Thursday, December 22, 2016

Stepping forward and back.

Mostly out of frustration from the cold weather turning my hands into useless flippers, I took my Bronco in to the shop.  It turns out that the only mechanic within 20 miles of where I live only has open flames for heat in his garage.  Since he isn't too keen on catching on fire, this means he has to turn the heat off to work on fuel problems.  His current plan is to try and jury rig things so the choke is just wide open and see if it still starts.  One or the other of us will fix it properly when it's a bit warmer out.
Back when my uncle was still alive (seriously, watch your cholesterol folks) I'd go work on crap like this at his brake shop during the Winter.  Maybe I'll get a garage built some day.
Mrs. Z's Volvo also decided it doesn't want to go forward anymore today (reverse still works).  Hopefully the problem is relatively simple.  If it's more than say $1500 to fix I'm probably just going to buy her another car.
On a more positive note I found a place to park the BMW where it doesn't get stuck.  Having 400 ft/lb of torque at the wheels in a small car means that it likes to dig holes when there's no traction.  I'm getting studded tires on Monday, so getting stuck on ice won't be a thing for much longer.
I'm actually starting to get some of the workspaces set up here, finally.  I have several projects I'd like to work on, but I lack the proper facilities.  Once I have all this stuff set up I'll probably post something.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chokin' the chicken

I did a test drive of the Bronco today and was getting single digit MPG.  Because of the whole snow and no garage thing I tried to take it to the mechanic.  Due to high demand he's only taking non-running cars right now.  Hew suggested that I see if the choke is stuck and come back in about five days if I can't get things figured out.

The choke isn't exactly stuck, but it sure isn't opening.  If I push it open manually it rebounds to where it was as soon as I remove pressure.  Since the choke is opened by a bimetal spring, to me at least this means that it just isn't getting hot enough.

Apparently converting to a manual choke is an option, but I haven't found the details on doing so just yet.  It may be easier.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter has arrived

Winter has arrived on the mountain.  We've probably had a foot of snow in the past week.  I have lots of firewood and pellet fuel.  There is plastic film over the crappy old single pane windows, and it's nice and toasty inside. Unfortunately I still wasn't as prepared for it as I should've been.

My wife and I both drive rear wheel drive cars, and they were parked in a way that had my truck blocked in.  Yesterday we spent probably three hours fucking around with snow shovels, pieces of cardboard, and ultimately a propane brush burning torch to get them moved around enough to get the truck out.
We ran some errands, and the truck was misfiring.  I picked up some spark plugs while we were out.

This morning I swapped out the plugs.  The existing ones were unsurprisingly carbon fouled.  I also leaned out the idle mixture a little bit (it's an old carbureted model) for good measure.  It still seems to be missing a little bit, but not nearly as badly as it was.  If a good jaunt on the highway doesn't get it to fly right it'll be off to the mechanic.  While it is true that I do need to learn more about carburetors,  I am currently without a good workspace.  When I changed the plugs it was about 33 degrees out and raining.  I was dressed appropriately, so it wasn't exactly miserable, but it wasn't pleasant either.

From here on out, I'm going to make sure that the truck is in a different spot the moment I see the word snow in a weather forecast.  Had there been some kind of situation that required leaving immediately, it wouldn't have happened.  Also, I'm going to drive the truck more frequently.  It currently is only driven when something needs to be hauled somewhere.  This won't quite do anymore.

I ordered some tire chains for Mrs. Z's Volvo.  I'm debating getting some for my car too.  The thing is that I have far less ground clearance than she does, so I'm not sure if they'd actually do me any good on the one hand.  On the other hand my car gets about double the mileage that the truck does and has nice things like fuel injection.

On the subject of lacking a work area, the house has a garage of sorts, and it is my intent to make it a workshop.  Unfortunately there is currently too much stuff in there to actually do any work.  I've gotten rid of most of the things that I don't need.  Mrs. Z and I put together a small storage shed this evening, and I'm going to move all the yard and garden type stuff into it.  I have a ladder showing up tomorrow that will let me get into the attic of the house.  A plethora of things that are currently in the garage are much better suited for the attic, and they'll be up there soon.  I picked up a workbench at Hazard Fraught yesterday, and I think I may be able to get it set up after I move all that stuff. 

In short, I have problems, but I also have solutions.