Scavenger from one furnace to keep another furnace going

| December 20, 2016

A chill is in the air, but likely that has more to do with our 21 year old 80,000 BTU furnace acting up. We have three furnaces so I’m hoping it is the "pressure switch" once again; it does seem to be the weak links on modern high-efficiency furnaces (or could be all furnaces for […]

A second temporary BMW 528i upper radiator hose repair

| November 8, 2016

Besides being distracted on Tuesday watching the general election news, a call from my son Taylor brought me back to reality. I scrapped my afternoon plans and drove down to Clermont County where he works to "try a second time" to make a temporary repair (the first one was Sunday night). There is a ridiculously […]

What do you do when you mix up too much epoxy?

| October 28, 2016

Repair a shoe of course!  I’ve was frustrated with my carelessness when welding last year after burning a hole in my Keen shoes, but still wear them (albeit with a little more air conditioning than I would like). So after mixing a little more epoxy than needed for a repair, I dabbed a little bit […]

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

Tim Ellison, a Christian entrepreneur that Walks the Talk

| September 24, 2016

We are humbled to call Tim Ellison of Mr. Godwrench our friend. A few years ago when he started his automotive repair business I knew his unabashed and outspoken Christian "modus vivendi" was attractive to me, so I quickly promoted his automotive services and did as much business with him as I could. Due to […]

My eyes are open for an Approved Packard Service sign

| August 17, 2016

A friend of mine, an automotive journalist, snapped this photo on his way across the country on Route 66 last week and I couldn’t help but crop and copy it for my blog – (above – thanks Wayne, not that you know I’m using your photo).  Although my garage shop is not quite ready for […]

Cars are breaking down at record rates

| July 25, 2016

Despite advances in automotive technology, roadside service calls to AAA were higher than ever last year. The causes were often new tech and new design. Drilling down a bit, AAA points to tires and keys above all else. The organization stated that cars less than five years old were responsible for a disproportionate number of […]

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

| May 28, 2016

It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex process is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing […]

Still tinkering with the BMW X5 35d after limp mode ordeal

| May 12, 2016

Replaced the defective Throttle Actuator on the BMW X5 35d last night … unfortunately it did not solve the Limp Mode problem. Now to look further into the disconnected sensors after the ECU came back from Andrew Rodriguez and FixMyVW.com.    old | new

A battery hack has revived the analog Triplett meter

| April 27, 2016

A leftover weekend project was to see if I could get my dad’s old Triplett 630PL meter back to working shape. As a boy, I remember "carefully" using "his" meter when I was in junior high school and attempting to build Heathkit projects … like my shortwave radio. Thankfully I never has to depend o […]

Two hatches repaired and reinstalled on Encore

| March 12, 2016

In January a couple hatches were removed from Encore, our older Westerly Corsair II sailboat, in order to be sent to Select Plastics for repair. The project wasn't painless as both the time it took and cost (shipping too) were pretty expensive. Unfortunately, repairing them on my own was not successful and noting the number […]

The bench top drill press holds bits and drills straight

| February 21, 2016

The new Jacobs Chuck for the bench top drill press arrived this weekend and although I didn't have any pressing projects, decided to dril a few holes anyway. The quality wasn't bad for $20 and although its not a smooth ball bearing chuck, it made a perfect replacement for my dad's small Delta drill press. […]

Hatch repair is high on the priority list for Encore

| January 22, 2016

Noticing the weather back home this past week, it was not a bad few days to head down to Florida for a couple more boat repairs. High on the list was to remove and send my Lewmar Superhatches (predecessor to the Ocean series) off to Select Plastics in hopes THEY can prevent them from dripping; […]

Chimney repairs complete and it looks great too

| January 9, 2016

Thankfully the weather held and the construction was able to continue on the chimney repairs. They completed the final soldering of seams on the stainless steel custom top this morning and were quick to show up and collect the check too. Although this was an expensive surprise after replacing the roof, I’m glad to have […]

