Monday, December 28, 2009

Spring Pinelands Video

If you've missed the postings on Binder Planet and the Triple Diamond email list, a new Pinelands Spring 2009 video has been posted. This is the first video I've done with the new iMovie. Seems to work pretty well, but it's a bit harder to do precise editing, especially with soundtracks. I'll start thinking about the Fall video here shortly.

Small Victories

Today I took the plow motor off the pump unit to see if I couldn't get it going. Boy was it crappy inside. Clearly water got in at some point. But it actually cleaned up nicely. I had to resolder one of the brushes back on and the brush mounting plate broke, but was able to wedge it back in place. Got it all cleaned up as best I could, put it back together and bench tested it... Voila! it works! Now to take it apart again, lube, reassemble and put back on the pump. Still think that one of the solenoids is bad, but hopefully, this will keep the unit from being a boat anchor.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays everyone. It's a white Christmas around here for once. I had the pleasure of driving both of my beasties around in the snow last weekend. Got Heavy D off the street and up on the knoll next to the house. Made for a nice picture when the sun came up on Sunday:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hydraulics, We Don't Need No Stinking Hydraulics

A fixed plow seems to work just fine is these here parts. I just have to use a Hi-Lift to jack up the blade and the hydraulics will hold it lifted about 6". Then lower as needed (the one servo that works on the unit). No power angle, but a little bump into a tree or curb can be used to make adjustments to the angle. :-)

Did a few passes around the neighborhood and a pretty thorough job in front of my place and my neighbor's. Worked great. How much fun can I have if I get that pump fixed.

We got 23" here in Columbia. I hear that's about the most in the state. My back will surely feel it tomorrow.

Here are some pics.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Couldn't Help Myself

I just had to get back out there and try to get this plow working. There is just too much snow coming to not. Brian H happened by while I was tinkering and we took apart the plow motor. What a mess. Might be able to get away with new brushes. Diagnostics also point to a bad solenoid. That part is available for about $25 if it is just the solenoid. Starts to get expensive if it's also the valve, or more than one solenoid. I'm just going to have to make due with no hydraulics.

Let it snow, let it snow...

Well, I *finally* got the plow on the truck and tried to figure out the wiring. Actually, the wiring was pretty straight forward, but all the ends needed a lot of cleaning. Got it all hooked up. Nothing. Dang. went back and recleaned the terminals. Nothing. Only one switch activated the solenoid and only in one direction and no voltage out the other side. Clean the switch contacts again. No better. Swap on a solenoid from Heavy D. No better. Go to NAPA and buy an Optima Red Top and a new solenoid. OK, now we're getting somewhere. The solenoid clicks in every direction. But still no movement of the plow. And what's that? smoke from the motor every time I activate it. Doh! Check the oil level. It's low, so I top it off. Pull the motor off and sure enough, it's frozen tight. A little PB B'Laster and creative use of a screwdriver as a lever and I broke it free. Put it back on and voila, the motors turns. But still no movement of the plow blade. Nothing. It's not even trying. Hmmm...

Next thing to check is the magnetism of the valve solenoids. I'm sure the system could use a good flush too. But alas, it's now dark out and I might have to wait until morning (by when there is supposed to be a few inches on the ground). :-(

Probably the biggest storm we'll have for a few years and I won't be able to play with my plow. Of course, I seriously doubt that inoperative hydraulics will keep me from trying.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yes kids a Video is in the works

Now that I have this shiny new iMac, I'm having to learn a new video package. What better way to learn iMovie that on that Spring Pinelands video I've been neglecting for so long. I built a sound track in GarageBand and have most of the clips and stills in place. Just need a few more hours to finish it up... then on to the Fall video.

Pump It Up

So, I haven't yet gotten that plow on. Good thing the snow last Saturday didn't require it. I did manage to get my hands dirty on a Scout this past weekend, though. Brian H and I went over to Bill D's place to check out his leaky water pump/overheating problem on Peer Pressure. We pulled the water pump and it looked brand spanking new, but had nary a sign of gasket anywhere. So on with a new gasket and put the pump back in place, along with a fan shroud for good measure. Since PP has a body lift, Bill's gonna need to fab up some mounting points to keep it centered on the fan.

Don't think that the water pump was the source of the overheating issue. Shroud should help, but suspect that the thermostat may be at fault. That will be the next thing to check once he gets the shroud on an runs it around a bit.

They are calling for a chance of snow again on Saturday, so need to get cracking on that plow wiring...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Aussie in the House

The Aussie Locker arrived today. Man, that was fast. The box is smaller than I thought it would be, but everything looks right. They recommend new thrust washers, so I am goig to hunt down a set. Better safe than sorry. Can't wait to get it in, but I need to get the plow wired and tested first.