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It is Wednesday, January 31st.  Bill (a neighbor) wanted to head into Washington DC for its annual auto show.  So this morning we jumped into the Tesla with a full tank of electricity.  I was my impression that Chevrolet had the most beautiful paint work on its vehicles; and Ford and VW cars looked somewhat dated.  KIA was a big surprise, and the nicest little convertible was the Fiat Spider.  Here are the pics I took.  I was surprised not to see many concept cars that gave me the "wow" factor.

 

 

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Roger, just a regular week day.  Not many people early, but by the time we left there were quite a few more, but certainly not crowded.  With the old geezer discount only paid $8 to get in.  Bill picked up lunch and parking so it was almost like a free day.  There were lots of beautiful new cars.  Made my brain swim for sure.  It was quite a shocker to find out that to replace my 2003 Suburban with like equipment the cost would be over $80,000.  I would probably get a extended pickup that has four doors for $60,000.   And I would never, ever buy new.  

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Thursday morning, February 1st.  It sure feels really cold outside, but it is 34 degrees. 

 

A quick Tesla power report.  I got my two power adapters from Tesla yesterday, a 220 volt three prong dryer adapter and a 110 20 amp adapter.  The dryer adapter is what I have in the new garage for the welder and air compressor, the 110 adapter will go in the house garage in place of the 15 amp outlet I have in there now. 

 

This morning I moved the car by the new garage, the donkeys did not seem to mind, went over and sniffed it and then walked away.  I connected the controller to the dryer/220 volt connection and it went green, which is good.  Then connected it to the car.  The car lapped the electricity up.  So now I am getting 20 miles per hour charge rate versus 4 miles per hour in the house.  The car now says that it will be at full charge in 5 hours versus over 24 hours for the house garage.

 

If I change the 220 volt breaker from 20 to 30 amps I think the charge will go up to 23 miles per hour or better.  I will do that swap tomorrow.  Now I have to run out and change the 15 amp house outlet to the 20 amp.  I think it will give me 6 miles per hour charge.  Good enough for topping off over night.  When I get the 4 prong 50 amp RV circuit installed in the next couple of weeks then the charge rate will go up to 30 miles per hour of charging.  That is the max I can go with this Tesla Mobile Connector.  If I want to opt for a Tesla Wall Controller for $400 then I can charge at an even higher rate.  That is a future option for right now.  

 

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It was a sad day yesterday.  The 2002 Trailblazer left the farm for good.  Hope that someone buys it at auction and returns it to the road at some point.  

 

The donkeys were interested in the Tesla when I brought it over for a quick charge.  After figuring they could not eat it, they left it alone, which is a good thing.

 

 

 

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It is Saturday, February 10th.  I wish I had more to report, but I have been doing very little on the old cars.  They are asleep for winter.  But Brownie, the 1979 Chevy van, has a bad starter.  The solenoid clicks, but the starter motor does not spin.  Cleaned the battery connections, but sill no go.  So I ordered a new one from Amazon for less than $60.  Never have replaced a starter in her so the original lasted all these years and 165,000 or so miles. 

 

Also put in new plastic/fibre gears for the house garage door opener.  The repair kit was only $16.  Now I have a working garage door again.  Only 23 years old too.   

 

 

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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John, do you have any kind of meter that tells you how much electricity you're using for charging the Tesla?  I realize it's kinda like asking a Duesenberg owner whether he gets good gas mileage, it's really not the point of ownership, but it would be interesting to know that you spend X per mile on electricity versus Y per mile on gasoline.

 

Your reporting of tasks done reminds me that retirement isn't always leisure time!  I wake up every morning, make a task list for the day, and there never seems to be a shortage of things to get done!

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David, re the charging rate for the Tesla Model S.  The car displays a charging rate while it is charging, but not a running total.   Cost to charge depends on how depleted your batteries are and the cost of power from your utility company.  

 

Here is a general rule.  The average cost of electricity in the US is 12 cents per kWh. Therefore, the average person driving the average EV 15,000 miles per year pays about $540.00 per year to charge it. Tesla Model S charging.

 

According to Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the sales-weighted average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2016 was 25.3 mpg. The average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US over the past two years was $2.35/gallon. Using 15,000 miles as the average amount of miles a person will drive in a year, the annual cost of gasoline for the average car will be about $1,400 per year, using the average cost of gasoline in the US from 2015 through 2016. One thing to also consider is that the cost of gasoline is currently much lower than it has been through most the past decade and it’s likely to rise again sometime soon.

