Monday, 24 September 2018

T-Max fuel pump cactus

The other week I was down in the capital (200Km from home) and my bike wouldn't start. Turned out to be the fuel pump.

My bike is a 2006 bike, which in my view is the best of them before they went stupid with putting the battery behind the windscreen, tilting the seat in a stupid way and belt drives (among other mass marketing madness).

The Yamaha manual suggests that you need to do heaps of work to get at the fuel pump, but I found that by just lifting the seat (as one would do putting groceries under it) that you can access the pump space neatly. Indeed there is enough space to pull it out with only taking off the vinyl cover (removing the two small fixings).


and then it just moves out of the way easily


with just a little bit of force you can pull back the plastic and easily remove the ring that secures it into the tank.

That little white cap on the fuel line is actually designed to prevent the sides being squeezed in on the fuel line (and is essentially a safety). You'll need to pull it out first, (pressing on the front) and then pressing on the side detach the fuel line and then the connector for the fuel pump / fuel level sender.

The manual makes it look more complex, with item 6 being the assembly.



Basically when you get the fuel pump assembly out, you'll want to detach the bottom section which also has the "gross particle filter" on it (at the bottom). You'll see three "press clips" and if you apply CAREFUL pressure with a flathead screw driver you'll be able to remove it without breaking that plastic.

In Australia that plastic is only sold as one assembly and is $750 ... which contains the motor too and sender too.

To actually get home the day I broke down I pulled that apart and had a go at cleaning the pump (which didn't seem dirty), but ran again when I tested it outside. So I reassembled the whole lot and put it back in and got home. So thats the reason the above looks so clean. It looked like this when I first accessed it


so I blew it off, brushed it off and carefully took it off.

As my hands were covered in fuel I didn't take any pictures of that.

I got my pump today and so pulled it all apart again and fitted it


if you're even faintly mechanical it'll be pretty clear what you need to do to fit the pump.

The pump itself cost AU$50 including shipping (from Italy), so that's an enormous saving over buying the Yamaha part. I did find an entire assembly at a wreckers for $150 but figured that given its age it'd probably need replacing too. But it was good to have that as a "backup" in case I broke the plastic housing.

Just take your time juggling it out (the sender lever comes out last and put the assembly at an angle), and you'll need to pull up on the seat to ensure it has enough clearance ... it only just fits in that hole.

Its worth noting that the wires which clip onto the tags are also held in place by a small spring lock, which will become obvious when you're looking at it clearly. There is a small part to press (with a small flat blade screwdriver) that allows it to simply pull of the tag.

So, then I just re-assembled it and the whole process (this time) took an hour (at most).

I'd suggest nitrile gloves if you're worried about getting fuel on your hands.

Go wild

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Gunna do it up

an go water skiin'


understanding and properly identifying idiots

One of my favorite books is called "Shop Class as Soulcraft"  by Matthew B Crawford; its an excellent book for those who love to do things with their hands and happen also to be deep thinkers.

In that book Matthew discusses a piece from Pirsigs well known classic "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". Let me quote from Matthews book and how he deconstructs that below:

The shop was a different scene from the ones I remembered. The mechanics, who had once all seemed like ancient veterans, now looked like children. A radio was going full blast and they were clowning around and talking and seemed not to notice me. When one of them finally came over he barely listened to the piston slap before saying, "Oh yeah. Tappets."

Three overhauls, some haphazard misdiagnoses, and a lot of bad faith later, the narrator picks up
his bike from the shop for the final time.

Now there really was a tappet noise. They hadn’t adjusted them. I pointed this out and the kid came with an open-end adjustable wrench, set wrong, and swiftly rounded both of the sheet-aluminum tappet covers, ruining both of them.

"I hope we’ve got some more of those in stock," he said.
I nodded.

He brought out a hammer and cold chisel and started to pound them loose. The chisel punched through the aluminum cover and I could see he was pounding the
chisel right into the engine head. On the next blow he missed the chisel completely
and struck the head with the hammer, breaking off a portion of two of the cooling
fins.

