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Offline joebob

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once again I don't know what I don't know
« on: March 11, 2019, 02:44:56 PM »
 I know nothing about car repair. 17 years ago, when I bought my 77 bobcat, I tried my best. I changed the brakes. Left front took 6 hours, right, 45 minutes. I learned from the first one.     
      I changed plugs, flushed radiator, new top and bottom hoses, belt, oil and filter. I bought a rebuilt carb exchanged on the net and bolted it on. The engine was piggy, I degreased and repainted it in the engine bay. I removed the seats and installed new carpet kit. I repainted the interior and added a dash cap.
      This is all stuff anyone willing to try can do. For everything else I depended on my mechanic. I have had a relationship with this guy for 25 years, I trusted him. That was a mistake.
     I have some concerns that I have addressed with him for several years now. Mpg has dropped from 20 to 14. If the car sets for a few days all of the gas drains back into the tank. When I try to start it, I crank for 20-25 seconds for fuel to reach the carb. Even then starting was a problem. He adjusted the choke for me twice over the last two years. It did not help.
     His answer to all this was “you can’t expect excellent performance from a 40-year-old car.”   
      So, I had a new problem, a very slow drip from the lower radiator hose connection. I realized these hoses had not been change from the time I did it 17 years ago. Time to change.
     I am handy capped now I don’t do anything myself. I took this opportunity to address the starting issue. I dropped the car off on a Friday evening. That way the car would sit all weekend. That got things moving.
     I received a call Monday morning and was told the fuel line was all cracked up and was allowing air in. That allowed the fuel to syphon back into the tank. This is the likely reason for the low mileage. Gas has dumping on the pavement for several years now. The choke was disconnected. Do these things disconnect on their own? Why did he not find this on the other visits when I mentioned the starting issue
    Then I get a call “do you want to change out these 42 year-old heater hoses while we are at it? We can’t reach these hose connections with out removing the core, you should put a new one in at the same time.”
     Other than the bobcat I have only had newer cars. These are issues I did not need to face on newer low millage cars. I have depended on my guy to take care of me. I had him give the car a once over every year, to keep me safe. He let me down.
    Everything is done, the car starts up right away even after a few days. Lower radiator hose still leaks just like before. Anyone have any ideas?
     I am open for members to make suggestions of what things, other than normal maintenance, I might have neglected.
     This work kept me from getting new tires for the wheels Russ gave me. When at the tire dealer the tec. says, “you need ball joints.” Another issue I have never needed to deal with.
     After four months of fighting Firestone and other issues, I still don’t have tires. It turns out I do need spacers. There are none available in town, I need to wait another week for them to ship in. I will keep you all posted on my soap opera.
Bill
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline russosborne

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 05:18:58 AM »
Joe,
who told you that you need spacers? That really isn't known normally until you put the wheels and tires on the car. Unless someone else has the same size wheels (offsets and everything) and tires and has already figured that out. I hope your lug studs are long enough for this. I'm feeling kind of bad about all this.

"His answer to all this was “you can’t expect excellent performance from a 40-year-old car.”" BS. You might not get it to today's standards, but you can get it up to the standards when it was new at least. It does take some work and money though, especially if it has been somewhat ignored.
Frankly, from what you have said I have my doubts about this mechanic. But that is just my take.

As far as the choke, who has been under the hood besides you and him? Unless something broke (could happen) someone disconnected it and forgot to reconnect it. Does he do your oil changes now, or do you take it somewhere else for that?

Where is the lower hose leaking? From the radiator or the water pump? You  might have a pin hole leak, assuming the "mechanic" who changed it at least looked for a leak. Or maybe the clamp just needs a little tightening. And sometimes water, gas, and even oil will look like it is leaking at A, but it is really coming from B and just able to be seen at A. Especially when you can't see all the area. It could be the radiator or water pump also. But let's hope not.

"While you are at its" will get you every time, especially on older cars. Not saying that doing that stuff was wrong, I am sure it needed done. But it's like seeing a bunch of paper on the ground. You pick up the big pieces, then you see the smaller pieces you didn't notice before. Then you pick those up, and the process continues. That's my way of thinking about it anyway. Yes, I have been a janitor several times in my life.


