Internet Tomorrow, Maybe

The telephone installer is scheduled to arrive tomorrow to install telephone and, hopefully, internet service.

We currently have *some* cellular phone and internet service but even with my knowing the “tricks”, it’s still not very good….it’s hard to make next to nothing “good”, especially when most of the equipment I could use to make it “almost good” is several hundred miles distant.

The service will be DSL and it is claimed I can expect 25 Mbit per second down (5 Mbit per second up) speeds, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I drove my “heap” along the telephone cable route and the nearest DSL access electronics I could find is 5.8 miles distant.

Along the way, I stopped at a (the only) convenience store to fill the heaps’s gas tank. While I was putting gas into the tank, two sheriff’s deputies (training officer and trainee) and a state police officer walked out from the store. They came over to look (gawk) at the truck and after talking with me a few moments, the older deputy remembered me from my days at the police academy.

I have a feeling anyone but me driving the truck will be closely scrutinized. 🙂


ET has her first meeting with a hematologist/oncologist on April 13. We are both anxiously awaiting the results of that consultation. I’m not sure if she or I is more anxious.

I’m busy with getting the house packed up for the (hopefully it happens) move and that keeps my mind off of it, but, at the same time, having to do all this divides my attention.

Switching topics.

The freezer is now empty, and I just turned it off. The “computer room” no longer has the background hum from the freezer. The computer is convection cooled so it has no fan and I’m amazed at how quiet things have become. Also, since the freezer door is propped open, there is a cold draft coming across the floor.

The garage is nearly empty. I need to put together the hard top for 1964 Jeep and the soft top on the 1950 Jeep. Once that is done, they will be stored at a friend’s home. The 1957 Jeep truck will remain here until the last possible moment as it is the vehicle that is hauling everything to the self-storage units.

I stopped writing this post to work on the garage while the freezer sat, and I’m glad I came back in here because I noticed the freezer was starting to drip water onto the floor. The freezer had no frost inside the freezer compartment, so I’m guessing the water is coming from frost that built up within the door. Fortunately, it was a small puddle, and the floor is tile, so the cleanup was a simple 30 second effort.

The freezer is now in the garage where it can drip without causing a problem and I will remember this so the next time I unplug the freezer…I will be ready.

A Disadvantage

I’ve posted several times about my 1957 truck and all of its advantages. We’ll, it does have one disadvantage.

This image was made in February.

Today it was 112F/44C…in the shade. I don’t bother looking at the temperature shown by a thermometer sitting in the sun…..112F is hot enough that I don’t need to see higher thermometer readings.

Today, I had to go get some lumber and the truck’s long bed is perfect for hauling the 10 foot long 2 by 4 lumber I needed.

When I got into the truck I “just happened” to notice that it was hot inside the truck. The truck is a cab-over engine design, so I am sitting beside the engine when I’m driving it and even though there is a protective cover over the engine, it doesn’t do much to keep the engine heat out of the truck cab. The only “air conditioning” is what is jokingly called 4 40 air conditioning, which is 4 open windows and driving 40mph. So, it became even more hot inside as I continued to drive.

I was about an hour driving around in the truck, taking used motor oil to the auto parts store so the oil can be recycled, going to the storage unit to pick up my electric saw, going to the post office that is on the way to the lumber yard and then to the lumber yard.

I parked the truck at a shaded spot at the lumber yard so all the lumber could easily be loaded. I looked at the digital thermometer in the truck cab and it read 137F/58C. When I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket to get a picture of the thermometer, the phone was off. I turned the phone back on and displayed on the screen was a warning that the phone was powering off due to being overheated. The phone powered off again, so I don’t have any pictures of the thermometer.

Even More Jeep FC-170

The needed Jeep parts arrived in the mail a few days ago, but I had a lot of medical stuff, and other (good) things, before I could get back to finishing up this work.

I spent today replacing the rear engine mounts–actually it’s the transmission mount and also a transfer case mount. It took four hours to clean the grime that was loosened by the penetrating oil so I could find the bolts and nuts, and then about an hour and a half actually doing the work. What a nasty messy job!

I would have been finished more quickly, but I kept getting up to wash my hands and wipe off the tools. I suppose it seems odd that someone wants clean hands and tools while working on an old car, but that’s how it is for me.

