I have been too depressed to write for the past few days, and I apologize.
My first day of storm chasing this year will likely be my last. My loyal chase partner, my 2002 Chevrolet Malibu, is about finished. I have chased with it since 2007, and owned it since 2004. On this past storm chase, it crossed 355,000 miles.
About 100,000 miles or so ago, Firestone was supposed to replace the crankshaft seal. In order to do that, they need to take out the bolt that holds the harmonic balancer to the crankshaft. Instead, they broke this bolt, broke an easy-out trying to remove the bolt, then glued the bolt back together with RTV silicone sealant. The bolt was not tight (obviously) and allowed the crankshaft and seal to wander. It acted as a lap against the aluminum block, and lapped the seal opening much wider.
Long story short, the block will not seal properly, the harmonic balancer will wobble and pull the belt off. I can limp it around town, but its days are numbered.
I can’t bear to crush it, but part of me says I should throw all of my storm chase related stuff in the car and crush it, to end that part of my life permanently.
I don’t know what to do next, but I haven’t felt like forecasting for storms that I will never see.