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About SST

  • Birthday 01/08/1962

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    Flying. Boating including chasing lake freighters. Exploring historical infrastructure especially current and historical railroads.

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  1. Years ago, I had a 1996 Saturn SC2. For the first 50K miles or so, the oil level never changed and it was always clean. But as time went on after that, I could barely get to 1K before it was black and had to keep adding oil. Even adding Lucas oil treatment only boosted it a little bit. Compression on that engine was awful. I'd have to do 90 going downhill so I could maintain 30 going up the next hill with my foot on the floor! haha But I really did like that car. No dents. And it did very well in deep snow. My Focus has no oil alerts. Although maybe it has a low level alert but it never gets there anyways.
  2. The Ford dealer where I bought my truck tried to convince me that I needed to change my oil every 3k. I laughed at him. What's really annoying is that the trucks computer has been programmed to alert me every 3K miles to change my oil. My only option is to reset the alert to zero which then starts the "clock" back to 3K miles alert. I can't adjust it to 4K or 5K. The public is brainwashed to the 3K mile rule. The other thing I always wondered about from Ford is the oil conditioning. I asked them what that was. He said it breaks up potential sludge. trucks on blood thinners. My Focus uses semi synthetic oil. I don't get it changed until 7K or 8K. Usually combine tire rotation with the oil change.
  3. Nice pics. Site has the same "problem" with ads as did photobucket. Made it difficult to view your pics because the ads were driving the computer to a hault.
  4. No problem with oil draining back into the pan. By the time I shut the engine off, got it back on the trailer, get it back in the driveway, drag out and assemble the extractor.....about 1 hour. Now knowing that the stick is shorter than the tube, I think all I'll do is look for a plastic tube and cut a longer length that will reach all the way into the pan. Once that happens, I'm fairly certain the West Marine extractor will work fine. The problem, I think, is that with the extension hose short, and if you lose the vacuum, there is no way to retrieve the rest of the oil because it isn't being reached. I think the longer extension will take care of it. Thanks for the help.
  5. Twice you have said the dipstick TUBE goes to the bottom of the pan. But how about the STICK? Does the stick go to the bottom of the pan? If the stick is the same length as the tube, then there isn't much else I can do.
  6. The boat is sitting on the trailer and is slightly bow low. I guess my next adventure with this is get a longer piece of plastic hose and hook it up and see if there is a difference. I had considered just pulling the plug but its a tight fit to get underneath. Not enough clearance to get both hands underneath. Impossible to unscrew the plug and hold onto it while holding the funnel in place so it doesn't spill into the compartment. Which is what I think everybody has done in the past. 150 degree oil makes it even more enjoyable.
  7. I decided to start changing my own oil so I bought the West Marine Extractor. First question: When checking the dipstick, the oil level was between the full and add marks. How low is the oil...1/2qrt....1 qrt? I always thought it was 1/2qrt. Second question: Where does the dipstick end? Top, middle or bottom of the oil pan. When I assembled the extractor, the extension line was the same length as the dipstick. I had expected the extension line to be longer than the dipstick. When I vac'd the oil, it only pulled out 4qrts [including the filter]. I was expecting 5qrts. BTW, the engine was hot. So, I took a 1qrt bottle and filled the oil filter and poured the remaining into the engine. Then poured the 4qrt jug in. Waited a few minutes and checked the dip stick before adding part of the second 1qrt bottle. The dipstick showed an overfill [not huge]. I didn't add anymore. Yesterday, I put the muffs on and ran the engine and then let it sit. Checked the level and it looks good. But I still wonder how much old oil is still in there. I realize that some will remain. Anybody else use the extractor?
  8. How much tongue weight reduction is safe? Don't you need tongue weight to keep the hitch on the ball in case of hitting an unexpected bump or coupler failure?
  9. Just for clarification, the blisters underneath my boat were there long before I took ownership of it. The boat was already 20 years old. Please do not interpret that I am careless with my boat because I don't use bottom paint. They are not the normal 1'x1' blisters that are imminently about to peal away. They are just tiny little pimples. Funny thing is, my friend has a boat that is even older than mine. Has a slip for the season. Been there for 20+ years and doesn't even clean it during the season. Doesn't use any form of bottom protection. Has no blisters on it.....anywhere. Please explain why his boat has none and mine does. I seem to recall [from long ago] a discussion that Chap did something different in the development of the gelcoat that allowed blisters to form. Nothing to do with bottom paint, barrier or otherwise. The discussion may be on page 120 but I'm to lazy to look for it. Close to 2009.
