Hell of a day. In retrospect, my mistake was getting out of bed.
Noticed my clutch fluid was low. I believe this is causing my occasional difficulty shifting. I decided to bleed it completely.
The reservoir was filthy. Absolutely caked in crud on the inside. After sucking the dirty fluid from the reservoir, I gave it a wipe down with shop towels, ensuring that I didn't get any fluff, moisture, etc inside. With some help from my wife, we bled the clutch with the rear raised. Got a massive, massive amount of air out, too. Actually, the air never stopped. Always more air. Big bubbles, little bubbles, tiny bubbles, big again, etc. Eventually realized either the hose wasn't sealed to the bleeder completely, or the bleeder threads were letting air in to the slave cylinder. After being more careful, my clutch now feels less bad. Not as nice as my Cobalt, but not bad. I bought a hand-held vacuum pump, but it requires the threads to seal, otherwise it just sucks the outside air in.
Dropped the rubber cap when putting it on the bleeder. It's gone. Nowhere to be found. Vanished.
During all this, I did notice that my master cylinder is leaking (see photo). So all while I did "improve" the clutch, it's only temporary. Looks like I'll have to add that to the growing list of things to order from Rodney.
Anyway, I bought more than enough brake fluid, I might as well do the brakes while I'm here! I did the same clean job on the brake reservoir. Top up, and start bleeding. Of course, the bleeder valves don't have caps on them so they're corroded, and look like they were ground down somehow. Managed to kind of get the driver-rear bled. Passenger-rear was a different story. my 10mm wrench just rounds off the corners of the screw, and a 9mm is way to small. I grabbed some wrenches with weird foreign units on it (3/8 I believe), and with a hammer, managed to tap it on to the bleeder. Kinda sorta bled, but again, I couldn't securely get a drain hose on it. I'm starting to feel like this is a waste of time, and I should just order some new bleeder screws. I'm getting somewhat frustrated with this.
Of course, it gets worse. I had to drive the car on some pieces of wood as my floor jack is too tall to fit under the car. Plan is to lower the car, drive off the wood, move the wood up to the front wheels, and back on to it so I can lift the front of the car, get the wheels off, and bleed those calipers.
I guess in my haste (I wanted to finish and get some food), I didn't secure the brake reservoir lid after the last top-up. Cue the geiser of brake fluid. And invariably, when something goes wrong, what do you do? Panic and mash the brakes even harder!
I'm not frustrated anymore. I'm outright bloody angry, and my wife suddenly left me alone very, very quickly. Time for a half-assed car wash as the sun is going down. Hopefully I got all the brake fluid off the paint in time. We'll find out for sure tomorrow.
Now that the car and ground are all wet, I decide I'll just re-bleed the whole show another time, after I get some proper replacement bleeder screws.
I did buy some seafoam as it was on sale. It might not be the miracle juice some claim, but it can't hurt, right? RIGHT? I mean, I want something to go good today, so lets do it. My neighbour has a newborn, has his windows open, and it's after 21:00 at this point, so I decide to drive over to the park and quickly run the seafoam through. I shouldn't be bothering anybody in the park at this hour.
After running the seafoam through a vacuum line, the car starts fine, but won't idle. I need to give it throttle. Its about 22:40 now, I'm tired and hungry, and I'm stuck in the park. Here I am, parked in the middle of a bunch of empty vehicles, revving the crap out of my engine, billowing smoke everywhere. About this time, I realize the empty vehicles don't belong to absent car-poolers, but actually occupied by horny teenagers.
Only one scenario is playing through my head: "No officer, I didn't come here to spy on horny teenagers. I came to the dark, secluded park in the middle of the night to work on my car".
**** it! I'm outta here! As long as I'm careful at stoplights, I'll get home. Hell, I'll push at this point.
Oddly enough, a few minutes later, it's idling fine. Apparently this might have been an IAC re-learn/re-calibrate situation, and the drive home resolved it.
My wife left my dinner on the table for me.
Dog ate it.
Maybe I'll take tomorrow easy...
1987 Fiero GT : Information | Gallery