Archive for the 'cars' Category

This week, for a change

Let’s take a break from ancient history and talk about the past week. Not in any chronological order: We went to see the River of Lights with our in-town relatives. For future reference: Get there at about 7:30, the parking had started to clear out by then.
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We got a new toilet seat, because the other one broke off while Ken was cleaning it last week. He must be a very thorough cleaner! Of course it was right before we were having a party at our house. But the new toilet seat is very exciting because it’s a soft close thing, so no more banging toilet seat! It’s possible that home ownership has made me even more boring than I used to be.
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My clutch stopped working last weekend, so Ken ordered the master cylinder and installed it on Friday. My car also got a new battery, and has suspension parts sitting in the trunk that will be installed in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be like a brand-new car! Little Civic needs to keep going for another year or so, maybe then I’ll consider getting a newer car.
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Obviously this was my favorite thing at the River of Lights.
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I think this was my cousin-in-laws favorite.
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We had a star party at our house, where I tried to teach a roomful of people how to make the stars that my dad’s family makes at Christmas. We had moderate success with the stars, but the party was fun anyhow. Ken made some really good food.
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An old motel near our house burned to the ground. The flames were impressive. Ken took this from our front porch, I think. Just left of center I think you can see a firefighter, and the ground rises up above the structure there, so he’s already elevated. Happily, nobody was hurt, but some people definitely lost everything the week before Christmas.
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We’ve also been spending a fair amount of time stripping the new to us engine for the truck that Ken ordered off of Ebay. Hopefully someday that will be a series of posts of it’s own. But for now, the good news is that it is mostly disassembled, and the innards look pristine, which means it will be an excellent replacement engine. Also, having a phone with a camera makes me far less prone to lug the big camera down to the shop, hence the bad pictures.
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In the extremely likely event that I don’t post anything more before Christmas: Merry Christmas!


I’m back! We had a visitor.

It always seems weird to post something here after two months of silence without any explanation. But really, there is not much of an explanation to be given. Fall is a lovely time to be outside where blogs aren’t, and I’ve been traveling and busy doing other things.

Anyway, to pick up where I left off, Ken’s brother Mark came to visit over Labor Day. As we are wont to do when we have guests, we took him hiking.
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And shooting. We were all hitting the clays like we knew what we were doing. It was amazing.
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Sniper Mark.
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We had a bit of a competition with the rifle set up with the fancy scope, each shooting three shots. Can we take a moment to observe the lower left target? That’s mine. Take that, gentlemen!
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We also put Mark to work while he was here. He helped us move the Porsche down next to the shop, freeing up a very convenient parking space up by the house for me!
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Ken lowered/pushed with the truck, Mark steered, and I supervised. Nice work, team.
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This was the first time Mark had visited us in NM. Hopefully he doesn’t wait another three years before he returns.

Mechanic dog

This is one happy dog. The closer she can be to any person, but Ken in particular, the happier she is. And here he is, laying on the ground for her to snuggle with!
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I think he was happy to see her for a little while too. This truck has consumed pretty much all of his weekends when we haven’t been traveling since we got it, and that day was particularly frustrating. Overhauling exhaust manifolds and up-pipes is not fun. Having a loyal dog who loves you can take the edge off of your truck being a jerk.

That sounds like a country song waiting to happen.

Turbo dismantling

We pulled the turbocharger out of the truck. Those eight words don’t really convey the pain and suffering involved in that all-day event that was. Come to think of it, there were only about eight bolts. One per word. It just takes FOREVER when everything is stuck and you can only turn bolts a twelfth of a turn because there is no space.

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It doesn’t help that the turbo’s all the way back scrunched up against the firewall.

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This is the replacement turbine guts. I don’t have a picture of the old turbine, but the exhaust side had most of the blades melted away. Also, the exhaust fitting behind the turbo was completely loose, and the oil seals at the bottom of the turbo were definitely leaking. We were ecstatic to find these problems, as it means that maybe this replacement will fix the truck!

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It’s going back together.

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This last Saturday we spent pulling out the exhaust downpipe, which was another ridiculous project which took a whole day and was extremely unpleasant. In the process of cutting off the top of the downpipe, which must be done to get it out, we accidentally ground through a diesel line, so now we have to wait for a new part to be delivered before we put things back together.


Something completely munched nearly everything in the garden while we were gone over Memorial day weekend. I was rather expecting the beans to get eaten, but whatever it was ate every single tomato plant and most of the chili pepper plants too! The only tomato (which I had started from seed) that survived was the one that I had planted in a pot by the door for snacking. Our neighbor said the deer had been through gobbling everything up, but I didn’t see any deer prints. If it was deer, then an electric fence would work to keep them out, and that could be reasonably easily installed with an extension from the dog fence. If it’s rodents, then an electric fence won’t help. I haven’t caught anything in my rodent trap this week though, so maybe it was deer. I decided not to replant yet because we won’t be around this weekend to watch it either.

1.5 gallons of oil disappeared from the truck at our last camping trip, so Ken has been busy replacing o-rings and seals to try to stop the leaking/burning of oil. Diesel oil is expensive! So far his efforts seem to have made an improvement, but there are a few more places he can replace seals.

I took over caulking the cracks in the wood floor, which Ken emphatically wanted to do before we refinish it, because Ken has been so busy working on vehicles. (Incidentally, he will continue to be busy doing that: all three vehicles need something in at least two doors fixed.) Anyway, after spending a couple of hours every evening working on it for a few weeks, the living room was probably 3/4 done, and I happened to see some of the initial caulk work Ken had done back in January. It’s all cracked and awful. So now we get to pull out all the caulk that’s already been put in, all that money we spent on caulk and a pnuematic caulk gun is totally wasted, and we could have entirely refinished the dang floor by now with all the time we spent on this already.

I am not pleased.

On the other hand, that means we don’t have to caulk the upstairs, and it’ll certainly take less time to de-caulk the living room than it would have to caulk the upstairs.

I feel like my efforts this spring have been somewhat in vain. All that work to put in a garden and it’s been eaten. All that work to caulk the floor and it’s got to be pulled out. All that work (well, money) to buy a truck and it still needs LOTS of work. Sigh. I’m actually not depressed or angry about all of this, it’s just a little bit irritating. Life goes on and I’m sure at some point we’ll start to make progress again.

May 2018
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