29 September 2012

critical mass thrash

Last weekend Jaxon & I fixed up our fat tire cruisers.
It was a little premonition of things to come.
dago cruiser power trio

I pulled the red shelby out of hibernation,
and put the black fendered shelby into hibernation.
Jax swapped his aluminum donkey dick handlebar stem
for an old schwinn stem that was lying around.
postwar schwinn DX - dago style

The blue bike has been the main grocery getter.
It's a good rider but the random aluminum crank had been bugging me.
crank removal tool

There's a trick axle conversion that makes it possible
to use a 3-piece crank instead of the one-piece unit.
cruiser 3-piece crank axle

Even though my goal started out more aesthetic
by swapping in the fluted campy knock-off crank,
the other benefit was the 49 tooth chainring with stock drillium.
It's only a 2% change from the 50 but it should help,
as we live in a hilly area.
campy sucks - klunker style

Yeah it's a prissy change but what the heck.
Another cool thing is they make the rubber block pedals with the larger thread,
so it's still possible to ride barefoot.
Schwinn Dago style 

Here's the potential of what this bike should do...

I could watch that video a million times.
Schwinn partial klunker

So anyway last night we figured what the heck,
let's do the Critical Mass ride.
We hadn't ridden it since earlier this year.
It took a couple minutes figuring out which bikes to ride.
Me blue, Jaxon white.

Jaxon's too big for the tandem,
especially with his long hair other riders think he's a girl.
I told him he needs to pen in a moustache or beard.
homeless bridge

So we rode out to Balboa Park from the house,
which is a good 40 minute ride on the cruisers.
Showed him the finer points of San Diego
like the sketchy Front St homeless bridge.
critical mass san diego september 2012

We missed getting to the fountain but at least crossed the bridge.
The first part of the ride is always an exciting mash of riders.
critical mass san diego september 2012

Even though this wasn't his first time,
I'll admit I was concerned if he could hold his own with the frenzy of riders.
Critical mass is like driving in really bad mexican traffic.
Even with our single-speed cruisers,
we managed well with all the faster bikes.
Jaxon - critical mass

The lucky thing for us is 80% of the time the ride goes near our neighborhood.
This ride was a little longer in the North Park/downtown area,
so by the time we rode up through the airport we hung back a bit.
san salvador ship - san diego

Way more relaxing to ride up Harbor along the bike path.
We even got to check out the $5,000,000 construction of the San Salvador,
the replica of Juan Cabrillo's flagship.
Weird how it looks like pictures of some of the stuff at Burning Man!

We made it home without a hitch.
A great excuse for a full moon night ride.


27 September 2012

bike time 29 - 80's tweaker schwinn

It's been too long since a biketime post,
so let's do it.
schwinn klunker

To most of us this doesn't look like anything special,
but this old bike had a cameo on the first blog post.
perich brothers (and sister): got to start sometime...
So for that reason it is special.
perich brothers & sister 2010
jaxon, macey & jakob

The tweaker formula is simple,
take a stripped out 70's or 80's cruiser frame found in a canyon,
and add all the parts from a  couple clapped out mountain bikes.
Worry not.
This bike isn't stolen goods,
because the tweaker formula
is very similar to the retired old man in a garage formula -
throwing together any parts lying about that fit,
than ride around with a road bike helmet that is too small.
Funny thing how it unintentionally resembles the old KLUNKER bikes.
vintage double crown - triple tree bike fork

A retired firefighter friend (Chris)
from Ventura donated this to the Perich cause long ago.
For some reason his own son wasn't interested in it,
either that or he ditched it as there were no brakes on it.

The old bike had some heavy use back then.
I unearthed some old 8mm silent footage from back in the day - 2007.
This bike is the "bunny hop special".
junk wheels

Fast forward to now,
and the bike had signs of disrepair.
The front hub had somehow shattered,
(not from bunny hopping!)
and the bike sat for a long time.
a couple months back we found this ditched front wheel
in the Ace Hardware parking lot.
A true rim - perfect!
Who doesn't love free chit.
worn axle

Well there was a reason the wheel was tossed.
Even though it spinned smooth,
the bearings in the hub had dislodged,
to the point that they wore a hole through the axle.
Of course I didn't see this til I had swapped the tire.
Fortunately the axle from the old cast hub interchanged.
seriously worn axle

After a short nights work the bike is back in business.
Here's even more of it's finer details.
comfy style

The hard bmx seat was replaced with a fat cruiser seat (for now),
and the seatpost was laid back a bit.
Gone also is the baby seat from that old 2010 picture.
Really hard to bunny hop with her in the back.

