Tuesday, August 1, 2017

This Time It Wasn't Fucking Magic, It Was Mechanical

When I bought my truck over a year and a half ago the cruise control didn't work. For over a year (can't count the almost 6 months of playing Snowbird) I have been trying to figure out what the problem was. First check was the fuses, one under the dash and one under the hood. Actually there's two under the hood after the recall on the cruise was done. Anywho, all the fuses were good . The switch on the brake master cylinder was good.

Googled the problem and got a number of causes including a bad brake light bulb or third light bulb?? All the brake lights worked so that wasn't the problem. The third light didn't have a bulb, but after I replaced it the cruise still didn't work. Then I found how to do a diagnostic on the system using the buttons on the steering wheel. The first diagnostic procedure I found didn't give the codes and what they mean. I thought when I hit the last button the one flash was for that button and one more flash meant the system was good. Then I found another site that gave the error codes and two flashes meant the clutch switch, brake switch or one other problem.

The one on the left is the old switch and the one on the right is the new one.

When I took the clutch switch apart I saw the springs were broke. The part that slides was not being pushed all the way back and was always in the position for canceling the cruise.

On a side note, a couple weeks ago I read an article about how auto parts stores will soon be history. The guy that wrote it had a dealership or something where they did repair work on cars. He said there was a huge markup on parts, altho as a business he got a better deal than the average person. After having had a number of problems with auto parts stores sending him the wrong part or having to wait a couple days he started checking out online parts places. The conclusion he came up with was if you can afford to wait a couple days it makes good sense to order your parts online.

Anywho, I checked the price online with Autozone and they wanted $90. At Amazon I could get a Motorcraft (Ford replacement parts) for $45 and found the one I order for under $25. I took a few days as it wasn't coming from Amazon, but the cruise hadn't worked since I bought the truck, so what's a few more days??

Also on prices, the check engine light is on the truck and I had Autozone check it and found out one of the O2 sensors is bad. Asked how much it cost and was told about $90. I checked Amazon and I can get one for under $20. Now I need to go see my neighbor and see if his code reader can figure out which one of the four O2 sensors is bad.

Progress On 4-Wheeler Project

I have got it running, sort of. After checking the solenoid and the switch found the problem why it wouldn't crank, a bad connection at a plug on the wire bundle coming from the left handlebar. Then it wasn't getting gas. Took the carb apart and cleaned the needle valve. Finally got it to fire, but it would only run with the choke full on. Now it's a little better, but still doesn't want to idle. I have been able to drive it, but it still needs a lot of work.


I need to replace the u-joints on the front driveshaft and the wheel bearings on the front wheels. The left one has a lot of slop, I can shake it back and forth. Discovered the wheel bearing was shot when I put it up on jack stands to work on the driveshaft. With all four wheels in the air I can turn the driveshaft by turning one of the wheels.

Anywho, I checked on Amazon and bearings & seals for one wheel is $12 and for both is $20 so I think I'll replace both.

I may still need to pull the carb apart and clean it better to get it to idle, also I need to check the points to find out why it wants to backfire when I try to idle it.

Then I need to repair the front fenders and the front rack.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Solar Water Heater

In the summer months we use a washing machine that sits outside. The water coming out of the ground is fairly cold. I thought it was 40 something degrees but when I used a thermometer it was about 50 degrees.


I had a coil of 3/4 inch plastic pipe, so I thought maybe I could use that to make a solar collector to heat the water before it goes in the washing machine. I thought I could just connect the garden hose to the pipe fittings I put on each end of the plastic pipe. One worked but the other leaked. I needed a better way to hook up the garden hose.


I put a hose bib valve on the fitting on the plastic pipe and used a washing machine hose to connect the garden hose to the hose bib. When we tried it out it did raise the temp some, but not as much as I had hoped. Part of the problem is there is a tree that shades the place I have the solar collector. It did raise the temp about 20 degrees, which is an improvement. Maybe if we had waited a little longer it would have been totally in the sun and would have been warmer.

The best part of this is I didn't have to buy anything to set this up. I had all the parts needed already, just had to round them up and put it together.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Less Than A Dollar A Year!!

Back in 2010 I bought a used router at Goodwill in Hot-Lanta. I checked my photos and I have one of the router taken in Dec 2010.


This photo is from when I first got the router. I wasn't looking for a router at the time I bought it, I actually was just looking for a power supply for The Kid's keyboard. The power supply for the router was close to the right voltage and had the right plug. It just happened to come attached to the router so I decided to see if it worked as we had two confusers and the laptop had WiFi capabilities. It did work so I went back to Goodwill and found another power supply for the keyboard.