The Chimney repairs continue while I play with the RPi

| January 4, 2016

This post is more to test a “borrowed” wireless keypad that is set up on the Raspberry Pi — I’m not fond of the Logitech K400r. The photo to the left is part of the ongoing roof project and continuing chimney repair. In order test the Raspberry Pi’s image serving ability, I uploaded it from […]

Tinkering with Blogsy and chimney chase home repairs

| December 21, 2015

Another excuse to try to get Blogsy, the blog posting app on my iPad, to include photos without posting them to Flickr or Google (the two options besides “normal WordPress media” built into Blogsy). Unfortunately the suggestion from the programmer was to use a separate sFTP client — very cumbersome and not the way to […]

Working on the chimney chase with stone veneer

| December 15, 2015

One of the issues we found when replacing our roof last month was a wobbly chimney chase for the fireplace in the house. The original fireplace has a stainless steel chimney that extends from the first floor through the second floor, the trusses and then the “chimney chase” on the roof. The builder must not […]

Another mirror bites the dust, this time on my Honda Pilot

| November 27, 2015

There is something about mirrors, garage doors and Brenda that do not get along. This time it was pulling into the garage, not backing out – I’m suspecting her weak left arm??? Unfortunately the flexing or snapping was so hard that it also broke the driver’s window. Wow! Thankfully, Rich at Kiss Autoglass was able […]

Fixing a skylight leak leads to replacing the roof on our home

| November 16, 2015

Several of the homes in our neighborhood had some hail damage this summer … ours included. We had damage to the sky light area of our mud room and water has been seeping in when the wind is just right. Unfortunately our insurance would not pay the entire roof OR the entire repairs that we […]

Black Miracle Paint does not clean up like printing ink

| July 25, 2015

After spending a lifetime working on cars and 30 years dealing with printing press wash-up chemicals and hand scrubs, one would think I would know a little bit about cleaning my hands? Well I do know a “little bit” but still haven’t figured out how to clean dried paint off my hands (in particular Miracle […]

A new Moen cartridge again and some paint peeling

| July 12, 2015

After a week or so away, it was time for a weekend of long overdue household chores. The grass was long (and a bit wet), the pool a bit green and the kitchen sink continued to drip … despite my ignoring it for weeks. The last one should have been relatively easy except I initially […]

How to: Simple gas struts replaced on a lifting rear door

| June 9, 2015

After my son returned from living in “dusty” Williston, North Dakota for a couple of years, the Chevy Trailblazer he was using came back a bit dusty. We noticed after visiting him last year that one of the big differences from Ohio were the lack of paved roads. Thankfully, we did give some thought to […]

Paper shredder: To fix or replace … that is the question?

| June 8, 2015

Just because it can be fixed (Jury/ Jerry Rigged) doesn’t mean it should be repaired? The “old-ish” paper shredder in my home office is often over-fed with too many sheets of paper or plastic credit cards. It usually keeps right on chugging until it overheats, but last week it sputtered, ground the gears and stopped. […]

A spare Racor 500FG diesel fuel filter and water separator

| May 30, 2015

My good friend Mark replaced his old Racor 500FG fuel filter on his boat last year with one of the newer versions with a heat shield around the bowl (although Mark and Dar recently sold Zola).   From what I can tell the heat shield” was about the only change Parker Hannnifin has made to […]

Sailing and small repairs continue on our sailboat Encore

| April 29, 2015

While enjoying some time day-sailing aboard Encore this past week, I squeezed in a couple of repair projects. First I replace the plywood shelf in our lazerette with a new 2×2 X-braced shelf. I really wanted to add a couple coats of paint to protect it from moisture and dripping water, but a single sprayed […]

More work than expected on the Volvo diesel

| March 3, 2015

“Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy” wrote Nicholas Sparks; that must be true since getting Encore's Volvo diesel back in shape is testing my patience and finances (but then we're talking about a boat, so that second part is a given). Thankfully I have a very experience diesel mechanic who keeps one boat here in […]

Extending the life of our old refrigerator

| January 6, 2015

Back in November I mentioned that I was “backpedaling” before buying a new refrigerator for our kitchen. We decided not to do anything before the holidays and so I figured rather than live with our ugly looking broken refrigerator that I could at least touch up the paint and put in a new light bulb. […]

