Saturday, August 12, 2006

Spare parts

The hatchback Saab 900 has a great storage area under the floor of the hatch area. Normally the left side of this is taken up by a donut spare -- the right is for a small number of tools and assorted stuff.

Since we're carrying two full size spare tires, one on top and the one you can see in the pic, I removed the donut and dedicated the space to all the spare parts that would be difficult to locate away from home. There's a box of assorted valuables, such as bulbs, relays, plugs, hoses and the like. Padded and wrapped in plastic bags are a spare fuel pump assembly as well as an alternator and distributor. There's also an engine harness stowed as well, in case the notorious '85 wiring decides to fail catastrophically. The jack stand is overkill, I know. Add in the usual other things, like tire changing gloves, a jack, and jumper cables and I think we're more than prepared. The only thing I want to see coming out of this compartment in the next two weeks is an oil filter. By carrying all the spares, I hope to appease the Saab gods and not actually have to use any of them.

Final Preps and a Trip Blog

Last night I had the good fortune to watch Hans install a front swaybar and new CV boot on his white Saab 900 while I puttered around doing important stuff like cleaning the dust out of my taillight lenses. Eric came over to give me the big stuff for on top of the rack -- the mount for the spare, the two gas cans, and the associated bits for tying it all down. Even more vital were the two bottles of "The Captain" for our cohorts Nick and Rob to enjoy later on the trip

Today I reinstalled the fog lights, which no longer short out, and gave the car a brief scrub. Waxed some of the front end parts to hopefully defray some of the bug accumulation. I can be irrationally optimistic, can't I?

Eric set up a TeamD blog where we'll both be posting updates while we're on the road. That will keep this space dedicated to droning on about my own car, and leave interesting stuff, including photos and text from a variety of TeamD members, over where it belongs.

So check out the TeamD blog for Alcan updates. If we're motivated, perhaps we'll even post some scores during Alcan as well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Weather Undies in a Knot

I wanted to check the weather along the route, and then things got a little out of control.

So here's a page of weather links for Alcan 5000 - 2006 route.

That took a bit longer than I'd planned.

At least I'm done with laundry. For now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pile O' Tools Pics

I gave the memory card a Heimlich maneuver and got it to cough up yesterday's tool photos, as well as some of the rack.

tools for Saab 900
closeup of tools

The rack basket is borrowed from Eric and uses a pair of bars that came with the '83 900 I no longer own.

One of my minions holds up Buzz, dirty from riding on the top of the car during all of Alcan '04.
Buzz is a bit dirty

Fifty Frickin' Pounds?

Just weighed the bag of tools that I organized today. It's fifty pounds on our oh-so-precise bathroom scale.

If my camera hadn't just decided to puke on its memory card, I'd post a photo of all the tools laid out to be counted. Maybe later if I can give it some pepto bismol or something.

So I hope I don't have to use any of those tools, except for the 16mm needed for the oil drain that I plan to use in Whitehorse and Anchorage. If anything else gets used, let's hope it's to help a stranded rider or an ambitious Morris Minor.

Cleaned out the door pockets. Urgh. Such grossness. Stale sunflower seeds, ancient fuel receipts and a bag of gooey substance that probably should be put into a biohazard bag.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekend Wrapup

Last Friday I met up with Hans and made my first trip to the Pull A Part yard. For a $2 entry fee, we had the run of four different classic Saab 900 models. I was able to nab some "nice to have" items like parcel shelf, console carpet, a very good rear hatch seal, and a pristine interior light. Also got an AIC valve and a complete fuel pump as spares for the trip. Oh, and a rear sway bar, since my '85 is lacking one. $40 for the lot, including some other things like turn signal switches and some dash switches. A very profitable visit for us both, as Hans found some great parts as well, including a very hard to find battery heat shield in primo condition.

Spent the rest of the weekend wrapping up some of the last projects on the car before next week's departure on the Alcan rally. Eric came over on Saturday and installed the event decals. He also helped with lining the storage area where the donut spare normally lives and we stashed some of the spare parts we hope to never use down there. Hans worked on his car fixing his shifter and testing the various doodads he'd hunted down at the wrecking yard. A BBQ Saturday night was a nice break and Jim joined us for the revelry.

Also at the Pull A Part we nabbed fan wiring and plugs and I replaced the bad section of wiring that caused us grief on the Golden West rally. Will be nice to not worry about that. Also partially fixed the interior lights; just can't seem to get my brain wrapped around the electrons of this seemingly simple circuit. At least the main interior light now illuminates when the door is open. I had to disconnect the map light under the rear view mirror as it won't turn off. Replaced the console switch for the courtesy light, and installed a switch in the rear of the car that controls the light in the hatch area. It's rather nice to be able to see inside of the car at night!

I cannot seem to adjust the wastegate on the Turbo. Hans thinks the actuator arm has been locked to the stud somehow. Need to contact the folks who did the rebuild and ask about that. I do have a spare wastegate, but not going to bother with all of that until we return from our long trip.

Still left to do: organize and pack the tools, make a few more music discs, and get the iRiver player filled with tunes as well. A week from now we'll be heading north!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Planning For Misfortune

How to Reduce Performance by Carrying a Saabload of Tools

Here's what is going in the tool bag or spares box for Alcan:

Sockets & related turny things
standard mm sockets
deep mm sockets
13 mm universal
spark plug socket
long wobble extension
medium wobble extension
short wobble extension
universal extension
3/8" ratchet
1/2" breaker bar and 3/8 adapter
metric hexes for bumper and seats (10mm?)
wheel nut socket (1-1/4 SAE)
7mm driver
10 mm driver
cheapo torque wrench

Wrenches (more turny things)
6mm to 19 mm, all
adjustable wrench

Pliers & other squeezy things
needle nose
wire stripper/terminal tool
internal snap ring
channel locks
big ass channel locks
vise grips

Screwy things:
ratcheting standard/philips driver combo
short philips
torx selection
hex selection

duct tape
mechanics wire
zip ties

Misc Crap
rubber mallet
jack stand
pry bar
multi tester
stereo removal thingies

Spares box
Fuses & bulbs
insulated wire
hose clamps
Heli-coil kit

Saab parts
lug nuts
Cap, rotor and wires
APC valve
Bentley manual
fuel pump & relay
lights relay

pre-mix coolant
engine and tranny oil
PS fluid
Gasket maker

Holy crap, that's a lotta stuff. This doesn't count the two full size mounted spares or the two cans of fuel on the roof. Considering pulling the donut spare to store the parts that shouldn't get used in that location. I should plan on some octane booster as well. Premium fuel will be hard to get; at least it was in many Canadian stations in the winter of '04.