Monday, October 12, 2015

The Fuel Valve Revisited, a Couple Days at the Cabin and Some Work on the Jeep.


The fuel cutoff valve:

I haven’t been able to get the fuel cut off valve out of my head. Some times when things don’t work it will bug me until I get to the bottom of it. This fuel valve is one of those things.

I decided to give the valve a good test and if I had to, take it apart to see why it failed.
While I was thinking about the problem I went over everything that happened to the valve.
One of the things that I remembered is; when I removed the valve after the first test drive I found that the stem was loose so I tightened it.

Another thing that stood out was, the last time I was taking the valve out I forgot to disconnect the power and when I went to remove the coil the wrench stuck to the nut on top of the coil. The coil was energized and working.

I put the valve in the vice and removed the coil. The stem is the steel part that is screwed into the Brass body of valve. The solenoid coil is the black thing sitting on the vice behind the valve.


Here is the valve taken apart. You can see the valve body with the orifice, the stem and the plunger, its spring and the plastic washer.


The valve is so simple that it is hard to see what is wrong. I put the valve together and made sure everything was tight. Then I put the coil on the valve and energized it.
Nothing happened, no click of the plunger! what is going on here?

I had an idea! I removed the coil and loosened the stem a little. I put the coil back on the valve and energized it. “CLICK”. The solenoid seemed to work. I tightened down the stem and tried it again . No Click.
I tried it several times and decided that the washer must have been crushed when it got so hot.
That is why it was loose when I removed the valve. With the washer shrunken and the stem tightened the plunger is pressed down on the orifice and there is no room for the plunger to move. The amount of movement is apparently controlled by the thickness of the washer.
I decided that what I needed to do was make a new thicker washer.
Fortunately I still had that piece of Delran plastic. That seems to be the perfect material for this project. It is tough, machinable and impervious to almost any chemicals.

I put the Delran rod in the lathe and turned down the end to the outside dimensions of the washer.


After getting the inside diameter bored I cut off the new thicker washer. The new washer is on the left in the picture below.


As you may be able to tell, the in side diameter is a little smaller than the original.
I had to use a half round file to finish it to size. That stuff is really hard to file.

I put the solenoid back together with the new washer and checked it out. I energized the coil and heard the plunger click. I blew through the tube and it worked, the valve was open.
After several cycles to make sure it would work I installed the valve on the van and started it up. The valve seems to be working. I took a short ride around town and it still worked. I stopped at a store for about ten minutes. When I came back to the van I didn’t smell any gas fumes and the engine started without any loading up or belching black smoke from the exhaust.
Hopefully this will be the answer to the carburetor loading up problem.

A short trip to the cabin:

I needed a couple days at the cabin. I figured that I might not get another chance before we leave for Arizona. We are still waiting to get the RV out of the shop so I can’t do anything about getting ready to leave. I wanted to get my weed eater from where I left it under  the picnic table down at the shotgun range and I wanted to finish the work I started on the spring tanks.

Saturday morning I headed for Boonville; It was very fogy around Santa Rosa when I left but that cleared as usual, around Cloverdale. As the jeep climbed the hills on 128 heading west the fog came back and was with us all the way to Boonville. The windshield wipers were on the whole way.
It was a cold gray morning in Anderson Valley when I stopped at the Market to get a sandwich for my lunch. I was counting on the sandwich to be large enough to serve as lunch for today and tomorrow. I planned on a nice big french roll with lots of turkey and some pepper-jack cheese.

I walked to the back of the store where the deli counter is and struck up a conversation with the deli ladies as I filled out my sandwich request.

The lady behind the counter took the slip of paper and looked at it, then looked up at me.

“I’m afraid we have a problem” she said.

“Oh? What might that be”. I asked

“My bread delivery hasn’t occurred yet”…

“And you have no rolls” I finished for her.

“Right”, she replied. “You have a choice between sliced rye or sliced whole wheat”.

“Gosh, I was really counting on this sandwich to feed me for lunch today and tomorrow. I was kind of hoping for a roll but I guess whole wheat will work”, I replied.

The lady took pity on me and made a really large sandwich with lots of meat. Nice folks in that store.

By the time I got to the cabin the fog had lifted.
The first thing I noticed when I got out of the jeep was that the cow skull was missing from the stump and the overflow pipe was on the ground.

I walked up to the stump to check things out. At first I thought that some human had absconded with the skull but I noticed that the skull had not been lifted up but dragged from the stump; I could see the drag marks. Then I noticed a few tufts of white hair scattered around below.  I assume that the skull was carried off by a coyote, to use as a chew toy. In my wanderings round the place for the next to days I never stumbled on it.

