I'm calling the bodywork done, basically - just a final bit of sealing. I'm not totally happy with it, but its as good as its getting on the budget I have to give it. I paid Gregg of Gregg's autobody to do $400.00 worth of metalwork. Told him what my priorities were, and he met them. I was very impressed with his work. After he was done, I threw a pound or two of Bondo on a dent, ground it down, and primed and painted. It doesn't look great, but its a damn sight better than before. It looks like something bad happened to it, ans someone did what they could to fix it. Which is true. Making in look new would cost twice what the car's worth. I'm really happy to be able to write that off and move on
to more normal tasks, like the check list I posted way back when.
I replaced the radio with a vr3 VRCD500SDU gathered from Targe for 80 bucks. It's a fun little unit with Tuner, CD player, and the ability to mount a USB drive or SD card and play MP3s/WMAs off of it. It can also play them off a CD. So here's a quick review of it
Sound Quality - Quite good, really. It drives the four built-in speakers quite nicely.
User interface - too damn fussy There are lots of buttons with lots of shift states and context dependencies. But simple user interfaces are hard to come by. I've learned what I need to know of it.
USB/SD playback - the feature I bought it for. The file handler is a brute - it does recursive navigation of each folder, playing the contents of that folder in the order it was written to the flash memory. Or it can randomize. You can skip to the next song, or you can skip the next 10 songs, but you cannot just skip from one directory to the next. It cannot cope with DRM, and if the filesystem on the device is to badly fragmented, it acts . . . strange. All that said, I'm thrilled to be able to load stuff on my USB drive and listen to it in my car. The next toy I want is one of those USB turntables that debg
clued me into so that I can start listening to my vinyl in the car.
Another quirk - the "Automatic Antenna" line on the stereo just goes hot whenever the stereo is on. I wish it would only go hot when the Tuner is in use - no need to have the antenna up if I'm not listening to the radio (dang antenna needs work - or replaced - anyway.)
Finally, refitted my old Thule Gutter Feet to fit the hank nuts the Saab harbors for the factory rack. It can now carry canoes.
Next up, I think I might actually do some work in the - gasp! - engine compartment. It needs a new serpentine belt, the present one is a bit worn.