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New-To-Me 1998 Corvette: Help Me Sort Out The Squawks

timfitz63

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'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Well, as of this morning, I'm the proud owner of the McDorman Collection Aztec Gold coupe...! :happyanim:

Neat story there: the gentleman who purchased it at last November's auction was actually looking for a 'driver' for he and his wife to enjoy putting miles on. When their son-in-law pointed out that they'd actually bought a C5 rarity, they decided to re-sell it and purchase something more suited to their plans. Their son-in-law did some research online and stumbled across the thread I'd posted on the forum about the McDorman auction, saw my somewhat flippant offer to purchase either of the vehicles (never expected it to happen so quickly), and contacted me. And today, the deal was finalized! The primary downside: my father is driving it to Pittsburgh even as I type, so I won't get to ogle it until Labor Day... :cry

On the whole, the car seems in excellent condition, but has a few 'used-car' squawks that can hopefully be easily resolved during the Labor Day weekend:
  • Both key fobs are not functioning -- or are not being recognized by the car. I attempted the 'soft' resets detailed in the Owner's Manual (pp. 2-11 & 2-12) to resynchronize and match the transmitter(s) to the vehicle, but to no avail. I'm hoping this is simply due to dead batteries in the fobs, but...? Anyway, I didn't get a chance to pop them open because my father was anxious to get his 300-mile journey underway, and I chose to move on to...
  • The DIC was issuing the "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message; tire pressure values were blank (no values, no "XXX"). My initial presumption was that the sensors simply needed to be reset so the TPMS would recognize them. Successfully performed the reset (entered into the sensor training mode via the DIC; successively placed magnet on each tire stem; got a "honk" each time). The "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message no longer appeared at engine start, but the pressures were still blank. Figuring we needed to drive the vehicle before the pressure values would register, we drove about 5-10 miles to a gas station to fill up the tank. Tire pressure values still blank... So, what's next there...?
  • Courtesy light underneath the hood is inoperative. Obvious guesses would be: burned out bulb; sticky contact switch; blown fuse. Have not been able to investigate any of those things yet.
Have not had the chance to fully investigate all of my suspicions (mainly because my father was anxious to get started on his 300-mile journey to Pittsburgh); but if there is anything else I should be checking, please chime in and offer suggestions!

I should probably add that the battery did discharge at least once during the period of time between the auction and my purchase today. The previous owner got the car running again (presumably by either putting a trickle charger on the battery to shore it up, or by jump-starting it -- I don't know which). Battery and most all electronic operations seems OK at the moment, but I'm growing concerned that some of the electronics may have been affected by voltage or current spikes... I seem to remember reading somewhere that the tire pressure sensors and the key fobs use the same receiver module (RFA...?), and since both systems are displaying anomalies...? ;shrug On the up side, the vehicle did ostensibly recognize (with honks) each TPMS sensors when I did the reset procedure, so it would appear that the receiver itself is functioning...? Have not had a chance to pull the codes. I know, I know...

UPDATE: My father reached Pittsburgh safely. Said the car ran "like a Swiss watch." But he did get an intermittent (3 times over the course of the trip) DIC messages about low tire pressure on the LR. After reaching home, he checked the tire pressures with a hand-held gauge, and found the LR at 24 psi. So, it would appear that the TMPS is reading pressures -- and accurately, if it's displaying an alert for the LR tire below 25 psi (the alert threshold); not sure why those readings aren't being displayed in the DIC, though...?
 

XLR8

Gone but not forgotten
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2003 AE Convertible, 1998 LCRM Convertible
I can't even begin to help with your tech issues, Tim, and there are others better suited to that function here anyway. I'm sure they'll check in soon. I just wanted to congratulate you on your purchase... I know you must be excited. :thumb

Next up - pix! You know we want to see some ASAP. :D
:wJane Ann
 

timfitz63

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May 15, 2010
Messages
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Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
I can't even begin to help with your tech issues, Tim, and there are others better suited to that function here anyway. I'm sure they'll check in soon. I just wanted to congratulate you on your purchase... I know you must be excited. :thumb

Next up - pix! You know we want to see some ASAP. :D
:wJane Ann

Thanks, Jane Ann! Like I said, I won't be able to go gremlin hunting until Labor Day weekend; hopefully the C5 gurus will have given me some ammunition by then!

