Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » August 29th, 2023, 3:42 pm

Because we have seen a few new guys pop up around here of late, I thought I might add a few comments on the results of the POR15 I used on the thermostat housing just in case they haven't tried the product.

Chiefly, the goal was to close up the pores in the metal on the inside of the housing because its design kinda contributed to that particular place becoming a sort of catch basin for junk in the coolant system of this old tractor and I didn't want anything that came to rest in there to find a foothold and then begin collecting even more of whatever found its way there.

I went to Auto Zone (for no other reason than it was closest) and picked up a $30 kit of POR15 which consisted of a degreasing agent and a metal prep (almost certainly phosphoric acid) and finally, a 4oz can of POR15. Because I had already blasted this piece, I really didn't need the pre-treatments and would have preferred to buy just a bit more POR15 and leave the other stuff behind but that's not how it was being offered. The next size up was a quart and that was WAY more than I needed, or wanted to have sitting on the shelf for forever....plus a quart was $70. Online, I'm rather sure I could have found it for less but, I wanted to get this job done and behind me.

Anyway, after my application, that 4oz can is still nearly full. A little goes a VERY long way. The result was a rock-hard coating that smoothed out the interior and exterior of the housing to a glass-like, ultra smooth finish that, to the touch, is very much like powder coat. There are many products out there but few that have an excellent reputation that can actually stand up for all their claims. POR15 is one of those. Expensive? YES. Worth the expense? Depends upon what you want and expect from the stuff you buy. Fire and forget? Absolutely.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 6th, 2023, 5:15 pm

Back from almost a week in Ohio. Phew! High School Reunion was very nice (of course it was!) and Señor Bill came along because the airfare was paid and all he had to do was split expenses with me. Ya can't ride the rods anymore so, this was the next best thing for him as far as getaways goes. My classmates took him in as one of their own, naturally. Ohioans are good folk and they recognize other good folk when they see 'em.

In between the reunion functions we drove around and gawked at all the emerald greenness of Ohio from the air conditioned comfort of a rented Jeep Gladiator which got really crappy gas mileage, had uncomfortable seats and a sound system that mysteriously switched over to XM (which the truck didn't have) every time we even looked at it....annnnnd, we must have tracked some of the Texas heat in on the soles of our shoes, because that came up, along with the humidity. Sweat was just leaking out of me when I was out of the truck.

We did museum after museum and ran all over the map to visit them. We looked at all the tanks on display in the immediate area to be found in front of VFWs, Am-Vet Posts and we even laid unspoken plans to make off with them, should the opportunity arise. We went to the Air Force Museum half way across the state (Dayton) and then ran over to visit the Packard Museum as well (also in Dayton). Ohioans would call that 'a long haul'.

Texans drive that far for a loaf of bread.

One day we decided to drive north to Detroit and visit ol' Henry Ford and toured his Greenfield Village. Both of us had been to Henry's other museum right next door in recent years so we skipped that. Getting back to Ohio, we even visited several graves; the first was my father's and he is still right where I left him. I reckon it pays to check once in a while...just in case. We stopped in to visit another notable Ohioan, civil war Gen'l James McPherson who is planted in his hometown of Clyde Ohio. McPherson was reported to have uttered the famous words, "Pull my finger."

If you have seen his monument in Clyde, Ohio (or google it) you will get the joke.

One day we took in S.C.R.A.P. (Sandusky County Restorers of Antique Power) which was located in the epicenter of miles and miles of corn in every direction and we wallowed in the greatness of the fabulous machines of yesteryear, drank lemonade, watched primitive demonstrations of threshing, corn shredding and baling and despite the gallons of sweat, we had a great time. We even did their flea market (found nothing notable which is a testament to how well I do that right here at home) and bumped into a classmate and her husband who had similar interests in tractors and stuff...

and they had a whole lotta 'Stuff'.

And we did a lot of antique stores and one particularly fine rummage store where we found (of all things!) NOS tank parts. I did my duty and bought them at a giveaway price and friends, they are now safely in my loving embrace right here in Texas. The prices were AMAZING! So good, in fact, I did some calculating and I reckon if I had selected three more items, that gal behind the counter would have owed ME money. Ended up going back there on the day we were to leave and picked up one more thing that, after sleeping on it, I decided I could not live without and a piece of garage sale type luggage which would allow me to take all my purchases back home free of charge in a checked bag, courtesy of the airlines.

