Mel has been at Earl’s Garage in Shoreline undergoing a number of repairs due to various leaks. We all hate leaking, especially as we get older, and I believe Mel deserves the same.
It all began in November when after taking Mel for a spin I came home and noticed the strong gas smell. After getting a new fuel pump I hoped (against hope) that that would be the end of it but of course it was not to be. After being out of commission so many years and 55 years old, it is inevitable that seals will fail. One quickly learns how many seals are on a vehicle and in the best stochastic tradition, that they will fail in a manner and severity that is random in nature but persistent in frequency.
Upon returning home with a new fuel pump, I looked underneath and sure enough there was a drip. I took Mel back to Earl’s and thus began a winter’s sojourn at Earl’s Garage, also known as Mel’s Clinic.
I’ve been going to Earl’s with all of our cars for several years, including the 2004 Mazda3, my 1992 Toyota pickup, and the 1987 Honda. They’ve taken good care of them all and Tim has been a great resource. Mel has become part of the family at Earl’s and I’ve received a lot of good tips and advice from the guys. They like Mel a lot and have kept him out of the elements the entire time.
Doug the mechanic did a great job getting Mel drivable. It’s been convenient to have Mel at a local garage and be able to visit Mel at Earl’s since they are in the neighborhood and very close by. Over the past couple months I’ve been able to drive by and see him up on the rack or parked in the back of the garage. Since Mel is not a daily driver, they’ve been more than accommodating in doing various repairs, including taking the time needed to find the source of several leaks associated with the transmission, engine and driveline.
I decided to bite the bullet and agreed with Earl’s that it would be good to remove the transmission, replace all seals, and paint it. It’s now one of the cleanest tranmissions in town! Here are some before and after shots:
We were worried that Mel might be a bit lonely at the garage but it turns out he was in good company and had someone to reminisce with. This Model A pickup has been at Earl’s longer than Mel!
Mel’s still in the shop. I’m going to have the rear main seal on the engine replaced and a little work done on the rear differential. That will cap a good initial investment to get Mel roadworthy and sound.
To recap the work done to date:
- Replace master brake cylinder, all 4 wheel cylinders.
- Replace brake hoses, brake shoes on all 4 wheels
- Turn and machine 4 brake drums
- Repack front wheel bearings
- Replace grease seals
- Bleed and adjust brakes
- Drain fuel tank
- Replace battery
- Remove spark plugs and oil cylinders
- Change oil and filter
- Rebuild carburetor
- Remove drive line and replace U-joints
- Replace fuel pump
- Remove and replace transmission, lines, cross-members
- Reseal transmission front pump seal
- Clean, repaint and reinstall transmission
- Replace rear main seal
- Replace rear differential front pinion seal and replace differential fluid.