06 May, 2014

Prepping for more upcoming auto related work. This time the Saturn. And making the wheels on the truck match.

Our 2001 Saturn SL2 is a bit long in the tooth. I bought it back when I was single, actually it was more of a gift from a former roomate that hated the car, it was a salvage titled car, and while the repairs were effective, some of the repairs were bandaids at best. That was back at about 35K miles.

I am now at 125K and the car is complaining. The body work on the front end needs some attention. Panels were never lined up by the original repair all that well, paint was poorly done, clearcoat was a joke, and now there are mechanical issues.

I have a squeal / growl in the serpentine belt that appears to be related to 2 components, the Air Conditioning Compressor clutch, and the power steering pump. The alternator was replaced about a year ago with an AC Delco remanufactured unit from www.rockauto.com and have had great service from it so far. And I appear to have a slight, but likely to get much worse coolant leak from the water pump.

So now, we replace the spinning mass to make sure and keep the car going well, I am going to be replacing pretty much everything that spins on the front of the engine, water pump, AC compressor clutch, power steering pump, tensioner, and idler pulleys.

Unlike older models, the pulleys aren't just keyed on and bolted on, they are press fit onto the shaft of their items. So a trip to Harbor Freight tools is in the cards for me. Specifically to pick up item #40749 Pulley Remover and Installer Set. I know I could pick one up as a Loan A Tool from Autozone, but I am likely to do this same job again probably within the next year or two to the truck.

I also need to do some wheel polishing to the truck. Since I replaced the front wheels due to the damage caused by the fine individual that tried stealing my wheels, the dim nature of the rears is ticking me off. I have however found a product that actually seems to be working, mostly, at getting the old rims polished up and gleaming in the sun like new.

I have used Mothers Mag and Aluminum polish in paste form for literally decades, and it is a good product, but it is labor intensive. I tried at the recommendation of the 4wheelparts guy MOTHERS 05112 California Gold Metal Polish Liquid - 12 oz.

I am more than impressed with this product. Yes there is still elbow grease involved, but FAR less than I had to deal with in the past with the paste product.and the results so far are fantastic. I have done the outer rim part of the passengers side rear and found it to be gleaming and spot free like new!

I will have to remove the rim to get the areas in the recesses and around the lug nuts, so I will go ahead and shoot video of the process, and SHOW you the results not just TELL you about it... I had serious doubts about this stuff, but using it has convinced me that I finally found a metal cleaning / polishing product that is far more than just marketing hype.

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