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on September 7th, 2023, 6:47 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » September 6th, 2023, 5:39 pm

Tank parts? You do not own a tank?! Yet. Since you were trapezing all over Ohio you should have dropped in to see Dave Pizzoferratto from Wee-bee Webbing. He may have given you a tour of his Vietnam river patrol boat.
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 6th, 2023, 11:22 pm

Technically speaking, I'm actually a 'part owner of a tank'....

or two tanks, depending upon how you want to look at it.

Technically speaking. :lol:

Johnny Cash may have put it best when he sang, One Piece At A Time.

And too soon to say, but I may be reconnecting to Ohio in a more meaningful way sometime in the near future....which is gonna be real interesting if it happens. Until then, it's all Hush Hush.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by raymond » September 7th, 2023, 8:19 am

While in Dayton at Wright Patterson, you should have asked to see the recovered crashed spaceships and dead aliens stored in Hangar 18 :idea: :!: :P :shock:
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 7th, 2023, 11:39 am

raymond wrote:
September 7th, 2023, 8:19 am
While in Dayton at Wright Patterson, you should have asked to see the recovered crashed spaceships and dead aliens stored in Hangar 18 :idea: :!: :P :shock:
Not nearly as shocking as all the Ohio cars and trucks that were rusted up to their door handles. We did see a lot of vintage vehicles in the area, just waiting to be picked up. Particularly fetching was the 48 Ford truck with the traditional wrecker kit of the time. That truck was parked a block away from the Airbnb we occupied. Ohioans never send anything to the junk yard. They just park vehicles in a line out back of the barn, whereas the old tractors get a coat of paint and are parked in the front yard. One fella down the road from the house I grew up in has taken collecting old tractors to a whole new level. Hats off to him!

All the Ohioans in this area also seem to have fabulous yards and when I say fabulous, I mean FABULOUS! Not quite as lush as Michiganders' but still, very, VERY good grass. And these folks mow-mow-mow till the cows come home...probably just to stay ahead of it. Aside from the occasional tractor, one doesn't see too much decorative stuff in these yards, either. No cute little garden gnomes. Sure, there is the occasional island of attractive flora with a little bi-level effect, topped with an homage to Ohio State Buckeyes or whatever particular interest the owner has but Ohioans apparently STILL hate to trim around stuff so, most yards are just a vast sea of green grass. All of this greenness applies to anything north of Findlay. South of Findlay, where the lake effect weather peters out, things begin to get a bit drier. Judging by the number of produce stands in operation, it has been a great year for growing produce and the field crops... WOW! There's gonna be a whole lot of soybeans and corn this year.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 10th, 2023, 12:09 pm

FINALLY! I'm done vacationing and recreating and the other 'ings' so it's time to get back at it. Ol' Nickel awaits and if I really apply myself I ought to have it done by Easter at the latest.

I installed the thermostat housing and immediately found that the bolts I had taken out were a bit lacking in the length department. I should have guessed. Do I have to examine each nut and bolt and washer? I guess I do. Proper fasteners (or lack thereof) seems to be a common theme with this rig. Naturally, I discovered this only after putting the gasket and sealant on and as a result, was fully committed to installation. Oh well. One-two-three turns and the bolts were seated. Yeah, later I went out and got the proper hardware and replaced them with something more longer-ish. Guys, if you have a bolt hole in a casting that's ten turns deep....well, there's a reason for that. Don't think too hard about it. Just do it. It's the way the manufacturer designed it. Spend the 70 cents. Do it right. Sleep well knowing the next guy will thank you for it.... if he's not a total, self-absorbed jerk.

Anal Retentive Fastener Fetish Merit Badge - AWARDED!

I got busy with the ol' radiator which, by appearances, is/was not leaking anywhere (and will probably give way like the South Fork Dam the moment I have everything back together). That South Fork Dam disaster put quite a few of my kin in the ground and truth be known, probably exhumed an equal number of 'em in the flood....but that's another story. Anyhoo...

