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Old 07-23-2002, 11:25 AM   #31
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Default No Fear wrenching

Hmmmm..... My fiance's pontiac sunfire had the fuel pump in the tank. It went out and we dropped the tank, drained it, put in the replacement, put the tank back up and got it all running in about 3 hours. We could confirm that the pump was gone with a simple Volt/Ohm meter comparison of the replacement and the origninal.

The only part of out vehicles we don't work on is the AC, and that is mostly due to the fact that you can't find any instructions on them because of the chemicals invovled and the chance of explosion.

If you don't want to undertake the job, that is fine, but don't assume that means it isn't doable.

Total replacement was only about $75.

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Old 07-23-2002, 12:14 PM   #32
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

Ok, I'm checkin' in on this one and I have already posted many rants concerning this very subject. I know the "new and improved" crowd wouldn't agree, but the "new" hasn't been all that new, and the "improved" even less, for longevity. I get as emotional about the new bikes or cars as I do about my refrigerator or microwave or computer. Just another appliance. It's cool when it works, and toss it out and buy another. No love, no emotion, no pride in ownership. That is why the boneyards are full of past "bike of the year" winners, but try to find a POS Harley there. You know, the one that was outdated the day it left the factory. And yes, I own "modern" bikes too, but servicing them is getting harder and more expensive, and they look and sound more and more alike. My 76 Shovel is still a daily rider, and I can fix and maintain it with a minimum of tools. It's a kickstart too, just to add to my supposed misery, but every time I kick it over and it goes down the road looking and sounding like nothing else, I know I am a dying breed.
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Old 07-23-2002, 12:28 PM   #33
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Default Sorry about that

but I get just as excited about a new and improved bike now as I did in 1970. When the CB350 replaced the CB305 for just a few bucks more and way fast I went ape; I get the same kick out of the 999S.

The main difference is simply the number of replaceable parts. ECU, FI and EI have either squeezed parts out or integrated them into more competent sub-assemblies. And you need to carry electronic spares on your African safari as well as mechanical ones.
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Old 07-23-2002, 05:06 PM   #34
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

I'm not sure this relates but what the hell... I look at this in a slightly different way. True ideas are rare. The guy who made the first wheel, or the first telescope, or the first printing press. To create an entirely new thing. A visionary. Very rare. Look around you. How many things touted "new" are really new ideas? The actual "ideas" of the 20th century are few and fairly easy to identify.

First, the switch (possibly a 19th century idea ?, not sure). Tubes, transistors, relays. Call them what you want but they are still just switches. No matter how fancy they look, all computing devices are nothing more than a whole bunch of switches with a metalic interconnect. Arrange the switches any way you want, perhaps a really lot of switches, but still just switches.

Then, the display, a vacuum tube but not really a switch. TVs & monitors, LCDs. There are others. Modulation: radios and phones to start all that. Is the light bulb really a new idea? Nature's been doing that since the big bang (lightning).

No matter how fancy your gee-whiz motorcycle is, you're still just pouring gas in a can and lighting it off. That idea, as has been pointed out elsewhere here, surfaced in the 19th century (or before ?). We spent an entire century improving it, but the IDEA is the same. The electronics, just switches and interconnect. Evolution, not revolution. Took us a century to turn gas-in-a-can into.... gas-in-a-can. Aren't we impressive.

I ride my Ducati ST2 (and love it) but I don't really work on it. I wrench my Harley. It demands wrenching and I love that too (also a hoot to ride but way different). The simple things still have a place. Something most everybody can wrap their brain around. Whatever your simple thing is, keep doing that and just use the rest. Later

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Old 07-23-2002, 05:16 PM   #35
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Default Re: You got that right

Where is he tenured? The name is not familiar, sorry to say.

Anyone who can come to grips with all the process flowcharts that EE's have to figure out to get anywhere has my undying respect.

Have a cold one on me the next time you two are hanging out.


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Old 07-23-2002, 07:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

the problem with that is the 150 other assholes that got laid off when everything got automated, can't afford to buy the cars the parts your 17 operators make. sooner or later those 17 operators jobs will be offloaded to build even more "shareholder value", I think you'll find progress can be a two-edged sword.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:35 PM   #37
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Default Absolutely

Yes, I totally agree------working on newer cars is not the impossible task it is being made out to be. In fact, swapping out a bad fuel injector or fuel-pressure regulator is considerably easier than the increasingly arcane art of fine-tuning a carburetor. Newer cars tend to be put together a little better than old cars as well; by extension, they are easier to take apart.

By the way, AC isn't so daunting either. It's just a bunch of plumbing that bolts together. Evacuating it is as easy if you have the proper equipment, and you can even buy recharge kits at Target now.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:50 PM   #38
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

The simplicity of working on old things can be quite nice, but working on old things can also really suck. I recently replaced the chain and sprockets on my '78 CB 750 Super Sport. Should have taken less than an hour. a few hours later, I still wasn't out riding it because I needed to buy new screws to replace the ones that I had drilled the heads off of (the stores were closed by then). Thankfully, a was able to borrow a friends F4i to blow off some frustration. When I finally finished, it felt good, but I like it better when everything works like it's supposed to.

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Old 07-24-2002, 02:30 AM   #39
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

Good article and reflects a lot of what I hear. I own a carb Monster for its simplicity and just bought a basket case early 70s BMW for the same. Not a luddite, and I can certainly appreciate all the hi-tech that goes into making today's bikes go so fast and well, but... as some moto-journalist said before, those bikes don't need me. I'm more attracted to something that does have maintenance needs, needs that I can address without a factory "game-boy" or diagnostic console. Electrical gremlins are hard enough to track down without getting into chips and such...

OK, back to my shack in the woods.
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Old 07-24-2002, 03:58 AM   #40
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Default Re: No Fear wrenching

There's no "we". There's just me and my garage at home. Sure I could have done the job, but the reason the fuel pump is in the tank is to make the job intimidating and drive more people to the overcharging dealers.

I've changed my own transfer cases, engines and a load of other things. In this case I needed the vehicle quickly and simply didn't have the time to invest. There is "doable" and there's doable. It pisses me off to see this sort of "engineering" that is done purposefully to inconvenience users.
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
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