Everything is back together and the Jeep runs fine. I no longer can push the transmission several inches. This should take care of the fan hitting the shroud problems, although it will likely come back in a few years because the leaking oil from the gearboxes will degrade the material in the transmission mounts.

Fixing the gearbox leaks is fairly easy, but to do it well is one of those ever expanding projects. To stop the leaks one replaces all the gaskets. But replacing the gaskets requires the cases be clean. Cleaning the cases is best done by soaking them for several days in a strong solution of lye and water. But one must remove the internal components from the gear boxes before soaking the cases. And, even though the transmissions are working well, “why not overhaul them” while they apart. The gearboxes are simple and overhauling them is not difficult, but it’s not something I want to do right now. My first priority is to finish up the landscaping so we can get the house ready to sell so we can move to a more rural area.

When I was all done with the work, I spent almost an hour in the shower getting “de-grimed”. The two best things I’ve found for this are liquid soap like is used to wash dishes in the kitchen sink and a very abrasive pumice soap sold by NAPA Auto Parts. The pumice soap is used for my hands and maybe my arms. The dish soap for everywhere else. I’m not one of those “macho men” that will use that pumice soap *everywhere* 🙂

The tools are all lined up on the workbench, but are not cleaned. They are also a mess. Tomorrow I’ll take care of cleaning them and putting them away. But first, I need to go to the optometrist. I was supposed to do that today, but the optometrist’s office had a water pipe leak that required the electricity be shut off to fix the leak…so they are seeing Friday’s appointments tomorrow.

I hate leaving the grimy tools laid out like that, but that is better than putting dirty tools back into the tool chest.

More Jeep FC-170

I spent about an hour working on the truck and I’m finished with the front engine mounts. This means I’m about one third, counting the time to clean the tools, finished with the job. I discovered that I do not have the correct rear engine mount, so I will need to talk with the parts supplier to get the correct one. There were early and late versions of the FC-170 and *sometimes* it makes a difference as to what part is needed. My truck was among the first 1,000 trucks to come off of the assembly line…so it’s an early version.

The concept is easy. Remove the two nuts that hold the front engine mounts to the engine, remove the four bolts and nuts that hold the engine mounts to the truck frame, jack up the engine with a floor jack (the same kind that is used to lift a car to change a tire), slide out the old engine mounts, slide in the new ones, lower the engine and replace the nuts and bolts.

Lifting the engine moves both the cooling fan and the generator and, unfortunately, these were hitting things before the engine was lifted up high enough to replace the engine mounts. So, I had to remove the generator and cooling fan before continuing. The area around the fan is quite congested and the nearby edges are sharp, so my arms are scratched up. I am getting a yearly medical checkup this week and I’m sure the doctor will ask me about my arms. 🙂

All of that is done and back together….except for the fan…..I decided to let my arm recover before reinstalling that.

The problem I’m encountering is grime around the rear engine mount bolts.

When working on unrestored old cars, it’s quite normal to encounter grime so thick that it makes it difficult to find nuts and bolt heads. I have a collection of tools for removing the grime and normally they work quite well.

Not this time.

This time the grime is as hard as stone. I have not encountered this before and my grime tools aren’t working.

There were around 30,000 of these trucks made and very few remain, so some parts, like transmission cases, are difficult to source. This means I need to be careful. I could use a small hammer and chisel to remove the grime but I don’t think it is “careful” to do that until I’ve tried other less physical methods of softening the grime.

Penetrating oil is a thin oil designed to creep into even the tightest spaces. It is normally used on the threads of rusty nuts and bolts to make it less difficult (note I didn’t say easy) to remove them. I have often used it for this purpose, but never before on hardened grime.

I’ll see how the penetrating oil works on the stone like grime. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll try “something else”. A hammer and chisel is still far down the list of things to try

Patience. 🙂

Jeep FC-170

This is sort of a “I was doing yardwork and someone yelled squirrel, but I never did see the squirrel. While I was turning to look at the squirrel, I got distracted by the chipmunk.” situation.

The yardwork is almost done and I’m about ready to haul another (almost) 3,500 pounds/1,500Kg of dirt to the dirt recyclers.

But, when I drove the truck the last time, anytime I would accelerate from a stop, the radiator cooling fan would make a slight noise.

I found the noise was cause by the engine shifting position and allowing the fan to contact the fan shroud. Further checking showed the engine mounts no longer had the ability to hold the engine in its proper place…so I ordered the four engine mounts and they arrived today.

