Quick Pics in Tempe, Arizona & Vigor Maintenance Update
Odometer (Legend): 534,153
Odometer (ILX): 135,367
I took a little lap around Lakeshore Drive at Tempe Town Lake on Wednesday after work. Nobody was out (it was a little too hot).
In the background here is the Mill Avenue Bridge which dates back to 1931 and continues to carry traffic across the Salt River.
As a “road history” fan, I learned something during my research about the Mill Avenue Bridge. It was preceded by an even earlier structure – the Ash Avenue Bridge – just to the west. This photo shows the Mill (left) and Ash (right) bridges in the 1920s.
The Ash Avenue Bridge, built in 1911, offered a critical first link across the Salt River but was short-lived. It was far too narrow to accommodate two lanes for automobiles, and it was irreparably damaged by a flood in 1919. The bridge was finally closed in 1933, two years after the Mill Avenue Bridge was finished, and eventually was demolished in 1991, except for just this tiny piece on the south bank which now has a pedestrian patio/viewpoint on top of it.
This October 2013 article by Jay Mark shares more about the very interesting history of this important piece of road. It was built by convict labor! During the two years it was under construction, 15 inmates escaped. What a grand plan that was. Haha.
I’ve enjoyed showing off my ‘new’ Acura Vigor to friends in the 4 weeks that have gone by since I picked it up on the 4th of July in Denver and drove it home to Phoenix. This past Sunday, I met up with my friends Chuck & Patty who have a custom 1988 Legend L convertible. It was warm weather for top-down cruising, but that didn’t stop them from getting brunch at Pier54 in Tempe!
Later that same day, my friend Jason from New Mexico rolled through town so we got some Hawaiian BBQ.
The Vigor already undergone quite a bit of transformation both mechanically and cosmetically. This week, it received a fresh tint job thanks to Desert Shield in Tempe, Arizona. The purple, bubbled, hazy film on the windows has been professionally replaced with a charcoal 30% all the way around. I’m very happy with the results.
From a maintenance perspective, since I had purchased this car knowing little (read: nothing) about its prior history, I pretty much had to start from scratch. Tait Johnson, otherwise known as “Hon-Man,” has operated a repair shop in Tempe since the late 1990’s that specializes exclusively in Honda & Acura automobiles. One glance at the parking lot upon arrival and I knew that I’d found Honda Mecca. There were at least two dozen Honda or Acura cars in the parking lot.
I had Tait’s team go through the Vigor with a fine-toothed comb to see what they felt needed addressing. In the end, they did identify a few things.
- Blockage in Evap Drain Hose: This was causing the A/C condensation water to drip on my feet / floor mats rather than underneath the car. Fixed free of charge.
- Valve Adjustment: This Vigor had a nagging “tick” that left me a little concerned. Tait’s team got it purring like a kitten.
- Distributor Shaft Seal, O-Rings, Cap & Rotor: Per recommendation, this fixed a leak.
- Timing Belt Inspection: Any Honda lover knows that timing belt maintenance is one of the most critical part things to keep in mind for long-lasting engine life. In most cases, the interval is every 90,000 miles. I once had a 1991 Honda Prelude Si that broke its old/original timing belt and bent some valves in the process. That engine was toast afterward. Tait found that the Vigor’s belt has in fact already been changed, though there was a concerning aspect of the install – one “guide” is installed backwards and the water pump that was used is a low quality unit. At some point in the coming weeks, I may do a full timing belt package with Tait for peace of mind.
At 104,392 miles, I got the car back after these items had been addressed and cruised home happily. Thanks to my friend Hy for recommending such a great shop.
On the upcoming list of items to address, though somewhat back-burner:
- Exhaust System: From the get-go, the Vigor has been a little louder than I think it should be. I suspect that even though the body doesn’t show any signs of rust-through, the car’s exhaust system probably has some wear & tear from spending 20+ years in Colorado where winters are fairly brutal. Midas quoted me around $500 to get it back to new.
- Leather Re-Do: My friend Donald works for a high-end upholstery shop in Scottsdale and said he’s confident he could easily replace the panel of my driver side seat bolster that is worn out. And not to worry – he’ll match that “Cognac” colored interior to perfection!
So, in coming attractions: I’m about to hit the road in the ILX this afternoon and head to sunny St. George, Utah (~800 miles round trip). The occasion? High school class reunion! The Pine View High School class of 2000 is ready for a 15-year regroup. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade & a half. See you on the flip side. Bonus points if you can find me in this photo from one the dances my senior year.