1. Thanks for the qd on gas http://www.idavette.net/hib/fuel/index.htm
((by the way i lived by the refinery pictured in the article, besides MTBE , they also ship the isotope used in rocket fuel too..(its in the orange hershey kiss looking thing to the right on top of the hill))).
2. Again thanks for the info - I thought lead buildup would fry the Cat. the exhaust noise is so sonically intense it feels like I have [the opposite of the bends] when I hit 60 in 3rd gear.
3. Yeah, there was a fuel line leak. I replaced the hoses that are connected to the T connector in the engine, but haven't looked at the lines under the car. The hoses were heater hoses that...well you know..corosives and rubber..so I'm kind of scared to see where else the hoses aren't proper grade...(I just bought the car at a charity auction, so there is no maintenance or repair history available)
4. Ahhhhh, the oscillating scraping sound was the water pump impeding the cooling fan, which later stopped altogether - thereby initiating a chain of events that ended in rush hour traffic with a plume of white smoke and the lingering smell of firecrackers.
Sigh..............on the up side: new water pump, new timing chain, tune-up and general integrity inspection - $500.00
towing fees from Downtown LA to South Bay $800.00 lol