That’s right, I just spent 30 minutes writing a post and it was lost into the ether. Of course it was filled with fascinating and amusing anecdotes that will be completely impossible to recapture. I should probably just quit right now before I even start, but against my better judgement I will forge ahead. The fiasco of the lost post is largely due to our sketchy internet service. We only have a temporary service working at the moment until we receive our replacement satellite modem. We returned from our 7 week shut down to find a few things broken, one of which was the satellite modem. It’s difficult to find a replacement, but we have one coming in next month that the company is sending as a free upgrade.
Another broken thing we discovered was the clutch on the red 3.5 ton Daihatsu truck. It was very odd because the truck was working perfectly when we left. It turns out that the clutch disk RUSTED to the flywheel! No matter what we did we couldn’t get the rust to break free until we physically removed the transmission and took off the entire clutch assembly. It turns out the clutch was worn out anyway, so we replaced the whole mechanism. We got the whole thing taken care of for under $400 which is the kind of repair I don’t mind.
So how did the clutch disk RUST to the flywheel? Well, we drive through a lot of water on deliveries, so a certain amount of moisture and rust in the clutch is inevitable. However, it turns out a plug was missing. There are 3 plugs on the bell housing which cover up inspection holes. One on the top, one on the side, and one on bottom. Turned out, the one on the top was missing, allowing rain to pass between the cab and the bed and straight into the clutch. The one on bottom remained firmly in place. When I removed it, about 3 liters of water soaked the ground next to my head. We plan on having a well-drained clutch in the future. My solution? Removing the plug from the bottom of the transmission and placing it in the hole on the top. Problem solved.
The next problem has been an ongoing one and surprisingly difficult to solve. 2 big mango trees died in 2008 and since then we have been using a tarp to shade that part of the work yard. Every big wind storm, the tarp tears and I have to buy a new tarp. I would guess we have gone through 8-10 tarps since 2008. Last week we put up a new tarp. There was a wind storm that night and the next morning the new tarp was in shreds. The standard solutions that come to mind don’t work. The sun is WAY too hot to have the workers out their unshielded, and it is undesirable to build a big, covered shelter with roofing tin because of both the expense and our desire to move the mission to another location some time in the next few years. Got any ideas? At this point, I’m looking for a stronger tarp but maybe our blog readers can put their heads together and come up with a more sophisticated solution.
I hope you have found my post interesting. I’m actually cringing as I reach for the “publish” button because it’s clear there isn’t much interesting going on here. I personally found the RUSTED clutch very interesting, but I know most of our blog readers aren’t interested in auto mechanics. I’m counting this period as a blessing, however – “May you live in interesting times” is a curse, after all, and I’m happy as can be just plugging away at the filter project and saving lives. “Interesting Things” so often means hurricanes or violent protests or (God forbid) earthquakes so lets just keep things boring, shall we?