And I'll get some suitable photos collected at that time; just need to line up a babe or two for the photo shoot... ;)
 

timfitz63

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Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Photos for Jane Ann

Looks like my brother unwittingly fulfilled your request for photos when he and my father were graciously cleaning up the car:

DSCF1252_upload.jpg DSCF1256_upload.jpg DSCF1257_upload.jpg
 

Dad

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611
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West Unity OH
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15Gray/8sp 72Blk/Blk4Spd 64Red/Red/Wht4spd
Wow, those $3,000 mag wheels look good on that car. History says that the gold cars were sold only as used cars. Plus I don't believe that the one of 15 tells all the story as there were also some convertibles built. So as a coupe it is something less than one of fifthteen, color, yes, model, no. I think there was only one gold convertible built with a 6 speed, very rare as all the ads for Corvettes tend to read.


Loved my '98 and your's has more unique features than has been pointed out yet. :thumb :thumb :thumb
 

timfitz63

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Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Wow, those $3,000 mag wheels look good on that car. History says that the gold cars were sold only as used cars. Plus I don't believe that the one of 15 tells all the story as there were also some convertibles built. So as a coupe it is something less than one of fifthteen, color, yes, model, no. I think there was only one gold convertible built with a 6 speed, very rare as all the ads for Corvettes tend to read.

Loved my '98 and your's has more unique features than has been pointed out yet. :thumb :thumb :thumb

Thanks! Yeah, the magnesium rims were something of an added bonus; and they do go well with the color. According to my research they weren't on the car originally -- it came with the standard QD4 "wagon wheel" painted aluminum rims. I was able to pick up a full set of the QD4 rims from a fellow forum member, so I can restore the "original configuration," if I choose. But the magnesium rims are really growing on me; think I'll leave them on there for a while...

Based on my research, you're correct about the history of the Aztec Gold cars too. As I understand it, they all went into the executive motor pool for a while, and each accumulated 8-10k miles before being sold to dealers as used/corporate demo vehicles. Of course, most of these Aztec Gold Vettes got scooped up by the high-profile Corvette dealers and largely went straight into their personal collections (this one being no exception), although a few went straight into 'public' hands. There were 12 coupes and 3 convertibles built (a total of 15 vehicles finished in Aztec Gold Metallic), mixed among three separate 'batches' of five vehicles each. Sequence #12 is one of the convertibles, and is the only Aztec Gold with a 6-speed -- as well as the only one with a Z51 suspension package. I'd dearly love to have that one; but alas, the current owner (a Chevy dealer in Michigan) wants $100k for it. So he's not likely to be selling it to me anytime soon... :( Incidentally, Sequence #1, #5, #6, and #10 (all coupes) are currently on the market; all out of the same collection, and at least one of them has the magnesium rims on it. But his asking prices are a bit high as well...

Mine is Sequence #15 -- the last Aztec Gold Metallic coupe, and the last Aztec Gold Metallic vehicle built... That's kind-of cool, I think...! And at least mine is one of those built with the performance axle ratio...! :thumb
 

Pinky

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Messages
252
Location
Northern VA
Corvette
1998 Torch Red Convertible
If you get the "The DIC was issuing the "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message" thing figured out PLEASE let me know. Mine has been doing that for the 6 yrs, I've owned it (through 2 new sets of tires). I gave up and just hit the "reset" button as needed. I'm pretty sure it need new tire pressure monitors (or at least batteries, but it's effectively the same thing) but I can hit the reset button a lot of times in lieu of shelling out $400.
:lou
 

timfitz63

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
If you get the "The DIC was issuing the "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message" thing figured out PLEASE let me know. Mine has been doing that for the 6 yrs, I've owned it (through 2 new sets of tires). I gave up and just hit the "reset" button as needed. I'm pretty sure it need new tire pressure monitors (or at least batteries, but it's effectively the same thing) but I can hit the reset button a lot of times in lieu of shelling out $400.

I'll post back any findings I make. In the meanwhile, you might first try to reset your tire pressure sensors yourself; you could be correct that the batteries in the sensors are done, but it's worth a try to do the reset, as it might clear the annoying "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message for you. It's possible the tire change place never reset them for you...

As I mentioned in my initial post, I was able to successfully clear this recurring message by resetting the sensors. All you need to do so is a reasonably strong magnet, preferably one with which you can surround the tire stem. On the suggestion of another forum member, I went to a local transmission repair shop, and just asked them for an old pan magnet; they gave me a couple that worked just fine.

Then you put the car into 'learn' mode for the tire pressure sensors (post #16 of this thread outlines the procedure for that), and starting with the left front (LF), place the magnet around the stem and wait for the vehicle to give a quick honk, signifying that the vehicle recognizes that tire pressure sensor. Then move successively to RF, RR, and LR; you should get a short honk at each of those locations as well. That's all there is to it! In my case, it cleared the "SERVICE TIRE MON SYS" message -- but I still don't seem to get tire pressure values on the DIC. That's now the mystery in my case...

A late-breaking thought for the masses on that topic: I know the tire pressure sensors are different between the early-model-year (1997-2000; GM P/N 25981210) and late-model-year C5's (2001-2004; GM P/N 25773946); if the later-model tire pressure sensors are installed in the rims installed on a '98, how would the RFA/DIC react? Would the system even recognize the sensors or perhaps just partially recognize them (i.e., chirp the horn as if to say "yeah, I see a tire pressure sensor," but be unable to read the transmitted value)...? Is there any way to identify the 'model' of tire pressure sensor without pulling the tire off the rim...?
 

timfitz63

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Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
New and Improved! Now with Codes!

OK. Made it to Pittsburgh today and got to tinker around hunting down some of the gremlins.

KEY FOBS: Very simple; batteries were as dead as Julius Caesar. Two new C2450 button cells, a quick re-sync, and all was well with the key fobs. Score one for the good guys! :thumb

TPMS: Still no pressure values displayed on the DIC. This one's got me baffled, but I'm still wondering if it's not a case of hardware incompatibility (i.e., newer tire pressure sensors with the older model C5)...? Anybody got some insight there (see previous post for more elaboration)...?

HOOD COURTESY LIGHT: Ran out of daylight before I could get to this one. Will look into it more tomorrow.

CODES: OK, quite a number more of these than I had expected...
  • 10 - PCM
    • Initially came up "NO CODES," but then displayed P1626 H (Theft Deterrent System Fuel Enable Circuit) after I had cycled through the code pulling procedure a few times (boy, they flash by quickly...!)
  • 28 - TCS
    • C1255 H (EBTCM Internal Malfunction)
  • 40 - BCM
    • B0503 H (RH DRL Relay Circuit)
    • B0508 H (LH DRL Relay Circuit)
  • 60 - IPC = "NO CODES"
  • 80 - RADIO = "NO CODES"
  • 99 - HVAC = "NO CODES"
  • A0 - LDCM
    • B2282 H (Battery #1 Fault)
    • B2284 H (Battery #2 Fault)
    • B2262 H (Horizontal Position Sensor Fault)
    • U1064 H (Loss of Communication with BCM)
    • U1016 H (UNKNOWN)
  • A1 - RDCM
    • B2283 H (Battery #1 Fault)
    • B2285 H (Battery #2 Fault)
    • U1255 H (UNKNOWN)
    • U1064 H (Loss of Communication with BCM)
    • U1016 H (UNKNOWN)
    • U1096 H (Loss of Communication with IPC)
  • A6 - SCM
    • B0851 H (Battery 1 Out of Range)
    • B0856 H (UNKNOWN)
  • B0 - RFA
    • U1096 H (UNKNOWN)
    • U1016 H (UNKNOWN)
    • C2120 H (TPM System Malfunction [No Sensors Received]) -- this one seems to potentially tie in to the missing tire pressure values, but I'm only inferring at this stage...

OK, guys. Point me in the right directions...
 

navy2kcoupe

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Dec 16, 2006
Messages
799
Location
West Central FL and SE Mass.
Corvette
2000 Navy Blue Coupe A4 Z51
Tim all of your codes are "H" history codes. I think that if I were you, I would clear
all of the codes (you have a copy of them right here) and drive it for awhile and see
what gets set. I think that some of those codes could have been set if the battery
was disconnected or was discharged. Driving it would also help you to find out if there
are any squeaks, rattles, or sounds that require some work.
Andy :w
 

timfitz63

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Tim all of your codes are "H" history codes. I think that if I were you, I would clear
all of the codes (you have a copy of them right here) and drive it for awhile and see
what gets set. I think that some of those codes could have been set if the battery
was disconnected or was discharged. Driving it would also help you to find out if there
are any squeaks, rattles, or sounds that require some work.

Thanks, Andy! That's what I plan to do once I get the new battery installed.

