Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fixing the Dump Truck

I spent three years fixing up an old boat, and now I'm fixing up old equipment here in Bleecker.  Moving an old trailer, fixing an old backhoe, and now fixing an old dump truck.

We tried to move the dump truck many weeks ago but the tank for the air brakes had leaks.  When a truck with air brakes loses air pressure, the brakes are locked on.  To fix it, Earl and I had to remove the tank, plug the holes, and reinstall the tank.

Thankfully, big trucks have good ground clearance.  I could get myself under there without too much trouble.  I disconnected three air lines from the tank.  Back on the outside, I used a nut splitter to get the nuts off the t-bolts holding the straps on.  With  everything off, it just hung there, suspended.   It took a crowbar to get it out.  It was wedged in with a few decades of dirt and rust.

Earl has an air compressor.  Actually, Earl has at least one of everything.  We pumped the tank up to about 60 pounds pressure and found a pin hole leak.

We drilled it out, tapped it, and screwed in a small pipe fitting.  You can see it on the upper left of the tank.  Then we filled it again, this time to 100 PSI.   I heard another hissing sound.  Another leak.

Earl was out of small pipe fittings, but not ingenuity.  He had a jar full of grease fittings which have NPT threads.  He welded up the hole in the bottom of the grease fitting, and we drilled and tapped another hole and screwed it in.   You can see this little plug in that row of big ones.  I told Earl that we should maybe cut the nipple off so I don't try to grease it.   He just gave me one of those Earl looks.

We pumped it up to 100 PSI again and everything held.

We took the tank back to the truck.  I got under the truck and lifted the tank into place while Earl attached the straps with the new t-bolts that he welded up.  We attached the air hoses with some difficulty, but got them on.   I fired up the old dump truck and the brakes pressurized.   Happy days!

"Turn it off," said Earl.


"We've got a big gas leak."

After some examination, we found that the fitting that the gas line attaches to on the carburetor was stripped.  That will take some ingenuity to fix another day.   We was whooped.  Well, I was anyway.    It was hot, humid, and beer-thirty.

While cooling off in Earl's screen house with a couple of PBRs, I noticed an Adirondack Tarantula, a wolf spider, I think.  They're big.   They don't weave nests, but capture prey such as beetles, cockroaches, caterpillars, and other large insects.  Sadly, I saw him totally ignore a big mosquito.

I think we're taking today off.  Judi (Earl's wife) and Pam told us that it's too hot for a couple of old coots like us to be out playing with heavy equipment.  So today we may hie ourselves over to Caroga Lake to visit an old friend.  An old friend with a beautiful old home on the lake, with a cool breezy old porch.

Friday, which is forecast to be the hottest day so far this year, is moving day.  Pam reserved a U-Haul truck and we're going to empty out our storage unit into TODD the Trailer.  We've kind of forgotten all that's in there.  It will be like going to a garage sale, only it's our stuff, and it's free.

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