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These ended up stinging a little more than I'd expected.
My 2006 Holden Rodeo has been shifting poorly for a little while. Initially I thought it may just be wear, but I wouldn't expect a gearbox to be gone with only 180,000km on the clock. So I decided to change the oil in there and see if that helped.

Short version? It did.

Long version?
I checked in the owners manual what oil I should put in and I was pretty confident that I was looking at the right gearbox as some of them in the book have different specifications. By the time I'd drained the oil I was starting to get a nagging doubt so I checked the builders plate and compared that to the number in the book.

Guess what? I'd gotten the wrong oil. The gearbox I thought it was used the same oil as the engine which is due to be changed soon anyway. But the gearbox it actually is needs SAE 75W-90 GL3. Definitely not engine oil. This was about 1625 on a Sunday afternoon so I took the other car around to all of the parts stores in town and by the time I got to each of then they were shut. One shutting just a few minutes before I get there even.
So what to do? Where else can I get a bit of a specialty oil? Servos that cater to trucks and have a bit more range than just fuel and chips. I managed to find the 3L I needed at the servo just out of town for about $80 total. So pretty expensive for something that I thought I already had.

The astute among you will note that the spec. calls for GL3 and the picture shows GL5 oil. When I found the oil I had to pull out my phone and do a quick search to try and find if they are compatible. I ended up finding the answer on a scooter forum which indicated that GL5 oil will be fine for a GL3 spec.

After sorting all that out I made it back home to re-fill the gearbox. I ended up putting in between half a 3/4 of a liter more oil in than came out so that may have had something to do with the bad shifting. Any by guesswork and feel I finished as the sun had pretty much gone down.

Then I went for a drive. While not being silky smooth by any means. The gearbox now shifts reliably into 2nd and feels like you'd expect the gearbox on a ute to feel.

I think I've talked too long by now so I'll finish here. But remember, triple check specs before the shops close.

Cheers,
Rex Write comment (0 Comments)
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So tonight I decided to have a little play with the Lathe. I probably should've gone to bed early for work tomorrow. but it was calling me.
You may remember that I am setting up a fixture on my mill to experiment with parts drawn in Fusion 360 then exported through to it. Unfortunately as you can see in the above picture the hold down bolts I have are a little too long. To fix this I could cut them down with the hacksaw. But I thought it would be a lot cooler and good experience to use the lathe.
So I set everything up as near as I could figure to correct.
I put a little oil on the part. I was planning to add a drop halfway through, but the spindle doesn't run with the face shield up so I had to put a drop on then just let it go. Probably not too big of a concern with this part at it's fairly small and although it will produce some heat it shouldn't get too bad.
The result of the first pass. The spindle started to load up a little then the tool seemed to jump over the little nipple that was left without actually cutting through it. So perhaps the tool is too high? Simple solution, lower it then.
Hmmm. Possibly too low. This picture looks much worse than it did in real life.
Here we go. I did add another drop of oil, but it had pretty much been thrown off by the time the tool came in, I probably won't worry in the future.
It worked. Kinda. It's a bit difficult to see in the pictures. But the surface finish on the part in the chuck isn't great and while it did cut through it wasn't particularly happy about it.

I thought it must be too low now so I moved everything around again and had another crack at this. Just for practice now.
Unfortunately this attempt was an unmitigated disaster. The tool got caught in the threads and was deflected off to the side. Then it started to cut. Thankfully I stopped the machine before anything snapped.
The Solution? Turned out not but it was a fun thing to try. I set up another tool opposite the parting tool. This is more or less how the machine was when I received it. I wish now that I'd played around more as it was. But hindsight is 20/20 and I knew even less then than I do now. However I was able to turn this to a fairly good surface finish quite easily.
The feed was set at about 10mm/min, the depth of cut was about what looked pretty good and the spindle was set at 1/4 of the way between 200 and 2000 on the dial for it. Not sure how accurate that is though.

So now that we have a nice flat surface that isn't going to deflect the tool lets try again.
This was the result. The tool just rubbed and pushed the workpiece around. It actually crushed some of the threads in the chuck so the steppers at least have a bit of go to them even if the spindle is a bit weak.

