Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seattle Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Saturday I went to the Progressive International Motorcycle show at the Qwest Field Event Center in Seattle. Since I am retired, I really wanted to go during the week, but the show only ran Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday. My real reason for going was that I wanted to meet the Progressive Insurance spokesperson, "Flo". Unfortunately, she was not there. So instead I looked at motorcycles and "stuff".

I was a bit disappointed in the show. The layout was sloppy and only covered part of the main floor. Several large motorcycle companies were represented(Honda, HD, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, etc), but the motorcycles I really wanted to see where the BMW's. They were not there. I was surprised at the size of the Ducati display. They offer a big line of mainly sport bikes and they had them all there.

Of course there were lots of vendor booths selling clothes, services, accessories, etc. The most aggressive vendors wanted to clean my glasses!

Several museums brought their collections of old motorcycles. It was fun to see some of the motorcycles that we rode in the early 70's when I was just starting to ride. There were a few custom bikes competing in a build off contest.

There was some presentations put on mainly by insurance companies. One demo was done by a small lady in the Harley Davidson section. She demonstrated how to right a motorcycle that had fallen over. She was demonstrating her procedure on a Sportster. Of course she had one caveat: " if you fall over with a large bike like an Ultra Glide, you should probably call road side assistance to get it righted".
The show was spread out on a portion of the main floor.
I am not much of a Harley fan, but I thought this was a nice look with very little chrome. I think they could have powder coated the wheels and gotten rid of all the chrome.
In this picture, there is no chrome showing. Scott, this one is for you.
This was a very unusual custom motorcycle. I wonder how it corners?
I know this one doesn't corner very good! This drag bike has no padding in the saddle. But who cares when it is only ridden for a few seconds at a time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Work Stoppage

The work on the Bronco engine transplant has come to a halt. I have been waiting for a critical part. The date for shipping was suppose to be today, but when I checked the order status I found out that the shipping date has been moved to Feb, 2011!

I have virtually all but one of the parts I need for the Bronco engine transplant. The part I need is an adapter kit that modifies the Ford C4 transmission so that it will bolt up to the existing Bronco transfer case. A company named Advance Adapters makes the kit. I sent them an email a couple months ago and quizzed them about the availability of the kit. They never answered. So I found the Advance Adapters kit advertised at Summit Racing. And it was cheaper than the Advance Adapters factory price. I ordered in early Oct. First the shipping date was late October, then it was changed to today and now Feb, 15th.

I sent out more emails to other companies that sell the Advance Adapters kit to see if I could find one somewhere. Consensus is that the part has been back ordered for four months and delivery is still two months away. Advance Adapter did not answer my email.

So, I am in a work stoppage waiting for material. There is a small amount of engine work I can do on the V8 and if I get the larger differential soon I can start changing it out. But until I get the adapter, I cannot position the V8 in the Bronco. Until I position the engine, I cannot locate other equipment like the radiator, headers and oil filter. And until I get the adapter, I am not planning on taking the V6 engine out of the Bronco. After all, it is still a good daily driver.

If the kit from Advance Adapters is back ordered again, I have plan "B" to fall back on. The automatic version of the Bronco used a C5 transmission. It is the same as a C4 transmission except it has a lockup torque converter. If I can find a C5 transmission from a Bronco or Ranger, I can change the valve body and bell housing from the C4 and have a transmission that will fit the same as the C4 with adapter kit. I already have the C4 gasket kit and shift kit.

But for now, I think I will go clean up the garage and put away all the parts that I can't use right now. Like one friend said: "It is a marathon, not a sprint". But I was hoping to have the Bronco running by January.

The Advance Adapter kit. It contains a new output shaft and output housing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Vashon Island Race-South Sound Series #1

Saturday December 4th was the Winter Vashon Island Race. This is a race from Tacoma Yacht Club at Pt Defiance around Vashon Island. The total distance is 30.7 nautical miles. This race is the first race of the four race South Sound Series. This race could also be considered the beginning of the 2011 racing season even though it is in 2010. All of the 2010 race series are over and all the year end championships have been sailed.

