car project home repair

Ramp it up

[Today’s run/walk: 6.8 miles]

Today I worked on building a ramp from our newish concrete driveway addition up and into the new shed.

It turned out ok. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture and it is currently dark outside. Maybe I can get you a picture tomorrow. (picture below!)

The new shed has an 8 ft wide roll-up door. Roughly half of the shed is for housing the newish lawn mower. The other half is to be shelves and general storage.

I drove the mower up into the shed.

Later I drove the mower down out of the shed to go mow the bit of our responsibility over beyond the neighbor’s house. Which I did. Then I returned the mower to the shed.

It does drag a little bit on the lip at the top, particularly when coming down. I’m not sure if I’m going to do anything about that. It would require rebuilding with a longer ramp length. I may find a way to temporarily raise the mower deck when putting it away. [we could use the height knob… but it is a knob and requires some hand strength which only one of us in this household is able to deploy. That would put me back into the mowing critical path where I do not want to be.]

Today I also did a bit of work on the Aerostar. I had noticed that the rear differential had a lot of greasy dirt on it. It appears that the seal near where the driveshaft connects (the pinion seal) has been leaking.

I took the oil level plug out and it seemed to be kind of dry in there. So I went and bought some gear oil and put most of one container (quart?) in the unit. This was with the rear end up on jack stands, so it may not be optimal but it is better than what it was.

I then did a little bit of driving. It drives fine. The only drivetrain issue remaining is the transmission delays in upshifting. They are not predictable. Otherwise it starts right up and seems to run fine.

I caused a problem with the door latch on the driver’s door and right now I have to roll down the window and reach out and use the exterior handle to get out of the vehicle.

I don’t think the A/C works. No sign of life so far. That can be kind of a bummer around here during the half of the year we call Summer.

Anyway, I had wondered if the rear differential was dragging and causing the transmission not to shift. But I think today’s work/results rule that out.

I’m going to try to find a place which will do a filter/fluid clean out service on the transmission. That may be my next step.

The van, the shed and the ramp: