Category Archives: Moto

I now know my speed!

The MG now has a speedometer cable that works. I believe the last time it was useful was when the car was being towed by a truck. The Northwest Import family hooked me up with a nice pre-oiled speedometer cable. The removal of the old cable was fairly straightforward. Unscrew the union at the transmission, which required vice-grips to get loose,  and unscrew the union on the speedometer itself. Run the new cable and voila.

I have become fairly adept at removing the gauges so I am sure that helped. While the gauge was out I also hooked the trip odometer up which will be very useful while determining what kind of mileage I am getting with the car. I did have to remove one gasket in the firewall to get the old cable out and the new one in. I didn’t have a new gasket and could not salvage the old one so I used several loops of repair tape to seal the hole back up.

Overall, the job took about 3 hours which includes the time to get the tools out, do the job, clean the tools, and put them away. Don’t forget to unhook the battery before doing this job as your hands are behind the dash near many wires.

Safety Fast!


Sunset Bay Camping

Vanessa and I explored Sunset Bay state park outside of Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast this weekend. It was a lot of fun. We got to the park just after it turned dark following signs and a poorly marked roadway. Once there we pulled in and setup camp.

I bought a little electric space heater to use if the campground had an electric hookup, luckily it did. The heater kept us warm all night, though it was unseasonably warm regardless. We made swordfish steaks that we bought at Trade Joe’s. We covered them with a home made aioli sauce that was quite tasty.

After waking up fairly early a bit sore and tired because of the rain and storm that occurred all night we headed out to the beach. Following a trail we made it to the adjacent state park and saw seals swimming in the ocean. We could also hear the sea lions roaring from their island. The rain obscured our vision so we couldn’t see them but they were loud.

We had lunch in Coos Bay and then on our way to to visit family in the area my alternator gave up the ghost. The mechanics said that the bearings failed, it sure made an awful racket. Thankfully, Bill and Sandi were not exploring a far flung area of the world and took the time to show us around North Bend and Coos Bay. We made it out to Horshoe beach were we believe we saw a whale vertebrae and a seal skeleton.

With the van fixed we drove back through yet another storm to Eugene. It was a lot of fun, even though the alternator was bummer it gave us a chance to visit with family.

New Engine for KK!

This last Thursday and Friday, 3-18 & 19 – 2010 I traveled to Seattle to visit my brother and to pick up a new to me engine for KK in Pacific, WA. Thursday morning Vanessa and I drove out to Lynden to pick up “the black truck.” After some cleanup, 2qts. of oil, 1 qt. of coolant, air in all 4 tires, and a dump run she was ready to escort me to Seattle, Pacific, and back. I put a pallet and ratchet straps in the back along with some truck ramps for my brother and headed to Starbucks. After getting sustenance for the road and saying hasta luego to my fiance I headed for Mercer Island.”

At Mercer Island, I was honored to attend a benefit at an amazing house on the lake for a political candidate my brother is doing fund-raising for. The event was a blast with great food and good company. Once the event wrapped up my brother and I went to Panda Express, picked up his car and went to his condo. The truck did great though it did not want to go over 65mph the whole afternoon.

70 PanelThe next morning I called around to some VW auto stores looking for parts to refurbish my fuel tank and breather lines, no luck with anybody. So, with my GPS I headed towards the engine. On the way the truck began to stall at speed, I turned into a gas station, checked the oil, poured some fuel system cleaner in and went on my way. The cleaner fixed the fuel delivery issue. On the same road as the engine there was a early bay panel and an early Westfalia being worked on. I didn’t want to bother the folks so I just kept driving. I soon found the engine owner and turned in to the drive.

rebuilt 1600 dual port engineThe engine is a fresh rebuild with new bearings, cam, rings, oil pump, and the other good stuff necessary in a modest rebuild. The pistons are Mahle that had been barely used, the cylinders still had cross hatching when inspected. The heads are rebuilt 1600dp, it has a Bosch alternator conversion and runs a monza exhaust. After cranking to get fuel into the bowl the engine fired and settled into a nice idle. I couldn’t find any exhaust leaks and it went through its range smoothly. After the builder showed me his nice bug and his girlfriends both running hot 2076cc engines we loaded the engine into the truck and I headed for home.

Accidentally I missed the exit for I-5 north off of 405 and ended up where I thought Bow-Wow auto parts was. Sure enough, I was close by and was able to get the fuel line components I needed. Driving home with the engine was a bit nerve wracking but I got it there and hope to put in this weekend, 3-27-2010.

More news about Georgia, Russia, and NATO

News surfaced again this week about tensions between Georgia, Russia, and NATO. As usual, The Economist has an excellent write-up on the skirmishes.

I do not want to see more conflict in this region. The people need a break. The world needs economic recovery and this cannot occur when needless wars are happening, particularly around oil lines. To ease the need for oil, Tata Motors of India has announced it has received, 203,000 advance orders for their new car the Nano. It achieves approximately 72MPG out of a two cylinder engine. Sold only in India at the moment because of emission, safety, and other standards the car is poised to be a success.

The belief that more fuel efficient cars is the answer to the peak oil issue is wrong, but everything can help. The Nano invariably gives easier access to automobiles in India due to it’s price. We will have to see if this is good or bad.