Monday, December 25, 2006

Ho Ho Ho

Happy Holidays.

Last weekend I was going to pick up the Suzuki from the dealer, finish up the seats for The Triumph, and straighten up the garage after unpacking all of the track-day stuff.

Unfortunately "Wind Storm 2006" had other plans. We were without power for about 5 days. It wasn't life-changing but it was a pain in the butt. Needless to say I didn't get much done.

However, I did this weekend.

I finished the seats for The Triumph. Ish, from Pimp My Ride, isn't afraid of losing his job to me. You can be sure of that. But the seats certainly look better than they did.

I haven't taken it out for a spin yet, but I did test fit them. It's amazing what new foam will do. I had to readjust the seat to account for it.

I also picked up the Suzuki from the dealer. There's still work to be done but they fixed the oil leak. It looks like it was a problem with the end-caps on cylinder head and valve covers. They're powder coated and the powdercoat wasn't allowing a good seal.

The next step is to get a seat and seat pan fabricated. Not sure how I'm going to approach that yet. (Part of me wants to play with fiberglass to make my own seat pan.) I'll let you know.

I'm off to eat some cookies....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Back On Track

I guess I should just admit that I suck at this whole blog thing. Oh well.

I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving at Jason Pridmore's STAR school. It's not cheap, it's not nearby, but it sure is fun. If you have a sportbike you owe it to yourself to get it out on a track. It's almost certainly safer than your daily commute to work.

They had a photographer at the event. Here are a couple pics: Pic1 Pic2

With some luck maybe I can convince Dave and/or Jason to thier butts out on the track. STAR has posted thier 2007 schedule (and they claim to have a few more dates in the works).

Here are a few things I learned at the track and on the trip as a whole:
1) Being fat and out of shape isn't conducive to spirited motorcycle riding. It takes alot out of you. Want a demo? Get down in a squat, lean forward and put your weight on your toes with your butt about 18 inches off the ground. Feel good? Now stay there for 20 minutes.
2) Tighten the pinch-bolt for your eliptical gear. It sucks when the chain suddenly develops 6 inches of slack when your coming out of a corner. No one got hurt and the bike was fine but it had to sit on the side of the track for 3 sessions before we took a break and I could retrieve it.
3) A 2.5-liter 4 cylinder is not sufficient if you're pulling a trailer from Seattle to Vegas to Tucson to Seattle. Sure, it will get the job done, but be prepared to downshift. Alot.
4) It's hard to find a parking spot in the mall. When you have a trailer. On the Friday after Thanksgiving. If there's a car dealer in the mall I suggest parking in thier lot. The spaces are big.
5) Getting boxed into a car dealership parking lot when it closes really sucks. When you have a trailer. On the Friday after Thanksgiving. If there's a curb I suggest driving over it. Carefully.
6) If you live in Tucson or Vegas and you ride a bike (or drive a convertible, or having any need of nice weather) DON'T MOVE TO SEATTLE. Vegas: 72 and sunny. Tucson: 82 and sunny. Seattle: 28 and snowing.

In other motorcycle news:

What do you think of this? I'm going to the Seattle motorcycle show this weekend to see it in person. I don't really need one. (Does anyone ever really *need* a motorcycle?) But I like the way it looks and it's lighter and more powerful than my Daytona. Which means I can get real fat and still go real fast.

I'll probably never own a new Ferrari. So this might be as close as I get to a new Italian speed machine.

I gave up on the Suzuki. I took it to a local dealer to have them deal with the oil leak and do the tune-up work. Pulling the motor (again) was just more than I was up for on this project. At this I'd just like to see it done.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Where Oh Where Has My Little Blog Gone…

Wow, it’s been awhile. You might be wondering: What happened? Where have I been? Did I fall, bump my head, and forget my password? Well, the truth is I have the attention span of a gnat. Plus I’ve been busy and when I had to choose between working in the garage and writing about working in the garage I chose the former.


I’ll hit the highlights…

The Daytona:
I signed up for another weekend of Jason Pridmore’s STAR school. Pahrump NV in November. The plan was to drive down there with my cousin Jason and meet Dave, a college buddy, who would come out from Austin. Despite Dave’s long-time relationship with his sportbike he’s never been on a track. Since he’s to blame for me buying the Daytona in the first place I figure it’s my duty to get him out there so he can see his bike can do.

Unfortunately both Jason and Dave backed out this week. So it looks like I’m going to go it alone. No problem, just means there won’t be anyone who can contradict my “And then, this one time, I was dragging a knee in a corner passing everyone while eating a cheeseburger” story.

