Automotive Work

Flaming Hot Key Chain!

A ‘32 Ford Hot Wheels plus a big split ring equals a new key chain for a spare key for my truck–Which I need to get, right now only one key exists for it..

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No mods to the car were needed, with no side windows in it, I just had to thread the ring through!

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Categories: Automotive Work, Customized, key-chains, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Auxiliary truck lighting and 110V wiring. 

I now have a 110V cord hard wired, or permanently mounted anyway, in my truck. Run from under the center of the dash in the cab, out the firewall, and ending in the drivers side inner fender. Should come in handy for any 110V current tools I might want to run off of my power inverter. 


I’ve actually wanted to wire a setup like this in both the front and back of the truck for a while, just never got around to it.

So, Why now? your asking…

Weeeeelllll….

What do you get if I’m bored, not feeling the season, wanting to do something festive, and just plain silly fun, and have a brand new 20′ spare set of Christmas lights just laying around?

😀  ðŸ˜‰ 

Cut up a couple old cords, one from a dead fan, the other from a dead string of lights, to make a small extension cord. Cord ends wouldn’t fit through the hole in the fire wall, and I needed a custom length anyway, so I put it through, then installed the 2nd end, thus my now permanent cord.


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Dug out the old power inverter I cary in the truck;

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Lots of zip ties;

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And voila!

😀 


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Yes, I know I’m a total redneck… And that I’ll Never live this one down. But its just so freaking cool to drive around! 

One guy that passed me on the 4 lane, as he went by me slowly, his passenger suddenly did a double take as they came up even with my front fender… The guy just about Garfielded himself on the window! Just so hillarious! 

That reaction alone was worth it if no one else noticed… And a lot of other people noticed. Got lots of smiles out of people on our quick trip to town last night. 

If nothing else I “lightened” up a few folks evenings, hopefully for the better… Definitely got me feeling a lot better

Next year I’m thinking I’ll hang a wreath in the middle of the grill, and light it, and run the other lights on out down the full bed length.  ðŸ˜€

Merry Christmas everybody.  ðŸ™‚

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Christmas, Custom, Customized, Decorating, Fabrication, Funny, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, MacGyverism, mechanical, Modifications, Sillly, Silly, truck, Truck gear, Winter

ATV plow, first use. 

Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver…

The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter

First time for everything…

First time I’ve ever UN hot wired a vehicle! 😉 

Back story is as follows; A buddy had his ATV stolen out of his yard in May. Insurance payed off and he got a new one… 3 weeks later, the troopers said “hey, we got your wheeler back”.

He’s run out of time for projects this summer, but would like to sell it to cover the difference between the cost of the new one and the insurance paid. 

So, I’m putting it back together and selling it for him.

If it was a horse I’d say rode hard, put up wet… They didn’t baby it, but I wouldn’t say they thrashed it. 

 Needs a few things cleaned up, and put back together since they had started to strip it.  

First up was fixing the hacked hot wire job. Then test ridding to make sure they didn’t screw the driveline etc.. It all works great!  

Wiring like this isn’t too hard when you have a full wiring diagram to start with (free download of full factory service manual!) 

And, your supplied with a new switch, and the proper plug for it.  Got wire extension colors close on a couple… 

Scrounged and shortened the harness wires for an aftermarket switch pod I’d bought for mine. 

The harness wires to the switch had been cut so short I had to add something, but having them all one color would be a pain. 

The next guy is going to wonder what the heck, but at least he won’t be fighting to track a wire in a bundle of all red or all black wires..  

Voila;

😆

Couple days work on a few little cosmetic details and rewiring a winch, and then you should see it on Craigslist Fairbanks.  ðŸ™‚

Categories: ATV, ATVing, Automotive Work, Damages, EDC/MT use, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

ATV Clutch repair! (Part 4) 

The previous parts of this saga, were;

1.

The clutch going out.

 A weight bushing and shaft worn, and a broken weight roller on the spider, jamming between weight and roller, late last fall. 

Parked it for the winter.

2.

Then this spring, I decided that if I took out the pivot shafycfir the weight, and that the weight couldn’t come out without disassembly of the clutch, it wouldn’t bind and jam,  and should work on 3 weights. 

Which it did, flawlessly.

For about 3 months. 

3.

Then it managed to get the magic amount of rpm, clearance,  and weight orientation to throw the weight. About 3.5 weeks ago. 

Turned out at that point, that when still “floating” in the clutch, even though the weight wasn’t helping engage the clutch, that it’s trapped weight/mass was balancing the clutch! 

