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Old 03-29-2013, 04:18 PM   #641
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Welcome to the forum, John.
Millicent will be coming thru Willits in May, going to the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Humboldt County. I'll honk and wave.

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:06 AM   #642
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Elliot's off helping his Brother's Norwegian zoo, and left Millicent with me, so our muralist has been working on the passenger side..
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =1&theater
and
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =1&theater
now for the tailgate image.....
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:46 AM   #643
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:20 PM   #644
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg


Here we go. These pics are not optimal, but they'll do for now. Two of the vehicles are in the water at Kinetic races, and the third (front) is from Burning Man. As on the other side, artist Kurt Kabica of Davis, CA, painted from photos of us in action.



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Old 05-09-2013, 01:52 AM   #645
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Very cool.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #646
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

"QUARTERLY REPORT"

Millicent suffered a small but Serious failure on the latest trip. The engine oil line to the air compressor rubbed thru on a sharp corner of another fitting, and engine oil leaked out. The last two trips it had seemed like the engine consumed more oil than usual! Well, I found that oil, all over the undercarriage.

This could easily have totaled the engine.

Lesson: Keep a sharp eye out for developing problems like hoses rubbing on... sharp things.

Also, the transmission fluid has "turned to vinegar". Too much heat on long hill climbs. I read that the synthetic ATF "TranSynd" is worth the extra money, so I'll probably spring for that. Ought to install an external cooler, of course.

Carry on.

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:24 PM   #647
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

wow glad you didn't blow anything up! on our last trip I notice some type of oil film on the under carriage check the fluids tranny was a bit low, but still in the cross hares, kept a close eye on everything, when I got home I had closer look, and notice the spin on oil filter for the tranny had pin hole in it .
just goes to show you have to really keep an eye on things
good to hear form you
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:40 PM   #648
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Yep, maintenance starts with frequent and thorough inspections, and I had probably become a bit complacent. I didn't notice it until I set out to drain the waste tanks, and the drain spout was oily. It may have started leaking as much as 2,000 miles ago -- but it clearly became much worst in the last 600.

When I drove 18-wheelers I would often have to wait, and I would stare at the truck from every possible angle. Once in a while I found something that the company shop then quickly fixed.

Any wetness under a bus is a Bad Sign. The underside of a motor vehicle should be dry.

Now I would like to clean the mess off. I'm thinking a couple gallons of Gunk in a garden sprayer and then the garden hose. It would be an environmental sin, but what is a guy supposed to do -- lick it off and swallow it? The shop who worked on it was not allowed to do any spray cleaning. Seems we are now expected to take such cleaning jobs to cleaning specialists, with fancy equipment to collect every drop for recycling. In concept I am certainly in favor of that. But apparently there isn't such a facility for 100 miles from here. So... what's a good degreaser? Gunk?
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:12 PM   #649
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Elliot,

Not knowing the inner workings of an MT643, do you have a means of locking the converter on those hill climbs? I had a truck with a 700R4 GM transmission in it with a simple toggle switch for the converter lock up wired through the brake switch and a relay for safety which allowed me to lock up the converter whenever I wanted since a bum transistor in the ECM wouldn't do it anymore. Doing so allows you to lock it in a lower gear which will reduce temperatures on the fluid and as long as you watch to make sure EGTs aren't going too high I think you would be safe from burning a hole in a piston. But...I don't know if that is possible and don't claim to be an expert at much of anything, but especially not the black magic of automatic gearboxes.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:49 PM   #650
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Hey Andrew!

I am somewhat familiar with the 700R4, and I know they can be locked with a toggle switch if suitable wiring is installed. Not what you'd want for Mom's car, but a handy tool for a gearhead.

So far as I know, the MT643 has no electrical controls. Everything happens by RPMs and throttle position. And on mine, throttle position does not play in, because that linkage is on the fritz! I downshift manually if the pyrometer calls for it. In 4th, I usually downshift to 3rd at 1.700 RPMs. 3rd to 2nd around 1,500 (wider ratio gap). (Redline is 2,600.)

My tranny locks in 3rd and 4th, after its own mind. In a sense, it feels like a 5- or 6-speed -- 1, 2, 3, 3 lock, 4, 4 lock, or maybe 1, 2, 3, 3 lock, 4 lock. Not sure which -- have not paid that much attention. In fact, it seems to depend on whether I'm going downward in the tranny or upward. And in rolling hills it will do all sorts of combinations.

But so far as I know, it can not be controlled by a toggle switch or any such. That sure would be nice.

I really ought to fix the modulator linkage, though.

But I am now hot on the trail of a fill of Allison/Castrol TranSynd or equivalent fluid. This is now THE fluid for Allison transmissions. It is sold under several brand names -- the vital specification is "TES-295". Do NOT use "Dexron VI" in an Allison -- there is some chemical incompatibility which causes rubber seals to leak. TranSynd is expensive, but apparently worth every penny.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:36 PM   #651
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

I did install TranSynd transmission fluid. $250.- for five gallons at the Cummins / Allison dealer. I'm tempted to say I could feel crisper shifts, but.... At any rate I proceeded to pull a heavy load over the Sierra Nevadas and back. The temperature gauge is inaccurate, but I'm pretty sure it stayed lower than on the same trip previous years. So all is well.

Oh.... And here we are at that campsite across the Sierras. The 40'x40' tarp keeps Millicent and everybody cool even in the scorching desert. Outboard supports are construction scaffolding.

