Archive for the 'Dave’s Thoughts' Category

25 Apr 2018

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Photos

What a Winter

We seem to have had more snow since Christmas than I can remember for quite a few years.  Lots of snow storms and lots of snow each time. 

Mark had been hired be the neighbours beside us (the corner lot!) to shovel their walks for the winter.  Back in October it seemed like a good idea.  As  January turned to February and then to March and it just kept snowing, he began to feel like he should have asked for more money.

Finally, as May is just around the corner, it seems like spring is here.

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08 Jan 2018

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt

First MG Repair of 2018

Not a very auspicious start to wrenching season – about 4 months before expected! As we were heading out the last Saturday, when we got into the garage, there was a pretty overwhelming smell of gasoline. A quick look under each car revealed the culprit – the MG had decided to mark it’s territory with a substantial puddle of gas. Not really something that can be ignored…

A quick trip to Canadian Tire yielded a few feet of new gas line and some new clamps. Fortunately it was a fairly warm day with a high of about 9°C, but the concrete floor of the garage was nowhere near that warm. I got the MG jacked up and crawled under – it was pretty obvious where the problem was. There is a short section of hose between the metal gas line that runs along the body and the metal line that is connected to a bracket on the engine and eventually to the carb. The hose is there to absorb the differential vibration between engine and body. Or it would do so if 40 years time hadn’t hardened the rubber to the point were there was no give.

The leak was clearly indicated by frozen hydrate crystals where the hose had cracked. That was kind of interesting to see. I managed to replace the hose fairly quickly and also another section that between the metal line and the carb. It took less than and hour and once I was done I fired up the engine and made sure all was good.

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07 Dec 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Sinterklaas 2017

‘Tis the season to make poffertjes!

This past weekend was our annual Langendoen family Christmas gathering. Every year, for the past 11 years, we have set aside the first weekend in December (as close to 5 Dec as possible) to celebrate Sinterklaas with all 15 cousins. This year we added Brenda’s cousin Anna and her family who have moved to Alberta this year. In all we had 31 for much of the weekend. This year we all met a the senior’s center in Rocky Mountain House – it’s wheelchair accessible for Brenda’s Dad and very close to their home, so that worked out very well with lots of room for everyone.

The gathering has changed a lot over the years – five of the kids are adults over the age of 18 now. But many things remain the same as the first time we met up for Sinterklaas in 2007 at the Banff Gate Resort in Dead Man’s Flat. We still have wooden shoes full of Dutch treats, a visit from Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, board games and lots of food.

Poffertjes are a staple for brunch on the Sunday – every year Brenda and I bring poffertjes and bacon and it never fails to be a hit. This year, we made almost 700 of the little pancakes – we have to double the recipe and then make 3 of the doubled batches. We made them at home the day before we headed to Rocky and re-heated them while we cooked the bacon.

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27 Oct 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt

End of the Season

I accomplished quite a bit with the MG this summer – it took plenty long enough, but the results were quite good. The rear suspension was refreshed, rear axle repainted, rear brakes replaced and the clutch hydraulics all replaced as well. There was a noticeable improvement in the handling from the suspension work and the cost was fairly reasonable. Parts are easy enough to find, it’s just the US dollar sticker price and the cost of shipping (especially the gouging from the couriers on brokerage fees) that is painful. Fully half of the parts cost is exchange, shipping and handling, duties and brokerage.

The front brakes, cooling system and the front suspension update never quite got to the top of the “to do” list. Since the car didn’t get on the road until August 1st, I wasn’t too keen to lose any more driving time. The level of trust that there was sufficient reliability to go on longer day trips really never was there due to marginal oil pressure and really poor gas mileage. 20W50 motor oil seems to have addressed the worst of the oil pressure situation but the fuel efficiency problem lingered. There was always a smell of unburnt fuel and it wasn’t until the last day of the season that I figured it out.

After topping off the gas tank, I let the car idle after I got home while I added fuel stabilizer to the tank for the winter. After letting the car run long enough to get the treated fuel to the carb, I moved the car to it’s winter parking spot. When I got out of the car I saw a big puddle of fuel where it had been sitting and idling. Unfortunately, the next day it got cold and the fix will have to wait until spring time.

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