Started Out the Day Removing a Big Tree and Finished It Repairing My Car’s Water Leak

Tuesday December 15, 2015 Guerneville CA.

Only part of the day went as planned

My plan this morning was to go up the hill and remove a big fir tree that had fallen across a road and was blocking it. The tree was across the road and also up in the air, hanging over the road. I needed a a chain saw since I hadn’t gotten around to fixing mine yet, so my brother Barry was coming over to help me out with with his saw.

We rode up the hill on Quad runners to where the dozer was parked. I had to drive it down to the tree so my brother went ahead, while I started the dozer and let it warm up a little.

I drove on down this road to where the tree was across the road.road


Barry was cutting a tree off the road as I approached with the dozer when I caught up with him. He’s up there sawing away, but a little hard to see.barry


Barry cuts up tree

I think he thought this was the big tree we were going to remove as he was cutting it all up. I told him he better save some gas for the big one just down the road a little further.saw


And now the big fir tree

We drove down to the big fir tree which was about a two foot diameter one at the base. It was attached to a big stump up the hill above the road and the tree was hanging down over the road up in the air. I pushed it a bit with the dozer just to put some pressure on it so we’d know which way it was going to move when it got cut in two. Barry cut it on the far side of the road once than I repositioned the dozer so he could stand on the blade and cut the rest of the tree off above the road and not bring the big stump down.

The dozer makes dealing with big trees a lot safer, so we made short work of it. I was so busy being careful that it wasn’t until we we were all done and I was moving off to park the tractor that I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures.

After we cleaned up the mess, Barry took off to find a Christmas tree and look for some wild mushrooms. I took off down the road on the dozer as I needed to get it over on the other side of the property so my brother Tom can use it to cut his firewood.

I’m cruising down the fire road going through the redwood trees.dozer


Headed up that hill and parking  it at the top.dozerredwood


Now I get a little hike in

I’m now about a half mile away from where I parked the quad runner, so now I have to take a little hike on some roads to go get it and get a little hiking exercise.

The hike was mostly horizontal with only a little up and down so it was easy. I throw stuff like rocks and tree limbs off the road as I walk along.

And now a quad runner ride

I made it to the quad runner ok. My plan is to ride it back to my house and go kayaking at Jenner.

I take this trail down the hill and back to my house.homeride


I’m off to Jenner, ……..But

I’m doing pretty good, it’s just after noon so I have plenty of time to kayak. I get my stuff together and head on out. I have to slow down to get through town and as I start to go again, my car feels like it  has three flat tires, so I pull over to check and all looks good, so I start it up again deciding this is serious and head for home.

On the way home, I find I don’t have much power in the higher gears and decided there is too much coolant leaking into the engine causing it to not fire where the intake manifold gasket has gone bad that I’d tightened up hoping to use the car to get some new gaskets soon.

But that didn’t work out so now I needed to get this thing fixed.

Working on the car

Back home I decided to take it apart, so I got all the stuff together and was working on it. car


Barry runs out of gas

My brother Barry comes down without his quad runner. He said he ran out of gas and didn’t have his glasses so didn’t know where the reserve lever was supposed to be set and couldn’t get it started and ran the battery down in the process and needed some help.

I stopped what I was doing, got some gas and we took his truck up the hill with a tow strap, just in case. We’d either start it with a tow, or tow it home if it wouldn’t start.

But it still wouldn’t start

We put the gas in the machine and set the gas lever right and towed it, but it wouldn’t start, so we towed it down the hill. It turned out, it has an electric fuel pump that didn’t work when the battery got low.

Back working on the car

I went back to work on my car and got it apart fairly quickly, so now I needed to go to Santa Rosa to get new gaskets which took a couple hours. My old van needed to run to charge the batteries anyway.  The parts guy looked the part up and said he’d have to order them as they didn’t stock them. I said, yes you do, I’d gotten them here before, so he looked them up again and yes they did have the parts I needed, but not the ones he looked up wrong the first time. I picked up a gallon of coolant too.

Putting it back together

I was back home just after four PM. After a short break, I went out to the car and put it all together in an hour or so. It got dark so I got my light out and finished up the project for the test.

I’ve got the manifold out with all the wires and stuff that are on top of the engine in this photo, ready to start putting things back together. The manifold is sitting there on the front of the car.manifold


Doing it right

I found my torque wrench which I couldn’t’ find the last time I repaired this a month or so ago so I was able to tighten the manifold bolts to the right torque this time, so maybe this time it will work out.

Checking for leaks

Start the engine and look for leaks. I didn’t see any, so I think I’m good to go for a road test tomorrow. It’s was  just after six PM when I put my tools away and went in for the night.

The day didn’t go as I planned, but all and all, I’m pretty happy with how it all worked out. Oh, my brother did have a Christmas tree tied to the quad runner that wouldn’t start, but I don’t think he got around to looking for mushrooms when the quad runner ran out of gas on him.

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