I started this event by leaving Brownsville at 0700 on Friday morning. One good thing about being retired is that I can get underway early and get a prime spot at the reciprocal moorage at Tacoma Yacht Club. I arrived at about 1045 and spent the rest of the day socializing and mooring boats as all the later arriving boats showed up. Tacoma Yacht Club sponsored a great pasta dinner in the evening.

Saturday morning was cool. The neat thing was that we had wind! That doesn't always happen at this race. The crew arrived, we rigged the boat and got underway.

At the start, the wind was gusting to 20 knots out of the north, so we chose the #3 jib with a full main. I was overly conservative at the start and was late for the gun. I wasn't the only one late, many boats in my class were just ahead. We started the beat up Colvos Pass. The wind was gusty to as high as 24knots. The beat was straight forward, but a few shifts and following favorable current flows allowed us to pass a few of the boats in our class.

Near the north end of Vashon Island, the waves got large to around four feet and very steep. The boat pounded heavily and lots of water came aboard. After rounding the mark, we started the run down the east side of Vashon Island. The wind was forward, so most boats did not set spinnakers. We still saw speeds to 9.5 knots. I waited until the wind lightened some before setting the spinnaker. Two boats in my class set their spinnakers early and passed us.

Rounding Pt Robinson, the wind came ahead and a straight course to the finish was a beam reach. The wind was still blowing 20 knots and at one point we saw 10.3knots. Since it was gusty and boat control was getting difficult, we took the spinnaker down halfway to the finish. Defiantly faster to be under control. A lot of other boats also took down their spinnakers.

We finished at about 1404, a very early finish time for this race! Our placing was not that great, we placed 7th out of 11 entries. One boat lost their mast did not finish. The wind blew strong all day and the sun was out. A lot of the country does not sail during the winter, we are fortunate that we can!

After cleaning up the boat and folding sails, I motored home, arriving at my moorage at Brownsville at 1908.

Total distance covered for Friday and Saturday: 87.3 NM

Results and photos can be found at:

Prime mooring spot at Tacoma Yacht Club.
Here we are at the start near the back of the class.
Tom driving during the downwind leg.
Running toward Pt Robinson with the spinnaker up.
Our course for the day.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Food Drive

My church maintains a food bank all year, but a special food drive was held for November. It ended today so I drove 1014 pounds of food to the Bremerton Food Bank.

Jim and Dave after loading the truck.
The full load of food in the back of my truck.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Snowstorm Of The Season

The snow is going away, the roads are clearing off, the winds have abated and the power is back on. I guess I have survived the first snow storm of the season.

A lot of people laugh at us pacific northwest residents. We usually don't have much snow and people from other parts of the country arrive here thinking that our weather is nothing compared to what they are used to.

This storm did not deposit much snow, but other factors made it difficult for some. It all started on Sunday afternoon with a light dusting. No big deal, the deck was just barely coated. By Monday morning, there was 1/2 to 1 inch of snow on the ground. I drove down to the boat and when I arrived home, I left the truck on top of the driveway. Later that day, the snow started again and the temperature started dropping. Also, the wind started blowing quite hard out of the north. The news report were coming in that people around Puget Sound that were trying to get home were stuck in traffic and spending many hours on their commute. At 1715, the power went out at my house accompanied by the sounds of transformers blowing. Ironically, the houses just to the west and south of me did not lose their power. The many houses to the east of me lost their power.

I started the gas fireplace and located battery powered lights and radio. I had just started cooking dinner and since I have natural gas for cooking, it was no big deal. Same with hot water. It was actually quite comfortable through the night. But, I missed my computer, TV, microwave and I could not break the habit of trying to turn on lights when I entered a room. My main worry was the food in the refrigerator. I started moving food into the garage where it was colder than the refrigerator anyway. In 1990 when we had a similar storm and I was out of power for several days, the kitchen got so cold that I opened the refrigerator door and everything stayed colder than with it closed. In fact everything froze in the kitchen. That house had a fireplace in the living room. I closed it off with blankets to the kitchen and hall and that was where I lived until the power came back on.

