I thought it must be time to do a blog on Michael's car.
Michael previously worked in parts for the same dealer that I now work for, but 16 years ago was offered a job with MMNZ. Michael decided he wanted to remain living in Masterton and would do the daily hour-and-half, 100km each way, commute every day.10 years ago he decided to buy another car specifically for the purpose and chose a 1993 Lancer with 240,000 kms on the clock. It had a slight judder in the clutch, but as a competent mechanic, Michael decided he would fix that when it became absolutely necessary.
Well, to date, the Lancer has covered 686,000 kms without any attention to the engine or transmission including that clutch which still has a slight judder on take-off. Oil and filter changes have been performed every 10,000 kms and 5 cambelts along with numerous sparkplugs and one water pump have been replaced. The radiator has required attention twice, but both times were accidental damage. The first from a flying stone and the second by Michael accidentally leaning on the top hose, while working on the car, causing a crack where the inlet pipe joins the top tank. Michael's access to second hand Mitsubishi parts has enabled him to do some up grades, namely the fitting of Recaro seats and the addition of the firmer suspension of an Evo model. The route to work takes in the winding Rimutaka Hill road which rises to 555m and both modifications certainly show benefits here. Although the car has some small internal rattles, the engine and gearbox are quiet and Michael keeps the car moving smoothly and swiftly without encroaching into the illegal territory.
Recently a small oil leak has developed from the head gasket and Michael would like to at least get to 700,000 before he removes the head. Then he will have to decide whether to do anything else while it is off the road. Maybe look at that juddering clutch, but then it would be good to see just how far it would go before it slips or its behaviour becomes unbearable.