21 April 2019

Bad Timing

Finally unloading that East German AKM bayonet I had laying around.

The Gunbroker auction ended at noon yesterday.

Which means the buyer isn't likely to do anything about winning it until Easter is over.

Kudos to me for realizing that before getting miffed at the zero communication.

20 April 2019

Let The Insurance Company Deal With It

That's another way of saying, "I'm going to make you deal with it."

How is that?

The way insurance works is to create a large pool from many small payments to pay for damages.

If a certain kind of claim keeps happening, then they raise the cost to contribute to that pool for everyone covered.

Even if they never make a claim.

This is why it's so important to find the asshole at fault and punish them.

20 Years Of Safety

One of the crowning achievements of the Clinton administration was the Gun Free School Zones laws.

The administration and legislators must be particularly proud of how two crazed teenagers were unable to bring firearms and improvised explosives into a high school due to this law.

Credit is also due to the Johnson administration for signing into law a prohibition on making "destructive devices", such as pipe bombs, without first obtaining permission from ATF and paying a $200 tax.  This same law also makes it impossible for someone to purchase a firearm for someone else who cannot buy it for themselves, thus denying the teens of several firearms they wished to use in their thwarted attack.

Many lives were saved that day, as many as 15 and perhaps 24 additional injuries from gunfire were prevented.

Bravo! President William Jefferson Clinton, for your courage in doing something effective to stop gun violence.

You really made a difference.

19 April 2019

Take Care

Reading this I recall something...

A couple of time, when seeing someone on a bike doing something stupid, I've shouted, "Hey!  Take better care of my new liver!"

Once or twice I might have been heard.

What The Heck

I must open by saying, I get the joke.

Sharps in .17 HMR.

I'm just tickled by a rifle that is so famous for large caliber, long cartridges being chambered in a tiny rimfire.

Condition Is Conditional

When I reported to my unit in Germany, this 19K was disappointed to discover there were M60A3 (TTS) tanks in the motorpool.

They weren't there for long.

We replaced them with brand new M1(IP) very shortly after I arrived.

I remember the '60's being all used up.

The Cav Squadron across the way took the cream of our crop and turned in their worst with the rest of ours.

I remember them exclaiming in joy how wonderful it was to have good tanks again.

They then spend a year beating more shit out of them until the vehicles were replaced with M3 Devers and the crews were transferred to us.

I don't know, specifically, what happened to our '60's, but I've heard stories about the USMC getting threadbare Army tanks and just GUSHING at how well maintained and NEW they were.

Because I Am Not Batman

I stumbled across a thread discussing people's everyday carry.

The piles of stuff some people were lugging around would put Batman's utility belt to shame.

I don't know about you, but my name isn't Bruce Wayne and, as much as I wish it were otherwise, I am not a billionaire playboy.

It's playing the odds.

Do I need to have a gunshot first aid kit with me at all times?

Probably not.

At the range?

Probably not.  But adding one to the gun bag is less cumbersome than everyday.

Because of The Precious I am more bulk sensitive than others.

Because of my shattered legs and the consequences I am also more weight sensitive.

Lord knows that if I could lose about 100 lb. I'd take care of much of both problems.  A consequence of living with my injury is an inability to do much that gets my metabolism going.  Recent adventures in wrenching demonstrated how much slower I have to go than when I was young.

That same crippling is why I carry a gun, at least.  I'm not running very fast or very far to get away from circumstances where I might need a gun.  Interestingly, that's led to being a lot more selective about where I go in the first place.

Better to not need to run, right?  Better to not need a full trauma kit in the first place.

18 April 2019

Pocket Packing

Summer is fast approaching in the Gunshine State.

It's been shorts weather here for about a week, and that means losing the cover garments which hide bigger guns.

The M&P-9 Shield is a bit heavier than the SIG P238 it's replacing, but it also gets more puissance from 9x18 instead of 9x17.

It's no more a bother than the S&W 640 I used to carry.

Perhaps A Combination Of Things

The fresh R134a in the system got its first real workout today.

The HVAC panel indicated 91˚ F outside and the selected inside temperature of 74˚ F was attained.

It's an improvement over a few weeks ago when the system appeared to be hunting the temperature and moving the blend door a lot.

It could be I have the correct amount of R134a now.

