Area51 - Mike's Misc Projects 2017:



Another year has arrived and another bunch of Projects will be taking place in our crew's Area51 locations. My first project of the year was some maintenance work on Dad's Yamaha Venture Multipurpose.




Dad was preparing to go on a West Coast snowmobiling trip so I took the sled into my garage for an inspection and maintenance. I replaced the spark plugs, changed the engine & chain case oils, and replaced two steering tie rod ends in preparation for his trip.



The full story can be found HERE on the Area51 page.



In other news, in March my Silverado rolled over 123456km which greatly pleased my mild OCD!



Later in March truck maintenance/repairs began as I discovered a burned out low beam headlight bulb. To take out the headlights on a 2011 Chev Pickup you have to remove the radiator cover, the grill, and loosen the inner fender liners to access one of three bolts that hold in each headlight. While everything was taken apart I covered all exposed sheet metal and rad support in a fresh coat of Fluid Film rust inhibitor.



Only one headlight was burned out but I replaced the left and right with new Sylvania Silverstar bulbs, while the High Beam 55w HID's still work great. I also noticed the Amber paint was almost completely peeled off the park/signal light bulbs, so I replaced those (2 per headlight) with new Sylvania Long Life Amber bulbs.



With winter mostly over I decided to swap over to my summer tires on the truck. My summers are BFG All terrain KO2's so they are well suited if we get a late spring storm.



The new winter tires I bought last November held up extremely well. They are Dean Winter Cat, load range E and worked well and have worn extremely well, which is more than I can say for the previous set which lasted one winter!



After we arrived home from Cuba at the end of April it was time to clean up the garage and free up some space by moving the Snow blower and Skidoo to my storage locker. I dumped some Seafoam in the fuel, let the machine idle for awhile and greased up the suspension to expel any trapped water from the winter.





Lastly was changing over Sandra's winter tires for her summer rims. Her Firestone Winterforce winter tires are also holding up very well after four winters.



With regular spring garage stuff completed and put away it was onto an Area51 woodworking project. Sandra wanted a Rummoli board and we couldn't find anything to buy that we liked so I decided to build one. The piece came out awesome, the full build story and finished pics can be found HERE on the Projects in the shed page.



Our BBQ which we purchased only 2 years ago started acting up by spitting flames all over the place. I took out the grills and found the tops of the burners completely rotted out! Brinkman was the manufacturer and has since gone out of business. Fortunately the fine people at Home Depot gave us a full refund in the form of an in store credit.



So the next Garage project was assembling our brand new Weber Genesis II BBQ. I coated all the steel parts inside and out with fluid film to prevent rust, of course the main BBQ body and grates were not touched! The new unit is amazing and so much better quality than any of our previous BBQ's.



This was my second woodworking project for the year, many more than most years! Sandra and I refinished this antique desk found in my fathers garage in Bay Roberts, the end results were amazing. Full story can be found HERE on the projects in the shed page.



In August it was discovered that one of the rear shocks in Sandra's Suzuki Kizashi had leaked out creating a clunk in the suspension. With the vehicle properly supported the three bolts holding the shock were removed.





The mounting bracket was liberally coated with antiseize.



The new shock went back in with ease and bolts torqued to spec.



Not all summer projects took place in the garage, but were definitely orchestrated from the garage. The first was the rebuild of our front deck which replaced rotted out boards and rails replacing them with cleaner modern black spindles. Full story can be found HERE on the projects in the shed page.



Summer work continued with repairing a few sections of fence that blew down in March's wicked wind storm. These old sections of fence with 4x4" posts were no match for 100 kph gusting to 160 kph winds we experienced!



While Steve was home in October we had a few nights in the Garage and got my '85 250sx trike project back in track.



Before we knew it November arrived and with it the threat of snow and salt on our roads so it was time to swap over to winter tires which of course means touching up paint on the rusty steelies.





Each year when I swap over tires I perform a full brake service cleaning and greasing the slider bolts and making sure the pads are free in the caliper bracket.



On my truck the job adds greasing the front end. 3/4 ton trucks actually have greaseable front end parts including steering components and ball joints.



During my inspection I found that the sliders and pots in the calipers had seized on the passenger side rear which meant new parts. Automotive supplies supplies a new factory reconditioned caliper, new rotor and new pads.







When I cleaned up the summer wheels I found that my OEM aluminum rims were starting to corrode again (I had them replaced once under warranty).



I sanded the corroded area and polished it to 1500 grit and hit the area with clear coat which hopefully will prevent the corrosion from spreading.



Lester dropped down to the garage in late November and we performed a full service on his 11/32 Honda Snowblower. The first thing was removing the augers for a cleaning and paint. When they get rusty wet snow sticks to them and builds up blocking the unit. A fresh coat of gloss paint really helps prevent this.



I also found significant corrosion inside the fuel tank, particles of which passed through the screen and into the sediment cup and carburetor bowl. I removed the tank and cleaned out all loose material. Over the summer we will take the tank off and do a Kreem treatment to plastic line and prevent further troubles.



While I was working on the fuel system Lester was hard at work brushing on a fresh coat of Tremclad Gloss Black paint on the augers. 



While the augers were out we touched up the paint inside the chute and bucket with color match red paint. This will prevent rust from forming and snow from building up.



With Lester's machine all buttoned up I decided to pick up the parts and tackle the track drive gearbox on my Honda 9/28 Snowblower. There was significant play in both the tracks and the shaft that turns them so I knew it was close to failing. The full story can be found HERE on the projects in the shed page.



With the track drive rebuild I continued on with my regular annual maintenance which includes fresh oil, fuel sediment cup & carburetor bowl cleaning, inspection, and lubrication of chute & all controls.

With 2017 all but in the books I look forward to a busy 2018 in the garage!


Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith