Sunday, November 21, 2010

Replacing a Fuel Injector

This little engineering marvel is what is known as a fuel injector. It's purpose when working is to spray fuel into the engine at just the right time to be ignited and produce power to wheels of the car and cause movement. At a cost of $180 it's an expense that has to be reckoned with when trouble comes from this part. I can tell you that when it sticks open a profuse amount of smoke is generated from the tail pipe and no more than 100 miles can be squeezed out of a tank of gas. After searching out other ways to replace the little jewel which included junk yards and internet sources, a new injector arrived via UPS for a cost of only $85 and installation plans began.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Research can be accomplished on just about anything possible. That goes for mechanical proceedures as well. After much time spent on how to replace the tiny little part, I was armed and ready to attack the job with confidence and vigor. As you can see this part is not exactly right on top fo the engine ready to be plucked out and replaced. After much contemplation, deviation from the recommended proceedure was decided and a saving of time perhaps as much as 4 hours was accomplished. Oh, yeah.

When working on car things, invaribly things will be dropped in the process. This project was no different. Even though care was taken twice a socket was dropped. Now when this happens one can only hope that what's been dropped doesn't come to rest on a part of the engine that is inaccessable to human hand. So as the socket bounces it's way downward my breath was held and a celebration dance in the middle of street overcame me when I heard the socket hit the ground under the car.

It was a very good day and in the span of maybe 2 hours wrench bending time the little fuel injector that couldn't was replaced by one that could. The moment of truth is always a nerve racking moment. As the key turns and the starter spins the engine the second it catches and sputters to life chugging and shaking as the gas lines pump there liquid up to the injectors, a feeling of accomplishment spreads over me as the engine smooths out and runs just like it should. Yea, another mechanical accomplishment done. Thanks Dad for all those times we worked on stuff together. I really was watching and learning even though it didn't look like it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kansas City Chapel

The chapel in Kansas City really caught me by surprise. My mind's vision of a chapel was a some what small place where folks go to pray and meditate on God's word. This however is huge compared to what I had envisioned in my mind.

Our team's task was to work on the electrical and get the heating system working as cold days were coming soon. Ron had the job of working in the boiler room which was pretty tight. Getting everything wiried up was a difficult task as all the wiring had to be inside conduit. All the curves and bends to make this happen turned out to be quite challenging.

The outside crew was given the task to run the conduit from the main breaker panel to all five of the airconditioning units. Once again bending and anchoring skills came into play. This was a two week project that I only could stay for one week.

My task was to help plumber with the insulating of the water pipes. Once again I was high up in the attic and crawl spaces known only to plumbers and electricians. I floated around and got involved with drywall, actual plumbing, and some electrical work. Our crew was 24 one of the largest in a while.

The outside distribution boxes were definitely a challenge and took most of the time for our crew during the first week. Fortunately the weather co-operated and gave the outside crew fabulously warm days to accomplish their task. By the end of the first week most of the outside conduit was complete. I have no doubt that by the end of the second week heat was available to the building.
It's really great to be able work a group of Christian guys. I've learned a lot about team work and added tremendously to my work skills. It's actually helped with many projects back on the home front.
I hope all you readers are well.

Dryer Repair

Don't you just hate it when your appliances let you down. My clothes dryer has been faithful for 15 years and never has been a problem. But on this fateful morning while drying clothes I noticed there was no heat in the drying process.

With screw drivers and multimeters I dove into the heart of the dryer. Thinking that it could be a number of things, testing began. The culprut, the heater element, finally showed itself by testing open. A run to the appliance parts place netted a new part with the departing of $50.00. Now if I had been a true pioneer I would have just reconnected this wire heating element somehow. I figured I might as well buy a new part as it probably would just break in another place soon.

By the end of the day all was once again well and clothes were drying.

Don't let those appliances get to down.

Building a door

My friend Al gave me a call and asked if I could help with closing in a archway and installing a doorway. Of course I was excited about the challenge of it all. The frame work was first on the list. We were well on our way to accomplishing this three day task by the first day's end. For an experienced carpenter it would have been probably a one day thing but for amateurs it takes a little longer.

Always with Al and I there have to be runs to Home Depot. Maybe that's why it takes three days instead of only one. We have a wonderful time with the building projects that we get involved with. With only a few modifications we are able to install the prehung door. Nothing to this stuff. Right?

By the end of the second day things were starting to shape up. With the door installed and the drywall in place, we could concintrate on the mudding and taping during the finishing process. This is my least favorite thing of any project and Al did most of this part.
By the end of the third day the door was all in place including the trim. A good coat of primer had been painted on and the door was ready for a final coat of paint. With only just a few things left to do I had to leave and get ready for a trip to Kansas City to help with the building of a college chapel.

Challenge yourself with projects.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vern's Tree

My ex co-worker and good friend Vern had a tree issue. He lives by the Elkhorn river in a wonderful development. During the spring it's not uncommon for the river to rise up above normal. This year the river was higher than usual. With the sandy soil and the water level several feet above ground level it caused the large cottonwood trees to basically just lay down.

It's always a challange to know exactly what a tree under tension will do when cut. It could roll one way or another and I've seen where the stump will pop upright when the trunk is cut away. Extreme caution is required when working on a tree of this size as one small mistake can be hugely disasterous.

I really thought that this was going to be one of those times when the stump would pop upright as the crack opened up wider and wider as the mighty Stihl saw that I have affectionately named "Big Bertha" continued to chew it's way through the water logged trunk. I must say that it was exhilarating to be a part of this project.

During the course of cutting up the tree trunk, there's a fine line between knowing when to saw up and when to saw down. For me it's always a given that the saw will get pinched and need to be removed with wedges. I haven't completely learned how to cut through a log without getting wedged a time or two but I'm working on it. With a little help from my friends I made it through the day.

Victory finally comes to those that are persistant. By the day's end we loggers were sasified that we had accomplished what we set out to do. Cut the tree and saw it up in chunks. It was a great day of hard work and success.
Once again the mighty Bertha showed she reigned in tree sawing. She's been a great asset to my tool set. Many times I have been able to help with trees because of her ability to make short work of big jobs.

Have a great day and be safe.