atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6056: Bits and pieces

Finally got the Jeep hosed off today, while we were out running errands. I got the water weenie, but didn't do anything with it; I'll do that after work tomorrow.

In a prior entry I mentioned not having to scrape the Jeep's windows--it seems that regardless of conditions I haven't had to scrape frost from the windows for a long time. Not sure why. Then, Tuesday morning...yeah.

* * *

Would have spent Christmas money on a new cordless drill today, but Friday is when the 20% off coupon starts working, so I'll get it then.

* * *

So, three days on again, and regular work schedule thereafter; hoping that on Sunday--unlike today--I can actually sleep in more than a couple of hours.

* * *

The train set Mrs. Fungus gave me for Christmas is a little Bachmann set. A simple circle of track, locomotivee and three cars, transformer. I set it up on the kitchen counter, around the ceramic Christmas tree. It seems to work rather well.

The Bachmann track is, of course, different from the Life-Like track I have. When I build my layout, I'll probably use the Life-Like track, and get flex track as well (I bought, in 2007, adapter sections for just that) and use the flex track for the long runs.

I'm not about to build a huge, basement-consuming layout, but something that would fit in a 3x6' space wouldn't be beyond the pale, and I could even make it so it could be stowed away somewhere. There's a lot of cleaning and reorganizing between where I am now and actually setting up that layout, but there's no reason I couldn't build a basic layout on foam board first, then--later--build a bigger one. Take a little inspiration from that "build a layout in a day" video I watched and make something relatively simple just so I can run trains a bit, you know.

Dream layout is L-shaped, about two feet deep, with each leg perhaps five or six feet long, and tracks at two elevations--big enough to make continuous operation more interesting than a train going around in little circles, small enough that I won't spend ten years and $10,000 on building it.

...all of which is taking a back seat to other stuff right now. But we'll get there.

* * *

Woke up this morning to snow--not a lot, just enough to cover last week's snow with new powder.

* * *

Interesting thing: with the bitter cold we had, the Jeep's front end was solid as a mountain. No shimmy; a bit of vibration above 50 MPH but definitely no wobbling or anything. Do you know what that means?

It means control arm bushings, that's what, because the bitter cold made everything shrink and harden. And as soon as the weather ceased to be cryogenic, the wobble came right back.

The other thing: it occurs to me that I never did pull the front drive shaft and check its u-joints, and that's something I really ought to do. When I put the Jeep in 4WD, there's a grinding noise over about 30 MPH only when the driveshaft is loaded (such as on acceleration, or when engine braking). The timbre of the noise changes when going over bumps. $5 says there's a bad u-joint in that front drive shaft.

So, once it's warm outside:

1) Control arm bushings, tie rods as needed, and a front end alignment
2) Front drive shaft inspect/repair
4) Exhaust system
5) Start doing something about the rust

...something involving cutting out bad metal and welding in good metal, I mean. Like this. And I'd bet that more than a cursory search would yield more than one source for rust repair panels.

Like these perhaps. Holy crap, they even have the fan shroud there!

* * *

Well, tomorrow's going to be a day, so I suppose I'd better get to bed.

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