Saturday, July 23, 2016

Found The Cause Of The Smell

Last December I bought another truck, a 2001 F-150 extended cab. It had several problems. First thing I did was have the windshield replaced. A couple months ago I replaced all the ball joints on the front end. Last month I got and replace a parking brake cable. It is kinda weird setup. The cable from the left rear wheel hooks into a metal piece and the housing for the other brake cable goes into the piece and the cable goes forward and hooks on to the cable from the brake pedal in the cab. I got the new cable routed and installed. Tried out the parking brake and all it did was tighten the cable without applying the brakes. The next day I took out the parking brake pedal assembly and found the cable had slipped. Instead of going up and over, it was along side of where it should be. After I routed the cable properly the parking brake worked, but only for one wheel. I figured I'd look into adjusting the brake that wasn't working later. The other day we went somewhere with the truck and when we stopped after 15-20 miles there was an annoying smell. It smelled like either a clutch burning up or a brake hungup. After we got to where we were going I checked the wheels and found the right rear was hot while the others were warm. Whatever it was, it wasn't causing a drag on the truck, just the bad odor. I couldn't do anything about it then in any case, so we continued on, did what we had planned and then went home. Yesterday I took the wheel off and removed the caliper. Had some trouble getting the rotor off and it probably hadn't been off since the truck was built 15 years ago. Sprayed penetrating oil in the crack between the rotor and the axle and after some time I was able to get the rotor off. What I found was the the linings for the parking brake shoes had fallen apart. Found one piece several inches long and a bunch of pieces no bigger than a half inch.

This piece is about 5 inches long and the rest were just small pieces. I think some of the small pieces got jammed between the shoe and the rotor. Not enough to slow the wheel, just enough for friction to heat the assembly and cause the stink!!

This shows the cable setup that had me confused when the longer cable was missing.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Update to the Flag

My previous post about the flag had some results. I posted the picture on facebook and also a link to my post. The Old Lady shared both the picture and the link to the post. Several days later the flag and the garbage were gone. I guess they really were throwing the flag out with the trash!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Flag

Now I'm not gungho, hunglo, esprit de corps and all that shit, BUT I do think if you are going to display the flag, you should do it properly. I don't give a shit about flag burning, we don't need a fucking amendment against flag burning. If you are that pissed and feel you have a bitch against the government, then go ahead and burn the flag to get their attention!!!!

What I object to is people that treat the flag like fucking yard art. They hang the flag and leave it there until it rots without following proper flag etiquette. You don't leave it out in the dark, either shine a light on it or take it in at night. What's with this bullshit of putting a full size flag on the back of your mailbox post??? Or next to a road in the middle of nowhere?? One I've seen appears to be next to a service road for a cellphone tower.

I've noticed a lot of campers will hang a flag as soon as they park in their site. I'd like to know what the fuck is the point of putting out a flag when you are only going to be somewhere for a short time?? Are they afraid someone will accuse them of being furriners??

This is typical of most campers. This one was taken at Canyon Lake in Tejas. This one isn't as bad as some I've seen, one that I saw this spring on our way home had a flag hanging off the back of their trailer over the garbage bags!! I guess to show that their garbage was 'Murikan!!

But I think the one that takes the cake is one I've seen lately whenever I go to town. It's in front of a business that's being remodeled.  Needless to say that if the business ever opens, I won't spend a dime in it!!

Now, will someone tell me if this is some proud real 'Murikan showing his patriotism or did they put it out with the rest of the trash????????????????????

"When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner."

I have relatives that are all for a flag burning amendment (said that way it sounds like they are in favor of burning the flag, but then again that is the proper way to dispose of one), but you won't hear a peep out of them about those that treat it like yard art. They probably think it patriotic!!

The ironic thing about this supposed show of PATRIOTISM is that 94% of the flags come from CHINA!! (Google is a wonderful thang!!)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Good Thing We Have The Guppy

Last week our water heater died. The pilot light was out one morning, I got it lit again after spending a lot of time trying to light it. It stayed lit thru one heat cycle and went out again. I got it lit again after spending a lot of time getting it lit. It stayed on long enough for the burner to light and after a minute or so the pilot and burner went out. Then I could not get the pilot to light while holding the button down.

Also noticed a rust stain on the floor next to one of the legs. Looks like it has had a slight leak for some time. So now we are mulling over what kind of water heater to get to replace it. Do we get another 30 gal. one or do we get a tankless one, and what kind of tankless. Turns out the tankless ones can run from $150 to over a thousand dollars. They run from 1.5gpm to around 8gpm. Standard water heaters start at 4 hundred something on up.

After I decided the water heater was dead I got The Guppy set up. I hooked up a garden hose for water and turned on the gas. Now we can take showers in The Guppy. Or heat water on the stove and take a bird bath in the tub in the house.

