Windshield Wiper – Broken Tapered Knurl

I previously mentioned my windshield wiper problem here.

The symptom was that the passenger side wiper arm would go way too far to the outside and the arm itself would slap on the glass.  Then it would not return as far to the center as it should.

The problem turned out to be a broken “tapered knurl”.  This item fits on the wiper shaft on the back (or glass side) of the wiper arm.  A bolt then squeezed the wiper arm to this tapered knurl which secures it to the shaft.

I figured the odds of finding and being able to purchase just a “tapered knurl” would be mighty small – especially since I did not even know what it was called when I started searching.  However; good ole Google found it for me in relative ease and for only about $3.00.  I ordered a couple, waited, and hoped it would actually be the part I needed.

Yesterday, the parts arrived and it was a match!!  Yay!

Today I installed the new tapered knurl. The only hitch was a bodily injury!  Believe it or not the spring in this wiper arms have a LOT of force!  I was able to really whack my finger and wowsers!  IT HURTS!!

2005 Newmar Dutch Star Windshield Wiper Tapered Knurl

The broken tapered knurl and the new. At a glance, the knurling looks a bit different but it is exactly the same when compared closely.

2005 Newmar Dutch Star Windshield Wiper Tapered Knurl

2005 Newmar Dutch Star Windshield Wiper Tapered Knurl

2005 Newmar Dutch Star Windshield Wiper Tapered Knurl

Back in business!!

2005 Newmar Dutch Star Windshield Wiper Tapered Knurl

The symptom mentioned above only happens when cruising down the highway with some wind forces on the wiper and I am not currently moving, so… I’m unable to test.  However; I think this fix has been a success.

I ordered the new tapered knurl from AM Equipment. Their online store is here.  The parts I ordered were two tapered knurls (part 407-1097) and two cap nuts (part 407-1010).  They have a number of parts for windshield wipers and other things.

 

Reflectix Windshield Sun Shade Insulation

I’ve mentioned this to a few folks and they’ve asked for details so here we go…

Before building my constructing my own windshield sun covers, I was using a roll of Reflectix on the inside of the windshield to cut down on the heat. Reflectix is a reflective insulation commonly used in building construction. It is safe, lightweight, and easy to use. It is made from several layers of aluminum foil with a couple layers of bubble pack type material. The foil reflects heat and the bubble layers resist heat transfer from the exposed side to the inner side.


It just happens that a 4′ x 10′ roll of Reflectix is available on Amazon (as shown to the left) and that size almost perfectly fits on my dash and covers my windshield. The privacy curtain is still usable but a bit of a nuisance to open and close with the Reflectix in place.Newmar Dutch Star Reflectix Insulation Sun Shade Newmar Dutch Star Reflectix Insulation Sun Shade

Note from JD: Yes, I am parked right up against a pine tree!

I normally keep it rolled up and tucked out of the way. To install, I slide one end of the roll between the upper cabinets and windshield starting at the passenger/door side. This is slid across the dash so it covers the entire windshield. It probably takes 30 seconds or less to install.

Once installed, it just sits on the dash. I have no other supports or attachments.

Visiting the Home Towns

This summer I have spent a considerable amount of time exploring some of the areas in which I lived as a child – my home towns.  We moved around a fair amount when I was young but I consider Livingston, Montana my childhood home and Helena, Montana my ‘teenage years’ home.

This week, I am in Livingston.  It amazes me how some things stay the same.  Of course, much changes as well but that is almost expected.

I attended the Eastside School in Livingston from first thru fourth grades and, just up the street, the Lincoln School for the fifth grade.  Both of these very old buildings remain though neither of them is a school any longer.  I suppose that is ok since I was in class there some forty years ago.  I know, I know…. someone is getting old!

The Eastside School building is now a performing arts building.  I was SUPER pleased to find it open so I went exploring.  The MASSIVE staircase to the second floor that I remember so clearly wasn’t quite as massive but the wood was the same as was the creak produced by each step.  The huge playground from which I made many booming kickball kicks over the fence?  It too was nowhere near as huge as I remembered but the basketball hoops and kickball field lines were still there.  Inside, what I remember to be one of the first grade classrooms, was a restaurant – Faye’s Café.  I ate lunch there and was impressed!  The food was excellent and the service superb!  Most certainly far better than the school lunches I remember eating in the basement.  The gymnasium had been turned into a theater which was very dark so I didn’t do more than just peek in the door.

Livingston Montana Home Town Eastside Elementary School

Livingston Montana Home Town Eastside Elementary School

Livingston itself was almost exactly as I remembered it.  The downtown area had some different stores and some were the same – Dan Bailey’s Fly Fishing Shop, for example – there since 1938.  It seems to be a busier town than I remember but this may have been due to the weekend activities in the area.  In any case, it is still a wonderful small town with super people and amazing mountain views!

Livingston Montana Home Town

I lived on a ranch east of Livingston, right along the Yellowstone River. I went for a tour of the ranch and it was nearly exactly as I remembered it – nearly forty years later! An absolutely wonderful place for a kid to grow up!

