Rufus Laggren's 82 Max wagon - formerly of Steve Addy

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rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

Rufus Laggren's 82 Max wagon - formerly of Steve Addy

#1

Post by rlaggren » 12 years ago

I assumed care of the Brownie from Steve last Saturday and drove it back to San Francisco from Des Moines. Arrived intact w/only one fix - installed a missing bolt on the hood latch so the old girl didn't get the flutters every time we passed a big truck. Thanks for the good work, Steve!

First thoughts: Engine seems great, albeit more rattle than I'd expected - hear it cackling right up to 65mph. No smoke ever I noticed except a little when starting, but I didn't look too hard. Glow plug control system is only pretend; more than just glad to have the override button. Four start cycles at 22F., three at 32F. On the cold day I counted 12secs, then 10secs on successive tries; maybe the glow plugs aren't all doing the job. Rear springs are purely for holding the axel on; I think there was a thread on this. Steve missed some structural rust which I will see about getting fixed; not sure where at this point and it may be a week or so before I get under it with a good light and do a list and get a plan. Interior's in great shape and kinda reminds me of a .... no better not go there. Dash lighting weak on the right side and hard to see the needles on both side; not sure if there's a fix for the needes problem.

Took 80 west with cruise control on all the way; put in PD w/Power Service fuel additive. Mileage at 77-78 mph was steady at 25 mpg; 68mph gave about 28-29mpg for the one tank (in Ca) where I drove that speed. Most grades the motor just leaned into it and we went up w/out dropping speed. About 7 or 8 times speed dropped but hung around 63 - got down to 60 once. Two grades going west from Wendover (after crossing the salt flats) I put it in 2nd, but I think I shoulda just let it wind down a little further; that gear doesn't seem to fit highway speeds - supposed to max out at 60mph (or less for the diesel) and it sounded like it was really churning at that speed. If I find a cheap inclinometer that will mount neatly somewhere, I'll get it, but until then I don't have a clew about what those grades are. IAC the power was adequet but w/nothing extra; might be more of an issue with another 700# or so in the car.

Oh and I have a slight suspicion that the cruise control can get more throttle than I can. Might be imagining things, though.

Shameless plug: Anybody takes 80 and gets to stopping around Lovelock Nevada I recommend the Lovelock Inn, the last biz on the west edge of town. Old lady there keeps the place real neat and it's a beautiful building. I find it way better atmosphere than any of the conventional motels, but it does cost more - $70 for a night. The restaraunt off the casino at the east end of town is OK and the Americana at the west end is good when it's open.

That's is for now. I got home to find one of my cats pissing blood and he may not make it through the night. He's kinda family so one way or another, I'm doing other things for a couple days.

Rufus

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asavage
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#2

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

The dash illumination is good overall, with the exception of the lighting for the digits of the odometer and trip meter. If you have any low light spots other than that, you've got lamps out.

Ditto on the rear springs.

Normally, the CC won't set above 78 MPH. See this post (a blast from the past, the eighth message posted on this board) for an amusing CC & Nevada story.

If the CC can pull the IP lever more than the accel pedal, check at the sheave on the top of the intake manifold for odd things. See this post for a bit more on this.

Sorry to hear of your cat's problem. You have my sympathy.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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kassim503
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Location: Stony Brook, NY

#3

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Ditto, You have my sympathy for your cat as well, I love cats and dogs.

Make sure he/shes drinking enough/alot water and eating, its important to stay hydrated when shes keeping up with the blood loss. It may be a urinary tract infection, try feeding your cat some cranberry juice, it may slow down or stop very mild cases of uti in humans. Usually these things require antibiotics, which would wind up breaking the bank.

Good luck
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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philip
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#4

Post by philip » 12 years ago

Bought "Omar" in July '04 at the Orange County Shelter. Once a month, they get these "show case" kittens which are 3 months old. Omar is a tabby/bengal.
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At 2-1/2 yrs old.
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-Philip
Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

1982 Datsun 720KC SD-22

"Im slow and I'm ahead of you"

glenlloyd
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#5

Post by glenlloyd » 12 years ago

Rufus, glad to hear that you made it back safely. I wasn't aware that there was a missing hood bolt but I did notice the flutter when driving in to the wind greeting semi trucks on the road. Glad you caught it and were able to fix it.