You need someone to help you out who is on your side, and not wanting to make money off of you. Is there no one on this board that lives near you? Not asking you, but hoping somebody might step up.

Russ
In Glendale, Arizona

RIP Casey, Mallory, Abby, and Sadie. We miss you.

79 Pinto ESS fully caged fun car. In progress. 8inch 4.10 gears. 351C and a T5 waiting to go in.
74 Pinto Wagon.  To be or Not to be a Pinchero, that is the question.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 11:54:39 AM »
If the fuel line was leaking it would account for the the drop in mileage and the reason why even with choke adjustments the car was hard to start.

If the heater hoses are 42 years old then in all likelihood they need to be replaced as they approach (more likely have passed)  the "someday when..." point.  My car is a '73 and I'm not sure if a control valve was removed or Ford as one of "Their Better Ideas" just deleted the valve on the Pinto/Bobcat - and used a flapper duct to prevent heat from flowing into the cabin. But, yes, if my situation is typical then the core does need to be accessed. Even if there is a control valve the core likely needs to be accessed under the dash.  I'd estimate you need about 10 ft. of heater hose and it is probably about a two hour job minimum. So, judge accordingly to the hourly rate the mechanic charges and the price per foot of the heater hose. If the heater hoses have yet to be replaced it might be leaking at the heater hose attachment point at the water pump and giving the appearance that the lower radiator hose is (still) leaking.

Your car is 42 years old and what worked fine yesterday might not work tomorrow. There are hundreds of interconnectin g (in function) parts on a car. There are at least three gas hoses on the car (tank to long steel fuel line, long steel fuel line to the fuel pump, fuel pump to the carburetor). If the mechanic replaced one of those hoses (that was leaking) and sometime shortly afterwards one of the others failed it isn't the mechanic who was at fault. He made the obvious repair as requested. In fact the asking about replacing the heater hoses indicated to me he IS doing his job. He sees a very potential leak coming down the road with 42 year old hoses.  If he is stringing out the work for far too many hours and to high a rate then yes, you are being taken advantage of. But remember it cost a similar hourly rate to work on an older car as it does a new one. It won't be cheaper just because the car is worth less.

There is a reason collector cars are referred to as a "hobby." They require time and money. And if one has limited skills, or in your case physical limitations then it requires MONEY! Yes, your car can run like new if it was entirely rebuilt. But that is an expensive (10's of 1,000's of dollars) proposition. Otherwise you 'repair as you go' and have an understanding that reliability is limited. A mechanic can't be expected to know everything that can and will go wrong in the future. So, having him "check over" the car is just for that which is very obvious. Otherwise he would have to drive the car for weeks before he might find greater issues.

 Most people who have an older (collector) car also have a more modem "Daily Driver." They do so because of the reliability/comfort factor.  Myself I drive a 19 year old, 2000, Mazda Protege. I've had the car 6+ years and paid $900 for it. And, I've spent maybe $150 in necessary maintenance (to avoid repairs) like replacing the timing belt, drive belts..., well that pretty much has been it so far. I don't count batteries and tires.

 Owning a car is an expense. Owning an older car has reliability factors and Expense. And having limitations on what you can do is an EXPENSE. Not knowing the the hours and rate charged by the mechanic it is hard to determine his integrity. But, I do not blatantly see him trying to take advantage of you. It seems he is observant. I'm not trying to be the voice of discouragement, just reality.


Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 08:05:16 PM »

    Firestone mounted the tires and wheels on the front and then had to remove them for a rubbing issue. They are storing them there until I can get the spacers.

