Just a quick update on the ’02 for those of you who care. I spent a while working on her this afternoon and finally got the oil changed. It took the help of my friend Dave who is a Mac Tool rep to get the drain plug out. Nice having a friend who has all those special tools. The filter still isn’t changed due to that being on too tight also. Seems the previous owner really like to tighten things down. In my over 20 years of working on old cars this is the absolute worst case I have ever seen of over-tight everything. If it wasn’t such a pain it might be funny. Might be, but isn’t.
I also got the idle adjusted down. Turned out to be a slight adjustment to the actual idle control, but more importantly the throttle return spring on there just wasn’t up to the job. I replaced it with one a little shorter and stronger, adjusted the idle, and now Roxy idles happily at around 950 RPM. Much nicer than the 1500 to 1700 that she was doing.
Finally, and this was actually a few days, I replaced the spark plugs. This was not a big thing in itself, but I am hoping the combination of new plugs, clean oil, and calm idle will improve the gas milage. Right now she is averaging somewhere between 19 and 20 miles per gallon. I am hoping through this and other improvements to get up to at least 23 to 25.