Now I also get to try out a couple things I got for hooking up water. I have an inline pressure regulator which keeps the pressure in the line at 40-50 psi. (Don't really need it now as the pump shuts off at 50 psi.) Got to thinking when we were in Missouri that maybe the reason the pressure relief valve on the water heater dribbled water when the water got hot was maybe the incoming pressure was to high. I also got a new thing for hooking up the water line to the motorhome. I got one that is brass and at a 90 degree angle. I figure that will have less strain on the fitting on the motorhome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Test Run of Guppy Repairs

Last week we went camping with The Guppy and we got to see how it works when there was no power or water hookups. I took along a second battery in case the RV battery wouldn't last the 4 nights we were there. I brought my boat battery which has the same type terminals as the RV battery. After 2 nights I switched batteries when the RV battery was down to 10.2-10.3 volts. Probably could have used it longer, but didn't want the refrigerator to stop working and not notice that it had. It did last longer than before I changed the battery charger, I think the old one was draining the battery when there was no power hooked up.

In a previous post I mentioned cleaning out the fresh water system. It worked very well. The only thing I noticed was that when the pump built up pressure and shut off, occasionally it would run for a few seconds even when no water was used. I have a hunch the check valve in the pump might be leaking because I haven't seen any signs of a leak in the plumbing. I can get a new screen with a built-in check valve and that should take care of that problem.

On the plus side with the water, The Old Lady took a shower and said it was almost like when we are hooked up to city water. The shower doesn't work that well in any case and is on my list of things to do.

Old school coffeepot and toaster.
We've had this four slice toaster for about 30 years. We got it when we didn't have power at The Ranch and used it to toast bread on a woodstove. The coffeepot is fairly new, we got it after we got The Guppy. We got it for when we are boondocking and don't have electric so we could cook coffee on the stove.

One of my next projects will be to see if I can get the generator running and installed back in The Guppy. According to the hour meter it only has a little over 43 hours running time. The generator was removed before we bought The Guppy. I think it was removed to replace the slides that hold it in The Guppy and allow you to pull it out to work on and/or check on it. I'll change oil and filter before I try to start it. If I can get it running I'll try to figure out how to put it back in The Guppy. It would be handy to have it for charging the battery. I tried running the engine to charge the battery and figured out I would have to run it way too long to charge the battery.

Tried to see if we could get any TV reception and failed. A couple days later when we went out to eat I figured out why I couldn't get any TV reception as we climbed this big hill while going in the direction of where the TV transmitters are. One of these days I get a new antenna, the one we have is an old analog one. It is also a directional one, in that you have to turn it to point towards the transmitter to get the signal. I'm going to get an omnidirectional one so all I have to so is raise the antenna when I want to get a TV signal.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Michigan Legislature Responsible For Poisoning Flint

We hear a lot about how Gov Snyder is responsible for poisoning Flint, but I think the Legislature should share the blame. The Legislature is responsible for there being an "Emergency Manager" is place in the first place. In Nov 2012 there was a ballot measure about the emergency manager law and it was defeated by the voters. Before the end of the year the weasels in Lansing had passed a new bill authorizing emergency managers and Gov Snidely signed it. Hadn't been for that Flint would not have had an "Emergency Manager" to make the decision to switch to Flint river water!!

Squatlo claims Tennessee has the worst legislature in the country, but I countered with Tennessee's hadn't poisoned a city. He came back with Oak Ridge being a worse health disaster than Flint. But Oak Ridge is federal, the state had very little to do with it.

To get back to my point, the legislature and the governor went directly against the will of the people of the state to counteract what the people had voted on and that is why there was an "Emergency Manager" in place to rule on switching the water in Flint!! And I have yet to hear one word from anyone in the media mentioning the legislature being in any way responsible for the Flint water crisis!!

To top it off, after the Flint water crisis was in the national news, the FuckingRepublicans in the state senate refused to give any money to solve the problem in Flint!! I guess they figured the same as this graphic of Gov Snidley!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Truck Mod

Back in December I bought an extended cab pickup. My old truck wouldn't start (still doesn't) and had been acting up for most of the Summer. But that's another story.

One of the things I've always thought was a good idea was that with the extra room behind the seats there would be a place to set stuff, like groceries, whatever. Problem is that with grocery bags these days if you set a plastic bag on the floor behind the seats, by the time you get home most of the stuff could be out of the bag and rolling around on the floor. In our car we have a laundry basket to put groceries or whatever in to keep the stuff contained. A laundry basket would fit behind the seats but if you need to put the rear seats down, what do you do with the basket?? I think I solved that problem.

The solution.
I built a couple of boxes to fit under the rear seats. The seats are still usable and the boxes will contain the stuff in grocery bags or any loose stuff. I also added a net to the front of it that can be used for miscellaneous small stuff. I bought the net at St. Vinnie's several years ago and now finally have a use for it. I put one like it in The Guppy, but haven't put anything in it yet.

