July 17th, 2021

#7736: Saturday!

There is a reason some folks call it the "National Felon League". $20 million a year contract, douchebag is a convicted felon, and he "takes a knee" during the national anthem.


* * *

I am not the only person whose existence he owes to the atomic bomb.

The Bomb saved a lot of lives. And, actually, continued to do so, since war casualties were rising asymptotically until the Bomb made total war, shall we say, "impractical".

* * *

Saturday, and I have to fix the washing machine...but not yet.

#7737: It's kind of amazing, in a way.

After that last post I went back to bed and slept until 3:30. Muscle relaxants make me sleepy.

I know there are people who would accuse me of "wasting time" because I'm not up at 5:30 AM and going to work on everything that needs doing! Gotta get up and do all that work that needs doing! Work work work! Until you die!

But there's a limit to how much one person can do. That limit is different for each person.

Besides the washing machine, I need to install the ceiling fan in the master bedroom. And there's this and that and the other thing, and probably half a million other little things, all of which don't include the things that I want to do.

Meanwhile, mild back injury, so even standing up from a sitting position hurts; and if I bend over while sitting there is rather a great deal of pain involved when I stand up, and I end up hunched over like a man in his eighties. Unless I am mistaken this is the dreaded "lumbago" since it's my lumbar spine that's giving me the trouble. And this is most definitely not muscular; it's dead center in the middle of my back, right where it joins the pelvis.

Still, the muscle relaxant helps keep all the lower back muscles from tightening up and making this that much fucking worse, so I take it. My back doesn't hurt at all when I'm laying down--there is absolutely zero pain--but once I'm standing, there's a residual ache.

So I do want to take it to the doctor, and get some clue as to what needs doing to fix this, so that I'm free to do what I want do, but of course that requires that I take time off from work.

Given my druthers, though, I'd go back in time and warn myself not to be an idiot: take the VW engine apart before taking it home, because you don't have any way to get it out of the car's trunk when you get there!

* * *

That was 1988. Pulled the engine from a Beetle and tried fixing it up, but it wasn't having any, so I took it home to do more work on it. Had friends to help me get it into the car; but once home I was by myself and it was too late at night to ask Dad to help me. Reasoning that I had (not too long ago) lifted 200 lbs unassisted, I got the engine up on some boxes so it was level with the trunk lip, put my arms under the cylinders, and then made very sure to lift only with my legs. I carried the engine less than twenty feet, and--keeping my back straight--used my legs to lower the engine onto the table I was using as a workbench.

Slight twinge in my lower back afterwards, but it went away.

Fast forward to 2004. Got the '86 Fiero home from Iowa, needed to get it off the dolly, and--foolishly--gave it an experimental shove. It did not move, but afterwards, there was a rather uncomfortable sensation from my lower back.

"Old too soon, smart too late," as Mom used to say.

* * *

Having seen a video on how to make cable ends, for control cables, I want to try doing that for the motorized bicycle, so I've got cables of a reasonable length. I've determined that the clutch cable can be shortened easily--the engine end can just be trimmed shorter, and I can see if I can remove the ferrule from the sheath and stick it back on, or if I just go without. The throttle cable, though, has beads on both ends. It looks as if the grip end of the cable will be easier to get right, so that's the end I'll trim.

First, however--before I do any of that--I want to try to get the thing running, just to see how it goes. The only permanent change I made to the bike was the 5mm hole I drilled in the handlebars for the throttle's locating pin. I could easily take the whole kit off and return the bike to its original configuration.

Once I've got that thing into some semblance of completion, I want to turn my attention to the dirt bike. Get it put back together and running, and rideable. Also to replace bad gaskets and replace all the screws with hex-head bolts.

I also need to replace the valve cover gasket on the road bike, and clean up all the oil that's leaked out.

...this is why I want a bike lift. My back troubles demand that the objects of my tinkering be raised to a reasonable working height.

* * *

Anyway, I told my wife that I'd work on the washer today, so I've got to do that. I don't know what the result will be, but we'll see how we do.

#7738: That pump was bad

I don't know how bad except that when I finally got it off the motor, part of the lower seal came out in pieces. Rubber or silicone rubber, and it had hardened. The motor shaft is steel and it rusted; and the rust made the shaft bigger (that why paint always looks bubbly over rusting metal) and the plastic insert was basically molded to the shaft's rust-ragged surface.

I had to cut off the top of the pump housing, then cut away part of the impeller so I could see the shaft; and then I tapped a small flat screwdriver into the joint between impeller and shaft. That was enough to get a start, and once I'd broken that chunk out of the way, the rest came off pretty quickly. Wire-wheeled the shaft to get all the crap off, gave it the slightest touch of grease.

The shield that goes beween pump and motor (and protects motor from water) has a crack in it, where I mistakenly pried when I was trying to get the old pump off intact. Small crack, and I've patched it with 5-minute epoxy. Letting that cure now. That crack is entirely under a rubber piece that rides on the shaft and which covers the hole through which the shaft goes, to reach the pump. I don't expect it to be an issue.

The switch, however, is an entirely sealed unit. That's good, because it means there's no dust and crap inside it. It's bad because I can't fix it if there's something wrong with it; but I don't expect anything to be, given its construction.

Dripped a little 3-way oil into the centrifugal switch housing, spun the shaft, flipped the switch back and forth--that's probably more than enough. It operates easily enough as it is.

So the game plan is to put the motor back in, and replace the capacitor, and try running it without any load on the motor. If it starts, we're already better off than we were. If it doesn't--

Right now I'm into this repair for about $25 in parts and $9 for doing laundry at the laundromat last weekend. It'll be another $6 for laundry this weekend (because we'll be smart enough to bring our own detergent rather than buying it) and $160 for a new motor.

...or $600 for a new washer, and likely a month's wait for it to be delivered. *sigh* Which means another $24 spent at the laundromat in the meantime....

And I literally have no idea what to expect. I'm hoping that the work I've done fixed the problem. But we won't know until I've done the work and tested it.

And so, off we go.

#77739: No

No, replacing the capacitor and changing the pump didn't do it. Pulled the knob, and it hummed for seven seconds and clicked off again.

Motor. Something has to be wrong with the motor, because at this point that's all it could be.