The Mega MX-3 Adventure! (Long Post!) CONCLUDED!
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Author:  SuperK [ October 24 2007, 10:08 PM ]
Post subject:  The Mega MX-3 Adventure! (Long Post!) CONCLUDED!

Seriously, I am in desperate need of one boring week after the next.

But at least I solved a couple problems already this week.

1. The "What should I spend my extra money on this week" issue
2. The "I'm intimidated by my car" issue

And of course, I completely and independantly (if that's a word) solved both of my weekly issues in a single "adventure."

(It's story time)

In my story, there involves a car, a cow pasture, another cow pasture, a chicken coop, rain, and a cold, lonely night.

You know this is getting good already.

Tuesday Evening.
So I was driving my way in what I would refer to as "Mad Action" rainfall, as we've had for 3 days straight, headed for nowheresville, or Dayton, TN.

The highway ( 153 ) was stopped dead in traffic, because no one knows how to drive in the rain.
(Well, they know how to drive in the rain, but their idea of driving involves them, their car, and another car in their car, along with many other cars around their cars, which includes cars with cool flashing lights.Maybe they're just attention mongers.)

Anyways, so I decided to take a backroad. Well, a smaller highway. ( 58 )
Everything is fine and dandy, I ALMOST make it to Dayton (Keyword: Almost) when, oops! Went up a little hill and followed back down rounded a right hand corner.

SPLASH! The whole right hand side of the road is not a puddle but a pond.

The whole untimely experience at that point could be summed up in two simple words.
In fact, they're the same couple words that ultimately ended up being the only words that penetrated my deep intellectual analysis and deduction of the situation.

"Oh Dang."

It was a vehicular version of TKO. Car said, "Blargh!" and fell down.
Well, not fell down, a car can't really "fall down" unless it maybe looses a wheel or something.
It just stopped working.
No response.
The second I felt it loose throttle response, turned the key off and dropped it in neutral... Whilst altogether balling like a baby (Inside. I have some dignity left, you know)

Quick Overlook Of Current Situation:

Stopped on a dirt road.
With a cow pasture to the left of the car
A cow pasture to the right of the car
A chicken coop
In a car that would turn over, but not start
At 9PM
With no street lights in existence
And it's raining.

What Could be Wrong?

No water in the intake, I could figure that out in the dark.
Figured I just grounded out, since everything seemed to be "working"
And promptly started calling people.
I even left Will Fellows a message (Gro Harlem)
Sounded something like this:

"Yeah... I'm uh, kind of on the side of the road, and the car kind of doesn't work... Maybe you can help me figure out the problem. Call me back... (If you could send an emoticon through a voicemail message, add a :( to it )

So I went forward to the tedious job of "Letting the car dry out".

Pulled out the random laptop in the back seat, played a bit of freecell.

11PM. Cranked the car. Turned, no catch.
1AM. Had a mountain dew. (thank god for the 12 pack in the car!) Cranked the car. No catch.
4AM. Can't go back to sleep. It's kinda cold... turn on the heater... OH wait, I can't! Cranked, no catch. Yeah, I got the idea that it hadn't "just" grounded out.
Started reading Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy until the battery on the laptop died. I read 3/4 of the first book. It's REALLY GOOD!

8AM. Daylight! Cranked, no catch. Meh, battery is almost dead. Popped the hood, it's sprinkling. Sounds like no spark, so I start tracing any and all elecrical wires.

Distributor has been dry. Found a wire from the wiring harness to the coil pack that was dislodged from a splice. Fixed it, but it wasn't the miracle wire.

Found a vacuum line that looked like it was chewed by a very hungry mouse. fixed it, wasn't the miracle hose.

Stared at the timing cover. Dang, it's bolted shut. Oh well, it wouldn't be the timing that the water would eff up.

Continued searching everything on the car for some mishap.
Maybe crankshaft sensor? Nope...
Fuses? Maybe ignition fuse? All fuses OK. Couldn't find "Ignition fuse" anyways.

What the heck... wait, what is that? Is that the bolts on the top of the rear timing belt cover both stripped out? I guess a peek to make sure wouldn't hurt...

...I was wrong, oh so wrong. It hurt a lot. the belt wasn't broken... but it was 1/3 ON the cam gear, and 2/3rds shoved against the head wall. I threw about 3 WTF's in rapid succession at the neighboring cows.

