: It's ten degrees. Time to go outside!

12-25-08, 08:04 AM
Bonus! Bernie Mac sighting below.

I can't imagine anything more enjoyable than going to a bad neighborhood to fish through a junkyard in the dead of winter.

It all started with the Cadillac, my brother's 1992 Seville. One day after coming backing from the grocery store, he noticed his blower motor continued to run after shutting off the car. Before he could figure out what to do, the battery died.

The blower control module and blower motor were toast, so we headed across town to a couple junkyards.

After exiting I-70, I saw a guy jump out of his minivan in an attempt to push it UP the ramp. It started to slide backwards toward him so he leaped in and hit the brakes. I sat there at the stoplight trying not to laugh at his misfortune.

I got out and offered to help. With some back and knee injuries from my car accident, I wasn't able to help push. The front end smelled like burning oil and when I unscrewed the oil cap, smoke came pouring out. He informed me in an urban slang that the oil had not been changed in a long, long time. This Kia Sedona was done at only 103,000 miles.

The part was $100 from dealers, but he was hoping to spend that on driving to Washington this winter instead. I found a place in the phone book (I still use those!) called Riverside/Speedway on Hall and Hudson on the north side of St Louis.

Before I could leave, the Crossfire's battery refused to cooperate, giving me nothing but relay clicks when I tried to start it. I had my roommate drive me over to mom's where the van was parked, and I ended up spending the next few days using it as a giant battery charger, jump starting the Crossfire and the Seville as needed.

The pockmarked roads punished the Crossfire. I should have driven the van.

There was a sign that said "ROAD MAY BE FLOODED OR ICY" that I didn't take seriously until a MASSIVE series of waves engulfed my little Crossfire. It looked like that scene in Maryland where a large water main broke and left people stranded. I hit the brakes hard, the trucks coming the opposite direction passed, and the water subsided.

With a small box of sockets and screwdrivers in hand plus our $1 per person entry fee, we entered the yard.

In a dress shirt and suit jacket, I came inappropriately outfitted.

Finding the part was easy. We ended up buying three (there are two versions of the same blower control module) and returning one.

Yay, spares!

As I was leaving the checkout counter I saw the late Bernie Mac! [Well, a strong likeness of him.]
The guy at the counter greeted him as a regular, "Hey man! What's goin' on! What can I get ya?"

Bernie, as he shall be called, a tall and loud black man dressed in a leather trench coat said as he pulled off his seasonally inappropriate sunglasses, "Why don't you hook me up with a battery, I NEED one"

Behind Bernie were a bunch of younger guys, his entourage, who all looked like Lil Jon:
No, I am not exaggerating.

As I loaded parts and tools into the back of the Crossfire, Bernie Mac and his people walked past and said "Ey man, that ain't no junkyard car. That's brand new! What you doin at a junk yard man?"

I paused and said "Uhh, its for another car! Heh..."

He and his people got into a dented Ford Explorer and took off.

That was my brush with fake dead celebrity.

I got to that point where I was so cold and miserable, I started to feel warm. I kept the GMC van running next to the Cadillac so I could jump in for occasional heat and recharge the battery in the Seville.

Checked the electricals with the help of folks at CadillacOwners.com.

After some scrapes and a broken wire harness that required a visit to Radio Shack, the Cadillac was back on the road with heat. Its been a while since I've done any DIY projects; I forgot how much I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment.

12-25-08, 10:33 AM
It reminds me of many "repair projects" that I've helped Brian out with on his wife's '93 SDV.

Aren't 4.9s fun motors? :D

Po Pimp
12-26-08, 07:44 PM
Had the exact same problem with a 92' Eldorado. Funny how cars only want to break down in parking lots when its freezing outside. How about on a monday when I'm off in the middle of summer. No such luck.