Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Final Stretch of Two Projects

It's been another long day. Monday morning the Mrs. blew her car up. Apparently the timing belt messed up somehow and drove the pistons up into the valves and permanently locked the motor up. Repair estimates are coming in around the $3500.00 to 4K mark and I have been driving her to work, coming back and taking care of the sheep and then going back in to pick her up each day.

No she can't drive a standard. And NO teaching her is not something I want to even think about. Riding with her in an automatic is scary enough thank you very much.

Truth be told the Mrs. was getting excited about a new car so today was chauffeur the wife around to every dealership she could fit on her clip board of day ending shopping doom. I knew this was going to be like shopping for appliances were she has to look at every appliance in every store even the ones she knows she doesn't want to buy from.

Why? Seriously Why do Women do that? It drives me absolutely crazy to look at things I know I either cannot afford or don't like to begin with. Nothing but a simple waste of time but it does seem to make her happy.

At least she is thrifty I must say that. One reason I married her was she has one of the best self control personalities when it comes to money. After finally paying off all the bills my Ex left me with, bad spending habits would have been a deal breaker plain and simple for any possible marriage. In fact thrifty "no nonsense" spending habits seemed to be such a rare thing to find in today's "modern" Woman that until I met my wife I didn't think it was a trait I would ever see again.

Anyway I digress.

So although she was looking for a new car it was one we could afford to pay cash for and one that wasn't a luxury model. Still we were looking at about 18K plus another 2K in taxes and other fees.

The verdict isn't in yet as I am letting her make the final decision without my input but I think she is going to get her old car repaired now. At first I didn't think it was all that good of an idea but the shop is offering her a three year warranty on the replacement engine and 4K is alot easier to swallow right now than 20K. Although her old car is 11 years old it has less than 50K miles on it and was in good shape. Too good for a timing belt to go like that. So we will see what she decides.

After finally getting through all the dealerships I made her go to the hardware store with me (HAHA serves her right) and picked up the last few items I need to finish up at least two of the projects I wanted done before Winter this year.

First on my list is the hand pump for the underground cistern. If I figure everything right a simple hand pump with a 10 foot PVC pipe and some fittings is all I need to finally get this project finished. That and I need to build a stand for it. I even got a connection fitting that comes apart that I can put some screen in to act as a filter at the bottom of the pipe for drawing the water out of the cistern.

If everything goes according to plan this project should be completed and covering the hole below by tomorrow afternoon.

And before you ask the plant pictured has been acting as my hole cover for the last few months.


That is the new cover I poured over the old cistern earlier this Summer. The old cap had cracked but rather than remove it I used a sheet of aluminum and poured a new cover with metal mesh support over it and reduced the access hole slightly. All I should need is about 10 foot of pumping power to reach almost to the bottom and by my estimation the cistern holds about 1300 gallons.

As old as it is I am not trusting it for drinking water but hooking the entire thing into my rain catchment system as overflow storage for the garden seemed like the best way to use it.

If we hit a dry period when the rain barrels run dry I can pump the water directly out of the cistern. This should give us overall around 1400 gallons of stored rain water for the house and garden areas. Next year I will worry about the barn system.

The entire system is designed to be removable and stored dry during the Winter months although I could still access the cistern by hand if needed and will also be able to rout rain water directly into the cistern without the catchment barrels if it needs more water during warmer periods.

I would just have to watch the water level.

The entire thing used to be attached to the house gutter system but had been disconnected long before I arrived. I thought about using it that way once again but the rain barrels actually afforded e enough height to flow water directly into the garden so the cistern became the overflow and backup storage.

I also picked up the lumber needed to finish the gas generator storage unit I am placing to run the wood furnace and freezers in the case of a power outtage. More pictures of that project this weekend I hope.

Other than that I have no clue what's been up in the world today and plan on catching up with other bloggers and the news this evening.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!




24 comments:

  1. I have generally found the Consumer Reports survey of automobile reliability to be well done. Unless the model is categorized with the dogs, at only 50k of mileage, repairing is not a bad way to go.

    I envy your cistern.

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    Replies
    1. Russ - Thanks! The Cistern is actually a deep pit lined with hand laid limestone. It was about half full when I opened it back up a couple years ago and had been covered up for decades at least. The original pipe was still showing that brought water into it from the old gutters but had clogged up. I decided it was there so why not use it.

      As far as the car the verdict isn't in yet. I would fix the one she has but I am leaving it up to her. She can afford it and I do not usually get involved in her money unless it is for something to do with the farm.

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  2. 5K better then 20K. Good luck my friend.

