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Friday, July 16, 2010

One task down - 15,000 to go...

I had some time before having to go to work so I ran to the parts store – picked up a spark plug for Big Red and changed the plug. I was secretly hoping it would be that simple – I'd change the plug, turn her on and VAVOOM – I have spark and all is grand! I would rev the engine a few times to get the cob webs out of her system and we would go for a leisurely jaunt around the corner. When we pull back into the driveway, Kat would snap our picture a few times for Facebook and such, and you’d see a big grin on my face. Aaahhhhhh!!! Life is grand!

Unfortunately, NONE of that happened!

I DID change the spark plug and I DID get my hopes up, but the rest… well… perhaps I will reserve that dream to use for another day... when I get closer to...umm... reality!

Since I had more time than I thought, I decided to try and fit the engine casing, that houses the kick start sprockets, (and... umm... get my hopes up again). I mean, hey, if the electric starter won’t do the trick – try and kick it… err, I mean, kick-start it. Once again, I fooled myself into believing this would be a simple task of popping on the cover and giving it a whirl. Fortunately, this particular balloon of hope didn’t sail as high as the previous glimmer of hope regarding the spark plug. I had a bit more sense about me at this point. I think it was the box of parts that did it for me. You see, at the bottom of the box is a multitude of loose bolts, screws and washers that only the Spree Gods in the sky know where they belong. I am pretty certain they go to the Spree though, since the hardware is as filthy as the engine cover. (Arff)

I continued to tinker around on Big Red. I love that word, “Tinker”, it rhymes with another favorite word of mine.  Can you guess what it is??
After I tinkered around with the gears of the kick starter, I figured out how it should work and managed to get that part working properly. I put the cover back on the engine, utilizing any bolts and screws in the box that seemed appropriate, then I gave BIg Red a good swift kick (start, that is).

Nothing happened!

Well, that’s not entirely true. Although the engine showed no signs of life (negative), "Boo-Hoo!" -  the kick starter gears did NOT fall off into the cover panels (positive) "YAY"!!

“What’s Next??”

I will have to purchase a multi-tester to see what is, and more importantly, what is NOT getting juice. I want badly to pull off the carburetor but will wait until I have determined the starting issues. My thoughts on this are that even a bad carburetor will allow the engine to give off some kind of noise when attempting a start, manually or electrically, even with the possibility of bad gas. I am getting no noise from anywhere at all (except the sound of me breathing) even when manually kick-starting. (If I am wrong on this, please tell me). I figured it must be a wiring issue so I will also need to look into the CDI.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Please leave feedback or tips if you have the time, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time...
keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up ~

This is Shannon Da Canon ~ Blasting Off!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Taking on Big Red

I've decided to pick up a new project. It’s a new challenge that I have not attempted before but will hopefully succeed. I have always wanted to work on motorcycles but haven't taken a wrench to mine once (except to add accessories and such). Call it crazy but my theory is simple: If I am to screw up a machine by doing my own wrench work on it, I should first test my skills on something that doesn't cost anything over twenty grand. So, with that, I put off pursuing my interest in motorcycle repair... that is, until this week!

I have a couple of friends, Lenora and Allison, who live a few hours north of me, that are restoring 3 vintage B105P Suzuki motorcycles. They are working on restoring a 1966, 1967 and 1968, each with their own nicknames, that escape my mind at the moment.
My partner, Kat and I rode our Harleys north to pay these two incredible friends a weekend visit recently and had the most wonderful time. We hung out, BBQ’d, cooled off in the pool, went with Lenora on her first "group" ride (we were three) as she rode her newest motorcycle… where she lead the 3 pack.  We also bee-bopped around the backyard on those vintage Suzuki’s!  Now, before I was given the right of passage to straddle one of these vintage beauties, I had to earn my seat, so-to-speak, to ride her first. So with tools, stools and beer within reach, Lenora showed me how to remove and disassemble a carburetor and clean it. After a couple of hours of soaking (the carb in cleaner, our bodies in the pool and our bellies in beer), it was time to put the old girl back together again. With Nora acting as my coach, (and my partner, Kat affectionately taking photos of her fav grease monkey), Nora had me reassemble the heart and lungs of this bike together all by myself. I was thrilled, honored and hooked! (Thanks Nora)!!  I wanted one of these little gems of my own. So Kat and I searched and came to find Big Red, a 1984 Honda Spree for $100.00 bucks. She has been recruited to be my guinea pig in small engine repair.

I have my work cut out for me on this little red rebel toy. The guy I bought it from told me it "ran pretty good" about a year ago but feels it needs carb work and the gas is a year old as well. We shall see.

The first thing I needed to do was install a battery so I knew where I stood.  I finally found one at a good price, had it activated and charged and I just finished the install.

I was pleased to see the running taillight/brake light in good working condition, as well as the horn!  The headlamp and electric starter, however, was a different story. I will need to purchase a multi-meter to trouble shoot any electrical issues. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of money but don’t want to buy a piece of crap either so I will have to comparison shop for these things.

So what’s next??

I will have to change out the spark plug and clean the carburetor. The carburetor is going to get a thorough cleaning anyway but I may just go ahead and throw a new spark plug in there for now, just to see if she will fire up, and even though the gas is a year old, the fuel may still have enough "Umph" in it to at least let her clear her throat a bit. I’ll keep ya posted on the progress – thanks for visiting my blog!
Until next time…keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up!

