Stair railing

Our neighbor Tyler came by and helped me install the first part of the railing on the stairs. I havn’t finished making the easy section yet but the harder one is done. It still needs a handrail attached to the top.

Lost ring

Today I was changing a spark plug on a 4.6L Romeo engine with coil on plug. As the story goes my wedding ring fell off and slid down the bore in the cylinder head that the spark plugs live in. It managed to fit between the spark plug and the bore wall with the top of the ring level with the top of the part of the spark plug that the socket turns. The pictures below make it look not too bad, the reality of it was that it was cold outside and the hole it fell into was the second from the front on an Econoline van. I could not even tell if it was in there until I forced a camera through the maze of stuff on top of the engine to take a picture. It took four hours to get it out. I tried putting grease on the socket to get the ring to stick to it, it just about worked but would always fall back in. I tried dental picks, mechanics wire, snare wire. Gold doesn’t stick to magnets. The solution was to grind a socket so that it’s outside diameter was less than the inside diameter of the ring so that I could remove the spark plug then use a pick to remove the ring.

Jet tub repair

Our Maxx jet tub has stopped pumping water, I’m not sure when it happened as we haven’t used it for a few months at least. If I had to guess I’d say it’s been 4 months since it was last used.  Well I looked on the internet for a fix, it seems that a few people have the same problem but nobody has put the cure online. Well not exactly no one, there were a few people who suggested that it needed a motor starting capacitor.

Well here’s my story, it only hums and it does not have a capacitor to start the motor.  The first picture shows the tub that I found in the picture archives, I used it to take the best guess of where to cut an access hole in the drywall. I decided to cut on the pump side rather than the motor side of the stud.

I then removed the fittings and piping from the pump and tried to stick my fingers in the inlet and outlet to see if I could turn the impellor by hand, I couldn’t.  I then removed the four screws that hold both the pump together, and to the motor. This allowed me to remove half the pump housing and to turn the impellor, it was stiff but turned. I further loosened the lag bolts that fastened the motor to the tub frame and pulled the assembly through the access hole. There is a hole in the fan end of the motor that a flat screwdriver can be inserted through to hold the armature so that the impellor can be spun off the armature shaft (right hand thread). I further pulled the impellor from the pump housing and inspected the seals. I found the ceramic seal had melted it’s self  to the mating seal. Sorry there’s no picture, I didn’t think of writing about this until after it was fixed. The ceramic seal is white and should not be stuck to anything, I had to pry mine off the seal it rides against. I then reassembled everything and filled it with water. Checked for leaks then put an access panel in place. And all works fine. I hope this helps someone fix their pump.

Then I ate some of these adobo flavored fried corn things that I bought at the lucky food mart today they were very good.

Grand Forks

Today I went to Grand Forks, ND to eat mexican food and purchase things that can’t be found in Canada. I went to Paradiso’s in Grand Forks, it was very good. I also bought Cherry Coke, Doritos, and some Chi-Chi’s stuff.

Camping in Kenora

I did some camping with a few of our friends in Kenora, it was a good time and the fishing was much better. The most exciting fish was a large northern pike, and yes they are good to eat. It’s not very hard to fillet them so that they have no bones in the meat.

 The pictures below show the campsite after partial packing for leaving, and the Mexican restaurant I ate breakfast at in Kenora, it was excellent.


Today we went to Nutimik Lake with our neighbors. We fished all day and didn’t catch much, actually we took nothing home, but I think we all had a good day. I caught a mooneye.

42mm hail vs our garden

The first three pictures ore from earlier this week. I found this herbicide advertisement under my truck’s rear fuel tank, it was used instead of tank straps which is why my tank leaks. The next pictures are the hydro electric dam at seven sisters.

The following pictures are from the storm that we had today. I thought something was going to happen so I took a few last pictures of the garden and a few of the clouds. The dark cloud was the one that brought the tornado to Oakbank. The white cloud didn’t amount to much. The following pictures are of the garden after the hail that we got. The hail was 42mm across. I was taking pictures in the backyard and there was so much lightning that I thought I should come in. Then the hail came so hard and loud, it was pretty exciting.


90 Jetta rebuild

I’ve started to disassemble the transmission and engine of our newer Jetta.

I’ve found fifth gear worn (was run with low transmission fluid), and the bearing on the tip of the output shaft was worn as well. I’ve drilled the rivets that hold the ring gear to the differential and I will replace them with ARP bolts. I also bought an overhaul kit which came with bearings seals, and gaskets.

The engine had 125 PSI of compression in cylinder number 4. I’ve found the cylinder had worn 0.017″ which wore the piston lands and allowed the upper compression ring to cock in the lands and break the piston. The head also has cracks between the valves, a new one is $1500+ from VW, I think I’m going to reuse this one.

For those who are interested in specs. : 90 Jetta, 1.6 IDI Turbo Diesel code MF, 020 5 Speed Transaxle Code 4S.