Horrendous vibration ensued, causing engine over heating, a high pitched hum, and increasing belt slipage. And eventually would no doubt eat engine bearings… 

I rode it some for work around the homestead,  but I’m the clutch slippage was getting worse every time I ran it. 

So… part 4.

I decided to replace the weight shaft, and bushing, making both myself to save cost. 

To add back the weight, but held in this time as intended to be, and eliminate the play that allowed it to bind up. The broken roller on the spider could wait a little while. 

Being lazy won out over being broke. Twice. First time about 3 weeks ago, I was going to lathe turn a new pivot shaft. 
Was easier to buy a new one. 

This time I was going to make the bushing for the weight … Never had the time or drive to do it for over a week. 

Found a atv/cycle parts place with amazingly reasonable shipping rates to Alaska (bikebandit.com). 

Few days later I have shiny little parts! 

Got 4 since everything online says you’ll crush a couple learning to press them in.

 Uhuh. 

I used a new bushing over the old shaft, slid through the old bushing/weight, nut on top to act as a stop, and drove the old one out while seating the new one…  

Slight bur created on end of new one trimmed out with a drill bit by hand. Took 5 min total, if that. And I have 3 bushings left! 

If nothing else I have the bushings to later do the other 3 weights. 
Then came instalation in the clutch.

REALLY wanted to do this without pulling the clutch off the engine. I bought a puller last winter, but there are a lot of horror stories about broken clutch pullers, and having to then cut the clutch up to get it off. If you got a cheap puller.  I did get a cheap, but not the cheapest puller… 

Yeah. 

 Couldn’t compress the clutch into the belt loop (as it does when the clutch is working, to open the area around the weight) as I had hoped I could, with clamps.  

Suddenly realized I could enlarge that belt loop, and clearance in it, by letting the belt tighten on the secondary clutch!

 Pry open secondary clutch, pull belt foreward, press primary clutch half inward, hold in place with clamp, insert weight, drive in new shaft(light press fit in clutch), install nuts, tighten. 

Voila! That was amazingly easy. Not sure why, but God sure does like me!

 plugged in the belt safety switch in the cover, wired the cover to the rack as high as possible,  kept my leg out of the clutches for a short test ride in the yard (don’t try this at home kids).

 NO MORE VIBRATION! Works like a DREAM!!  Took less than an hour total! $50 max total spent, used a whopping $11 in parts! 

If I’d known that could go that easy, I’d have gotten the parts and done it months ago!  

Bolted cover on and rode it 10 miles; perfect! No vibration, no high pitch buzz, no belt slip, no motor over heating, good clutch engagement!! 

Back to the way it was last year(yikes, hard to believe its been 10 months it first messed up!) before any of the clutch issues!!  
Now, technically I still need to replace the clutch center spider, that houses the (broken)roller that the weight runs on. 

But given how little wear there is on the weight compared to the rest of the worn parts, I think it is causing very little damage, very slowly.   

I’m pretty sure it can wait a month or two of reasonable riding, for me to save the funds to get the spider,  and build the tools needed to disassemble the clutch to change it. 

I will also be periodically checking on the play in that weight on the shaft–

(and, as a side point it’s now the tightest of all four… the other 4 bushings could use done within a couple years m, I’m sure.)

–because,  there is a section where the wear had eaten into the weight, that the new bushing is unsupported. 

Probably be fine for a long time, but I’ll check it from time to time just to be sure.  

Might just weld up that spot when I have it apart to do the spider. Or spring for a new weight.   But unless it starts to bind again,  I can’t see this causing any wear being a problem, for a while anyway. 

I’ve also decided that even though it still looks great, this couldn’t have been good for the belt, and I gave no idea how old it is anyway. I’ll put a new belt on it as soon as I can afford it. Hopefully when I replace the clutch spider; Since the clutch has to come off to change the belt (what idiot thought that up??!?), and I’d like to minimize times I have to do that… 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATVing, Automotive Work, Damages, GetOutdoors, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Riding, Vehicles, Wrenching

Motorcyclist/Bikers; Tire Pressure!

Hey guys/gals, just a heads up type thought; go check your tire pressure!

Last week I got ready to go for a ride, and did what I always do, always have; get on bike, and rolling forward hit the front brake hard; front shock compresses,  and weight hits front tire hard. Watch front tire, and if it deflects/bulges, I check air pressure.  