The Green Machine:
Not a lot of activity here. I’ve take in out once or twice for no real reason. (What? You think I’m going to take a 33 year old British car to get groceries? Are you kidding? I could starve.) The brakes shriek like a banshee but that shouldn’t be hard to correct.

The Suzuki:
Unfortunately it’s leaking oil from under the valve cover. Not a lot but enough to make a mess and a nice blue cloud. To get to the problem the motor needs to be pulled (again) and I’m just not sure I have it in me anymore. I had some discussions with a local shop and I’m leaning towards letting them deal with it.

Call me a wimp, call me lazy, whatever. But I’ve pulled that motor at least three times and it’s just a pain. … Remember the opening scene of ‘Kung Fu’ with David Carradine where he picks up the pot of coals with his forearms and it brands him? That was probably created by a guy who had just pulled a Suzuki motor. It’s about 175 lbs and when you’re done you have cooling fins cut into your forearms. … I’m sure a shop has a faster better way.

The Triumph:
The new seat upholstery that I ordered in July just showed up yesterday. Wow it looks nice. It’s not as uniform in color as the original seats but it has a very rich brown and red mottling. And they look like prefect recreations of the originals. (The original is on the left, the replacement on the right.) Hopefully I won’t screw up the installation too much. This is almost certainly the next garage action.

I’ll try to be better about updating my blog.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Clutch Performer

An old fashioned good-news-bad-news story:

1. Good news: the new master clutch cylinder for the Suzuki arrived.
2. Bad news: it wasn't the part I ordered.
3. Good news: it came with the 11/16" bore I wanted.
4. Bad news: it didn't come with the electrical switches I need.
5. Good news: the hydraulic portion and the electrical portion are universal so the old electricals bolt directly to the new hydraulics.
6. Bad news: the 11/16" bore didn't make a damn bit of difference. There was still way too much drag.

I took the whole bike down to the Suzuki dealership and asked them to look at the clutch-pack side of the engine. The hope was that there was something mis-installed by a previous dealer that would explain the problem. As it turned out there was. There's still alot of drag on the clutch but it does disengage enough to allow the motor to shift while running.

Last Saturday I put about 5 miles on the bike. Doesn't seem like much, but after 10 years I'll take even the small victories.

I think at this point I'm going to give up on the DIY aspects of this bike and take it to the dealer again and have them give it a professional tune-up and check things over.

I have a nasty feeling that the rear cylinder is leaking oil. Unless it's just oil left over from assembly that's going to be a real bummer. ... How do you think a Suzuki Intruder would look as a living room recliner? Maybe put an IR transmitter in the headlight and use the electrical switches to operate it as a giant TV-remote. ...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Size Does Matter

As much grief as I tend to give my wife I think she's perfectly happy to let me do whatever I want in the garage. She deals with the inside of the house, the garage and the outside are mostly left to me. The only declared law was the Arkansas Rule. (Thou shalt not have cars on cinder blocks where the neighbors can see them.) Despite having a dog who could become a JYD I don't have any aspiration of running an actual junkyard, so it's not a problem.

Last week (not long after seeing the movie Cars) I was wandering the internet and stumbled across Sports Car Market Magazine and thier "Affordable Classics" section. The simple fact is I'll probably never own an F40, a real Cobra, or a 300 SL Gullwing. (It's a painful thing to admit, but I screwed up the whole tech-bubble / stock-options thing so there you go.) But these guys had reviews and comments on a bunch of cars I wouldn't be embarrassed to see in my garage. (But I'll pass on the Mercury Capri.) Some of the comments in the articles are pretty funny so I read a few to my wife. She laughs at a few, humors me on a few more, then says...

"You know you can't have another car until you get rid of one you already have."


"Where would you put it? I'm not parking Otto outside." (Otto is her new Audi A3. It's a nice car, we paid good money for it, and I don't want it outside in the rain any more than she does.)

Hmmm.... Now, keep in mind, I wasn't really thinking about buying anything. After all buying implies trading money for something and before you can do that you have to have some money. I'm fresh out, so it really wasn't an issue.

But I'm not a big fan of rules. I don't like being told I can't do something. Tell me I shouldn't. Tell me it would be better if I didn't. Tell me western civilization will implode if I do. But can't? ... Really? ... I can't? ... Sounds like a dare to me.

