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About Ghost

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  1. My 1993 Corolla DX, 7-AFE engine with 266k miles, is becoming temperamental to start. Worst when it's been sitting overnight. This morning leaving the house, I twisted the key and just got a single click from the starter. Subsequent key twisting yielded only single clicks. I persevered, and at some point, it actually engaged the engine and turned it over a couple times ... but then the engine ground to a halt. Subsequent tries elicited either starter clicks, or a few sluggish turnovers before halting. Eventually, I got it to turn over enough times that the engine caught on and commenced idling - a bit wobbly sounding, but it smoothed out shortly. I drove to work. Yes there are major oil leaks from the valve cover. And the spark plugs are due for changing. I get a cloud of white/blue smoke when it starts. I recently changed the oil (+ PCV valve + grommet) after putting it off too long - and I intend to do another oil change after a couple weeks, to "flush" it. That recent oil change seemed to alleviate the starting problem for a week or so, but now it's back to being temperamental. The battery is going on two years old - should be ok. I've got new plugs and plug wires, plug tube gaskets, and valve cover gasket on hand. I think that's a good starting point (haven't changed them in forever), but I'm wondering if I should blame the starter and order myself a starter too. Much of the time, the starter starts the engine within 3 cranks. Any hypotheses on the cause?? Major oil leakage is a primary concern, IMO. I've been neglecting it. Time for SeaFoam???
  2. Impressive DIY. That's about a $1200 job on my '93.
  3. Sounds a bit like my '93 sounded when it had a loose jam nut on a tie rod. Clunks when going over bumpy ground at low parking-lot speeds.
  4. I had my car in a body shop once to get some rust holes treated around the windshield. It was in there for a few weeks ... sloow ... and all manner of metal dust settled on it and lodged in the paint. Afterward I could hear a rasping whisper when I drew a towel across the paint surface. That's when I clay-barred for the 1st time and restored it to a glassy finish. There was no rust though from oxidizing metal particles so must not have been iron.
  5. Yeah that tar/bug remover stuff has petroleum solvents that mar any plastic it touches. You for sure don't want touching today's plastic headlights or grilles. (On a related note if you google for "green spray bug removal" this thread is the first result -- 14 hrs old)
  6. Clay Bars

    Two 2oz bars --- That's $4.50/oz I smell a market opportunity.
  7. Well, vacation intervened so the two Pilot Exaltos were mounted this morning finally. They insisted on putting them in the rear, stating "it's safer that way." The tread pattern is remarkably similar to the Avid H4ses up front, so I'm pretty pleased with the match. I've only driven 6 miles or so on them though. hehe Also have brand new tie rods on all 4 corners now, plus new wheel bearings on the fronts. I was having toe-in issues and the tie rods had rusted up, barring adjustment. I probably just put more money into the car than it's worth. I just checked max sidewall pressure on the Avids and it turns out it's 44psi not 40 like I thought. Guess I'm not over-inflating after all. BTW I have two pressure gauges and each read differently, so the dilemma is which one to believe. You know how it is...
  8. Clay Bars

    Thanks for throwing out some options. So you CAN buy the clay separately. Too bad it's not a compelling value at $2.50 an ounce.
  9. Clay Bars

    I've already tried the Mother's kit and it's time for a new one. Are there any clay bar kits out there (in the US) that don't feature ridiculously puny bricks of clay? Mother's/Meguiars include 3 oz clay bricks to rub the entire car maybe once. Plus they stuff unnecessary items into the box like a microfiber washcloth and a small bottle of polish, when all you want is just a fat brick of clay and some lube. Then they try to sell the bundle for ~$20. Wait ... Mother's now offers TWO 3 oz bricks. There's got to be a dirt cheap source for clay somewhere, like a craft supply retailer. No doubt Mother's/Meguiars would like consumers to think it's "specially-formulated for auto applications" clay worth top dollar. I really hate paying $15+ to clay-bar my car once, so I'm hoping there's something out there more worth the money. Or maybe you can buy the clay separately?
  10. I did go with the Exalto A/S tires. They are on order, as of last Friday. I'm in a hurry to get the state inspection and leave on vacation. The guy at the tire place called them the "best" he had in that size. Fishexpo's link says they're soft in the sidewall department. Yay. Guess I'll continue to over-inflate.
  11. Thanks for the input. Just what I was looking for. Oddly the BFGoodrich site shows nothing in my size: 195/60R14. ?? Which BF Goodrich T/A tires are you referring to, 01loadedLE? The Advantage, Touring, Traction, etc? I had the BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires on my short list, but overall user ratings are on the low side. The price is right however. Currently I'm leaning toward the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, based on reviews. Apparently $96 is a good price on those. >_> Other than those two I'm not seeing any other viable options at TireRack or DiscountTire. Once you filter out the Kumho, Sumitomo, Falken, and Bridgestone that is. I'll be driving on mismatched tires for a while no doubt, so ideally tires similar to the H4ses. I'm hoping for a stiffer sidewall, but I don't know how to gauge that from specs. I have to decide right away.
  12. My two front tires need replacing - rears are fine. Apparently my car has an alignment issue and the outmost tread is pretty worn. What tires would best complement the Yokohama Avid H4ses I currently have? The H4s model has been discontinued so I'm looking for a similar performance all-season replacement. Something above "touring" class yet not ultra-high-performance like the AVS ES100. I'm thinking I could use a stiffer sidewall than my current set. Size: 195/60R-14 Brands I shy away from : Falken, Kumho, Bridgestone/Fuzion I welcome your comments, suggestions, personal experience.
  13. '88-'92 = 6th generation (?) '93-'97 = 7th generation '98-'02 = 8th generation '03-'08 = 9th generation '09-'1? = 10th generation
  14. This one shop I used to visit pegged the book time at 45 min per strut, which matches what fishexpo said.
  15. Shop tells me its definitely the starter and the battery is fine. Paid $0 for some diagnostic work. Lovely.