 

I figure that I will drive about 3,000 miles per year and figure that my cost will be about $100 or so for house electricity.  Remember also that if I use a Tesla Supercharger on a trip it is free to me.  

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I was wondering how the Supercharger program works, Mr. Goggle explained it to me:  (from the Tesla site)

 

Annual Roadtrip Credits

Each year, Model S and Model X owners receive 400 kWh of free Supercharger credit, enough to drive about 1,000 miles. These credits cover the long distance driving needs of most Model S and Model X owners, so road trips are completely free. Customers who travel beyond the annual credit pay a small fee to Supercharge—only a fraction of the cost of gas.

Less Than the Cost of Gas

Model S Model X
 

$90

Supercharger Cost

After the annual Supercharger credit

$195

Gasoline Cost

 

Distance Driven

0 miles250 miles500 miles750 miles1000 miles1250 miles1,500 miles1750 miles2000 miles2250 miles2500 miles2750 miles3,000 miles

Distance Driven

0

3,000

 
1,500 miles
 

Charging costs are approximate. Charging cost estimate assumes Supercharger cost of $0.20 per kilowatt hour. Gasoline cost assumes 21 MPG at $2.73 per gallon. Cost may vary depending on the vehicle location, configuration, battery age and condition, driving style and operation, and environmental and climate conditions.

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David, I get unlimited Tesla Supercharger use for the life of the car not just 1,000 miles worth.  At the time of my build Supercharging for life was a big incentive for buyers.  This is one reason the early Model S are so popular as used cars as the Supercharger for life goes with the car, no matter how many new owners. 

 

I have seen some Model S used car sales in the $38K range for the 60KW battery, 85KW batteries seem to be in the $45 to 50K, and the newer 90/100 are in the $60s.  2012 was the first year of the Model S.  The D (dual motor) model S commands a higher price, but not much for a all-drive car.  

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Wow, I don't see how they come out on the "every owner's life" so to speak!  At some point someone has to pay the electrical bill!  But that's a great selling point, particularly if you're going to travel the routes of the chargers...

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  • 3 weeks later...

March 1st.  Been a while since I have posted.  Just not much going on in the lull of winter.  

 

But Brownie, the 1979 Chevy van, has a broken starter.  Solenoid clicks, but does not engage the starter.  So I ordered a new one, and guess what, it does not fit.  So I am waiting for a second one to arrive.  This is the van's original starter also, lasted 39 years so cannot complain.

 

We are expecting a big wind storm tonight and tomorrow.  Sustained winds of 25 to 30, and gusts up to 60 mph.  Going to last almost 24 hours.  So we are moving everything inside.  Oh no, the BMW Z4 is outside.  Well, it is a little on the small side so put it under the van.  Not for the faint of heart.  Should be just fine.

 

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It is Friday, March 2nd.  We are in one heck of a wind storm.  Started at 3 AM this morning.  Been blowing from 45 to 70 mph all day.  Power and the phone land line went poof at 7 AM.  We have a whole house generator and that kicked right in.  So we have been on generator power all day so far.  Reports indicate that over 400,000 homes and businesses are without power.  Entire towns are without power and hospitals are on back-up generators and are not admitting anyone except emergencies.  Lots and lots of trees downs and junk is blowing all around.  So far we are good, but we have lost a few trees.  Nothing major.  One tree gave a glancing blow to the llama's run in shed, all the others were in the pasture or over access roads.  One tree went over the driveway, but Alice and I cleared it with the tractor, and push it back over the fence and repaired the fence line.

 

It is suppose to blow all night and into tomorrow with sustained winds of 45 to 60 mph, so we are not out of the woods quite yet.  Another 24 hours to go.  Here are a couple of pics.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is Sunday, March 11th.  After two starters I found one that worked on Brownie the van.  I ended up getting a high amp, smaller gear reduction starter that actually fit.  Two chinese starters either did not work or were the wrong fitment.  I finally got a Bosch unit that did the trick.  It was about half the size of the original starter and replacements.   So Brownie is back on the road.

 

Tomorrow evening we are expecting our third big storm in 10 days, but hopefully, this will only be a glancing blow.  Just finished clearing all the downed trees and debris from the first and second storms.  I am ready for a rest.  

 

Oh forgot, we were without power for four and a half days, sure glad we have a whole house generator.  We did not suffer at all, but did keep an eye on the propane level in the 500 gallon tank. Good thing we had a full tank, used about 5% of the contents each running day, about 17 hours or so.  Most of our neighbors have the same generator setup, but a few did not so everyone tried to help each other out.  

 

Still learning about the Tesla.  Seems to be a car made up of lots of different vendor parts.  Here is an interesting article.  https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a16570798/tesla-model-s-parts-other-cars-have/

 

I decided to take a full charge on the Tesla's battery to see what my range would be if I were to take a long trip.  It stopped charging at 100% and 276 miles of range, normally I charge to 90% and that yields 253 miles.  

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chris, it seemed that all the local retailers wanted $200 or more.  So just got lazy and opted for the internet and lower prices.

 

Slow on the farm with all the storms and such.  Getting ready for Spring to hit next next week when we will get above 60 degrees.  Anxious to get all the old cars started and out on the road.

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7 minutes ago, unimogjohn said:

Getting ready for Spring to hit next next week when we will get above 60 degrees.

 

Spring?  What's that?  Sounds like a good concept, as we sit here on March 23rd and look at snow on the ground!

 

I, too, am ready to have some old wheels hit pavement, hopefully soon.....

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On 3/23/2018 at 6:20 AM, unimogjohn said:

Chris, it seemed that all the local retailers wanted $200 or more.  So just got lazy and opted for the internet and lower prices.

 

 

I see. Back in the good old days you could get an American rebuilt starter for what, 50 bucks? I remember my father rebuilding his Studebaker starter on the dining room table (on newspapers of course), cleaning up the armature and installing the little brushes (which probably cost $1.69 at Pep Boys). But then you had all the fun of disassembly and reassembly. 

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So spring is in the air down south, here in central NY snow is still about 8 inches deep and temp may get to 40 today.

I have started the corvair ,gardner and 29 chevy the 53 is in storage about 3 miles away but haven't driven any yet.

the snow mobil still works good at this time.

Al 

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3 hours ago, Alfre said:

So spring is in the air down south, here in central NY snow is still about 8 inches deep and temp may get to 40 today.

I have started the corvair ,gardner and 29 chevy the 53 is in storage about 3 miles away but haven't driven any yet.

the snow mobil still works good at this time.

Al 

Yes, spring is in the air here in North Carolina, but so is snow!! Here in Winston-Salem we are expecting a wintery mix today and tomorrow, but about an hour northwest in NC and VA they are going to get 10+ inches of snow. We have had spring, then back to winter, at least three times!! :o

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It is Wednesday, March 28th.   Since we are having a couple of days of rain Alice and I figured that we needed to get the pastures re-seeded so I have been dragging the fields with the little Kubota tractor and she has been walking behind with the little hand operated seeder.  Spent all day yesterday and will do more today.

 

But speaking of Kubota.  I noticed fluid puking from the big Kubota tractor.  When clearing debris from the storm I had put rope and plastic netting on the floor of the back hoe.  I should not have done that as the junk bounced off the floor and got under the tractor and was picked up by the wheel.  By the time I noticed it, the rope and plastic was wrapped around the rear axle.  I pulled it all out and now the have a huge transmission/hydraulic oil leak.  I pulled the tractor into the garage and put the rear end of the tractor up in the air.  I removed the snow chains and today am going to try to see where it is leaking.  I sure hope I did not pull the rear axle seal out of the transmission.  That involves taking half of the tractor apart.  I almost dread getting under the tractor.  So much for starting to work on the old cars.

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Keith, my hopes were dashed.  It is Wednesday, March 28th PM.  I did get under the tractor and took a look to see where the hydraulic oil was leaking.  It was the rear axle bearing housing.  I managed to pull out all the rope fibre.  And I used a couple of wedges to push the bearing housing back in.  Still dripping oil, but not as much.  Here are pics.  

 

I am going to remove the back hoe tomorrow so I can pull the wheel/tire and the subframe bracket that is in front of the bearing.  Then I will be able to see if the seal is flush and possibly any damage to the rubber seal that rides on the axle.  

 

The tractor does not now move as it is out of fluid.  I have to put at least a couple of gallons in it to get it operating again.

 

 

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It is Thursday, March 29th and tractor stories.

 

Well, I got the back hoe off, not the easiest of tasks, thanks for the advice Camaro Steve. 

 
Got everything off (brackets, hoses, mounting plates) so I can see the bearing.  It is toast, it is bent and all smashed in.  So the rear axle case has to be split per the manual and the axle driven out with a rubber mallet.  I am to to point that two levers, a hydro line and a bracket have to be disconnected, and then I can remove the 12 bolts holding the case together.  I have to look at the manual to decide if I am going to tackle it, or call Dan, the tractor man, to finish the work.  
 