Looking at the engine mounts, it appears (unless something goes wrong) that it will take about 2 hours to replace the mounts.

It Rides Again

I’m almost done sifting gravel and I learned a few things along the way.

First is that people are really amazing when it comes to face coverings…I got “yelled” at for wearing a real N95 mask despite it being very appropriate to protect myself while sifting the gravel.

I ignored them, but I decided to get a reusable elastomeric half faceplate respirator and four P95 filters. The mask and filters cost me $31. Four N95 masks would have cost $40. I walked into the industrial supply place, asked for the mask and filters, paid my money and left. The P filter is more capable than a N filter, often lasting for months, even in areas with a lot of dust. For what it is worth, these respirators have been, for years, approved for use in hospital settings where N filters are needed and studies have found the respirator and P filters will last for “at least a year”.

Anyway, enough of respirators.

“It Rides Again” is a reference to my old truck. After giving a bunch of the dirt away to my neighbor and a friend, to fill in low spots in their yards, the rest of the dirt will be going to a dirt recycling facility.

It turns out the old 1957 FC-170 Jeep truck will haul heavier loads than my new truck, so I can haul all the dirt away in just one trip.

Ladder Truck, Sort of.

FC-quarterFC-backMy apologies for the poor quality of the images.  I was in a hurry to get back to painting, so I didn’t spend more than a moment getting the pictures.

Anyway, I thought I’d show my Jeep FC-170 truck off a bit.

I’m painting my house and I needed a long extension ladder to safely reach some of the higher places and the truck was the perfect vehicle to bring the ladder home.

For a sense of scale of the size of the truck, the fully collapsed ladder is about 12 feet long but it extends only about 2 feet behind the back of the truck.

In my state, a  warning flag is only needed  if the load extends 4 feet, or more, behind the truck.   So, even though the flag isn’t really needed, I decided to use one anyway and add a bit of brightness to the lives of everyone driving behind me.  🙂

If you don’t recognize the flag,  it’s a somewhat faded class 3 safety vest that has been retired from its usual service.


I haven’t decided if this is a truck or garden post.


1957 Jeep FC-170.  From the Jeep Forward Control Wikipedia article

Today I transplanted Yellow Pear tomatoes and Serrano peppers.

Over time I have found that using fifteen huge flower pots as a sort of movable raised bed garden works better than anything else I’ve tried.   During the summer, the sunshine and heat become intense enough that the tomato plants stop producing and moving the plants into the partial shade of our orange tree solved the problem.

What does this have to do with a Jeep truck?

Well, every few years I replace the soil in the pots and this year was one of those “every few years”.  It takes 1800 pounds (800 kilos) of soil to fill those pots and my truck, (like the one pictured above) is perfect for the job.  Unlike any other 3/4 ton truck I’ve had, it’s narrow enough that I can drive it into the back yard and avoid using a wheelbarrow.

Detoured Project

It didn’t take long for me to have to put the Gonset project aside to take care of something more pressing.

I have a 1957 Jeep FC-170 truck like the one pictured here.    When I bought it, I knew that it needed a huge amount of work, so it too is a project.  I fixed just enough of its problems to make it capable of being driven safely–braking, steering, fuel and ignition systems–and deferred the rest until I had more time.

The electrical system was a complete mess and only moderately safe.  Wires were just twisted together with tape wrapped around the connections to cover the bare spots in the wires.  I replaced the duct, bandage and masking tapes with electrical tape but otherwise, I did not change the wiring.  It was better, but still not perfect.

While driving the truck home from a car show on Saturday I noticed the headlights were quite dim and “orange” instead of the more usual “almost white”.

So, today I started on this project.  My measurements indicated the headlights were only getting about 1/2 their design voltage—3.8 volts instead of about 6.5 volts (the Jeep has the original 6 volt electrical system).

Automotive electrical wiring systems are hidden and require lots of bending, stooping and twisting to access.  My body was bent in enough different ways that it reminded me of the old joke, “I used to date a contortionist, but she broke it off.”

Anyway,  after about 4 hours making voltage measurements, tracing wires, fixing wire connections and replacing a poorly working headlight switch, the headlights are now receiving the correct voltage.  Wow, the lights are bright again!

I also added in-line fuses in critical places so even though the wiring is still a mess and not as reliable as I would like, it is at least safe.

Eventually I’m going to replace the wiring and do the job both neatly and correctly.