Mine was your typical old radiator and it needed at least a Level 5 tidy up before being hung back on the tractor. So, I went out into the heat and with great intentions, set upon it with vigor. I ignored the tubes and fins because the moment you start fiddling with that stuff you have a 76.987267% chance of shooting yourself right in the foot. So, I focused on the tanks and the metal frame which became yet another de-rusting iliad which, in the end, took two long days, chiefly because there were acids involved and baths and some very necessary drying times involved.

Yeah, not only did I put lipstick on this pig...I cast pearls before it, as well. Time is something I have.

Lipstick On A Pig / Pearls Before Swine Merit Badge - AWARDED!

Balance all this nonsense against the cost of a new radiator (which really is my ace in the hole because I can always ask for one for my birthday, right?) and I might have been ahead to simply save the time and order a new one and save all the bolting and unbolting ridiculosity. But time is plentiful and money is not to be wasted. This tractor is a machine that will only see intermittent use so, like my equally ancient fork lift (which definitely has a leaky radiator but actually runs maybe 20 minutes each year) I'll just keep an eye on the fluids and maybe toss in a little Bar's.

I know what you're thinking. Why doesn't he just pressure test the radiator? Answer - that would be cheating. I'm a wild child. I enjoy living on the edge. Mmmm-hmmm. And if you have been around the block once or twice, you know that the moment you tighten the last bolt, the whole process does a reset and your'e right back to square one despite all the shiny paint. Might just as well come to grips with the fact that there are no promises out there to be had, especially when it comes to radiators with a manufacture date of 1969.

The de-rusting process was so successful I almost, ALMOST put POR15 on the metal frame but (Know Thyself!) I probably would have gone ahead and done the tanks and there would have really been no way to get down into all the corners with a brush and then things would have gone all pear shaped and, having an extremely hardy coating on a radiator that may require repairs sometime in the future is really the wrong way to go.

Habitual Run-on Sentence Merit Badge - AWARDED!

Oh my goodness, I'm up by three! Yup, radiators are just one of those things that have a rough life and don't really merit exceptional treatment. So, like a high roller, I broke out a brand new can of Rustoleum and had at it from every angle and completely ignored the tubes and fins....just in case. Fun fact - Did you know that you can achieve a pretty fair crinkle coat finish with a can of regular ol' Rustoleum? That's right, fellas. All you gotta do is apply the first coat, let it dry for a little while (but not too long!) and then apply a second coat. She'll crinkle right up.

Ask me how I know. :roll:

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Four.

But, paint is paint and is better than nuthin'. When the radiator is all installed I won't have to look at it and the paint will be doing the job I intended it to do which is protecting stuff from corrosion.. Nuff said.

Yesterday, Billyboi took off and he spent all day with his other, mo bettah friends. And I, having no one to talk to, did what I always do and busied myself with my project. I decided that the radiator looked so good it would be a terrible shame to hang a syphilitic fan shroud on it. So, I got out the old hammer and dolly and trued it all up and trotted over to Bill's place to use his blast cabinet (mine is completely buried). You may remember that the story behind that particular blast cabinet. It was the one I found for sale locally and then, like the good friend I am, turned the whole bargain over to him. Would have been a real money maker for me if I'd have bought it and flipped it.

Bill has a pretty good set-up with this blast cabinet, with the notable exception of the vacuum he has rigged up to evacuate the cabinet of airborne particulates. That poor, tired little thing is not equal to the task....I'll tell ya that. And because I'm not just a good friend (I'm an EXCEPTIONAL friend) yesterday I found him a big-assed, low-mileage Ridgid brand shop vac at the rummage shop for a low-LOW darned near giveaway price. The vacuum was almost new and I'd venture a guess that the previous owner didn't know that the filter was replaceable. I took that with me and plunked it down by the blast cabinet. I didn't hook it up because Bill wouldn't have liked my method of stuffing the vacuum's sucker tube into the available hole in the cabinet. The Billmeister Method involves doing stuff in the strangest, most complicated way imaginable. I can count on him to spend thirty or forty bucks to achieve a complicated solution to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

So, I got busy and struggled with blasting in a cabinet filled with dust and I finally got the shroud sorted out and looking all spiffy. I even pilfered a can of primer from Bill's private stash to get it coated. So while Señor Bill was out there somewhere, doing 'pinky up' wine tasting with the upper class folk, I was sweatin' and makin' hay.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 11th, 2023, 11:41 pm

Boy oh boy. This heat has been wreaking havoc with batteries. Between Bill and I, we've had three vehicles go down owing to corrosion buildup on posts. Very unusual, since we look after that sort of thing and because common corrosion (the white powdery flavor) is strangely minimal. We've been seeing a lot of blackened lead terminals which is also kinda weird.

