Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Aw nuts!" ::and bolts::

The past few days I've had the chance to open up the bike a little bit and see a little more of the situation. I have to say... it's a mess. I mean... its a mess in a lot of wonderful ways... just like big scabs are a mess. They themselves may be messy, but picking them ripe feels very very purifying.

The oil I'm holding up here was not put into a dirty jug... it really looks that way. Chalky brown. The gasket behind the right side cover was basically completely shot ... visible gaps, especially on the top. I mean... I am definitley not gifted in this particular art, but even I know that chaco soil isn't exactly a beneficial oil additive for finely machined parts. I can't feel the grit in the oil, but was nonetheless shocked.

So... once upon a time this was a really nice bike... but I'm finding exactly how many times in the past few years it's been jerry rigged. Things precariously held on by strands of wire, stripped out and cross-threaded bolts, etc. It's got lots of scabs to pick. Thus far that has made the work satisfying rather than too terribly trying. I am working at my pace, as students are able to stay and help (so far only one, really. Many things will become more plain, I think, once we get it back up and rolling again. For today... there are cables, filters, and gaskets to replace, parts to clean, fluids to change, and an incomplete, 10 year-old spoke set to have replaced. The picture here shows a number of things too small to see. For starters, the assortment of bolts in my hand are mismatched ones that were holding the removed cover in place. Many are stripped out. There are three different types of heads there. Directly above the hand is another, even more grossly stripped out bolt. The sprocket-looking thing (from the crank?) has a hex-head on it too... half of which is chipped off. You can still see the file lines where someone later attempted to recreate an edge to allow a wrench to grab it. I'm hoping that won't need to come off... but if it does, that's just another one of those little things that's getting replaced if I can get the part ordered for less t han the price of a small child. Oh, someone switched the wiring around too, so that 'neutral' lights up the oil temp warning light instead of the 'neutral' light bulb which I suspect to be burned out and abandoned. I mean... everything works... its just... "what did you have to do to it that last time to make it work?"

Ye mechanically discerning, please feel free to share your insight on this one. I do this to learn, but I usually pay a mechanic some 'tuition' to fix my mistakes by the time things are all working again. Let's just hope bike number 3 is more of a charm than the last 2 were. lol. Blessings.
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