Monday, May 27, 2013

Project Truck Update: Patches Home Again

So the garage that's been Patches' home for a while has become structurally unsound.  We've brought it home over the summer while I have a break from grad school to fix it up and do some work.  

In order to get it running, I first had to connect up the gas tank.  I did it just like I described in the previous post.  
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The second piece of hose is to prevent the tubing from rattling against the tank.

Since Patches no longer has a roof over its head, it now has a nice new coat:
Patches mummified

One of the other essential items for any pickup truck is a tool chest in the box.  Patches really needs it because there's very little storage space in the cab.  I found a plywood one that I cleaned up and painted red to match:
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Red toolchest

A never ending war with an old truck is the battle against the rust monster.  I've cut out a big chunk and cut a patch panel to roughly fit and riveted it in place.  I may come back and weld it in later.
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I'm not entirely happy with the patch job, but rivets are easy to undo.  Also, I've put in some duck tape to smooth out the edges.

Patches took forever to crank when I finally got to running it.  I had to use the old trick of pouring a capful of fresh gasoline down the open throat of the carburetor.  The gasoline (despite using Stabil) had volatilized away.  After doing a good amount of work on it this past weekend, it felt really great to take it for a leisurely spin down Lakeshore Drive.

Some of the priorities moving forward are going to be finish repairing the cab floor, replacing the rims (which are dented and leak slowly) and tires (the rear wheels are so old and dry-rotted, the tread is starting to separate), and eventually replace the wiring with the harness I purchased a while back.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Project Truck Update: Lots of Neglect Edition

After neglecting poor Patches for ages, I've finally pushed & pulled her out of the garage and dusted her off. I've been really snowed under in Grad school (got a 4.0 this semester), but I've got a window to work on the truck over the summer to do some work, so I'll try to make the best of it.

I've brushed her off and found an old plywood toolchest to reside in the bed.
Patches

Candice spent much of today pouring almost an entire bottle of Armor All onto the bench seat:

how I spent my Sunday morning.

The next challenge will be reconnecting the fuel tank.  While trying to do that today, the bell and spigot joint (which has given me trouble in the past) finally came apart.  The replacement fuel sender has a female threaded connection made of brass that's soldered onto a steel sender unit.  While trying to screw the male threaded connection on, the solder snapped and the end came off.  Here's what it looked like before.  Here's what it looks like for now:
Trying to fix gas tank
Note the piece of brass sitting on the top of the hose clamps.

The solution I've come up with is to take a tubing cutter, slice the bell-end of the bell-and-spigot joint, take a piece of gasoline-rated hose and hose clamp it on with double clamps.  This should work reliably, because (unlike more modern cars, which use a fuel pump in the tank that pushes fuel to the engine), Patches has a mechanical fuel pump connected off the engine that sucks fuel from the tank.  If the connection starts to leak with Patches, air will enter the fuel line, the line will lose siphon  and the engine will eventually stop.  The implementation of the fix will have to wait until next weekend, though.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Great Research

Condensation, atmospheric motion, and cold beer 
Dale R. Durran and Dargan M. W. Frierson 

April 2013, page 74 

The latent heat released when water condenses is an important driver of weather phenomena. And as a simple experiment shows, it also makes it tough to enjoy a frosty one in the summertime.

Incontrovertible proof that beer koozies keep your beer warm.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Avondale

Avondale by Noladishu
Avondale, a photo by Noladishu on Flickr.

Photo is a recent ad I saw in Offshore Magazine.

Here's a few recent updates on Avondale's situation:
* Delivery of the USS Alaska. The second to last Navy ship Avondale is scheduled to deliver.
* Avondale eyes energy industry. See photo. Offshore Magazine is the offshore oil patch trade rag.
* And a pair of articles from the Lens: Shipyard Rally and Jindal-nomics.