So the shoulder continues to slowly mend. I’d say at this point I have more use of it than I did before the surgery; an important milestone. It’s still pretty sore and stiff and weak in certain motions. I have physical therapy once a week and it’s starting to include some strength training.
Clownie the Wonder Car has been sitting on the curb outside my house since cracking a radiator before I had the surgery. My friend Jon Dahl finally had some time to tinker with my car, an activity he seems to enjoy, and so yesterday we picked up some antifreeze (I had already ordered the radiator from Amazon), grabbed tools, and got to work. Well, Jon got to work; I mostly stood around watching and wishing my shoulder was all better. Jon made it look easy; I suspect I would have unscrewed some things I didn’t need to and taking hours to find my way around. The new radiator went in in less than an hour, I filled it with freshly mixed coolant, and got the engine going.
All went well. We had left the cap off the radiator to watch the level; some bubbles came out, the level dropped a bit but not much, the supply hoses got quite warm, and Jon finally screwed on the cap.
The reserve bottle was full of dilute and very dirty fluid from when I added water to the radiator after it cracked, so I could get home. Jon suggested we dump this and put fresh coolant in. The reserve bottle turns out not to be easily removed and dumped; I found some sprinkler line and we attemped to siphon. No luck. I took the tubing to the faucet and filled it, to try to prime the siphon; that didn’t work. I finally just sucked on the end of the tube. That did work, but got me a mouth full of dirty dilute antifreeze, well laced with Bittrex to keep wildlife and kids from drinking the sweet but moderately toxic ethylene glycol. I spat it out and rinsed my mouth while Jon tied up a few more odds and ends.
It seemed to work, anyway. No visible leaks this morning and the radiator was still topped off. I drove in to work (I usually take the bus, but I had physical therapy today) and so far, so good. The engine temperature stayed where it was supposed to stay.
Clownie may be retired from wanderlusting with me, but it’s nice to have an economical car to drive around town. Meanwhile, the Wandermobile is doing okay except for a long crack propagating steadily across the windshield; heat stress, I suspect. I’ll probably have to replace that before I take the Wandermobile up to Idaho next summer for the eclipse (and for more exploring of Craters of the Moon and Yellowstone, with perhaps a side trip to the Iron Hill carbonatite complex in Colorado on the way home.)