Posts Tagged ‘snow plowing’

Ready for the next storm.

Ready for the next storm.

Got that tightened up and resumed the action, so we’re ready for the next blizzard.

Actually, I’m ready for winter to go away, but I have to admit it was kind of fun to go out in the cold and do something!

We’ll have big snowbanks until the middle of April, but for now, it’s pretty, and we can get in and out with no trouble. Last week I had gone and gotten a ton of wood pellets at Tractor Supply, so we’re keeping the GMC busy and putting it to good use. It’s not just another pretty face!

It's so cold the snow looks blue.

It’s so cold the snow looks blue.

I haven't backed into the garage once this year!

I haven’t backed into the garage once this year!

Big banks at the end of the drive.

Big banks at the end of the drive.

It's a LONG WAY back to the Tini-Home's garage!

It’s a LONG WAY back to the Tini-Home’s garage!

Gotta keep this open so we can get the Tini-Home to Auto-Rama in March!

Gotta keep this open so we can get the Tini-Home to Auto-Rama in March!

DSC04357 (1024x768)In what is probably a complete waste of money and time, I put the steer horns on the GMC today.  You gotta admit, it makes a statement!  Nothing exceeds like excess, as they say… 

I made a (rather flimsy) bracket out of some scrap aluminum diamond plate,  screwed the horns to it, then to the panel behind the grill.  I may have to make a couple of little braces, as the whole thing does flex a little.  For now, it’s cool though, and certainly what little I’ll use it plowing the drive the rest of the winter won’t matter. 

Now, I’m open to any and all suggestions as to how much this thing needs to be “cowboyed up”.  I’m definitely going to put a gun rack in the back window and hang a BB gun from it, and it really needs something to break up all that white on the sides.  Some pinstripe?  Chrome 6-shooter grab handles on the cab?  Chrome horseshoe’s somewhere?  Trucker girl mudflaps?  We looked at full, hair on cowhides at Ikea, but they didn’t have any with any variation in color, or I’d have bought one to upholster the seat in.  Probably just as well…

Now, imagine it without the plow!

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DSC04265 (1024x768)You know a project is getting close to completion when an entire day is spent working on it, and you can’t see what you’ve done.  I worked on the Diamond T today, all day, and it looks pretty much like it did when I went out, the only obvious change is the West Coast mirror is now mounted on the driver’s side.  That’s all you can SEE that I did, the list is long.   More about big mirrors later…

The lights are all connected, and blinkers too.  The horn is mounted on the firewall, and most importantly, the hood latches and prop rods are mounted.  The cooling fan is wired in (permanently on “High”) and I took the left front suspension apart, cut 1/4 turn off the spring, and re-installed that.  Before, it sat about an inch higher on the left, which was not good.  Now, its dead level.

Here are some photos of todays work:

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As for big West Coast mirrors on pickup trucks, a fellow on the HAMB message board building a late 40’s Ford COE opined he didn’t like them, and was going to use the wobbly, goofy looking little round  mirror on long wiggley stalk on his trucks door hinges, as original.  I offered that I like the looks of WC mirrors, and want to be able to see what’s behind me.  Not that I always look, because I backed right into the garage the other day plowing, and knocked the center wall between the doors off the foundation.  It twisted the garage door tracks enough neither one would open, and was a bugger to get back together.  I need to get some new brick molding, but other than that, no harm no foul.

Objects in mirrors are closer than they appear, indeed.  Even a house…

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Really, I’m not kidding.  If I added up the hours, and money spent on this GMC, and the plow, I’d have the Diamond T done, and money left over to build another hot rod.  (Not that I’m even THINKING about that, Kim!) 

