© 2008 John Capozza

2008 recap

Here’s a recap of 2008.

Everything came to a stand still in the middle of 2007 when the company I worked for didn’t have enough work to keep me on fulltime. Then the company got bought out and everything looked good. Then the new company sent my work to India and let me go. This forced me to get a new job and put all money on hold until I could get out of the financial mess the former company left me in. There were even a couple of times I thought about selling Bonnie to pay bills, but my wife insisted we’d find a way to keep Bonnie. In the beginning of October I landed a great job with a great company and to say the least my income will no longer be an issue after I finish paying off the bills left from the former company. In a great note the former company realized they were in a hole, so they closed down half their studio in India, and closed the company in America. So glad I got off that sinking ship. SO, let’s get onto Bonnie.


Angle Drive Issues

With the interior finally reassembled, Bonnie was finally ready to be driven and tested. The main focus was on how the new sound system was and how quiet the interior should be. I got to the end of my block when I realized my speedometer wasn’t working. I believed that when my interior was dismantled during the tech meet I had forgotten to reattach the cable to the cluster. It was a long ride home without knowing the speed. However I had since taken the cluster off which redoing the interior. Nonetheless I turned back home and pulled the cluster out again. I made sure the cable was attached and I started out again. Once again the speedometer wasn’t moving, so I tired again. At this point I started to realize something else wasn’t working. I check both cable that connect to the Lamda counter and the both spun freely, which left only one other culprit. When I took off the driver side front wheel the yellow dust cap popped off and bits of the angle drive shot everywhere. I gathered what I could and took the picture above. On 6/12/08 I called DMCH and ordered a new angle drive only to find out they had just cleared out and were on back order. I took the rest of the angle drive out and decided to sit back and wait a few weeks…

After waiting for about 2 months I grew tired of waiting to drive the car. I had yet to really test out the new sound system. I figured I drove Bonnie home with a broken angle drive, why not at least take her around the block for a sound check. Instead I got loose steering and a lot of rubbing noise. I immediately turned home thinking my wheels were loose. I tightened them down and took off again. This time the noise was louder. I sat at the stop sign outside my house for a few minutes trying to figure out if I should turn back home, or if I should take her out onto the open road. Smarts won out and I turned back home, but it was too late, the car slowed down and then rubbing turned into banging and I could no longer move. In the dark I had my wife bring my tools and when lifted her the left front tire was very loose. Turns out the angle drive also serves as the bolt to hold the wheel assembly together. I put the angle drive back on and drove her back into the garage. The next morning I took the other picture off the damage. The caliper was the only thing keeping the wheel on and it dug into the disc. It will have to replaced soon.

The Unknown

A week after the angle drive incident, I decided to try to asses the full damage when the wheel almost came off. I had my wife follow me in her car full of tools just in case I break down. I drove around the block and the steering seemed hampered and almost like my turning radius had decreased. It was still drivable though, so I took Bonnie to get a full tank of gas. People at the station kept asking me about the car, and for the first time in a long time, I remembered how much of an attention hog the car is. On the way home, while in mid drive, Bonnie stalled out. I costed to a stop outside an eyeglass store and spent the next half hour trying to restart her. Eventually my wife and I determined she wasn’t coming home on her own power, so we called AAA and they towed me back home. The truck driver suggested it might be bad gas. When I got home she started right up but about 10 minutes later she stalled out. From then on in, everytime I started her she’d run for about 8 minutes before stalling out. I had a spare fuel filter but I couldn’t get the existing one off. At this point it had become clear that Bonnie was having way more issues than I couldn’t fix myself. The decision was made to finally send Bonnie to DMCFL in Bonita Springs. Seeing how Bonnie couldn’t drive for more then 8 minutes, it was determined that she be transported down there. Back in June I had suggest to my wife that Bonnie get properly serviced by DMCFL. I asked her to try putting money aside for September. Before the angle drive incident we were both starting to think of putting off her DMCFL visit till late next year. After the fuel issue September turned out to be the inevitable.

Frame Restoration Part 1

A┬ácall was made to DMCFL about getting serviced. On the top of my list was getting Bonnie to become a reliable drive again. The second item on the list was the angle drive. With them still being on back order I told them to give me a call when they came in then I’d send the car down to get all the work done at once. In the meantime I had already ordered POR-15 to clean up the frame. In the end I only really covered the front end of the car. Alright, enough with just words, bring on the pics!


Original End of the year cap:

And with all that we came to the end of 2008. This turned out to be the most expensive year to own Bonnie. In total Bonnie spent more half the year apart, broken and undriveable. This became a very grueling test. For the first time I stopped loving the car and started getting scared every time I drove her. I often refer to this issue as the “pinball effect”. I took possession of a 1972 pinball machine right after I left college. It was a full size EM(non digital) machine that the family had spent many hours playing. It laid broken for over 15 years before I took it. I spent three months cleaning all the contacts, replacing all the rubber, and even replaced a couple of circuits. At first I had tremendous fun playing the machine and having friends and family play. But every time I played it got less and less fun. Every time the pinball machine turned on I’d watch to make sure the game worked properly. I felt like I was forever diagnosing and fixing the machine. In the end I came across an issue that I couldn’t fix easily, and so I waited till I had more time. When I finally came back to the issue …2 years later, I still couldn’t fix it. I ended up moving the pinball machine to my Dad’s house to make more room in my house. Sometime a machine gets to the point where you don’t have fun with it. It breaks down every time you use it. And when it doesn’t, you wait for it to happen and end up missing all the fun. Bonnie came very close to this. I was able to send her down to DMCFL instead of pawning her off on my Dad. This was the first time I decided not to try and fix it myself or rely on DCF to fix it for me. Since I’ve gotten Bonnie back I’ve had very small issues like a light bulb burning out in the binnacle, but I’m starting to get back to falling in love with Bonnie again.

Also thanks to my wife, Bonnie got paid off a full year early. She traded in my old malibu for a new malibu. When she got the loan she got them to include paying off Bonnie too. All I have to do is go online to get an official bill of sale!