So I did a little measuring last night. A little poking around. And a little analysis of the problem. (I'm an engineer, that's what I do.) Here's what I came up with:

1) The problem isn't really having another car it's finding a place to put it.
2) I have a 3-car garage, and at last count we have 4 cars and two motorcycles.
3) My daily driver can stay outside (it's been outside for the last 3 years) but her Audi has to have a carage spot.
4) That leaves two garage spaces to hold two cars and two bikes and make room for the mythical new car.

Sounds impossible right?

Ah ha! You and my wife forgot that the two cars are TR6s! (And, to give you some credit, you probably didn't know that one of the garage spots is 33' deep instead of the usual 20' or 22'.)

I got up early this morning and did some cleaning and re-arranging while she was still sleeping:

That's right, that's two cars and one motorcycle in one garage bay. There's even enough room to put the Suzuki in there (once it's off the trailer). That leaves a whole garage space empty, just waiting for a nice shiny new toy.

How do you think she's going to respond when she gets up and sees that?

heh heh heh

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Today's Father's Day.

I'd like to send a big thank you to my father. Almost exactly 12 years ago I called my father at 3am. The car had left me nearly stranded on the 101 in the middle of the Redwoods. I was able to find a closed gas-station with a payphone and a light in the parking lot. It took a couple hours and many phonecalls but eventually we diagnosed and fixed the problem. (The solution required a screw-driver, a folded piece of paper, and running around in front of a motion-activated light every 5 minutes.) It was enough to get me the 700+ miles back to LA.

So for this, and countless other jams you've helped me out of, Thanks Dad.

(Although, it should be noted that dad sold me the car that left me stranded. So maybe he's not always looking out for me. :) )

I finished the seats on the 1973 TR6 this morning.

For the passengers seat I decided not to replace the bottom foam, just the seat back. As it turns out that makes the project a whole lot easier. The vinyl and foam aren't attached to each other on the seat back. It seems things are held in with tension. It's not quite as easy as putting on a sock but the same concept applies. (Push, twist, wriggle your toes, pull, repeat.)

On the drivers' side I decided to replace the back and bottom foam. This was alot more painful. Mostly because of the way the vinyl is glued between two pieces of foam. And the original glue was pretty strong. I spent over an hour just cleaning the little bits of foam off of the vinyl because the adhesive was stronger than the foam. After getting stuff cleaned up (and discovering that upholstery spray adhesive is expensive as well as strong) it wasn't too difficult to rebuild everything.

Between the two seats I probably spent 3-5 hours. We'll see how much harder it is to do the same job with new vinyl in about a month.

Next time I'll wear latex gloves. It's going to take a few days to get all of the glue off my hands.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Today was a parts day.

Parts days are fun. They're like Christmas but better because you don't have to eat any fruit cake. The boxes show up, all nicely stacked by the front door. Wrapped in that festive packing tape. And there's that little tag with your name on it. ... Okay, it's a shipping label, but it does have your name on it.

Today I received a box from The Roadster Factory. These are guys my dad and I have dealt with for years. I've used some other folks with good results but if you want the 'right' part and you need it to fit exactly right these guys are your best bet.

I ordered:
  • A propeller-shaft tunnel cover.
  • Chrome wheel trim
  • 2 foam seat kits
  • 4 Air filters, 3 oil filters, 1 set of points, 1 condenser, 6 spark plugs, 1 rotor
  • A trim piece of the drivers door
  • A vinyl sample to see if it's the right color and pattern for the seats.
  • some odds and ends

In addition I discussed (but didn't order)
  • 1 reupholstery kit, in Chestnut. (Yes, I said *chestnut*. I know it's not in the Crayola 8-box but in this case "brown" just doesn't cut it. When you're ordering car stuff sometimes you have to suck it up and use the manufacturers crazy color names. Go tell that guy with the classic Thunderbird that you like his 'peach' car and see if he doesn't bloody your nose as he's yelling "Coral Sand, you moron!")

So all of that is good. Not terribly cheap but not break-the-bank either.

<-- I guess 142000 miles can be hard on seats. Notice the side bolsters on the edges of the seat back. What? You say you can't see any? That's right. They came out in pea-sized chunks and had to be vaccuumed off the garage floor.

<-- Looks comfy doesn't it?

Add a little Chestnut vinyl and that will be a seat fit for a king. -->

The minor downside came when TRF looked at my order. You'll notice I wanted one vinyl kit but two foam kits. TRF decided this must be a mistake so they cancelled one of my foam kits. Unfortunately (or perhaps surprisingly) in this case I knew what I was doing. Both cars need new foam, but only one needs new vinyl. So I'll have to wait for the second kit. Not a big deal since I'll have to wait for the vinyl but it's frustrating anyway.

(As a side-note, the vinyl sample doesn't show the "diamond dot" pattern of the seats. Which is really what I was worried about. It does a good job of showing the color and texture but there's still a chance it won't look right. I guess that's why they invented 'returns.')

Okay, so all that's good or at least reasonable. The Bad was a phonecall this morning from the folks at CyclPath. The clutch master cylinder I've been waiting for just went on "indefinite back-order" from the supplier. Which basically means "we don't have it, and we don't expect to get it." That's not good. I need a clutch that matches the brake. It's bad enough to buy an clutch, I don't want to have to buy a whole new set.

The guys at CyclPath are going to look into some other ways to get ahold of this. If that doesn't pan out then ... well ... I'm not sure how I'll resolve this. With my luck I'll figure it out just as the Fall rainy season returns. (Yes there are four seasons in Seattle: Rainy Fall, Rainy Winter, Rainy Spring and Threatening-To-Rain-Any-Minute-But-Might-Not Summer. ... I'm not sure if that's better or worse than Chicago which I've heard described as "Two seasons: 'Winter' and 'Road Contruction.'")

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Round and Round She Goes

I bought the tires. On Monday 10 new Michelin Redline tires were stacked in my garage. Thursday I took 5 of them down for mounting and balancing. In case you’re curious, yes, a Subaru Forrester can carry 5 new tires plus 5 wheel-and-tire combos. It’s a bit crowded but it all fits if you fold the rear seat down. There’s even a tiny bit of space left over so you can bring the 5 new inner-tubes with you.

(Yes, I know I probably don’t *need* to use the inner tubes. But I’m not convinced these rims were designed for tubeless tires. They originally came with inner-tubes so that’s what they get. Maybe it’s not rational. But is it rational to put Redline tires on at all? … In the greater scope of things $18/each for the tubes is only minor insanity.)

I also bought a timing light. (Probably should have had one years ago.) I was hoping it would shed some light (no pun intended) on why the new TR6 runs so much differently than the old one. I’m sure it’s not the only reason, but there was at least a 6-degree difference at idle. (12 vs 18.) I made a rough adjustment to the old one and it seems to help, particularly when it’s still warming up.

The master cylinder for the Suzuki is still on back-order. Rumor has an ETA of June 9th. We’ll see. In theory I could be working on the carbs (I don’t think the rear one is attached to the choke) but to test it even roughly means starting the bike and I don’t want to put the engine cover back on until I resolve this clutch.

So I decided to look into the next biggest problem on the new TR6: seats. Oddly, the vinyl is nearly perfect, but the interior foam is completely shot. (The upholstery looks a little bit like Danny Devito wearing a suit made for Shaq.) I wasn’t sure if I’d need to cut or sew anything to get the vinyl back on, or how difficult the seats would be to strip. I decided I’d “practice” with the passenger seat from the old TR6. (Its seats have needed new foam AND vinyl since about 1992. I figured it wouldn’t matter if I tore the vinyl a little during disassembly.)

The disassembly wasn’t as bad as I feared. (I took a number of digital photos just in case.) It doesn’t look like any sewing will be required if the replacement kit looks anything like the originals. It should mostly slide right over the padding then get held in place with two clamps, about a dozen clips, a some strategically placed adhesive.

Speaking of replacement kits: I should probably stop yammering and order one. There seem to be a few available (The Roadster Factory, Moss, and Victoria British all offer some form of kit). Anyone have any experience with any of them? I want to make sure the vinyl matches the original color and pattern.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sunny Days, Sweeping the Clouds Away

It's a beautiful day outside. I decided to spend most of it in the garage. I'm not really sure why but that seems to be standard for me. If it's crappy outside I'm in the house, if it's nice out I'm in the garage. You'd think a sensible person would spend the crappy days working in the garage so when the weather turns nice you could enjoy the fruits of your labor. ... Draw your own conclusions.

I'm still waiting on the master clutch cylinder for the bike so the new TR6 was my target today.

I finished up the paint today. (Or at least I finished as much of the paint as *I* intend to do. I might get some professional work done on it.) It took about 5 hours to clean, polish and wax the whole car. It made a noticable improvement (even to Anandi) but it didn't fix everything. There's a spot on the top of the passenger door where the paint has cracked. I also found one or two dozen places where touch-up paint was used (and not in a good way). In addition I found a couple of dents and wrinkles that I hadn't noticed before. Nothing too imposing some may require professional help.

I also started a simple tune-up. Set the dwell, set the needle height of the carbs, replace the plugs, change the oil. And took it for a spin. It runs well. The engine is strong, the suspension is good and the brakes are very strong. (Although the shuttle in the hydraulic system may be shifted so only the front wheels are receiving pressure.) The worst things I found were squeaky brakes and it pulls to the right.

(Should I be happy or sad that it runs considerably better than my other TR6? It's nice that it runs well, but I like to think I'm good enough at this stuff that my work should be as good or better than everyone else's. ... Maybe I'll just blame it on the extra 82,000+ miles that my other TR6 has covered.)

Tomorrow I'll take it in for a front-end alignment and finish up the brief tune-up.

It needs new tires. The four it's wearing are the wrong style and they're shot (probably because of the alignment) and the spare is an original which means it's probably 33 years old. I have two choices:
- Michelin Redlines. 185/75/R15. These are original equipment for a TR6. $180/ea.
- Coker reproductions. I could get these in wider sizes. (The tires on the car now are 205 series.) $125-$155/ea.

I think I'll bite the bullet and buy 10 and replace all the tires for both cars. Who knows, maybe I'll get a bulk-rate discount.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Need For Speed

In 1999 I bought a new Triumph Daytona 955i. I don't like to admit I bowed to peer pressure but I was talked into it by a college buddy. I never considered myself a "Sportbike Guy" but I wanted to ride and my Suzuki wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I figured the Daytona was an experiment. Worst case scenario: I wouldn't like it and I'd sell it in a year and lose a little money. So I bought it.

(If my mother is reading this right now she's thinking "No. The worst case scenario is you race some friend down a side street, whack into a post and I get a frantic phonecall from your friends mother." My early history on two-wheels was not good. It was a traumatic time for mom.)

Sportbikes are made for the track. There's nowhere else you can even come close to using the cabapilities of a modern sportbike. If you have a sportbike and you haven’t taken it to the track you have no idea what you’re riding. You don’t have to worry about speed limits, gravel, rabbits, on-coming traffic, or the idiots going 45 in the left lane with their blinker on. All you need to worry about it is the asphalt coming at you from the front.

Trust me, take it to a track. It doesn't have to be expensive. Some people spend $20k+ on their track-day pit equipment, not including the bike. They also probably go to 30 tracks days every year. I have a trailer. It was $250 online. It came in a box. Some days I use it to haul crap to the dump. It works perfectly well to haul a bike.

I'll probably spew a bunch of track day stories throughout this blog. But for now I'll just try to focus on what's going on. The goal is to install an on-board video system.

I bought a lip-stick camera from It's mounted in the nose (pictures coming soon). That was pretty easy.

I've had less luck trying to setup the recording device. I first tried a Mustek PVR-A1. It was small, wrote to an SD card, and was < $100. All good. But it only gave 320x240 resolution, 15 fps, and the image color quality wasn't that good. I was hoping for something more.

I looked around and found that there are alot of people who make what I wanted, but most of them were $1000+. (The folks who claim to make the video and data-collection unit for John Force were very nice and had a very impressive setup. But for $3500 I'll have to leave that to the NHRA professionals.)

Right now I'm trying an Archos AV500 as a recorder. The picture quality 640x480, 30fps. The problem is that it uses an HDD not flash-memory so vibration is a problem. (When vibration takes over you it keeps the HDD from writing the file, so you don't get any data at all.) I created a sleeve out of foam to help isolate the recorder but it's not very reliable.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

It’s Not Easy Being Green

(Where else but America can a guy turn two buttons and a green sock into $100M?)

The latest addition to TJs Toy Box is this 1973 Triumph TR6. I bought it car in October. It was posted for sale in the company news letter and since I have some experience with old British cars so I figured I’d go take a look. When I got there I found a solid, original, 54000-mile car.

It’s probably the only major purchase I’ve ever made where I was thinking about selling it before buying it. (Whether or not that actually happens has yet to be seen. I have a bit of a pack-rat mentality.) It needs some TLC: new tires, interior work, paint restoration, etc. The last owner let some of the basic things go, but he did keep it indoors. There's no rust and the few minor body wrinkles should be simple to deal with. I think there’s a solid collectible TR6 not too far under the surface.

