Grease Burrito

I really didn’t intend to spend much time at the shop that day.

It was Friday the 13th, I’d just left a message for a potential employer that I hoped would call me back, and I had just finished up drilling some holes and test-fitting the suspension. Then I sat down with the pages of instruction for the suspension and noticed the specific wheel bearing grease mentioned. I’m not going to do anything with the dry bearings sitting over on the shelf, but I might as well make sure we have the right stuff. We have a grease gun with some sort of red automotive bearing grease in it, but we use it only every couple of years on the old trailer. About all I know about it is red, which I’m reminded of every time I have to clean up the big mess in the toolbox where it has once again found a way to leak all over the place. I’m also not really sure if there’s much variation between brands for ‘red automotive grease’ but it shouldn’t be a big deal to check out the label on the tube. So I unwrapped the grease gun from the several layers of greasy plastic wrapping and with a handy shop towel for leverage I was able to get the top off. Barely any mess at all. I put the head down and held the body and was able to coax the cylinder out a bit, enough to see that it has some sort of NLGI rating but was still having trouble seeing enough of the label to know what exactly I had. So Pull on that plunger, let go and …


The grease gun shot a 5 inch cylinder of red grease into the air. And I’d grabbed it with my cleanish, right hand.

So there I’m standing, with a grease burrito (smaller style, not a giant San Francisco Mission Style burrito, only 2-2.5″ diameter) in one hand, the greasy body of the gun in the other, a ear plug in the good ear that I’m not going to be able to take out for a while, and my cell phone in my pocket that I sorta hope doesn’t ring, now.

Well, when life hands you a grease burrito, there’s nothing to do but pack bearings.

This was the grease that we bought for redoing the bearings in Shorty, so while I can’t tell you what the various specifications are, I can tell you that it probably just fine and is definitely going on those bearings over there. And since I’ve done this by hand before for Shorty, I almost know what I’m doing. I did consider wandering around American Steel to see if someone had the tool for doing this but I’m not going to be able to use this handsome grease burrito in my hand if I go do that.

Grease is the word!

Once that was done, I spent a good 15 minutes washing layers of grease off my hands til I got to the point where I could pull the earplug out of my ear. We took Lava to the shop today.

(I did get an email from the potential employer later.)


Watching Paint Dry

What do you do after priming a trailer frame? You paint it! Then, you watch it dry, flip it over and paint it again. Once that dries, you flip it and paint it some more. Paint, dry, flip, paint, dry, flip, noticing a pattern here? We’re using ultra high gloss paint, so even after it dries, it’s got quite a bit of shine to it. Ideally, I’d like for it to have a nice Bakelite look to it, we’ll see how the final version turns out.


Optimus Prime

Bad pun, I know. Blame Roy.
This weekend, we smoothed out the few remaining burrs on the frame, brushed it,  knocked the rust off and cleaned it, then gave it a coat of primer.
Flipped it on it’s back, primed the bottom and sides, let it dry. Came back the next day, flipped it right side up, primed the top and touched up the sides.
It was sweaty, stinky, and somewhat tough because it was so nice outside, but it’s done now. Left a wet paint sign on the front and called it a day.


Frame plan meets the enemy

I was somewhat surprised that our plan wasn’t significantly changed after contact with the enemy. I’d realized after closely examining the Timbren Axle-less Suspension and documentation that we’d probably need to move the crossbar near the middle a bit, and had never really been too sure how the transition from the a-beams to the coupler was going to work. Luckily we had some expertise at Desert Metal in Lovelock, NV to show us the way and make things happen.



Actual Size

Actual Size