So I'm not at the point where I really need to send the old Suburban down the road. It is riddled with all sorts of electrical problems that all lead back to some sort of electronic brain that controls the usual courtesy functions....and it has also become a sort of high-speed oil distribution system. All of this leads to troubles which, in the final financial analysis, leads to only one conclusion. It's gonna get a For Sale sign. Naturally, the final kick in the crotch came when I went out to bring it up into the driveway for a bit of a tidy....

...and the battery was dead.

Well, you might say that it's a Walmart brand and only 4 years old and what else should I expect but, my reply would be that I have had pretty good luck with the Walmart batteries and they honor their warranty without a lot of fuss and bother. I suspect there are better batteries out there but I have had very little need to seek them out.

So I went to my used battery rack and pawed around for a suitable replacement. I thought I had a side-post battery in there but, nope.. Gone. Had I put it in the Allis Chalmers fork lift? Well, yes, I had put a junker side-post battery in the fork lift but that was one that needed to be charged between fork lift use. The one I was looking for was absent.

Phooey!

So, I pulled the brick out of the 'burban and rang up Señor Bill and told him the news and that I was going to Walmart for a new battery. That is code for - Do ya wanna ride along? His reply was immediate. "DON'T go out and buy another. I have your side-post battery at my house." So I sat there, waiting and hoping my wayward battery would fit in the tiny space provided by Chevrolet. Having to put more money in a vehicle I'm about to sell isn't my idea of wise use of my finances. Alas, I feel I DO have to have it running to sell it. Hence, the need for a working battery.

Bill showed up with my missing DieHard which, owing to its advanced age, was indeed living up to its name and happily, it was the same size as the first battery. So we charged it up, wiped it down, load tested it and plunked it into the Suburban only after removing the battery tray and sandblasting it and painting it... Nope. Uhn Uh. Didn't do THAT bit. Ya think I'm crazy?! That battery tray will soon be someone else's battery tray..plus it wasn't that bad.

As for the other battery, it takes a charge but only very slowly. It's almost certainly badly sulfated. I charged it up very slowly and intend to discharge it and recharge it and do so until it either gets its act together or it becomes a $10 discount at one of the local auto parts stores. Nothing goes to waste.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » September 12th, 2023, 8:18 am

I have an old marine 10 amp automatic battery charger and that charger seems like it is the magic charger. It has brought so many batteries back from the dead it has to be magic. When a car battery goes below 8 volts it is dead, done, toast. It is not going to come back to a useful condition. This is both the opinion of myself and also most experts in the field. But this charger has done it over and over. I just put it on one that is 9 years old and was showing 2 volts. I needed a battery for my trailer to run the interior lights while I am camping in it at the Gilbert show. Plugged it in and left it there for a couple days without any real expectations. Walked by the other day and the fully charged light was on so I turned it off and load tested the battery and sure enough, passed with flying colors. I will be putting it on my Jeep CJ battery today which is showing 3 volts. The battery was a good battery but the Jeep has an old style mechanical clock in it and I forgot to disconnect the battery last time I ran it what was about a year ago. Matter of fact I think I was on the phone with TJ here when I was running it. LOL. We will see if the magic happens again. All these new chargers with the microprocessors in them will pop up a code that says "bad battery" every time and shut down. I am firmly convinced that those charger companies (Schumacher) are in cahoots with the battery companies. And by the way, Wal-Mart always used to sell Exide batteries which are top line batteries. Don't know if they still do but that is THE ONLY reason I will ever set foot in a Wal Mart.
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by raymond » September 12th, 2023, 9:12 am

