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September 2016

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: My Ontario Van Jacked Up for Brake Work

Saturday September 10th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 22. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. Periods of rain beginning this evening. Local amount 5 mm. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming north 30 this evening then light overnight. Low 7.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept until 0810, had breakfast and went out to appraise my van's issues.  Turns out the brakes are weak and the transmission is leaking. The exhaust is getting noisy, too, so maybe it is the end...

Sarah came over for a visit. Later I went grocery shopping and made supper. Ron called to say he would be later than expected and showed up after we ate, then left again.

Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.
Groucho Marx

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Sunday September 11th 2016

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 50. High 10.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light overnight. Low plus 3.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept well, got up and went shopping for lunch.  We had planned to buy sandwiches, then found out that 24 hours notice was required, so we planned to make sandwiches. I went for supplies and found that I could buy what we needed already made up.

Lunch was served at noon.  Sid, Cheryl, Sarah, Mom and I had a good visit.

In the afternoon, I spent some time looking over the brake problem and researching solutions.

The most obvious thing I saw, lying under the van, was a badly rusted section of brake line behind the ABS pump, and the area was wet with fluid -- a smoking gun.

I have done brake work before, but never brake lines and brake fluid flushing and bleeding on an ABS system, so I spent time on YouTube. 

Why most people who make how-to videos and post on YouTube don't edit and make them short and sweet is beyond me. It takes hours of watching to find minutes worth of info.

A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.
George Bernard Shaw

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Monday September 12th 2016

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this morning. Clearing near noon. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light early this morning. High 14. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Low plus 1 with risk of frost.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I was up around 0730, had breakfast and spent the morning chatting with Mom and appraising the van issues.

I spent more time on my back looking at the problem, then drove up to Speedy in Mom's car -- mine had no brakes other than the emergency brake by then -- and enquired about repairs. 

I could see from what he said that this could get expensive, fast. I asked about splicing brake lines, since only a foot or two were looking particularly bad and was told compression fittings are illegal, and the whole run would need replacing.  It is eight feet long and runs over the gas tank.  He did not mention double-flared connections.

I drove back to 1207, looked up brake line splicing and found that double-flared connections are okay and phoned around to see who had supplies, then did some more prep work and evaluation and drove to Canadian Tire for parts and to Walmart for some groceries.

My closer inspection identified the leak, shown by the arrow. It is clear, though, that that whole section of line is bad.  The flex section adds a wrinkle to the job.

I also purchased transmission leak sealer at Canadian Tire and ATF to troubleshoot the Transmission. When I turned my attention to the problem, on closer examination, I discovered I had just not warmed up the engine enough and that the fluid level in the transmission was fine.  I had not been sure if the puddle on the gravel was brake fluid or ATF -- it's hard to tell on gravel --  but now I knew it was brake fluid and brake fluid only. Bonus!

By then, I had enough of that and we had supper, after which I spent a lazy evening and went to bed earlier than I have been lately.

I was tired, but not sleepy, so I watched some Netflix to pass the time until I was ready to sleep: Psych, Don't Trust the B..., and  Dark Matter. The first two are light, (but, disturbingly, feature bullies -- seemingly a standard feature in US comedies).  The third is a typical space sci-fi with a novel twist.

God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Devil runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Sir William Bragg

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Tuesday September 13th 2016

Today Sunny. Wind south 20 km/h. High 21. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Low plus 3 with risk of frost.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept in, then around noon, got to work on the van.

One of the hazards mentioned by the brake shop was the possibility that if we tried to unscrew the line(s) from the ABS pump connection block, the threads might strip out of the aluminum, meaning a new (expensive) part would have to be located. As a result, I had soaked the fittings with penetrating oil yesterday, hoping to forestall that issue if I decided to remove the fitting, rather than splicing onto the forward portion of the line, close to it.

When  I examined the lines, I decided that the forward section near the pump that I had hoped to flare was too rusty and attempted to remove the fittings.  Luck was with me and the first line came out (left).

Once the line was free, I bent it slightly and it snapped of completely right near the leak (right). 

I decided right then to replace its twin, too, since, although it seemed strong, it looked only slightly better.  I'm now replacing the entire rusted sections.

On careful examination, I found that the fittings are metric and had to drive back to Canadian Tire again to get the right stuff.  On return, I pulled off the second line and found that the second fitting which I had assumed was identical, although it had the same nut size, was a different thread bore from the one beside it, so I need yet another fitting if I change that line.

