Thursday, July 14, 2011

Am I back?

Change is always a pain in the ass, but in this case it's been quite good. Sitting here watching the sunset over the ocean, drinking a beer and smelling something wonderful in the kitchen. These are good things.

Not coincidentally, I'm feeling better on the bike than I have in a couple years. We'll see how the race goes this weekend, but I'm optimistic.

And because sharing is caring, here's some stuff:

The 3 Wings of The Republican Party

Lauderdale is good.

Gas Tax Doesn't Cover Road Costs
Some good info for idiots that think Cyclists aren't entitled to public roads.

And some more. Cyclists are not slowing you down!

Lastly: How to Cook Real Good Cheap Easy Food.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Time to put up...

The Jeep is smogged registered and ready to go. I was able to get back to SF for a short weekend and take it for a couple short drives. One was really short; really I just needed to move it's parking spot, so I drove it enough to get it warmed up before parking it again. Sunday I got to take E for a nice drive down the coast to Half Moon Bay. Probably about a 50 mile round trip, and certainly the longest drive it's been on since I've owned it. I'm happy to report no major problems, it did die a couple times at when I stopped, but each time it started right back up- I might need to adjust the idle a bit.

Tangential rant: why does everyone love stopping so much? Dear Lord people, use the damn gas pedal...

Which brings me back to the reason I got the Jeep in the first place, Las Vegas. I've maybe got another month here, so the clock is ticking. I'm thinking of driving it down next weekend- since I'll be heading back to the City to see not one, not two but three Drive-By Truckers shows (after seeing them Thursday night in Vegas!). Four shows in one week will be a first for me, and I'm pretty excited about it.

But I was writing about the Jeep... Having it here would be good, it's the getting it down here that gives me pause. It's a ten hour drive, I'm pretty sure I can't do ten hours in the Jeep, so that makes it a two day drive. Some of it is through some pretty desolate country in which, breaking down would not be fun.

So this question I will be pondering for the next few days.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moving Right Along

Another weekend back in SF meant more stuff got done on the Jeep. I was able to pick it up Friday from GG Jeep, who has been doing most of the heavy lifting in this process. The rear end was rebuilt and some more adjustments to the carb, timing, etc. have it running pretty good. There is still an issue though with the choke wanting to close at rather odd times, this basically renders the Jeep undrivable until I stop, open the hood, pull the air breather off and put a binder clip on the choke to hold it open while I start it. Once I start it in this manner it seems to behave just fine... Until it gets restarted. My guess is that it's either a bad temp sensor somewhere, or a bad vacuum line.

I'm hoping for a vacuum line, since those are on the list of things to be replaced in the next round of fixes. I dropped it off again at GG Jeep last night, after picking it up from Proline. I had Proline redo the exhaust from the header back. Lot's of leaks are no more, the pipe and the muffler were rusty and had more than a few holes, so we just replaced everything. I still have to deal with a couple tubes dealing with emissions recovery, but that shouldn't be too bad.

I'm getting more used to it, getting more comfortable. It's still not quite as confidence inspiring as I'd like it to be, but it's getting there. The problems it has always seem to be the same, so the same fixes can keep being applied.

The goal now is to have GG Jeep fix the last couple issues by next weekend so I can ship it down to Vegas and have it with me. Then I can work on some of the smaller details- while still having it here to drive around.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting Closer

Despite me not seeing it in the last two weeks, the Jeep is progressing just fine- so I hear. It seems that the majority of the problems it's been experiencing have been identified, and most of them have been fixed. The remainging problems have to do with the exhaust system, and GG Jeep doesn't do exhaust...

The carb has been adjusted, and since they've had almost two weeks of messing with it, I'm pretty confident it will be good. I also had the rear differential rebuilt (ouch), a bit unfortunate, but at least I can expect it won't break while I'm on a trail somewhere.

So I pick it up tomorrow and I'm pretty excited about it. Maybe E and I can take a drive that won't involve pushing!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Continues

As promised:



Dwarfing the E-Mobile


Taking adavantage of the kindness of neighbors:



The starter wasn't hard to find, but the logistics of getting it quickly while I was in Las Vegas made it more of a challenge than I wanted. I ended up with a choice of either spending $100 to get the original part shipped fast, or get an ├╝ber starter for about $75 more than the original starter but not have to ship it. Not such a hard choice. I got the starter home yesterday, bolted it up and quicker than you can say vroom-vroom, the Jeep was up and running. I really wanted to take it out for a drive, but decided that Friday evening traffic was not the time for a test drive. So Saturday morning I fired it up and E and I hit the town.

Ok hit the town is a bit of an exaggeration since it died two blocks from the apartment. But I was able to pull it onto a side street and into an illegal parking spot for the moment. After a few fruitless attempts at starting it, I popped the hood and pulled the air filter off the carb. While E started cranking it, I played with the levers, valves, etc. until it started up. Right away it sounded better than it had, and indeed a spin around the block confirmed it was good to go. So again we headed towards the empty part of the city.

Once we got to the wearhouses, which are largely abandoned on the weekends, we played around a bit. E got to drive around for a while, so she could see if she liked it, and we could figure out if counting on her to drive it in a crisis (to or from GG Jeep- as an example) was an option (short answer, maybe).

Things were going well, so I decided to expand the drive area. We hopped on 280S and cruised the freeway for 10 miles or so, discovering that the speedometer is not very accurate, and that the Jeep was not built for cruising on the freeway (just so we're clear- I knew that going in).

Ready to declare the adventure successful we headed towards Skyline Blvd which would take us to the Great Highway and then back home. I was a little concerned at a perceived lack of power, but pretty happy with the days events, until we came to the first stoplight. Crap, it's dead, and it won't start. At least we're headed mostly downhill, so I hop out to wave traffic around and had E get behind the wheel. I pushed, she steered and we got out of harms way. By the way, steering this thing with the engine off (meaning no power steering) is not easy, and she handled it well.

Applying what I learned from the days earlier adventures, I popped the air-filter off, and held the choke open while E turned the key... that did the trick and we were on our way again. Though, for some reason the idle was now way off, so I couldn't take my foot off the gas or the engine would die (and probably not start without me getting under the hood again) so I ended up getting it home by breaking with the left foot while keeping my right foot on the gas.

I adjusted the carb and we took it out again. This time without incident. So I'm calling it progress. It's still not running how it should, but it is running, and that's a big improvement.