Batteries kept on a maintainer last longer.
I keep a battery maintainer on every battery I have.
My 20kw whole house generator even has one built in.
Also put in a marine 8 amp (4 amp per battery) 2 battery maintainer on my boat. Mounted it near the batteries, drilled a hole in the fiberglass and mounted a marine 110v external plug with a rubber cover. Just lift the cover and plug in an extension cord.
First thing I do when I pull a vehicle, tractor, boat, Seadoo, etc. in the shed or garage is plug it in.
Wife and I travel a lot now, and with modern vehicles, if you go 2 weeks without starting, you may be looking for the charger or jumper cables.
I also carry one of those little lithium ion battery emergency jump boxes in both my and the wife's vehicles.
Raymond


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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 12th, 2023, 8:00 pm

Had an interesting conversation with my physician who is a fellow who likes things that go vroom and is beginning to like things that go, but don't go vroom at all.

This lead to a discussion of the recent misadventures of U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm while on her recent EV road trip. She's livin' the dream. She's doin' the thing. Nope. She's sharing our pain! Long story short, Granholm's EV was badly in need of a boost and only two out of three chargers at some location were working. The third was busted. (not her fault) To be entirely fair, that's a bit like going to get gas and finding half of the pumps with their nozzles bagged. S'it happens, right?

A family (with a child on board) was waiting for one charger to come available and they were there, waiting in the heat of the day. One of Granholm's toadies took an opportunity to grab one of the first available chargers by parking his gasser at it so that Granholm's EV could slither in there... thereby incurring the wrath of the waiting family and launching the story into the public view. (again, probably not Granholm's fault)

But it is notable that at least one of the cars in her motorcade package was a reliable ol' gasser. Kinda makes ya think, don't it?

But this scenario does bring into sharp focus the fact that after years of the Federalies trying to hammer this particular square peg into a very round hole, it STILL hasn't happened and they don't seem to be doing anything about it, much less making any notable headway. Heck, by this time, I have seen charging stations come and then GO and apparently, we don't seem to be any farther ahead on the matter of making having an EV any more than coining a phrase for a brand NEW state of mental un-wellness - RANGE ANXIETY. That's troubling because owning an EV at this point in the evolution, seems a bit like playing Russian Roulette wherein the Feds not only force you to take the gun and put it to your head but also, their level ineptitude means they've probably loaded it with five bullets. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence and it's all pretty nutso if you ask me.

Then we went on to discussing the resurrection of vintage cars in another way. I claimed that cars of today, once their service life is over, would never see the road again. There would be no Anakin Skywalkers piecing things together to win pod races in some genius patchwork hunk o' junk. Doc didn't agree...that is until I told him it was true that motors (including electric motors) aren't quite the nightmare some folks expect they would be. HOWEVER...there is a lot of ancillary equipment needed run, diagnose and repair at lot of this new fangled stuff....and much of it is proprietary and not available to the average shade tree mechanic. With "modern" cars, gone are the days when a simple 245 piece Harbor Freight tool kit would get you rollin'. So, good luck on your journey Anakin. May The Force be with you...aways.

But, to keep the examination of this theory at a manageable level. Let's just talk non-EV cars for a moment. So, I asked him what the dashboard of HIS car looked like (and I had driven The Doctor Car to my appointment which has a huge flat screen in it that serves as its control center.)

Me: Does your dashboard look like a big screen TV?
He: Well, yeah, sorta.
Me: And are all the functions of your car being made and reported on this screen?
He: Well, yeah, I guess so.
Me: And is it a touch screen?
He: Yup.
Me: And can you access many of the functions from the steering wheel?
He: Yup.
Me: And do you also have various track pads scattered throughout the car?
He: Uh huh.
Me: Okay, so tell me, how is some young kid gonna pull this electronic nightmare of a car out of the weeds and out from back behind the barn, with its wiring all eaten by mice and moisture intrusion into everything and the big screen all wonky from exposure to excessive heat. Tell me HOW he's going to make that a drivable car again.
He: Oh.... Um
Me: And we haven't even begun to touch on all the Buck Rogers gizmos that are needed to diagnose and make repairs which is equipment that can only be found in sponsored garages. Stuff that will all be carefully and fully destroyed at some point when it is no longer useful to said garage because the manufacturer who provided it will tell them to. No one is going to be making these very specific pieces for cars that were only made for one, maybe two years as it would be financially unsound to do that. And at some point, some poor schlub who has dutifully maintained his fancy car to the Nth degree and who has checked every box in the preventative maintenance schedule will be told, point blank, "We no longer work on, or have support for your car."