I took the car back to my guy to look at the hose again. Witt was right. It was leaking from somewhere else and traveling to the same drip point. He tightened a clamp. We will see.
    I don't feel these repairs were improper. I just think he should have been looking out for me better. I am amazed 42 year-old hoses were holding. I have low mileage, just 64,000, but I would think hoses that old would be dust.
When I retired I sold my Merc. Sprinter and gave myself, $7000. If I bought a used daily driver I would have spent at least that much. I intended to use this money to work on my 76 pinto project car. When my health failed, I sold the project and now use all the money for upkeep on the bobcat. I don't regret the money I just spent. If I had bought a car for my retirement, I would have spent all $7000 and then had upkeep on it.
    The bobcat is my daily driver. If I want I can drive my wife's car. I have only driven 10,000 miles in the last 17 years. In the last few years I drive much more, 3,500 miles last year alone. Now that I am handy capped I get the designated spots with wide access. I no longer worry about someone's doors smacking my car. I love all the comments, at least one each time out. Sometimes 8 or 10
     Just the past few days I have a new problem. The car stalls with out warning. It just stops running. It scares the s... out of me. 3 times now in 3 days. It takes 15 seconds to restart. Once I just keep rolling, restarted and continued. Twice I pulled onto the shoulder. If this happens in a bad place in traffic I could be toast.
     I had this problem 3 years ago. The mechanic said maybe it is this problem, $200 please. Maybe it's that problem $300 please, etc. When that did not work, he fixed the same problem again, on his dime. This went on for a year. Then he said he needed to rebuild the carb. I put the rebuilt carb on 15 years ago, it was time. Problem solved.
     Now two years latter I have it again. I thought perhaps with  them working on the carb again it may have caused the problem. I know that their action does not necessarily equal causation. But it is a place to start.
The mechanic disconnected the choke and said drive it for a while and lets see what happens. With the choke disconnected for the last year or so, I had no stalling problem, Maybe we can learn something from this.
Thanks for listening.
Bill
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline dga57

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 02:16:53 AM »
I'm no mechanic either, Bill but I do know from personal experience that '70's-era Ford products had a lot of problems with the electronic ignition.  My dad used to carry a spare module in the trunk of his Lincoln all the time because he had so many failures.  When I had a couple of '79 Lincoln's in the mid 2000's I bought a spare to have on hand just in case.  Over the years however, the ignition modules had improved in quality and reliability and I never needed my spare; of course these were not daily drivers either, so that could have been a factor.  At any rate, it might be worth looking into.  It's a cheap fix and a simple one.  If I can do it, you can too. 


Dwayne :)
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Offline russosborne

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 05:42:18 PM »
Bill,
any update on this?
Russ
In Glendale, Arizona

RIP Casey, Mallory, Abby, and Sadie. We miss you.

79 Pinto ESS fully caged fun car. In progress. 8inch 4.10 gears. 351C and a T5 waiting to go in.
74 Pinto Wagon.  To be or Not to be a Pinchero, that is the question.

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2019, 11:32:29 PM »
I was going to drive and see if without the choke things went better. It turns out that being retired, sometimes I have nowhere to go. I might have put 10 miles on from the time of that last post. No stalling yet. I am going to need more mileage to test this out.
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline russosborne

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 01:24:21 AM »
Have you gotten the spacers yet?
Go for a drive. Don't have to have anywhere to go.  8)
Russ
In Glendale, Arizona

RIP Casey, Mallory, Abby, and Sadie. We miss you.

79 Pinto ESS fully caged fun car. In progress. 8inch 4.10 gears. 351C and a T5 waiting to go in.
74 Pinto Wagon.  To be or Not to be a Pinchero, that is the question.

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2019, 04:54:46 PM »

     I was back at firestone on Friday.
I arrived at 7AM as directed, but the mechanics were not scheduled to arrive until 9.
I went to Burger King to wait. When I returned at 11 AM the car was up on the lift again. All four wheels were on. But here was a problem. I bought 2 sets of spacers. Firestone could not tell me in advance how much I needed. 3/16 or 5/16. The thinner one still rubbed, the thicker did the job. The law requires a minimum of 7 threads to legally hold on the rims in place. After spacers they only had 4 threads to work with. I need longer studs.
  I waited for them to find an auto parts supply who had the needed studs. By 1 PM they put the old tires and rims back on and I went home. They will call next week with a proposal.