By Tuesday morning, the temperature was down to 18 degrees. The news was reporting as many as 60,000 homes out of power in Kitsap County. The wind was still blowing hard and most of the meager snowfall was blown elsewhere. I drove down to the boat. The roads were really slick. With the snow blown away, the surface was mostly bare ice. There was a tree over the road and I had to backtrack a few miles. I checked on the boat and doubled up the mooring lines(something I should have done the day before) and then drove to Costco. Waaga Way was a mess when the road started up hill toward Ridgetop. Abandoned cars, trucks and even a school bus blocked off the shoulder and one lane. I later heard that some of the vehicles were stranded on Tuesday morning. I completed my errand at Costco and then went to McDonald's to get some breakfast for my parents who were also without power. McD's was a zoo. A lot of people without power had the same idea that I did.

My parents are dependent on electricity, so they have a harder time than I do. There water source is also a well, so no power, no water. At least they installed a gas fireplace after a brutal winter a few years ago.

I went home and then for a walk through Illahee Park to the waterfront and back. Even though it was cold and windy, the sun was out and it was really quite pleasant. I noticed the power crews working on the downed cables.

My power came on almost exactly 24 hours after it went out. My parents finally got their power back mid-day Wednesday. Things are fast returning to normal for some of us. Wednesday evening, the report is that 13000 are still without power, but should be restored by midnight. A lot of people had damage from the trees that were blown down. One friend in my church lost his home from a tree fall. The weather for Thanksgiving Day is suppose to moderate with rain coming for the weekend.

So now we will move on from this event and be surprised when it happens all over again!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where Were You........?

This time of the year the question comes up about where were you on Nov 22, 1963. That was the day that President John Kennedy was assasinated in Dallas, Texas.

I remember that day very well. I was at Chico Elementry school in 5 th grade. My teacher, Mr. Hopkins came into class and his words will always live with me. He said "I am going to tell you something and don't let anyone tell you differently, the President has been shot". Then later he came in and told us that the President was dead. The little boys joked about getting the shooter and a couple girls cried. We were allowed into the library where a TV was set up and news was being shown. I think we were sent home that afternoon..

The next several days our family was glued to the television during the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald and then the funeral. I remember my dad telling my sister and I to pay attention because someday we may be asked about it.

So, where were you this day in 1963?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fowl Weather Race-A Race For Turkeys

Saturday, I took the boat to Port Orchard for the annual Fowl Weather race. This is suppose to be a three race regatta and the prize is, well, a Turkey. I started this race for our club over 20 years ago. Around my family the joke is not to thaw out a turkey until we know the results of this race.

I was underway at 0730. The forecast was for 10-15 knots of wind from the north. It was also suppose to be cold and possibly some rain or SNOW!

I met the rest of the crew in Port Orchard. The first race was listed as the "F" course. This is about 5 Nm in length and goes around three permanent marks and one club buoy. I got a late start and trailed Dulcinea(J105) and Tantrum II(Schock 35). Things became strange when Tantrum II did not head for the first mark and sailed toward the second mark off Pt Herron. Then Dulcinea did not round the proper first mark(a radar target off Retsil) and rounded a different radar target a quarter of a mile north. We rounded the proper mark and caught Dulcinea and Tantrum II after rounding the mark off Pt Heron. We led the way to the finish. Since Dulcinea and Tantrum II did not complete the course, they were awarded DNF's (did not finish). Dulcinea does not sail in the Port Orchard area much, so was not sure which mark to use, even though the chart in the sailing instruction showed the proper one. Tantrum II was using last years sailing instruction. Should always check for the current sailing instruction!

The second race was a short beat followed by a long reach/run to the buoy near Gorst. The wind came up some and before the start, we changed to the Heavy No. 1 genoa. The race was a parade and we finished second behind Dulcinea.

