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The Adventures Of My New Hat

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#4201 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted September 29, 2016 - 04:52 PM

Well deja vu all over again.


I didn't sleep good last night. My upper back was hurting. COuld not get comfortable. 



Steph got up and went to get Heath on the bus. 


I got up at 10. No sleep but I found a little more comfortable position to lay in. 


Buddy's wife, Pam, had her car to die on her. Fortunately,a freind had a spare car so she was able to get back and forth to work. I couldn't get a good answer as to what happened so we tossed some tools in the BettyBlue and left. 


We took the tow dolly just in case. 


We got there and found 14 pounds of crud on the battery terminals. With those cleaned there was still no power. We jumped it off with and it started. The battery was toast.


We led them down to Advance and they bought a battery.


While we put it in Pam was telling me that Buddy's truck would not start. He said he left the door open and the battery died. So we went home. 


We tinkered with BettyBlue a while. The odometer has not worked since I bought it. I pulled the dash cluster out of the BlueOx and it was different. The cluster in the parts truck didn't work. So I have no odometer still. 


Finally Buddy texted me and said he tried to jump the truck and a wire started smoking. So we went down to their house. 


Sure enough a wire had burned. I think he may have hooked it up backwards. IT didn't take long to get it fixed and running. 


Pam trimmed Steph's bangs and we came home. 


Our neighbor is smoking us some pork loin that should be ready about 7. I can't wait. I am glad I sold him a smoker. 

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#4202 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 03, 2016 - 03:37 PM

My Monday started off EEEEarly.

A friend who lives down the road borrowed my trailer yesterday. I told him that I needed it back by 11 today.

Well, last night at 130am I heard a horrible noise and the dogs started going bonkers. I looked outside and saw his truck and another truck with hazard lights on and they were working on something. At first I thought they were dropping the trailer off. They weren't.

I put on my Batman pants and went outside.. They had a flat on the trailer. One of the studs was turning with the lug nut so they couldn't change the flat. With nothing else to do they dragged it on to the house - loaded with drywall.

IT took us 2 hours to change what was left of the rim with the spare. With only about 1/16 of an inch of the stud to grab on the back of the hub it was delicate work.

Then we found the other tire was flat too. Rim got bent when they hit whatever they hit. I hammered the rim back out and aired it up. They went on home.

I came in and was awake till 5am.

So 5 hours of sleep - lets do this.

My Nephew (Sam) came by to do the brakes on his van. In order to get the drums off the rear we had to have a 8x1.25 bolt to thread in the drum. I didn't have one.
The wounded trailer returned home and the guy told me he was going to take it to a weld shop and get everything fixed that the blow out damaged.
He had the piece of wheel on his truck still.
My friend, Buddy, and his daughter, Miriam, came by to get his cordless impact.
Sam and I left for the hardware store to get the bolts. Buddy took a while to get gone, not surprising. I forgot my phone and had to turn around and come back. Buddy was just pulling out of the yard. I got my phone and headed out, only to find Buddy headed back. He had a wobble in his front end. A bad wobble.
He went on to my house. Sam and I went and got bolts.
We got back and I looked at the truck. The pitman arm had about an inch and a half of play in it.
We got Sam's van apart. Back brakes looked good. Front shoes were almost gone.
Sam, Buddy, and I went to the parts house.
Armed with lots of parts and tools and things we headed back home.
The pitman arm puller I bought would not fit Buddy's truck. I tried to call a friend who has a larger one but he did n't pick up.
So we went to Sam's van. I did the brakes on the drivers side and carefully explained each thing I did to him, then told him to do the passengers side.
Steph got back with a puller from a different store. Still too small. Tim called just as she got home and said to bring his 20hp briggs engine to him and get his puller. So I had Sam and Buddy put the engine in Christine and Steph left again.
Sam did the passengers side with no problems.
Once he was done he had to leave, his little brother had a track meet.
It took some doing, but we finally got the pitman arm put on Buddy's truck.
He took it up the road. No wobbles reported.
We got to talking and I thought I remembered telling him about 2 years ago that it was going to need replacing at some point. I guess this was the point.
Finally all the tools were picked up. I staggered inside, cleaned up, and sat down.
Buddy and Miriam headed out.
As soon as I have the energy I will take a shower.


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#4203 olcowhand ONLINE  


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Posted October 03, 2016 - 03:52 PM

I sure hope all these friends that need all this work done put some cash in your till!  

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#4204 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 04, 2016 - 01:37 PM

I am beat already.




This morning we got up and got Heath on the bus. A short time later we hooked BettyBlue up to the tow dolly and dragged CherryBerry to the transmission shop. 


