Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Exhaust Manifold Replacement on the Truck

I figured I'd post up some projects on my truck as I slowly go through it and work on it when needed.

Last Friday night I replaced the left(driver side) exhaust manifold.  Old one had a nice crack.  This was a pretty straight forward project.  Only unforeseen pain in the butt part was a bracket that holds the power steering pump in place was held in place by the two front manifold bolts.  So to take it off I had to get a pulley puller kit and take the tension held pulley off to be able to unbolt the bracket so I could move it out of the way.  Added about 2 hours to the project.  So total time on this was about 4 hours.  But I'm a knuckle head and was doing this for the first time so it can be done much faster. 

Here is the old in place with the crack on the first left elbow on the manifold

Here it is pulled out

here is old and the new one

installed...finally .  you can see that black metal bracket on the left two bolts that traveled along the back of the power steering pump. 

a couple engine pics.  the air filter housing was painted red when I got it. I didn't like it at first but I am getting used to it and feel it's growing on me.

well I did get some of my power back that the leak was robbing me of.  Also it is much quieter so it solved my vacuum leak issue up front.  So I think we can call this one a success. 

thanks for looking

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fishin' with the kiddos!

Here is the 2016 fishing update this year with the kids.  So far they are on a roll!  Isabel caught her first bass with an artificial lure all by herself, then another in the same day!  Jack caught one too with a little help casting but then it was all him!

Here is the crew!

Bel caught both her bass on a little mini-whacker spinner bait


Jack is holding his he caught on a little crawfish plug.  I would cast this out far and let him reel it in.  He caught one!

Here is Jack holding one I caught

more random fish pics

Good times!  More to come another day!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review - Council Tool Pack Axe

Hey folks, I was lucky enough to have been chosen by Craig(Rooster) and Council Tool to try out their new Pack Axe which is part of their new "Wood-Craft" line of axes, found here  Rooster designed this axe and Council liked enough to pick it up.  Smart move on both accounts in my opinion.  So here is the breakdown and some of my thoughts on the axe.

This is the smaller version:
OAL listed at 19inches.  Mine was just at 18 1/3".
Head weight listed at 2lbs.  Took their word on it as it felt 2lbs for sure!
Edge length - 3.5"  -  My only picky miss on this axe is I would have liked to see the edge length in the 3.75-4" range. 


I liked the hanging method and found the profile very good for an all-round performer

For those that aren't familiar with the design by Rooster he took the Council Tool boy's axe head and trimmed it down to make it a little lighter and more suited for a smaller handle.  But keeping it all axe and not going light enough to make it a hatchet.  He accomplished this nicely as I found out.  Here are some tasks I put it through that just about any of you would do in any camp.

The axe did very well here.  The head profile and weight was biting deep with minimal swing effort and releasing out of the wood nicely.

Had this tree down in no time.  Limbing it was quick work too

This was easy work as well.  The head weight really lets you swing easy.  The 18-19" handle is just long enough for a comfortable two handed swing. 

I got a few logs sawed up and it proved to eat through Pine without issue.  It feels like an axe as the forward weight of the head gives it a good punch for splitting.

Edge was holding up very well

I also put it to work on some seasoned Cedar and did fine here as well

Edge did fine with a ferro rod

Overall I really enjoyed using this axe.  It is right up my alley as I like a heavier head on a shorter handle.  I think the fact you can pick your handle length preference is a great idea.  As for this size it definitely offers a half axe that works more like an axe than a hatchet.  Hits for me were the handle shaping and overall quality of the axe.  Also the heel is designed to be used as a hookeroon and found it did work as such. The handle contour is just what I like with a thinner neck and nice palm swell.

alignment was also good and the hanging method with circular metal wedge you can count on holding up over time

I am glad to see another nice bushcraft suited axe from a USA company.  Rooster put some good thought into this design.  It is a very strong all-round performer and offers something different than the Swedish competitors.  You get a true half axe that is not a long hatchet.  I also think the steel from Council is better suited for the hardwoods in my experience.   l'd like to thank both Rooster and Council Tool for allowing me to be part of the trial run.  It was most enjoyable and I hope the new axe line does well.  I found this axe to be a great choice for a portable bushcraft axe.

Updated pic of mine after a little staining of the handle

thanks for looking

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

hangin' out in the woods

Well I rounded up my outdoor woods crew and hit the woods for the day.  It was cold but they wanted to try fishing anyways so dad had a full load to carry.

making our way towards a pond

a beaver has moved into this pond.  His activity wasn't here last year

well we didn't fish much as they got preoccupied with exploring around so we hit another spot with some pine trees that we could setup our relaxation camp for a bit.  Kids were ready to kick their boots off

I forgot I broke Jack's aluminum toggles the last trip, weight limit issues, so we had to make some "organic" toggles. haha!

used the Littlbug Jr. wood stove this trip.  No sharp tools for the fire.  Used the pine needles and dry grass for starter and snapped twigs.  Quick and easy.

hot chocolate and some instant coffee espresso

now time to kick back and take in the tree top view from a hammock

Jack was close to dozing off in this pic.  Easy to do out here with a warm belly of hot chocolate

quick camp shot before take down.  It was getting dark and the kids wanted to cruise in the truck for deer spotting.

fire put out and covered

hammocks lined up

all packed up and heading out

thanks for looking