For the third race, the committee became more aggressive with the course and set it as two laps of the "F" course. With a two hour time limit, we wondered if the smaller boats could finish in time. The winds were still in the 15 knot range, but puffy and shifty in direction. Near the Pt Heron mark, the wind got light and we got a good lead on the other boats, but after setting the spinnaker, we got caught in a dead area and Dulcinea sailed past us. On the last reach, the wind was off the beam and was gusting to 18 knots. We kept under control and hit a highest speed of 9.25 knots and maintained speeds greater than 8.5 knots for most of the run. Once again, Dulcinea finished first. Because of the scoring system used, Dulcinea was penalized heavily in the first race. We won overall by 2 points and took home the turkey.

It was a great day for racing. The sun was out all day and the wind was good, even though the direction and speed was variable. Thanks to the crew of Jim, Ron, Bionic Walter and Pete for the great crew work.

The trip home to Brownsville was epic. The wind built to 30 knots off Illahee and the waves were large. The boat pounded heavily and slowed way down. It was dark and started getting cold. I put on all my foul weather gear and even put on the goggles to keep the spray out of my eyes. I got to the marina at about 1700 and took two tries and some help from someone on the dock to get safely moored.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2011 Pacific Marine Expo

I went back to the BIG city of Seattle today. The Pacific Marine Expo is at the Qwest Event Center for four days and I wanted to see what was new. The expo is a show for the commercial marine industry. The expo is primarily geared toward the workboat/commercial fishing fleets and is a show of electronics, engines, auxiliary equipment and services. I enjoy staying in touch with the latest info in the maritime industry.

I caught the 0845 ferry, walked to the center, registered and hit the main floor. There was lots to look at and I had some good discussions with some of the equipment vendors. Some of the booths had give away items and I loaded up!

After 1-1/2 hours, I saw all that I wanted to see and headed to the ferry with a stop at Ivars for a lunch of fish and chips. I caught the 1235 ferry home.
Famous Ivar's Fish Bar!
And the delicious fish and chips! I ate in the covered outside eating area where I could watch the action in Elliot Bay.

Friday, November 12, 2010

2011 Seattle Auto Show

Today was a good day to make a journey to the BIG CITY, Seattle. The auto show was in town and like last year, I thought it would be fun to see what was new. The day was sunny and warm and the ferry ride to Seattle pleasant.

Like before, the Qwest Field exhibition hall floor was covered in shiny new vehicles. Some cars on rotating pedestals were being described by "beautiful people" even though nobody was listening. The display areas were carpeted in plush light colored carpet, so when I wanted to look under a car, it was nicer than in a garage on a concrete floor. Lots of eye candy with a lot of it in the category of "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it"!

I looked at a lot of cars and a couple of things became apparent:

1. The manufacturers are getting a lot of power out of their engines.

2. Fuel economy for SUV's, trucks and larger cars is still not very good.

Fuel mileage of a lot of the SUV's is no better(and many times worse) than my 1984 Bronco. And the Bronco never got good mileage nor did it have a lot of power.

There was more electric cars and hybrids this year. I do think an electric car would be good for around town driving.
I was still drawn to the performance cars. The Mustang GT500 was awesome as was the Dodge Challenger R/T. The Audi TT was still cool. I was even impressed with the Cadillac CTS-V that was offered with a 6 speed manual transmission. With 556 HP, it is the fastest V8 production sedan in the world.

I only spent about 1-1/2 hours and caught the 3 PM ferry home. I did not go to Ivars, but picked up a muffin and mocha in the ferry terminal. I will be going back to Seattle for the Pacific Marine Expo next week and will have lunch at Ivars then.


Cool Mercedes with the gull wing doors!

This is more my style! I really liked this Ford F150 SVT! Of course the GT500, Supercharged Mustang with the 6 speed manual tranny would be nice too.... Or maybe the Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi.....

