Tag Archives: car

adventures in transporting a giant pole for the treehouse spiral staircase.

adventures in transporting a giant pole for the treehouse spiral staircase. I.

i’m making progress on the treehouse spiral staircase and found a suitably long pole to build upon. and now i’m either going to make it 35 miles home with 7 feet of a 16 foot pole sticking out of my car without incident or I’m going to have a really good story!

the hardware store lumber dude who helped me load it in the car with a forklift exclaimed, “THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!” which i took to mean he did not often load 16 foot poles into cars.

the optimistic twine amuses me. i don’t really think it’s going to do much to stop the pole from sliding out of the car on a steep hill ( and there are a lot of steep hills between the store and home ) but i felt like it had to do something.

adventures in transporting a giant pole for the treehouse spiral staircase. II.

[ later] well that was exciting! I forgot to bring something to weigh down the pole in the car. with about half of it out of the car it was on a natural pivot point so I had to actively hold it down for 35 miles which made shifting pretty tricky! If I ever find myself in need on transporting 16 foot pole again, I’ll definitely remember to bring something to weigh it down!

the results from beta testing the roofbag.

the results from beta testing the roofbag.

the beta test of the roof bag is a resounding success. we did learn that you want to fill up the bag as much as you can to get the straps to proper tightness and to avoid the sound of the bag deforming in the breeze. if you don’t have it completely full then we found it’s best to have space all filled up in the front of the bag, again to avoid excess bag flapping noise. some people said they had problems with strap noise with other soft carriers, but we’re old hats at straps from hauling canoes around and know there’s a bit of an art to getting them juuuuuuuuust tight enough to not flap but not so tight that the wind makes them “whine”. so no strap noise for us.

works for us! very affordable ( i think we got it for $60 on sale), easy to put on and take off, provides lots of extra storage for trips which gives us enough room to put the two dogs comfortably in the back ( which they loved! ). and there was even room of the roof to strap on a christmas tree for the ride home! the christmas tree is only being help on by “friction” of straps from the roofbag, so hopefully it stays put for the 6 hour drive!

about the only downside that i i can think of, is it doesn’t present much of an obstacle to theft so on multiday trips or while taking extended time away from the car during a trip, i’m not sure how comfortable i would be having our possessions a knife slit way from being stolen. but that’s not our most common “use case” which is simply taking long day trips from point A to point B which as few stops as we can manage 🙂

326/365. beta testing the roofbag.

326/365. beta testing the roofbag.

on longer trips, especially since we take frida mostly everywhere with us, we’re often wanting more space in the car. on a trip to maine we saw a car with one of these roofbags and it looked like it might do the trick; affordable, waterproof, easy to put on and take off, and made in the USA.

we’re dog sitting for an extended period of time so on this trip to the upper peninsula of michigan it made even more sense to try out the roof bag so we could have both of the dogs in the space where the luggage would normally go.

so far, so good, although the dogs are a little confused 😃

will our luggage be scattered all over US 2? who knows!

298/365. when it rains it pours ( a galaxie 500 repair clue ).

298/365. when it rains it pours ( a galaxie 500 repair clue ).

the old ford doesn’t usually give me too much trouble ( yes, i know i just had to put in a new oil pressure gauge line but that was probably 20 to 25 years old and i probably should have just proactively replaced it years ago. ), but i think i Got A Clue to another repair.

today i was running errands and it started to rain and she went from starting very easily to starting very, very, very, very hard. i’ve learned over the years to pay close attention to any changes in noise, vibrations, smells or whatever because they usually Mean Something. suddenly starting hard in a driving rain could be a coincidence, but odds are it’s not.

my guess is that it’s probably time for a new distributor cap and/or rotor? because i’ve been blogging for 16 years, i know precisely when i last got a new cap and rotor. ten years ago, july 2005, in amsterdam new york, while driving back from maine during a “hilarious” incident when the unsecured(?) battery fell off its mount, hit the fan blade and sprayed battery acid all over the engine compartment. fun times 🙂

side note 1: i’m glad i have a first printing of the 1965 ford galaxie 500 shop manual. it comes in handy! also, super weird how close it’s aged cover matches our aged end tables.

side note 2: you can still click on the images to that 10 year old story even thought the image embeds are broken. flickr changed some things and it’s a reminder that i need to write some server side magic to make older embeds work. )

installing a new oil pressure gauge line in the galaxie 500!

installing a new oil pressure gauge line in the galaxy 500! I.

i found the cause of the oil leak in the galaxie and determined i could remove the broken line without draining the oil so i installed the new line that i purchased at our local auto parts store for 10 bucks.

there wasn’t much space to work, so i lucked out when i discovered the new part just screwed into the old part directly attached to the engine block. it would have been tricky to remove.

installing a new oil pressure gauge line in the galaxie 500! II.

the other end of the line attaches to the oil pressure gauge mounted under the dash. i attached the line with a new appreciation for the fact that this means i’m pumping pressurized oil into the cabin of the car. what could possibly go wrong!

i started the car and was happy to not find oil leaking out of the gauge and all over the floor 🙂

success! the pressure seems about right while the car is idling, though i wonder if i’m supposed to bleed the air out of the line. i’m not sure how to do that without getting oil all over the place so good enough for now!

part of the reason why i love having a 50 year old car is that i can fix many things on my own without needing fancy computers or equipment.