This is Shannon Da Canon – Blasting off

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't worry, I am ALIVE - Shannon's Canon is just 'reloading'

LOL - Wow - I have been really busy and really neglectful here. Sorry 'bout that but real life kind of found me again and I am loving it, while the weather permits.
 Superior Bleed
Lake Superior, MI ©2009 SIG Photography
Photo by Shannon Goeman. (Canon Rebel XTi)

Kat and I have both been walking every night with the dogs, Casey (12 years old) and Riley (1.5yr old).
They love it and it’s great for us as well.

Besides the pups, we have three cats. Harley D, H. Davidson (Stewie cat) and Franklin (Franky Cat). Both Harley and Franky look alike; Davidson is a little cinnamon swirl spitfire kitty with an attitude and Brass Kahonies. Any cat that chases the dogs up the stairs would, right?? He reminds us of 'Stewie' from the animated television program 'Family Guy', personality-wise. Also when "D" runs up and down the stairs his paws make the same SFX as if Stewie was running - it's very entertaining. All cats are male and all dogs are female - no, that wasn’t planned; it just worked out that way.
Meet the kids:
H. Davidson (AKA: Stewie Cat) (Canon Rebel XTi)

Riley and Davidson watching the birds outside (camera phone)

            Harley D. (Canon Rebel XTi)
                          Harley D. (Canon Rebel XSi)
The Stewie Cat (H. Davidson) took over the dogs' perch! (Camera phone)

Casey Dog fell asleep guarding all toys from a young Riley Pup.  (Canon Rebel XTi)
Riley Pup (left) and Casey Dog (right) (Canon Rebel XSi)
Sorry that I don't have any pics of Frankie at the moment but he pretty much looks like Harley D, except Harley has a white whisker on each side of his nose, making him look like he is sporting a Foo-Man-Choo type mustache, very cute and Frankie has a slimmer tail.

I love my fuzzy family!!!

This is Shannon Da Canon - Blasting off!

Copyright ©2010 Hijinx Productions / SIG Photography. 
All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Old Farts Driving Carts

Ya know what gets my goat? Old goats driving around in those little get-'em-around scooters. Most of the old people driving those things are a danger on wheels. Half of them can't see where they are going, the other half just plainly refuse to look and ALL of them expect to be excused for their lack of manners when in motion.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying they don’t have a right to be mobile at their age, but I am saying that age does not mean they have the right to ignore courtesies and responsibilities.

Case in point:
There was a music convention held at the San Antonio Convention Center this weekend. 12,000 people attending the event on average, that's a lot of people. As my partner is walking through the double entrance door, she feels something literally clip and dig right into her heels and Achilles tendon. As she was trying to figure out what was happening, she looked behind her to see an old fart in a rascal cart still moving forward upon her feet. Her foot was literally UNDER this idiot's front scooter wheel and continuing to move forward. Yes, it sounds funny when you think about a young woman being run down by a geezer mobile but it caused some serious pain that, even today, two days later, she is unable to walk long distances and needs to rest her damaged foot. The aluminum foot rest of this "senior mobile devise" was digging into her Achilles tendon. My partner was trying to get out of this road hazard’s way before someone (mainly her) gets killed by this 4 wheeled goat herding machine.  Here's the kicker:
Do you think the old geezer stopped to see if she was injured?  NO!
Do you think he even acknowledged the fact that he slammed into her?  NO!

I see this kind of crap all the time, I myself have had a few close calls with people driving those things in superstores, and I have never seen or heard any person ever apologize for their lack of disrespect and responsibility for operating a motorized, albeit battery powered, but still motorized, machine. I seriously believe we need to apply the same kind of laws with these machines that we do our other modes of wheeled transportations.

All people should have to attend a class to learn how to operate the machine safely, not only for themselves, but also for the safety of others whom they are near when in go-mode, and upon completion of said course, allow them to obtaining a (here it is.. wait for it... wait for it... ) LICENSE TO OPERATE THE MACHINE.
Oh, I almost forgot. They should also have to pass an EYE TEST. Remember what I said earlier? Half of them CAN'T see where they are going and the other half plainly refuse to look! 

I think this is a very reasonable thing to do, after all, we all have to earn a driver's license to operate a car, and pass that all important eye exam. We have to obtain special (separate) endorsements on our driver's licenses to operate a motorcycle, a school bus, semi tractor-trailers, farming vehicles (if on public roads), and limousines. One even needs a license to operate mopeds and pocket rockets, where the engines are a half step up from a chainsaw. The fact is this: If the "vehicle" is not manually powered, as in a peddle-powered bicycle, and it has wheels, and it is to be operating within and/or near public pedestrians, then the operators should have to OBTAIN (as in EARN it, not expect it!!) a license to use the machine in public.

Oh and PLEASE do not even get me started on how many of them dang things I see on the road - yes I said ON the road - MIXED WITH TRAFFIC!  I'm sorry, but if you are that STUPID  then you deserve to be a STREET PIZZA!  It's that kind of ignorance that plainly displays the lack of responsibilities these unlicensed "operators" take for themselves and for those around them - THEY are not only a danger to themselves but also a danger to the public!

But for now, we will have to tolerate the moto-Grandpas of the world ramming into people without caution or care for others as they expect us to care about them... but I have to wonder... just how many car pile-ups it will actually take before Congress (speaking of old farts) takes notice that Grandma isn’t just getting run over by the reindeer.

This is Shannon Da Canon - blasting off!