Softball, Ospreys, and a Quadrajet Carburetor

The fun-filled weekend is over and we made it through another Monday. Unlike before I retired, Mondays are perfectly OK with me. I can deal with them much better now. Monday’s are actually just like Sundays. We just don’t go to church.

I needed to add an addendum to the rant from yesterday where I cried that river about bad calls, and such. It’s mostly about Lydia and Jennifer who, after all that activity, made it back to town just in time to assume their 12 hour shift at the fireworks stand that is sponsoring the high school girls soccer team. Lydia is playing when she starts high school next year. Wow! High School. Wow! Jeran’s in the 8th grade. Wow! Cedric is a sophomore. Wow! He’s 16 and doesn’t care if he drives or not! Wow!

The deal with the fireworks stand is that it must be ‘manned’, or ‘womaned’, 24 hours a day for security purposes. So, that’s where Lydia & Jennifer spent last night, from 9pm on. For both of them, the fun didn’t end until this afternoon, after VBS at their church. Jennifer teaches and Lydia is a counselor for what they call Pacific Camp. I think that’s correct. I’ll be alerted if it isn’t. For sure. Needless to say, they were both very tired this afternoon. Lydia fell asleep while laying on the floor painting her nails.

While at the games in Albany, we spied a nest on top of a couple of light poles for the field. In this one I caught an Osprey female and at least two youngsters. Before it was brought to my attention, the female flew in with a fish for the little raptors. They eat well from the nearby Willamette River.

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If you’ve heard about the rifles raffled off for the St. Helens softball program, you might enjoy is this one …

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For the tournament, the girls were allowed to put whatever they wanted on their jerseys. This is Abby, and her initials are AR. Yes, it was intentional on her part to point out the AR-15 association. I asked. Kinda cool, I thought. Lydia put “Walnut” on hers because that’s one of her nicknames. Another girl had “Peanut” because she’s the smallest on the team. Some actually used their real names, too. They had fun with it.

Today I decided to get a carburetor kit for the pickup’s Rochester Quadrajet. It’s been around a while and I thought putting some new parts and gaskets in it might perk it up a little.

So, I disconnected all the hoses, linkage, and wires then went to remove the four mounting bolts. I discovered that three of them were only about finger tight, and the other one broke off just about flush with the intake manifold. It was a “Hmmmmmm” moment for me and caused me to sit and mull things over for a while before I figured a course of action. For sure I needed a bolt extractor tool, which I found at ACE. I also needed a part for the PT to eliminate a rattle in the rear. I got that at Carquest along with the carb tune up kit.

back at the pickup, I drilled out the center of the broken bolt, per instructions, then hammered the extractor into the hole. When I turned it, after soaking it with liquid wrench, the extractor broke off. Fortunately, I had another one, just a bit bigger, so I enlarged the hole hammered in the new one. I hammered it in really good, to the point where my 1/4 socket wouldn’t fit because I’d flattened the top. So, I meticulously filed the offending flare off the top to the point where I could just feel the socket catch the corners. Then I hammered the socket onto the extractor.

When I finally got to the point where I could work the ratchet, the bigger extractor also broke. The first broken extractor came out of the hole pretty easily the first time, but not the second time. It’s sticking above the intake manifold about a 1/4″. I figure that since the broken bolt was the only thing holding the carb in place before I started this evolution, that I could just eliminate that offending hole and secure the other three. Then it would be three times as secure before I started. So, I’m not too worried about the broken bolt at this point.

Thinking I would move along with the project, I took the carburetor out back and took all the screws out of the top that held it together. Then I tried to get it apart. I couldn’t do it. I suppose with a hammer and my screwdriver I could have accomplished that seemingly simple task, but I just wasn’t up to it. Whoever put it together last time must have glued everything together.

I’m to the point now that I think, considering how things went, that I could just set the carb on the engine and it would work just fine without any of those bolts that hold it together and hold it down. Maybe I’ll try that just for fun to see what happens. Maybe not.

At this point, the carb is back together and I’m just going to put it back on after I figure out what to do about the broken extractor. Maybe I’ll get my torch out to heat it up and see what happens. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I need to burn all the gas off the top of the engine that I spilled when disconnecting the fuel line anyway.

I’ll let you know how that goes. Maybe from the hospital.

Good thing I’m insured, huh?

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