Everything is so heavy.  I had to use the other tractor to lift the rear tire up and out of the way.  Only damaged a threaded bolt.  More later on how I am going to proceed.  I have about 6 hours into the project.  Here are the pics of todays work.
 

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It is Monday, April 2nd.  I think I now have a way forward on the broken tractor.  Not a lot of information on how to get the axle out as they never fail.

 

And we have a short report from Greg.  I have added a couple of pics of the airplane to his work.  

 

Just a quick note in response to those who keep asking "what's going on with you?"
 
    Day job:  I've assigned myself to the '29 Parks biplane project in order to get the boss some billable hours.    One photo shows the result of weeks of  "engine turning"  cowling panels.   Rigged up a throatless drill press  and a jig to get a reasonable pattern.     Some quick math and I figure I've covered about seventeen and a half square feet with spots before my eyes.
 
   The turnings done to flat sheet,  next is for the cowlings to be cut to shape and curved in our slip roll.   Then I need to perfect the three inch louver punch as the panels get about a hundred louvers.
 
    While I wait for that to happen I've taken on the completion of the cockpit door.     As usual,  all things take time.
 
As for the Wright Bros  V8 project,  nearing completion,  I found a problem with the translation of the original camshaft drawing and four of the lobes are out of position.   After some modification,  I've returned it to the cam grinder  for alteration.
 
 
I hope this finds all doing well.
 
GREG.
 

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Tractor update on Tuesday, April 3rd.  

I got the rest of the tractor subframe out and all the bolts out of the rear axle housing.  Surprise, there is still a bracket holding it on and prevents me from separating the rear axle.  The bracket holds all the valves and hoses.  I have to research on how to get that out.  Then everything should just pop out.  The case is all sealed with some type of goo gasket material so I have to be really careful on how I attempt to get it to release so as not to damage anything.  All the axle housing bolts had some kind of stop leak on them as well.  All this took another 3 hours or so.  

 
And the back hoe tipped forward, guess one cylinder released a bit.  Almost hit the glass on the cabinet.  All secure now.  
 

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Tractor update on Tuesday, April 10th.  It was freezing during the day for the past five days so put the tractor repair on the back burner.  I also needed to get a long and large socket to remove the hydro pipes that go into the valve body.  I also decided to get Kubota hydraulic fluid and filters.  So with all that done I finally got to the lines this morning.  Boy, they were sure on tight.  But got them all off without any damage or drama.  This afternoon I will take off the valve body and then the bracket it is attached to.  The bracket is blocking the removal of the rear axle assembly.  So I am getting closer to being able to remove the axle.  What a job.  No wonder folks on the tractor forums said that this is a $2,500 job at a dealership.  

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It is April 11th.  Last night I pulled the four bolts holding on the valve body.  I was able to move it over a bit until I found out that that there are more attachment points on the top of it.  These are for the controls for the 3 point hitch arms.  To get to them you have to take off the fender and other parts.  I hope that I will be able to move over the valve body mounting plate to get the rear end axle to clear and be removed.  You can see the little bit that is holding the axle assembly in.  This gets a bit harder the closer I get.  P1100745.JPG.e446e22711694281b81d29f2594d4c81.JPG

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It is Monday, April 16th; and we have a report from Greg.

 

Good day to you all.
 
Enclosed find some photos a long time coming.   Not just because I've been off the air for a while,  (progress has left me behind  when it comes to communication technology.  These pics captured and sent by Nathan's smart phone.)
 
Last night  began  some reassembly of the '10 Overland engine.   That too long overdue since I took the Overland apart over thirty years ago.
     
But since it has been a very long time ago means that now I can enjoy the help of my son Nathan.
 
This series of photos  shows  the crankcase which has been cleaned,   fitted with new babbitt main bearings,   the interior sealed with Glyptol and the exterior my usual treatment of buffing  with a  wire wheel, a rub with Rustoleum aluminum paint on a rag to seal the pores,  and rebuffed with the wire wheel to bring up the gloss.
           
The crankshaft had been reground, and  Dave Coleman  checked the balance.   So now with a slathering of  a mixture of STP and motor oil,  the shaft has been bedded in the bearings.  It will be nice to keep adding to the assembly.
 
And seeing today's date I'm reminded that  only fifty years ago today I started the mustache that gets in my way,  begun that first day I  arrived  in Viet Nam.     Half a century?!  
 
 
 best wishes to all.
 
GREG.

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