Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation

A guy could get used to this vacation stuff. Or as I like to put it, practicing for retirement. The only real problem is that I still have a sense of urgency because I only have so much time to accomplish a lot of stuff.
So yesterday I slowed down.
The only thing I accomplished was to make a batch of home made applesauce. Nothing like a fresh warm batch of applesauce with a little cinnamon.
I am slowly working on the basement. There was a patch of black mold on the drywall in the basement, so I had to tear a section drywall out. The spare room was a mess, so I had to rearrange everything. In order to move something, you have to have a place to put it.
The drywall was behind an old hide-a-bed sofa that needed to go to the dump. But since it was too big to fit in the truck, first it had to be torn apart, which took most of the day. I still need to finish cleaning up and make a trip to the dump, buy the new drywall, install it, Spackle it and paint it.
Oh, and I still want to get the Z finished and ready to drive.
Oh, and I have a family reunion for four days in Idaho.
Today the powers that be (She who shall not be named) insists I take a day off. We are going to go see Maleficent and then go to dinner. Probably at the Wild Fin.
That leaves me two days to get the Z running. I can do it in two days, if everything goes right.
But when has everything ever gone according to plan?

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The End of Civilization as we know it

Yesterday, pot went on sale legally for recreational purposes here in Latteland. For all the hype and stern warnings by concerned conservatives, life as we know it did not come to an end. A 65 year old Grannie was the first person in the state to make a legal over-the-counter purchase, and although she had a little trouble making change, she did not morph into a deranged crazed killer.
The lines were not all that long, and I heard of no line jumping or riots. The crowd seemed quiet, and, well, normal.
In other news a 20 something young cereal killer ate a whole box of chocolate Cheerios.
A couple of hipsters became addicted to blo-pops. They were heard to say "O wow it starts out like hard candy, and then all the sudden you realize you are, like chewing gum. Like when did that happen?"
Energized housewives were seen placidly cleaning house, although they tended to get distracted. "hey look how the light refracts through this cut glass vase! It makes little rainbows!"
There were noticeable fewer road rage incidents, because people went home and tried out their new purchases, and then responsibly stayed home to watch the sprinkler.
Domestic violence reports took a decline, but no one is sure why. maybe the usual participants just couldn't get up the energy to give a hoot.
On the other hand, close call pedestrian/car incidents were on the rise as people stopped in the middle of the street to watch the street lights change.
And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

July?

How did it get to be July already?
Last time I checked it was early June, then BAM, July.
I stall haven't gotten the Z back together, but that's OK I am in no tearing hurry, just want to get it on the road before the Summer is over.
Spent all day Sunday getting the timing chain on, the cam re timed, the oil pump on, the timing chain cover back on.
I checked the timing mark and everything was right on, So I can proceed with no fear. I took a bog box end wrench and turned the engine over very carefully and there is no interference in the engine. Now the only thing left as far a s timing goes is to get the distributor lined up. Since the drive is by slot and key you can only be in or 180 degrees out. Since I didn't turn the crank or cam when it was apart, should be fine as long as the rotor is pointed at number one piston when the timing is at top dead center.
I am putting everything back together with stainless steel allen headed bolts, except for a couple of places where you can't get to the bolt heads.
Next comes the water pump, then a couple of water inlets, then the exhaust manifold.
Then the intake,  distributor, wiring, and valve cover.
Gas pedal linkage and gas/vacuum lines.
Whew, I'm tired already.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back on Track

The timing chain cover just came in for the Z. Degreased and bead blasted, it bears little resemblance on the surface to the beat up grimy one I took off of the car. Now I can begin putting things back together.
I also got in all the nuts and bolts to put everything back together, ad well as a new crank seal and gasket set. By the time I get through getting it all back together it will have cost me about $250 to replace the head gasket. A lot more than I figured. It will be sooooo nice when I get it running again and can drive it.
On another front, there has been a lot of e-mail traffic back and forth between myself, my cousin Ginger, and my newly found cousins.
We have also connected on Facebook. I don't care that much for facebook, but it has been good for reacquainting with long lost family and friends.
One of the things that came out of this all was that two of my cousins are going to be coming to the meeting of the clan in Sandpoint this summer. Ben, who lives in Florida is going to fly up to Spokane, where he will meet up with his sister Ursula, and they will come together.
I have ordered three additional copies of "Candles of the Lord" from the Ursuline sisters in Kentucky. They should be arriving next week. I think my one cousin that lives in Spanaway is going to come over and get her copy. The ones for Ginger and Ben I will probably hang on to until the Meeting of the Cousins in Sandpoint.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Family

