Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tundra Timing Belt Replacement

Iaman reports on a maintenance project:

All the stuff in front of the timing belt
Toyota 2UZ-FE engine, I'm replacing timing & serpentine belts and water pump after 175,000 miles, looks like they could have gone another 90,000.  The red coolant has kept inside of motor water channels sparkling clean. (Dealer and manual say belt is good for 90,000.) I'm doing this cause I have a place to work, my landlord's Jeep in case I need parts and dealer wanted $1000+. Parts were $200.  Shop time 3.5 hours,  my time 3.5 days.

Immediate issues:
  • rounded off screw in ac compressor (need extractor),
  • think I heard the tinkle of a nut falling into frame
  • remembering reassembly process 30+ steps.)

Removing the crankshaft pulley

Belts, idlers, water pump installed. Oil changed. 3 days. Tested good. Yay!

I am impressed with the overbuilding in the Toyota engine. I am curious about the development cost of engines/drive train vs the rest of a automobile

Lingering issues,
  • replacement screw for the rounded off screw (impatience) came out by fingers after drilling off the head, go figure
  • Serpentine belt idler has a a squeak warming up for a couple minutes
  • Waiting for new serpentine belt to come in, Amazon sent wrong one, reinstalled old one which looks OK.
  • The specs call for the crankshaft pulley bolt to be torques to 225lbs!?! Why? It merely keeps the crank serpentine pulley on.
More importantly I have a shallow aluminum hole in the truck air compressor buried deep that I stripped the threads out of, tried many fixes short of special engineered helicoil, next thing large shallow screw involving 1/2 hour trip to hardware store where I left my magnetic screw starter last night when I was looking for the proper size bolt.

  • After 24 hours I drove back to hardware store and miraculously there in the parking lot, my lost magnetic-screw-starter and a missing screw.
  • I found the missing nut indeed in the frame using magnetic wand, this could have easily been avoided by stuffing rags in tactical positions
  • I have checked and rechecked the crankshaft bolt, tugging on it for all I'm worth.  Getting it off was easy, bumping the starter with a the bolt held by breaker bar, yet the web is full of stories of people trying to hold the pulley while yanking on the bolt to loosen.
  • similarly researching CV replacement, many sites have step that include disassembly of caliper and rotor, when they can merely be swung out of the way....and on my water-pump replacement more than one site had the unnecessary step of removing ac compressor.

Relative to replacing water-pump, changing the oil was a pure joy, instead of a dreaded task! Funny how that works.

Quote of the Day

It does seem that a lot of bums are using "social justice" as a cover to be sociopaths.  Well, it's pretty common among people, even nation-states.  Like Russia: "we're completely innocent of all wrongdoing and you're just picking on us because you're a global hegemon."  Completely hypocritical and cynical ploy.  Word to the wise, a lot of people are just no damn good. - California Bob

Monday, April 16, 2018

Binky Has Friends

Project Binky - Episode 16 - Austin Mini GT-Four - Turbocharged 4WD Mini

This might be slowest series in the history of the world. They put out an episode every 3 or 4 months, so at this rate they must have working on this project for years. (A quick check reveals that it has been nearly five years.) This episode is fairly typical, with lots of shots of pieces of metal being beaten into submission and plenty of snide remarks. There were a couple of scenes that tickled me. At the 2:55 mark, the narrator is commenting on the TIG welder currently in use. He makes a couple of ambiguous comments, and then says, "all we know is he is called the TIG", which if you have ever watched Top Gear, sounds exactly like the introduction Jeremy Clarkson gives the Stig (follow the link, you might enjoy it).

Then at the end, where you have a couple of blokes sitting at a table drinking tea while the credits role, there is a guy in the background sweeping up. I watch him for a bit and think, you know, he looks kind of like the tousle haired mechanic from Wheeler Dealers, and what do you know, it is. Edd China. He even gets a credit.

Project Binky has shown up here before.

Fun with Electricity

Breaker Box
Studying household wiring yesterday, we pull the cover off the circuit breaker box and take a look inside. The two big, fat aluminum leads from the power company connect to the two banks of circuit breakers, one lead to each bank. From there, black (hot) leads carry current all over the house. The white (neutral) leads complete the circuit. All of the white leads connect to a couple of bus bars that are connected together and to the neutral line from the meter. They are also connected to the ground wire that presumably goes to a steel rod pounded into the ground. Used to be you could use water lines for this purpose, back when water lines were made of steel. Plastic lines won't work for this purpose. Gas lines are still made of steel, at least some of them are, but somehow connecting up an electrical line to a gas pipe doesn't sound like a very good idea, even if it isn't normally carrying any current.

The bare, copper, ground wires coming into the box are also connected to the same bus bars as the neutral (return) lines. We really don't want any electrical device to not have a safe return path.

Cordless Phone

We finish our inspection and put the cover back on. A few minutes later my wife discovers that the phone is not working. That's weird, it was working fine a few minutes ago. What could have happened? A smart person would have realized that the boys were playing with the power and maybe they broke something. The first thing to check is that the phone is actually getting power. The cell phone modem (that the cordless phone plugs into), plugged into the same outlet as the phone, has got power, the little blue lights are all glowing happily. Tested the wall wart and it's fine. The phone must be dead. Order a replacement from Amazon for $25, be here Tuesday. Go to bed.

This morning at oh-dark-thirty my wife wakes me up to tell me that the coffee maker isn't working. Waaahhh? Go check the breaker panel and last breaker on the left bank is off. Must have hit it when we were messing about.

Verizon Wireless Home Phone

The cell modem must have a battery that enables it to keep the LED's glowing even when there is no power. Stupid modern gimcracks.

Plugged the phone back in and it's working fine.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


85-year-old swimmer set to break national, provincial records

One good thing about getting older is there is less competition in your age group for just about anything you want to attempt.

Via Iaman

Pic of the Day

Pilatus PC-12 on the ramp in Sacramento, California after a rain storm
The Pilatus is what a personal aircraft should be. Big enough to carry your entire family, all their luggage, and enough fuel to fly halfway across the country, and get there later today. But they are a little spendy.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Emergency Oxygen Mask with Smart Glasses
You'd think that with all the safety edicts there could never be a fire inside a commercial airliner, but as history demonstrates, people will find a way. Oxygen masks are standard emergency equipment on any commercial aircraft that flies over 2 or 3 miles high, but if smoke fills the cabin you won't be able to see where you are going, and if it's really bad, you won't even be able to see the instrument panel. Osterhout Design Group combined the oxygen mask with Smartglasses and cameras so pilots can breath and see where they are going even if the cabin fills with dense smoke.

This might be the first step towards eliminating windows completely, but it will probably be several generations (of people) before windowless designs become commonplace. Driverless cars are liable to be the first victims of this new cost-cutting measure. The AI system driving your car surely doesn't need any windows, and who wants to look at a grimy, decrepit urban landscape when you can be playing fantasy video games on your 8K screen in your little mechanical cocoon? Motion sickness might be a problem for some people, but we have pills for that. And if you don't agree with the new windowless policy, we have pills for that, too.

Via FlightAware
Title Song