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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Shadetree mechanical musings 

This post is not about bikes, as keith pointed out that my recent posts were running about 50% bike content. I'll try to work out my obsessions elsewhere for a while.

Today's lesson is this: the Good Thing is not very user-serviceable!

Battery started to die on the car, so I replaced it. $100 including tax and envirolevy from my everybody's favourite retailer.

I've never had to borrow a shop manual from the library to change a battery before. The good news is that you don't have to remove the fender, which I thought might actually be part of the procedure. You just have to unbolt and push around the power steering fluid reservoir, plus the plastic engine shroud, and then wrestle a 50-pound battery sideways and up in a confined space. Yeugh. I made the task extra hard by not having the proper battery-power preservation tool (if the battery is unplugged for very long, the car goes brain-dead and can require a service-code reset, a delightfully expensive two-minute procedure). Instead, I used a ghetto method of clipping an emergency jumpstart unit to the terminals and then very carefully removing them from the old battery. The battery had better last its warrantied five years, because I don't want to deal with it until then.

Oh, and here's the vehicle I really want: the Gixxerkart. It's a go-kart with more horsepower than the above-mentioned car, thanks to the generous donation of an engine by a motorcycle. The resulting vehicle weighs considerably less than the original motorcycle, and I think the site has some fairly impressive videos of the kart getting very sideways and going very fast. This is the craziest ride this side of Rainey and Lawson's 250 GP superkarts

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