Once disconnected, the line seemed solid, however, so maybe I'll leave it.  Although the exterior surface is rusty, the line is solid and won't be dangerous.  Even if the line eventually rust through and perforates, the system is designed to give several good stops before failing completely. 

What caused this line to fail was actually chafing on the black line spacer shown at right.  It has been pushed the left in the picture to reveal the worn spot (arrow) where the line perforated.  It was/is loose enough to allow movement and chafing that wore through the outer layer of the double-wall tubing.

Even a tiny hole can leak a lot of fluid at high pressure, and, as we saw, once the outer layer was compromised, the entire line had corroded through at that spot and broke easily when I tried to move it aside. Its twin has surface corrosion on the outer wall, but is still strong.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
John Benfield

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Wednesday September 14th 2016

Today Sunny. High 26. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Becoming partly cloudy near midnight. Low 7.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm missing good weather in Alberta and getting mixed weather here.

I slept until 08:30 and missed the garbage pickup.  Garbage has to go out early in the AM and putting it out the night before is discouraged due to bears.  Bears are getting very bold and numerous everywhere in Canada in recently years.

I hope to complete the van repairs this morning, then I have to decide whether to go to New York to visit Aaron or launch the boat.

I did a bit more work on the van and completed the line repair.  On testing, I found the twin to it leaks, so began on that fix.  Additional parts are needed and in the afternoon, Mom and I drove out to New Sudbury, where I got what I needed and we went grocery shopping at Walmart as well.

After supper, I completed the second line repair and on testing found there is a pinhole above the gas tank.  I could keep working on the lines, but decided that the problem is bigger than it looked at first.

I am licked and the van goes to the shop for the pros to assess and fix.

I had begun watching Where to Invade Next last night and finished watching it tonight.  The film was quite interesting and  made some excellent points. (Reviews)

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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Thursday September 15th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 25. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Low plus 5.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'll take the van to the shop today and hope they can deal with the corroded lines.

It is already September 15th and in three weeks, I have to be in Sidney, so I need to get a move on.  I've been here almost a week and although I've had a good visit, I have not accomplished what I came for, other than to spend time with Mom.

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.
Albert Einstein

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Friday September 16th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 26. Humidex 28. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness before morning. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 8.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

The van was ready mid-afternoon and I walked up to get it.  The total charges were one cent less than the quote, everything included -- brake lines, muffler, and power steering piping.  The job was not cheap, and the repairs cost as much as this 1998 van is worth, but the van passed inspection, runs well, is like-new inside, has new tires, good windshield, little visible rust, and over time is much cheaper than a rental -- and I can haul my boat behind.

I repaired a chair after supper and watched two episodes of Dark Matter before turning in.

Windows 10 continues to cause me issues. Although it runs well, there is a lot to hate about it. Now Quickbooks is causing me grief and I depend on QB for accounting.  Moreover, apparently QB is not guaranteed to be entirely compatible with W10.

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers

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Saturday September 17th 2016

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at 0420 and I am wide awake. I'm headed south today to visit John H, then off to New York to see Aaron and go tubing on the Sacandaga.

After breakfast, I drove south.  The van ran flawlessly, and I arrived at The Narrows Marina at noon.  The day was rainy throughout the region and I drove in rain most of the way.

John was there, waiting, and, after having a coffee with Gord, we ran across to Neptune Island during a lull in the rain showers.   The rain continued until night.

John has decided to sell his cottage and is in the process of moving out.  He bought it a decade ago, enjoyed the experience, but his focus has moved towards the Ottawa area and he is now moving on with life.

If stock market experts were so expert, they would be buying stock, not selling advice.
Norman Augustine

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Sunday September 18th 2016

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

Mid-morning, John ran me back across to my van and I continued south.  As I drove, I called my cousin, Don and since he was at home at his farm and that was along my route, I drove towards Goodwood for a visit.

We had a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub, then supper.  It turns out that although he has about four hundred cattle, his diet is largely vegetarian and my diet is trending in that direction.

We a had a good visit.

When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde

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Monday September 19th 2016

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon. High 19. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this evening and after midnight. Low plus 3 with risk of frost.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

We had a breakfast of oatmeal, cashews, strawberries, and almond milk, then I continued towards Round Lake.

Three hours later, I crossed the bridge at Gananoque and the border into the USA. Going south and east, the 87 route is shown as faster, but I chose the more direct route over secondary highways which took me through farming country and small towns.

The drive was uneventful, and I arrived at Aaron's just in time to attend a SABA meeting. 

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life,
but only a fool trusts either of them.
P. J. O'Rourke

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