I started that years ago with dirt bikes, and then my Rebel 250 street bike…

As i recall, several pounds low and they’d show it.  Apparently the tires on my V-Star are a lot stiffer of a side wall!

As I said, I did that test this last week and had the tire flatten a little.  So I checked them. 

Rear was 10 psi! 

Front wouldn’t read at all!!

 

Zilch. Nada. 

So, I’ve been ridding on basically FLAT TIRES. Thankfully God is gracious, and it hasn’t killed me!

Aired them up, and the bike rolls better by hand than it has in a LONG time. Now when I clutch to shift while moving, it will roll faster, where before it would slow/drag.  (Be interesting to see how much this improves my gas milage!)

Talk about stiff side wall tires! Run flat is an understatement!  Apparently they’re just so stiff my little test has never really worked on this bike.

Lesson learned. I’ll now gauge check pressure every month, and seasonally when the bike comes out of storage(yeah, should have been doing that anyway).

Can you imagine a tire run too low suddenly shifting or rolling sideways on the rim at highway speed? 

 

Eek.

Or for instance, a couple weeks before this, a moose ran out in front of me. I locked front and rear brakes and slid 20ish feet in a basically straight line at 60mph (didn’t know I could do that!). 

If the tire had flattened then, or rolled sideways? 

Option on hitting moose; bad enough…

Tire coming off rim binding up the wheel and cartwheeling me and the bike through the moose; uhuh…

So…

GO CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE!!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, GetOutdoors, Life-Philosophy, Motorcycles, Summertime, Theory/Thoughts, Vehicles

motor boating!

A buddy of mine is converting his outboard river boat to an inboard. Going from a outboard prop to inboard jet. 


The motor is a GM made Ecotec supercharged in line 4 cyl 2.4L. Mostly stock Except some EFI, exhaust, and cooling components. 240HP. And the super charger is off of a 2.2L Ecotec… the 2.4s didn’t come with them.

The outboard that came off was 80HP. 

He had a custom boat(among other things ) welding shop that another buddy works at chop, channel the boat and build the motor and jet pump mounts in the boat. Then he’s done all the install, wiring, tuning(most of it) etc himself. 

There is a lot of custom stuff done with this motor, it’s a popular one to swap into things, but this is the only jet boat, and IIRC only boat of any kind in the world with one!

I was out with him on Monday the 18th for the first ever in water running and tuning. We spent 9 hours on the water, only about 45 min running it. The rest of the time was chasing fuel supply issues, mostly mechanical, but also in tuning the computer control of the EFI.. 

I’ve learned an Epic amount of stuff that I didn’t know about how EFI systems work.

There is a lot of his builds details posted on a couple forums;

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/2-4…5-supercharger-2272-mv-jet-boat-build-322969/

http://www.meanchicken.net/webmain/forum/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=69&t=19737

Apparently jet boats are Really popular in NZ? A lot of the info hes using came from down there!

http://www.nzjetboating.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30216.0
It just amazes me, the new motor and jet setup is only about 100lbs heavier than the old setup, if that much, he’s still only drafting 6″ under this thing,(on step it has to be 3″ or less!) With selling the outboard motor off it, he’s almost broke even, and gained 100+ HP ( 80 to 240, but ya lose some to the jet pump).

Unfortunately I lot all my video and pics from that day except one shot;

Yeah, the scenery is pretty epic too! 🙂 

That lake is unique in the area, and relatively new, only been there a couple years. It’s only about 1/2 mile,  maybe a touch more across the London way, 1/4 the other way I’d guess… BUT  It’s within 2 minutes of the industrial part of town, and 5 minutes from metro/downtown,  a 10 min max from just about anywhere in Fairbanks.

 It’s Deep, has a great launch and floating dock, picnic areas, bathroom facilities,  and allows power boats. That last one is the big thing… Otherwise it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to a lake that allows powered craft. Otherwise it’s the rivers… But playing in a current can get old, and these are shallow water rivers… Can be less than fun at times.  

It’s perfect for this project, as shallows and a current could be killer for testing a new motor! 

As a bonus, this lake does outlet into the Tanana river, so it has options.  And fish.. 😉 
So, onto the next time we were our with it, last Saturday;

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Junk yard GM ecotec 2.4L with a supercharger from a 2.2L. Full custom setup for fuel delivery and injectors( the only GM part left is the rail itself). The jet pump unit is top of the line made by Scott. 

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Our day out the first time that Monday, 9 hours on the water, 45 min run time mixed with problems…. But it did run all the time… or would run for short times.