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Old 09-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #652
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

good to hear all is well, I have mentioned "that camping trip" to my wife....she's not keen on the idea
.
.
I need to go by myself to experience it
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:26 AM   #653
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Quote:
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good to hear all is well, I have mentioned "that camping trip" to my wife....she's not keen on the idea
Yep, my wife is similarly not enchanted with the idea. Probably the wives are put off by all the drugs and half-naked women running around out there. So you're gonna go solo, eh? I think you'd have a harder time convincing your wife of that plan!
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:44 AM   #654
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

The Burning Man Art Festival is definitely not for everyone. And every year I go, I find that there are more and more people who really ought not to be there, even though they tolerate the environmental conditions well enough.

Burning Man is a major commitment – or at least it should be. Participants are expected to actually participate – that is, contribute to the community. There are not supposed to be anybody who just bought a ticket and came to “see it”. While this is technically possible, and not illegal…. If everyone came to “spectate”, there would be no Burning Man to “see”.

Of course, with the population now up to 68,000, there are “tourists” present, and it is already becoming a serious detraction for everyone who actually contributes and participates. So we don’t want to be “one of those”.

For anyone who is considering going, I suggest starting by reading extensively on the event web site. Begin by reading all the First-Timer Information, which includes the Survival Guide. Then read the Survival Guide twice more, or until you truly comprehend it. Then read about Volunteering. Study the street layout. How to build shade. Which neighborhoods are quiet and which are noisy. Etc, etc.
I’m not posting links to this. This is your first exercise in Self Reliance, Burning Man style.

I’ve been going since 2006, although I missed 2011 because of illness. (Much better now, thank you!) This year I repaired bicycles for five hours a day for ten days or so. Then I worked seven 6-hour shifts on Perimeter patrol – meaning I kept people from sneaking in, and assisted folks who were lost or otherwise in need of assistance. Finally I helped unload ice trucks.
This is not meant to sound like bragging. These are examples of how participants can, and should, take part in the community.

Of course, the primary way to participate is to make art. There is absolutely breathtaking art out there, and so much of it! But I have precious little artistic talent, so I don’t bring sculptures, I don’t play music, I can’t sing. My “art” is fixing bicycles.

Put another way, I think of Burning Man more as Black Rock City, a village where everyone has a productive role in society. I’m the village bicycle repairman.

Of course, the villagers dance in the streets quite a lot.

So if you are interested, start reading. And start trying to comprehend. We talk of the “Burning Man Ethos”, and if this does not ring a bell with you, then you may be better off with a different vacation, no offense intended.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:52 AM   #655
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg


As for half-naked people, here I am in the bicycle shop with a happy customer. This was on Tutu Tuesday -- in case that isn't obvious.



(No, I'm not wearing a wrist watch! That's my Volunteer wrist band.)
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:27 PM   #656
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

As for half-naked people, here I am in the bicycle shop with a happy customer. This was on Tutu Tuesday -- in case that isn't obvious.



(No, I'm not wearing a wrist watch! That's my Volunteer wrist band.)

Elliot, you're hot! If I was a woman, I'd be all over you. Thank god for both of us I'm not.

Sorry to hear about your mechanical misfortune. If you haven't cleaned up the bottom of the bus yet, I know of a place in Oakland that's cheap. They steam cleaned the front third of my undercarriage for about $50. There was a lot of crud under there to get off. The place in South City wanted $120/hour with a 2 hr. min. If you want the location, shoot me a PM.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #657
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Ah yes... the oily mess underneath Millicent. I bought a jug of degreaser and went thru one treatment. I put the degreaser in a garden sprayer and applied it, then hosed it off with the garden hose. It helped some, but not a lot. I suppose the "environmentally friendly" formulas won't ever work like the "good old" toxic ones. I reckon I'll give it a couple more treatments.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:12 AM   #658
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

I love the whole "city/community" aspect of the event

I read "the guides" etc at least twice a year...one day....one day...I actually have "my art display" on paper and in my head
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #659
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
I love the whole "city/community" aspect of the event

I read "the guides" etc at least twice a year...one day....one day...I actually have "my art display" on paper and in my head
You are doing it right, as the saying goes. But don't go overboard with your art the first year. You will have plenty else to "deal with" -- such as the basic "culture shock", and the harsh climate.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:48 PM   #660
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg


Hey, I have actually done something productive with Millicent again!




The first was an upgrade to the lower bunk that serves as a sofa. The bed was parallell with the floor. But the pavement we drive and park on often slopes to the curb, so people tend to roll off the bed/sofa. Also, sitting on a horizontal surface is not comfortable – it should slope down toward the backrest a bit.
So I made a spacer that lifts the edge of the bed a couple inches.
The spacer consists of three layers of plywood, in strips almost as long as the bed. I cut these from a sheet that happened to have some white paint on it. Two strips are four inches wide and the middle one is two inches.
The picture tells most of the story. The bed now rests on the spacer, which rests on the original support. Yet the spacer can be quickly lifted out and stored under the bed if desired. Yes, those are life jackets I store under the bed – for the Kinetic races.





The second item was plain maintenance. Each air tank (for the air brakes) has a drain valve (for moisture), and the valves were failing to close properly. Maybe the springs weaken with age? So I replaced them.
To drain the tanks, I simply pull on the cords, and they close again by themselves (when they work properly).


I need to clean the battery terminals, and that should be it to get her ready for the season.
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