It could be that the condenser is now clear of debris.

It could be that having the condenser flat instead of bowed allows for better air flow.

It could be all of those things.

English, Motherfucker, Do You Speak It

Quote of the day:

Reporter: “Why do you say that is unprecedented?”
Barr: “Has it happened before?”
Reporter: “No.”
Barr: “Then it’s unprecedented.”

Verily, the definition of the word...

Style Note

Dear Mass Media:

If it can be carried and employed by an individual infantryman, it is not a weapon of mass destruction (WoMD).

Please note that individual infantrymen carry genuine assault rifles and hand grenades.

Even conventional artillery doesn't rise to the standard of WoMD.

Mass destruction is reserved for chemical, biological and nuclear stuff.

Weapons which cause damage disproportionately larger than the effort it takes to employ them.

17 April 2019

Living In The Future Has Some Drawbacks

There was once a time when you needed a hunk of rubber hose to bridge between the fuel filler pipe and the gas tank; you simply bought some from the local auto store.


It's unclear if they even stock such things from looking at their web pages.

From measuring at the filler, I think I need 1-3/4" for the filler and 5/8" for the vent.

I need, maybe a foot of the larger and about 18" of the smaller.

Amazon will sell me 3' of the larger and 10' of the smaller.  For about $33 each.

And a wait of a few days.

I will end up with way too much after a delay.

The leak isn't too severe, so it can wait a good long time on this secondary vehicle.

Dry Rot

One of the hoses that connect the metal fuel filler pipe to the tank is leaking on The Biscayne.

Huge shock that after 29 years some dry rot might have set in.

What actually surprises me is that nobody seems to know what size these hoses are.  I've found posts from 2011 where people are complaining that GM discontinued the parts (10228630 and 10228632) but nobody chiming in, "It's just a x" long hunk of y" fuel line."

Of course, the leak did not present itself until the tank had all 23 gallons of gas in it.

Got to drive off a few pounds of gas before I drop the tank to yank the hoses and take them to the parts store to get a couple hunks.

I'll post those sizes when I have them.

16 April 2019

Early Capacity

Early on the plan at Armalite was for their new 5.56 rifle to have a 25-round magazine.

Because of round taper, this plan didn't work out and 20-rounds was settled on until the late-60's.

Thanks to Brownell's, I can now compare the pre-'67 AR magazines.

From left to right:

25-round straight magazine, 20-round "waffle" magazine, 20-round USGI magazine, early 30-round USGI magazine.

Word has it that the 25-round reproduction is a bit long compared to the original and that a USGI 30-round spring is stuffed in there.

Rumor confirmed!  A USGI spring wouldn't fit into an OG 25-rounder without cutting a couple coils.  Also notice the center spike of the follower is shortened from the old all-tilt black follower.

It looks decidedly odd in a mag-well though.

The next development was what is now known as the "waffle" magazine, based on scaling down the "waffle" pattern magazine of the AR-10.

The reputation of the waffle mag is bad.  It earned an unenviable reputation for being unreliable because of an early design decision.  Armalite anticipated that these thin, steel aluminum magazines would be shipped, loaded, in the crates and discarded when empty.

The Air Force and Army don't do things like that and so reused the magazines.

Because they weren't designed to be durable, they didn't work well for long.

By the time Vietnam rolls around, the Army was aggressively pursuing extant waffle mags for destruction and getting the new, aluminum, 20-rounders into the hands of the troops.

The 20-rounder wasn't a complete cure.  You can stuff 21 rounds into one easily, and 22 if you really try.  This over compresses the spring and weakens it, making the mag unreliable.  If you never ever load more than 20 it's pretty solid, and you only load 18, it will last a lifetime.  Well, until the feed lips wear out...

It wasn't long before the troops wanted the same number of rounds the bad guys had, which leads to the 30-rounder I've yapped about before.


Looking up the weights of cars gives some interesting realizations.

Cars are heavier today than they've ever been.

A 2016 Taurus (3,964 lb.) weighs more than a much larger 1964 Impala (3,514 lb.).

Cars make more power today than they ever have.

Cars get better mileage today than ever, especially considering they are more powerful and heavier.

