumped the accelerator pedal twice to get some petrol into the carburetor (so that it can actually start), turned the ignition, and the engine just gave a few chugs before dying off. It isnt unusual since its so old, so I just pumped and turned the key again, but the engine just cuts off shortly after starting. After that it wouldnt start at all.

At first I thought I had pumped too much petrol into the carburetor (which does prevent the car from starting), but leaving it for a good 24 hours to dry up the petrol in the carburetor didnt do anything. By this time the starter motor (the thing that actually makes your engine start) had become weaker; not turning as fast as it should. So then dad came the next Monday (June 6th), had a look and tried starting it, also unsuccessfully. Based on the weakening starter motor he first suspected the battery had reached its end; but no, it isnt even 1 year old! So we both figured the weak starter was because the battery had lost its charge after over 1 week of not being used. 

Then last Friday he came over again and we both went under the hood to look for the problem. By this time we needed to jump start the Datsun (using dad's Myvi) because the starter motor was effectively useless and the battery was almost completely drained. Still unable to start. The lethargic chug---ugg--ugg--ugg...ugg of the starter motor was just pitiful. Dad takes out a spark plug and we could see it was awfully worn out.

Here's an example:

So perhaps this was the problem? Nope. Yesterday after changing to a new set of plugs it still would not start. What next? He pulls out the hose connecting the fuel pump and the engine. He cranks the engine, and that's when our light bulbs lit up.... there was no fuel flowing out of the pump into the engine. The fuel pump had failed. Off we went to get a new fuel pump....


After some hassle to put the new one on, we found another problem; the fuel hose was severely cracked. So badly cracked, the petrol was splurting out from the hose. So we went about changing that too. Alright, new spark plugs, new fuel pump, new fuel hose. With the jumper cables connected, we tried again...




 It lives!!!

After a day of getting our hands blackened, standing under a mildly-hot sun from 12pm-ish until about 4, sweating like pigs, running about getting the parts, the Datsun was brought back to life~ And to celebrate, we went to get our haircuts. xD

June 10, 2011

The cycle continues

3 weeks go by very fast doesnt it? Yep, a second round of exams, the same feel-like-shit after effects, the same psychological mashing from the invigilator, and everything repeats every 3 weeks. Great life this is, isnt it~