Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Project Sidekick: A little work goes a long way


So as you may remember, I bought a '95 Suzuki Sidekick (aka "Project Teal-Tastic"), and yes, there has already been work done. Not the "fun mods" kind of work, the "stuff I need to get it running/looking/working right" kind. But a little work goes a long way.

For starters (no pun intended), I replaced the battery. The battery that came with the vehicle would no longer hold a charge and it was the incorrect size, etc. I called around and got a great deal at Batteries Plus. Now the Sidekick starts up first twist of the ignition. Total cost? $57.

While replacing the battery, I noticed the metal battery tray was totally rusty, and there was a bit of rust on the inner fender panel, too. I wondered what would cause this because A) I'd driven the truck in the rain and it didn't leak and 2) the Pacific Northwest doesn't use salt. With the battery out of the truck I found the culprit: A pinhole leak in the windshield washer line. It had been likely been leaking, albeit slowly, for some time. A quick trip to NAPA and $1.26 fixed that leak. However, it pains me to think that $1.26 would have prevented all that rust in the bay. So be it.

A week-and-a-half ago, I took the trucklet up to my dad's garage to give it a good interior cleaning. If "amateur detailing" was a hobby, that'd be his. The interior now looks magnitudes better than when I received it. All this cleaning allowed me to get up close and personal with the vehicle, too, which allowed me to noticed other things that needed replacing.

PhotobucketSo what's next? A new radio surround bezel, replacement manual crank window regulators, new trim for the soft top (so that it actually attaches to the truck. As you can see at the left, the trim is missing), and a new driver's side door handle. And when I mean "new" I mean "new to me."  In fact, I've got a trip to Eugene, OR on Sunday to pick up a bunch of parts. And that saga continues.


D2M said...

I'd love to see more pictures! Before and after pics of the interior would be great too.

I'm really surprised someone had the wrong battery size in the vehicle. Isn't that unsafe? And how would you make a mistake like that anyhow? (Unless they did it on purpose.)

Andy Lilienthal said...

I'll try to get some more photos. Frankly, I start my day job at 7:00am in the dark, and get home at 5:00pm in the dark, so I haven't had any good photo opps! Excuses excuses ...

As far as the battery thing goes, my guess is they didn't know, or it's what they had lying around to start the vehicle before they sold it.

I'm hoping to come back Saturday with a treasure trove of parts to get all of the non-working things working.