Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taking The Bronco On A Road trip To Port Townsend

It has been a few months of work and frustration on the Bronco. First it was the discovery of a failed transmission cooler that flooded the transmission with engine coolant and contaminated the engine coolant with transmission fluid(UH OH!, UH OH! Part 2 and UH OH! Part 3). And more recently, it was a flooding problem that required disassembly of both the primary and secondary float bowls of the Holley 4 barrel carburetor. After it appeared that these problems were finally getting behind me, I thought it would be a good time to take a road trip on Monday to test the Bronco.

It was a beautiful sunny day with a strong breeze blowing out of the north. I drove across the Hood Canal bridge and took the first right. This road took me through Port Ludlow and I continued north towards Hadlock. This was a time to explore, so I took a side trip on Olympus Blvd to the county park/launching ramp at Mats Mats Bay. I have been here before, but I mistakenly took a different route to get there. I also had arrived by boat in the 60's when there was a small marina at the location of the county park.

Back on the road, I made the right turn and crossed the bridge over the Port Townsend Canal onto first Indian Island and then Marrowstone Island. I drove north to Fort Flagler State Park. I drove around the park and wandered through one of the old gun sites and headed back south. At Mystery Bay, I took a left and drove the East Beach Rd that looped back to the main road and off the island.

Back on the mainland, I turned right at Hadlock and drove to Port Townsend where I stopped to shop at the bookstore before continuing on to Fort Worden State Park. The wind was really blowing and was crashing over the rocks. After a quick walk around, I drove back home with only one stop at the Port Townsend Goodwill Store.

It was a great day to get out for a drive and the transmission shifted smoothly, the engine temperature stayed stable and the carburetor did not flood.
Mats Mats Bay. This is a very protected bay with a narrow, shallow entrance. We came here in the 60's on my dad's boat. There used to be a marina here where I think we bought fuel. 
 Mount Baker
Pt Wilson lighthouse. 
Heading home over the Hood Canal Bridge. The purse seiners were fishing off to the right.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Better Place To Work

I call it my shop, but it really is a two car garage that like a lot of two car garages, two cars really can't fit. And like a lot of garages, the previous owner did not park his cars in the garage, but used it as a shop and storage area. He did install three workbench sections across the front wall that look like store counters. They are stoutly built with wood and formica tops and storage underneath. There are also two drawer units that look like cut down chest of drawers.
I do park one of my cars in the garage and the "second car" stall I use to park the motorcycle, some bicycles and other loose items. Fortunately, the car I park in the garage is short, so I do have some room around the workbench. This is my "shop".  It is nice to have an area to work in that is at least dry and well lit, even if it can be cold this time of the year.
A couple of weeks ago, I found a nice metal top workbench at Goodwill for $12. The people at Goodwill called it a desk and it does have a foot well that allows me to set with my legs underneath. This is what I have been looking for. I sometimes want to set on my high stool when I work on small stuff and with the old bench, I had to set "side saddle".
So one morning last week, I moved most of what was in the second car side of the garage outside and started rearranging the work benches and the drawer units. The workbench sections were heavy and would not slide. I had to get the hand truck under the end to get them to move. When all was done, I actually ended up with more room, or so it seems. Part of what I did was to get rid of a lot of junk too. Any shop needs to be cleaned out occasionally. Over the course of a few days, I rearranged some of the mounted tools. The air compressor was now too far down the bench, so I moved it to an empty storage bay closer to where it originally was. Of course, the compressed air piping does not line up any more, so I need to reroute that. Then I swapped the location of the wash tank and brake press to open up more room around the grinder. And last, I cleaned off the top of the bench and stored or disposed of what was there.
My "shop" may not be large or fancy with a lot of tools, but a lot of amazing and successful projects have been accomplished here.
 Here is the bench/desk that I found at Goodwill. It is 50 inches long with a steel surface and is close to the same height and depth as the exiting workbench.
 First I moved everything from the garage outside. With everything outside, I took the opportunity to sweep the floor too!
After clearing out bicycles, bicycle workstand, motorcycle, table saw and a lot of other stuff stored in the corner. 
First I had to move the drawer unit 90 degrees from the north wall to the east wall. My bench grinder and band saw were originally on the drawer unit. 
It looks like a mess(and was), but I needed to move the two sections of work bench to the right to insert the new bench. 
 With the two sections of work bench moved, the new bench/desk fit well. And I can set on my stool with my legs underneath to get close to my work.
 After the rearrangement. Some stuff that was on the floor is now on the drawer unit. The bench grinder and the band saw mount with more room and a better height on the work bench. There is more room around the drill press and more room in the corner.
 The entire work bench. I had to move the air compressor and still need to reconnect the shop air piping. I also cleared off a lot of loose stuff off the surface so I can actually see the top now.
I moved the wash tank to the last section of work bench and the brake press from the last section to the center section.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Commodore's Cup Regatta

