Archive for November, 2001


30 November 2001 at 12:21 am
by Berck

Miata’s differential has been installed! It wasn’t easy, but it was easier than I thought it would be. Manuevering 80lbs of bulky metal to a position 2 feet above the ground while on one’s back under one’s car is difficult. Even when using a cheap hydraulic jack.

In the meantime it seems I’ve got something in my eye, which is driving me nuts.

In addition to reinstalling the differential, I’ve resintalled everything I had to take apart to initially remove it. I was qutie impressed that I spent a minimal amount of time crawling around the garage floor looking parts. As to what goes where, I was a bit worried about finding all the right bolts for the right parts, but that seems to work itself out… When actually putting it back together, it becomes fairly obvious what bolt goes with what. I was just beginning to wonder since I had no idea what went with what by looking at the enormous tupperware container full of them.

I’m not homefree yet, I still must reinstall the timing belt and all associated covers. Completetion of this task depends on waiting for (yet another) shipment from Mazda South containing the tensioner and idler pulleys… which I didn’t realize needed replacing until a few days ago. Which is better than a few days after I put it all back together, I suppose.

Argh.. me eye is troubling me. That’s all for now, then.

27 November 2001 at 11:27 pm
by Berck

Got somewhat bad about this writing thing when people were here. Must be that Red Alert 2 syndrome, or something.

Anyway, it’s back to the normal life of Berck today. Nothing exciting in the mail… My car is still in pieces, and my computer is in shambles.

On Sunday, Dad just thought he’d let me know that there wasn’t a chance that I’d get my differential on Monday. His reasoning? “It’s an automotive repair. This means it will be late and overbudget.”

“But it’s ALREADY late and overbudget!” (i.e., I was supposed to get it back by Wednesday (before thanksgiving)for $100. On wednesday we were up to $450 and Monday.)

“You won’t get it back Monday.”

Sure enough, on Monday, I found a message on my answering machine from Russ at Roswell Mazda. “Berck, this is Russ.. It seems we’ve come up short a few bearings… you should have it by Wednesday, though.”

So, we’ll see what happens on Wednesday.

I seem to have lost my Linux installation. My SCSI harddrive was giving me errors last time I tried to boot from it. I figured it was a result of my Win2k install, but I couldn’t seem to fix it. So I told the BIOS to do a low level format. Which it did. This didn’t make the partition table readable, though. Just non-existent.

Finally tracked the problem to a SCSI cable…

Blue Chronometers

19 November 2001 at 11:44 pm
by Berck

The differential for my car came in the mail today. Interestingly enough, I got home and discovered that I had left my keys at the mailbox. This time I really had, and they were hanging out of the mailbox.

So I took the differential up to Roswell Mazda, a nice 40 mile drive from my house. He said he should be done with it by Wednesday. And then I can start putting things back together, I hope…

I’m really missing being able to drive.

Not a whole lot else happened today. Dad and I went shopping. Bought a turkey.

There’s an audiogalaxy client for linux. It actually works.

18 November 2001 at 6:42 pm
by Berck

It was quite a nice fall day. Even smells like fall. The sky was fairly gray today, I’m not sure why. Now that it’s twilight, it’s very grey. The treeline is grey and brown, the grass is brown. Winter is near. I like the smell of fall. Perhaps better than the small of Spring.

I’ve felt somewhat gloomy today, and didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I’ve never quite figured out why I don’t like Sundays. It’s just an icky day. Everyday has a feeling about it, and I’ve never liked the feeling of Sunday. The Italians are the only ones who seem to make Sundays worthwhile. And darn near the whole time I was in Rome, the weather was beautiful every Sunday. And most every other day, as well. I’d never seen a real spring before then.

I really wanted to go for a drive. (which would have been a rather Italian thing to do..) A nice long drive, maybe drive north to the mountains. But with my car on jackstands, this is hardly something I can do. Driving the exploder isn’t any fun. In fact, it’s a real headache.

Going for a walk might be nice, but I’m not really much of one for strolling about suburbia.

I’d like to get my car back together very much, but who knows when I’ll get all the parts to do it. I hate waiting for parts in the mail. And I’m not even sure my latest order has been shipped.

I probably won’t get it back together until it’ll probably be too bloody cold for a top down ride… But then, it doesn’t get all THAT cold in Atlanta, so you never know.


18 November 2001 at 2:40 am
by Berck

Today was a day of victory. Or at least, the beginnigs of victory.

I woke up at 8am. I’m not sure why, but it rather surprised Dad. I haven’t been sleeping so well lately, maybe it’s because of the ear infection, which is qutie better now. Purple pills….

By 9:30 I was under my car, trying to install new tie rod boots. After removing the tie rod from the tie rod end, I hear and nice “gluck, squish” from the tie rod end. The rubber bit holding the grease around the ball joint had given out, which means I need new tie rod ends. Might as well replace both of them. I’m growing weary of finding parts that need replacing….

After noticing this, I started thinking about my differential… I called one of the guru’s and he said he’d set up the new differential for a $100, if I removed it from the car and brought it to him, which seemed to be a very fair price to me. I didn’t ask what it would be if he removed it, because I somewhow decided that I was going to do it myself.

Sure enough, a few moments later I was unbolting the power plant frame… 5 hours later and lots of cuts, bruises and scrapes, I had the differential sitting in front of the car. Now, we can just hope that I can get it back in the car.

Dad’s so encouraging. He came home and said, “This doesn’t look like an improvement…” He keeps harassing me that I’m never going to be able to get it all back together. And that was before I attempted this feat.

In addition, I made Linux print! To a network printer! This is a damn near unbelievable feat for me. Sure, it SHOULD be simple, but I’ve never managed it before. Took about 2 hours, and there seems to be something not quite right with its queuing… Next linux project: WordPerfect 8 install. I’d also like to convert to Reiser FS, which will involve dumping my system to another hard drive temporarily.. With Linux, this should be nearly trivial..

Anyway, I was planning to do the timing belt install on my car as soon as I got the parts, but I don’t think that’ll happen until I get the differential back in… Without a drivetrain ending in a parking brake, I don’t think I can torque the crank bolt. Unless I come up with some clever way to block the driveshaft from turning.

Quite a nice day out today, as well… Good day for car working. Not hot, but not so cold that I was terribly uncomfortable in a t-shirt.

(See Mom, aren’t you glad you read all that?)
Wonder if I can see any meteors before I go to bed…