atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6745: Naturally

Cut the grass and changed the oil in Mrs. Fungus' car. Between those tasks I took the motorcycles off their respective chargers and tried to start them.

My bike: started, ran for a while--until the engine was warm--and then would not run any more. Looking more and more like I'm taking the carbs off to clean them. Argh etc.

Wife's bike: started, ran well, was able to take it for a nice spin around the block without so much as a hiccough or sputter.

And who is the one in the house who already has a license and could ride IF HIS FUCKING MOTORCYCLE WAS RUNNING RIGHT????

I've started thinking about saving shekels and finding a decent newer bike with fuel injection. There are some nice Yamaha and Kawasaki cruiser-style bikes for not a lot of money that wouldn't be beat to hell and would be fuel injected, and even if I had to take out a small loan to buy one I don't think that would be much of a problem. Blue book on these things is below $5,000 because they don't cost a lot to begin with, and of course they depreciate pretty quickly.

In five minutes on Craigslist I found a handful of bikes that would fit the bill, none over $3,000, vintage 2007. Found a 2013 bike for $5300.

As much as I like my GS450 it's just starting to get old, having to fix it before I can ride it. But we'll see; I'm going to pull the carbs off and get them cleaned and adjusted right, and maybe at the same time I'll finally do something about the valve cover gasket so it stops leaking oil everywhere. Perhaps making a project out of it and cleaning everything up will be enough to restore the thing to reliable operation. Clean the gas tank out, get fresh fuel in it, change the fluids. Fix the clutch so it doesn't slip in top gear.


...I probably wouldn't be this disgusted if Mrs. Fungus' bike--much newer and with fewer miles on it--had not just started right up and ran perfectly. What a pisser.

* * *

Tried to change the spark plugs on Mrs. Fungus' car. I found a socket that would fit and I could get onto the plugs, but when I tried to loosen it there was too much resistance for my comfort. Fuck up the threads and you're looking at pulling the cylinder head, which is not something I want to do, especially on a car that's got variable valve timing and WTF-else.

So, I'll take this one to a pro and let them do it. If the pro mungs the spark plug threads, they have to fix it. I don't think they will, but I don't want to risk it. I think they're the factory original plugs.

* * *

The other thing I need a pro to do is to get the Jeep's air conditioning system recharged. I don't have the gear for that; you need a vacuum pump to draw the system down, then you need the right kind of hookup manifold to get the correct amount of refrigerant put in.

Ah, well.

* * *

...go to look at a video on YouTube, a guy talking about his 1969 Mach 1 that he calls "the Disgustang". Starts out well enough, him talking about the rust repairs that were done and the original paint etc, showing an interior that's stripped down to the metal in most places because it's a work in progress. So far so good.

Then he opens the hood.

Sitting in the pristine engine compartment is a crate motor that probably cost $10,000, all chrome and anodized aluminum, and at that point I totally lost interest.

Any swinging dick can get a car and put thousands of dollars' worth of mechanical parts into it and then drive it around. That's easy. What's hard is to buy a car that doesn't run and make it a decent driver again, fixing the existing engine and transmission and brakes. That takes knowledge, skill, and effort. There are a couple of YouTube channels that do that kind of thing. One is "Fuzzy Dice Project"; the other is "TheCorvette Ben". These guys take cars as they are and fix them.

If I wanted to watch shows where people put fifteen thousand dollars' worth of new parts into old cars, I could just go through my old DVD recordings and find all the Powerblock shows I recorded. You know, where they get a decent-looking Camaro/Mustang/Chevelle/Nova and then put a brand new crate motor, a brand new transmission, a four-wheel disk brake kit, a new fuel cell and pump, new wheels and tires on the thing. Sometimes they install an entirely new suspension, too, of one kind or another.

It's a how-to show, of course, but it's "how to fix up a car if you have the budget like that of a television show". The defense is that, "We're just showing you what's possible!"

The mildly interesting series was where they built a Camaro entirely out of parts ordered from the catalogs. No old parts were used; it was an entirely new car. But that, too, was done on a virtually unlimited budget. I mean, if you're making a TV show about cars, budgeting $50,000 for car parts for half a season's worth of episodes isn't that difficult to manage. Especially when otherwise they spend an average of maybe $10,000 an episode on parts and supplies.

* * *

Anyway, I guess I'd better go see about rustling up some vittles.

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