from the old forum:
After several days of dry weather, the excavation was picking up speed and was about 80% done. But then came a good soaking rain, turning the building site into a mud bog. Even a wheelbarrow can't get around now, so the excavation has to wait.
There is no shortage of rainy day chores, though.
First up was fixing the 3/4 ton, with the bad tranny that wouldn\'t go into reverse or nuetral. Before ripping the tranny out, it seemed prudent to check for simple things. I adjusted the kickdown cable, and verified that the vacuum line to the modulator was connected. I pulled the flywheel cover and found that one of the three flywheel bolts had backed out and had been hammering on the engine block. Ooops !!
Then I pulled the tranny pan. The oil looked and smelled normal, and there were no metal chips in the pan. The detent lever seemed awfully wobbly, though, and the detent roller was off to one side of the lever. While I was wiggling the lever, the "S" hook that connects the lever to the manual valve fell out. That didn't seem right.
It turned out that the nut holding the manual shaft had wiggled loose and allowed the shift mechanism to get out of sorts. After tighening the nut and putting things back together, the tranny runs fine.
What a relief !!! I had been concerned that I would have to either shell out big bucks for a store-bought tranny (the local auto parts monopoly wanted $1130) or else rebuild the transmission in the mud and rain. Hmmm, maybe I can afford a coyote rifle after all ????
Then I checked out the lights on the trailer. One bulb was bad, but fortunately I had a spare in my toolbox. I'd already welded the trailer's broken spring shackles, so now the trailer is ready for business.
I lay the conduit for the electrical service entrance in the trench, sliding each section of conduit over the cable so that I wouldn't have to pull the 70' of service entrance cable through the conduit later. Then I covered the conduit with 6" of dirt. The PVC air line should go on top of that, but the local building supply monopoly didn't have all the fittings needed for the air line, and it seems prudent to test the line for leaks before covering it with dirt, so that project is on hold again.
I ordered (online, of course) 30-something pounds of various seeds to sow on all the dirt that I have been digging up and scattering around. Nature abhors a vacuum, and weeds will take control of the disturbed soil if I don't get something planted quickly.
I have been planting a few trees as time and money allows. I've planted a bunch of native willow along my seasonal creek. It's easy to plant willow -- just cut a section of a branch from a willow tree, and stick it in the ground.
Funny, I haven't seen a single aspen tree in this area, even though our wet meadows should be aspen-friendly So I bought an aspen at a store. Two days after it was planted, deer or something ate it to the ground. Maybe that's why there aren\'t any aspen around ????? I may try again later.
I've "borrowed" a few ponderosa pine seedlings that I found along the back roads. These trees have a deep tap root that almost always gets damaged when you dig them up, so maybe half of them will survive, if I'm lucky. Ponderosa seems to do well in our high meadows, even in poor soil, and it's a handsome tree.
If the rainy weather persists, then I'll use the 3/4 ton and the trailer to haul in gravel. There doesn't seem to be a source of clean gravel on the mountain, so it will have to be hauled in from the Salmon River. That'll keep me busy for a while.