MacGyver

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™‚

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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 | 3 Comments

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 

My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  ðŸ˜€ This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter | Leave a comment

Quartz to mechanical pocket watch conversion. V1.0

Back in mid May, I bought a cheap Chinese mechanical pocket watch. To be used as a movement donor, to fix one of my favorite quartz pocket watches that has bit the dust.  The quartz watch is special because it was one my Dad bought me.

I spent two days on ebay searching the watches for a dial/face I liked,  that was easy to read… Many mechanical watches have an unreadable color scheme,  or too much skeletonizing to be readable. 

I do like the dial in the quartz watch, but this process is a LOT easier if I don’t have to change the dial/hands between the movements. Or even remove them from the movements!


The project got shelved at the time. Then I realized how much I like the watch itself… The case is a little lightweight (cheap-ish) but it was nice enough, and went into rotation. Making it harder to canibalize for the other one.   

Every time I though of it, I put it off for various reasons.

Anyway. Today I was swapping watch chains around so I could carry my other mechanical pocket watch, and saw the quartz one on the shelf. Thought, gee wouldn’t it be nice to carry that one. And thinking how long it’s been since I carried the newer mechanical one… 

I thought oh why not, and took them apart right then. 

I always figured this would be a case of the mechanism not fitting, or the dial, or spacing ring etc, and turn out to be a real hassle to figure out.

At this point I did think that if nothing else, if it all went in ok, but the spacer ring didn’t fit, I could build a mount ring, or spacers with Sugru. 

Pulled the back covers first.

Measured the case diameters inside, quartz was 0.06″ smaller… PFFT! close enough!    

Pull plastic spacer rings, screw the crowns off (I need to find finer pliers for the next time, Victorinox Spirit tips were a bit big but worked great– you have to hold the inner shaft on the mech, and turn the crown off of it.) 

The mechanical dial was a touch smaller than the quartz one, but did fit ok. 

The mech. watches plastic ring fit the quartz case well enough, just had to whittle off some spacer nubs on its edge.. 

Room enough that the back plate went on too. 

Hands cleared the front glass. 

All perfect.

Except… 

The mechanical movement is thicker. By a few thousandths. So the stem shaft wouldn’t line up with the hole in the case/spring.  At least, not with out offsetting the dial in the case and binding the hands, and the crowns use.. 

I got that figured out with firm placement of the dial in place, and flexing/slightly bending the stem rod to line up, then starting the threads. Once started and seated it simply flexed the shafts where it needed it. 

Unfortunately…. (saw this coming, didn’t you?)

In the process,  I was handling a bare unprotected mechanical movement. That was running slightly… Somewhere I stopped it wrong, or pressed wrong,  or tweaked something… Ended up with a fine loop double up in the main spring/balance spring. 

Even if I could take it apart (oi.) I doubt I could straighten out the spring and make it work.  And I’d probably never get it back together right. 

So, at that point I had a half installed broken movement.  

I went ahead and finished the install, trimming the the plastic ring, etc.  

It all fits and would work great. If it still worked. Lol. 

So now I just need to order another of those watches to canibalize… A little more careful this time. 

Thankfully I’m only out about $12 on the broken one. It’ll still only be a $24 conversion! 😀 

Only took three pics of the whole process, will take more the next time. 


Mechanical spacer ring in quartz case;



The spring after I was done trying to push the loop out… Yeah. 😦


Categories: Custom, Damages, EDC, Improviser, MacGyver, mechanical, Modifications, New Gear, Sentimental, Sugru, Watches

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

Higher Work?

Got really really tired of everything being too low to work on, even sitting down…

 I do have a hydraulic motorcycle/atv lift, but it goes under the frame only, isn’t really stable for this type of work. 

I’ve also done stuff with it on my wheel ramps before, about 9″ of lift, but that’s still a PITA at times. 

Thus, my redneck Alaskan ATV lift.

My two old truck boxes (one a Rubbermaid chest, I wasn’t sure if it would take it, but it seems to not care about the weight! ), some scrap 2×12, and voila 16″ of lift! 

