brake shimmy and a dishwasher fix

When not using the truck to transport materials, I use M's 2007 Camry which now has 155k miles.  It is more comfortable and uses less gas.  Apart from regular maintenance it has required little extra expenditures - new front rotors @ 98k; new upper engine mount @ 138k; new alternator @141k.  But for some time brake vibration has been an issue- the brake pedal pulsates and the steering wheel shakes when I forcefully apply the brakes.  Because the steering wheel shakes this indicates Read more [...]

wood chipper repair

I extend the life of appliances so they can age gracefully as I am also attempting to do.  But they need attention and repair.  I previously posted how I repaired (or had someone repair) the circuit boards of the wall oven, fridge and treadmill all of which are >15 years old and still work fine.  In August 2013 I posted how I rebuilt the engine of my chipper/shredder (see picture above) after the oil plug came off, the oil escaped and the engine seized.  I believe I bought Read more [...]

Takeuchi electrical problems

Much time since my last post.  My uncovered greens have held up well through the cold and I have begun germinating tomato seeds.  Read some excellent books and took a MOOC on software design in connection with 3D printing.  And I have spent considerable time diagnosing and fixing my silent Takeuchi TL26 (bobcat). I don't use it much but the compost heap needed turning and I wished to grade some ground for additional rainwater tanks,  and it stayed silent when I turned the key.  Not good. Previously Read more [...]

well, that was not difficult – alternator replacement

My trusty Toyota Tacoma 2005 2.7L at 218k miles was doing fine, until recently I noticed a high pitched whine from the engine area, even when the truck was not moving.  The whine was pronounced some days, less so others.  It did not seem to come from the engine block (good) but one of the accessories.  The serpentine belt is a long belt driven by the engine crankshaft which turns the alternator (charges the battery), the power steering pump, the water pump and the A/C compressor and is held under Read more [...]

3 sisters, a new brush, problem = solution, food from the garden

3 sisters 3 sisters refers to the practice of growing corn, climbing beans and squash closely together with the corn providing scaffolding for the beans, the beans providing nitrogen fixing and their hairy stems dissuading insects, and the squash shading out weeds and enabling water retention by the soil.  My 3 sisters appear to be doing ok, though I now realize some fine tuning is needed for next year. You can see the beans wrapping round the stalks. But is the corn handy scaffolding, Read more [...]

the Takeuchi bobcat saga (part 2)

I agreed a $75 fee with the towing company and next day, probably because it was early morning and they were not yet busy (or because bobcats are fun) a big tow truck and a couple guys in a pickup came out. They winched the bobcat onto the back of the truck using ingenious pulleys located at varying places on the bed to bring it in at an angle. Getting it off was more difficult - they raised the bed up and jiggled it and the bobcat slowly slipped down, but slowly is the word. So they hooked Read more [...]

the Takeuchi bobcat saga (part 1)

This is a long discourse on engine repair- so if you aren't interested in this subject you should skip or you will find it incredibly boring. It began a few weeks ago.  My Takeuchi TL26 track bobcat has always had an iffy battery.  Even with a new alternator it often struggled to start the engine and the last few occasions I had to charge it before it would start the engine.  I bit the bullet and bought a new tractor size battery from the local Tractor Supply Store.  The next couple days were Read more [...]

helping a buddy – push mower repair

I have spent time with 3 organic growers in the area and hope to expand my circle when I am able to participate in the local Saturday morning markets.  I visit often with one grower who, tho good at growing, is less interested in repairing equipment.  His riding mower and his push mower are both out of action.  Though I use a scythe in the hilly and restricted areas, I also make frequent use of a riding mower (see my posts on various repairs) so I sympathized with him.  I tried starting his push Read more [...]

truck door lock repair – comedy of errors

A couple weeks ago one of my running/walking buddies mentioned he had to replace the ignition lock of his Honda minivan.  He is handy and used to enjoy tackling projects but now, some 10 years older than me, he will have others do the work.  At a cost!  He said the bill was close to $1,000.  I was surprised but since I persist in doing things myself I am out of touch with rates. My problems was different - I have a basic Toyota Tacoma truck and could not open the driver's door from the inside.  Read more [...]

water pump repair

I use two water pumps - a 1HP Water Ace (cost circa $150) with handy carrying handle which I move to various rainwater collection tanks and then pump to the larger storage tanks (2,800 gallons) and thence to the top of the hill; and a Wayne PC4 0.5HP pump (cost $130) whose sole purpose is to pump from my 2,400 gallon carport tank to the top of the hill.  At the top of the hill I have tanks which gravity feed the rainwater to the plantings.  The Wayne worked fine until a couple years ago when I Read more [...]