This shows the price still on the transformer for the router.

After over 6 years of use it was acting up. I would have to reboot the router by unplugging it for 10-15 seconds and plugging it back in. The new notebook seemed to be more sensitive to the WiFi signal than my old laptop. We are still having problems with the intratubes and I decided we didn't need the router adding to it!! So last Monday we went to Best Buy and bought a new router.


Maybe I should have wiped the fingerprints off of it before I took the picture?? Anywho, this is the new router, it is a dual band one. The notebook and smart phones can use either the 2.4 gig or 5 gig. My old laptop (built in 2009) only recognizes the 2.4 one. So far it seems to be working OK. With the notebook the old router would be in and out at times until I would reboot it.

Like all electronics it is FM (Fucking Magic)!!

The problem is that at $80 I don't think I'll live another 80 years in order to get the same amount of value from the new router as I got from the old one!!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sometimes I Wonder

Lately I've been wondering why I even bother having email?? Other than a couple humorous sites and a couple sites for buying shit, about all I get in my inbox is political shit. I've unsubscribed from a bunch and still there is a ton (seems like when you sign up for a site they have multiple senders and you would have to do the unsubscribe from every one that sends out shit for that site.



Anywho, the real reason I wonder about why I keep my email accounts is I can go for weeks without getting any personal emails and then it's usually one that slips in from a crazy relative with a forward of some outlandish far-right-wingnut BULLSHIT!! Hopefully I've blocked all of the email accounts of that relative that's gone over to the darkside!!

It seems that email has become obsolete as snail mail??

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Interesting Travels With The Guppy

It has been interesting traveling in The Guppy. On the way to Arizona the driveshaft fell out and we had to abandon the tow dolly. But all in all we made it to our destination. On the way back we had different problems. When we took off in AZ I had to jump it started. After I gassed it up it started without a jump. That was the last time it started without a jump. In Grand Junction, CO I bought a new battery. I had hoped to make it home before buying a new battery, but the old one wouldn't hold enough charge to start anymore.




These are the two rear tires from the driver's side. When we got into Missouri I felt a vibration and couldn't figure out if it was the road or a tire. When I on to a different road and the vibration was still there, I stopped at a truck stop and checked the tires. They all had air and the lugs were tight. I got about 5 miles farther and one of the rear tires came apart. Most of the tread came off, but it still was inflated. I had stopped on an uphill stretch so I drove a little farther to where it was more level. I couldn't go much further because someone else was on the shoulder with a flat. Looking back it could have been worse, I could have still been on US-60 with no shoulders, but I was on I-49 which did have a shoulder just barely wide enough for The Guppy. Anywho, I changed the tire while hoping I didn't get run over by the traffic. After I had the spare on we continued on our way. We stopped at a campground that we had kinda planned on for the night. The next day we hit the road again and got about 100 miles when the other driver's side rear tire did the same thing. Most of the tread came off, but it eas still inflated. I didn't want to repeat the previous tire change and didn't have another spare so I drove slowly on the shoulder to the next exit. I stopped at a gas station and asked where I could find a tire shop.

I was told there was a tire shop at the next exit, but I couldn't get there by a side road. I took the tire from the day before in my car and went searching for new tires. At the next exit there was some kind of tire shop (no garage, just a couple of building and a pile of old tires. Nobody was there so I asked st that gas station where I could find another tire shop. I was told there was one 7 miles down the road at the town. I drove there, found the tire shop and they must have been out to lunch also. A guy at the gas station across the street yelled someone would be there in a few minutes. Anywho, the guy had the tires I needed and I got one on the wheel I had with me. Went back and put the new tire on The Guppy and then drove it to the tire shop to get 3 more tires.

The tires were 16 years old and when 2 of them went so close together, I decided to replace all 4. When the second tire let go it did some damage underneath. It tore up a wire bundle that I'll have to figure out what the wires are for when I replace them. It also broke the pipe from the gray water tank. And it ripped the mudflap off. So I will have some work to do before we can use The Guppy.

We purposely avoided Kansas because of our problems going thru Kansas on the way out and turned out Missouri bit us!!

Why does shit happen when you are cruising thru BFE??

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Got My Driveshaft Back

On our way out to AZ the last section of the driveshaft fell out. While I was under The Guppy working on that part of the driveshaft I noticed that one of the carrier bearings had some play in it. I could shake it up and down and around. Turned out it wasn't the bearing but the rubber that the bearing was mounted in. As the carrier bearings are pressed on to the shaft that wasn't a job that I could do myself in the RV park. I probably wouldn't be able to do it at home, although I do have a way to press things with a hydraulic jack and a framework. Anywho, it took two weeks, but I got my driveshaft fixed. I found a shop that had a bunch of signs across the front of it and one of the signs said bearings, so I took the driveshaft out and brought it there.


