It wasn’t the battery

Continuing the story from last week, my car wouldn’t start and get me to the airport but it wasn’t the battery like I suspected. I got back on Thursday night (late) and took Susan to work so I could have wheels to get mine fixed and I thought I knew what I was doing.

The battery I had was about 3 years old AND it was a cheap WalMart battery. I had every reason to believe it had failed but that was not the case. Or at least it was not the whole story. I bought and installed the new battery and it still wouldn’t start. Nothing.

Open the hood and start jiggling wires and I found the cable to the starter was loose at the connection on the starter. A little wrenching round and I found the stud where the cable connects was broken out of the starter and it was never going to work. I could not get into my mechanic since we was not working on Friday, the car would not start and I was looking at Monday until my car would work. Not a great choice so I called Mark.

Mark Hinshaw is my handyman and I count on him to get me out of trouble or sometimes keep me out of trouble. He came through again with a floor jack, jack stands and some expertise. We did find out the hard way it was not going to be easy.

Remember, this is on my 1984 El Camino and it is not stock. The original engine  was a 305 cubic inch (5.0 L for you metrics) and now it has a 350 cubic inch (5.7 L) so I thought we needed a starter for a 350. Wouldn’t you assume that too?

Well, long story short, we found the starter I purchased on Friday was not going to fit. The bolt pattern on it was not the same as the one I took out. We looked at EVERY picture of a starter in a 350 that AutoZone could show us. None of them worked. The 350 is a crate engine meaning it was shipped in a crate to the person who installed it so there were all sorts of suggestions. We went to Advance Auto and got a similar story but a suggestion was maybe the starter was similar to one in a boat. A boat?? Yeah, my car has been called a boat but I wasn’t buying that idea.

Anyway, we went to NAPA and the guy there suggested we look at a starter off a 305. I figured we had nothing to lose and it turned out to be the case. I am not sure how all that works but it is clearly a starter from a 305 even though it bolts to the engine but it is fixed and I am like Willie Nelson and ‘on the road again’.

I have lots of things to share from Phoenix and the Keller Williams Family Reunion but I’ll save that for the next few posts. Stay tuned for info on the market, the economy and how all that affects you if you own or are thinking of buying a house.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson

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