One of my earlier attempts at drillium here.
May try to find a working derailleur someday too.
schwinn cruiser

Gotta love the triple clamp mountain bike shock.
Hard to find these with a 1" steer tube,
even with the whopping 1.5" of travel.

Well that's about all I can wring out of this old bike.
Don't fret,
there's an exciting post coming up soon.
Just take me out of my misery if you I'm riding around
with the too small road bike helmet.


26 September 2012

N8 1998-2012

Back in May I wrote about a friends kid - Nathan Strube,
 who died in a skateboard accident.
Nathan Strube 1998-2012

His parents had some sadly cool stickers made,
and Sam sent down a few.

As a parent I can't imagine how they are coping.
These stickers are a good trigger to appreciate the simple joy of just being around.
Nathan and Sam Strube


24 September 2012

Jakob's weekend

"Hey we went to the beach over the weekend,
what did you do?"
perich brothers and sister - child labor

"Oh nothing,
my Dad made us sort out all these nuts and connectors he had mixed up.
After that he made us weed the yard cause he hates weeds."
back to work!

"Than he made me ride my skateboard in the rocky alley.
I got speed wobbles going down the hill."
road rash

"He just said that was part of growing up,
than you have scars to show your kids."
matching road rash and rubber bands

"He let me read for the rest of the day though."
Jakob's chill spot

"oh, that's cool"
"yeah it was cool..."

23 September 2012

flathead scavenger

A couple years ago I got this old "running when pulled" flathead
from a local guy on craigslist.

While it was really clean,
the block had a good size crack in one valve/cylinder.

ford 59a flathead

The plan I had with the engine disintegrated,
and if you've been reading you know the domino effect.
What can you do.
It will all be for the best in the long run.
59a flathead internals

This engine had been recently gone through,
and if there was some free money I would have sleeved the cylinder
and had some unleaded valve seats modded in.
The problem was it wouldn't have stopped there.
This thing had the early mushroom valves which are notoriously hard to remove,
so on top of the machine work this would have snowballed into a money pit.

During the move I went on a scrapping mission,
but this block was saved from the cut.
Nobody wanted this boat anchor on craigslist,
so the plan was to strip it and squeeze every last penny out of the insides,
than scrap the rest.

I was really surprised how clean the insides were.
There was no cylinder ridge,
the pistons, bearings, rods were so clean almost new looking.
Must have been opened up recently.
How could they not see that big ole crack?
little sludge!

And if it was recently gone through,
how could they not have seen this quart of sludge on the bottom!
It was so thick it had solidified,
and almost looked like a baffle around the oil pickup tube.

This is probably the best reason to not wash out an engine
 with kerosene or diesel between oil changes.
A sad sight if this was dislodged into the system.
ford flathead valve removal

There is only a handful of stuff that I wanted to salvage -
the rods/pistons, main caps, pressure plate/clutch/flywheel
and most important were the Johnson adjustable lifters.
The originals are hollow,
and the new repops are solid.
Hopefully the set would be useable.
torching valves

After maybe a half-hour of unsuccesfully removing a valve the mechanical way,
an internet search suggested the simple torch and hammer method.

Ok how about a quick how to - remove flathead valves!
Time is money on this project and after a few valves it became easier.
The first ones I found once the spring was surgically torched off,
a little heat would weaken the valve enough to smack it with the chisel and break.
ford flathead valve removal

Each valve became easier and easier to remove.
The trick was not to break them out.
First the valve was lifted and a screwdriver placed to keep it raised.
Then some light torch work to burn out 3 rings of the spring.
After that,
the valve itself needed to only be heated up,
no oxy-lever work until the valve was red hot.
The valve spring tension would pop the end of the valve off.
The bottom part of the guide can then be smacked with the hammer/chisel,
and that's that.
removing ford flathead mushroom valves

After the first couple,
it was possible to prep 2 sides at a time.
The most important thing I'd suggest is keeping the gas pressure really light,
no need to blow a bunch of slag around,
the oil smoke is bad enough.
pushing it

The other thing I'd recommend is wearing shoes.
I used up all my luck not getting injured,
and borrowed some from my kid.
jaxon and jakob perich - road rash

He came back from skating around the block with some good road rash.
Good times!
johnson hollow adjustable lifters - ford flathead

Now let's see if someone wants this old junk!


