Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Painting Over the Past

Sometimes it's easier than you think.  I've had this Shoei X-11 helmet since near the end of my crotch rocket days. It really has been one of my favorite helmets. I have never had a helmet as light, comfortable, and with as great air flow as this one.  The problem is... well it doesn't quite fit my style any longer.

I had lunch the other day with a friend of mine who loves Plasti-Dip. No, really. He's used it to paint numerous things including his jet ski. He also painted his car. I don't just mean his wheels, I mean he painted his entire Honda S2000 with Plasti-Dip chameleon kaleidoscope!  Well I figured if he was comfortable enough to do his car, I'd be willing to give it a try on something... just not quite my car.

Since the project wasn't all that large, and not knowing how it'd turn out, I didn't want to invest in a quart of the stuff. Instead, I was excited to learn you can buy a rattle can of it at your local big box home improvement store. 

I started by wiping it down really well with alcohol... the rubbing kind, not the drinking kind... then taped over all the plastic pieces and trim. (The picture above.)

From there, I treated it like a normal rattle can job. I lightly dusted for the first few coats. Then followed it up with a couple of solid coats. 

After letting it dry for a couple of days, I then proceeded to peel off the masking tape.  This was really the only part I had trouble with.  Since it creates a rubbery skin over everything, removing the tape tends to want to remove ALL of the Plasti-Dip, kinda like peeling a sunburn.

This was easily solved though by tracing the mask line with a razor blade prior to removing. I could've been a little more careful during this part as there were a few areas that I pulled up a bit more than I intended.  I found too this was fairly easily fixed by using a wet cloth and rubbing the coating back into place.

It turned out pretty good but not great.  In all fairness though, most of that was due to my impatience and not taking my time either masking off areas, removing the mask, or both. 

I'm pleased with the result and, more importantly, it allows me to get a couple more miles out of one of my all time favorite helmets.  Now to see how it holds up.

Overall, the Plasti-Dip was no more difficult to work with than the typical rattle can.  Will it replace my normal, go-to paint for quick jobs (i.e. hi-temp BBQ paint), probably not. But I will likely be using it for some things in the future.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?"

Hell no, Ma! I'd find a much higher bridge and show them how it's really done!!

So here's a rare video actually showing my ugly mug. Albeit more than a decade ago. I'd like to say this is from when I was much younger and dumber, but we both know only one of those is true.

If you follow me on InstagramInstagram, you'd know I was jamming out to Richard Cheese last night. That reminded me of this old video and... well, here you go.

I swear, this cliff at Lake Georgetown seemed much higher 10 years ago. Actually, a math nerd friend of mine calculated the height based on the free fall time (remember ol' d = vi • t + ½ • a • t2 from your college days?). It came out to just about 60 feet but it certainly felt higher at the time.

So the back story is: we were out on the jet skis and, yes, there was alcohol involved. The lake level was way down but saw some high school kids jumping off a cliff about halfway up the southeastern shore. I thought, "I can do that!" so I had my buddy hold my ski and swam ashore. After hiking up the path I thought led to the middle ledge, I couldn't find the opening that led to the water. I kept following the path and soon realize I was at the very top. Well, I wasn't going to walk back down so... "Weeee! ... Oww!!"

Anyway, I ended up cracking three ribs (hence my gasping for air at 00:41). We were supposed to go sky diving the next weekend but, of course, I was not allowed to in that state. So I looked for something else exciting to do.

I ended up taking the Motorcycle Safety Class that weekend instead and got my 'M' license endorsement. Fast forward to today and I have a garage full of motorcycles in various states of assembly. It's funny how one afternoon of nonsense can change your interests so drastically.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Rebuilding a Carburetor

Something was definitely wrong with Ginny. I'm not sure if it's something I said or what but... she left me stranded. She broke down and refused to start and I learned a valuable lesson... never test ride a bike farther than you're willing to push it home.
Once back in familiar surroundings (i.e my driveway), she just wouldn't run right. Hard to start, when she did, would only run on choke.... all signs pointed to the carb.  I was hesitant to tear into it as it had run so well before but, what to do? A rebuild was in order.

Ordered up the "Master" rebuild kit and printed out the instructions from S&S... let's see how bad we can mess this up!

Actually, it wasn't quite that bad. With the instructions and parts diagrams, it came apart quite easily. 

When I took apart the cover for the accelerator pump... EWW! Not quite sure what the hell all that business is but it might be part of my problem! 

