Wednesday, November 26, 2014


The '84 Mercedes-Benz 190D hasn't been running like it should for some time now, it starts hard and doesn't idle smoothly. I figured the injectors needed attention, they probably (almost certainly) haven't been out of the engine in 205,000 miles so it was time. I ordered new Bosio injector nozzles from ID Parts. I like ordering from ID Parts since they're here in MA so the shipping is quick and cheap. I wanted Bosio nozzles because they're made in Italy which means they're NOT made in China. Word on the street is that Bosch nozzles are made in China and the QC (quality control) is all over the map.

Mark Blevins cleaned my spare injectors (thoughtfully provided by Fred), installed the nozzles and calibrated everything. He did a great job, the price was right and turnaround was fast.

The install was pretty painless, it requires a 1 1/16" deep socket, a 14mm wrench, new heat shields, a pick to get the old heat shields out, and if your injector return lines are even questionable a meter of that. My return lines are viton I'd bought from McMaster-Carr, they were still pliable and no problem at all to reuse. I guess I should buy some more, thats good stuff.

The old, nasty injectors in place.

A replacement from Mark. His packaging is perfect, he even loops the tape back on itself to make it easy to remove.

An old grotty injector on the left with a nice clean one on the right. Notice the nice new heat shield also.

I noticed that the new nozzles had a little pin that sticks out where the old ones have that missing. Once the rebuilt injectors were installed the engine fired right up. I'd put my foot into it thinking the lines would be dry and the engine would start hard. That turned out to be wrong, it fired right up and idled nice. I can tell a big difference in power off the line and when accelerating.

The nozzles I got are slightly larger than stock which in theory should give a little more fuel and thus more power. The problem of course is that this is a naturally aspirated engine so it might also lead to a little smoke. I'm pleased to say there was no noticible smoke and while I think there might be more power that could be my imagination or the power I'm feeling my just be power restored that was lost due to the old injectors being worn.

Anyway the worn injectors now go on the shelf awaiting their turn for rebuilding...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Back from deer camp, no Bambi

Veteran's day week is our yearly trip for deer hunting and as usual we didn't shoot any deer. I'm always reminded of the song "The Second Week of Deer Camp" where he says "We drink, play cards and we shoot the bull but we never do shoot no deer." Back in the early '80s there was a spruce budworm infestation that killed millions of trees in northern Maine. Those spruce trees are the primary winter feed for the deer and without them the deer have no food. The dead trees got cut down in massive clearcuts which the deer won't go in. This led to the rise of the moose population. My great uncle Reg used to say that when he was a kid nobody shot any moose but the big clearcuts are excellent moose territory. The clearcuts grow up in bushes which the moose eat so they'll hang out in them all the time.

Anyway 30 years on the spruce trees have come back and are of a size where they provide cover and feed for the deer so we're seeing more deer and one of these years we'll have to shoot one. I'm doing my part, on the farm I plant a big patch of "deer food". This year it was turnips, I'd read online that deer like turnips and kind of assumed they'd eat the tops of the plants. I was wrong, they use the tops to pull up the roots and eat those. Angie scoured the plot and managed to find one turnip a deer hadn't finished but none intact in the ground, apparently our turnips are popular. Next year I plan to do Austrian peas which are supposed to be deer candy and fix nitrogen into the soil making the following year's planting more productive. A 5# bag of peas should do 1000sq ft so I'll have to plant an even larger plot. This year we switched from working the ground with the Cub Cadet up to the Farmall Super M. I've got a 2 bottom plow I can pull behind the Super M which flips the ground no problem where the Cub Cadet struggles in our rocky tough soil.

So no turnip pics but heres one of a good camp breakfast:

Normally there'd be bacon too but this was the last morning and it was just Dad and I. We'd eaten all the bacon the night before, wrapping it around scallops. Oh the challenges of camp life :)

The front of the camp, showing the garage in the background and the shower house at the far right. The shower house needs a makeover, its just OSB on a 2x4 frame with a roof, it needs some kind of siding. I think today I made a decision on what to do with it. Hopefully come spring we'll upgrade its look.

The old woodpile Mk1 is loaded up, mostly with white birch but theres some spruce in there too. I think this will be its last winter, the bottom is pretty rotten.

The Mk2 woodpile is mostly full of birch, I'd meant to fill both of them more but the snow meant I couldn't do as much wood cutting as I'd planned on. In the spring I have a truckload of dry birch to retrieve and a bunch of spruce. I've also got plans for a Mk3 woodpile to replace the rotten Mk1. It's really more like a Mk2 mod 2 but theres enough revision there to call it third generation. It'll have a less steep roof pitch for better coverage, longer tin overhangs, the uprights will be all one piece where the Mk2 has the roof on separate pieces and it'll have 4x4s for a base which should make it more stable.
The propane tanks in the foreground annoy me. We've got a junk pile I want to move them to, I also want to try to get the valve out of one so I can cut the end off to make a bell. I'd want to pull the valve and leave it out for a good long time before I try cutting it though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A hero falls

I refer of course to Tom Magliozzi one of the kings of public radio. I never figured out if Tom was "Click" or "Clack" but I'll tell you I've spent a lot of time listening to "Car Talk". That said I feel like a real schmuck for never trying to meet him. I live a mere 70 miles out of their "Fair City" and I even know a guy who knew him it should have been that hard.

Anyway, rest in peace Tommy, may there be plenty of cappuccino and cigars and may you sit around all day with your feet up debating and solving the problems of us poor schlubs still here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Something to buy

I didn't want to leave you hanging with something I didn't like, I do encounter a number of things in the world that I do like. In fact the other day I was posting comments on Amazon and I was impressed by the number of things I'd bought from them that I really do like.

Anyway on Friday I had one of my favorites:

Its boba tea, for the uninitiated boba are little balls of tapioca, these are about 1/4" in diameter although tapioca comes in all sorts of sizes. So what we've got here is "Tapioca milk tea with boba" which I had been advised to try after stating that I really liked "Thai milk tea with boba". This is at Boba Loca in Burbank.

I don't know what goes into tapioca milk tea but it has a kind of black tea flavor. A little research suggests thats probably exactly what it is. I like it but honestly I probably like Thai tea a little better as the Ceylon tea has more flavor. I'll have this occasionally just to mix things up, I've also had iced chai and iced coffee with boba and I like them both but keep coming back to Thai.

Why do I like it? Honestly its all about the boba, the little bubbles or "pearls" hiding at the bottom of the cup. This is a beverage you eat and the chewy texture really satisfies me. I like the big straw and hunting around for the last couple boba in the bottom of the cup.

Angie hates boba, she likes the tea but doesn't like anything solid in her beverage. For me liking something she hates almost makes it better and its probably good that I mostly only get it in California...