Well, today I discovered the following:
  • The tire pressure sensors do, in fact, work; but the DIC only presents a value after the vehicle has been in motion for a short period. When the car is first started, the tire pressure values on the DIC are blank, which is contrary to the way these work on my '04 convertible (it presents a value all the time, even after starting the car -- which may just be the last value broadcast by the sensors three months ago, in some cases...). So, this may have just been a case of me being used to the way the system functions on later C5's...
  • I took a brief look at the under-hood courtesy light; this one's still an outstanding squawk. I don't have a diagram or schematic of this one, so I'm groping around in the dark, so to speak. I checked the bulb, and the filament appears to be intact, so I don't think the problem is the bulb. I haven't located the fuse yet; there doesn't seem to be a dedicated one, and no other systems seem to be inoperative, so... ;shrug But my early favorite for the cause is the gravity switch, which seems to be stuck (i.e., I don't hear it 'clicking' like on my '04, as I swing the hood up and down); trouble is, I'm not sure where the switch is located ;shrug, so any help in those areas (fuse & switch locations) is appreciated...
  • A/C seemed weak at first, when I test drove the car prior to purchase; but as I drove it around today, it seemed OK. Granted, the outside temperatures here in Pittsburgh were barely into the 80's, so even a weakly-operating system will seem OK if it just pulls the bulk of the humidity out of the air. This one may take a while before I get a suitably hot day to really tax the system...
  • Parking brake was not engaging; I had also noted this during my pre-purchase test drive. Brake lever just ran all the way to the top of the travel and didn't hold the vehicle in place. Based on my research, this one could have gone a couple of ways: either the brakes on the rear rotors needed to be hand-adjusted, or the pawl on the brake lever was sticking. Based on the age of the vehicle and the low miles, I was kind-of thinking the latter... But as I was cleaning out some gunk between the center console and the brake lever boot, then applying some Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Protector (which I highly recommend for stuff like leather boots and such), I began moving the boot around and discovered the brake lever seemed to be engaging the brake... Then I recalled reading during my research that that could be a possible reason for the lever to fail in engaging the parking brake as well (boot gets caught up in the mechanism). Long story short, I've been working the operation of the parking brake and finding I can get it to engage with a bit of coaxing; and when it does engage, it holds on an incline and against "D" or "R". So, the problem, at least for me, seems to be the handle assembly. Ultimately, it probably needs cleaned, but that may be a project for another time...
  • Had a period of time as I was running around with the car today where the radio was not saving the station pre-sets... I'm wondering if that had something to do with the condition of the battery (which my father insists is fine but I suspect is not holding a charge very well)...? The installed battery has been discharged at least twice by the previous owner, and is also not the battery recommended by Paul (c4c5specialist) for the C5, so tomorrow's main project will be to swap out the battery to the correct one.
Got the Aztec Gold front plate cover re-installed; looks much better than that display plate McDorman had on it... Have decided to leave the "1 of 15" label on the windshield for the time being, as well as the Mecum "Bob McDorman Collection" button decal they placed in the lower corner of the windshield, on the passenger's side. Also cleaned out the interior really well; even found $0.30 in pocket change scattered around the cockpit -- so the car has already made me money...! :D
 

Dad

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Nov 18, 2001
Messages
611
Location
West Unity OH
Corvette
15Gray/8sp 72Blk/Blk4Spd 64Red/Red/Wht4spd
Followed the hood light wire up toward the hinge on the passenger side of the hood, there is a connector in the wire. If it is loose, unplugged and/or dirty clean it up and push it together again. Let there be light...:thumb
 

Toms007

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Sep 24, 2004
Messages
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Southwest Kansas
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2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
I unplugged mine so it wouldn't burn while at car shows. When I read tim's post, I thought of that immediately. I'd check that connection.
 

timfitz63

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May 15, 2010
Messages
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Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Followed the hood light wire up toward the hinge on the passenger side of the hood, there is a connector in the wire. If it is loose, unplugged and/or dirty clean it up and push it together again. Let there be light...:thumb

I unplugged mine so it wouldn't burn while at car shows. When I read tim's post, I thought of that immediately. I'd check that connection.

Thanks, guys! I'll check that today and report back!

What a GORGEOUS C5 !!

Thanks!
 

XLR8

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
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Messages
6,662
Location
Mississippi Gulf Coast
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2003 AE Convertible, 1998 LCRM Convertible
Tim, the TPMs on my '98 don't display immediately on start-up, but after a few minutes of rolling. Always been that way so I assume that's normal for the model year.