This morning I went back to ALRO steel and got another little piece of 12 ga. sheet, and spent the afternoon cutting the remaining rusted out portions of the blade skin away, then welding patch panels in.  After that was done, I rolled a couple of coats of Rust-O-Leum industrial yellow on the whole mess, and while it’s certainly not up to Ridler Award standards, from 10 feet, it looks pretty damn good.   Wait ’till I get the Longhorn steer horns on the hood, pinstriping,  and “hair-on” cowhide upholstery in it…

Truth be told, I rather proud of the whole project.   Part of the reward came last Monday, when we picked up the lawn edger at the rental place (that we needed to bury the wire for the invisible dog fence) and one of the guys there said, “Man, that’s a NICE old truck!”  That comment was in no way diminished when said edger, un-restrained in the box, rolled out of the truck on M-43 on the way home after we stopped for breakfast  Happily, they didn’t notice the barked up handlebar grip and scuffed wheel rim when Kim returned it that afternoon.  And, it worked perfectly.

So, the truck AND the plow are now  DONE.  The truck has a new radiator, 6 tires, wheels, battery, gas tank, gas lines, brake lines, and with only 19.000 miles on the clock, will last me as long as I need a pickup truck.  A ton of wood pellets in the back doesn’t even settle the springs onto the overloads, and it looks pretty purposeful too.  This morning my buddy Joe said at breakfast, “You could have bought a pretty decent plow for what you’ve got in that one now.”, which I can’t argue with, but with almost everything new, including a third of the blade, I think for a total of about $1200 now that it’s all fixed up, I have a better one than if I spent that much at the get go. 

Let it snow!

Yes, I’m still working on the plow I bought last winter for the Dually.  You’d think a 30-year-old plow, bought from a metal recycling company, would be in tip-top shape, but it has needed, well, everything. 

I ordered a new pump base, as the original turned out to have frozen and cracked, from water getting in the hydraulic fluid.  Probably it got in the missing vent on top of the pump reservoir, which was missing when I got it.  Who knew it wasn’t supposed to have a 5/16 bolt just dropped in the hole?

Anyway, the pump base was easy to change, and I had O-rings left over from the rebuild kit (I ALWAYS seem to have parts left over…) from the first “rebuild”, so it’s all set.  The right-left toggle switch, which had quit working, turned out to just have had the right-swing wire off the contact, easy fix. 

Today’s project was to go to my favorite place to shop, ALRO steel, and get an 8′ long, 8″ wide drop of  14 ga. (?) sheet stock to replace the rusted out top of the blade.  That went pretty well, although I should have gotten some more chunks to patch the other rusted areas.  Seems that crap accumulates between the skin and the angle iron frame sections, and the thin sheet metal rusts out.  So, Saturday morning I’ll get some more, cut out the rusty spots, and weld in some more patches.  It’ll look like one of Kim’s quilts!  One could argue it would have been better to simply replace the entire blade skin, but this will be fine for what I’m going to do with it.

I also got the trucks ORIGINAL vintage 1976 mud and snow tires on the rear, which still have deep tread, although they’re weather checked.  The chains I bought are not the correct size for the Michelon 225x75R16’s on the truck, so they’re stashed away in the shop.  The concrete filled tire is in the box, there’s half a ton of tube sand to load in, so when snow flies, I’ll be ready!








In other news, we’ve replaced the beautiful little cast iron and marble tile, direct vent gas stove in the family room with a pellet stove.  It’s a Harmon Iron “Accentra” model, the same as we have in the living room of the house.  With these, we’re no longer slaves to our local LP gas supplier, “Ferrell Gas”, which saw fit to charge us almost $4.00 per gallon for propane last winter because they said we didn’t use enough gas to qualify for the going rate of $2.59 like all our neighbors.  Pellets are $175/ton, we have a ton tucked away in the garage, and hope to be able to heat the house all winter with 2 1/2 tons, give or take.  The new stove will pay for itself in two years, or less.  Still have to paint the wall behind the stove, as I had to move the exhaust vent and patch the hole, but that will get done this weekend.

Next project, the Diamond T gets wrapped up, the Tini-Home gets new polished aluminum siding to replace the wrinkly fiberglass “Filon”, and the T’Bird will finally get some lov’in!  Stay tuned for all the action!