Page 3 Driving & Tweaking:
Drive … fix … drive …fix…. fix … drive
Well the purpose of driving the Tracker is to find other things “mechanical” that need fixing. There’s a few! It’s interesting to drive something that hasn’t seen the road for an unknown time. And you don’t get much for what I paid… So it’s expected. The first thing was the auto trans.. not shifting into the higher gears. Then that settled down and started to do things properly. The weather out was cold, -2 c and the streets had icy bumps and lumps. I forgot just how rough the suspension on a Tracker was.. Or maybe some new shocks are needed. And then the brakes made a lot of noise.. and it felt like something came apart on the left front ? And the brake light came on, and that shows low fluid.. which I just filled ? Not wanting to drive much further I was close to Peter’s shop so I parked the Tracker there.. thinking that in a few days I would use the hoist to fix up stuff. The temperature outside fell to minus 15 c overnight. and the Tracker had mostly water with a little antifreeze in the rad. So I’m freaked out thinking I may have done damage. not wanting to start it last night we pushed it into the shop to Hopefully thaw out. Yup it was frozen..
Nov 28 2015: Driving temporary halted…
After a night in Peter’s shop I drove the Tracker back to my shop.. Need to fix a few things before more test driving. Not sure if there is any leaks or damage done to the cooling system.. will find out when I go for another drive.. But first I need to drain the water out of the cooling system. And pull the left front wheel off to see what’s making all the noise. Just as I suspected one of the brake pads has broken and is resting at the bottom between the brake rotor and the dust cover. That means when you use the brakes the brake piston comes way out and hits the rotor. Not Good! If I’m taking things apart I might as well install new rotors and pads, grease the bearings and replace the CV boots on the right side axle. These are all things I have never done. So learning curve here is a day or so.
Everything is apart and cleaned up. Not easy when stuff is rusted in place. Tracker should be happier with all this love..
I took the greasy messed up axle over to Peter’s and brought back a clean re- greased, re- booted axle. Plus all the new brake parts came.. So it’s time to put things back together.
And we are done.. So it’s nice to have brakes again 🙂 . Took the Tracker for another drive over to Peter’s and topped up the transmission fluid. Now it shifts even better. Also put some premium gas in the tank to add some octane to the stale gas that was in there.. No leaks from the cooling system ! That’s a big relief. And it runs good.. Still some things to do though.. Now we need to pull the rear wheels and have a look at those brakes.
It seems I’m building a new Tracker ! And this is just the mechanical stuff. But this is for me to drive.. So I want it to be reliable and safe. After that I want it to look good with the body work and new paint. There are Trackers and Sidekicks out there for sale that perhaps don’t need this much work. Most of those are standard shifts, and most would still need the body work done. I believe I have a rare one. With the auto trans , power steering ( which works great) and the removable hard top. When I’m done I’ll have a great run-around buggy that can also go explore the back roads.. all using less gas. Very appealing INDEED.
Fix , Fix , Fix..
Today I took the Tracker over to Peters shop and changed the oil. And fixed the rattle in the muffler, installed the new tail pipe. We also inspected the rear brakes and bled them as well. The rear brakes still have lots left on the shoes. But that darn brake light is still on. So there must be something wrong with the switch. Tracker is totally safe to drive now.. Turns out the wire is broken off the anti lock speed sensor on the rear axle. And that’s why the light is on.
Here it is in the shop.. I keep it there cause I want to tinker.. Fixing things like rattles.. loose stuff, The horn not working… and on. but now I’m starting to think about making the Tracker look good… I did not drive it as long as I planed to.. but enough to know it’s good to go.
On to Page 4 The Body Work..