The Commodore's Cup Regatta is a three race regatta sponsored by West Sound Corinthian Yacht Club(WSCYC). Not many people know of the history of this regatta as many of the current racers were not racing for WSCYC when this regatta was started. This regatta is limited only to members of WSCYC. It is like a season championship for our club. I am not sure of the year(I did race in the first one), but I think it was 1989 when our Commodore(I will not mention his name) who was a great racer, bought the cup for the club and set up the first regatta. The cup resembles a large brass ice bucket mounted on a square wood pedestal. The winner gets his name engraved on the cup and gets to keep it until the next year. This regatta has attracted some interesting entries. Because it was open to club members only, sometimes you could see fast boats(and crews) from other clubs show up at the starting line after being "chartered" by club members.

The Pacific Northwest has been in a period of high pressure. This has resulted in foggy mornings and light winds. The winds on Saturday were predicted to be light and they were. At each start, the winds were only 3-4 knots and combined with a short starting line each start was very crowded. There were more infractions and over early starters than we usually see all season. We were over early in the second start, but we made a quick turn around the starting pin, a large turn around the mess of stalled boats and ended up with a pretty good start at the breakwater end.

Each race was a light air affair. "The Boss" finished ahead of us in each race pacing first for the series with us second overall.

Thanks to my crew of Tim and Jim for all the good work for the day.

Results(when they are posted) should be found here:
Some boats behind in the light winds. Swan is leading Blackout and just out of the photo to the right, Falcon.
Here we are drifting along in very light winds.
Photo Credit: Chris Mathews

Foulweather Bluff Race Oct 5th

This is old news, but I just retrieved the race track off the GPS.

October 5th was the Foulweather Bluff Race sponsored by Edmonds Corinthian Yacht Club. For the first time, the course was reversed from the normal direction. It is a 26 mile race that starts  just north of Edmonds,rounds the bell buoy off Scatchet Head,  rounds the bell buoy off Foulweather Bluff, and back to the finish north of Edmonds. This year, the weather was forecast to be sunny, temps in the 70's but the winds were suppose to be light and maybe up to 5 knots. The forecast was very accurate! Is this really October?
I delivered the boat to Edmonds early on Friday and got a choice moorage spot at the visitors dock. I explored uptown and spent time kibitzing with old acquaintances and met a few new ones. Interesting how the sailors from outside my normal sailing area around Bremerton are so friendly.
On Saturday, the weather was as predicted with light winds from the north.. We motored to the starting area and lined up for our start. We were assigned to a class of 9 boats. We were the smallest boat in our class, most of the boats were 40 feet or larger and even though we owe some of them time, they are boat designs noted to be fast in light wind.
We got a great start and headed across the sound toward the Kitsap County shore. When we were about half way across, a large header made it a great time to tack. At this point, we were in the lead, and our competition was all heading north on port tack. But, the wind died leaving us drifting in circles until the wind filled in from the west. As we got closer to Whidbey Island, the now adverse current was setting us east and we tacked toward the west into now stronger winds. The now flooding current was flowing west to east at close to three knots. We sailed high of the rhumb line to Schachet Head before tacking to port again. We sailed a heading that was nearly twenty degrees higher than the bearing to the Schachet Head buoy just to get or COG(course over ground) to equal the bearing to the mark. Thankfully the race committee ended the race at the first mark. 
In hindsight, the smartest move we could have done was to have continued all the way across the sound to the Kitsap shore for current relief and to pick up the new northwest wind. Many boats that had fallen behind at the start sailed around us well to the south and beat us to the finish.
It was still a great day. Thanks to the crew of: Walter, Kathleen, Dave, Tim, Jim and Rainer.
Results can be found here: CYC Edmonds Foulweather Bluff Race
I arrived early enough to get a prime spot at the dock. 
 Friday night, the harbor was filled with boats.
 Friday night, the harbor was filled with boats.
Our track for the day. Lots of drifting around with the current.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seattle International Auto Show 2013