   I lost track. After 8 or 10 trips to firestone and 4 months time, I think I'm done. I just don't give a d*nm anymore.
    Russ I know you feel some responsibility here and offered to pay the shipping if I was not happy. I am happy with you. It is firestone that broke my spirit.
Bill       
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline russosborne

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2019, 08:44:52 PM »
Don't give up yet.
And for me to be saying that is something. I am one of the most positive people in the world.
I am positive things will get worse.
but this is solvable.
Lesson learned here is to never use Firestone if you can possibly avoid them. I know you had to since you got the initial tires there, but don't make that mistake again.
I would take the tires to an independent shop and have them do the work.
7 threads? Never heard of that, but  I suppose it is possible. Get a second opinion. Now, of course the more threads the better. Are there only 4 threads past the spacer before you put the wheel on?
Russ
In Glendale, Arizona

RIP Casey, Mallory, Abby, and Sadie. We miss you.

79 Pinto ESS fully caged fun car. In progress. 8inch 4.10 gears. 351C and a T5 waiting to go in.
74 Pinto Wagon.  To be or Not to be a Pinchero, that is the question.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2019, 10:21:38 PM »
My understanding is that at least one full stud thread (360 degrees) needs to be extended beyond the lug nut when tighten.  The engineering side of the stud/nut relationship requires that the nut threads be in full contact with the stud. The spacers take up the thread depth needed to accomplish the proper relationship. Had Firestone installed the wheels with limited thread contact they would have been liable.

While it may seem frustrating there is a trial and error aspect involved in what is being attempted. Ideally Firestone would have made an experienced, educated guess and advised about the spacers and the possibility of extended studs ahead of time. But an ideal world we do not live in. Hopefully there will be a reasonable resolve soon.

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2019, 11:47:19 PM »

My lug nuts are chromed and capped, they have no opening all the way through. The thread is measured by Firestone by how many complete revolutions can be had, when snugging up the nuts. With the 3/16 spacers that is 6 revolutions. The 5/16  they get 4. This could have been figured out by stacking up a few washers or other temporary spacing material behind the wheel against the hub, then getting a measurement.
    The first time they mounted 2 tires and tried them, then told me I needed spacers. With the wheels on the car, I decided I did not like pure black. I asked them to strip the tires again so I could paint them two colors. Why no,t as long as we were waiting. This time they mounted and balanced all four tires before checking the fit. I don't know anything about cars but I would have mounted and tried just one.
    I can't take this car anywhere else. I have to trade the Goodrich tires in, to get the new tires. I could get the studs fixed elsewhere then go to firestone. Firestone guessed this might cost between $300 and $400. All this time effort and money because I may need to leave the house with frost or snow on the ground. As I mentioned before I am retired, with no real place I have to be. I was more unhappy with the concept of being trapped at my house than the actuality. I doubt I will go any farther. We will see when I get the price.
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline Wittsend

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2019, 12:07:45 PM »
I did a little more research and apparently the standard is the number of stud threads in contact with the nut threads should be equal to the stud diameter. Many studs are 20 threads per inch (1/2" - 20 is listed for the Pinto). With a 1/2" stud then 10 turns of the nut would be the proper amount of contact. If Firestone was allowing for just 7 turns I'd say they were being "generous."

The $300-$400 price for stud replacement seems rather high. A quick look showed extended studs from places like Summit/Jegs etc. are roughly $5 ea. when bought in a set of four. So I'd say the studs are roughly $80-$100. If someone was moving swiftly I'd think no more than 2 hours labor to replace the studs unless there were "rusted in" issues.

 However, the front requires the removal of the hub/rotor (thus removal of the caliper) but the rears because the new studs length might hit the backing plate..., may require removal of the rear axles to install them. So, it becomes more entailed.

I don't know if this helps or not but the wheels in my picture profile..., I paid $140 for them (used) and then found the tires had flat spots. More so I don't like how they look on the car anyway. Thus they sit. I also bought a set custom wheels/tire ($50) with a very popular 5 X 4.5 bolt pattern that fits a number of the cars. Unfortunately the backspacing is so deep they hit something on all of the cars I own that the bolt pattern fits.  I recently got a free set of steel Jeep wheels that I had intended for one of two cars. And..., again I have the same issue with too deep a back spacing. While free I had to dispose of the rotted tires. So, yes, we have all "been there and done that."

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2019, 02:58:14 PM »
My need for longer studs is only on the front. The back is just fine, nothing needed. I don't know for sure, but I think I will give up at this point. I am so tired of this issue.
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline Wittsend

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2019, 10:23:26 PM »
My need for longer studs is only on the front. The back is just fine, nothing needed. I don't know for sure, but I think I will give up at this point. I am so tired of this issue.