Anyway, tore apart the rest of the carb to its constituent parts. Now, how to clean it?

I know, I have an ultrasonic cleaner from one of my "other" hobbies, let's wash the bitch in that!!

So, before we go much further. I'd like to point out the back page of the book visible in the last pic. That certainly was not intentional. However, I found it quite amusing to see it upon writing this. 

If you need an explanation, if you care, it is a book I was reading at the time. It happens to be Saki (a.k.a. H. H. Monroe) "The Chronicles of Clovis" that I picked up at a used book store a few week prior. Hilarious stories to me, probably not your thing.... 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... There were some subtleties in rebuilding it. But I definitely have to give credit, in addition to the S&S manual, I also relied on the write up from Wrench at BikerNet.com. (Thanks for posting that!)

It's finally all back together, now just hope to get some time soon to bolt her back up, and see if Ginny forgives me.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Hundo Club

Welcome to the Hundo Club! No, this isn't more complaining about the 100+ temperatures. This is to celebrate a milestone! This post counts as my 100th post on this blog!!!

InstagramFor this special occasion, I thought I'd share a few new things. For starters, I'm finally on Instagram. Follow me @InebriatedEngineer, I promise it will be just as lame as this blog.

To go with my newly revamped image as a social media maven (that's sarcasm, by the way), I thought I needed a few new logos. The first needed to be something simple that I could use in a few other projects geared at getting the word out about this place. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the few of you who stop by on occasion, but it'd be nice to reach more people than would fit in a mid size sedan.

So for a start, how about some stickers. I fucking love stickers.

The next logo was just something I did for fun. While walking back to our ride after leaving the East Side Classic, Mike and I walked by this curious piece of graffiti. If you're familiar with the area, I'm sure you've seen it. 

(Photo stolen from Michael Connell Photography. Visit his site, especially his car and bike show photos.)

With a little time in Gimp and my very basic photo editing skills, I came up with this guy. For now I only use it as avatar on the few forums I frequent.

Not sure what else I'd use it for, like I said it was just for fun. Though, it has crossed my mind to do something nice for you, my inaugural readership. Maybe some limited edition "Hundo Club" t-shirts?

Hold on, before you think I'm being way too generous, I know there are like three of you total. Seriously. Oh well, it was a thought.

Anyway, if you've read any of my posts prior to this: thank you!

If you've did that and yet came back again: thank you very much!!

I've you've read all of my posts up until this point: Mom, quit stalking me on the Internet. I'll call you Sunday.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Triple Digits, New Parts for Ginny, and Caroline goes on the Chopping Block.

No one wants to hear yet another person complaining about the triple digit temperatures here in Austin. It's hot, we get it. I am from Texas so I am "used" to these temperatures, but it doesn't mean it doesn't suck after more than a couple days. Not enough to want to leave Texas, but that's another story.

In the meantime, I have been up to my usual nonsense though not enough at any one time worth posting about. I have been working on another project as well (inside, where it's air conditioned) that is unrelated yet quite related to my usual stuff, but I'll post more on that later.

I've taken a couple weeks off of casting because no one, even I, wants to stand over a 1500*F furnace when it's still 100*F outside at 10PM. I am anxious to get back to that but not before the mercury drops a bit.

I have also worked in some time to get a few small things done on Ginny. Again, it's too hot even in the garage to get much done at one time but I have gotten several of the little things accomplished when I had a few minutes. Each was just a small item, most of which unworthy of an individual post so I've grouped them here.

I cleaned up the spark plug wiring as I mentioned in my previous post. 

I also was able to get the new throttle cables installed. This was something I tried to do before PMR but it seemed like the cables I ordered had just a hair too little free play to be able to get them them to seat. After studying them for a little bit, I realized I could removed the spacer under the cable seats at the carburetor. 

This gave me a little more slack than I needed but I was able take it up with the adjusters. It also solved a second issue I was having with the cables rubbing against the after market tank.


While she was up on the lift, I decided to install the kicker support bracket (I still don't know why one of the POs removed it) and also to swap in a new rear brake cable.
I also tightened up the fork stem but decided to hold off on replacing the leaky fork seal because A) I couldn't remember which one it was and B) I forgot to buy a new seal. That's something I can do with it on the motorcycle jack anyway so time to free up the lift.

Finally, she's back on the ground! It was a little too late the other night while I was doing this to fire her up so that'll have to wait for later.

Since I was moving bikes around though... I decided it wasn't too late to fire up the tiddler (a.k.a. CL70).