Buh BYE.... and on your way out, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

The fact is, automobile manufacturers have been carefully watching manufacturers of farming equipment try to force farmers into circumstances where proprietary repair work is the ONLY repair work that can be done on a particular machine. And if they can't force consumers of automobiles into that sort of agreement, the next best option for them is to build a car that has planned obsolescence and beyond that, will not be repaired because it is not economically feasible, or it cannot be repaired because the manufacturers made sure of that. What we will be left with is a revolving door of new cars being built (and so much for the environment, eh?) to replace the ones that were built with technology and a design that dashes any hope of repair.

What is a owner to do when their $115,000.00 EV car (you know, the one they financed for ten, maybe fifteen years) that has a humungous battery go bad at the 6.5 year mark; one that costs $10,000.00 to replace (after adding in the environmental fees for properly disposing of the dead battery)? It's a put-up job; one where we're going to be expected to pay and pay and pay. So, I left my doctor pondering the meaning of life in the world of cars.

I wonder if he'll lay in bed awake all night tonight.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 13th, 2023, 8:47 pm

I sure don't know why you guys (and gals) follow this thread. I only talk about the most boring stuff....

...and this won't be any different so, stop now and save yourself a few brain cells.

Woke up early since the temperatures were supposed to fall somewhat, beginning with today. That seemed like a good reason to get up and do a few things on Nickel, my old '69 Ford 2000 gasser. So, once I answered 'Nature's Call' (which sometimes sounds oddly like a Tyrolean yodel). With all that yodeling stifled, I went straight back to bed. And hour and a half later, I got up, made coffee, observed the state of the world through the relative safety of my computer and waited for the caffeine to kick in. I warned you! This drivel is not worth your time.

Stop now. Go back. Or, do whatever it is that you do. I assure you, there are lots of really worthy channels on YouTube.

Armed with my brand (new-and-improved!) fuel line bender thingy, which is far and away better than the other two that I've lost somewhere around here, I went outside and grabbed several new sticks of fuel line on the way out. Then I dug around for an ice scraper from the Suburban's glove box. Ice scrapers do a really lovely job of taking the adhesive-backed tags off of fuel line without scratching off the coating. And, before you ask, YES, we do have occasional ice in Texas. Now THIS is what I call entertainment!

Save yourself.

Since I had already done the legwork on the matter of figuring out where the old fuel lines had been routed, that alleviated a great deal of my trepidation as to the matter of making new bends in new line. I'm a pretty fair hand with a wrench but friends, I'm just not good with fuel line. Nope. And the misfortune is, the fuel pump is located on Nickel's engine in a less than ideal place because it is up front, the tank is in the back and the carburetor is on the side and the fuel lines have to jink and weave around all the other very necessary engine bits. Some of those bits are highly mobile and as such, would easily wreak havoc on a misplaced fuel line or a stray fuel hose. So, I was going to have to make sure my re-created fuel line was safely tucked out of the way.

Yes, I could have gone with an electric fuel pump but keeping things as stock as possible was and will continue to be my end goal. The world is flying away from this old tech a breakneck speed and I reckon the next guy who gets his hands on this old tractor ought to be able to rely upon the manual, just as I am doing, rather than having to tease out and disentangle my work from what is original.

I took my first stick and made my first bend. This new bender worked slicker'n cow slobber. Then I made my second bend and found that the fitting, meant for the downstream end of the piece I was creating was now captured between my first two bends. :shock: Will someone please shoot me? SHOOT ME NOW! Okay...okay. Cálmate! Maybe someone slipped me some decaf. I was going to have to do this better. A LOT better, or this was going to be a very long, expensive day.

I loaded up my Suburban's old battery (it having been recently pronounced deceased) and drove over to O'Reilly's where it was magically transformed into $10 worth of store credit and I walked out of there with more sticks of fuel line than I hoped I would need, but enough to cover maybe a few more mistakes. Back at the ranch, I looked at the project with the eye of a guy who wanted to learn to create fuel line better. MUCH better. So, I made a few rules.