When I was 13 my Uncle George passed away from brain cancer. He was still fairly young, and left behind a wife and a bunch of kids.
Their mother, my Aunt Marge was barely functional. The State took her kids away for a couple of years, but eventually she got them back. To me, they just fell off the edge of the Earth. I never heard from her or them again. Always in the back of my mind was the fact that I had a bunch of family out there somewhere.
Last year I set out to verify some things about my family's time in the Four Corners area of the southwest. AMy dad and all of my Aunts and Uncles were born in the town of Waterflow New Mexico. I was told that my grandfather was the farm manager for a Catholic School, so I set out to find out something about the School.
I googled Catholic School New Mexico and got the Sacred Heart Academy. There was a picture of the schoolchildren in 1938. Two of them were my father and my Uncle George. There was a contact number which led me to the book "Candles of the Lord" which is the history of Waterflow and the Sacred Heart Academy, which mentions all of the Warren family members,
Shortly after I started, I got an e-mail from my cousin Ginger. She had been contacted by a Dale Warren of Kentucky, who was in search of a male member of our family to get DNA tested. Since I was headed down that path already I agreed to be tested.
Turned out we are not closely related to any of the established Warren lines, which was a big disappointment. We are not related to dale, but Dale is related to Terry Warren, who was our Uncle Ben's godfather. Small world.
AT any rate I was trying to get beyond Charles Warren, but was having a lot of troub le. Mainly because the name is spelled a lot of different ways. Warren, Worren Waring Warring etc.
I took a trial membership in Ancestry,com, and already belong to Myheritage,com. WHile doing some research of family trees containing information on Charles, I came across a family tree that contained a bunch of information about Charles' ancestry, so I contacted the owner of the family tree.
Mariam told me that a lot of the Warren Family information was given to her by Ben and Laura Warren. Ben was the son of my Uncle George.
I last saw him in 1961.
I asked if I could get their e-mail address, and was given it and told that they had been searching for Warren Family relatives for years.
We have connected. We shared e-mails addresses and someone set up a group mailbox. We all connected on facebook and had a great time meeting and greeting yesterday. I sense the beginning of a long term relationship.
Besides this, I got the front end of the engine of the Z torn apart so I could fix the timing. It was two steps forward and one step back. I got everything torn apart, gor the timing sprocket back on and the tensioner back in place. Unfortunately I dropped the timing case and a corner of it broke off. Al least things are noe going back together rather than coming apart.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Test of my Patience

I have stated before that patience is not one of my better virtues.
One of my favorite sayings is "Just keep swinging and walking forward and something is bound to fall down eventually".
This does not work well with cars.
In my battle with the Z, It has taken another round on points.
I put the new head gasket on and torqued it down.
When you take off the head you need to make a piece of wood 1 1/2 inches wide by 9 1/2 long to jam in between the two halves of the timing chain to ensure that the chain tensioner remains in place. Otherwise the tensioner drops out and you have to tear the front of the engine apart to get the timing chain back on.
I dutifully made the block of wood, and jammed in between the two chain halves. It remained in place while I worked on the head.
I put the timing gear on the chain and was maneuvering it in place. It was within 1/16" of being in place. The damn stick kept interfering with the bolt that attached the gear to the cam, So I took the bolt and got it started by hand. Then I removed the stick, since there was tension on the timing chain.
You can probably guess what happened next.
The bolt popped loose before I could tighten it, and the gear dropped down, releasing the tension on the chain, thereby allowing the chain to relax and the tensioner popped out.
Now I get to tear the front of the engine apart to get at the tensioner.
I walked away from the car, as I was on the borderline of throwing  things and turning the air blue with cusswords and shocking the neighbors.
One step forwards, two steps back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blood Sacrifice

The car Gods were angry with me.
They demanded a blood sacrifice before I could complete the task at hand, which was extracting a broken off exhaust manifold stud from the head of the Z.
The head stud had been broken off at some time in the distant past. I didn't break it, so it must have been broken when I bought it, ten years ago. Since I had never even entertained the notion of removing the manifold, I had no idea there was something wrong. It wasn't making any noises or anything.
After being there for who knows how long, I knew it would be difficulty to get it out.
It was when I broke the third easy-out that I sliced open the side of my thumb. It bled copious amounts of blood. After that, I got the broken out stud out.
First I drilled a small hole in the stud and soaked it in rust buster. Then I broke my first easy-out.
I had to walk away.
So I went down and bought a diamond drill bit to drill out the easy out, which was broken off below the surface of the head.
I drilled a slightly larger hole maybe half way through the stud, tried the next size up. Snapped the very top of the easy-out odd. That left enough that I could get my stud puller on the shaft of the easy-out, which promptly broke. Because I was herking on the wrench with ell my might when It broke, it took a divot out of the side of my thumb.  
It left just enough grip that I could get the easy-out removed. I got a slightly larger diamond drill bit and drilled all the way down the length of the stud, and put the larger easy-out in the hole
At last I could get the leverage I needed to extract the stud. And I still have plenty of threads left in the head to insert a new stud.
A lot of struggle over one exhaust manifold stud.
At least that is done, and now I can start putting things back together.