This last time out on Saturday, boat was in the water 6 house before we got it to run at all… uhuh. 

First 3 hours it would fire over but not stay running. We were trying to run it without an O2 sensor (which technically it should do!) since the machinist that’s making the O2 adapter for the marine water jacketed exhaust had the sensor. 

No go. 
We had his spare sensor, but different plug/wire harness and colors. Tried unsuccessfully to hot wire it in. 

Drove the 40 miles(1.5 hours) round trip and picked up the right O2 sensor. 

Installed. 
Then it wouldn’t even fire! 
Checked and found no spark. 

Serriously turning into a rough day at this point. After over an hour of checking everything, I found a main fuse blown. We’d shorted out something and blown power to the whole setup when hot wiring the first O2 sensor! Oops!!

Them it ran great! Other than a hick up or two at about 3200 rpm, where it would stall out, and if you pushed it, the compute would kill the electronic throttle… 

We found out later that the tuning/computer fuel tables transition at that point to a higher rpm/load setup, but it not set right and it leans out too far– enough to cook the motor fast– computer was doing right to protect the motor when it was cutting off. 

So that will need chased in the programing, to richen up that tables’ mixture curve. 

For the rest of our testing we kept it below 3K without a hitch.

Its a non issue for general run though. We hit 50% throttle and 25 to 30 mph at 2800 rpm or below depending on load in the boat. 


And there is the big point; load in the boat. 

First run with around 900 pounds in the boat and it went “on step” within a boat length, and ran like it was empty! 

So we bumped up to all we had.

Two 50 gallon drums, two 20 gallon drums all full of water, my friend and I, and we had 1800 pounds in the boat. 

With the full 1800 in it, it took maybe 40 feet to get on step, then ran 40% throttle to 25 mph, at around 3000 rpm, ran fantastic, circle after circle in the lake, without a hitch. 

Never bogged, never pulled bad… was almost like an empty boat!! 

:D

Technically, the hull itself is only rated at about 1800 pounds, so add in motor, jet pump, and gear weight etc, we were a good 500 pounds over that. Ha! 

So the most weight you could ever safely have in there, and more than you’d ever really need to, and it ran basically like the loaf just wasn’t there.

100% success to the project! (A single 66″ moose, 2 guys and their gear last fall with the 115 hp outboard, he couldn’t get it on step, and they got back with less than 2 gallons of gas to spare. Almost didn’t get back, basically!) The point wasn’t a speed demon, but a super weight hauler for hunting. I think he’s got it. ;)

A bonus too, on about the third loop around at constant rpm/speed, the fuel ratio suddenly improved by dropping on air percentage.. anything over 15% is bad, and 17ish on up will cook the motor. 

We were running between 14 and 14.7 to start, at cruise speed. OK but not great. It suddenly dropped to 12.5. The computer is learning what it can do, and what the motor needs, and is tuning itself. 

At this point, the more it runs, the better it should run the mixtures as it continues to learn. Shouldn’t have to worry about it as much. 

Anyway, our last two runs of the day, part one and two from in the boat. And part three from the launch, while we waited for some kids to get out of the way of loading on the trailer. 

Slight hitch at the end of this next one… lol. 

Sorry you don’t get to see me.. (lucky you actually! ) we started out both filming, but he ran out of hands between throttle, steering wheel, and phone… lol.

So, anyway, this has really been a lot of fun for me, I’m super grateful he’s included me, and allowed me to be a part of helping with this. 

  As you all know, I Really enjoy custom work, things out of the ordinary. Along with my automotive interests, growing interest in boats, and absolute (if probably a bit weird)love of troubleshooting, improvising  and chasing a problem,  I really am loving this project. 
As I type this, he is mounting the marine water jacket exhaust(last few days anyway), and custom O2 sensor mount. Be interesting to see how, or if, that changes the run of the motor. 

All things stay good, and God willing, on the 3rd of August this boat is one of three going on a church group fishing/camping trip. 3 days in Minto Flats, one of the biggest and most remote norther pike hot spots in the state.  Yes, I’m going! 😉 😀

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Summertime, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

Parts make the world spin…

Among other things that spin. I’ll just leave these here; 

Currently trying to find a new one that I can afford. Actually, afford to ship is more accurate. 


The pivot wear;


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(Bonus points awarded if you can tell me what it is 😉😎😈 )

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Damages, Life-Philosophy, Vehicles, Wrenching

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