Monday, September 18, 2017

Replacing the Brake Master Cylinder on the Van.

The Leak.

A while back, I mentioned that the master cylinder on the van was leaking.
A couple days ago I decided to go ahead and fix the problem.

When I looked under the van to check the cylinder it was wet all over with brake fluid so I couldn’t really see where it was leaking.


I figured that the leak was probably around the piston so I removed the cylinder and checked under the rubber boot. I found a small amount of leakage but not enough to account for the amount of fluid on the ground and all over the cylinder.

Since there was a small amount of leakage around the piston I decided to replace the master cylinder.
I went to the parts store and of course they didn’t have the master  cylinder in stock (I would have been very surprised if they had one) so I ordered one.

The Next Morning.

Early the next morning I was at the parts store picking up the master cylinder.
I checked it over real good to be sure it was the right part. Even though it looked a little bulkier than the original, it had all the right connections in all the right places.


I bench bled the cylinder and then installed it in the van and hooked up the two break lines.


I buttoned things up and took a test drive around the block.
When I got back I looked under the van and saw drops of break fluid.
As it turned out one of the fittings on one of the break lines where it connects to the master cylinder was leaking. (Original problem).


I tried tightening it but couldn’t stop the leak.
I removed the line…


and found that the flair on one end was worn out.


Brake lines use a double flair on the end where the lip of the tube is folded in on itself and then flared out. it makes the flair thicker than with a single flair so it seals tighter.

Of course this takes a special flaring  tool.

I’m sure I have one of those around here some where.

I searched through all my tool cabinets  and drawers because I was sure that I had a double flair tool but I couldn’t come up with it.
I must have had one at work when I was working for a living.

Since I was probably only going to use the tool once I decided to get a cheap one. (Not a good decision.) In hind sight I should have gone to the auto parts store and borrowed the tool.

Finally Got It.

Anyway after using up about two feet of tubing and having to use parts of two different flaring tools I finally got a reasonable copy of the original pipe and installed it.


I checked it out good and so far it doesn’t leak.

That’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Patti’s Cataract.

At 8:00 this morning I took Patti to the eye surgery center to get her right cataract removed. Everything went fine and she is now snoozing in her recliner.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lazy Days.


I have been kind of lazy the last few days. Haven’t felt like doing much so consequently I haven’t done a post for a while.

The RV.

On Tuesday we took the motorhome into the shop for its annual servicing. We will probably get it back in a few more days.


I took the jeep in for a smog check yesterday. It passed fine.

Trim the Grapes.

The grape that covers the back patio was getting very over grown so I trimmed it back.

Okay that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll do something interesting tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finished the Jack Mount.

Okay, Here It Is.

By noon I was finished with the Jack Mount. I forgot to take pictures while I was working on it  but here is the finished product.


By the time I finished the project the temp was up to 100° so it was time to quit for the day.

That’s all folks.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A couple slow days and a New Project.

A Couple Slow Days.

I haven’t done a heck of a lot the last few days. I unloaded the van and noticed that the brake master cylinder on the van is leaking. That will have to be replaced but right now I am not going to use the van until next summer so I am going to just park it and replace the master later.

Preparing for Arizona.

It is getting close to time for us to go back to Arizona for the winter so it is time to concentrate on the motor home and the jeep. The motor home will go to the shop for servicing on Tuesday.

New Project.

I have been trying to figure out where to store the big farm jack that I carry in the jeep. I have decided to make a mount for it on the jack on the spare tire carrier. 

Here is the Jack and a piece of angle Iron that I will make the mount from.

I cut a 16” piece off the angle iron that I will use for the mount.


I drilled two holes in the angle iron to put bolts through for the jack to mount to.


I welded the bolt heads to the angle iron so they would stay in place.


Next I will have to weld a piece of square tubing on the angle iron so it will go Into the square hole on top of the tire mount.


The next thing I will have to do is weld two legs on the angle iron that will be welded also to the tire mount to steady the jack mount.