The boxes don't interfere with the seats. They can be put down and there is still as much leg room (??) as before. Also, as The Old Lady pointed out after I showed her how it would look with the seats down, we could put stuff under the seat and with the seat down it would be hidden from view!!

My next project on the interior will be new seat covers for the front seats. Not sure if I will do the rear seats as I don't see them being used much. The front seats have some burn holes in them because the previous owner was a smoker. Plus with 230K miles on it the driver's seat is kinda frayed on the edge. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

More Guppy Repairs

On our last excursion we discovered that we had a water problem. When using the pump for water from the holding tank there would be a burst of water and then a trickle. Thought maybe the pump was wore out. Pulled the plywood off the bed to get at the pump. Saw that it was almost 29 years old, it was made in '97. Started looking online to get an idea how much new pumps cost and last week stopped in a RV dealer to price pumps. Decided before buying a new pump would check the screen between the tank and pump.

In line screen after I took it apart and cleaned it.

After pulling the screen and cleaning it, I looked at the tank and saw it had a couple of bathtub rings inside. So I pulled it out and started cleaning it. 

It's cleaner on the outside than inside.

Looks like it has a date on it, 10-18-88.
This is the original tank that has been in the RV since it was built in '89. So far I've filled it with soapy water and agitated it by using a blowgun with a piece of small tubing on it. I would stick it in thru the filler hole and move it around while blowing air. The tubing was soft enough that I was able to bend it and direct the air at most of the dark lines. 

Today when I drained the tank after I had it soaking for a couple days, I discovered that the water wasn't coming out of the line very fast, just a trickle. Took the line off the fitting on the tank and blew air in thru the fitting. The water came out at a good rate after that. Looks like the screen was plugged and the fitting on the tank may have had something restricting the flow.

The setup I used to test the pump.
Decided to test the pump, so I filled a bucket and ran the pump. At first I wondered why it kept running and the level in the bucket kept going down. Then I remembered I had drained the water heater. It took most of two buckets to fill the water heater. After that the pump shut down and I did my test, I opened a faucet to see what kind of water pressure there was and it gave a good stream after the pump kicked in. I don't think I need to replace the pump. It still won't give you a good shower (The Old Lady says it's like taking a shower in a phone booth even when hooked up to city water), but at least you won't have to wait a long time to fill the coffee pot!!

Right now I have the tank filled with water and some bleach to sanitize it. I'll let it sit for a couple days before draining and rinsing it out. I'm going to replace a couple hoses when I reinstall the tank. The hose for the drain is pretty black inside and so is the vent line. I'm also going to put in a new valve for the drain.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

WTF CVS?????

Last February I got two new prescriptions filled at a local Target store. Target's pharmacy has been bought out by CVS. The people at the Target pharmacy were wearing name tags that said CVS. Anywho, the two generic drugs cost me $16. Based on the generic price of $10 for a 90 day supply and $4 for 30 days. One of my prescriptions is only 45 pills as I cut them in half and that gives me a 90 day supply. The one with 45 pills costs me $6. So the total is $16.

While we were down in Missouri my supply was running out and because they had built a new CVS drugstore in Farmington, Missouri last year, I went there to get refills. First it took them a long time to transfer the prescriptions, I dropped the old bottles off one day, went back the next and they claimed they got no answer when they called the previous evening. They said they would try again. I asked them to verify that they had my cellphone number so they could call me when the scripts were ready. Several hours later The Old Lady got tired of waiting and called. She was told the scripts were ready, they had just forgot to call.

We went back to CVS to pick up my drugs. When they told us what the price was, both of us dropped a shock. They wanted almost $75 for the two that cost me $16 originally. I said they should only be $16 as they are generic. I was told, "But these are a 90 day supply." To which I said, "Yeah, one should be $10 and the other $6." I asked for my old pill bottles back. (A 90 day supply for drugs cost $24 thru the VA, so the two of them would have been $48, still way cheaper than CVS!!)

I stretched out my pills by skipping some by only taking one a day instead of twice a day and every other day on the other drug. As soon as we got home we went to the same Target the next day. I asked what the prices were on the two drugs and was told $16. (The Target and CVS computer systems for drugs have not been combined yet, so that may explain the difference in price!!) I said they would have to transfer them back from CVS. The guy said it would be a little while (actually he said 20 minutes). We did some shopping in the area and had lunch and when we went back the prescriptions were ready.

If this is what the price is going to be when the CVS takeover of Target pharmacies is complete I guess I'll need to find somewhere else to get my drugs!! (The Old Lady used to get prescriptions filled at CVS when we lived in Hot-Lanta as it was just a couple blocks down the street. Each time she got the same script it was a different price, but because she was only paying a small co-pay it wasn't a big issue.)

As for the CVS in Farmington taking so long, maybe it's just typical Southern way of where they are nice and friendly, but not very swift. Like my nephew once said after living in Georgia for many years, "You'll never get hot french fries down here!!"