Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A better day

It really was. But it really didn't add up. No girls hanging around me, much, or even paying attention...OK, a little. Boss wasn't around enough to get on my case, though. Clyde is still in pieces, but I did have one real triumph: I finally got the lock nut off of the stub shaft on my power steering box. It required that I make my own tool and plenty of "heat valve" lubricant to soak through the rust weld.

I know that is real exciting for all of you. It is just hard for me to do without my truck. I get a lot done with it. I use the thing how a truck is meant to be used. If I didn't need it I would be happy with a Volkswagen GTI to be honest. I love the direct injected diesel technology. Add that with the rise of bio-diesel and I get excited. I don't see a straight conversion from where we are to electric cars. Let's face it, unless the energy that we get to run those cars and manufacture them is clean we are no better off. We just get to feel smug and pat ourselves on the back for it. The internal combustion engine makes the best power per cost ratio at this time right now. There are many options left to keep us running and enjoying our driving experience. The bio fuel revolution is here and we just need to support it where we can.

One of my friends' dads does the "backyard" grease to bio-diesel production. He has been running a Ford F-350 Super Duty with the Powermax turbo diesel on this stuff for the past two years. His cost for fuel is now running at under $1.20 a gallon. I know of some that are running as low as $0.80 a gallon. Of course, this is if you can get the used grease for free and you have already paid off your production equipment--given that someone is not there to profit off of you. The money isn't even the biggest issue. It's that we can grow our fuel--it's even better than that: we can use it before it becomes fuel for cooking. When's the last time you ever fried up fish and chips in petroleum?

It isn't just diesel. Ever heard of switch grass? It yields much, much more energy than soy beans or corn to produce ethanol. Basically, you could grow this stuff on the sides of interstates and other under used, non-wilderness land.

The ultimate benefit of all of these is that the car is back converting the fuel into energy and the energy is clean--you are in charge, not some huge energy plant. The infrastructure does not go under radical changes like hydrogen fuel cell cars would require. Plus, we might just get our dicks out of the sand within our lifetimes.

Can you tell that my mind isn't wallowing in the mire today?


Clearlykels said...

My friend wants to buy an old diesel car and make his own bio diesel. Apparently, his brother does it. It sounds very interesting, but as I won't even consider changing my own oil, I'll leave it to him.

vera said...

we should just ride cows...

goldennib said...

Glad you are feeling better. We're looking into putting solar panels on our house and a windmill in the backyard. It all sounds very neat-o-bandito.

Scary Monster said...

Me be glad that the winds of fortune are blowing yer way again.
Hope that Clyde'll be up and running real soon. Me don't know what me would do iffin Bruno were out 'o commission. (Can you send me a couple of pics of clyde?)

Me didn't know you could make yer own bio-diesel! Where can me get more info on that.

Jules said...

My brain read trucks, cars, fixing vehicles and something about lubricant and my eyes just glazed over. I feel lucky to have survived and be able to pull myself from the wreckage, quite frankly. But it sounded like you had a better day, and that's the most important part. I'm sure Clyde will be ready for Round 2459 in just a few days.

Christielli said...

Glad that you had a better day. :)

Keshi said...

good on ya!


egan said...

Mr. Grunt, I work with Volkswagen so if you're truly interested in the GTI, let me know. I'm not saying I can get the car for free... but I can help a bit.

Biodiesel is very promising. I'm hoping it will be more readily available soon. Our local Safeway gas station has Biodiesel which is a very good sign. Thanks for presenting this angle of the benefits of biodiesel.

The Grunt said...

Kels~ It is a really good idea to leave it to someone else. Oil is really messy;)

Vera~ And make them play fetch with watermelons!

Nessa~ That does sound very neat-o-bandito!

SM~ I will gather what I can and scan them, pictures of Clyde. Most of them are not digital. There is a ton of info on making biodiesel on the internet. You do need to talk restaurants into giving you their grease. You should also have a garage or backyard that you don't mind if it gets a bit lard encrusted.

Jules~ Clyde is hardly ever down for more than just one day. If I didn't need to save money I could have opted to buy a remanufactured steering box and just swapped them. Instead, I am pulling this thing apart completely and doing the overhaul myself. I have pulled apart transmissions before, so I don't get too squeamish. This is a lot more complex than I had envisioned, though. Power steering is really cool--how it works.

Christielli~ Well, with friends like you how could I go wrong?

Keshi~ What's good on me? Oh yeah, say no more!

The Grunt said...

Egan~ You are sneaky. I didn't see you slip in there.

That is really cool that you work for Volkswagen. My second car that I owned was a 1969 Beetle and I have had an interest in their cars ever since then. I have been considering changing jobs and when I do I might need a commuter car. You just might hear from me then.

egan said...

Alright, keep me posted sir.