Dang those chicken coops stink...
and the flies are starting to gather around my car, too. Knock off, guys! I couldn't exactly get my morning shower in, OK?

Time to make more phone calls. Wrecker from Nowhere TN to Chattanooga? 150-175. Great, Wonderful.
Even better, I'm expected to either replace the belt with the supplied "car prop" and a craftsman socket set, or pay 398 dollars at the cheapest shop in chattanooga.

How bout just calling the local shops to see if they'd do a quick mockup at fixing the timing belt? Called some local shops. "A MAZDA? I'm sorry, we don't WORK on MAZDA'S." (John Deere's are a different story.)

Then, as if the good Lord heard me, here came the good Samaritan ON his John Deere (not joking) and was able in lending Zero mechanical assistance.

What he did give me was a phone number, though. Phone number to the closest shop which just happens to not cry when they hear the name Mazda. And what's that? Labor only costs $$$$$160??? AND they have their own wrecker service? That's as much as a tow home costs!

Editors Note:
Just to point out the severity of the issue of the outlying neighborhood, the trip in the wrecker, with Pops and his 13 year old son, the conversation between them went verbatim like this:
"SKATEBOARDIN' magazine? Wha' the hell'ya lookin' at a dang SKATEBOARDIN' magazine foa? Hell, that's a GAL's magazine. Ya might as well put on a perty pink dress and lil' pink panties, ya little pansy! Do somethin' manly, like motorcycles or somethin'.
It's too bad maw won't let me sho ya' my manly magazines. har har."

1PM. Finally at the shop... featuring a freshly retrieved Bronco that was in a river since 1998
(The clam car. You wouldn't believe the barnacles on this thing)
and trucks they were "fixing."
And by "fixing" I mean, turning them into mudding go carts. take off the bed, interior, hood, windows and any part that really doesn't HAVE to be there, and putting bigarse tires on them. Bam, truck fixed.

So anyways, 1PM, I was really hungry, no breakfast.
"where's the closest restaurant?" I asked
"'bout mile down that way" (that way being very vague for me as he failed to point, but apparently I was expected to know the direction anyways)
"Oh really? What kind of restaurant is it? Diner? Fast food?"
"They jes' serve food. Go down that way an' it'sa trailer with a sign. Good food, though."

...I decided I'd go hungry

So the shop didn't have any official "rules" like, stay out of the garage for insurance purposes, blah blah, so I ended up helping out the mechanic work on my car anyways. (Where'd I put that pulley?)

5PM - Finally done with the car. Put it all together... engine was flooded with fuel, took a bit to crank it on. Charged the battery a bit.

Ran a bit rough, but she was running! Ran "up the road" for a multi purpose trip (took a mechanic to a gas station to get some packs of cigarettes, did a test run AND hit up the ATM to pay the shop)
Turned out the timing was off a tooth. Got back to the shop, the mechanic that was working on my car took off already.

But it works! Like arse! It is advanced 1 tooth.

Friday they said they'll fix the timing for me, so I'll have it all straightened out by then.

And now I'm home, had food, will have shower, am tired, and have a car that drives and sounds like an oversized lawnmower.

A VERY oversized lawnmower.

I'm done with adventures.

Author:  Nd4SpdSe [ October 24 2007, 10:17 PM ]
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Author:  Mooneggs [ October 25 2007, 11:28 AM ]
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have you thought about being a writer? I mean you've even got the local vernacular in there LOL...

good read :D

Author:  onlytrueromeo [ October 25 2007, 12:08 PM ]
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Haha...gotta love the people who live out in the middle of nowhere :) Glad things worked out for ya though - and at not TOO bad a price.

Author:  SuperK [ October 25 2007, 6:02 PM ]
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*Original post final draft submitted. Edited for grammatical errors, enhanced readability and format, and eliminated bad language.

I was actually surprised at how easy it is to replace the timing... as long as you have the right tools.

I'm definitely getting me one of those 2 ton hydraulic lifters. I'd be able to do it myself if I had one of those. Ah, those are some nifty lifters...

I just wanna sit down on my free time, watch some movies, and whenever someone asks me something, just reply "uh....... nuh?" to everything. And sleep. Definitely sleep.