I took it easy and we got there about 1030. It took a bit to get her unloaded because the battery was dead. We had to wait for someone to find a jump box.


Once that was done we weaved our way through road construction till we to to Pull-a-part. An hour or so of wandering and wrenching and we had a radiator for Pam's Neon. 


As we were leaving I got a call from Scott, my neighbor, whose Explorer dead. I told him we had the dolly and would call him when we were close. 


It took forever to get back to the interstate because of the construction. 


We did stop at Steak and Shake for some food.


At about 115 we got to Scotts truck, loaded it up, and headed home. Again I babied it. 


At around 145 we were in his yard and unloaded. We let the dogs run a bit because the idiot neighbor was not home then  I came in and collapsed into my chair.


Steph is running around like mad cleaning everything because we have company coming tonight. I am going to take a shower in a few minutes and bathe the dogs when I do. She can wash Alfie in the kitchen sink.



I am dealing with ex-wife drama with Jared. Things are not good in AZ.

Edited by UncleWillie, December 04, 2017 - 07:50 PM.

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#4205 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 05, 2016 - 07:49 PM

Things almost went a planned. 




This morning at 615 we were all up. At 630 we were happily munching on breakfast. 




Or drinking it - whichever. 


Heath got on the bus and Steph fell asleep on the couch about 15 minutes later LOL.


At  8 we went out and got started on Buddy's Neon.



Sam got here at about 930.


We got the radiator out of the neon and soon realized that the one we got yesterday was different. I thought it would work till we tried to put the cooling fan on it. It didn't fit. Dangit. 


So we made a new plan. Sam and I loaded the Gravley up to go mow Grady's jungle.


I mowed the ditch because it is kind of a wild ride. I got it stuck twice and had to use BettyBlue to rescue it. Sam did better than I did. 



Once that was ready for baling we headed home.


We ditched the Gravley and grabbed the radiator from Pull-a-part and some tools and headed off. 


We got to the junk yard and got a credit for the radiator. Then we went out searching. Then only car that had the exact same radiator had been wrecked and the radiator was a pretzel. So I got the same radiator and the fan off it. We also found an instrument panel for BB that hopefully has a working odometer, and some rare one year only Chevy mirrors from a 91 Suburban. 


When we checked out one gal looked thru the wheel barrow and called the stuff out to the gal behind the counter and the other gal rang it up. I paid and we left.


Traffic won the interstate was backing up so we hit the back roads. 


We landed at around 7pm. The neighbor had cooked is a smoked chicken to pay for towing his truck yesterday.



We were sitting here watching a movie and the dogs started barking. Sam was sitting by the window and said there was "some old woman" in the yard. Maw Maw Wander had come over in her bathrobe. I knew something was up. She had no water. 


We all went over to see what was up. I poked around and couldn't find a reason for it. I opened the valve on the well and it sprayed for 2 seconds as the last of the pressure tank drained.  She has power  to the pressure switch. I told her with my back there was no way I could pull the pump. As we stood there talking it suddenly started spraying. Probably a bad pressure switch. 


We talked a bit then came home.


Sam had to leave for home. I am done in. Hopefully tomorrow we can resurrect the Neon. 

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#4206 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted October 05, 2016 - 09:55 PM

Close to as planned is better than most days. Put one in the WIN column.
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#4207 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 06, 2016 - 07:12 PM

Got things done.


This morning we were up, dressed, fed, and raring to go at 630. Heath's bus swept him away and we waited for the dew to be gone since it was super wet outside. 




We went out and got started. We forgot to get transmission fluid for the Neon yesterday( and it needs ATF+4 which I didn't have) and JB Weld.  So while Steph assembled the radiator/fan/condenser unit, I ran to Walmart in BettyBlue. 


ON the way there I lost the clutch. I managed to shift it without the pedal. Getting there was no problem. Getting home was a challenge because it did not want to start in first. After pumping the pedal like a madman it finally pumped up enough to start.


Back home we put the radiator in the Neon, got all that stuff hooked up, and tried to flush the radiator (using the garden hose hooked to the water heater so the thermostat would open) . It refused to flush. I also would not build pressure. I took the thermostat housing off and found it was full of crud. I put the housing back on and stuck the hose in it an let it run a while. It had lots of stop leak in it. 


We looked at BB. We tried to bleed the line. Steph pumped I opened the valve. After we got some air out, I heard a pop, and fluid began to pour out.  The previous owner had tried to fix a leak in the clutch line with electrical tape. I am surprised it worked as long as it did. 


We yanked the hose out to verify that was the problem. It was. 



So I called around and found a line at O'rielly's in Lincolnton. I sent Steph to get it and a thermostat. I came in for coffee and a sit down. 


