Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

Despite taking some time off these past two weeks have been crazy busy. I did spend some time working on the Caravan's windshield wipers, but no work on the E9. With New Year's Day falling on Saturday I doubt anything will get done for another week.

I am writing this on my Android phone using a blogger app called Bloggeroid. It uses Picasa to store photos, which will require me to change my habits. I'll see how it goes.

The initial problem was the motor not working. It was slow and noisy when I installed it last year. This time it was sitting in a pool of water -- the drains for the plastic tub were plugged. While replacing the motor I discovered that the ball joint at the end of the crank was really stiff. Maybe that is why the last motor was so noisy.

Nobody has a suitable replacement ... the dealer did not know what parts I would need, so I took it apart, cleaned it, and greased it up with axle grease. Still not put back together.

Also need to fix the van's radiator fans.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Still not quite winter

I am writing this on Sunday because Saturday was too crazy. But I did work on the E9.

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Started off sanding down the POR-15 Epoxy Putty applied last week to fill in the welded patch. Not much to say except it takes time, even with #40 paper. Tough stuff. Eventually I could see I had some low spots, so I decided to use TECHNIFILL, because I didn't need much thickness, and it sets fast.

What I finally concluded is that the hardener has, well, hardened. After a lot of kneading it still came out a thin blue liquid, when it used to look like blue toothpaste. But I could feel a big lump in the tube. And, like the last couple batches, it was slow to harden.

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While waiting for the filler to set I used my CP grinder to expose the rust damage along the lower RH grill opening. One spot might need a welded patch. After that I worked on the top of the center grill opening, getting the opening equal on both sides. I discovered the the RH side needed to be built out a little more, so I mixed up what was supposed to be a hot batch of TECHNILL and put some on top of what was still not set. Hopefully next time will not begin with removing a bunch of half-dry filler.


The LH column of the center grill opening is pushed back a little. I tried bending and hammering, but the "U"-shaped cross sections makes this difficult. Rather than risk distorting or breaking this delicate piece I decided to try building it out with Epoxy Putty. After that I treated all the newly exposed areas with Marine Clean and Metal Prep.