They only had one of the carrier bearings in stock and had to order the other one. That's what took so long. I also had them replace the u-joints on this part of the driveshaft. Now it has all new bearings. Hopefully it will last as long as The Guppy will last.


These are the old bearings. I didn't get one of the hangers back, but I don't care. I may or may not have a use for the bearings, but I just wanted to get the old parts back. The u-joints I may be able to use on my old plowtruck if any of the u-joints wear out.

There you go, http://dablogfodder.blogspot.com and http://thefilecabinet.blogspot.com
I put up a post for you guys!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's Working

The Old Lady wants to call it Casper Jr.*
We got a small dehumidifier recently and at first we weren't sure how well it was working. It did get some water in the tank, but weren't sure just how much it was doing to reduce the moisture in The Guppy. At first it was in the living/kitchen area and then I put it up on the bunk over the cab. One of the reasons we got it was because there was a lot of condensation on the window across the front of the bunk area. It would run down the glass and fill the channel in the window frame and then run down the paneling. I had brought along a piece of paneling to replace the piece that was getting wet. I didn't want to replace the panel until the condensation problem was fixed. Today I checked the front window and there was hardly any water on the inside of the glass. The dehumidifier had been on the bunk running for a couple days. The tank on it was a little less than half full. The tank holds half a liter or about a pint.

We got a new neighbor a few days ago and he suggested putting small bubble-wrap on the inside of the windows. He had just come down from Denver and said he had done that with his windows and had no trouble even with below zero temps. I am thinking about trying that with some of the windows, like the ones we don't need to see out, the front window in the bunk area is a prime candidate.

*My middle name is Casper, so that's why the Jr for the little white machine. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Think We Need A New Awning

This is the way we had the awning set up. I put a board down under the upright in front and screwed the upright to it. That way it wasn't in the way like it would be when it is attached to the side of the motorhome. It made it easier to walk around but it also made it more hassle to close up. 
A few nights ago it was windy. The awning was out and flapping pretty good. About 5 o'clock in the morning the Old Lady said she was worried about the awning because it was making so much noise. We were out trying to get the awning closed when it ripped. When we bought The Guppy the awning had already been ripped by high winds on the end that attaches to the motorhome. The previous owner had used a couple of furring strips and screws to attach the awning to the side of the motorhome. We figured we would have to replace it at some time, just have been wondering what design on the awning to get. The Old Lady would like one with the logo of her alma mater. Question is which one, Michigan Tech or Virginia Tech?? The school colors for Virginia Tech would sorta match the accent strips on The Guppy. Anywho, we had sorta figured on replacing it sometime this winter and now we really need to do it if we want shade.


I'm making a cover for the windshield and doors. I had an old tarp with a couple of rips in it so it wasn't much use for covering stuff. I was able to cut pieces out of it to cover the windshield and the windows in the doors. I have it taped together temporarily but will need to sew the pieces together as the tape isn't holding very well. I used aluminum tape as I thought it would hold better than duct tape. Well it doesn't seem to stick to the tarp very well. I bought some strip magnets to hold it in place and is laying smoother than in this picture. The strip magnet came in a roll, so I laid it out for a day or so to straighten out, but it still wants to curl. I laid the magnets out on the trunk of the car during the afternoon and  overnight. But when I cut pieces from it, they at times still want to curl.


Another thing I've done is put a piece of sheetmetal under the door for the water heater to direct the water away from the compartment under it. The relief valve on the water heater weeps after the water gets hot in the water heater. I replaced the relief valve and it still weeps some water. I thought maybe the city water pressure at campgrounds was too high, so I got a pressure regulator that is supposed to keep the pressure at 40-50 psi. It still weeps. There is no way to adjust the temperature on the water heater, which if I could lower the temp (which gets real hot) that might stop the problem. In any case, I thought this would at least stop the water from running down the door for the storage compartment below the water heater. Yesterday I saw some guys working on the skirting for a trailer here in the RV park and I asked if they had any scrap pieces of sheetmetal that I could have. The guy cut off a piece and gave it to me. I then cut it to size with my utility knife and installed it. I took the screws out across the bottom of the water heater and slipped the sheetmetal up under it and replaced the screws to hold the sheetmetal in place. The piece was bent at one edge and it makes a trough for the water to run off to the side and away from the compartment door.