Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More van work 05-28-14

Okay, the last couple of days I have been working on the van.
I was packing the front wheels and greasing the Ball Joints. To grease the top ball joint, the front drive axel has to be removed. A plug on the ball joint has to be replaced with a grease fitting and then it can be greased. When done the fitting has to be replaced with the plug.
A whole lot of stuff has to be removed to pack the bearings.
I was going to take some pictures of the process but through out the operation my hands were covered with bearing grease and I didn’t want to get near the camera.

I am waiting on delivery of the steering parts. They are supposed to be here today. I hope they get here because I want to go up to the cabin for a few days. If the parts get here today; we will head for the cabin tomorrow.

I still haven’t heard from the drive line guy so I will call him today and see if  he had any luck putting the CV joint on the driveshaft.

Okay, since I don’t have any pictures from the work I have been doing here are a couple of pictures from this winter in Arizona.





Okay, that’s it for now.
If we go to the cabin I will talk to you when we get home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ordering parts and waiting 05-24-14

The last couple of days I have been deciding on and ordering parts for the van.
I still haven’t heard anything from the drive line guy. I will call him on Tuesday to see what’s going on.

Today I think I’ll start packing the front bearings.

 Okay, that’s it for now.

Here are some pictures from Utah.

These shots were taken on the poison spider trail at a spot called the waterfall. It looks worse that it is.






Talk to you later.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Working on the van 05-21-14

I jacked up the van and put it on jack stands.


The next thing to do was to remove the rear driveline.


The driveline is only 15 inches long and drops about 3 inches between the transfer-case and the differential.


Since the drive-line is so short, the universal joints tend to make noise and wear out fast.
I took the the drive-line to a shop in town that builds drive-lines.
I asked the guy there if the drive-line was to short to add a CV joint. At first he said that there just wasn’t enough length to add a CV joint but after he checked it over good and made some measurements he asked me if I could leave the shaft with him for a couple of days to see what he could work out.

I left the shaft and went home.
The next thing that had to be done was to remove the steering draglink. The draglink connects the wheel to the steering box via the pitman arm and is what moves the wheel when you turn the steering wheel. 


Using a pickle fork I began to removed the the draglink. I got the ends popped off but there was not enough room to remove the front end.


I had to remove the pitman arm to get the draglink off.


Now I will have to buy a new end for the 73 Chevy part of the draglink. I already have an end for the 68 Chevy van end so now I will have to weld the two pieces together with a spacer between them like the one in the picture above.

Today I will see if I can buy the the 73 Chevy end.
I also have to change the tie rod because it is bent. What I am planning to do is use a section of the old tie rod as a spacer for the draglink.  I won’t know yet if the tie rod is thick enough but if it isn’t I will have to use something else as the spacer.

Ok that’s it for now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Several days at the cabin 05-20-14

Hey! I’m back.
Had a good time at the cabin.
I got to the cabin around 11:00 last Tuesday morning. 
It was pretty warm so after I got moved in I was sitting outside in the shade reading, when Bob showed up.

I usually don’t do any work on the first day up so we spent the day hanging out BSing.

Bob cooked us some chicken fried rice for dinner.


It was very good.

The next morning (while Bob was still in his van asleep) I pulled the gutter off the front porch.


I wanted to replace the current one with one that is longer.
I needed some help getting the long one up so I waited for Bob to get up.


That went pretty well, I had to add a couple feet of length to the gutter


but now it covers the whole length of the porch.


It was getting very hot so I decided that was all the work we were going to do for that day.

We took a walk later in the day to see if we could find any more springs on the mountain side above the camp. We drove up the road to the top gate where we turned around and came back down the road a little ways and parked the van.

We headed down the hill.


We passed a couple spots where there was a lot of fresh greenery but no water visible on the surface.


We followed a couple old skid roads but they petered out.


It would be nice to have a tractor for a while so we could connect some of these old roads. We eventually got back to the cabin just in time for a nap.
Bob took this picture just above the camp spring.


We had steak and baked potato for dinner.

I wanted to put some larger flashing on the gable of the cabin roof so, after breakfast and after Bob got up and going it was time to get on the roof. Bob took pictures.


I also wanted to flash a couple of places on the porch roof where it is cut around the beams.


Bob wanted to make some noodles for dinner so I decided to document the process.

First he mixed some flour, water, salt and oil in a bowl.


He let it set for a while, then kneaded it some and let it set for a while longer.


After a bit he cut the dough into usable chunks.


He took one of the chunks and rolled it out on the counter until it was thinner than a tortilla.


Now after spreading flour on both sides he takes this tortilla and folds it like an accordion.


After it is folded


he cuts his pasta,


separates it;


and here it is ready to be boiled for about 10 minutes.


Bob then stir-fried some chicken and stuff to mix with the noodles.


Here is the finished product and it was very good.


Bob left for a couple days on Friday. He was heading for the coast to kayak the Noyo and Big rivers.

I took a walk to the Bear spring.


Along the way I noticed some yellow Iris’s.


We see a lot of the blue ones


But the yellow ones are rarer.

When I was working on the new gutter I had to use a jig saw to cut a piece of gutter. In order to run the saw I had to run the generator. When I was done with the job I noticed that the generator was leaking gasoline. I turned off the tank and set the generator aside.


I got back from my walk and had lunch.
After lunch I worked on the generator. I wasn’t sure where the gas was coming from so I removed the end of the generator housing. As it turned out the gas was coming from the carburetor. The float was apparently stuck. I took the float bowl off, jiggled the float, wiped off the needle valve, replaced the float and bowl, turned on the gas and no leaks. I replaced the cover and put the generator back in the van.
Of course this whole operation took a lot longer to do than to describe.

I just enjoyed the rest of the day reading and listening to the birds and the breeze blowing through the trees.

Bob returned Saturday just as I was doing the dinner dishes.
He said that he had a good time kayaking. You can read about Bob’s adventures at;

Sunday morning we cut down several trees for next winters firewood. I say we but Bob did all the cutting; I just took pictures.

We decided to take down most of the trees in this group.


Here are a couple of shots of Bob doing his tree faller trip.


Here are a couple of close-up’s.

The top cut.


The bottom cut.


And down it comes.


Well now I literally have my work cut out (down) for me.


Bob left for home around 1:00.
I spent the rest of the day puttering and getting tools and the like put away.

Monday I was packed up and ready to go by about noon so I headed for home.

It was a great several days at the cabin and I can’t wait for my next trip up there.

Now I have to put the van up on jacks to start getting it back in shape and ready to go on a van trip. Hopefully that will happen before the end of summer.