At $340,000 it definitely fits in the category of "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it"!

Same with this car! Very expensive!
The floor covered with highly polished cars. From soccer mom vans to high end sports cars! There was even a small section for motorcycles from Downtown Harley and RMC(Renton Motorsports Complex).

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Goodbye Ms. Granada

Tonight, I finally sold the remains of Ms. Granada. I posted an add on Craigslist a week ago. The response was amazing. Several of the responders were in the business of buying hulks for scrap. This guy called me in the evening and after negotiating a price, he was at my house within an hour. Better than the guy that was going to call me last night and was suppose to be here today and then didn't show. I did not get much for the remains, but am happy that it did not cost me to get rid of her.

Ms Granada provided the essential parts needed to finish the Bronco transplant project and her hulk will provide more parts for someone else and ultimately scrap steel to be recycled into industry.

Ms. Granada loaded and ready to leave.
Away she goes!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mom and Dad's 60th Anniversary

Thursday was the 60th anniversary of my parents wedding. To celebrate, I drove them to Leavenworth, Washington. My sister and brother in law came up from Wenatchee and we had a great dinner at a Italian restaurant in town. Like most restaurants in Leavenworth, this restaurant offered an eclectic menu. Italian/Bavarian/Seafood dishes were served.

My parents and I spent an extra day in Leavenworth at the Bavarian Lodge that is located downtown. On Friday we drove into the country toward Plain and Lake Wenatchee. Plain is where their cabin was and we drove by it to see what changes the new owners had made. Later we went out to another Italian/Bavarian/Seafood/American restaurant and had another great meal.

The town was really pretty quiet with few people on the streets. It was easy to find places to eat with only a few customers. For those that don't know much about Leavenworth: It was a common small central Washington community that was supported by the apple industry. It had several cold storage and apple packing plants. As the business changed, some business leaders pushed for changing the theme of the town to represent a Bavarian village. The stores and buildings are all decorated in German motif. And the town is at the foot of the Cascade Mountains and could easily resemble a village in the Alps. Winter sports are big with cross country skiing being popular. An old ski jump area has also been reactivated. The changes to the town were successful and the main business is now tourism with many tourists driving over for events like Oktoberfest, tree lighting, etc.
Sister, Brother in Law, Father and Mother.
I really enjoyed the Eggplant Parmesan!

Downtown Leavenworth. Not many tourists.

Downtown Leavenworth again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Parts

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant continues slowly. This week I received two shipments of parts. Just like opening packages at Christmas, it is exiting to rip open the boxes and see what is inside.

On Wednesday, I received the shifter, electric fan and controls, emblems and some miscellaneous stuff from Summit Racing. Today I received the headers from L And L Products. The fuel pump was also suppose to arrive in the L And L order, but it has been back ordered. Last week I received the radiator and remote oil filter kit from Advance adapters. This is all good stuff, but I cannot proceed much without the oil pan and transmission adapter from Summit Racing. These are not scheduled to arrive until early November. Oh well, I still have some small projects to take care of.
Everything fits easily within one box. The cat loves to jump into these boxes!
I really like the headers. They are electroless nickel plated and this right side one is routed above the starter. Some of the other manufacturer's headers had interference issues with the starter. Hopefully this one will clear the firewall when I install it.

Hurricane Ridge Motorcycle Ride/Hike

The weather is suppose to get rainy starting tomorrow, so today was a good day to ride the motorcycle to Hurricane Ridge and hike up Hurricane Hill.

I left early at 0700. It was foggy and cold all the way to Port Angeles. My breakfast stop at Port Angeles was chance to drink a couple cups of coffee and warm up. Soon after I started up the road to Hurricane Ridge, I broke through the fog layer and into the sunshine.

I have never ridden a motorcycle up the Hurricane Ridge Road. It was fun carving good turns through the corners while maintaining the speed limit of 35MPH. The road is smooth, clean and was devoid of traffic.