I will do that tomorrow.

Okay that’s it for now.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Seven Days at the Cabin.


I got to the cabin around 11:30.
Joanne and Dave were already there.


I got moved into the cabin after I swept out the detritus of the last peoples visit.


Some people just don’t understand the concept of leave it like you find it, or better.

I put out some rat poison and a couple of traps as we have been having some mouse problems.

The rest of the day, we hung out just taking it easy.


Thursday morning was cool so I got some stuff done early.

The Mouse Hole.

I checked out the bats on the cabin siding to be sure they were tight so that no mice can get through there. Then I checked all around the place to see if I could find where the mice were getting in.
I eventually found the spot. It was in a corner where I had stuffed  a piece of rope in the crack and was intending to calk it. Apparently I missed that one and the mice just pushed it in at the corner. I packed the rope back in place and calked over it to seal the whole crack tightly.

Fix the Fridge.

The propane Refrigerator wasn’t working properly so I pulled off the back and cleaned off the burner. I have to do this every time I start the fridge. I should just do it before I start it.

Replace the Towel Rack.

I had made a drying rack from a long branch that was suspended from the rafters. The branch was rough and would catch on material when the towel was pulled off. I replaced the limb with a piece of closet rod that I had stored in the dining hall.


The afternoon was very hot so we went down to the creek for a few hours.

It is supposed to be even hotter today (Friday).



The temperature got to 100° today.

In the morning we walked the cabin loop trail.

We didn’t do much the rest of the day, just shade hopped trying to stay cool and not succeeding.

Around 4:30, Kate (The daughter of one of our friends) showed up with her boyfriend. They decided to set up their camp on Matt’s deck. 

After dark the temp dropped to 98°.



As I am writing this on Saturday morning, It is 72° at 8:00am.
I think today is going to be hotter than yesterday.

It is hotter than yesterday. It’s to hot to do anything so I did nothing but try to keep cool.
The highest temp I saw on my thermometer was 108°. That was about 2:30. It was still around 90° at 10:00 (bed time).



It was a little cooler today 102° at 2:00.
It is still too hot to do much.

Just hung around shade hopping, trying to stay cool.

Peter came by around 4:30. He said that he, Leon and his friends were going to camp at the grove.

Leon and his friends showed up around 9:30pm.

They will probably spend the day at the creek.



It was a little cooler today, It only got to 94° by 2:00.


I actually worked on a project today.
I decided that I should make a bench.

It was late (almost noon) when I started.

I pulled the piece of redwood log (I had split last year) out of the wood pile.

The first thing I had to do was flatten the surface for the seat.
I did that with an old froe that I made several years ago.


Once I had the seat shaped the next thing to do was to smooth it off. For this I used a Draw Knife.


Next, it was time to make holes for the legs, using a 2 inch auger.


By the time I had the first hole drilled it was getting too hot to work on it so I hung it up for the day.


After breakfast I went out to work on the bench I started yesterday.

I got all four holes drilled for the legs.


The log that is standing up in the foreground is what I will use for the legs.
I split out four large billets.


Then I used the draw knife to shape them.
Don’t expect them to be pretty.


I don’t do pretty. They will be thick and strong as they will sit in the weather for as long as they last. They are all redwood so that should be about 25 years.

I got all the legs shaped and pounded into the holes.

The next thing will be to cut the legs to length.



Finish the Bench.

After Breakfast I went out and worked on the bench.

First, I cut the legs to length.


Once the legs were cut I loaded the bench in the van and took it up the road to the spring. I found a flat spot half way between two steep climbs and decided to put the bench there.


Going Home:

Once the bench was set, I went back to the cabin and started packing to go home. Around 2:00 I had the cabin cleaned and ready for the next visitor.
I just hope they will clean up after themselves. Unfortunately the people who leave the messes are the owner’s son and his friends. There isn’t much I can do to stop it but complain to Peter and that doesn’t seem to do much good.