  10. I wish I had read your reply earlier today. i was in the area. But I'll check it out. Thanks. This stuff doesn't actually prevent bottom growth. What it does is it slows down the growth. And makes it much easier to clean any growth that does form. I've never let my boat go all season without giving the bottom a little scrubbing during the season. Maybe for a cruiser this wouldn't be a good product for us shorties it works. I have searched the internet for this specific product. I have seen businesses selling natural marine but it's usually everything but the bottom coating. Which is why I came here for possible suggestions.
  11. For the first 5 years or so, I used Natural Marine-Easy on Bottom Coating. Great stuff. I didn't put any treatment on the boat this year because its not in a slip. I am on two wait lists for next season. I cannot find it. West Marine, which is where I use to buy it, doesn't carry it. Can't find it on-line either [to purchase]. Easy on was so much better to apply. It was like a liquid wax. I've use VS721 but its much more difficult to apply as it is like a paste wax. Apply it, wait for it to dry and then have to remove the glaze. I don't like spending that much time under the trailer. No, I'm not using bottom paint. There is this website but I wouldn't make a purchase from it:
  12. It was attached to the waterski eye and it was sitting on the bench seat not hanging over the side. I can only guess a gust of wind got a hold of it and blew it over the swim platform and when I made the turn and slowed down the prop got it i have two anchors that I could have used if necessary.
  13. While taking an evening run I entered the Niagara River heading for my usual spot at buckhorn state park. There is a shelf that is 1.5 feet deep. The entryway for me is a green buoy which is down river and is deep so no hitting the bottom. As I approached, another boat was coming out so I turned about 100 feet inside the buoy. Have done it before with no problem. But as I crossed over the area the boat suddenly lagged in power. I immediately came to a stop assuming I got some seaweed. Forward and reverse. Seemed ok. Started to go forward and lagged again. This time I couldn't get the drive out of gear and the engine stalled. I didn't dare start it again. Now my thoughts are the Falls are only 3 miles away. I look over the swim platform and see no seaweed. But then I see something extending from the drive and beyond. I start looking around and finally notice that the dock rope was over the side. And sliced! I raised the outdrive and sure enough the other half of the rope is wrapped around the prop and In between the prop and the drive. I carefully start unwinding the rope and I am fortunate that it all came out. Got back in the cabin, lowered the drive and prayed. Turned the key and it started right up. Shifted in forward and reverse all the while watching the temp gauge. All was well and I continued on. Phew.
  14. A few years ago, the shop had left me uncertain whether the engine was winterized or not. So, the following year, I took it upon myself to do it. After watching several you-tube vids and discussed it with West Marine, I picked your second link. I was really nervous as I didn't want to cook or freeze my engine. But when I finished, I was laughing all the way....mostly at myself at how easy it is and why I waited so many years to do it myself. As the saying goes, If I can do it....anybody can.
  15. The past two weeks have been out standing as far as weather is concerned. Last week, I launched into Lake Erie and went up to Port Colborne for a late lunch. This past thursday, I again put the boat into Lake Erie and just tossed the anchor. For something to do, I strapped the boat to my waist and started to swim to get some good exercise. Plane spotted a few planes as they passed over me. Swam under the boat for its random inspection. 2 little spots need patching but other than than, looking good. After watching the sunset from the railings along the cuddy deck, I cranked it up and headed down the Niagara River to N. Tonawanda to the Dock Side Inn for a late dinner. It was fairly busy considering how beautiful the night was. After dinner I climbed back aboard and headed back up the Niagara River. I love cruising the the dark. I love looking at all the navigation signals that form a navigation channel. Especially the "projector" on Grand Island. They updated it from last year. The change in colors is very sharp. Green/white/red. Almost like a Tri-Color VASI for an runway. I also noticed that out new Children's Hospital has a Heliport Emergency Rotating Beacon on it. Amber[red], Green, White. Can be seen from the Niagara River or Lake Erie at night. The next day, I was up early and trailered to Toronto. Just an amazing day. No life guards and no Swimming Only markers. Boats from one end to another. Not jammed in a tiny area like last month. Even the water had warmed up a bit from August. I swam around and under the boat. Watched plenty of planes fly overhead. The one I waited for was the LH 747-400 back to Germany. Gorgeous plane in the light of a setting sun. Other objects of beauty also looked nice in the sunset. Two of them came aboard to chat for a bit. For me its a tough decision to watch the girls or watch the 747. The decision was made as LH was late and the girls had departed before hand. So I got both! On another thread I had posted my concern about my truck going through a flood or something. Well, all I can say at this moment, IT LOVES TO FLY! The QEW was in my favor and I held 65mph without a problem the whole way home. HAHA, I got to watch the gas gauge too! Get out there before this high pressure systems departs!