17 March 2017

Big 3 parts exchange and more!

I'd been preparing for the Big 3 parts exchange for months.
Ok more like mentally preparing.
If this PDX thing seemed to work out,
then the February swap meet was gonna be the parts purge.
In typical form,
physical preparation started when I flew in Friday,
thrashing to get to the spot that night.
We did exceptionally well,
so much so we filled the van up a second time Saturday night.
The rule this year was not leaving the stall.
Instead of scrounging the stadium lot for goodies,
Jaxon and I focused on giving junk to new owners.
It worked!
At the end the garage was still full.
Remember we had emptied the shop the week before,
and sorting keepers and ditchers took a lot of space.
In hindsight with one more day,
we could have gotten rid of so much more.
The marginal keeper chit was better than the majority of junk other swappers had brought. 
Of course it rained all day Monday,
the cleanup day.
Even the dogs didn't want to be outside.
One thing that didn't sell was this rearend,
we spent an hour dismantling it.
I told the kids never to use the torch in rain gear...
This ended up having the best '36 radius rods,
and the shiniest torque tube I've ever seen.
Perfect parts for the cradle robber.
The kids kicked but,
the rain was a non-issue.
They're ready for wet Portland!!
The hoods are hiding their smiling faces...
The flurry of the weekend didn't last long,
and not enough time was spent just hanging out with the wife,
but we really accomplished a ton,
and I could pay off the credit cards a bit.
Or so I thought!
As ya may know the Mazda beater had disappeared.
Definite bummer to walk up to an empty spot.
Fortunately the old hot rod took charge.
Actually it wasn't charged,
the rain had wreaked havoc on the 6-volt system.
Even with a reserve battery it wouldn't start.
Fortunately I had a spare 12-volt to jump it...
This lasted all week!!
No biggie it ran great.
(How to charge 6's with a 12 volt charger!)
After 8-9 years I can't believe these optima batteries are still functioning!
I'm gonna be in trouble when they die,
as the battery box is designed specifically for their flatness.
With no rain for that first week,
the roadster was the perfect daily driver,
however with long rainy days in the forecast,
Marathon craigslist hunting paid off,
as this jewel was scooped up for the exact amount of junk we had given up.
Nothin like exchanging parts for parts!
The credit cards will have to wait.

12 March 2017

Bye sweet Mazda...

It drives my wife crazy,
cause I live my life without a plan,
however there is a framework or outline,
the details get filled in as time goes by.
One of the bullet points during this PDX adventure,
was to find a cheap truck,
something that would lessen the wear and tear
on our 1 ton van,
and could be passed down to Jaxon or Jakob.
I wrote earlier how this was the screamin $300 deal,
and even with used tires and various parts,
the price didn't break the $500 mark.
We had some good times,
at least 800 miles of them!
The van woulda been ran down 
learning the streets of Portland,
not to mention the Mazda was a gas sipper.
We got through the snow weeks,
much more fun than driving the van,
which could get unruly with the extra weight.
The little truck drove great with chains.
Most of those miles were due to craigslist scrounging,
one of the best ways to learn a city.
There are some great places hidden in town.
It'll be more fun when the family is up!
Behind the scenes,
we were heading to a deadline.
While it was a bulletproof rig,
there were some annoying issues.
It loved to dribble oil,
leaving its mark like it was an old Harley or hot rod.
I changed the crank pulley seal,
and even changed the oil pan gasket.
Even then there was a random leak.
Besides that,
it wasn't the cleanest running engine.
The original 2000cc was swapped for a 2200cc,
and had clues of a tweaker or beginner mechanic.
Gobs of RTV, 
half the exhaust was missing,
a bad driveshaft carrier bearing,
and a mystery scraping sound.
The registration was up in April,
and the goal was to either pass smog/deq,
or send it down the road.
Well I didn't mean that literally.
Every trip to SD,
I'd leave it in this spot,
across from the Max/trolley stop.
After the 4th time,
I musta got too comfortable.
The truck was gone!!
Well what did I expect.
The spot is across from a bar and mechanic shop,
on the main drag that goes through town.
Holey... Chit.
Fortunately I had the hot rod!
Good ole reliable got me to work that week...
More later!

