Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings Heaven n Hell Texas I

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings Heaven n Hell Texas I

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:55 pm

I left Colorado in a foul disporia, don't quite know why. I was ready for Walkabout, get away get away go do stupid little projects in the wild. I headed down to New Mexico, and ran straight into some monsoonal threat of . . . moisture in the air. So I looked at the sky and threatened back, "I can out-drive you," and proceeded to drive east from beautiful Roswell, New Mexico. The moisture congregated into a fiercesome cloudbank and decided to come with, following at a respectful distance but still threatening to derail any of my projects. " I hate your stupid planet," I told God.

By Tatum, New Mexico, I was out from under the clouds, ahh sun! I set up shop at a roadside rest area. Let's at least paint the muffler. Disassembled the muffler. The cloudbank came. Sanded and painted the muffler splayed out on a barbeque grill like some massive Filet Leistritz.
An exceptionally "friendly" dude in a pick-up truck came over and creeped me out. He was all questions. I contracted into curt. The wind picked up. He thankfully came up with a clumsy retreat, "Wail, I just like to be hailpful and frainly."
"Thanks for asking, but I'm OK here, just painting the muffler."

Drove late into the night, doing the curing process where you have to let it completely cool and then drive successively longer with cooldown periods in between. Camped in Plains, Texas. Beautiful stars, tomorrow I shall paint the wheels! Woke up under grey skies with a nasty promise of rain on the western horizon. Drove east some more. Chased a ribbon of blue sky up ahead, I shall find the sun, so help me. Did some sliding door catch disassembly, "I hate you, gravity! Can't you give it a rest?" as the screwdriver clattered to the ground, and again . . . and again, striking the sliding door sill for good measure.

By Tahoka, Texas I was despairing of ever seeing the sun ever again. "I hate your stupid old climate," I petulantly pouted at God. Decided to outsmart the Universe by ducking south to get below the relentless eastward spread of gloomy clouds. Camped at a motel outside of Lamesa, Texas where I could sand/strip the wheels. The proprietor watched with alarm as I jacked up the car and took each wheel one by one into the room (where I doused them with Purple Power and sanded/scoured them in the shower). By morning, they were all matted grey and stripped on the bus (and the bathtub was cleaner than it had ever been). Gloriously sunny! I shall paint today! Hit the road south on US 87 looking for a decent little out of the way spot to paint. Found a roadside rest at nightfall. Parked near the fence and took a nice soothing walk down the road in the starry night. I love these 80* evenings.
"What a beautiful Universe," I exclaim to God.

Next morning, I am ready to paint the wheels! Park the car half in the shade from the roadside rest roof and half in the sun. Then I get to choose to get radiated with melanoma juice, and take respites as needed. Then the wind picked up. By the time I had my plastic drop cloth laid out to cut to wheel-wrap size, the wind was jerking it around like a loose flag. Here is what it looks like to wrap your tire in plastic and tape around the rim:

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It is painstaking work to get the tape under the bead of the rim, but the results can be handsome. The wind is blowing over my paint cans, tape and the caps and sand is peppering the operation. The picnic table says "Britanny Loves Brandon", "No you don't!" I snap at the table as the wind shreds the plastic free of the tire. I am looking at this whole project with a bit of despair. Wind is hell to paint in. I have to do the insides and the outsides of the wheels, that is four discrete rim tape operations and each side needs three coats of aluminum followed by three coats of clear, and I can't time the coats if the wind is wreaking havoc. "I hate you!" I hiss at the wind, "go away!" And it does, too. Mid-spray, where I had the distance between the nozzle and the wheel down to 2" to get the right layering in that hurricane, the wind disappears so I end up with a huge blob of paint that wants to run. So I start rotating the wheel to make the blob of paint unable to decide which way to run to.
"Everything OK?" A passing motorist wants to know if I am broken down.
"NO! Everything is NOT OK! I hate gravity and I hate the climate!" but of course I actually just say, "Yeah, I am just painting my wheels."
"All the way from New York?"
"Yep."
"Well, just wanted to make sure you were OK."
"Thanks, appreciate it."