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    Replies
    1. Rob - Unless we are talking about a commission or a tax break!!! :)

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    2. $5 thousand for a car repair beats $20 thousand for a new car. We got a 2001 Olds mini van for $5,000 104,000 miles.

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  3. I remember when I was little, people had those pumps inside the house, you can actually install it at your sink and run pipe out to the cistern and it will prime and suck the water where you need it. No need to set it right on the cistern. Also they used to have switch outs on the down spouts so you can let the roof wash off awhile before sending water into the cistern or if the cistern gets full.

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    Replies
    1. SF - Well the model I bought was pretty cheap and only has a draw distance of 25 foot. We used to have one that had a spigot on it instead of the pitcher type opening but I couldn't find one like that for sale anywhere. A spigot with a hose would have been ideal for transferring water back up into the rain barrels for gravity feeding. Winter and the lack of a line going into the deeper part of the cistern means I will have to take the pump down when freezing starts otherwise and indoor installation would have been feasible.

      Currently I collect the water from the downspout into two 55 gallon barrels. I can run the overflow into the cistern but right now it is filled. I didn't bother with a switch out as I let the silt collect in the barrels and just wash them out every year when I store them.

      The fact I didn't want to over flow the cistern is why I didn't permanently run a line to it. I am not real sure where the overflow from the cistern will end up. It could all flow into the basement.

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  4. When Sweet Thing goes with me to Sears, we have to enter the door in the tool dept ( which is my destination anyway ) otherwise as we are walking through the store she has to stop an fondle everything she sees. When I ask if she needs one of those she says no, she just wanted to look. WTF? If you know you are not going to buy it why waste time looking at it? Just a woman thing I guess.

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    Replies
    1. SD - Oh I know they get so distracted by shinies. Appliances are the WORST. She has to open every refrigerator, every washer, dryer, dishwasher, freezer, microwave etc. Even ones that cost more than a brand new tractor. She cannot resist them.

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  5. timing chain probably stretched and jumped a tooth. happens once in a while and can be catastrophic as you found out.
    If the vehicle has a good body my preference is to fix the engine and keep her going. my two vehicles are a 1996 chevy half ton and a 1997 olds 88 for the wife. and only use synthetic engine oil. that is very essential for a long life.

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    Replies
    1. Prairegoher - Yep that's what they told us happened. She said she first started hearing something but was on a ramp and had to get to the top of said ramp. Yet the car was stopped some four blocks further on. I cannot seem to ever get it through her head that when you hear your car make a bad noise... STOP. Do not drive it until it dies STOP. She's like "and then what do I do" Well ya know even if you have to sit there a full day trying to get a hold of someone it is still worth saving 4 grand over.

      I have to check all her fluid levels every week. Last time I told her to get the oil changed two months later I was still telling her. She would say OK and then not do it. I would have done it for her but of course we have the issue that she cannot drive my vehicles.

      Oh well maybe she learned some thing this time.

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  6. Both of those sound like valuable and useful projects. It's a shame about the vehicle but it's good you have the where withal to fix the problem.

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    1. Harry - Well if she decides to buy a new one I will take her blown up one. As a matter of fact hers is a 2002 model and I happen to have a 98 stored of the same model if I got around to it I could make a running vehicle out of the two myself. They are both convertibles as well so they will always be worth something.

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  7. PP,

    I'm sorry to hear about your wife's vehicle. Hopefully, she will decide to have her vehicle fixed. It sounds like a winner to me, especially with the way the economy is right now. Save the money for things you may need to help the farm.

    Nice looking rain catchment system, adding the manual pitcher pump great idea. I'm looking forward to pictures and a post on your final gas generator storage unit.

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    Replies
    1. Sandy - I think she will get her car fixed. The price is almost more than the car is worth but witha warranty and the way she hates to spend big money.

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  10. I see the car thing from both angles. If she likes her old car and gets it fixed, then that is one thing.. But then I think of the reliablity issue, even with a warranty. i do not like buying brand new right off the showroom floor. But nothing wrong with getting something newer that is more affordable...like an 07 -10 model year.
    If we were closer I would most certainly let you guys borrow my Cherokee until either hers was fixed, or she got something newer.

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    1. JuGM - Well used is the way I usually go but I have found the only real good used car deals are at the bottom end and she specifically stated she didn't want to drive a car (or truck) like mine. She thinks mine are old and ugly.

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  11. PP-
    Instead of removing the pump, couldn't you cover it with a 5-gallon bucket, leave the handle upright so that it will drain, and if you need it during the cold months prime it with a kettle of boiling water? That's what we do here :-)

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    Replies
    1. GM - Oh I could keep it year round if I wanted to but I won't really be using it during Winter. Now if it was an emergency and the only water available I certainly would adapt it for Winter use.

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