Busy Weekend!

Started Friday night – the battery in my 262c died. 🙁 Amazing what a new battery will do for a car, though. The battery must have been dying for a while because the car runs better – smoother almost, starts faster, and idles better. Lesson learned.

My Mom’s DSL connection was dog slow. Come to find out that her speeds had been dropped down by Qwest or whatever they call themselves now. There may be a bad line from the pole to her house though – the neighbor’s tree is pulling the line down.

I made progress on my seat adapters for the 262c so I can put BMW seats into it. I ran out of 1 1/4 flat 1/8th strap, so I’ll have to get that to finish. I’ll put up pictures when I’m done.

Another thing I did was do a quick garage alignment on the 262c. When I installed the new-to-me rack it moved the steering wheel so it pointed to the right. A couple quick turns and it was pointed back straight. I still have to adjust it back a tiny bit, it’s pointed to the left now just enough to be annoying but not enough to be obvious. That and it has a teensy weensy pull to the right. Before I learned how to make these adjustments I would have spent the $70 to get it aligned but not any more. A quick session in the garage and I took care of alot of ills.

On other fronts: the Arizona Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 again! Wins over Belmont and Harvard have put them in a contest with Ohio State. It’ll be a tough game but should be a good contest.

Marana Unified’s spring break is over, the kids went back to school today. They weren’t too excited, to say the least.

That’s enough news, more stuff later!

Hard drives – breaking them down

So, I spent some time this weekend breaking down some of the huge pile of dead drives I’ve gotten from work. It was more work than I thought it would be. A LOT more.

The easiest way to break them down begins by using a razor blade to cut a small flap out of the label on the drive cover. Why, you ask? Well, there is always at least one but more often than not, two screws through the cover holding down the middle of the cover. Along with that are usually six, three on each side.

Once the top is unscrewed, it’s time to flip it over. The circuit board can be held by anything from four to eight screws, and once they’re removed the board just lifts away. The reason for this is apparent when you lift the board off, there is usually a pass-through on the corner of the drive and board that has ‘fingers’ that make the contact between the inside and outside of the drive.

Once the cover is lifted away you’ll see the magnet, the head assembly, the platter assembly, and the pass through. There are usually two screws holding down the pass through, and one or two holding down the bottom magnet plate. The head assembly or arm is usually held in by a screw from the top or the bottom. The platters are usually held to the motor by six screws through a hold down plate.

That’s about it. Pull the guts out, peel the aluminum stickers off and any gaskets and you’re done. On to the next one.

By now you’re wondering – Why? Why is this guy dismantling drives? I want the drive chassis’ for the metal – I’m melting down drives for the raw materials for my metal work projects. Part one is to make a lathe. More in later posts… 🙂


So, things have improved on the car. Thanks to Alex, I have a replacement rack in the car. What a cast iron bitch. Not because the rack was difficult to take out but because it was so messy!

I had let the leak fester for way too long and it showed – there was hydraulic fluid everywhere and it mixed with dirt. More on the dirt: there was a rainy night back when the county was redoing the intersection o La Cholla and Ruthrauff and I was driving with one of my kids and it was really dark. So dark that I missed the traffic re-direction away from the dirt side of the road and I went right over this pile of dirt on the border. I thought I’d bent the cross member but fortunately it had only scraped a layer of dirt off the pile and embedded it into the cracks and crevices between the rack and the cross member. Fast forward to present day – I spent at least an hour breaking out pieces of caked greasy mud and nearly vitrified mud chunks. What a pain in the ass.

Mud removed, I moved on to disconnecting everything from the rack. This included hoses, the steering column joint, sway bar, and the tie rod ends. Yeah, about those tie rod ends – nothing was easy on this little project. Normally, you hit the locking nuts with the impact and then tap on them and that loosens them up. Not this time. No amount of beating on the ends was working – time to think outside the box – then I had a Eureka! moment. :). HEAT! I pulled out the torch and hit them with a little heat and all I did was tap the ends and the ends just popped off. Go figure! Problem solved.

Re-assembly was anti-climactic. The only hiccup was that the tie rod ends didn’t have their nylock nuts – not a problem when you have an Ace Hardware nut and bolt selection :). The hardest part was re-assembling the joint on the rack to the steering column. There’s a section on the coupling that has a couple of missing serrations that need to line up so that the steering wheel is in some semblance of ‘straight’. Doing it upside down, even when you have lighting – it was a bear. Everything got put back together, down to the cleaned up metal gravel shield. Best of all – no leaks!

Swapping out the radiator was anti-climactic – just a simple swap. It took me longer to get the radiator repaired at Performance Radiator on Ft Lowell. Only $40 and a couple of days and it was done.

And just like that, over a weekend, the car was almost leak free. There’s still a minor oil leak, need to find where it’s coming from. I know that the rear main seal needs to be replaced and it looks like the oil lines going to the remote oil filter. In addition, it looks like the cam seal is leaking and the water pump is failing. Looks like there’s another weekend of work in my future.