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Indian Mo' Pumps Three

September 14th, 2008  · stk

NewsBrief: [Many Water Pumps] When the water pump went out on the 1983 Honda Accord, Scott reflects about how many water pumps they own • [Indian Summer] Scott scrambles to do outdoor projects, while the weather remains dry and warm • [Week Three] College football week three. Penn State remains unbeaten • [Mo' Boats] Scott and Rachel consider purchasing two ocean-touring kayaks.

Many Water Pumps

Nanaimo, BC - Scott and Alex were on their way to Canadian Tire, to buy motor oil (on sale for $10/gallon). They were driving on the Island Parkway, a busy 4-lane "highway" (it has stoplights), that rims the city, clicking along at 100 kilometers per hour in the Hutton House Honda. Suddenly, the engine started howling, the battery light came on and smoke started coming out from the engine compartment.

Scott pulled the little Honda Accord hatchback over to the side of the road and looked under the hood. Something was wrong, but heck if he could see what it was. He tried starting the twenty-five year old car, but all that happened was a horrible screetching sound and billows of acrid smoke.

When he looked into the engine compartment again, he could see the fan belt, smoldering where it wrapped around the engine drive shaft.

"Hmmm," he thought, "it's either the alternator, or the water pump. He tugged at the fan belt a bit, noticing that the alternator apppeared to be spinning OKAY.

He pulled Alex out of the car, walked up a side road to a business that was open, borrowed a phone and woke-up Rachel, who was just crawling into bed after a night shift at the hospital. The conversation was terse, "We broke down and need you to come rescue us. Bring some tools. (Brief description of tools followed. Describing tools to someone who doesn't know their names is a challenge.)

After about 40 minutes, Rachel arrived and Scott proceeded to get greasy. He pulled off the belt and discovered that the water pump shaft was wobbly and wouldn't spin. The car needed a water pump.

We drove it to the nearest repair shop, without the belt (running on battery power and without a water pump). Fortunately, it was close. The temperature gauge was nearing "uncomfortably hot", by the time they got there.

The repair shop didn't know if they could do the work, could it wait till Monday? (They had a backlog of work for Saturday and weren't open on Sunday). They also looked at how much time it was estimated to take, assuming it was a water pump - 2 hours. (The estimate for repair was between $300 and $400 - 2 hours of labor at $92/hr, plus a $60 water pump, plus a new fan belt, plus taxes ... OUCH!)

Instead, the car was towed 27 kilometers, back to the Hutton House ($80), where it now sits. A new water pump was purchased at a nearby auto parts shop (Lordco - $44), along with a new belt ($22).

Three guesses as to what Scott will be doing on Sunday. :|

There are 5 water pumps, at the Hutton House. One in each of two vehicles, one in the corporate yacht "Blue Yonder" and two (big pumps) in the water well - one downhole and one uphole.

"Geez," Scott said, "That's too many water pumps."

Indian Summer

Hutton House - "The best summer weather on Vancouver Island," explains Scott, "has mostly come in September."

A stable, high-pressure system has hung over much of British Columbia since late August. Clear, warm, dry days have predominated, accompanied by clear, cool nights.

Scott has been trying to take advantage of the weather, while it lasts, working feverishly to complete outdoor projects.

"It won't last forever," he said, "and when the rains come, it'll likely mean the end of the good weather and the beginning of a wet, drizzly, cold winter. The woodshed is filled with about three cords of wood.

"We know winter is coming ... and we're taking advantage of the good weather, while it lasts!"

Week Three

Hutton House, BC - Week three of college football is over. The Big 10, who won all their matches the week before, didn't fare as well, this week.

Arguably the best football game of the weekend was a Big 10 - Pac 10 match-up, but no, it wasn't the heavily anticipated and touted game between (#1) USC and (#5) Ohio State. That game turned out to be a runaway rout, as USC clearly demonstrated why they're #1, rolling to a 35-3 victory. Had I watched the game, it's unlikely I would have stuck around past the end of the first quarter.

Instead, it was (#16) Oregon at unranked Purdue. The Purdue Boilermakers jumped to an early lead and held it, until late in the 4th quarter. It took the Oregon Ducks two overtimes to finally come out on top by a touchdown. The final score was 32-26 and the Ducks flew home, lucky to have narrowly escaped a defeat.

Another good game was between Notre Dame and Michigan, with Notre Dame capitalizing on Michigans mistakes, winning 35-17.

(#17)Penn State dominated Syracuse, putting the game away early and rolling over the Orangemen 55-13.

The rest of the Big 10 fared well, though (#10) Wisconsin barely squeaked by up-and-coming (#21) Fresno State by a score of 13-10, in a clearly defensive battle.

Next week, Penn State faces Temple at Beaver Stadium. Go Lions!

Mo' Boats

Nanaimo, BC - When you live an active lifestyle and make your home in the Pacific Northwest, one can't have too many boats. At least, that's what Scott and Rachel say, as they're looking to add two "new" boats to the growing Randsco fleet (currently at four).

The boats under consideration this time are two ocean-going, expedition-level kayaks.

Alberni Outpost, one of the local kayak tour outfitters and retailers, is selling off their 2008 rental fleet. There are a number of kayaks still available, both at their Nanaimo location and their Port Alberni location.

The models that are peaking Scott and Rachel's interest are the Current Designs "Storm GT" and the Necky "Looksha 17". Both have excellent tracking, stability and windage characteristics and capable of storing enough gear for serious, multi-day kayaking expeditions.

The couple indicated that they'd likely purchase the roto-molded plastic versions, which are a little heaviers than their fiberglass counterparts.

"Plastic is less expensive," explained Scott, "But it's also more forgiving and bomb-proof. With all the sandstone and rock beaches around here, plastic make sense. You can scrape it up and if it gets really bad, it's fairly simple to repair ... just dribble a bit of heated plastic into the gouge and sand it down.

The couple will be heading into Nanaimo (which vehicle they use, may be a question mark) to look at the condition of the models in which they are interested. Most boats in the Alberni rental fleet are 2008 models, with only a year of rental usage.

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1.flag Gary Comment
09/16/08
Sorry to hear of the bad luck with the car, its a good job your a dab hand at everything and I am sure you will have it fixed in no time at all.

I wouldn't know what to do with a car if the pump went, in-fact I wouldn't even be able to locate the pump ( I guess they are still in the engine bay :) )

Our weather over here in the UK is not up to much, its not that cold but its just damp and miserable today.

Hey I hope you get your new boats, you certainly like to paddle on those rivers, and what good exercise as well as seeing such wonderful scenery.

Take it easy,
Gz
2.flag stk Comment
09/16/08
Got the car sorted on Sunday. It took pretty much all of the 2 hours the shop folks said it would (had to take off the A/C compressor, compressor mount, take apart the front engine mount AND the timing belt cover - just to remove the old water pump). :|

Having a shop manual helps! :D

Looked back over our records and it turned out that I'd replaced the water pump back in Jan 2007. The buggered one only had 20k+ miles on it. :(

Why can't they make things to last? (Figured with the $80 tow job, it cost about $150 + a well-deserved six-pack of beer - to get the water pump replaced at home. Beats the $300-400 estimate!) :D
3.flag Gary Comment
09/16/08
Nice one Scott, glad you got it sorted and with a smile on your face and a beer in your hand you still have money in the bank to spare as well !

Its nice to do the job yourself and save money, I couldn't have done it with the manual nor a bloke stood over me telling me what to do!

Well done,

Gz