They are safer than ever too.  It's the number one reason that a Taurus is more massive than a Six-Four.  While you might get hurt, you probably won't get dead, in an accident.  There's entire new fields of medicine which have arisen to treat injuries in car accidents where previously such impacts would have needed the services of a coroner.

Living in the future is kinda neat.

Keeping up the performance and mileage with the extra weight of the safety equipment is the number one driver of cost on a car, followed closely by labor.

15 April 2019

Lie Back And Think Of England

Red flag laws are an infringement of all of our rights that are supposed to be protected by The Constitution.

You will never be allowed to face your accuser.

You are denied due process before you receive the punishment.

You are guilty until proven innocent.

You are not secure in your person, papers and effects.

It is prior restraint on your free speech because it creates a chilling effect on expressing innocent thoughts which can be taken out of context.

To stand there and say, "submit meekly and let the court sort it."

It's cowardly submission suggested by someone who will get a special consideration because of whom they are.

I do not like it.

It is not how things should be.

I do not want to burn in the camps later regretting that I didn't do anything.

These laws need repealed.

The agents who carry out these seizures need to be prosecuted for denying civil rights under the color of law.

Someone is going to get shot.

The really sad thing is these are a goad.  They are deliberately creating an intolerable situation to see if they can get a "revolutionary" reaction to show the public that guns need to be banned completely; and/or to see if we will submit to the intolerable, meekly and without physical resistance.
Submitting, meekly and without physical resistance is what is suggested by the "experts".

Funny, they don't seem to be saying much against the laws or demanding they be repealed.  They just tell us how we should submit.

Even more intolerable is the process of submission and supplication to regain your rightful property is, in fact, the punishment.  Punishment for committing no crime.

Punishment without conviction.

I've No Words

Notre Dame burning down.

I've been there, I've stood inside and marveled at how big it is in relation to how old and how it must have been constructed.

All gone.

Lots of history happened there and you can almost feel the loss from here.

Stainless Conversion

Took out the stop-gap brass tee and replaced it with the food-grade stainless (thanks for finding me that ebay link, Terrapod!).  Yes, I took the time to clean up all that dirt that's been in a couple of these pictures before putting the intake trunk back on.

A comparison study of the various tees I've accumulated along with the broken original:

I think the poly would have been a bit snug.  As it is, the barbs hold things tight enough.

Long Delayed

When you put less than 4,000 miles a year on a car, oil changes lose their urgency.

Nonetheless, they do need done.

Today, it is done.


Wait Weight

A friend on Facebook is incredulous about the upcoming 2020 Mustang Ecoboost Performance Package.

330 hp dragging around 4,225 lb.  12.8 lb. to hp.

What the actual fuck?

The Biscayne curbs at 3,951 lb. and the '96 Impala sourced LT1 gives 260 hp.  15.2 lb. to hp.

My ancient beater can give a brand new "performance" model a run for its money?

And since when did a such a small car start out-massing a land yacht?

A Mustang, any Mustang, shouldn't outweigh a B-Body.

This trend is not limited to Fords.  The current Camaro and Challenger are likewise heavy.

I am sitting here contemplating how sprightly The Biscayne would be if I dropped a LQ4 or LQ9 6.0L from a truck or van in her svelte chassis.  Even a 5.3L LMF would be competitive with its 310 horses changing the ratio to 12.7:1!

Edit to add:

The Precious is a mere 3,216 lb.  With 436 hp on tap (or more) that gives 7.4:1.

14 April 2019

Truly International

Miguel noticed that my upper radiator hose was Hecho en Mexico.

That's not the only part!

The Tremec TR-6060 Manuel manual transmission is also made in Pedro Ecobedo, Mexico.

The LS3 engine was assembled in St Catharines, Canada.

The brake calipers are from Elizabeth, Australia.

The electronics are from all over the world, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan...

There's even some US made content.

Then it was all assembled in Kentucky.

This is the norm for all cars made these days.

Marv's "Japanese" pick-up was made in Tennessee.

My Mom's Civic was made in Ohio.

The Biscayne was made in Willow Run, Michigan and even back in March 1990 a Chevy was chock full of international parts.  Some even imported from Socialist nations like California.

It Is Done

The Precious is repaired.

It cost a lot more than I wanted because I had to buy the genuine GM upper and lower radiator hoses because the Dayco brand ones from AutoZone just don't fit.

That's because I have the RPO: KPS extra cooling.  The radiator is different from the base Corvette, so needs special hoses.

Apparently there aren't enough Z51's out there for the aftermarket to make hoses for them.

I prolly could have gotten them $40 cheaper if I was willing to wait yet more days, but...

The AC held pressure and is blowing cold air.  We think we got the pressures right, but we'll have to wait for a good cold day to be sure.

Having The Biscayne up at the same time makes this such a winning week despite all the angst.

I also managed to get the oil changed in The Nox for Harvey too!

13 April 2019

I Got Brass

Brass tee-fitting installed.

Got it all put back together except for charging the AC and doing the coolant flush.

And checking the trans fluid.

The World Is Running Out Of Phantoms


Japan is giving theirs a better send off than the Brits, that's for sure.

Worth A Watch


Because we had to dump the R134 from the system to get the fan/radiator/condenser assembly back in the car...

We took the opportunity to flatten the bow that had formed in the condenser.

This created a chance for additional worry that I'd broken it.

Last night we attached the vacuum pump to the now resealed AC system.

Dragged it down to -30 psi and gave it a five minute wait.

Gauge had fallen back to -25 psi.


Happily I have a supply of strong drink to shut The Hated Brain up to allow sleep.

Marv's the AC guy here, so I've been blindly watching him run his gauges.

Duck-Duck-Go to the rescue.

I read up on how the gauges work and what readings you're supposed to be seeing.

Turns out, when there's moisture in the system, it's not unusual to see a dramatic drop in vacuum on the first go as the water is evaporated out.

So, I hooked up the gauges and pump again and cranked it down to -30 psi again.  After 20 minutes, still showing 30.  Ten minutes to go on this initial run.  After 30 minutes, still holding!

12 April 2019

Looking Like An Engine Again

This is as far as I can take it until I have a tee-fitting, any tee-fitting.

Brass is supposed to be here tomorrow.

Then the fan shroud can go back on, then fill and flush the cooling system and charge the AC.

I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I don't hear a train.

To A Tee

Because they weren't really expensive... individually, I've got several 3/8 x 1/4 x 3/8 reducing tees on the way.

Polypropylene, brass and stainless steel plus the expensive GM assy that someone put on ebay for half price new in wrap.

The poly looks closest to the GM part, but I am nervous about the spec sheet at McMaster-Carr saying the material is only good from 32° F to 250° F.  How hot does that line get?  While it's been a while, I have had The Precious in freezing weather overnight before.

Brass was easiest to find and will arrive first.  Brass raises the specter of electrolysis in the cooling system because DexCool™ has a reputation of being hard on brass, bronze and copper.  That reputation was earned years ago and there's been at least one reformulation to deal with the issue since.

Stainless appears to be the ideal here.  No corrosion or temperature problems.

The genuine GM part...  I think I might take it apart and dimension the plastic tee and see about having some made in stainless and see if the Vette stores will carry it.  Might be a money maker if I can get the price well below the GM assy.

11 April 2019

Nothing Else To Do So Pictures

The offending tee fitting:

When it's finally all buttoned up, it needs to be level.  And it needs to be raised so you can get under it.

Real mechanics have lifts that do this naturally.

I am not a "real" mechanic.

The two reasons it needs to be in the air and level is to check the transmission fluid level (because some leaked out the cooler line) and because I plan on flushing out all the old fluid.  Rather than raise and lower it several times, I'm just going to leave it up.

It's A Reducing Tee

There's a hose that goes from the pressure tank, tees into the throttle-body and keeps going to a nipple on the radiator.

The tee is plastic.

The tee is fragile.

The tee is broken.

GM does not sell the tee.  They sell the entire hose assembly.  P/N 10305352, $103.68.

$103.68 because a plastic fitting broke, and appears to be made from a plastic which is destined to fail.

99¢ nylon barbed union and bypass the throttle-body; here we come.

I've found a 10mm x 6mm x 10mm brass fitting which would replace the broken tee, but I'm getting conflicting reports about how bad this is with the DexCool and aluminum in the system from electrolysis.

Eyes crossed.

Update:  The tee fitting is required since they plumbed it into the steam-pipe crossover for the heads.

I'm getting sick of this project.

Every step forward has encountered a step back.  A week in and I'm not any closer to getting done.

As much as love Amazon, the retail apocalypse means that simple projects now have built in wait times.

I Was Afraid Of That

It turns out that you cannot get the condenser back on the clips on the radiator with the condenser still in the car.

You've got to dump the R134 and clip it to the radiator outside the car, making an assembly of the fan, radiator and condenser.

We took the opportunity to take the bow out of the condenser and give it a really thorough cleaning.

The combined assembly drops right in, like it was made to.

Tomorrow I'm going to jack it up and start attaching lines.

Friday Marv is bringing up his AC tools and we're going to recharge the system and hope the condenser is still good after straightening.  Arms crossed.

This is a poor design for servicing.  I am not happy.

10 April 2019

Quick Clip

The quick-detach tool I bought on ebay is still missing in action.

Seeing that the new radiator came with new clips, I got brave yesterday and used my smallest precision flat-blade to pry out the clips.  One went flying to parts unknown, probably coming to rest near an AR front take-down pin detent.

This retainer clip is kind of elegant in its simplicity.  The three indentations snap over a flare in the cooler line and hold it against an o-ring in the radiator's trans cooler.

It's also fiddly as all get-out.

The proper tool has three teeth which go into the wider sections and the gap, then you rotate it to lift the clip by the indents.  Then you can remove the line without removing the clips from the fitting.  In fact, there are rubber sleeves over the clips to help retain them when using this tool.

Ready For Reassembly

I cleaned out near a pound of debris off the condenser.  Ick.

Found the crack in the driver's side tank that started this week long adventure.

Transferred the fan assembly to the new radiator.

Just need a mechanically inclined helper to guide it into the engine bay.  One hand on the radiator, one moving the hoses and wiring out of the way.  FUN!

Tear Down Complete

Every single thing on this removal is made more difficult by design decisions which make it easier to put together on the assembly line.

There is virtually no consideration to fixing it later without access to a very complete shop.

The condenser, radiator and fan assembly are supposed to come out as a single unit.

Except...  The shade-tree mechanic doesn't have the expensive AC refrigerant recovery system so the condenser needs to remain in the car.

Then all of the hoses are retained by the bane of my mechanic existence, spring clamps.

Then, there's the hard to reach wiring harness retainers which you cannot free.

Plus the special tool needed to detach the transmission cooler lines from the radiator.

Nevertheless, I have persevered!

There was a whole forest of leaves between the condenser and radiator, and the fan appears to have sucked on the condenser so hard as to have bowed it in.

I'm going to be doing some foliage removal tomorrow before I even consider putting the new radiator in.

08 April 2019

Double Or Nothing Progression

Over and over getting my business degree it was repeated that the target inflation was 3%.

It was also stated that deflation, stasis and inflation were all bad.

Currency value is going to do one of those three.

How long until 3% inflation halves the value of your money?

It's not very hard math, but every 23.5 years it takes twice as much money to buy the same thing with 3% inflation.

This is why the surge in property values and box-office receipts are illusory.  The money to buy them became less valuable, not they became worth more.

There's a fun little chart showing how much an ounce of gold would buy back when as compared to today.  They're remarkably similar lists.  Like the value of gold did, pretty much, stay put.

Except for its dollar value.  It takes a lot more dollars to buy that ounce now.

3M For The Win

There's a reason Permatex is $1.50 at Wal Mart and the 3M stuff is $7.92 at Advance-Auto.

Mirror mounted!


You have no idea how much situational awareness you lose without that center inside mirror with the teeny-tiny outside mirrors on a 91-94 B-Body.

What About Mak?

One thing you can say about many 9x18mm Makarov chambered pistols is they're cheap affordable.

On the surface you'd think they'd compare will with The Sheild.

GURPS stats:

The Sheild gets more shots and does more damage for the same weight.  Plus you get better sights and an easier safety to operate (unless you count the 20 lb. double action trigger on the P-64 as a safety.)

Average of 8 per shot and 64 per load with the Smith, 7 per shot and 49 per load with the Pole.
Changing to hollow points gets the same sort of spread with 10.5 per shot and 84 per load for the Shield and 9 per shot and 63 per load with the Łucznik.

Double Or Nothin'

Marv and I have a fake bet running.

Palmetto still has M&P-9 Sheilds on sale for $249.99.

Joking around when I'd ordered mine, I told him to hurry and order one for himself because the sale ended at noon the next day.

He "bet" me a nickel that it would be extended.

It was, and he "demanded" his nickel.

"Double or nothin'!" I cried in reply.

Day 1 I "owe" 5¢.
Day 2 I "owe" 10¢
Day 3 I "owe" 20¢
Day 4 I "owe" 40¢
Day 5 I "owe" 80¢
Day 6 I "owe" $1.60
Day 7 I "owe" $3.20
Day 8 I "owe" $6.40
Day 9 I "owe" $12.80
Day 10 I "owe" $25.60
Day 11 I "owe" $51.20
Day 12 I "owe" $102.40

My, that escalated quickly.

Dear Florida Carry

I know you're all excited to be participating in the suit to reverse what amounted to an executive order to redefine bumpstocks as machineguns...

But let me point something out.

The Federal redefinition has zero effect on Florida.

Florida banned them by law in overreaction to Parkland.

So, even if you win the suit, bumpstocks are still banned in Florida.

Thanks for all your hard work in the other 49 states FLORIDA Carry.

Rearview Mirror Glue

The inside mirror on The Biscayne has fallen and can't get up.

Two different applications of the Permatex brand adhesive have released the button while trying to get he mirror to click back into place.

Mutter mutter mutter.

Going to try the 3M brand this evening.

Eyes crossed.

07 April 2019

On Top Gun Maverick

I will petition Cinema Sins to take off 1,000 sins if Maverick's back seater yells word to the effect of, "Shut your stick-monkey pie hole and let me concentrate!"

Additional 500 for muttering under their breathe in a close-up, "Goddamned chatty nose-gunners."

Poetic Justice

Rhino poacher trampled by elephants and eaten by lions.

I quote:

- A poacher who was hunting rhinos in a South African park was reportedly trampled to death by an elephant, and his remains were then eaten by lions.


“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that," Glen Phillips, Kruger National Park's Managing Executive, told the Letaba Herald. "It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains."

No Darwin, he's bred already.  His kids should consider getting their tubes tied.

Of MiG-28's And Exocets

Now that the F-14B is in early release for DCS, people are doing recreations of various scenes from Top Gun.

The end scene is sticking in my craw.  It has been for decades.

The big deal about the Hollywood/Wolfman, Iceman/Slider fight against the six MiG-28's is the concern about them carrying Exocet missiles, thus if they break a certain distance the carrier is vulnerable.

First off, all of the carrier aircraft for the AM39 I've been able to find are NATO spec, and nearly all of those French.

The Soviets would have sold their own anti-ship missiles to a MiG customer rather than trying to integrate a NATO missile.  The Soviets never really developed an equivalent to the Exocet.

So, Exocets and...

Why not Mirages?

The Mirage was widely exported.

Mirage III and V both have been adapted to carry the AM39.  The F-5E is used to simulate a MiG-21 at TOPGUN and the Mirage III is kinda in that same envelope.

So from now on when they say "MiG-28" in the movie, think Mirage III or Mirage V.

Second:  The "MiGs" are dogfighting Hollywood and Iceman, who have closed to visual ID ranges before the fight starts.  They can see that the enemy aircraft aren't carrying air to ground stores, and the dogfight kind of proves it as well.  The Exocet is a fairly large missile and you don't want to bring it to a dogfight, you'd jettison it before the merge.

So our bad guys are pure air to air.

What Hollywood and Iceman will want to do is get the fight moving back to the carrier to shorten the alert-5 response time to their location, this appears to be happening because of the concern about the range to the boat.


Just two planes up for the CAP?  In a place where they've been warned if they see a hostile act they will respond?


The loadout of all three F-14A is two AIM-9 and two AIM-7.  Obviously the E-3 is airborne because Enterprise has an excellent picture of what's going on.  That means the LINK-4 is up.  That means that Maverick/Merlin know what's friendly and what's bandit.  From BVR ranges.  This means that they could have taken two Sparrow shots long before Maverick gets all emo from some jet-wash at the merge.  Actually, it'd be Merlin who fired those at that range.

I feel better.