Flat Tire, Water Tanks, Float Balls and I Get Some Work Done on the Van

Saturday September 3, 2016 Guerneville CA.

Plans for the day changed fast

This morning I went out to start work on the van. I was going to construct a heat shield for the exhaust system to protect my fuel pump.

Flat tire

But, the darn front tire was going flat so everything changed.tireflat


I got the soapy water bottle out and sprayed the tire and found the leak. It looked like a little slit in the tire.bubbles


I bet I picked up a piece of metal

Now, yesterday as I was driving home, I heard a real big rock hitting the bottom of the van. The same sound as when a little rock gets thrown off a tire, but this was way louder and with the new engine, I wasn’t sure what it was as there weren’t any real big rocks on the road.

So what I think happened is I picked up a piece of sharp metal or something like that when I was getting the springs installed in their yard which stuck in the tire until it flew off and made that sound and put the hole in the tire. Lucky the tire stayed up for getting home.

Needed to get the tire fixed

With the holiday, I knew if I didn’t get it fixed today it would be Tuesday before I could get it fixed so I called Country Tire, the local company and talked with Sue. She said, sure bring it on down as long as you get here before two when they would close.

In the mean time Barry was coming by to help me fix the tank level indicator that was stuck on the top pulley on our water tanks. He was coming over and I needed to wait for him before I could leave.

He showed up with my other brother mike and I gave them the  stuff and helped load the ladder we would need and said I’d find them when I got back. They were going up in the hills and install some road signs at the intersections of the roads as my older brother seems to get lost up there.

Got the tire repaired

Anyway, I drove on down to the tire place and had to wait only a short time until Mark and his helper removed the tire to inspect the damage. Mark put a big plug in it and a heavy duty batch inside. He said if that doesn’t hold, it’s new tire time. I think it will hold.

Found my brothers in the hills so we could work on the water tanks

I went on home and jumped on the little quad runner and found my brothers up the hill putting up signs, but I forgot my camera.

We drove down to the water tank area and Barry climbed the ladder and removed the old string system. The string is too small and gets caught in the sides of the pulleys and then the thing doesn’t work until we get the ladder out again.

They brought up a steel cable to use instead, but we didn’t have a good way to cut it up there, so I had to head home to cut it. We also found the copper float ball had a hole in it, so I was going to take it home to fix it. I left them napping and drove on home.

At the water tanks

Here’s my brother Barry and Mike in the blue at our water tanks.tanks


When I got home I started to drain the float ball with the hole in it.floutleaky


That’s only one of about fifty holes I eventually found in it.road


Power goes off so can’t fix the ball

I started to work on the ball to clean it up so I could solder the three holes I saw in it, but my drill wouldn’t work and I found the power was out, so I didn’t get the ball fixed, but I did get the cable cut. I figured it was going to take some time to drain the water out of the ball too and it did.

Back to the water tanks

I headed back up to the tanks and found my brothers taking it easy. We hooked up the cable and set it up to receive the ball when I get it fixed. We left the ladder there and returned to my house.

I went by this tractor on the way home.tracktor



Mike and Barry and I were sitting in my carport where I had been working on the van when my other brother Tom showed up on his golf cart. We had an impromptu meeting and shot the bull for a bit.brothers


That float ball is no darn good

After they left I eventually picked up the copper ball and decided a wire brush would be the way to start cleaning it up. But as I cleaned one hole up, more holes showed up until I realized this thing is shot through with holes and I needed to abandon it to the trash.

Holey float ball.ballholes


So what to do. I thought of going online and finding a tank float and ordering it, but then I remembered I had a plastic float I’d found on the river some time ago.

No, this isn’t it. This is a water melon Tom dropped off for me. Looks good, haven’t tried it yet.mellon


A treasure from the river

This is the six inch plastic ball. It needed more weight as the new system line is steel which is heavier so will be a little harder to pull, so I added a piece of brass with stainless steel wire. I think it would be a good idea to isolate the brass from the steel wire electrically, so I will likely hook it to the wire with plastic ties. I think this should work and I already have it and don’t have to order it and wait for it and I used up a piece of junk laying around here of which I have a lot. :O)ballnew


Sprayed six cans of paint

I still had a couple hours before dark, so I got under the van and sprayed six cans of black paint on the underside. I think I could use another six cans. My hands were all black when I was done with that chore.

And figured out the heat shield

Next I got under the van and figured out how I wanted to make the heat shield for the fuel pump. I took some measurements and wrote them down for later.

And centered the steering wheel

When they put the new front springs on my van somehow they caused my steering wheel to go off center which causes the turn signal switch to get out of whack. Since the steering wheel is already turned just a little, it’s at the place it should shut off when I’m trying to turn it on. Anyway, back under the van and loosen up one of the steering links and adjust it back on center. I don’t really understand how that got off just replacing the springs, but now it’s back on center, at least I think it is and will know when I drive it.

That done, it was starting to get dark, so I sat in a chair and enjoyed the evening until I finally went in for the night and that was my day.

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