Category Archives: Automotive

Regarding cars of all sorts but mostly classic american cars.

Black Mystery Box

I’ve been having some problems with the power windows on my car. They always go down but sometimes they refuse to go back up again. I started fiddling around with the haywire of cables located under the panel and eventually managed to get the windows to move again but while doing this I also found a very strange black box.

It doesn’t seem like the box was installed by GM. The electrical work can only be described as shoddy as the wires are all tangled up in a bundle and several of them had the insulation cut for no apparent reason.

The black box has “M3U Quasar” written on it along with “Milan – Italy”. There is a terminal block with a lot of wires attached to it along with two positional switches. The purpose of this box remains a mystery.

Here are a couple of poor pictures I took with my cell phone camera.

M3U Quasar (front)
M3U Quasar (front)
M3U Quasar (back)
M3U Quasar (back)

Rear axle cleanup

As you might already know I bought an ’88 Camaro IROC last year. Being a moderately old car it of course requires some attention in order to keep it in good shape, that is also one of the reasons I got it since I felt the need for a new hobby. The undercarriage of the car had been sealed pretty well with corrosion protection but there were a few minor spots where rust had gotten a hold and the rear axle was mostly unprotected so I decided that is what I would spend my time on last autumn.

Rear axle, before work

Rear axle, before work (closeup)

The idea was to remove as much of the rust as possible and seal the components to prevent them from future attacks. For that purpose I used a recirculating spot blaster and aluminum silicate blasting abrasive to clean up the worst parts and a steel wire wheel brush fitted on a standard drill to polish the blasted surface. Having never blast cleaned anything in my life it took a while to figure out the proper technique and hence it took me quite some time to clean up the surface but it was a learning experience and I actually enjoyed it.

Sadly the batteries in my camera ran out so I was never able to take any pictures of the polished axle but last week I was finally able to snap a photo of the end result. I’ve been driving the car and apparently have picked up a couple of seed capsules which stuck to the corrosion protection I put on. They account for all the small white spots that you see on the following picture.

Rear axle, after work

My next project will be to convert the air conditioning system from R-12 to R-134a.

The season’s afoot

Our media department was playing around in the parking lot outside the office and managed to take a couple of pictures of my car in the process. I have just taken it out of the garage for the summer and so far it seems to have survived the winter.

Camaro at work

During the off season I replaced all the (original) pintle-type fuel injectors with disc-type injectors from Ford. The car was difficult to start when cold before but with the new injectors in place it fires up instantly.

I also did a lot of work remove rust from the undercarriage and rear axle, when I get some decent pictures of the end result I will post them together with the before-pictures. Hopefully before I get too much dirt under there.

There is still a lot of work to do but I’m well on my way.