Once I got moved in I drove down to the shotgun range to get my weed eater.
When I got to the crossing where you enter the meadow there was a tree down and hanging over the road. I realized at that time that I came up here without a chain saw. Not a smart thing to do in these wood where a tree could block you in at any time even in good weather.

I left the jeep at the tree and walked down to the shotgun range and retrieved the weed eater. When I got back I realized that it would be hard to turn around where I was and to go forward I would have to do something about the tree. I took the ax out of the back of the jeep and cut off a low hanging branch from the tree that gave just enough room to drive the jeep under. I turned around in the meadow and went back to the cabin to hang out for a while.

After eating the first half of my sandwich I got in the jeep and headed up to the spring tanks to finish up the plumbing.


Once that was done I drove up to the Bear Spring and sat there for a while listening to the squirrels barking in the trees. I noticed that this year was pretty sparse as far as squirrel food is concerned; there aren’t many acorns and the Madrone berries are nonexistent. I wonder what the squirrels are eating.

A Walk in the Woods:

I decided to take a walk out the cabin loop trail and enjoy spending some time in the woods. I stopped at all the benches and spent some time just sitting and listening to the forest.


When I was walking back to the jeep I stopped at this one spot and noticed these green things laying on a log.


Upon closer inspection I realized that this might be what the squirrels are eating. These are the husk of the fruit of the California Nutmeg.
This particular area has more mature nutmeg trees than anywhere else I have seen. This is not the aromatic nutmeg used in eggnog.

After a few of hours wandering around in the forest I headed back to the jeep and drove down the hill to the cabin.

For dinner, I opened a can of Nally’s Chicken and Dumplings.
Boy, the crap I will eat when I am alone. The problem is I really like Chicken and Dumplings and was really disappointed with this stuff. Think; a few chunks of canned chicken in canned gravy with squares of dough lying at the bottom of the gravy.

After a little reading and a couple of classic radio shows on the XM it was time for bed.


It was cold in the cabin this morning so I slept in until around 9:00. I didn’t want to start a fire in the wood stove as I knew that it would warm up as the day progressed. While I was fixing breakfast I lit all three burners on the stove to help take the chill of the cabin.
I spent the morning enjoying several cups of mocha and trying to see out the dirty windows in the cabin. Finally I decided that I had to do something about the windows. These windows are made from heavy duty clear plastic film. When you try to wash them the film flexes so you can’t put any pressure on the windows. What I tried is just spraying the windows to get the accumulated dust off.
Of course the water just beaded up on window. I had one of those micro fiber towels and used it on the window on the porch and it worked ok. The window came out kind of clean. As I worked my way around to the side windows I found that once the towel got wet it no longer work to remove the droplets and just spreads the water and dirt around. It will take at least one of these towels for each window to do a good job.

Later I began the chore of getting ready to go home. As I was walking in and out of the cabin I noticed a white garbage bag on the porch that had some tubers in it for what I think are Dahlias.

Below you can see the tubers.


I had planted some by the stump earlier in the year and noticed that a couple of the plants had taken root and were doing well.


Eventually I got all the flowers planted and the jeep loaded and headed for home.


A doctor’s appointment and work on the jeep:

After breakfast I started on this blog but around 9:30 I had to go to Sebastopol to see the cardiologist to get the results of the latest echocardiogram. Everything looks good so I guess you will have to put up with me for a while longer.

Patti and I went to Hank’s for breakfast, always good.

After breakfast I started working on the jeep. I wanted to re-mount the vacuum pump for the aux. braking system.

This is the original (temporary) mounting system that has been this way for 5 or 6 years.


Hanging by some zip ties is not really acceptable.

This is the new mounting situation. Screwed to the fender well is better.


What the @#%*.

There is of course a small problem; I have to buy a piece of vacuum hose to complete the installation. 

I can’t drive the jeep to the parts store because the power brake system is temporarily disabled.
Patti is out shopping so I can’t use her car so I’ll just take the van to the store.

I got in the van and tried to start it. No go! I cranked the engine over and pumped the gas but nothing happened. It wasn’t getting any gas.
The temperature outside at this time was about 90°. I decided that this was a good time to quit for the day

I have no idea what is going on with the van but I’m going to try not to think about it until next summer.

Tomorrow I will take Patti’s car and go get the hose for the jeep.

I just goofed off for the rest of the day and have been working on this blog since dinner time; now its time for bed.

Good night.  

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