Livingston Montana Home Town

Livingston Montana Home Town

Livingston Montana Home Town

Livingston Montana Home Town

Livingston Montana Home Town

I stayed at the “Livingston Campground”, an RV park near the Interstate.  I’m not exactly sure what to say about the campground.  I hate to give any business in Livingston negative marks. It’s probably worth noting that I’m not a big fan of the typical “RV campground” – all lined up and mashed together. Let’s start with the positive: the water was fine, the sewer worked, and Wi-Fi was ok for a campground.  It wasn’t super-fast (and was very slow in the evenings) but I was able to get a bunch of updates taken care of and accomplish some big downloads that I needed to perform for work.  The negative: I felt sorta “iffy” being surrounded by fairly rundown mobile homes and old campers, most with a reasonable collection of junk (old wash machines, trailers, cars, and just general junk). Of course, some of the expected “noises” (shouting and such) from such places occurred from time to time  The RV spots were fairly small and difficult to maneuver into and out of – at least for my big rig.  The power post was very old and worn – not quite scary but getting close.  The road noise was much more significant than I care for – this may have been due to it being the weekend after Sturgis and all the loud and obnoxious Harley traffic.  I have no idea what is so “cool” about making so much noise.  I think if nearly any other “segment” were to make as much noise (say airplanes, for example), they’d be banned from existence.  Anyhow… the campground worked and I never felt like I was in danger or anything but I sure expect more for thirty-five dollars a night.

Another great place to eat is Rosa’s Pizza which is south of the Interstate.  Their pizza is very good!

Mystic Lake Montana

This past weekend, I was at Mystic Lake which is south of Columbus and near Fishtail, Montana.

I camped at Emerald Lake campground, a forest service site on the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness area, with several friends from high school and their families.

Getting into this location is a task and a half!  The pavement ends some thirteen miles from the campground and the gravel road is anything but good.  If it isn’t rocky and rough, it is a washboard (and not a gentle one).  It took me two hours to drive this road – four hours total going in and out.  Going more than 3-4 mph in most places is a recipe to destroy your motorhome.  That said, it is doable.  The spaces in the campground are not large.  I was able to wiggle JBAM into the biggest spot I could find and there wasn’t much space remaining.  I don’t think they had big diesel pushers in mind when they build the campground – or when they maintain (???) the road.

The Verizon cell phone signal ends about where the pavement ends so you are NOT connected to the world when staying at this location.  I did not even turn on the TV so am unsure if satellite TV is available but I would doubt it given the mountains and trees.

Mystic Lake itself is a hike.  The reports list it as an easy hike.  I do not agree!!  The trail is very obvious and easy to follow but it is work.  Over three and a half miles, you do a LOT of climbing.  Much of the trail is rocky and you must choose your steps carefully.  A twisted ankle would be easy to do. This all equates to a lot of work for an old fat guy.  There was some discussion of riding our mountain bikes up this trail.  The signs make it clear that bikes are not allowed and I am VERY glad.  There is no way I could ride my mountain bike up this trail!

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

I hauled my fishing gear (pole, vest, wading boots, & net), several bottles of water, my big camera bag, and some snacks in my camping backpack up to Mystic Lake.  It wasn’t super heavy to start but by the time I got to the top of the climb, it was mighty heavy!!  I’d suggest carrying as little as possible – food and water are mandatory.

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

However; once you get to the top of the climb, the view of Mystic Lake is AMAZING!!  Hopefully you get an idea from these photos how beautiful this area is.  Definitely worth the pain of the climb.

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

We spent the day fishing Mystic Lake.  All of the fly fisherman were skunked but the guys spin casting way out to the deep water pulled in a pretty good haul of rainbow trout.  Doesn’t matter though, I thoroughly enjoyed being in such a fantastic location and enjoying the beauty.

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

For the remainder of the weekend, we fished West Rosebud River near the campground, kayaked the lake, ate like pigs, and talked.  Fantastic friends are truly a blessing and I am very thankful for these blessings!

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Mystic Lake Montana Newmar Dutch Star National Forest Service Camping

Fly Fishing Waders

My first few fly fishing trips were with boots and neoprene stockings. That felt just fine. The days were hot and getting into that cool water felt great.

However; my mentor went and ruined it for me.

He talked me into trying a pair of his waders one day…

Yup, we both know what happens next – the ‘gotta have one of those’ syndrome sets in.

I really loved the quick and easy cleanup – simply pull your boots and waders off and you are done. You could walk straight into church and nobody would know you were just out fishing. I can easily imagine there is a huge difference when the temperatures are cool.

So, I started shopping around. I was looking for a reasonable set of waders without spending a bunch of money. I didn’t need all the fancy features.

I finally settled on the “Northern Guide Breathable Chest Waders” from Caddis.

Caddis Northern Guide Breathable Fly Fishing WadersI’ve used them a couple times and they seem to do what they say they will do. My feet and legs have been kept dry. The belt is nothing fancy and there are no belt loops. My friend had a really comfy neoprene belt (and loops) with his waders. Perhaps that is what the higher cost gets you.

I did learn one interesting tidbit.  These waders have a chest pocket with a waterproof zipper – clearly a waterproof storage area, right?

No.

This pocket has drain holes in the bottom corners.  Of course, that allows water INTO the pocket.  Once again, my phone seems to have survived another dunking – she has proven to be very resilient over the last few weeks (Samsung S3).