Friday, June 30, 2017

A Little Burlesque BMX Action to End June

 It's very easy to jump on the little bike when time doesn't permit a ride on the big boy bikes.  Grab the helmet and gloves and down the street you go!
 The last couple days have been time crunched.  I rode for about 45 minutes yesterday, threw in five or six sprints and hit the showers.
Today, I did my typical stair club action but added an extra fifteen or twenty minutes.  I hit ten sprints, a few before stair club and a few afterward. 

Pedaling the little bike keeps a soul (if not my aching body) young!

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Cobra and it's New Fuel Pump

The new fuel pump arrived today for the Cobra.  The install was easy, as you would expect from an external pump.  One thing that is hard to get around: gasoline.  That shit is nasty.  And I don't know how professional mechanics do it, but changing out a fuel pump means you get gas on your hands.  And maybe a little gas on your arms.  Maybe a couple of drops in the hair?  Yeah, maybe.

While I was under there, I spied the inline fuel filter.  "I'm  replacing it" was what I said to myself.  Why get gassy more than once?  Turns out, it was sort of a trick little thing.  After disconnecting it, to my amazement, I saw that it had a glass center section so you can see how the filter is doing.  Not very well in this case because I couldn't tell it was glass.  It was black.  When I pulled it apart I found that it was completely clogged.  I don't know how fuel got past this thing.  Perhaps that contributed to the fuel pump failure?  Now it's clean and clear.

I just had to make a video of this thing running.  Normally it takes a little bit for the idle to settle down.  Normally it even takes a few cranks for the thing to cough to life.  Not now.  I started this video just a few seconds after it roared to life.  Wow, I'm wondering just what was going on with the fuel system because now it's just so smooth.  I'm talking in the background but it's nothing important.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

De Tomaso Pantera Goodness

A few years ago I had a bit of an obsession with the De Tomaso Pantera.  Such a gorgeously flawed Italian car with a Ford engine.  I've since relaxed that obsession a bit, but recently the online site Mustang 360 posted an article about a particular 1972 model that caught my eye.
Color, eye popping.  Wheels, I'm not quite sure.  Gaudy, probably useless wing, hell yes.  Lamborghini Countach-ish from the rear view, I've always thought.
The reason why I keep going back to look at this beaut?  Because of what is hiding in the engine bay.  A Mustang Boss 351-ish Cleveland is usually sitting here, and that is special.  Instead, in this car, is a 4.6 DOHC 48-valve Mustang Cobra derived screamer.  450 horses, no waiting.

I love this car.

Friday, June 16, 2017

427 Cobra - We Must Have Fuel!

The ol' dude called it quits on the road the other night.  Luckily, it was close to home.  I had a sneaking suspicion that it was fuel related, but was hoping for something less complicated.  You know, like a loose wire.  Nope.  Never easy.
I turned on all applicable devices, and everything worked.  What was missing?  That annoying little fuel pump whine.  Ok, so it's just a fuse or a relay, right?  Ha, ha, the Cobra just laughs.  After crawling under this awesome but painfully tight dash, the fuses were all ship-shape. 
Ah, the fuel cell.  It's an aluminum work of art.  But it's super simple, too.  Hose brings gas in.  Return line brings it back when it's shut off.  Wiring goes to gas gauge.  Oh, that gas gauge that doesn't work?  The same one that has caused me to be stranded twice?  More on that in a minute.
Inline fuel pump, underneath and ahead of the Corvette suspension.  A tap with a hammer and then...buzzzzzzz!  Perfect.  After coming to life for about 10 seconds, it stopped again.  That gave the me the definitive answer that the pump had finally given up.  We have our culprit.  Only, this pump has been out of production for a while.  That means one thing:  expensive if you can find one.  I did.  And, it is.
A side benefit to this is, for grins, I added a little extra current to the sending unit.  Wonders never cease, and the gauge sprang to life.  And, there is a full tank of gas waiting to spill on me when I change the pump!  Excellent.
The fact that this thing is 20 years old and is in such solid shape brings me joy.  Crawling under it today made me appreciate how well it's made and how little wear the ol' dude has on him.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mom's Birthday

Because nothing says "Happy Birthday Mom!" like a vintage 70's photos with cowboy hats.

I like to mark my Mom and Dad's birthdays whenever they come around.  Truth be told, I was really bad about remembering them while they were alive.  Maybe I feel like I'm a better offspring by remembering them after they're gone.

Anyway, today she would be 84.  We're approaching my Dad's 99th, which will be interesting but not as cool as next year for his 100th.

I've posted this photo before.  I love it.  It's so rich with 70's goodness.  See that green couch?  The weird lamp?  The lighter and ashtray on the wooden coffee table?  How about those fake plants in the background?  This is one of the few photos of our home on West Bruno that's pre-paneling.  Yes, shortly after this they festooned the entire upstairs with dark fake wood paneling that persisted until I sold the house in 2007.  Ah, memories.  Anyway, happy birthday, Mom.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Swab the Deck

Ah, that's a clean deck!

Last October, I presented you with the saga of my rotten deck boards.  I took a whole day and replaced all of the horizontal wood.  It looked nice.

For the last few weeks, I've been obsessing over the darkening of the wood.  I know it's supposed to age, but for some reason I just got weird about it.  Deciding to sand it all down and seal it again made me feel better.

Over the last week, I've been sanding the horizontal boards with a belt sander.  That's hard work.  I would say that it wasn't much harder to replace all the boards.  A lot cheaper, as belts are about $5 for a 5 pack, but pretty hard on the back and arms.

I finished sanding the boards this morning and sealed it this afternoon.

When I finished, I came to the realization that just a plain power washing and sealing would have sufficed.  The wood is of course, fine.  I don't know why I got so bent out of shape.  By the time this wood is ready for replacement, the entire deck will be ready for demolition and replacement.  It's 13 years old, after all.

Now, the stairs are a different story.  I replaced those earlier, and used a urethane to coat them.  The urethane has yellowed quite a bit. I might just call time on those and cut some new steps.  Much less trouble than sanding them.

But that's for another day.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Kids Photos

 It had been a while since Hanna had come to visit.  You know, with school, the job, and being semi-famous, she just doesn't have the time to hang out.  So it was so nice to have her here over the last few days.  Tyson didn't join the photos because he was off with his girlfriend somewhere.  Maybe she can join in on the fun next time.
We had to take this photo a couple times because Hanna didn't like the way she looked in the first few.  Eli didn't care one way or the other.  Me?  I was too busy trying to get a shot that Hanna liked to notice that I needed a good shave and had one eye closed like a pirate.