11 March 2017

Tag Teaming Mowers & Golf Carts - toro 580d's & ez-go

The boss is on vacation,
so figured I'd do a good ole time Perich thrash.
For some reason it makes me more comfortable 
to juggle a couple projects,
vs focusing on just one.
It seems more efficient working with some clutter,
instead of spending time cleaning!
An electric golf cart shouldn't need too much work,
or so I thought.
The front wheels were crazy wobbly,
only needing a repack and adjustment,
and a rough alignment.
No wonder this thing drove with a mind of its own.
The batteries seemed like one of those trick questions,
like a test to see if I'd catch it.
Funny cause most everything here is like that!
The mowers are a bit more involved.
I'd actually started on these first,
and double-teamed them like a production line,
allowing me to order or find parts at the same time.
Also since I have no idea what I'm doing,
when there was an issue fixing one part,
I could check the other one to see if it matched.
Of course they're made years apart with some upgrades,
kinda similar on the outside,
with different diesel engines,
and electronics and controls,
and ones a 2wd the others a 4wd.
Yea sure sounds like they're the same Toro 580D's!
The cool thing is this giant parts stash.
Remember that most of the equipment here
is donated or scrounged castaways,
requiring trickery and fiddling to stay alive.
Just my style,
like hot rodding farm equipment.
Or is it like working on an old farm?
Some of this stuff is so worn out,
again it seemed like a test to see if I'd fix simple problems,
or ignore them like the previous guy.
Half of these bearings basically disintegrated years ago,
and they just kept running 'em.
I had to cut out the races with a dremel tool!
And these were like large skateboard bearings,
the type that don't come apart!
Good times...
I had kinda got in trouble months earlier,
for making things too nice.
It's a tough habit to break,
something I learned from a kid working with my Papa,
and refined throughout the years.
It runs deep in our family!
Now I just make the parts I'm working on nice,
and spot paint sections not the whole thing.
Believe me it's tough to hold back.
My rattlecan finger gets real twitchy.
There is a reason to go half-a$$,
blending between the real and imaginary,
and that's not to lose time fixing necessary mechanical problems.

As a result instead of rushing to do 2 things in the same amount of time,
I'll methodically do one thing.
If I finish the never ending list of shit to do,
I can go back and have fun with paint.
I didn't show all the stuff completed,
it's not that exciting.
Here's what it looks like on paper...
Hydraulic leaks, cylinder swap, new blades,
rebuild cutter hubs, lotsa chit.
Most likely forgot to write a couple things...
During the finish test,
I heard a weird rhythmic clanking.
With virtually no experience working on mowers,
I was like Holey Chit what did I miss?
A wrongly rebuilt cutter hub?
Wrong or upside down blades?
A 3/4" hinge pin had worn out,
allowing the blades to hit each other.
Another tricky thing to diagnose,
but easy to make a new one.
I've got to admit,
it felt good to get out the grinder and cut some metal!
Yep...Fun at work!

05 March 2017

PDX to SD shuffle

Wow it's already been 2+ weeks 
since the boys came up.
Like any prepared father,
I was tracking them off the plane,
as they took the long way around on the Max/trolley.
Our day and a half was filled with sightseeing,
if that means mainly hanging out at the track.
Here's a big ole coyote we spooked.
They also got to chase around thousands of geese
that flock around here.
They took some funny videos I need.
City kids...
The kids also got to watch police driver training.
These guys are taught how to spin cars around.
We wanted to do that!
Yeah that's the fun side of being a cop!
After awhile it's like yea another skid...
Woo hoo...
They experienced a rainy first day,
and a pleasantly sunny second day.
Perfect for changing oil...
Cleaning van...
and getting the trailer ready for the southbound adventure.
These guys kick a$$ - no complaints!
The day was full,
and we didn't get much rest before taking off.
There's always something on the std list.
Waking up at 5am for work,
and then leaving for a road trip at 10pm,
doesn't get ya very far,
however it gets ya out of the house.
We only made it 3-4 hours before calling it nap time,
which ended up as the perfect morning drive
through fog rain and snow covered mountains and forest,
where water and fresh air are made!
I think Jake was awake for about 10 minutes of it,
but ya seen one tree ya seen 'em all right?
After Oregon's and Shasta's ups and downs,
Jaxon took over driving duty.
He totaled at least 250 of the 1080 miles!
Not too bad with a trailer.
1080 from Portland to San Diego?
That seems excessive right?
Well 150 miles north of Sacramento,
we got stuck in a huge traffic jam,
caused by the flooding from the 100 year storm.
It took us 2 hours go 2 miles,
into a string of cars and trucks that was 17-20 miles long!
Supposedly the jam was 6-8 hours.
We ended up taking a detour,
and measured 4 miles packed behind us!
There were half a dozen cars stuck in the muddy median,
and I had been tempted to do the same until coming to the asphalted part.
On our okey doke we found this forlorn big rig,
45 degrees tilted into the farm muck.
I thought it was a boat from the distance.
We had to remove our trailer,
turn it around,
and reattach to not get stuck.
Holey Chit!
We also saw a u-haul over half submerged.
Bummed we didn't stop to get that pic.

We ended up detouring 30 miles north,
then 30 miles east to Chico,
then south on the 99.
A good excuse to check out the area!
The river was so huge,
we'd never have made it across further south.
We got home way before the dawn light,
just in time for some family rest,
and a huge Sunday shop thrash. 
These kids are awesome.
How many times have we moved this same old chit.
Ya know once the speakers are moved,
it's the end of an era...
Why do I like the dirtiest heaviest crap.
The idea was to sort the keepers and the flippers,
as the Big 3 swap meet was the next weekend.
Hey Greg!
Your roadster parts are finally at the sandblasters!!
We'll see how nice or rough it'll be...
This stalled project was due for a good rust cleaning,
followed by an epoxy primer.
Our load left some goodies,
we'll have to retrieve at another time.
Thanks Jason!!
The 40 was given the boot,
we needed to stash all these goodies!
In its own bratty way,
it decided to run out of gas down the street.
Guess the ole hussie wanted some attention!
Man these pups got big!!
I had to fly back to Portland on the red eye,
as the vacation pay requires a sandwiched work week.
Since when has I become a stickler for rules and schedules!
It was surreal being back for the couple days,
and just like that I was on my way back.
More later!!