I'll be taking this little guy out to the Harvest Classic again this year so I wanted to knock some of the dust off it. I'm sure the neighbors didn't really appreciate me zipping round the neighborhood in the middle of the night on it but at least it wasn't an Ironhead.

Speaking of, my final task of the the evening was to put Caroline on the lift and start making decisions about what pieces I need and what to sell.

She does look kind of sad awaiting her fate.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dad's junk drawer saves the day again!

So when I brought home Caroline... (Have I mentioned that before? The 77's name is 'Caroline'.)  When I brought her home... one thing that was apparent was that the handlebars weren't quite bolted down.

I even cautioned my friends that helped me unload her, the bars were stripped, don't use them for leverage.

Tonight I finally got a chance to look at them. I'd assumed the risers were stripped out but, upon closer inspection, they were just missing nuts.

So what to do now?  Oh yeah, Dad's junk drawer! 

It took some rummaging around... 

Not only did I find the nuts I needed, I found nylock nuts to fit! That's far better spec than I needed but will serve it's purpose well. 

Dammit, thank you Dad. I miss you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trying to revive that old spark....

I know it sounded like I made big promises when I made my 'ode' but... I've been busy with a shit ton of other projects. Maybe I'll post about those but... most likely not. You don't need to know about all the things I do.

Anywho... I thought I'd probably get around to fixing the spark with ol' Ginny. If you may recall, my last jaunt involved a late night trip to Autozone and a purchase of a set of plug wires for a Honda.

They were a bit over sized but some zip ties took care of that. They actually worked and I was happy.  I intended to buy the popper cables the next morning but... that hangover sucked.

Tonight I finally got around to it.... Took the previous cables, cut them to size.

With a little help from the Taylor Cable kit... got it all crimped. 

Now... I've got some custom spark plug cables!!! Okay, I'll admit, they do look a bit better than my original job. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Date Night at TechShop

Last night I was able to convince Mrs. IE to go with me to the "Date Night" workshop at TechShop. Normally, this isn't her "thing" but I'm glad I was able to convince her to go. I had fun and I think she had a great time working with metal and especially the tools.

Hamming it up with the plasma torch.

Tearing it up with the plasma torch. I think I know what someone is getting for Christmas!

Cutting out the leaves on the Beverly shear (and sporting the Great White Bison t-shirt!).

Showing off her handiwork. That's the beautiful face I married!

And the finished product... I think they came out very good and am pleased with how well we both did. We'll definitely be looking out for the next date night at TechShop.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ode to Ginny

Ginny, I'm sorry. I know I haven't been there for you lately. I know there are things you need.

I've been busy with... other things. But that's no excuse and I'm ready to make that right.

I'm... I'm ready to give you control.

I want to help you keep clean.

I want to give you that "spark" back that I... no, no WE... both know you've been missing.

I want to give you back things that others have taken from you but you deserve.

 I want to return to you things that we both thought were gone forever but, through great friends were brought back to us both.

But most importantly, Ginny, I want to give to you all the small things you may not have missed but that I know you so desperately need.

Ginny, I... I love...

Ah, shit. I've got a lot of work to do.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Back from the Show Class Magazine Release party.

So I just got back from the Show Class Magazine release party at the lost well.

I was literally  planning to subscribe last week when I happened to hear about the party.

I'd never been to Lost Well (or even when it was Love Joy's) but I figured what the heck. I put on my standard plaid button up shirt (inside joke) and jumped in the cager. (One of these days I'll stop obsessing over casting and finish the last couple of things on Ginny.)

When I showed up, I wasn't exactly sure I was in the right place.

Granted it was only 3:25pm so I didn't expect the place to be hopping just yet. So, being that it was a bar, I ventured in to at least have a beer while things picked up. Inside I was greeted with several familiar, friendly faces which was a relief.

Outside, in the patio area, I was greeted by several more including the Great White Bison. If you haven't been to his website, you definitely need to check him out.

I hung out for a bit, had a couple of beers, and then headed home for the nights shenanigans. The crowd definitely picked up while I was there.

Anyway, I picked up some pretty cool stuff including the current, Texas issue of SCM as well the previous two issues. You know I couldn't pass up the coozie and t-shirt as well.

I also grabbed a copy of volume one of Bison's book for Mike (I'm told volume two comes out next month!) as well as one of his shirts for Mrs. IE. 

It was a great afternoon. Now it's time to blow some stuff up!  Happy 4th everybody!