Well, not exactly. The part above is brand-new, but the ensuing story is the ghost of
It seemed too optimistic to expect that the existing column stalk assembly could be repaired. The sixth time is most definitely not a charm...
At this point, it's also impossible to continue the repairs without a working assembly.
Naturally, I went online to the usual place and ordered a new one that's compatible with my generation of Fića. It was in my hands a week later, as promised. So far, so good, then? Nothing like what's befallen my Fića and I time and time again?
Well, that's what I thought – until I opened the box.
See the stalks? Notice how they are black plastic, instead of chrome? This column assembly corresponds to newer Fićas with a different steering wheel and different steering column. In a word, it's incompatible.
So I email the seller to notify him of the issue, along with the pic above, just in case. I make sure to point out that the listing had a photo of the part that I wanted but didn't receive. He checks his inventory, and tells me that all of them are this newer type of assembly; there isn't a single one like the part I actually ordered! The seller mentions that he wasn't aware of this issue until now...
He tells me to ship it back (of course, as per eBay policy, I have to eat the return cost of shipping) and he'll send out the correct one for free. Trouble is, the correct one is back-ordered by about ten days...
What was initially a quick week's transaction has turned into a month's wait.
Sounding familiar now?
The returned part takes a week to get back to Atlanta (where the store is). A week and a bit after that, the seller takes delivery of the correct one. He then ships it over to me, which takes another week on top of that.
I picked it up on Saturday, and will be taking it to my mechanic's shop this week so that progress on the Fica's rewiring can continue.