Warning: This post involves new, old, and restored motor vehicles most of which are hydrocarbon burning and carbon spewing vehicles. A lot of the vehicles are in the price range for the 1% er's and a few for us 99% er's. Those people looking for sailing info will probably be disappointed, move along.
Today was a good day for retired people like me to go to the Seattle International Auto Show while the working people were, well, working! I supposed that the furloughed workers could have attended too. The show is at the Century Link Event Center. The intent is to show new cars for the 2014 model year. As always, a lot of the displays are glitzy and the cars are displayed under bright lighting. Most of the well known(and lessor known) manufacturers were present. Cars are not for sale at this show, but many brands were offering discount coupons to those people who were really interested.
As usual, I spent a lot of time at the Ford display. Their Shelby Mustang GT500 was a beauty. Elsewhere, everyone had their electric car or hybrid this year. I think an electric car could be a good way to get around for running errands and shopping. But so many of the major manufactures put in all the frills of a gas powered car at the cost of more weight and less range on a battery charge. I cannot buy or lease an electric car for less than what I pay for gasoline each month.
All the "exotic" cars were up on the mezzanine. Here were the Land Rovers, Jags, Bentley's, Porsche's, Lamborghini's and even a Smart Car. What! Did I say? Smart Car? I sure did!  I often think they would be a great little car for running around town, or even taking a trip. I was always impressed with them when I was in Europe and am glad to see more of them here.
After a quick trip through the displays and Lemay museum cars, I went back to the 1500 ferry, after a quick trip to Ivar's to get fish and trips to go and was home by 1615.
I am not a convertible fan, but I really liked the Shelby Mustang GT500. This is a very high performance car with a big price tag. It is advertised as having the most powerful production V8 engine in the world at 662 hp with 631 lb-ft of torque. It also has a track tested speed in excess of 200 MPH. I would be happy with the Mustang GT that has a mere 420 HP.  
The Cobra emblem. 
 This year we could sit in the Shelby Mustang GT500. I really like the Recaro seats!
Evil looking snout. 
 I have always liked the Audi TT.
 The new Corvette. At least this year they got rid of the strange looking plexiglas window in the hood.
The little Mini keeps getting larger now with an all wheel drive SUV looking  model. 
I always thought the Dodge Challenger was a great looking car and was on my list of cars I would like to own. But after owning a Mustang for six months, I appreciate the light weight, high horsepower of the Mustang. The Challenger is a much larger, heavier car. When I set in it seemed huge! 
The obligatory Ferrari picture. 
The Tesla all electric car. At $70K it is spendy. It is suppose to get 300 miles on a charge, but depending on your home charging system, it can be recharged overnight or it may take a couple of days to recharge. 
This is an actual NASCAR Sprint Cup car that used to belong to the Michael Waltrip team. I believe it is a generation one, COT(car of tomorrow). It was wrecked and a group bought it, had it put back together with a driving simulator installed. They take it to events to show it off and advertised their product. I got to "race" Daytona in it. It was so intense that when I came out of it, I was sweaty!
Nicki Lauda's Formula One racer. Griot's garage in Tacoma restored it and will be starting it up on Dec 7th along with the McLaren next to it. This is the car that you will see in the movie "Rush". 
 The Lemay Museum was represented with a large display of cars. I do not remember this many cars in previous years.
 More cars from the LeMay Museum.
I was able to make a side trip to Ivar's on the way back to the ferry and had fish and chips on my way home.