@ Mooneggs: Hate writing. But I hate messy, so I have to clean up my writing. It's like double hate. Which means it's not too bad... cuzz I can make a mess then go clean it up.

Author:  SuperK [ October 26 2007, 7:14 PM ]
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Here's a fun update!

No one could get the timing done right.

So much for a happy ending...

Author:  fowljesse [ October 29 2007, 1:57 AM ]
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I know the feeling. I just changed my timing belt, and think I missed the Right bank by 1 tooth. It runs fine, but a little weak. One day, I'll take it apart again.

Author:  mx3autozam [ October 29 2007, 7:48 AM ]
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Seems alot of mechanics have hard time setting timing on these engines. damn people used to old school puhrod V8's. I bet thbey don't even know what DOHC means. The K series is like the easiest engine to set timing ion.

anyways nice read, sounds like you have "fun" day.

Author:  Volones [ October 29 2007, 10:06 AM ]
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that's sad to hear SuperK, I hope you get your car fixed soon, great story btw.

mx3autozam, I don't know about all old mechanics, but my dad (42+ years fixing tractors and such) and I (none years fixing cars professionally) were able to replace the timing belt and water pump on a protege in one day, and we hit the correct timing the first try. It didn't seem all that hard to me.


Author:  SuperK [ November 09 2007, 9:12 PM ]
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Yes, this story finally has it's conclusion! A happy conclusion!

In this conclusion, there stars:
A good looking young man (that's me)
A good looking car (that's mine)
an old dude
a big truck
a little old lady
a volkswagen beatle
and twin indonesian apprentice ninja's (added in the story for dramatic effect)

A VERY special thank you to member OldMan, for coming over to help me re-time my car.


So unfortunately I was REALLY hoping to have a line of 4 MX-3's in the parking lot today, but unfortunate circumstances are, in fact, unfortunate circumstances.
OldMan had to come in his big truck.
So we began work at about 9-9:30-ish (the time is wrong)
And of course, the story begins with the infamous "Opening of the Hood'
I'm sorry, if it's ANYONE'S first time opening up the hood of a MX-3 with a ZE, the results are the same.
Results being something along the line of, "What the heck" or, "screw that" or even, "where's the time-space compression utility on this car that allows this monster to fit in here?"
and of course, the, "We're not going to work on THAT, are we?" look.

No matter, though, I've seen the process done twice, so I knew WHAT had to be done.

Somewhere along this point, the indonesian apprentice ninja's were eye-ing us somewhere along the western tree-lines. We ignored them.

So we start dismantling it, using the whole, "If you can't get to your intended location, take crap off until you can" philosophy. We whip out both our toolkits, jack the side of the car up, and start dismantling.

May I take this moment to write a quick letter:
Dear Crank Pulley,
I hate you.

Ok, back to the story:
I do not understand or claim to understand how a 4 rib belt looses a whole rib. It's not like someone took the rib out to create a whole new different gender belt or anything, it just packed it's bags and headed out the pullies. Twas the power steering belt. Weird, but easily and cheaply replaced, no worries.
After singing about 3 lullabies and a whole guide book of how to woo a "special someone" we actually persuaded the crank pulley to come off. That timing was off a good bit, I must say!
We pulled out some pictures, stared at them, stared at the timing, stared back at the pictures, back at the timing, then the pictures... Then aligned the camshafts to where they were intended to go.
Then we start to set the timing belt. We originally planned to break Tunes' record of eight attempts, but were cut off by some amazing ideas at about attempt 3-4.

At this point, the indonesian apprentice ninja's were taking great interest in our actions.
We simply continued to ignore them.

So we got the timing on correctly (yes!) and started re-assembling everything. Till we got to the belts, then decided to run to autozone to grab a replacement.