Finally he gets on the road, only to discover that the shop had neglected to bolt the engine back into
the frame; it was hanging on by a single bolt.
I found the cause of the seizures a few weeks later, waiting to happen again. It was a little twenty-five-cent pin in the internal oil-delivery system that had been
sheared and was preventing oil from reaching the head at high speeds.

... Why did they butcher it so? 
... They sat down to do a job and they performed
it like chimpanzees. Nothing personal in it. 
... But the biggest clue seemed to be their expressions. They were hard to explain. Good-natured, friendly, easygoing—and uninvolved. They were like spectators. You had the feeling they had just wandered in there themselves and somebody had handed them a wrench. There was no identification with the job. No saying, "I am a mechanic." 
"Nothing personal in it." Here is a paradox. On the one hand, to be a good mechanic seems to require personal commitment: I am a mechanic. On the other hand, what it means to be a good mechanic is that you have a keen sense that you answer to something that is the opposite of personal or idiosyncratic; something universal. 
In Pirsig’s story, there is an underlying fact: a sheared-off pin has blocked an oil gallery, resulting in oil starvation to the head and excessive heat, causing the
seizures. This is the Truth, and it is the same for everyone. But finding this truth requires a certain
disposition in the individual: attentiveness, enlivened by a sense of responsibility to the motorcycle. 
He has to internalize the well working of the motorcycle as an object of passionate concern. The truth does not reveal itself to idle spectators.
Pirsig’s mechanic is, in the original sense of the term, an idiot. Indeed, he exemplifies the truth about idiocy, which is that it is at once an ethical and a cognitive failure. The Greek idios means "private," and an idio¯te¯s means a private person, as opposed to a person in their public role; for example, that of motorcycle mechanic. Pirsig’s mechanic is idiotic because he fails to grasp his public role, which entails, or should, a relation of active concern to others, and to the machine. He is not involved. It is not his problem. Because he is an idiot.

After reading the above when I read the book some years past I understood the problem with the modern world. In a world awash with selfies and the clamor for "look at me ... mum look at ME" attention (like a pack of reproducing birds) on the internet that more and more people are failing to emotionally develop as part of the normal process. This results in a bunch more people (perhaps even most of the population now) with some form of NPD (which is no longer regarded as a disorder because its become the new normal).

One of the attributes of a narcissist (well and, curiously, a psychopath too) is the inability to empathise or think externally ... makes for a bad mechanic (just for starters). I wrote a post on this subject a few years back here which takes a different angle on it.

So to me the problem with idiots is not that they are stupid, its that they can't function in many roles at all ...

Monday, 20 August 2018

New battery for my shed

Well my 3000mAh Li-ION battery arrived today, it has two leads, one for "output" and the other for "charger" ... given that it had to be turned on to charge I was suspicious that it had no electronics and the leads would be the same. As I wasn't sure I opened it up and looked. Below is the only "electronics" that existed in it.



So yep the wires were just in parallel so I could have just plugged it into the charger and left it "un cut" and let the Solar Charge Controller look after the voltages.

You can see that its just three cells in there... something I suspected but wanted to confirm.



So the 12.6V rating is quite optimistic because it will only deliver that for a short time (as maximum safe charge on a Li-ION is normally 4.2V (unless you don't care about their lifespan).

Indeed it says 12.6 - 10.8V ... which is interesting as this means cells are pulled down to 3.6V (you know, 10.8 divided by three) and that's low for a lithium cell as normally you'd want to discharge them to around that at worst case.

None the less in my shed I expect that the lights will be on for no more than half an hour per day ... so all good.

So with the (quite compact) battery now prepped for sticking into my charger....


I did just that:


Of course I'll be measuring actual voltages as we get some time "in service", and not just relying on the controller's set voltages to be accurate (although I've found them pretty close).

But for $15 its pretty decent (well you know).

I'll let you know how it goes.