Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Just Under 20 Over

 The older I get the less I let little annoyances mess up my day. I was blasting down my favorite back road in the big ass station wagon jammin out to "Everybody Wants Some" and wondering what version was playing. There was a definite sound coming from the percussion section that didn't seem to fit. It wasn't more cowbell but close. It was more of a chime. I glanced down at the dash and found the source of the chime and it wasn't Alex Van Halen.

  A generous crank to the right of the volume knob took care of that noise real quick. Later I found that if I turned the key back one click the engine would quit but the tunes would still roar. Upon restart my oil pressure came back. 

 The only problem with a rolling restart is that it confuses the little elves monitoring the traction control. No big deal, if the engine blows then stabilitrak ain't gonna work anyway. FYI the red lights trump the orange lights and when the oil pressure dropped off again the elves didn't seem as concerned about traction control.

 The most important gauge in the above pics is the lower left. Unless I'm rolling down a big hill this pig ain't moving without gas! All the other stuff can be worked out with a little duct tape and a few zip ties.

 So whats really going on here? If you've been following this blog long enough you know about my two past experiences with low oil pressure on this rig. There is a mesh screen ahead of the oil galley that feeds the system that drops cylinders for better fuel economy. It uses oil pressure to hold valves open but I forget the name of the system. I have it electronically deleted because if it takes a crap it can get expensive. Much more expensive than the few MPG gain I would get by using it. I think GM has worked out the problems with this system but the big ass station wagon is older than that fix. Anyway, the oil pressure sending unit is on the clean side of the screen and gunk is building up on the pressure side of the screen. When I shut the engine off the lack of oil pressure allows the gunk to fall clear of the screen and we're golden again until the screen plugs up. One observation I've made is that the screen plugs worse at higher RPM. That means when Jackyl or Ted Nugent come on the radio my oil pressure light comes on. Willy, Waylon and the boys never seem to trigger the light.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Fix It Or Forget It?

  Todays video is really a response to a question I was recently asked. "I found an abandoned chainsaw. Is it worth fixing"?

 My response is from the perspective of an average Joe looking for the answer. While doing the video it occurred to me that it might be interesting to do the same video from a dealer perspective. It sounds a little more interesting than the alternative which could have been a video on dust control on a truck mounted leaf collection box. What are you chuckling about...I'm serious. If you go back to September of last year you may remember a chipper box I built. The idea was it could easily be converted to a leaf collection box. What I didn't know was that the boss was gonna drag home a 100hp turbo diesel vac with a 36" impeller and 16" discharge tube. They might make a bigger one but not on this planet. I've already had to modify the roof vent to accommodate the huge air flow and now we also made a change to control dust. Huh, the more I talk about it the more I think it needs a video.

 Anyway, here's todays effort.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

That Was Bullshit

  If you've been following my videos then you probably expect me to slap my bullshit button at some point and maybe you even try to figure out when its about to happen. I have two bullshit buttons. One at home and one on my work toolbox. The one at work gets slapped at the end of each day as I'm locking up the tool box. Some days it gets slapped more aggressively than others so its got some hard mileage on it. The light stopped working and I just assumed it was a bulb that burned out. The bullshit button at home quit flashing too but this one is a low mileage button only slapped by a mild mannered vlogger for Saturday video shoots. When you're out shopping for a BS button at the flea market or pawn shops this is the dent free one owner unit you hope to find so when the light quit working I decided to investigate.

 Sure enough I found a broken wire thats circled in the pic. I also noticed its an led, not a bulb so I'm guessing the shop button has the same problem. Sometimes that button gets slapped pretty hard.

  A two minute job to solder the broken wire...

 And now reassembled I took it for a test run.

 Thats NOT bullshit. Now I have a fully functioning button just waiting for an excuse to be slapped. Stay tuned.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Air Ride Leak?

 Any time in the past four decades of my life that I wanted to work in a warm shop environment I was restricted to a crowded single garage bay or forced to drive to my place of employment and work in that shop. Since the garage makeover I've enjoyed the warmth and cleanliness of my own two car garage that is attached to the single bay I mentioned. I should point out that when I say cleanliness I'm not referring to clutter. I'll never be able to avoid clutter because there are always multiple projects in various states of completion in my work areas.

 Last week I showed you how I added a water separator to the air ride suspension on my Ultra. This week I found that the air had all leaked out. This is just a quick video of me discovering the source of that leak.

 I've heard some feedback from viewers that comment things like "What? No video this week?" 