Just an FYI... I remember reading somewhere that if you dislike the daytime running lights, engaging the emergency brake one click will cause them to go off. I've never checked that so I can't swear to it. I actually like them - makes it easier to spot a fellow Vette owner so that I'm prepped to wave. :w

I like the magnesium rims too. Looks good!

:wJane Ann

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timfitz63

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Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
Followed the hood light wire up toward the hinge on the passenger side of the hood, there is a connector in the wire. If it is loose, unplugged and/or dirty clean it up and push it together again. Let there be light...:thumb

I unplugged mine so it wouldn't burn while at car shows. When I read tim's post, I thought of that immediately. I'd check that connection.

You guys are bloody geniuses! Saw the wire lead running down from the hood from the very start, but it never occurred to me to check for a loose/disconnected harness connector. And there it was, just dangling there. Plugged it back in -- under-hood courtesy light works perfectly! Thanks! :thumb

Plan to get to the battery swap this afternoon. Had to pull it out of the garage to really get a good look at the wiring harness for the courtesy light; it had only been sitting for ~12 hours, and the voltage gauge was showing the alternator putting 14 volts to the battery right after start. I let it run for about 20 minutes, and it was still putting ~13.5 volts to the battery, wheres my '04 will usually go down to ~13 volts well within that period. So, I'm really thinking this battery is approaching it's final stand...

Tim, the TPMs on my '98 don't display immediately on start-up, but after a few minutes of rolling. Always been that way so I assume that's normal for the model year...

Thanks for the cross-check, Jane Ann! Yeah, I'd wondered about that from about the start (see my initial post); I guess GM made some subtle changes when they updated the tire pressure sensors in 2001, and the system probably began either transmitting a tire pressure immediately on start-up, or just held the last good value until the TPMS received an update (like after rolling for a few minutes).

... Just an FYI... I remember reading somewhere that if you dislike the daytime running lights, engaging the emergency brake one click will cause them to go off. I've never checked that so I can't swear to it. I actually like them - makes it easier to spot a fellow Vette owner so that I'm prepped to wave... :w

I kind-of like the way they look too. And you're right: it does make an oncoming C5 easier to spot for a wave! :w

... I like the magnesium rims too. Looks good!

Aside from the paint, everyone who's seen the car over the past few days (have had to run it around getting the registration transferred to Pennsylvania, getting a PA inspection, etc.) remarks on how well the rims go with the color. I think I will leave them on for now... :thumb
 

timfitz63

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Joined
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Messages
1,146
Location
Pittsburgh / South & Centrl TX
Corvette
'98 Aztec Gold Coupe; '04 Millennium Yellow 'Vert'
OK. New (and correct) battery is in. Part of the flaky electrical issues I was seeing could have been because the terminals were barely finger-tight on the old battery; this was at least partly due to the fact that McDorman had put some ring connectors between the battery and the terminals, almost certainly to accommodate a battery charger, which prevented the side-post terminals from really seating properly. Then, when the car was prepped for auction, I think someone just took the most expeditious approach to removing the battery charger leads, and used some wire cutters to snip off the wires to the ring connectors -- leaving them buried between the battery and the side-post terminals. I really hate half-a$$ed jobs...

Fortunately, nothing I couldn't easily rectify while I was installing the new battery. I had bought a pair of replacement battery terminal lugs -- ones that have an extended bolt that accommodates the quick-disconnect ring connectors for trickle chargers, and used those. After the battery was in, it was an easy matter to install the quick-disconnect for the Battery MINDer I purchased to use with the car -- and the job was done properly with almost no extra time or money invested...

Also noticed that the coolant reservoir was way over-filled -- by about a quart of fluid... I mean, someone just plain ignored the fill mark on the reservoir (the one that says "FULL COLD") and filled the thing all the way to the top. I'm guessing this was during the auction prep too... So, I got out a turkey baster (yes, it's one I have for these kinds of purposes -- it's not the first time I've seen this kind of thing) and pulled the excess coolant out of the reservoir... Now at the proper level.

And with that, I think just about everything is set on the vehicle! About all that's left to do is get an oil change done, but I think that may have to wait until next trip home. Oh, and I pulled the engine air filter; the thing is filthy and looks like it's deteriorating! I can't figure out how it got so dirty sitting in a collection for the past 13 years, but it could very well be the original one, so now I gotta add that to the maintenance 'buy' list...

But for the next few days, I think I'm just going to finish detailing it, then enjoy driving it around during the holiday weekend... :thumb Hopefully I won't have any other squawks to report during that time...

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in with helpful insights and suggestions!
 

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