So on the way we meet heavy traffic unexpectedly. This was not 2-3PM rush hour. The only possible explanation that could hold up this much traffic could be... guessed it, the little old lady.
Yes, we (sorta) helped her across the street.
Well, not really her, more like her car. Her cute, brand new Volkey beatle was just sitting there, in the middle of the road, with her in it, waving at people as they went by
With her right blinker on
Parting the waters of traffic behind her as they decided to risk hitting the automobiles to their left and right to drive around her. Now, don't everyone get out and volunteer to help her out at once!
Of course we park and jump out to help push her car out of the middle of traffic, into a parking lot to the right.
Of course, as we're pushing the car, the people behind us are STILL trying to merge in the right lane to pass us. WHILE we're pushing the car in that same, right, lane.
While Stupid man in Stupid van was approaching us in the right lane, yes, the same right lane the car is being pushed in, he apparently doesn't "understand" there will be a car right in his way, and keeps coming, until I look at him, hold out my hand in the famous "STOP" Position, shake my head vigorously and give him the "stink-eye" that says, "If you don't stop, God will have your tires slashed by his holy appointed messenger (which would be me)" and finally stops.
So the little old lady in the little new beatle was nice and thankful (what a perfect little old lady car! It was a nice lime green, with lime green interior and a little flower bouquet mounted somewhere in the center console)

The indonesian apprentice ninja's were impressed.

So we bought the belt and some fluids, went back, reassembled everything and it worked.

The End.

Well, except for the part where I took OldMan for a test drive.
See, the hood of the car HATES closing. You have to caress it and give it candy, or it won't close.
I forgot the candy, so the hood ACTED like it closed... but didn't all the way.
anyways, kinda showing off, I hit 100-110 on the highway, and the hood is going, "BOING BOING BOING" up and down on the hinge, so I had to pull over on the side of an exit and close it properly... but talk about disaster WANTING to happen.
Then got back in and, "WAAAAAAAAAH" (upshift) "WWWAAAAAHHH" 'ed back to the apartment.

I'm still wearing that big silly happy grin since 3PM.

Author:  OldMan [ November 09 2007, 10:25 PM ]
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An old Dude,huh! :shock:

Wait just a minute, I thought we agreed that I was the good
looking one! :cool:

I come all the way up there to help you with a little timing issue.
You raised the hood and what did I see? A sideways sitting motor with wheels on it and little bitty places that you tell me I have to stick my skilled and up til then pristine hands! :shock:

I did how ever, notice how big your eyes got when I was jacking the side of the car up. I was just rying to get it up to comfortable eye level for me! ;) You failed to mention that you were to short to see what you were doing. :P I thought the car looked neat balanced on the 2 left tires, so did the Ninja's!

Ahh, Tunes you'll just have to over look my little side kick here. I had to take the bottle of Crown away from him several times cause he kept putting the tension on the wrong side and he's still doing it! :roll: I popped him in the back of the head a couple of times for you!

We would never have got the job done if I had not dragged him away from that little old lady. He had just managed to get her phone number, mumbled something about really liking older women, boy was she older! :lol:

Yeah after we got everything back together he insisted on giving me a test ride. Now mind you all day we had jet fighters doing manuvers over our heads. So when SuperK gets behind the wheel I think he was going to show them he could go just as fast as they could. Only problem was while putting the engine back together, he had removed so many parts that it was impossible to tell where they were supposed to go. So while he went in to use the phone, he was still trying to get a date with the little old lady, :roll: I just threw everything that was laying in a pile on the ground under the hood and closed it. I guess I should have stomped on some of the stuff a little better so that the hood would have closed tightly. He would have never known the difference. :twisted:

All joking aside we had a great time working on his car and everything came out great. You should have seen his face light up when the engine fired right up and ran as smooth as silk. I am glad to have been able to help him and I think we will do more together in the future, if he does'nt run off with that little old lady. :lol: :lol:


Author:  Mooneggs [ November 10 2007, 1:37 AM ]
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this is all madness but I enjoyed reading it LOL

crazy mx-3 stories FTW!!! :o

Author:  SuperK [ November 12 2007, 9:30 AM ]
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Ahh, Tunes you'll just have to over look my little side kick here. I had to take the bottle of Crown away from him several times cause he kept putting the tension on the wrong side and he's still doing it! I popped him in the back of the head a couple of times for you!

Ahh... But... Oldman, a bottle of Crown makes ALL the tension go away :(

I didn't know which way to turn it!

Author:  OldMan [ November 12 2007, 11:16 AM ]
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:lol: :lol: :lol:

With a bottle of Crown, it's "bottom's up" :P

Of course if we had actually been drinking we might still be working on the car! :lol:

Is everything still OK with it?


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