Autumn stuff…

When Big Brother and I finished the porch roof in Spring 2019 and I could comfortably sit outside on warm evenings, flying bugs permitting, I quickly learned that long before the solstice the evening sun peeks out from around the cabin and directly into my eyes until it gets low enough to filter through my little juniper grove. I thought about it all that summer, then in Spring of 2020 I did something about it…


…with some landscape cloth I had scavenged from somewhere. Worked pretty well, too – I had to fiddle with the hooks and finally replace one with a screw eye before it stopped blowing the grommets off the hooks every time the wind blew, but other than that it served its purpose and one other purpose as well that I hadn’t considered…


The front bedroom window came from a salvage yard, and I learned the first time the storm wind came from the north that it leaks like a sieve. That was an occasional problem until I put up the sun shade, which breaks the heavy rain into bitty bits of rain that the window can handle. So even if I’m not planning to spend evenings out on the porch I leave the shade up until Monsoon is good and gone. But this morning I figured it was time to take it down – although it’s more useful than expected for the rain I doubt it would appreciate a snow load.

And speaking of that front window…


…which, as I mentioned, leaks a lot, I finally put out the cash I needed to seal it with shrink plastic. I’ve wanted to do that basically every winter since the addition went up in 2017 and window kits are cheap – but the heat gun you need to shrink the plastic isn’t, and until now I couldn’t bring my cheap-ass self to spend the money. But now I’ve got the tool, so we’ll see how much difference it makes to heating the bedroom. I’m guessing it’ll be noticeable.

On the Jeep front…


I think I know the problem. I can’t fix it, but so far whenever it recurs I’ve been able to treat it and get reverse working again. There’s been a fluid pressure problem for several years, making it hard for the transmission to stay in gear when the system is cold and the Jeep is trying to go uphill. I told the shop guys about it before the half-assed rebuild, and of course they ignored me. They replaced the broken drivetrain parts and no doubt rebuilt the clutch packs but otherwise clearly didn’t do much of anything else. Anyway, there’s something sticking in the valve body and it’s apparently because there’s not enough system pressure to unstick it. But I’ve found that if I brake torque the engine in Park – which when the transmission is acting up is stuck in some rolling gear – the problem corrects itself. The problem has recurred twice since the transmission magically fixed itself a month or two ago, and both times I’ve been able to get it back to normal just by doing that. So for now at least, I have reverse whenever I want it. Don’t trust it to keep working, of course, because I already fell for that once.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Autumn stuff…

  1. Phssthpok says:

    Um… you do realize that you don’t need a dedicated ‘heat gun’, yes? A cheap ($10 at wally world https://tinyurl.com/e22mcn96 ) hair dryer will do those shrink kits a treat.

  2. Joel says:

    I do know that. But for all other purposes I need a hair dryer like a fish needs a bicycle and sometimes I have found myself wanting a real heat gun. So it made sense not to go cheap. 

  3. Robert says:

    Rebuild/brake torque/clutch packs… these words make me think Joel is a handy guy to know.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Joel. What size is that window? I have a few old storm windows, basically an aluminum frame with two panes that can be slid open. This screws into the outside of the window frame creating a double pane setup. If one is the right size, will pack it up and send it to you. Measure the window including wood outer frame or at least 1-1/4 inch past the moving parts of what you have on all sides. so glass part and moving parts and fixed outer framework. Maybe we get lucky, maybe not.

    As to the jeep, I seem to recall there is some stuff you can toss into the trans that will un-gum sticking valve bodies and improve seals. Don’t know how high a mileage you have, but check these out https://www.thedrive.com/reviews/28242/best-transmission-additives

  5. Spud says:

    Could be that one of those pesky check balls are sticking , because the plate in the valve body gets worn enough that they drop in but don’t wanna pop back out. Real common in GM products, couldn’t really say for certain on Jeep stuff tho

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the plastic sheeting over the windows will have a good effect on heating. It’s similar to what I’ve done. A few years ago, I framed some clear plexiglass to add to the window’s R value. To keep the frames in place, I added magnetic backing to the inserts and along the edges of the windows. It was a big surprise at how much my heating cost shrank.

    As for the jeep, the use of additives to unstick the check balls is also a good idea.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shading cloth like that was the only way I could grow corn in Arizona. Direct hot sun would just fry them, no matter how much water they had. Once I shaded the garden plot, the corn grew like crazy. I suppose the same would apply to all living things…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I notice that the commenting system changed………

  9. Anonymous says:

    Joel. Is everything ok

  10. Anonymous says:

    Joel, I presume there’s a high probability that the lack of posts may have something to do with the blogger account, since the commenting login changed (I can no longer sign in with Google) at the same time you disappeared? God forbid you dropped your Jeep on yourself!

  11. Joel says:

    Everything’s okay, guys. I’ve just been cocooning and trying to regain use of my left arm. Sorry I’ve ignored the blog but it’s only because nothing is going on. I’m going out this morning to get some stuff done, so I’ll try to find some post fodder.

To the stake with the heretic!