Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Old School Greene #1.

So I've got his old John Deere stationary engine I've been working on very sporadically for the last couple of years. I finally have it to a point where it starts and runs, so I figured I would start (re)posting its story here with a little more detail.

About 2 years ago, my parents decided they were going to do some traveling / service work. As a result there was a bit of a binge de-junking. For some reason, anything made out of cast iron and coated in a healthy layer of rust somehow found its way 600 miles south to my place. This includes a '48 Dodge B1-B pickup that Great Grandpa bought brand new, bits and pieces of a hand crank forge, parts of an ooollllddd military surplus generator, and several other odds and ends. One of those odds was this:

It's a 1934 John Deere Model E, 1 1/2 horsepower hit and miss engine.

The following has been taken from several different posts in a couple different forums as I went through the engine and got things figured out.

From the initial inspection, it looks like it's had the magnets recharged and a broken... Sparker? fixed. Supposedly just needs to be put back in and it should run. Like that's EVER happened, but it'll be fun to tinker with.

Once I tinkered a bit with it, it seemed to be making power but from what I'd read it seemed somehow the timing inside the mag is off... Had to set the igniter and now it trips when its supposed to but there is a button on the side of the mag that is supposed to drop in at the same time. It drops 10 er 20 degrees after the igniter trips. Still researching that before I try re aligning gears.

Tinkered some more with it tonight and got it to actually run half decent!

Couple of questions though for thems that are in the know...

Seems like my spark may still be a little off. The magneto trips right where I think it's supposed too:

but the igniter doesnt trip until a few degrees later.

I've adjusted it as far as it can go but still pop up to catch on the igniter tab. Do I dare try filing a bit off of the tab to move it retard the timing more?

It seems to run okay but won't start unless I dump a bunch of gas in the igniter hole.

Another worry... Here's the inside after about a minute of run time.

I would have thought there would be a lot more oil sprayed all over the place?

Especially on the piston. Seems really dry on top.

Stay tuned for the next installment!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Flattered or Worried?

So we started a new trimester a few weeks ago.  Since I teach several different classes sometimes I have the, uh, pleasure? of having a few students 2 or even 3 times a day.  This tri was no exception, and as is usually the case the first day or two can be pretty boring since we are doing safety in all of the classes, all day long.  I warn these students that they will need to bring something to do like homework or a book to read.  The other alternative is to study their safety notes in preparation for the test.

This tri, however, I had a student whose mind was elsewhere while I was explaining this.  Surprised?  Me neither.  When he came into his second class for the day, I asked him if he had brought a book.  Blank look. 


"Yes, book.  Unless you want to do more safety stuff?"

Deer in headlights look.

"I know!  Can I write an essay?!"

"Ummmm.... sure.  What are you going to write it about?"



Again, surprisingly, he wrote.  He wrote for pretty much the entire class.  He was quiet and engaged, and at the end of the class he turned this in:

I think his English teachers would be impressed!  I sure was.  He offered me some very interesting insights too.

This from the same kid I'm guessing is going to take issue about having to write a research paper in engines class.  Who knows?  They never cease to amaze me- part of the reason I love my job so much.  Usually end up learning three or four new things a day from 'em too!

Friday, December 26, 2014

New toy for Christmas!

So my awesome parents bought us a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas.  Scoff, if you like, but I am LOVING this thing.  Every garage should have one of these.  Been experimenting with vinyl but I'm really hoping I'll be able to cut gaskets with it too!

Got some successful cuts right off the bat.

They weren't perfect but after some fiddling I've gotten excellent results.  Next step was to make something... useful?  Sure.  Useful.  The boys (and I) got these for Christmas...

Needless to say, its hard to keep track of whose is whose with THREE of them ripping around...

So we spent the afternoon at school stripping them down and changing them up.



Next step- custom stickers. Cut up some vinyl on the new Silhouette.

And viola!

Hot Wheels for me-

Snakes for Tater,

and Minecraft for Ike.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Custom Hotwheel Build: Gina.

Y'all ready for the next installment?

Saved this one from Grandma's toybox.

First thing, need to do something about that missing door and the goofy light on the roof.

Paint, sand, fill, repeat.

Start on the custom base.

Testing out the color on a different body.

First layer of paint and the wheel donor.

First attempt at a new technique. Taped, spray glued,

dusted with sand blaster sand,

and coated with paint.

Close to what I'm going for, but not quite right.

This fun little tool is called a "Nibbler". Works great for cutting out wheel slots on custom bases.

Test fitting.

More attempts at the "Vinyl Top" look. This one should work well.

Ended up masking the area off, spraying a bit of paint, and dusting it with baking soda while it was still wet. Blew off the excess, then re painted immediately. Think it worked great on the car too!

Time for detailing...

Yes, the side mirrors were DANG hard to cut out and attach!

Interior, complete with speakers, fuzzy dash, and tiger striped steering wheel cover.

Undercarriage, with dual exhaust.

And there you have it.

But WHY would anyone take the time to build a rust orange Impala?!


Because it was my first car. Bought Gina back in 2000 from the original owner, with about 80k miles on it, for $600. Drove it hard for 8 years or so, and then it had the unfortunate retiring when we moved to Idaho. Finally got it back on the road this summer.