Okay, that was my seven days at the cabin. It was a little to hot for my liking but at least I had a chance to be up there for a while.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Couple of Boring Days and Going to the Cabin.


I warned you that there were going to be some boring days ahead.
We did very little on Sunday, just unloaded some stuff out of the van.

Joanne and Dave H. Came by around 3:00 and we visited for a while. Around 5:30 we went to Mary’s Pizza Shack for supper.
Visited some more in the evening.


I unloaded more stuff from the van and started getting stuff ready to go to the cabin.

Around noon Patti’s two daughters and our grandson Harvey came by for a visit.


Went shopping for groceries to take to the cabin and continued gathering stuff to take up there.


I am going to the cabin today, once I get everything loaded.
I will be up there for about seven days. So no blogs until I get back.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Long Road Home. Day. 14. Home.


You may be wondering why we took such a “long road home”. The biggest reason is that we don’t have AC in our van and the engine sits between the seats and produces an enormous amount of heat. We didn’t want to cross the Arizona or Nevada deserts with their triple digit temperatures.
The other reason was;
We had the time so why not? I am glad we did it that way, as we got to see a lot more of the rocky mountain states. It was a beautiful ride.

The Last Leg and it’s a Long One.

The Plan

The Plan for today was to go as far as the Bear River Casino in Fortuna, CA. We wanted to treat ourselves to one last night in a motel and a good supper.

Early Start.

I got up early and had my breakfast.
I checked to see if my hot spot would work and was surprised that it had a good strong signal. I published the latest post from there.
By 9:00 we were on 140 heading west.


A Change of Plans.

We thought that we might stop and visit with Dennis and Becky at the Valley of the Rogue State Park, where they are working for the summer. When we got close Patti called Dennis. Unfortunately Dennis was working today and Becky was off on an errand so we decided to pass them by.

US 199.

After driving around Rogue River for a while we eventually found Highway 99 and followed it to Grants Pass, OR.  At Grants Pass we got on US 199 heading west.
At Cave Junction we stopped for fuel and lunch then continued west along the Smith River.


It is a real pretty ride as the highway goes through Redwood forests.


US 101.

Eventually we got to US 101 and followed it south along the coast.


Bear River Casino.

Around 4:00 we arrived at the Bear River Casino.
We checked at the hotel and found that they were all booked up.
Okay so we can spend the night in the parking lot and still eat in the restaurant.
We found a spot at the far end of the parking lot and sat outside in the shad of the van.
I decided that I needed a nap so I climbed into my bunk for a snooze.

I Woke up Around 6:30.

By then the parking lot had filled up. There was a lot of activity all around us. With cars driving around and drunks arguing in the parking lot.
Just after I woke up Patti got a call from her daughter Dina. She said that the weather at home was extremely hot with temps over 100°.

I don’t like driving at night but I figured that it would take us about three hours to get home from here and it would be better to get home in the cool hours of the night than to get home during the heat of the day.
I was sufficiently rested up so we decided to head for home. We got gas at the casino gas station and hit the road.

It was a long drive, 14 hours from Klamath lake, but we were home by 11:00 pm, exhausted but home.

Taking it Easy.

I don’t plan to do anything much from the next few days so things will be kind of boring around here.


Okay, here are a few stats on our trip.

Miles Traveled

From our front door to our front door we traveled 6,883 miles.

Fuel Burned.

At an average of 10 miles per gallon we used ~688+ gallons of gas.

Interstate Highways.

One of our criteria for this trip was to try and do the whole thing without driving on any Interstate Highways.
As it turned out, of the 6,883 miles, we drove only 217 miles on the Interstate’s.
Not bad!


We drove through 9 states:
California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
We drove through six of them twice except for Montana, Washington and Nevada.

It was an exceptional adventure six weeks of driving , exploring and camping.
Even so, it is nice to be home. I don’t plan to drive any where for a couple of days.