21 September 2012

how to - rig a tig

Finally got the garage bench as clean as it's gonna get,
and put the aluminum plate down to make a true welding bench.
There were a few learning curves,
so this is the perfect opportunity to show a
quick HOW TO,
and possibly help someone save some time and money in the future.
about time

I splurged a couple weeks ago and got a TIG setup for the Miller Maxstar 150.
The welder has been a stick only welder for the past 5 years,
but since it is capable of 110/220v it's perfect for the garage.
Fortunately this is the tiggable model as there is an arc only model too.
weldcraft legacy LS1712R tig torch

The only TIG torch I could easily find for the little Maxstar is the legacy LS1725R,
 which has a 25 foot lead.
This Weldcraft unit is combined in the Miller kits at the local weld shop.
After some digging I found the 12 foot LS1712R,
which should be sufficient for the garage area.
Hopefully I won't regret not having that extra 13 feet.
My concern was mainly using it with 110v,
and losing amperage as it went so far down the line.

I could only afford this thing by using flipper cash from the paypal account.
The TIG kit was on ebay,
and strangely enough the same company was selling stuff cheaper through there website.
BR Welding Supplies
The weird thing is there's a second website that seems like they are related.
US Welders - Welding Equipment Products - MIG/TIG/Stick Welders & Plasma Cutting
both from Maryland,
but the prices aren't the same.
weldcraft 195234

Anyway the problems with internet orders are
1-shipping time
2- correct or missing parts
The 2 boxes were sent separately from their warehouse and the weldcraft plant,
so they didn't arrive the same time.
That didn't matter cause it took me over a week to hook it up,
then I found out the 25mm adapter was missing.
They'll send one out in a couple days...
Fortunately the local weld shop had one in stock.
maxstart 150 stl

A couple months ago I used a similar machine as a TIG unit,
(which gave me the idea to set it up instead of the Dynasty)
and after much trial and error,
had figured out how to hook these babies up.

It is a strange design.
Typically the ground is negative and the stick is positive.
On the Maxstar the ground is positive,
and the tig torch is negative.
The way we'd found out on the friends machine,
is the argon gas passes through the actual negative post.
Check out the picture and you'll see the little hole.
hookin it up

The legacy torch has the integrated finger remote switch.
I've got one on the Dynasty but prefer the foot pedal,
only cause i've not practiced with it enough to be comfortable.

I thought I'd be sneaky and since I had ordered the 6-pin torch
that the maxstar needed,
I'd also order a 14-pin to 6-pin adapter so my foot pedal could be used.
Well funny enough there is no such thing as a 6-pin torch.
They just add the 14-6 pin adapter (miller #300507) to the order.
So now I've got an extra $45 adapter.
Ah hell.
ceriated tungsten

The one thing I didn't forget to order is the actual tig consumable kit.
You would expect the torch to come with all the pieces but it doesn't.
Since the 17 series is geared for light duty,
there was an .040 tungsten electrode included.
It's awesomely thin and it looks perfect for sheetmetal.
Will be fun to use that one.
ancient grinder

Here's the good old tungsten grinder.
I've had this for many many years,
was passed down from my grandfather - papa.
I love this old tool,
it has the coolest sounding noise to it.
belt grinder

Finally the little TIG was all hooked up.
All good right?
miller maxstar 150 stl

I started out with the foot pedal,
fixing Jakob's recent $1 Razor score which was a little loose.
Razor surgery

What the heck the thing didn't seem to want to work.
Was it the nasty chrome/paint steel?
It was the old scratch-start TIG technique.
I've been so spoiled with the High Frequency auto-start,
the touch and go spark isn't normal.
Home Cookin'

So time to get some welding 101 in and start practicing.
Broke out some new gloves,
and dug out a stagnant project a friend had been bugging me about for weeks.
Hey I'm just the welder not the engineer on these!
bent seat posts

Really should have unplugged the foot pedal to get used to the hand control.
Next time.
Well bottomline,
this is a bitchin little welder.
Using the 1/16 tungsten the dial was at 60,
with more than enough power for thicker material later on down the line.
Biggest bummer is not being able to weld aluminum,
but I've got other machines for that.

Hope this helps someone out!