Finally have the insides of both wheels painted. A cap blows off the side of the picnic table and catches the wheel that is drying below. I am feeling testy at this point like, what is the use of scouring your wheels in a motel if the wind is just going to blow? Ponder that a moment. Insanity begins with little thought trains just like these. When the large construction truck pulls in not one minute after I sprayed the outside part of the passenger side front wheel, enveloping the "paint booth" with a cloud of windblown dirt, I am sorely tempted to snap.
"Broke down? I drove by at 8 this mornin' and you was still here."
"Do you fix your truck with banners of flapping plastic sheeting and tape and paint?" I screamed back . . . under my breath.
"Naah, I decided to paint my wheels."
"Your painting your wheels here?"
"No of course not, I don't actually exist." but of course I just swept my arm around at the paint and the tape and the caps scattering and the plastic sheeting caught on the sliding door and the wheels and said, "yep".
"Well, I just wanted to make sure you were OK."
"Thanks, 'preciate it."

But the finished front wheels did look good with the clearcoat melted into that nice gloss, and as I pulled onto the road in the evening light (the wind died down as I finished up) and looked at the hazy Texas evening light over the low brushy landscape I thought, "that was a lovely day."

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Camped outside of Sweetwater. The stars were bright, the Milky Way is most apparent at this time of year. My Big Dipper is getting low in the sky. Took a "chill man" walk. Had to tell myself that the wind indeed does blow whether or not I need to paint these stripped wheels.

Next morning, I see big grey looming clouds in the western sky and a stiff breeze and I have to get these rear wheels done today, chop chop let's go. In the business climate devastated west end of town, I drive past the patrol car and pull smartly into the wreck of an old repair garage like I have an appointment.

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After a careful appraisal of wind currents in this building, I map out two "dead zones" where the trash shows that the wind does not do much. Jack up the car, remove the wheels, laboriously tape the rims and get the plastic wrap all snug in the stifling 98* heat + humidity. The paint actually lays down very nicely. What a relief from my rage at the planet that has been trying to wreck my work. With spirits picking up, I expand the day's project scope. Start the engine in 2nd gear and lathe-sand the axles and brake drums. Then I paint them in 1st gear:

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Didn't even rain. Sweetwater, Texas, thank you. Made it to Abilene to enjoy a terrible cup of coffee. The counterperson gave me a refund. Outside, the BobD sat there looking all spiffy with its wheels back to clean stock:

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Drove south to I think, Bradshaw, Texas and found a dirt road and idled in 1st gear for a couple of miles and found a driveway to a windmill farm. The windmills all have red lights blinking on them so planes won't mow them down I guess, but it did not matter to me. Mr. Raging Irritability By Day becomes Wondering Child By Night, and I was transfixed by the low swooshing of those fan blades and the display of red lights under the stars in the warm night air.
I decided that tomorrow I would find a nice spot to tear down/paint/refresh the fasteners in the exhaust system. Boy, the fun was just about to begin . . .
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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hippiewannabe
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings Heaven n Hell Texas I

Post by hippiewannabe » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:21 pm

Amskeptic wrote:...I decided that tomorrow I would find a nice spot to tear down/paint/refresh the fasteners in the exhaust system. . .
O.C.D. is not pretty. But the results can be.


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Amskeptic
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings Heaven n Hell Texas I

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:40 am

hippiewannabe wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:...I decided that tomorrow I would find a nice spot to tear down/paint/refresh the fasteners in the exhaust system. . .
O.C.D. is not pretty. But the results can be.
Well, your problem is not so much O.C.D. . . . :bom:

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. . . but I will tell you this, it is a very good idea to replace these fasteners before they erode too much. As you know, exhaust can be challenging when things erode and . . . snap off.
Colin :flower:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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hippiewannabe
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Greetings Heaven n Hell Texas I

Post by hippiewannabe » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:01 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
hippiewannabe wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:...I decided that tomorrow I would find a nice spot to tear down/paint/refresh the fasteners in the exhaust system. . .
O.C.D. is not pretty. But the results can be.
Well, your problem is not so much O.C.D. . . . :bom:

Image
Touche' :blackeye:
Your O.C.D. is definitely more useful in the VW hobby than my A.D.D.

Amskeptic wrote:. . . but I will tell you this, it is a very good idea to replace these fasteners before they erode too much. As you know, exhaust can be challenging when things erode and . . . snap off.
Colin :flower:
Indeed. "Remove, lubricate and replace exhaust studs" should be part of the maintenance schedule.

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hambone
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Post by hambone » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:48 am

"Remove, lubricate and replace exhaust studs" should be part of the maintenance schedule."
Oh yea. I do it every 100 miles. Can't be too careful.
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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:51 am

hambone wrote:"Remove, lubricate and replace exhaust studs" should be part of the maintenance schedule."
Oh yea. I do it every 100 miles. Can't be too careful.
Try stretching it out to every 200 miles or so.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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