Aging Toyota Rav4 door dings–what to do?

| November 23, 2014

For those of us driving older cars already having their share of bumps and bruises … we face a dilemma when a new door dent appears AND we see the person who did the “dinging.” That’s what happened to my wife the other day and she confronted the lady who’s door blew into Brenda’s Toyota […]

Replaced the old halyards and roller furling line

| August 28, 2014

I picked up the repaired sails from South Sails this week and had initial success after stitching in a nylon thimble multiple times (I’m learning) into Encore’s new jib halyard. I still have the main sail halyard to go, but hopefully it will go smoother after the practice? I noticed the old halyards were oversized […]

Try this for a Honda Odyssey has a power sliding door problem

| August 19, 2014

Last week my brother asked me to take a look at my dad’s 2001 Honda Odyssey because the power sliding rear doors had both failed. The dealer quoted $200 EACH to fix the door and since both had failed we figured it might not hurt to rule out a fuse or relay. I stopped and […]

Finally had a noticeable dent repaired on my Mercedes 300D

| June 19, 2014

My old Mercedes Benz will never be a show car, but it never fails to attract looks or comments whether I’m traveling the interstates, filling up at the diesel pump or just running errands around town. It still has a couple scratches, a few bubbling rust spots and several minor leftover hail dimples on the […]

Receiving praise for questionable fixes … long story

| August 19, 2013

I had one of those “knight in shining armor” moments this weekend after a call for help request came in from my wife Brenda. She planned a weekend trip with her mother with a stop to visit our daughter in Columbus then to the farmhouse in New York. The primary goal is to begin taking […]

Such a quality difference in aftermarket Mercedes parts

| July 4, 2013

I purchased a new latch opener for the driver’s side door of the Mercedes Benz 300D and was depressed to see how poor the quality of the aftermarket part was. The castings of the new part is so poor that I’m embarrassed to put in on the car.

MB 300D high speed testing and minor jury-rigged repair

| June 22, 2013

While traveling this week I decided to give the old 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel a workout. Even though it kept up with interstate traffic and pegged the speedo, I found that it did a little shake from 73 to 80 mph. Maybe an alignment and suspension adjustment when I decide new tires are in her […]

Repairing/replacing the Mercedes Benz 300D Air Conditioning

| May 29, 2013

I’ve been accused of knowing a little about a lot of things, but not very much about anything.   This becoming exceedingly clear when it comes to understanding automotive air conditioning systems and I’ve been getting quite frustrated. The first hurdle is getting over the “leave that to the pros” and “it is illegal to […]

A few more updates on the 1982 Mercedes 300D

| May 21, 2013

  Learning, learning, learning. After spending the weekend putting a few things back together on the old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel, after taking too much off,  it is back on the road again with four new rotors, brakes and both bearing and races pressed into the hubs. I’m waiting for a few new AC parts […]

Repaired a long overdue dripping faucet this past weekend

| March 11, 2013

After 30 years of replacing seats, springs and stems in Delta style faucets, I had my first Moen cartridge repair this weekend. Ours has been dripping for about a year now (hot side only) and after the basement flooding I’ve decided it was time to finally fix this kitchen faucet too. The all in one […]

They don’t make them like they used to: Electric clothes dryers

| February 18, 2013

When we were first married, we had an old hand-me-down clothes dryer from my in-laws … along with an electric “Maytag ringer washer” that came with our first house. The dryer was about 20 years old when we first started using it and lasted another 15 years or so and could be easily self-repaired. When […]

Encore out of the water and in need of some TLC

| June 26, 2012

Let’s start with the good news … Encore is safely out of the water, block and safely in the boatyard. Her bottom ablative bottom paint sort of did its job, but was completely used up. A strong power washing took care of the slime and some of the growth and left a few barnacles glued […]

Parts, repair, replacement for Spinlock line clutches

| May 13, 2012

  As with older boats (and newer), parts age and eventually fail. I have 4 sets of duel Spinlock line clutches that are used all the time and the levers are breaking. One was broken when I bought the boat and one broke yesterday. I’m now down to deciding which lines I want clutched or […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.