Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Friday, July 14, 2017

Springs

It looks like I am going to be driving my pickup truck to San Francisco in a couple of weeks to pick up younger son and his stuff. In that case there are a couple of minor problems I should take care of before I go. They are minor annoyances around town, but on a long trip they could very easily become aggravations. I can put up with the occasional annoyance, but aggravations need to be dealt with.

So today I decided I would tackle the collapsed drivers seat cushion. First step is to pull the seat out of the cab so I can see what I am dealing with. Shouldn't be too difficult, I pull the two 18 mm bolts in back and two 13 mm bolts in the front, grab hold of the seat and heave . . . and nothing. Oh, look, the center jump seat is attached, and if it's attached on this side, you can bet it's attached on the other. This means I will have to remove both front seats and the jump seat as one assembly. Fortunately Osmany is next door, so I pull the other four bolts and we haul the seat out. I pick up on the driver's side and crouch-walk across the cab, but when I get to the far side I am kind of stuck. Somehow we get the seat out without anyone getting killed. I think this was mostly due to Osmany being the man on the spot.

Turn the seats upside down and the first thing I notice is that this is a very unstable arrangement. Bungy cords from the mounting holes and around the seat backs calms things down. Now I can see that the springs on the driver's seat are all loose, so perhaps we need new springs. I take the one that I found rolling around loose on the floor several months ago and head over to NAPA. Counter man roots around in the back and comes up with a box of springs, but none that match, so I head over to Lowes to see what they've got. The only springs I find there are screen door springs. I might be able to cut one of those up into several shorter springs, but they are going to be much weaker, so I would need many more. I pass and head back to the house.

Broken joint between cross tube and side rail
I take a closer look at the seat and realize there is nothing wrong with the springs, the cross brace that the springs hook onto has broken free of the seat frame and is simply rattling around loose. Shit. The cross brace is like 3/4 of a tube about one inch in diameter. The ends sit in holes in the side rails, or very close to it. The cross brace was welded to the side rails, but the welds have broken.

My first thought is to get a couple of Stanley right angle brackets, drill holes in the side rails and cross piece and bolt it all together, but that is going to be tough. The old welds will have to be ground off and space is tight.

Cross tube held in place by broom sticks. Security screw in center, two springs hooked on.
Then inspiration hits. An old broom stick cut to length would fit inside the tube and through the holes in the side rails. I cut two pieces about seven inches long, slide them into the tube, put the tube back in place and then slide the pieces so they are just projecting through the holes in the side rails. There is bolt hole in the center of the tube, I put a quarter inch screw in there and secure it with a nut. That will keep the broom sticks from sliding back out of the side rails.

Repair Complete
I use a quarter inch drill bit to gouge out a recess in the broom sticks to allow room for the hooks on the springs. Hook up the wire supports and springs and we're good to go. It might not be the best or most durable repair, but it was really cheap. I did have to sacrifice my favorite whacking stick, but all in all, a good trade.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a true Renaissance Man. And obviously you are physically fit. But let this be a warning to any slob who might try to emulate your bravery: car seats can be unexpectedly heavy and if one falls on you, or you try to catch one that's falling, it can lead to extreme pain and extended medical care. So be careful.

Best regards,
James

Chuck Pergiel said...

Yea, verily. I learned this back when we had Ford Windstar. The rear seats were "easily removable". Yes, if you are the Hulk. Look underneath at all the steel and it becomes obvious. Took one out once and it convinced me that the this whole "removable" thing was bullshit.