Space Jam

Something happens when life doth spring forth from the belly of the Mother; and to be honest it doesn’t happen overnight.

Nevertheless the creeper takes control.

Yes, garage space disappears at a rate so fast it makes blazing, sexy race motorcycles look like my old Voltron Big Wheels of years gone bye.

Now that the KTM project is done (fingers crossed and more of that write up to come) and my baby clucker chicken heads are out in their coop I need to get The Hotness back to parking inside the comfort of the garage. Sugar melts when it gets wet, y’all.

Long story short, life springs forth and there isn’t room for shit in the garage. Eight car garage, you say? Doesn’t matter. Offspring take up that space so quickly your head will spin. Every time I head out to make room and clean up it seems like more room just disappears into the ether. Ghosts of girlfriends past and whatnot.

Love the fruit of my loins and all but, shit, give ol’ Papa Bear some space for his tools and toys, yo.

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The KTM Epic Part 1

Our Lady of Divine Hare Scrambles came to me in a dream. She told me of how my Orange Beloved was feeling weary in her heart and soul but that she could still, in fact, be saved. Plans were formulated at the end of December 2016 and with the blessing of The Hotness and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (and Bishop Visa) the initial order of parts was placed.

The main job was the rebuild the valve train as well as the piston and rings. I’d be lying if I said that I had done this job before so being the diligent, humble servant I am I consulted The Oracle of YouTube. Her soft light shone down upon my shoulders, anointing me with her knowledge; she covered me with her blanket of confidence.

When the email popped up in my inbox stating the goods were on their way to me I done got started on the tear down of my bike.

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Noble, yet tired. Here she rests upon her stool anxiously awaiting her gutting.
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You remove one wrong bolt….
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My grandpa always told me my ass would fall off if I played with my belly button. Guess it isn’t a myth as far as KTMs are concerned…

Let’s go ahead and hit the “Pause” button for a minute. Is it necessary to remove the engine to rebuild the valve train and piston/rings? No, of course it isn’t. But since this was my first time I wanted to be able to eye fuck the shit outta the engine’s guts so I could learn everything possible. That being said, the engine’s done gotta come out of that frame.

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At this point you say to yourself, “Modern Man, you’ve done come this far. May as well get into those bearings and replace their asses.”
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With the swingarm removed there are only two more bolts holding an RFS KTM motor in the frame.

She’s a sturdy, heavy lump but a sexy one. A little dirty with cow shit and mud? Sure. But don’t you say an ill word against my lump.

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Alright, so you’ve removed the motor. Or you’ve exposed it enough to remove the valve covers. Good for you! Decide your own destiny, I say. Pay attention and loosen up those other bolts that hold the valve cover in place.
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OK, so at this point you’re as thirsty as a college whore in a frat house. Go inside for a glass of water, you ask? Hell no! Crack that water pump cover and chug some coolant. Just kidding don’t do that shit but feel free to crack that cover and remove the gasket so you can remove the valve cover.

Once you have the water pump cover off take the time to look at your impeller. I replaced mine about a year ago so it doesn’t look crusty but it did at the time. Take your snap ring pliers to remove the clip that holds the impeller in place. Once the clip is out of place you will need to be careful when removing the impeller. It does slide off the shaft (heyoooooooooooooooooo), I promise.

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Holy Boner, Batman! Look at them guts! Sadly, KTM doesn’t believe in clip style master links on their cam chains. Invest in a decent (read: not high dollar but a good tool) tool that’ll do the job for you. Most good tools will be good for the cam chain as well as your drive chain.

At this point one should take care to remove the RTV sealant that hugged the valve cover close to the valve head. It’s not hard and crucial so when you’re ready to reinstall there aren’t any sealing issues. Be sure that you don’t use anything metallic or abrasive as that can cause scarring and sealing issues when you go to rebuild.

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At this point you’ve earned a damn hot cup of tea. Peppermint, bitch! Also, if you don’t have at least one bloody knuckle at this break then you’re doing it wrong.
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A fine example of a good but inexpensive tool to deal with chains of all sorts and sizes.
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While breaking the cam chain be careful so the pin doesn’t fall into the motor. Stuff some clean rags beneath the breaking point so you can keep track of it in case you get aggressive with the chain tool.
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With the cam chain all broken in half and shit feel free to remove the cam shaft. With or without the water pump removed, that is. Just be sure to be a good house guest and clean on your way out.
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With the cam shaft removed you can size up the next challenge. Valves. You may say to yourself that those springs don’t look so tough but then again you’d be a big ol’ dumbass. And nobody likes dumbasses.
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With the valve head bolts removed and the cam chain broken you can remove the valve head off of the cylinder.
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Look at that ol’ dirty bitch. 2005 model year piston and rings in December 2016. Thankfully the connecting rod and whatnot proved to be stout. I had a big enough project on my hands.
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Go ahead and take a firm grip upon your dead blow hammer. No, don’t use a standard hammer. Dead blow. Don’t be that person to fuck up their piston sleeve and all that jazz. Gently tap the two pieces apart. It really doesn’t take much.

Kenmore Is My Bitch

The only thing Elite up in my house is me, punks.

The Kenmore Elite range done took a fat dumper on the kitchen floor and just didn’t feel like holding temperature anymore. The control board doesn’t really seem to be the issue for a couple reasons so I went ahead and replaced the temperature probes.

What’s that? You don’t wanna crack open your range? Fret not, ladies and gents, for the Modern Man will guide you through.

Clearly, my write up is for an electric range because that’s what my rural home has up in it’s guts but pay attention now as it really is quite easy.

Step 1: Don’t be a bitch.

Step 2: Look up an exploded parts diagram for your make and model of appliance. It’s a great way to see what parts are in the mix and how they fit into the grand scheme of things.

Step 3: Get you an account-abili-buddy.

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Kitty Inspector General Ruby drawing attention to the dirty ass glass. She mustered near the range when she saw the tools amassing during the preparation phase.

Step 4: Pull that range out of it’s cubby and into the open. Let her breathe that fresh air and don’t forget to unplug her when she least expects it.

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Check out that backside on her! And pay attention so you don’t cut your digits on that cheap stamped steel cover when you remove the handful of screws keeping her in check.

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Never mind my toes. Just focus on removing the cover for the electrical hookup. Perv.
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Don’t forget about this lil’ fella covering up the connections for your heating element.

Step 6: Find a good home for the screws.

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Don’t be a slob. Use either the electrical cover or the heating element cover as a home for the cover screws. Just don’t let the Kitty Inspector General smack them into oblivion.

Step 7: Assess the situation.

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Don’t be scared by all the pretty colors and realize that as long as you unplugged that shit you won’t get shocked. Cross reference your parts diagram if you need to so you can locate your parts and connections.
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Temperature probe in the top left. Remove those two screws that hold her in place.
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Unplug the connection on the back of the range and pull the probe out through the open door.

Step 8: Allow the Kitty Inspector General to assess your progress so you don’t make any mistakes.

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Step 9: Reverse the probe removal scenario. Fish the probe’s electrical connection through the hole in the back of the range and install the two screws to hold her in place. Then reconnect the probe into the main wiring harness.

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Probe wiring connected to the main harness. No animals were hurt during this maneuver.

Step 10: Reinstall the cheap ass stamped cover on the rear of the range.

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Mind the couple tabs that go in their corresponding slots on the rear of the frame. You’ll have a bad time if you don’t. AND DON’T CUT YOUR FINGERS ON THE CHEAP ASS METAL!

Step 11: Inspection and Reinsertion

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Kitty Inspector Ruby making sure the outlet and range are about to be connected properly and in accordance with the Friskies Code of Kitty Uniformity.

Step 12: Wait, you want to test out your work already? Hold up, son. Kitty Inspector General Ruby noticed the glass in the doors wasn’t up to snuff. Better get on that.

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She’s ensuring there aren’t any fingerprints. Also, cleaning the glass isn’t hard but I’ll be honest and say I didn’t picture four panes of glass in each door! Damn!!! Not hard but it took forever.

Step 13: Test and calibrate your range as necessary and laid out in your manual.

Step 14: Blaze that blunt. Or crack that beer. Unless you done messed up and replaced the wrong parts then your job is done. Kick it with your kitty and make something delicious.

Garage Nights KTM Style

Sweet, baby Jesus.

I’ve been a busy beaver the past week or so.

If there is one thing this mild winter has been good for it is garage nights and maintenance. The KTM has never been torn down and I am the third owner since 2005. Based on everything I have seen to date the two dudes before me took care of her but seemingly didn’t go much farther with maintenance beyond standard oil changes. Now, I’ve never torn a motor down before but decided to go for it because not only was she due but it would be a learning experience as well.

With liquid courage coursing through my veins I decided to get the ball rolling and I have to say it escalated quickly. The project is probably half way through and a full write up will come shortly.

Not Real People

Lil’ Man: “Daddy, where was your truck made?”

“Texas, actually, down farther south.”

Lil’ Man: “Well where was Mommy’s made?”

“Either Canada or Mexico. Well, now that I think about it it could have been made in Michigan.”

Lil’ Man: “But how can they make it in Michigan if they’re not real people?”

I guess my rivalry week we-hate-the-team-up-North rhetoric sank in with him.

Identity: 1

The Modern Man is real. Real as shit, son.

But shit’s about to get the realest yet.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Everyone has their damn demons and maybe I’m not as good about overcoming them as others but a funk cloud has been settled around me for a little while now. I don’t think I’m an unhappy person. I don’t think I have a bad life. I have a wife, son, friends, family, house, car, food, animals, etc., and I have hobbies that I enjoy.

So what gives?

My relationship with my dad bugs the fuck out of me but I don’t think that’s why I feel how I do (but it does have an affect on me). Maybe I’m starting to realize that the family ideals that were taught to me when I was young aren’t always real.

Is blood thicker than water? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, I suppose. Sometimes I think it is hard for me to be a dad and husband because I don’t know how. When you grow up thinking some things are normal and don’t know otherwise it wrecks your shit up when it dawns that what you knew was a turd sandwich.

I love my son. I love my wife. And while I don’t have an issue telling them both daily how much I care I have to admit that sometimes I am hurt when I feel like I’m their last thought. Is that fair of me? I don’t know but at the end of the day I know I’m not their last thought. And maybe I put a little too much emphasis on the wrong syllable but maybe again I’m just trying to find out how to be the best I can be. Maybe I don’t know what it feels like to be good enough.

Expectations can be a big kick in the dick when they’re rooted in what you think is solid ground but really they’re planted in the mudslide of a post hurricane apocalypse.

And maybe that’s what I’m dealing with?

I want to let go of what I grew up knowing as truth.

But it’s hard because I don’t know what shit really is like.