From the parking lot at the end of the road, it is only a 1.6 mile, 650 foot elevation gain hike to Hurricane Hill. It is not real challenging, but on a clear day, the view is spectacular. Unfortunately, the Strait of Juan de Fuca was covered in fog so I could not see Victoria or Vancouver Island. The view to the south was great with the Bailey Range visible and Mount Olympus barely visible over the ridge.

I made a quick lunch stop at the visitors center and then rode back down the road and into the fog. As I got closer to Hood Canal, the fog was gone, but a strong breeze was blowing against me for the rest of the ride home.

Some of the permanent residents of Olympic National Park.
Hurricane Hill. If the winter conditions are good, I ski to the top of Hurricane Hill.
The Bailey Range with Mt Olympus peeking through.
The path on top of Hurricane Hill.

The south flank of Hurricane Hill.

I took a side trip over a small hill on the return. In the winter, I ski over this hill.

From the parking lot looking toward Hurricane Hill.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Small Projects

A week ago, I removed the engine from Ms. Granada. Since then, I have been working at small projects to prepare the engine for transplanting into Mr. Bronco.

I removed some of the accessories and brackets that I will not be needing. Also the exhaust manifolds went away. The big job was working at cleaning the caked on oil and grime off the engine. Using a "eco friendly" cleaner, I worked for two days cleaning the muck off. This left me with a much cleaner engine, but now some rust was showing. So today, I used a wire wheel in the drill motor and scaled much of the rust off. I then painted the engine with three coats of high temp paint. I will be curious to see how well the paint holds up. I could not get to all the rust off nor could I get every bit of oil off.

Also this week, I received one parts order. The radiator and remote oil filter kit arrived on Thursday. This coming week I should receive packages of parts on Tuesday and Thursday. These are big orders and include most of the parts that I need. Unfortunately, the two parts I need the most(oil pan and transmission adapter) are not scheduled to be here until mid November. That's OK. A friend tells me that a project like this is a marathon and not a sprint!

I still had time in the morning for a bicycle ride to the boat where I worked on a couple of small rigging jobs. While waiting for more parts, I will have time to do other things. There is always something going on!
Three coats of "Old Ford Blue" paint.
And before I removed it off the valve cover to paint, I took this picture of the tuning data. Important stuff I will need.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-Harvesting Parts

The great Bronco engine transplant is underway! This week I spent about 8-1/2 hours over 4 days removing the engine from Ms. Granada. I worked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday disconnecting everything and then went for an overnight cruise with the yacht club on Saturday. When I returned this afternoon, I could not leave it alone and spent the last 1-1/2 hours lifting the engine out. This time did not include the time spent travelling to Tacoma on Friday to buy the engine hoist and leveller.

As hard as I tried not to, I spilled some oil and transmission fluid on the floor. I hope the cat doesn't mind me using his cat litter to soak it up.

This is a big milestone for me. Even though the parts I ordered may not arrive for nearly a month, now I can start looking into getting rid of the carcass of Ms. Granada.

Parts harvesting. The parts in the box will be reused. The parts on the ground are scrap.
Here comes the engine! The leveller was a great help.
And when it was tipped up like this, the residual transmission fluid ran out of the transmission and onto the floor.

Engine is now out of Ms. Granada. I had just enough clearance with the garage door.

And in my now crowded garage. Tomorrows task, clean up the garage!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Preparing For Transplant Surgery

A couple days ago, I wrote about my new car ( ). Last night my friend Jim and I took his car trailer to Tacoma and hauled her to my home. I will unload her today and put her into the garage. Now I can tell what I have in store for this car.

But first, a little background story. In 1984 I bought a Ford, Bronco II. This was prior to the popular term "SUV", but it had a lot of the same attributes: truck chassis, 4 wheel drive. I used it a lot as a daily driver, hauled bicycles, went skiing, camping and travelled in the hills on undeveloped roads. I still own it, but it is getting old and has a lot of miles. Although Mr Bronco has been very dependable, the drive train was not known for lasting a long time and the 2.8 liter, V6 engine does not have a good parts support system and needs additional fluids often to keep running right. Other than that, the body, paint and interior are in great shape. He has always been parked undercover. He always been a comfortable vehicle to drive. I just have not been comfortable taking him very far from home.