At this point I decided to call it a night and had a quick look at the turning insert I was using.
Thankfully no visible damage as I expected. However it is always good to double check.

I will probably go back to playing with the wax and delrin(?) blanks I have for a little while, at least until I get a better feel for how each of the tools work and getting them set properly. The good news there is that means I will probably get to the mill sooner again. I will rig up a fan that actually works to send some air over the stepper drivers as they do get quite hot although I think they are still just within spec for passive cooling. Then once that's done, I have worked out a method for driving the spindle so it will be full speed ahead for making some chips over there too.

Cheers,
Rex Write comment (0 Comments)
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So in my experiments with waste oil burning I have reached a new milestone. On Friday night I managed to make something hot using waste oil and compressed air alone.

I can also still break hammers. I think I trimmed too much off when I fitted the head on last time so it has just slid over the taper the wedges put in the wood. I have a few plans on how to fix this so it doesn't happen again. I'll be bringing you along for my experimentation there as well.

It took me a little while to get the fire going this good. To start with what I was trying was dripping the oil into a stream of air from my shop-vac on blow, atomizing(?) it then carrying it through into a fire that I'd already lit to get some heat into the fireplace. Unfortunately that didn't work.
I had some charcoal in the bottom of the fire to help get a decent bed of hot ashes to be spraying the oil onto. Unfortunately with any kind of draft, even from the hairdryer. The charcoal turned into embers which were getting picked up by the wind a little and heading towards the neighbors yards. Not so good.

The next thing I tried was to just jamb the nozzle from my previous test(here) through a gap in the bricks and backfill with dirt. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of that as well.

This was the result:
A nice big ball of flame, with relatively few sparks as there is much less air moving. I put a spring in the fire as this is something I have been toying with a bit recently and it did get hot.
It did take a fir while so there is plenty of room to improve but a good proof of concept. It will burn when feeding into a smallish, pre-heated chamber.


Here I was deliberately running rich to get the big fat flame to come out of the fireplace and shed some light on the surrounding area so I could see what I'm doing.

It's impressive the amount of control I have over this, for a pretty crude piece of engineering.

After I turned off the burner this is what it looked like inside the fireplace. I put some bricks on top as it was spitting a little and I was hoping to stop the bricks surrounding the fireplace from cooling too quick and cracking. The glow is what's left of the fire I was using to get everything started, scraps of wood and charcoal mainly.
This is what was left a few days later. The burner is over on the left and can't quite be seen.

I took a little video of this and I will share that as soon as I have it edited together. I am going to play with this fireplace as it is for a while and see if I can get a bit more heat out of it, then I have a small gas bottle that will probably become my new forge. I will probably be lining that with some kind of fireproof material to help stop the steel from burning out.

Cheers,
Rex Write comment (0 Comments)
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After going through building the stock for this part I'm going to make with the mill the other day I tried to work out how I am going to hold it in the mill.

As you can see there is a groove all the way around which I had planned to use to hold on to with some clamps and T nuts.

These ones in fact. However what I discovered is that all of the shorter screws that I have are a much coarser thread than what the nuts have so I'd need to pack underneath the longer ones quite substantially. Not impossible but I'd rather avoid that if I can.

So I figured I'd use the little vice that came with the mill. Some comprimises there also, but better than having to space it out by a mile. However do you think I could find it? Option C it is then.

Here we have some longer bolts that we faced the head down a little so that they will fit in the T slots. It isn't ideal as they have a hex head rather than a square head but they do lock in the slots nicely enough. The only problem is that the cutter is sitting on the block and the spindle is pretty close to the ideal height now so it would probably crash into the hold down bolts. Less then ideal.
But there is a solution. I have chucked the first bolt up in the lathe and I will part it off as short as possible which will give me plenty of length to hold this down.
Here we are, all set up and ready to go. I probably won't do this before the weekend as I don't want to be making too much noise at night and upsetting the neighbors. That can come later.

So keep an eye out and I will try to get some video of the parting off so anyone that knows a bit more than me can point out where I am going wrong.

Cheers,
Rex Write comment (0 Comments)