Front box being wider turned out great, didn’t plan it, but it’s enough to straddle and sit on, or stand on if needed.

Should have took pics of the first try getting it up there… Used my wheel ramps and one turned over after the front wheels when up… Was awkward getting it off at an angle with no ramp under one side. Lol. 

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Custom, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Repurpose, Vehicles, Wrenching

ATV Brush guard/bull bar/bumper. 

I wanted a brush guard for the Prairies headlight area. Not sure what Kawasaki was thinking when the guard loops ended up below the lights, with nothing really behind them, and Nothing in front of the lights… 

Also wanted a bumper, not just for protection but for pushing things.  Had planned it to probably be separate from the brush guard, but wasn’t adverse to one piece either..  

Not having a tubing bender, I went through Everything in my scrap piles with a bent tube or corner trying to find something I could make work, even if I had to weld it all up in a loop… Nothing. 

Then I remembered this set of chrome motorcycle engine guard bars that my Dad bought 20 years ago, but couldn’t use, that I knew I still had a couple years ago… somewhere.  Was easy to find, amazingly(my scrap piles are literally that; piles). 

 Perfect width for the headlights, and the brackets, when bent in a touch went between the existing uprights almost as if made for them. 

But, when swapped around, put on “backwards” from intended use direction it put the outer sweep toward the back as needed.  Only problem there was all the mounts were now useless… 

The downward taper angle fit the flow of the machine shape, and the fender cut angle really well too. 

But I wasn’t sure how I really liked it with my first couple mock ups…

Liked that it fit around the lights great, and even though it stuck out a lot, that’s what I was after for a push bumper (too close to the plastics and you still break plastic if you hit anything hard,  defeats the purpose of having a bumper!). 

It is still a bit more forward than I’d prefer, but it’s not Too far, in my opinion. 
 Anyway, didn’t have anything to lose,  wasn’t using the bars anyway, so I started cutting brackets off, and trimming to fit around the winch.

Have I mentioned how much I Really like my angle grinder? 😆

One side down, one to go..

The look improved, but still with a “But…”  Got it all mounted, and still a “But..” 

It seemed to frame and magnify the big square hole above the winch, like a gaping open mouth below the eyes(headlights). (No, couldn’t close off the hole,  radiator is there… although I do have a grill in mind)
Figured I’d live with it for a while.  Decided to go ahead and paint it.

 Bang! That did it! In black instead of chrome, it blends in and it just plain works!  ðŸ˜ŽðŸ‘âœŒðŸ‘Œ 

Love it when a plan comes together!

You will also note that I cut the front racks wall/upper front horizontal bar off. It was mangled beyond being worth the work of straightening it. MUCH cleaner look without it. And, the plan is a wall set for the front like I did on the rear,  anyway.

Now, the mounting bolts. I wanted to drill the new bar, and run the u-bolts through, and around the existing brush guard bars. 

I couldn’t get u-bolts the right width.  So I got what I could, a size bigger,  and did full crosses around both… it’s not perfect,  but it’s pretty damn solid, and working. 

 And like the bar itself, painted they blend in , and don’t look bad. 

  I *think* I can make my first plan work with u-bolts a half step in between these and what I wanted. Might try that in the near future, as I’m able to afford more hardware. 
Will also be interesting to see how well the headlights work through it, this fall when it actually gets dark enough to tell.  Of course by then I should have the new LED lights installed, but still, I’m hoping it works OK, and doesn’t shadow terribly.  

Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles

Improvised mud flap, 2.0

The wheeler was missing the right side front of rear fender flap since I’ve had it.

Here is the factory left side one;

To get a factory one for the right side is a $40 or $50 proposition,  plus almost that to ship it to AK. uhuh.  Have you ever known me to buy anything I can possibly make? Lol.

 I replaced it… or Macgyvered it once before, but the plastic I used, an old Chevy floor mat, while flexible, was too stiff. It wouldn’t flex, and buckled into the tire, got tore out when the fenders flexed. And I’d only used zip ties to hold it in anyway.  

