atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4154: Hey, Jeep! The 1940s called and they want their seat mounts back.

Actually, it's just one bolt per seat, but that's bad enough.

See, one reason automakers stopped having the seats bolt through the floor comes from the fact that bolts under the car rust solid very easily, and any time you have a hole in the floorpan it's another place water can penetrate and start causing damage. That's why most modern vehicles have seat mounts which are entirely within the cabin of the vehicle, rather than protruding through the body.

So what did AMC/Jeep do in the early 1980s when they were designing the XJ Cherokee? Why, of course they specified that the rear outboard seat bolt would bolt through the floorpan. The rear inboard bolt is instead a stud which the seat fits over, and to which the seat is secured with a flange nut; the front mounts are bolts which screw into a crossbeam inside the cabin and which is not exposed to the environment. That's three mounting points done right out of four.

Three out of four, they say, ain't bad--but that's not so when it's that fourth one that is keeping you from doing anything useful.

And I don't dare muscle the damned things too much. The last thing I need is to break a seat bolt off, and then have to peel up the f-ing carpeting and drill and tap. (What a clusterfuck that would be.) So I hit the driver's side with PB Blaster a couple of times, and will hit it periodically over the next couple of weeks. Perhaps that will loosen things up enough that I can take the seat out and fix it.

Because the seat does need fixing. One of the mounting nuts has pulled out of the frame; it looks as if I could just swap the seat frames left to right if I can get the seats out of the truck. Argh etc.

Thwarted in my repair attempt, I turned my eyes to the motorcycle. It hasn't been started since October, so I thought I'd see what would happen. I first went inside to get the trickle charger (Og installed a patch cord for that way back when) and the keys, and then I tried it first without hooking up the charger.

To my surprise, she turned over--and to my further surprise, she continued to crank after I turned on the choke and everything. It took a bit for the carbs to fill, but then she started right up. Ran a tad rough, but just a little, and after I let her warm up for about five minutes I took a very short spin down the street--just enough to demonstrate that yeah, she weathered the winter just fine and I can ride as soon as I get her insured again. The idle smoothed out, too.

I parked it in the garage on its center stand and let it run for a bit, and I think I've finally located the major oil leak--or else it developed a new one while sitting over the winter. If I ever have any money hopefully I can do all the little joblets I've been meaning to do on the thing and get it up to spec before riding season begins. (Gasket, chain, tach cable, check the valve lash, etc, etc.)

Anyway, with that done, I decided I might as well get the stuff out of the Jeep that's been cluttering it up. First I hit the gas station, then went out to Monee Reservoir to recycle a printer and some old computer speakers. Next stop, church, where I dropped the huge bag of donatables; and on my way there I noticed that the Jeep's shimmy had gotten very bad, so I decided I'd spend the balance of my day looking over the suspension. Once done at church, that was my next chore.

Wiggle test: I couldn't find anything obviously out of spec in the front end, either steering or ball joints, but STEERING DAMPER HAS DIED ("Mein Leben!") and I'm gonna have to replace that again. Still, the tie rod ends and such were all wiggle-free and everything felt pretty tight, so I decided I'd rotate the tires and see if that fixed anything. Thanks to compressor, impact wrench, and jack stands, I managed to accomplish that task in about fifteen minutes.

Took a hop out to the store for some components required to make Ultimate Tuna Salad at Mrs. Fungus' request; and when I hit the highway and took the Jeep up to 65 there were no obvious vibrations. Letting it coast down to 50 (which is where I'd formerly get a serious death shimmy as it coasted through 55 MPH) was similarly smooth.

I don't know that its going to last, but if it lets me get a few more months before having to replace the tires and/or do major suspension rebuilding, I'll take it. A new steering damper is about $35 or so but I'd rather not replace it until I have new tires on it, because sure as shooting that shimmy is what killed the damned thing.

The nicest thing about all this? I was able to do it in shirtsleeves. We had a "false spring" day here, which we usually get around this time of year. The temps closer to the lake were in the low fifties, but I'd be surprised if we didn't hit at least 60° in the Fungal Vale. Well, compared to the bitter f-ing cold we've had this winter, anything over about 45° would seem tropical, anyway. WTF.

And after I got home from the test drive, I cleaned out the Jeep. It actually looks like I give a rat's ass now--all the papers and junk gone from the rear seat, the toolbox put away, the windshield washer jug tucked behind it, etcetera. Hooray!

* * *

And I have to comment on the new Cosmos.

Vox Day.


When I saw that they were doing, essentially, a "reboot" of Cosmos with updated scientitiousness (and saw the people involved in the project) I knew it wasn't going to be worth watching.

Generally speaking I can't stand to watch sciency and science-like TV any longer. It's too full of bullshit; the last time I watched anything of the sort in order to be informed it was an episode of Nova about the possibility that Earth's magnetic field may be about to switch polarities. That was in about 2001, 2002, or so--and it was 90% scaremongering with a little bit of fact at the end. "Oh, when Earth's magnetic field shuts off, we'll be exposed to all kinds of radiation from space! Cancer! Illness! Death!" And at the very end, "Well, we do have an atmosphere which will protect us from the radiation, but it'll still mean more cancer!"


The only thing Earth's magnetic field protects us from is charged particles--protons, alpha particles, beta particles. It does not deflect x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, or cosmic rays. The atmosphere protects us from those. And because we have a 100-mile thick layer of air between us and space, guess what? It stops the charged particles too. Fancy that!

If the Earth's magnetic field were down for a significant period of time--and I mean geologically significant, on the order of hundreds of thousands of years--we might see some measurable erosion of our atmosphere.

Or might not. No one really knows. But in any case there is absolutely nothing whatsoever we can do about it.

And when sciency TV isn't pushing the party line on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and other nonsense, it's making stuff up out of whole cloth. Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is probably the most useless science-like series in the entire TV spectrum; some of the stuff said on that show isn't even wrong, it's so wildly inaccurate.

It's gotten to the point that I detest Michio Kaku so thoroughly that the mere sight of him drives me into a fit of rage. That asshole appears all over the place, and any physicist who is against nuclear power while simultaneously supporting the AGW bandwagon is someone who is clearly incapable of understanding the entire purpose of the existence of the scientific disciplines. (Hint: it is not to make people like Michio Kaku rich media stars. That is merely an unfortunate side effect.)

Then people wonder why I'd rather watch anime. Sheesh.

* * *

Anyway, today I accomplished many things. I think that calls for a nap.

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