The cruise IIRC is an odd bird. I never had much trouble with it but you pushed the car harder than I ever did so you probably got different results than I did. I did always feel like it lagged a bit too much and IIRC we discussed the annoyances of bad cruise control systems previously on the forum. I replaced a bunch of vacuum lines hoping that it would help, and I thought it had, but I was only testing at 55 mph.

I look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience with the brownie, be sure and snap some photos of her in her new home.

Also my sympathy for your cat situation. We had some discussion about pets when you were here and also about the urgency of your return because of the cats. A friend here just had to put down her Shar-pei that had been with her for many years, due to cancer, it was a very difficult and traumatic experience.
97 Jetta TDI, 86 VW Golf D
89 VW Fox diesel, 92 MB 300SD W140

gir - won't the sploding hurt?
zim - silence!

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#6

Post by rlaggren » 12 years ago

Appreciate the "cat sympathy". The Little Horror survived but the bank account is now in emergency care. The vet wouldn't commit to any solid explanation but put in an IV and filled him with anti-biotics. Looks like Omar w/smaller ears and a skinnier tail. Damn cat cost me $40 to get but that was the camel's nose; he's cost me more total than my work van has!

The CC worked a little sloppily but consistently so I think Steve's fix helped. When changing or setting speeds it overshot then corrected; after that it maintained well. Seemed functional up to 80mph. The slide lever on the stalk was a little sticky; maybe some dry lube there. I plan to browse under the hood next week if the sun keeps shining.

The dash lights show the lettering well enough, but the needles don't show at all. They're a deep red color and that doesn't reflect well. If there's lamps out that would show the needles that'll get fixed so time will tell.

Al, I assume you meant that the OEM springs work well enough if they're up to spec; that's good becauce I doubt putting the 83 rear suspension in is practical. I'll probably get some new springs in there after the holidays. It does drive like a truck on the bumpers right now, though.

What with the Victorian upolstery (tucked veleur in a car?) and the solid ride, the car's a little eccentric, but I think I could get fond of it. <g> But the front seats get covers soon as I can find a good set. Radio's pretty good and the fuel mileage in the citty looks hopeful; can't tell until the next fill.

Rufus

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kassim503
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#7

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

rlaggren wrote:Appreciate the "cat sympathy". The Little Horror survived but the bank account is now in emergency care. The vet wouldn't commit to any solid explanation but put in an IV and filled him with anti-biotics. Looks like Omar w/smaller ears and a skinnier tail. Damn cat cost me $40 to get but that was the camel's nose; he's cost me more total than my work van has!
Congrats on the cat feeling better!
The dash lights show the lettering well enough, but the needles don't show at all. They're a deep red color and that doesn't reflect well. If there's lamps out that would show the needles that'll get fixed so time will tell.
With the lights on, is the needle lighting up? The needles light up using a series of clear plastic pieces that go from bulbs right next to the needle.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#8

Post by rlaggren » 12 years ago

The last tank was local driving and averaged 28.5 mpg - I'm happy. Hopefully I didn't clutz my math and the next tank continues in this vein. The mix is about 65% highway. The Taurus wagon gets 21 to 22.5 local, depending on how impatient I was that week.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#9

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

Replaced all 6 GP's today w/NGK's. Tomorrow will be the test. Five out of six GP's were dead. All were autolite, but they came out without any problems. They had all died w/in the last 2 months and the car got progressively harder to start; it worked after a fashion in 50-60D temps until it got down to one GP - then it became an ISSUE. Hadn't actually been using the hot button much, and never over about 4-5 secs; not sure why they all cashed in the chips at once.

The NGK's seemed the best kind (per Al's rundown) but were not available from two local FLAPS. Local Nissan wanted $56@ for whatever they provide which seemed a bit much. On the net they were not universally available but I found some on "sparkplugs.com" for $28. The delivery and such was good and timely, packaging adequet. You might find a better price with some searching. Champions were $11 at the FLAPS but from a post here it seems they may require significantly more time to reach heat which would mess up the GP control process and lead to using the hot button - and maybe early(er) GP death. But that's a serious price difference so somebody might want to do more checking - I didn't have time.