The First Rule was keeping the fittings on the ends of the work. :roll: Tape solved that.

The Second Rule was marking a line with a Sharpie along the spine of the fuel line where the bed would be and also mark the point where the bend would begin. My bender has a dandy set of markings indicating the degree of bend including a Zero degree mark which is (you guessed it) where the starting point of any intended end should be when loading up the bender. Thus, setting up a bend was actually quite simple. But, since sweeps and bends can go in the direction of any of the 360 degrees, getting the mark on the spine (which could be located on any of those 360 degrees) required some real care. Ergo, there was no hurrying the job along.

The Third rule was knowing, in advance, how long a radius bend would be from beginning to end. Equally important was knowing where the center of any radius bend would be. Knowing this stuff made for a fuel line that didn't weave all over the place and could be counted upon to end up where you intended.

I followed those three rules and came away with a nice, professional-looking job. It is true that I am employing a bit of soft line in some places just to make things more sensible when it comes to things like removing and replacing a carburetor or hooking up to fuel cut off valve with a pot metal chassis. Seemed sensible to me to have a bit of soft line there rather than risk broken pot metal.

I did fully depart from the established route of one fuel line, electing to go under the coil, rather than over it, with the thought that since leaks tend to run along the bottom of the fuel line before finally dripping off, having it routed beneath the coil made sense to me.

Common Sense Achievement Badge - AWARDED

Plus, it was easier to do.

Common Sense Achievement Badge With Oak Leaves - AWARDED

I now have an almost complete fuel system. Naturally, after a stop for lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant, it began to sprinkle. Where the heck did that come from?! So, I got home and scrambled to pick up the tools and cover everything up. Enough for one day.

Common Sense Achievement Badge With Oak Leaves and Swords - AWARDED!

Cheers,
TJ

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m3a1
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 15th, 2023, 12:15 am

Ya know that point in any ongoing mechanical project when things happen to throw you off your ch'i? Yeaaaah.

THAT.

I was going to get right out there and finish hooking up my fuel system this morning. But first, a few household chores, including running a basket of laundry out to the dryer which is almost always fun because in order to get to the dryer (which is located in the back of the garage) one must wend and weave their way through and over all sorts of really good stuff that I have amassed over the years and if perchance one of the cats has been especially busy, it might knock something off of wherever it's perched and uncover the forgotten thing below it. As troublesome as walking in the style of a drunken sailor with a basket of wet clothing may seem, I always enjoy the trip to the dryer.

Except for today.

Today I was going out to remove dry clothing from the dryer. I made it back there without incident, took a knee, opened the dryer door and the clothes felt damp. Grrrr! At this stage of my life, sometimes I load the dryer and then, distracted by the sight of something shiny in the garage, I walk away without pushing the button and starting the darned thing. Oh well. Closed the door, made sure I pushed the Start button and....nuthin'. Try again and the same result. DANG IT!

Now, this dryer is no spring chicken and truth be told, it must be at least 20 years old....and it has been rusting away at the bottom like an Ohio pickup truck. But, we have gotten every penny out of it. And what's the use of being married to a doctor if one doesn't enjoy being able to buy a relatively big ticket item without sweating bullets once in a while, eh? I'm not bragging. Being a public servant and earning public servant's pay for most of my life, I spent many a year gritting my teeth over such expenditures while trying to raise a family.

Been there, done that, got many tee shirts.

I took my damp laundry over to Bill's place and gave him the news. Now, Bill is almost always up for a trip to Home Despot and today was no different. We gazed at their meager selection of dryers and tried to make sense of which manufacturer was offering the most bang for the buck. Eventually, I had to drag a salesperson over to appliances in order to get some answers which, to anyone within eyeshot, must have looked all the world like Pepé Le Pew making moves on Penelope Pussycat.

Come with me, my little salesperson. Come with me to the Casbah. Mwah!-mwah!-mwah!

The essence of my quest? To find a suitable prospect in the category of 'scratch and dent.' After all, I was replacing a dryer that was rusted up to the belt-line. Why would a few scratches or dents bother me? I was looking to save at least SOME of Doc's dough. Alas, the cupboard was bare and the HD folks were in no mood to play nice on the matter. Couple that with a delivery date some two weeks after the date of purchase and I washed my hands of Home Despot. Happily, Bill was also in the mood to go to Lowes.

