Was that… April?


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I’m not completely sure, but I think it was here and gone. What was supposed to be another month of progress in my venture into self employment, quickly turned into rushing to get one thing done after another.

I guess I’ll take it from the top, the first week of April was bulk trash. A couple of times annually in Thornton people will set out large items curb side such as appliances, furniture, tree trimmings, and so on. This also up until next year included computers. (It is now state law that computers be recycled I believe.) (I also just cringed as writing this because my Alphaserver 2100 was set out one year for bulk trash.. by me.. [17years old and stupid!])

Anyways.. I had lots of stuff that needed to be sorted through and put out onto the curb. The large mountain in the garage is now down to a small pile which will be gone within the next couple of weeks [hopefully] and will probably be occupied instead with a car or motorcycle, lol. So I rushed to make a giant pile in front of the house, stripped down some old computer hardware, put out old car parts and the like. It was a huge clean out to say the least, and honestly it doesn’t seem like much space was gained from the ordeal. sigh.

So with the first week gone and spending most of the second week snowed in, I ended up making up a bunch of work at the wireless store I have been working at from being busy and stuck inside. It took a two or three solid days of repairs to get back on track, and then approaches the 4-20 weekend, and my phone breaks for good.

Not just a fidgety button, but fucking busted (fabusted).. The digitizer went all wonky and started pocket dialing people, erasing my emails for me, opening apps, playing games. Yeah this phone did it all, by itself, all I did was hold in my hand and watch LOL. It started doing this after I dropped it, and dropping it again actually corrected the issue for a little while, until I went to answer a call while sitting in a parking lot… It automagically ignored the call and I promptly smashed the phone on the steering wheel, shattering the digitizer glass.

Left with the bittersweet satisfaction that I didn’t have to use old gimpy anymore, I started to look for another phone. I worked out a deal with my boss to replace a Galaxy SII that needed warrantied out, so I gave him the two phones I had that were no good to me but could be sold for $75 towards the new phone, and had the rest of the cash ready for him. It took him a little while to call on the phone, and when he did they wouldn’t warranty it out so that completely fell through for me. There are no other phones available there that I would want as a droid so I was SOL. The phone thing had to wait though.

It is 420 weekend, now for those of you who don’t know, I smoke pot here because it’s legal for me to doso. I don’t have too much of a problem admitting I do so, if someone scoffs at me my general response is “at least I did something constructive with it.”. At any rate, since I helped build and host a new website for a dispensary they bought me a VIP ticket to the Cannabis Cup for this year, of course I was not going to pass that up!
On my way down, as I had taken the Red GTI that afternoon, it developed an interesting clutch problem. I did not have full clutch pressure, and the pedal was actually a little slow to return, it didn’t keep up with my foot like usual. The clutch developed a chatter as well, so bad it would shimmy the whole damn car! Going on with the day (video coming on that soon!) and going home I decided to relax and look into it first thing on Monday. Had I known what I was in for I would have investigated sooner…After doing some investigation, I found a significant buildup of crap near the bottom of the bellhousing right underneath the flywheel. The fluid had the dry grainy feeling when rubbing on my fingers just like with brake fluid, so I felt the clutch slave cylinder was suspect. Since they usually go out first I decided to move forward with replacement. The Valve cover gasket was also completely shot on my motor, making a giant mess.. everywhere. So one of those was in order, and since I was removing the upper intake manifold it meant I could pull the generic spark plug wires without destroying them (they dont work with the VW tool and I cannot afford new ones!) and replace the spark plugs.So after a little driving around I had a new clutch slave cylinder, valve cover gasket, spark plug set, and oil change stuff. I was ready to get some work done! Changed the slave cylinder and bled it within 30 minutes or so, it was a breeze to install. Intake manifold came off in about 10 minutes since I know the VR6 very well, then off with the valve cover and my awaiting surprise!I find a piece of the upper timing chain tensioner, just sitting there. It is horribly chewed up, and was actually the shoe or wear surface that is riveted to a metal backing plate. This meant that the bare metal backing plate was what was rubbing against the timing chain keeping tension on it. Upon further review, one of the rivets that held the material on was completely gone. . Missing. As you can imagine, a ritual of colorful language ensued for about 15 minutes upon discovering this treasure trove of clusterf&%$. I was in for a real good time.Somewhat lucky to have my own parts warehouse, I had a new timing chain and guide set for the Corrado which I hadn’t installed, but salvaged out of another motor that threw a rod 300 miles after they were installed. Saved almost $200 having that on hand, but I was in it for the long haul. The timing chains on a VR6 are on the transmission side of the engine, and requires removal of the transmission to service them! By the time I got this far, it was the end of my nice 70* warm day. The very next day, it was 25* and snowed 4 inches, and I spent the entire day in the driveway (no room in garage and my dad “didn’t want to scrape snow off his truck leaving for work”) in the cold, laying in the snow trying to remove this damn transmission. I got almost all the way though it before I threw in the towel after being out in 25 – 30F constantly snowing weather for 8 hours. The next day wasn’t much better, I got almost nothing done because unlike the previous day wind wanted to be added into the snow. When wind comes into the equation for me it becomes unbearable real fast.
It basically took two more days to get the chains serviced and everything back together, I even replaced the transmission mount with a new unit while I had the transmission out. Once I did get the car assembled I fired the car up and it didn’t sound right, and after it ran for about 30 seconds it wouldn’t start again! I instantly knew why, the timing chain was a tooth off! What does that potentially mean? Removing the transmission again! Whooray!! So, after another ritual of colorful English I took the intake manifold and valve cover back off, lined everything up again and discovered the exhaust cam was half a tooth off. Interestingly enough, it matched the paint-pen markings I had left, but the notch didn’t line up as it should, it was slightly off compared to the other one. After removing the upper timing cover and carefully moving the cam I reassembled the motor the rest of the way and it fired right up, and ran perfect. I had gotten lucky enough that I didn’t have to remove the transmission a second time, but I was out another full day on my fuckup.

So did the car get fixed? NO! I still have the same clutch pressure problem as I did before, which leads me to believe the clutch master is actually to blame for my issues. That was interesting, because the slave cylinder was in horrible shape. The rod and piston assembly fell apart in my hands as I carefully pulled them from the trans. ODD!

My good friends Dave and Rachael loaned me their Jetta while I come up and help them get ready to move to North Carolina. I will actually be driving one of their cars out there as well! (Cross country road trip, documented on YouTube!?)

Yesterday I finally got a temp phone again, I dug out my old LG flip phone from my parts bin cloned it to my account. Old thing still works really good too.

So there ya have it, a very high level overview of what the hell I have been upto and why I don’t feel much progress has been made. I have many things to share, including a couple IBM POWER systems, a digital camera that takes floppy discs, and MUCH more!

I also did a huge benchmark shootout amongst the servers I have, which you will see in an upcoming article that I have been preparing over the course of April. I have not finished getting benchmarks from everything yet, and it only keeps getting juicier.

Alright everyone, It’s 5AM, I need sleep, so I am not going to proof read this .. . If my grammar and spelling have angered you, at least it’s not as bad as YouTube can be 😛

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