Could not find any notes in the FSM re. change-out procedure so just tightened them "by hand". I strongly suggest that if you do this job and your old ones have nuts (vs. knurled rounds), to hold the bus on, save the nuts. They are infinitely easier to deal with than the knurled fasteners; I was happy to find the Autolite threads were the same as the NGK's so I could use the nuts (figured that out on the the 3rd GP). A 12mm open-end or flare wrench is needed for #3 (and maybe #2?) where the 1/4 ratchet swivvle didn't work; a 12mm deep socket works for the easy ones - I got away w/a 1/2" but it was a poor substitute. 10mm for the buss nuts and small channel locks for the knurled rounds - but it's mostly impossible to get the rounds tightened on several cylinders so stick with the nuts. Check the cruise control vacuum lines when you're done. They go to a vac solenoid on the RF wheel well and you probably pulled one off.

PO Steve Addy did a bang-up job on his custom GP bus - well worth a good price if he's still willing to knock one out. "Factory Fit" and it slides out to the rear w/out removing anything. If he's moved on, maybe he could be persuaded to pass any jigs on to Al where they could be added to the LD28 tools trove.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#10

Post by rlaggren » 11 years ago

I installed larger rear tires as posted elsewhere - 215/75 R14. That was some time ago but I couldn't find my camera; finally broke down and _bought_ one so now the other one will turn up...

But I can now post pics of the rear tire/fender situation. They do clear, even when I bottom out (sagging rear springs mean that happens a lot - more on those later). But only by about 1/2" so I'm not at all eager to try snow cables; they might clear with a little hammering or they might not.

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82 Maxima wagon

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#11

Post by rlaggren » 10 years ago

As reported in another post, did the rear brakes at 190xxx

Re-repaired the usual rust holes over the rear wheels. Al recorded this problem in great detail elsewhere. The rust had gotten through the quick fix on the rear inner fenders Steve the PO did before I got the car. I installed a patch on the driver's side and re-covered the RR with more undercoat - next year for that. Had a choice to use 16ga or 22ga steel, went with 22ga because the 16ga didn't seem to "go with the neighborhood"; the existing inners seem something like 22ga. Also I wasn't sure if I'd have to mess w/any compound curve and didn't want to deal w/the 16ga in that case. Unfortunately I didn't find any galvanized material and time was passing so I just primed and painted it with Rustoleum; ditto the existing inner fender. Installed it in a bed of PL polyurethane caulk and patched all the rivets with the same. This caulk is about the toughest I have ever found. Pulling aluminum storms from 35 years ago off the house I had to cut the caulk with a chisel b4 I could pound and pry (with difficulty) the aluminum window frame off the wood and the caulk was _still_ flexible. Anybody doing this might want to get a drill bit stop collar that works; I couldn't find the right size and I promise you without a good stop you're going to poke into the interior...

Had the injectors serviced. Didn't need it. Testing showed all popped at about 2000 with good sprays. I can only assume they were serviced sometime in the last 50-100k or so but I don't recall Steve mentioning it. Had the work done at Midwest in Palatine, IL. Bryan seemed competent and thoughtful and the others both in the office and shop ditto. The bill came to $76 with 3 new washers each. I asked him about an IP rebuild and he mentioned $575 as a basic fee. Midwest has several locations and I can't speak for the others.

I _may_ have found the source of the valve-lifter-like noise I reported elsewhere. #6 injector housing showed a tiny flake off one edge of the bolt flange and it looked like the bottom washer at the cylinder may have leaked a little. Makes me wonder if the injector was not completely snug and moving a very little bit. Several of the 12 injector bolts were _not_ tight (although not actually loose), while most were quite firm and a couple were real obstinate. We shall see.

Those poking around their engine might want to take a twist on their injector bolts just to see... I think the "loose" ones I found would have been noticeable if I'd tried to tighten them. Probably do not want to loosen them at all, though; don't know if the washer seal would hold.

Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

rlaggren
Posts: 541
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: San Francisco

#12

Post by rlaggren » 9 years ago

Turned over 200,000 miles last month.

Changed out the second outer tie rod end (drivers), replaced the split steering boot (drivers), patched the rear qtr panels (both rotted on the bottom at the bumper). Rear springs are seem to be holding the axel on OK but as springs, they're imaginary. The straight pipe I used to replace the front muffler is still there and seems to do the job satisfactorally; a bit louder but not really noticeable.

For those who don't know like me: When installing a grease zerk, don't screw it all the way in counting on good fortune to have it end up pointing the right way (the 90* kind); quit when reach the right angle and it's firm.

Cheers, Rufus
82 Maxima wagon

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