 I have now posted a video every week for a year. A couple of them are even interesting. My plan is to continue this posting trend until further notice. That means if you're not seeing a video link then something is jacked up. Sometimes I write the blog, insert the link and hit the post button only to not see the link on the live blog. Sometimes it appears on the blog but not on the facebook link. I have no answer as to why this is the case. I know some people have to view the web version on their phone to see it. I know others are now using the written link I've been providing while others just follow on youtube. That should cover all four of you I guess.



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Sportster Seeks Hibernation

  On Sunday I was cleaning the garage. Ya I know, I've been cleaning the garage for months now but this time I was carrying large items to the curb for bulk pickup on Monday. The city had skipped the Spring pickup due to the coof so I had more stuff than normal. My neighbors did too and it shows. Driving down our street looks like a natural disaster hit and everything was moved to the street for cleanup. Relieving myself of those bulk items like half a dozen old doors created some extra space in my "parts room" and my plan was to create enough room for the Sportster to hibernate in there this winter.

 The weather is getting cold enough that I'm gonna choose the Ultra with its windshield, heated grips and seat before I swing a leg over the sporty just to freeze my ass off so the decision was made to put it away. First I needed to drain the gas and on this bike its quite easy.

 The rag protecting the paint on the engine was overkill. I swear I didn't even spill one drop. After the gasoline was removed I added a quart of canned fuel. In this case I used 50:1 mixed fuel. A little extra lube on the top end won't hurt a thing and in fact is a regular practice by some old timers. Thats all I plan to do except for trickle charging the battery while its in storage. I feel theres a good chance the bike may get worked on this winter and at that time I can mess around with regular maintenance bullshit. One other thing I might want to work on is this oil leak.


 Before I painted the garage floor this would have been a bunch of oil stains. With the painted floor they wiped up with just a dry rag and nothing else. I'm really enjoying the garage makeover.

 Because the sporty is so narrow I was able to just roll it through the door into the parts room. 

 Here is its winter home. 

 Last year the bike sat in the greenhouse. I've had a table in that space all summer and was using it to store garage stuff during the makeover. My wife is currently using that table for some crafting projects and it would be selfish of me to try to reclaim that spot just to store a motorcycle.

 Besides, I already have a bike in the living room. 


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dirty Works Air Ride

 I suppose its been about four years now since I've installed an air ride suspension to the rear of my Ultra. The goal of the kit was to be able to lower the bike for parking lot maneuvers like back peddling out of a parking spot or moving around in gravel. Hey, its a heavy bike and these types of situations are typically the ones where someone drops a bike when they can't flat foot it. I'm not saying I've ever dropped a bike in a parking spot but I have struggled. Lowering the bike momentarily to get through these situations makes life much easier and prevents those doofus moments. 

 The video is just an explanation of how the system works and what I'm doing to try to keep it that way.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Moby Digger

  My automower Moby Dick earned the temporary nic name Moby Digger when he started burying himself under my bike trailer. I really shouldn't have run the wire under the trailer in the first place but at the time there was still grass under there. Now, without any sunlight or much water, its just dirt under there. His twisting and turning has only increased the problem and about a half dozen times now he has got himself stuck under there. Maybe he is burying silicon chips in the soft dirt, I dunno.

He isn't made for off roading and gets dummy hung every time. Geographically speaking we are in sand country here and its easy for him to dig a rut.

 I finally decided to just reroute the wire. Its not like its a big deal to do but finding time can be a challenge. Actually that may be an excuse because it was only a twenty minute job and that included bullshitting with the neighbor about a mole problem.

 I've had this idea that my sidewalk edging attachment might be a good tool for making quick trenches and this gave me an opportunity to test that theory.

 The Echo 58 volt detachable trimmer has been a great tool for my small yard. Any single task like grass trimming, sidewalk edging or hedge trimming can be done on a single battery charge. I have the handheld blower as well and leaf cleanup is the only job that requires battery swaps. Anyway, I made a quick trench with the edger attachment and dropped the wire in.

Quick and easy! I'm thinking I'll set something up at work with a wider blade. This will allow me to do some of the detail work with the edger instead of stopping short with the big trencher and finishing up by manually cutting a slit. I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient and build cost will be low because we have tons of shit laying around the shop thats just begging to become the next project.

 Now this is all the closer Moby can get to the trailer. No more playing sand crab and hiding from his chores! 


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Spray Booth Update

  Its been around three years now since I added a spray booth to my heated workshop. That workshop is one walled off bay of a three car garage and the idea of making it smaller by adding a spray booth didn't set well with me at first. Would the loss of space be worth the convenience of having a clean, stink free place to paint parts? As it turns out the answer is a big yes. The booth doesn't get used a whole lot but when it is used it shines. No stink in the shop or house even though I'm painting indoors. No overspray to worry about. Cleanup is a breeze if I even bother cleaning up. Its another one of those projects that I should have done years ago.

Check it out: