Archive for June, 2010

Square Foot Garden Update

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Here’s a quick update on how the garden is doing this year… of note are the 5′ high tomato plants growing in the center:

Trolling motor mount for the canoe

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Tonight I started working on a way to mount my electric trolling motor to our canoe.

A long time ago when I had my sailboat, I had also gotten a 12v trolling motor to go along with it. Ever since I sold the sailboat, I’ve wanted to see about mounting it to the canoe. Well, I’ve finally come around to it, and after doing some quick research online I found a number of different ready-made mounts that you can buy, but seeing as how simple they seem in design, I figured I can build my own.

I did a really quick and dirty mockup of how I might be able to mount it:

MotorMountMockup

It’s going to need a long piece of wood that runs the width of the canoe right behind where I sit, extending out about a foot, so that the motor’s mounting bracket can be attached to another piece that forms an L shape. I’m going to try and attach the mount to the gunwale with some sort of system that will allow me to easily put it on and take it off… maybe something like mini C-clamps.

I also realized that the motor is pretty substantial in weight. Originally I was going to mount the battery box in the stern where I sit. But because of the total weight of the motor, me and the battery, I’ll probably have to mount it toward the bow and possibly even shifted over to the left a bit, to counter the weight of the motor. Putting the battery up front will also help trim the canoe a little better, although I still may need to add some additional weight up there.

batterybox

CHECK ENGINE SOON Light

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

My CHECK ENGINE SOON light came on while driving into the office this morning. That made what was already going to be awful morning even better.

This light came on for me a few years back and at the time it had to do with a loose gas cap. That doesn’t seem to be the case this time around. On the way home I stopped at Autozone and had one of the techs read the ODB II computer for me. Turned up an error code of P0440, which according to his reader had to do with the Purge Valve that sits on top of the manifold.

I also checked the Avalanche forum to see what I could find, but so far only found one post about 440 being a generic code having to do with the emissions evaporative system that can include any one of these issues:

Missing Fuel Cap
Defective or damaged Fuel Cap
Distorted or damaged Fuel Tank filler neck
Torn or punctured Evaporative System hose(s)
Defective Fuel Tank Sending Unit gasket or seal
Split or damaged Carbon Canister
Defective Evaporative Vent Valve and/or Evaporative Purge Valve
Defective or damaged Fuel Tank
Defective Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor
  • Missing Fuel Cap
  • Defective or damaged Fuel Cap
  • Distorted or damaged Fuel Tank filler neck
  • Torn or punctured Evaporative System hose(s)
  • Defective Fuel Tank Sending Unit gasket or seal
  • Split or damaged Carbon Canister
  • Defective Evaporative Vent Valve and/or Evaporative Purge Valve
  • Defective or damaged Fuel Tank
  • Defective Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor

I think I’m going to start with the Purge Valve as a starting point, only because that’s what the AZ tech’s device said specifically.

The forum had a diagram of the part that helped me locate where under the manifold cover it’s located. (#3 in the picture below). So I went under the hood tonight to see how difficult/easy it will be to replace. It’s not too bad actually – It’s close to the front with two lines connected to it, one for the vapor pipe and the other for the solenoid. GMpartsdirect.com has it available so I’ll order the part and see about replacing it.

normal_389993

Screening Soil

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Spent an hour tonight screening some of the hummus that I get at the Lower Mac yard waste depot. It does wonders to break down the large chunks of soil and get rid of the unwanted small twigs, rocks, etc. The other benefit to screening seems to be that of aeration – I couldn’t believe how it made the soil so much looser. I made the screen last year and used chicken wire with 1/4″ spacing. Anything smaller and the screen would probably just clog. It’s sandwiched between a 12 x 16″ (apx.) 1×2″ frame that I made and fits nicely over a 16 gallon storage container, used to catch everything that’s screened.

This one isn’t mine, but it looks something like this: