Thumb twiddling…

bonnet cleaning

I can’t drive the car and I can’t really work on it either… so I might as well clean it. I had it pretty clean before, but the second day of the Classic Motorcar Rally in June was done on a miserable rainy day (I need to post photos from that at some point!) and the car got filthy. So I spent a rainy weekend a couple of weeks ago scrubbing wheel wells, cleaning wheels, and since I have the bonnet unshackled from the frame, scrubbed areas which are usually impossible to reach. Hard to see in the photos above due to the flash but they are sort of a before and after shot… I scrubbed the area that gets pelted by the debris from the front tires, with brushes and sponges… then rinsed it off with a swipe from the pressure washer.

rear wheel

I also flossed the wire wheels… always a pain in the ass.

Of course the weather has turned wonderful again… all I can do is wait while my steering rack get rebuilt.

Fame & (a very small) Fortune.


I clicked over to the SNG Barratt website this morning to check on something and was confronted by my own car. I grabbed the screenshot above (which required some work as they change the image every X seconds with a script or something) and decided to post it here for posterity. I’ve blurred out the boring stuff around the edges. 😉

I have my fancy air filter setup as “reward” for this work I did for SNG. Not a bad exchange.

The photo was taken on my VERY FIRST DAY of E-type ownership. I had picked up the car in Colorado and was driving it home to Washington with my son Nicholas. You can read the whole story of that wonderful four-day roadtrip on my old website.

It works.


I finally finished all the barn project work. I have this processor seen above, a dual-tank wash system, and new this weekend – a bottom draining settling tank. With a stop at my Diesel buddy John’s house on my way home Friday night I picked up enough WVO to finally finish calibrating the processor. It turned out to be a lot of work. However, as of about 10pm tonight I know that it all functions properly. The pump works. The heating element works. The plumbing doesn’t leak. The settling tank works. The mist washer works. I’m ready to go B100! Reduce the Goolsbee family’s dependance on petroleum to near zero. (The Jaguar will still need gasoline, but I don’t drive it as much as even I’d like to!)

I was hoping to get an initial batch made, but that will have to wait. But I’m happy to have all the construction work done. I’ll likely make a few more settling tanks at some point… mostly to replace the filtration system I was using before. The steel barrels can just be used for storage after that. I have a source now for free poly barrels and this bottom draining system is a lot better than the siphoning I was doing before. Faster, cleaner… way better overall.

Here is how it works. The barrel is fitted with two drains in the bungs. One flush with the bottom, but the other with a six inch pipe extending up into the tank. Both drains come out of the bungs and bend 90-degrees, then out a foot long pipe to a ball valve. I cut a hole in the bottom of the barrel, which is now the top, and place a funnel in it to pour the oil into the barrel. The water and crud settles to the bottom of the oil naturally. The pipe with the six inch extension goes up above the water and crud. That way you can drain the clean oil out of the barrel above the level of the water and crud. Very handy. Once the accumulated crud reaches six inches (visible through the translucent poly barrel) you drain it off into a bucket from the other ball valve.

Before I settled in two poly tanks (now my washing system) and would siphon as low as I could from them into my filter barrels. It was easy to see the water at the bottom, but as it accumulated the system got harder to use. When I retired the first barrel to make it my wash tank it had easily 20 gallons of cruddy watery gunk at the bottom. It was a pain in the ass to get down from the platform and out of the barn. Now I’ll never accumulate more that about 5 gallons of water. I can drain it off as it settles.

I’ll post pictures of the whole thing soon.

Summer in Seattle

Will Send-off

I love this time of year. While the rest of the country is sweltering and sweating, it is cool, dry and pleasant here.

The first image above is taken from Will’s good-bye party. Will worked at d.f but left for a “wear a tie” job at Paccar. Sounds like a lose/lose deal to me, but whatever turns his crank. 😉 Anyway we had it at Spike’s dad’s place which is right here. It was a spectacular evening, with the sun setting behind the Olympics and marine traffic on Puget Sound. You can see all my images from that night here.

Seattle at night

That picture was taken last night as I left another social occasion. In this case Aaron Loehr of Bandwidth Advisors put on his annual Sushi party on his houseboat on lake Union. The company was excellent, the food too. The location, out at the end of a dock on the north end of Lake Union, awesome. I chatted the evening away up on the roof of the boat with a bunch of other datacenter geeks from other companies around the region. As I left I snapped this shot off the stern of the boat. It is a little blurry, but I love the way the moon plays on the water.

Car Day



Today I ran an errand at lunch, went down to a chemical supply place in Auburn to pick up some KOH for my homebrew fuel. It was a gorgeous summer day here in the Seattle area. On the way I saw a Ferrari, a Model A Ford, A Bentley, a Maserati Quattroporto, a Lotus Elise, a Lotus Esprit, and this car you see above… just sitting on the side of the road with a for-sale sign in the window. I didn’t look that closely at it, but if you want to have a guess at what it is, feel free. I guess I have a way of stumbling into unusual cars for sale on the side of the road!

On my way home i stopped at John’s in Snohomish and grabbed seven 5 gallon buckets of WVO. Last weekend I found myself short of oil just as the time came to calibrate the processor. Go figure. I plan on giving John as much BioDiesel as he wants from my output in exchange for WVO.

I also had a Jaguar XK 140 OTS pass me going southbound on SR9 as I was heading north. The weather is PERFECT for classic car outings and my steering rack is still on its way to Illinois for a rebuild! Sigh. Maybe next weekend.

Chris in Chile: Photographs

Chris & his host parents

We’re finally getting around to sorting through the 1000 or so pictures that Chris brought back from Chile. Unfortunately one of his memory cards was lost in the mail, so some 450 or so images were lost. 🙁

We do have a few good ones, among the ones that did make it here. If you are dying to look at them all, you can sift through the haystack here. The first 15 pages are repeats from the last time I posted. Chris’ camera broke shortly after he arrived in Chile, so many of the images are blurry. Add to that his photo skill inherited from his mother and you have well… what you have. 😉

But for your viewing pleasure here are a few needles from the haystack. As soon as Chris has the time to tell me what they are in more detail, I’ll post captions. (note: As of 8/14/07 they now have captions provided by Chris!)

backyard BBQ

Continue reading “Chris in Chile: Photographs”

Ready for Surgery


The 65E is up on the lift ready to get the broken steering racked fixed tomorrow. I prepped the space tonight, with some help from Christopher to get the bonnet tilted up and hung off the block & tackle in the barn. Funny, when I installed it almost 10 years ago to lift hay bales, I never would have thought that I’d be putting it to this use!

Bob Rankin will be here in the morning to help me out, as I’ve never done work on the steering before (beyond some very minor stuff) so it will be nice to have somebody with some knowledge. I’ll be sure to take pictures and share the story. Right now I’m off to bed!

Update: Noon Saturday. Bob arrived right at 9am, and we removed the rack from the car. It came off quite easily. The tie rod end on the passenger side required a puller (which Bob brought) to separate, and we had to remove the fan from the radiator, but otherwise it was a shockingly smooth operation. Bob was very helpful to have around and enjoyable company. The new rack mounts went in with no problems but Bob noted a bit of wobble in the rack… on the passenger side, opposite from where the broken mount was located. Go figure.

The broken mount, when removed from the car looks fine, and in fact can’t be made to deform like it was on the car. I guess I’m just not strong enough! 😉 The new mounts went in with no problems. But we wanted to ponder the condition of the rack prior to re-installing it.

We took a break, washed our hands and went inside to sit in the living room and have some iced tea. We took this opportunity to call Paul Wigton, who provided some further troubleshooting steps. Tea finished, we headed back out to the barn and discovered the play was in the “wrong” part of the rack. So we’re done for now. I’m ordering a rebuilt rack from Terry’s Jaguar. Maybe I’ll have the car road worthy again next weekend! Big thanks to Bob (& Paul) for the assistance!

I’ve updated my pictures too.