Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Trike and Truck

Last week we (Tuggy & I) worked at over coming a problem with the back brakes on my trike. His nephew, Vic, took a look at it after we had changed all the brake lines and spent many hours trying to bleed the lines with no success. Vic is a mechanic and he said the problem was with the brake peddle Tuggy had manufactured. It wasn't pushing the shaft far enough into the master cylinder. So on Sunday we made some big changes to the peddle mechanism and got the back brakes working really well. Cool!!! Now it was finally time for my first lesson... just as soon as Tug took the trike for a little spin to make sure all was working well before he let me on it.

First, we pushed it out of the shop into the yard... then to start it took some time and we had to boost it with my truck. There had been a strange sound in my truck for the past few days which turned out to be the alternator... and now it made some crunching, grinding sounds and that was it... it quit. By then, the trike was running so Tug went to ride it and made it maybe 2 inches... the drive shaft "calved". It just twisted apart at one of the welds. The welder Tug had to the work is very expensive as it turned out, and very incompetent.

I was able, after we pushed the trike back inside, to drive my truck home where it stalled when I was backing up the hill. Thankfully I was nearly at the top so when it wouldn't start with a dead battery I was able to roll down the hill and let out the clutch, thereby 'jump starting' it.

The next day, Monday, I got an alternator from one of the auto wreckers in town, thanks to Dan driving me in to town. Then Tuggy came in as Dan is not a mechanic and had no idea how to change it over. He and I (mostly him) took the old one out and put the 'new' one in... and when I started the truck and checked my gauges I saw it wasn't charging!! We figured this meant there was a problem with the alternator so I called the auto wrecker who said they didn't have another one like that. The next day, Tug called saying he'd found another one, that a friend of his has a smashed Ranger we can get the alternator out of. So he came on Big Red (his trike) and picked me up as well as some of my tools and off we went. Turned out the front of the truck was smashed in so it was a really big job to get to the alternator though once we finally got to it, it was easy to get out. We brought it back here and put it into my truck... and it wasn't charging. No way could we have 2 bad alternators, so we drove it to an auto electric place and had it tested. It turned out that both the alternators were good, and there was a fuse that was burned out. It cost me $40 to find this out... and about 15 minutes.

I returned the first alternator to the auto wrecker and got my $60 back, then took us for burgers. It was a long day and well past eating time, lol. So... in the end the cost was: $10 to Tuggy for gas, free alternator from his friend, $40 to get them checked and replace the fuse, $15 for eats = $65 and I'm back on the road. Could have been a LOT worse.

I actually really enjoyed the time spent ripping apart that guy's smashed truck to get to the alternator and think if my body was in a bit better shape I'd see about working at an auto wreckers taking vehicles apart. Today I really am paying for the fun though. I was in so much pain this morning that I could hardly move so went to the Rec Centre to soak in the hot tub then to the Chiropractor for a treatment and I have to go back on Monday for another one. Medical covers part of these treatments though I have to pay a user fee of $12 each, then after 10 treatments medical coverage runs out and I have to pay $25 per treatment, so I hoard the things, trying to stretch them out as well as I can over the year. I am better now, though still stiff and sore.

Due to the 'down time', I was unable to get to my Volunteer work at the Food Bank this Monday morning, or to Aqua Therapy Monday and Tuesday afternoons. I even forgot to go to Toastmasters on Tuesday evening as I was so busy with getting all that done and got home around the time I would have had to be leaving to drive there... and only had relaxing my sore & tired body in my mind.

On Tuesday, before and after Tuggy was here, I did some sewing which I will tell about later. For now, I must get off here as sitting here typing is becoming rather painful. Time to go to bed me thinks.

Nite nite.

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