Something I always wanted to do was repower Mr. Bronco with a V8 engine. This is really a fairly common procedure. Recently I started studying what it would take. I found sources for the adapter parts and was looking for engines. I found a blog of a guy that installed a V8 in his 1984 Bronco II in ten days. He found a 1977, Ford Granada with 47K miles and used that as a "donor" car. As I was looking for engines, I looked in Craigslist and sure enough, there was Ms. Granada, a 1977, Ford Granada with 63K miles. Can you see where this is going?

So, I bought Ms. Granada to be a "donor" car. I did not want her for her body, but I wanted her for her heart and soul: her 302 cubic inch V8 engine and her C4 automatic transmission. The engine and transmission beat strong within her mangled body and my plan is to transplant them into Mr. Bronco.

Today, I rolled Ms. Granada off the trailer, pried the fender well farther from the rear tire and took her for a short drive. She started right up. She seems to have a fair amount of power and shifted smoothly. I have always been impressed with how quiet her V8 is. It really is quite a shame that she was wrecked. She would have been a great work car or daily driver.

Many have commented on this blog and in Facebook about the repair work that is needed on Ms. Granada. She is gone, her frame is twisted and bent and the left rear sheet metal is destroyed. But her heart should beat strong in Mr Bronco and provide a long life to him. Much of Ms. Granada's body can be reused by the right person that needs parts and after I harvest all the parts I need, I hope to get her body into the hands of someone who can distribute what is left of her. The remains of her body and interior is in great shape!

Stay tuned in the coming months as I start the transplant process. I will blog when I have significant news to report. And like the Six Million dollar man, Mr Bronco will be rebuilt to be "better, stronger, faster".

Ms. Granada on the car trailer parked in the cul-de-sac at my home.

Ms. Granada waiting to be unloaded.

Ms. Granada unloaded and waiting to be moved into the operating room, AKA my garage. Need to get her out of sight before the neighbors complain!

Mr Bronco. Hopefully by the end of the year he will have a new, stronger heart!

Monday, October 4, 2010

1-800-GO.AAMCO For Transmission Problems

Today, I headed out for a 24 mile bicycle ride. I chose the older white Cannondale road bike. It has a lot of miles, but I have kept it upgraded to newer components.

I knew something wasn't right as soon as I made a few shifts with the rear derailleur. The shifts were just not as crisp as I was used to. Sure enough about 10 miles into the ride, the rear derailleur cable broke. This is not the first time I have had this happen, so I had a plan to fix it so I could at least get home.

This bike has 9 sprockets on the rear wheel and 2 chain rings on the crank for a potential of 18 speeds. When the cable breaks, the derailleur moves over to the smallest sprocket which is the highest gear. I positioned the derailleur over the third largest sprocket and locked it in place by clamping the remaining shifter cable under the rear wheel quick release nut. Now I had a two speed bike with one sprocket in the back and two chain rings in front.

I decided to continue my ride instead of taking a short cut home. The gearing was way low, even with the big chainring, for the flats and downhills. And on the climb out of Illahee, I could have used a lower gear. But I made it home and had a fast average too.

Since this has happened before, you would think I would carry a spare cable..... Nah!

Here is the rear sprockets or cogs. After I positioned the derailluer at the third largest cog, I pulled all the slack out of the shifter cable and clamped it under the red rear wheel quick release nut to hold the derailluer in position.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My New Car

Today, I bought a new car. Well, it is new to me. It is a 1977, Ford Granada, 302 Cubic inch V8 with 63000 miles. Runs really good, needs a little body work. Probably will just buff out. I will take delivery on tuesday and haul her home on a trailer. She is a beaut, isn't she?

More info later.