So, we turned Longfellow around and made our way to the big city. Lowes handles appliance sales differently than you might expect. First, they mark everything up to the nines and then offer a deep deep discount which is supposed to get you feeling like pulling your wallet out because of the great deal; a deal which is smoke and mirrors. Then, their notional 'sales' are for short periods which, I admit, was a motivating factor because in reality, the customer never really knows, does he? The next 'sale' might begin in one day, or one month, or one season. So, the customer is forced to put up, or shut up.

The two dryers that interested me most would only be on sale for the remainder of the day with a take-it-home-now option. They only made the grade because they happened to have a seriously robust catching system for the dryer door, whereas all the others had tiny little catches that were nearly vestigial. Bang a loaded laundry basket into something like that and you'll spend the rest of the day trying to find a replacement part on the internet.

So, again, I had to try to find a salesperson because Appliances was as barren of salespersons as was Macy's by moonlight. The Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Lowe were just down the aisle, ganged up on hanging blister packs on a pegboard at breakneck speed like they were trying desperately to get the heck out of my sight to avoid being called upon....and when, having no other options, I finally approached them to ask for assistance, they all stopped and looked at me, and then each other, then back at me...like I was a six foot tall preying mantis that had just stepped out of a space ship or something.

"I come in peace."

The three looked very annoyed and I certainly didn't want help from these three guys. "Hey, can you call someone over to appliances to give me a hand?" The big guy have me the hairy eyeball and maintaining eye contact whilst staring daggers at me, produced a device and spoke into it which came out over the Lowes public address system sounding something like Charlie Brown's teacher's voice. Womp womp womp. Womp-womp, womp womp-womp-womp. "Just wait over there." he said and pointed back at Appliances. Which sounded suspiciously like GTFO of my aisle. So, I went back over to appliances and kept my eyes peeled and began the long wait.

The first blue vest I saw, I asked, "Are you..." He interrupted, "Nope, I'm plumbing" and kept on walking without breaking stride. The next blue vest guy went the same way, but he actually stopped walking in order to speak with me. 10, maybe 20 minutes goes by. Not only are the crickets chirping, there is literally no one in sight. The word was out among the employees. Avoid Appliances at all costs! There's a customer there! Finally, a big fella in a blue vest with all sorts of Lowes patches pinned to it appeared. Well, well well! General Patton had arrived. Discussions of buying a scratch and dent dryer ended abruptly. There were none to be had and policy was they wouldn't sell display models. Phooey! I had had a particularly poor specimen of a new dryer all picked out that looked like someone might cut me a deal. Disappointment.

So, I cut my losses and said, "I want that one," pointing to the scratched and dented one's mate, only this one was white, undamaged, and $50 cheaper because there was no glass in the door. He checked, found that he actually had one on site and, would I like to take it today? YER ABSOLUTELY HECKIN' RIGHT I WANNA TAKE IT TODAY! ANYTHING to get the hell out of Lowes and return home with a dryer in the back of my truck. After rolling it out from the back, he had to struggle to get the computer to accept the sales price but, that was really the only hiccup. He was a former Army noncom and he was very mission oriented. Thank gawd for small favors. And where was the dude normally assigned to Appliances? Well....he was off for the day...NATURALLY...and on the final day of the sale, no less. Yeah. It's gonna be a long hard day for him tomorrow, having to chance all those really heavy price tags. It breaks the heart...

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » September 15th, 2023, 10:05 am

D'ya know what ya get when you have a new dryer in the bed of your truck and a garage full of stuff that needs to be removed BEFORE the dryers can be exchanged?

RAIN.

This is turning out to be something like a Greek tragedy.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by raymond » September 15th, 2023, 10:19 am

m3a1 wrote:
September 15th, 2023, 10:05 am


This is turning out to be something like a Greek tragedy.

If it were a true Greek tragedy, you would have encountered a several thousand mile detour, got horribly lost, it would have taken decades to get home, your truck would have been destroyed and Bill would be dead :idea: :!: :wink:
Raymond


"On the day when crime puts on the apparel of innocence, through a curious reversal peculiar to our age, it is innocence that is called on to justify itself." Albert Camus

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