Mark S. Lepore, MD wrote:
> 2) I don't trust the eval. by the mechanic. How do I know if the rack
> really needs to be replaced, if the shaft and U-joint are bad, if all
> the bushings need to be replaced, etc.
It's a balance.
Some of those parts have wear, and might be able to be adjusted
or fudged to provide service again. But to truly eliminate
the problems for a long time, replacement is best.
If you really want a car you can just "drive", replacement is
often the way to go. It's the only way to give yourself a good
chance of not needing to do it again soon.
However, this a bit biased. I do my own work, so my labour
rates are nil. So I look at replacing something as a pure
parts cost, and it becomes worth it. Throw in labout, and
maybe it's not worth it.
> How often to racks need to be replaced?
Often never, many cars still have the original.
> How often to carbs need complete rebuilds?
Not often. When a carb gets worn, and the rubber gets
weak inside, it becomes more difficult to tune. It
develops air leaks, and it's internal mechanisms don't
move as smoothly as they should which makes it hard
to get right.
Rebuilding a carb is no big deal, so you could come up
with justification to do it every 5-10 years just to be
able to keep your car in top tune.
Incidently, if you really don't have the time, I can
understand you not wanting to work on the car. But I
love working on the car. It's not a pain that I have to
endure to keep driving it, I enjoy it, it's part of
owning the car.
You might consider trying that attitude on for size. I
enjoy working on the car as much if not more than driving