I don’t want to get into this project too far until I finish the bike. (It’s embarrassing to admit that the reason the part doesn’t fit is because you’re trying to put it on the wrong vehicle.) One of the main questions about this car is whether or not the paint is salvageable. I want to avoid repainting partly because it would never be ‘original paint’ again, and partly because it’s not cheap. So I’m hoping to restore what’s there.

Not having a paint buffer, 2000-grit sandpaper, polishing compound, or any real skill I decided to see how far some standard cleaning and polishing products would take me when mixed with some elbow grease. So I washed the car and spent about an hour working on one half of the hood.

The good news: the paint on the car looks much better.

The bad news: not all the paint stayed on the car. I’m not sure if this is just what happens to seriously oxidized paint when there isn’t a clear-coat, or if something more sinister is going on.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So Close I Can Smell It

The history …
When I was in college I bought a 1987 Suzuki Intruder 1400. It was loud and obnoxious and matched my leather jacket. I had to have it. In 1995 I was living in Rhode Island and I rode the bike to NYC to meet a friend. On the ride back it started burning oil at a spectacular rate. It wasn’t so much a motorcycle as the center of a blue cloud.

It was soon clear that the problem was internal to the engine. On that bike any significant engine work means pulling the engine. Ever since buying it I wanted to customize it. Lower, narrower, simpler. Around that time CycleWorld magazine had a cover bike that I thought was a good direction to head (except for the orange paint).

So I had a bike that needed major disassembly to fix a real problem, and a desire to make some changes. In other words: a recipe for disaster.

I started wrenching. Methodically removing the engine according to the manual. Carefully sorting and labeling all of the parts I removed. Things went well for a month.

Then I had a bad day at work. (I don’t why.) I went home and vented my frustration on the bike. I launched into the disassembly with gusto. By 3am I had a bare frame hanging from the rafters in the garage and the motor was on a table in the guest bedroom. (Shhh! Don’t tell my landlord.) The parts were randomly scattered around the garage.

The bike was never the same.

6 months later I moved to a new house. In another year I was in Arizona. 5 years after that I moved to Seattle. Most of the bike was in milk-crates around the garage. More than once I considered giving the whole thing away.

After moving to Seattle the Suzuki project started getting the attention it needed. (It’s amazing how much more free time you have when you’re unemployed.) After 3 years it's almost done. It has a modified tank and frame, a new rear fender, new paint, forward foot controls, new hand controls, new wheels, etc.

(Disclaimer: I have a limited skill-set. I don’t do paint or fabrication. I order parts. I wrench. The skilled tasks were done at local shops.)

Believe it or not, after over 10 years in boxes and several cross country moves, the Suzuki moved under it’s own power a few weeks ago. It ran like a pig but it did run.

Current status …

Here’s the problem: It won’t shift gears if the motor is running. … (Go ahead and re-read that sentence. I’ll wait.) … Start in neutral, shift into first and ride off. As long as you don’t need 2nd gear and never have to stop you’re all set.

It turns out that the after-market clutch doesn’t push as much fluid as the stock one, so it doesn't fully disengage. When the motor is running there’s too much force on the clutch to allow the transmission to shift.

A few days ago I ordered a new master-cylinder. Identical to the one I already have except it has an 11/16” bore instead of 9/16”. It should push 50% more fluid and hopefully that will do the trick. If not, I’m considering leaving out one pressure plate and slip plate.

Once the clutch works the only thing keeping it off the road is a major tune-up.


I’m a guy. A recently married guy. A recently married guy who used to have (what I like to think of as) The All-American-Single-Guy life. Why do you care? You probably don’t. But it’s the left-over bits of that life that are the subject of this blog.

When I say “The All American Single Guy Life” I don’t mean drinking until 3am every night, always eating out, watching ESPN incessantly, a stereo with speakers shockingly reminiscent of Stonehenge, and living in a house that most people wouldn’t feel comfortable in even if they wore a class-4 bio-hazard suit. (Some of that may very well have been the case, but that’s not what I mean.)

I mean I had toys. Big toys. Toys with bells and whistles and gadgets but, most importantly, toys with wheels and motors. During my single days you were just as likely to find me in the garage poking at these as in the house. (In the case of some of the motorcycles I’d actually bring them into the living room so I could watch TV while I wrenched.)

My wife has made significant progress in vanquishing many things from my All American Single Guy Life. But, for the most part, the big toys have survived. They don’t spend time in the living room anymore, but they are still around.

Anyway this blog is about those toys.