Well then it should be about $40 for the bolts and honestly it shouldn't even be an hour for the labor. They have to remove the wheel anyway. It is I believe two bolts to remove the caliper and move it out of the way. Remove the spindle dust cover, pull out the cotter pin and back the nut off to remove the rotor/hub. Then, tap the four studs out, tap the new studs in and reverse process to assemble. For someone with the tools and knows what they are doing it is 15 minutes per side. No way this is the $300-$400 job they are stating.

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2019, 10:29:15 PM »
They haven't gotten back to me yet. We shall see.
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline dga57

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2019, 03:52:30 PM »
They haven't gotten back to me yet. We shall see.

Well, thanks to Wittsend, you are now armed with some ammunition in case they try to bamboozle you! 

Dwayne :)
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Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2019, 05:19:46 PM »
I got a second opinion from my regular mechanic. He says $300-$400. It depends on how difficult it is to remove 42 year-old studs.
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Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline one2.34me

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2019, 01:44:22 AM »
joebob,
   I did the same thing Wittsend did. I bought a set of 15 inch, 10 hole Mustang wheels and needed longer studs. I bought longer studs and the knurls were slightly larger. Don't remember the stud's part number, but I ended up buying a 37/64ths drill bit to open up the lug holes. I don't think I even removed the calipers. If I remember right there was a big enough opening in the backing plate to rotate the caliper, knock the old stud out through the opening, ream out the lug hole to 37/64ths, fit the new stud in and pull the knurl through the hole with a lug nut. The car is a 1975.

PS,
   As wittsend mentions below, if I had used closed end lug nuts, the studs I used would have needed to be cut and shortened.
Run Pokey Run!

Offline Wittsend

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2019, 11:53:07 AM »
Just for the record I never replaced my studs. Though, yes, on a Mazda 323 I did replace a front stud without removing the rotor so on some cars it can be done. 

If anyone has an actual number of a stud it would be helpful to Bill. When I was advising him about longer studs I simply looked up studs generically for price and saw that places like Jeg's and Summit sold them.  But I feel I failed him in that I could not provide a specific bolt.  I found a lot of variations in the knurl size, knurl length and it seems he needs only a 1/2" longer bolt (his lug nuts have capped ends) and a lot of studs seemed far longer than that and would have necessitated cutting.

I'm the type of person who will pull the rotor, removed a stud and take the rotor and wheel to as many stores as it takes to find what I need (cutting a too long stud if necessary). Bill's disability and skills prohibit that.  So, if anyone has a stud number (that fits his criteria*) it would be very helpful to him. The $300-$400 quoted price to replace the 8 front studs seems WAY overpriced.

* Earlier Bill stated that that he had 4 of the required 7 lug nut rotations. With a thread measurement of 20 turns per inch even 1/4" longer would seem to provide an additional 5 turns (9 turns total) and thus the estimation for a 1/2" longer stud seems desirable - and hopefully not too long to bottom out on the capped lug nut. Unfortunately this is often a trial and error process to get right.

Offline joebob

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Re: once again I don't know what I don't know
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2019, 03:24:23 PM »

     I decided to give up this project. It started as a desire to drive on snow. The tires that I have won't bite on frost, let alone snow. I survived this winter without driving the bob, I will survive in the future as well.
    Russ went way out on a limb to give me his wheels. Between my handy cap and Firestone I can't make them work. If I spend $400 more dollars and get the right studs this can work.
    If the old studs are driven out, and I don't have the correct studs to replace them with, I will disable my car. Studs can not be reinserted once removed.
    When this started I looked into having custom wheels made. That cost was 5-6 hundred dollars. When Russ offered his wheels I decided to go cheep and take the used wheels.
     Sometime in the future I will buy custom new wheels. I will get exactly what I want. I already saved half the cost by not having the studs done.
      I am passing Russ's wheels on to the young man that took over my 76 pinto project. They will be well appreciated. He and his father are capable of changing the studs themselves.
    Thank you everyone who took interest. Thank you Russ for your generosity, your wheels will help a 16 year-old kid get his first car up and running.


Bill
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9