She got back and we put the thermostat in. Then we had a leak from the housing. We thought it was the o ring gasket. After 20 minutes we found the real problem - a cracked housing. I called Autozone they had one in stock. 


So we put BB back together. 


Just as we were finishing bleeding the clutch Tim pulled in. 


Since he had a gas powered compressor on his truck, and I still don't have my compressor back from Grady yet, we decided to pull a vacuum on the Neon's A/C. It pulled right down and held perfectly. After 20 minutes I knew I could leave for the parts house. I left. Tim and Steph were discussing him buying some rabbits. 


Soon realized the clutch didn't quite work like it used to. I smoked the tires coming out of the driveway. The clutch now works on the last 2 inches of pedal. I think the slave cylinder ingested some electrical tape. 


Once I got back home (Heath beat me home)  we put the Neon back together. NO leaks. Then I charged the A/C - 39 degrees burrrrr. 


I took it for a test drive and it threw a code. My scanner just said it was a manufactures control code. I couldn't find any information on it so I erased it. It never showed back up. 


We cleaned up the tools and I let the dogs out to run while Steph finished that up. I was hurting too much by then to do much. 


I collapsed into my recliner for a while. 


Steph came in and collapsed on the couch. I took the hint and ordered pizza. 


Before it got here I got into the shower. When I got out, Buddy, Pam, and the pizza delivery person were in the front yard. Fortunately, I had dressed before wandering out. 


I got a check from them. Pizza from the pizza person and I came back in. 


Bed is going to feel so good tonight. 

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#4208 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 08, 2016 - 09:21 PM

And Matthew came by to visit.




When we moved in the outer window in Heath's bedroom had about a 6 inch hole in it. (I wish I knew how they managed that) We put duct tape over it and pretty much forgot about it. I don't look out his window all that often. Last night the wind somehow managed to blow the duct tape off and then proceed to break the inner glass. So now I get to replace both of them.

It also tore the tarp off Spooky. I will deal with that tomorrow. For now the engine is covered.



Heath was going bonkers begin cooped up in the house. So we went down to the mall in Gastonia.




There was a new southern cooking restaurant in the food court. Food was unbelievable. We will be going back. 


Then we took Heath to the play ground. Had a ball. There were lots of other parents doing the same thing. 



Heath has decided he wants to wear glasses since I have been wearing mine more since the surgery. NO reason to mess with putting my contacts in just to sit in a recliner all day. He keeps stealing my reading glasses. We got him a cheap pair of "fashion" glasses. No prescription. 


Then we went to a Home Depot and Lowes. Finally we stopped at TSC where I got a toolbox for BettyBlue. Since finding a tool box for a step side has proved to be nearly impossible I got a chest that sits between the frame rails. I will have to figure out how to secure it to the bed tomorrow. 




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#4209 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 09, 2016 - 06:24 PM

Woohooooooo. Did what I wanted to do today, and not work on someone elses stuff. 





We slept in this morning. 


Then we sat around a while and watched tv. 


Then we went outside to mess with my stuff. 


I wanted to get the Falcon up on the stand to work on it. So we hooked it to Christine and moved it over. 


When we tried to pull it up on the stand with Christine, she lost traction on the still wet ground. So I told Steph to give it some slack and yank it. The rope broke. I tied a knot in it and we tried again. IT broke again. I guess after 4 years of being outside it was done for. 


So we decided it was finally time to put the wince up on the carport to pull them up with. We found a suitable piece of steel in the junk pile and carried it up. We also grabbed two railroad tie plates that we had laying around. 


I knew I needed some u bolts to attach it so Heath and I left for TSC while Steph organized some tools. 


We got back and attached the bar then I drilled holes in a RR plate to mount the SuperWinch winch. We got it all mounted up and tried to pull the tractor up. It didn't work. As soon as it needed more pull it stopped. It was a 2000 pound win ch so no way we over loaded it. 



I know that somewhere we have a Harbor Freight winch that we have never used. We looked and looked and gave up. We went down and pulled the winch I put on a tractor last summer. 


The holes in the HF winch were different so I had to re-drill one.


Finally it was all mounted up.


Ignore the weeds. Since my surgery trimming has been low priority.

It pulled the Falcon up with no problems at all. 


Hopefully tomorrow I can resurrect it.


The tool box I got last night needed to  be mounted to the truck somehow. It only came with 1/2 inch screws. Not long enough to go thru the bedliner and into anything that would hold it. So I ran down to Ace hardware before they closed and got some longer ones. 


We got it secured then sat in the bed of the truck and talked a bit

Edited by UncleWillie, October 09, 2016 - 06:24 PM.