Nice soft flexible, but thick rubber this time. What was the rubber you ask? A fancy aftermarket truck floor mat! 
Actually the second thing these mats have been used for other than floor mats… I forget where I got them but they were cheap or free, with Built Ford Tough molded in the center. I used them as rear wheel mud flaps on my 78 Bronco for a year till they got tore off… 

Cutting to size;

Fitted and bolted;

Large washers under the bolt heads, and larger on the back side to prevent tear outs.  Even had some rubber backed washers I’d saved when taken off some fancy self tapping screws a while back. 
Used them to run a zip tie through to spread out the pull, also to prevent tear through(had to splice on a smaller piece to go all the way up the fender edge as far as the stock flap does).


The spliced on piece is also held under the upper most bolt for the main piece. 

Looks good even if I do say so myself! And more importantly my right foot shouldn’t be covered with mud all the time now!
Now, I finished it, and left it, but wasn’t sure about the attachment to the floor boards. The stock ones are only held with the two centered screws, but…. 5 minutes later I decided I Really didn’t like it, and added another further outward hole to the floorboard corner. 

Much better!

If I can find the other floor mat, I want to add extensions to both sides, to fill this gap between where these front flaps stop and the rear most flaps. 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Wrenching

ATV Rack extension/retaining walls.

Got tired of having to strap/hold stuff down, especially for the fast 50 yard, or even 50 foot jaunts around the property. Thought it’d be nice to just trow something on and not worry about it sliding/bouncing off. 

Thought “oh yeah, they make those walls for the racks”  but I ain’t got, nor willing to pay $60 or more for one. 

$5 in welder wire, scrap scrounged steel, and 6 or 7 hours over a couple evenings is a lot cheaper and easier! And more fun too! 

Gotta be one of THE coolest tools I’ve bought. It’s astounding how handy a cordless angle grinder can be, especially with a cutting wheel! 

It’s amazing what you can do with 2 grinders , 2 cutters , and a welder, some old furniture, with a little imagination. 😎😉👍 

Needed some medium weight tubing, and finally saw an old futton/couch thingy frame in my scrap pile. 

Pulled a loose slat out, and it was sturdy but not too heavy, seemed heavy enough (both durable, and thick enough to weld).
Cutt all the slats out of one side,  got 12, 23″ pieces. 
Trimed, striped paint from ends for joints, measure, layout, bent some corners (2nd set of corners I did butt joints, for ease of layout/assembly, but it wasn’t as nice a finish).

Cut and welded it all up in two evenings. 

Those corner clamps are made for cabinetry & carpentry , but are a gift from God for layout and holding while welding too!  Makes me wonder why I never though to use them for this before.

It took about 11 of the pieces total.  10.5 really, but one piece I have left is 23″ worth of short chunks, not a whole piece. Have one whole one left. But I also have another 12 left to be cut from the other half of the couch frame!

Yes, it looks tall, but that’s only about 6″ which sounds short to hold things in place. But it’s what I found was average for the factory and aftermarket sets of these walls,  so that’s what I went with.  Still sounds short, but looks tall to me.. But I like it. 

Here, mostlt finished, painted and mounted, with the accessory mounters secret weapon(amazing what you can hold down with u-bolts, and also the strength/secureness they have).

 That might seem light duty for this, but you have to remember that the rear rack capacity is only about 130 pounds, and I’ll be strapping anything big/bulky/heavy to the rack itself, not the wall. 

Here you can see the contrast in the corner styles. 

It does get two more things before it’s really completely finished; 

Some holders/brackets at the front corners for a removable front cross bar.  And some mesh walls all the way around, IF I can scrounge some cheap or free mesh.

 I might go back and grind/smooth some of the rougher welds too. 🙂  

Really liked this one, it was a challenge,  needing to not only design and build, but keep everything true, straight, and square so it would all line up. Had to tweak it a couple times, even cut, bend and re weld the widened cut (sorta like a pleated spot?)once to take twist out.  

Was a fun challenge welding round tubing too, hadn’t done that before.  Also uphill/downhill, and upside down, sideways, and various angled welding, which I’ve not done a lot of. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

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