The Pony Car Project-More Glitz!

With the Pony Car, there is always something to spend money on. A few weeks ago, I a friend was riding in the Mustang and they commented how the shoulder harness rubbed on their neck and I should have a pad for the strap. I didn't think much of the suggestion until I too noticed that the strap rubbed on my neck. One of my Internet sources says it this way: "Harness belts have a tendency to rub against your neck and or shoulders causing a minor annoyance while driving." I too found it to be minor. None of my trucks have this problem, so I assumed that because the Mustang is low, the angle of the strap is different.

So, I did a search on Ebay and found some shoulder harness pads for an inexpensive price. And of course, they had the traditional Mustang name and logo embroidered on them. Might as well have glitzy looking ones!

They arrived today and of course I installed them and tried them out. Very comfortable! But I probably would not have bought them until the friend suggested them. Chances are that that friend will probably not ride in the Mustang again so they will never know how nice they are.
Nicely embroidered with the traditional Mustang logo and name. This matches the logos on the floor mats and hatch carpet.  
Easily adjustable to fit where they should. 
A little more "glitz" added to the interior.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-UH OH!-Part 3

The saga continues. As posted in UH OH! and UH OH! Part 2, I have been in the process of recovering from the results of a failed transmission cooler in the radiator. This allowed engine coolant into the transmission and transmission fluid into the engine coolant. What a mess!
Last week I started the third change of transmission fluid. I drained the transmission fluid on Saturday. I don't know if this will be the last time I will change the fluid, so I decided I would change the transmission filter. This required that I removed the fluid sump and unbolt the filter and replace everything. Since I wanted to wait for the sealant to cure, I waited until today to refill the transmission with 9 quarts of new Type "F" transmission fluid.
I put three quarts of fluid in and waited a couple of hours to check for sump leaks. None found, I added the fourth quart. At this point I have to start the engine to allow the torque converter to start filling, otherwise the fifth quart will overflow the fill tube. I checked for leaks after starting the engine and there appeared to be fluid dripping from the corner of the sump. Drat! I cleaned it up and checked around and finally concluded that the fourth quart of fluid had "burped" and some fluid had drained down the outside of the fill tube to the corner of the sump and looked like a leak. Transmission fluid is funny stuff, it is thin and yet seems to hang on to everything it spills on and looks like a drip or leak for some time.
After pouring in the rest of the fluid, I went for a drive this evening and cannot find any drips. It stills shifts good and I cannot detect any slipping. If this fluid stays clean, I will probably drive it for a few months and change it again with some synthetic fluid that a friend markets. It was the original fluid and I liked how it performed.
In addition to changing the transmission fluid, Friday I drained the water out of the radiator, flushed it again and refilled it with a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water. I was satisfied that the engine and radiator has been thoroughly flushed and cleaned.

Here is a blot of new transmission fluid on the left and old drained fluid on the right. I am getting a lot closer to getting the transmission clean. The old fluid still has some discoloration. 
 Two gallons of old fluid with only a couple hundred miles of use.
The old filter. It showed some dirt in the screen. 
After cleaning out the shelves of Walmart of all their Type "F" transmission fluid, a friend found a source for fluid. It was being closed out and he bought me the last six quarts for 11¢ a quart! I still had to buy three more quarts at Walmart when they restocked.