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#4210 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 12, 2016 - 08:59 AM

The odd things that make you remember stuff.

(Searched Memory lane coffee and this was the first image)


In 2001 I bought a camper shell for a truck I owned. It came without keys. I had to go to a Leonard dealer to get a part for it, and I asked them about the key. They guy told me that if the number on the lock matched the number on the key it fit. He walked inside and came out with the right key.

Fast forward to this weekend, I had to buy a new tool chest for BettyBlue because we could not find a used one anywhere. Last night I locked it for the first time. When I did I saw the number on the key. It took me back to many years ago.

When I was a kid my dad owned an 80 something Ford F100 that he used for a service truck for his alarm company. They truck had a shell on it. There were several keys on his key ring that were similar, but I knew number on the one that opened the truck. For many years that number was in my hand on an almost daily basis.

It was 2016 and suddenly those 2 letters and 3 numbers stamped on a key were there. Instead of reaching over the bedside of a Chevy I was suddenly standing behind a Ford. I could vividly see the brown truck, white shell, gray steel back bumper, and yellow and green logos. I could almost open the door and see inside. The left large tackle box full of wiring connectors and screws. Many spools of wire stacked neatly. Extension cords wrapped up and waiting for use.

I was suddenly 16. I was preparing to crawl under a house, or up in an attic.  I was about to spend hours running wire. I would put in thousands of staples.  I would run miles of alarm, intercom, and telephone wire; many more miles of cable for television.  I would go up and down ladders.

At the end of the day I would use that same key to open those same white doors and return everything I had taken out. Then, tired from work, I would climb into that hot brown vinyl seat, and ride home.  I could hear the 300 straight 6 engine- the valves clattering when it wasn’t downshifted soon enough. No air conditioning, just the hot air from summer blasting through the window.

Then I saw my 4 year old. I wondered if he would look back at 46 years old and have a key remind him of so much.









Outside of that things have been pretty quiet. Monday evening Buddy and I went to look at two vehicles. First was a Honda Passport that the guy told me was in good shape and the pictures on CL looked good. In person it looked like it had been used in a demolition derby. He said it was just where a stick hit it. I asked what tree the stick was in. The interior looked like a family of beavers lived in it.  We left without even opening the hood. We looked at a Toyota Avalon too. Didn't buy it either. 


Yesterday we drive up to Concord and got a Furd Deranger for scrap. The guy said the transmission was out, but it is a 5 speed. I will look and see if it is the clutch and determine if it is worth resale. 


Todya I go back to my doctor to see if my spine is sticking out. 


Hopefully I can work on the Falcon some. 

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#4211 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  



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Posted October 12, 2016 - 10:18 AM

Great story there. I often wonder the same thing with my son. I have so many great memories with my dad I hope my son has the same.
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Posted October 12, 2016 - 10:38 AM

That's a trip down memory lane for sure! Great story!

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Posted October 12, 2016 - 01:22 PM

How's life treating you? Pretty darn fine with memories like that. Thanks Willie.

#4214 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 12, 2016 - 03:10 PM

Getting cooler.



The doc said my spine probably won't fall out now. She did prescribe something for the pain in my upper back till we can get the lower healed up. 


I stopped at Autozone in Dallas on the way home and got some fuel line. I didn't check what the receipt said I just wanted to get home and off my feet. Halfway home I looked at it. $4.26 a foot. I figured if I went back I would punch the guy in the mouth. I went to the AutoZone in Cherryville. The guy in Dallas sold me fuel injection line - which is a ripoff as the regular line is good for 75 PSI. Anything past that and you need steel braided anyhow. I am fixing a tractor, not a Ferrari.


I came home and tried putting the instrument panel I got at pull a part in BettyBlue. The odometer didn't work. There is something weird going on. I will worry with it later. 


Then we took a look at the  Ranger. The guy said it was popping fuses before he fixed the starter wiring.


There were probably 75 in all.

Then we got it started. I couldn't find anything wrong with the transmission. It seems to work just fine. It does need a front u-joint, that could be causing it to pop out of gear. I drove it probably 2 miles and it worked perfect. It will get sold. 


At some point in the future the video will be posted here. 



Internet is being stupid slow today. 


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#4215 UncleWillie ONLINE  


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Posted October 12, 2016 - 07:33 PM

I forgot to ad.



Last night Betty started screaming on the way home. I thought it was just the throw out bearing getting worse. It is hard to tell over the  roar of the dual cherry bombs. Today I pulled the fill plug out of the rear diff and stuck my pinkie in as far as I could and it came out clean. Took a full 2 quarts to remedy that. 

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