Thursday, October 25, 2018

Snow Blower Adventures, Part II

WELL......"Jeremy" from the shipping company called this morning about 1045 to set up a pick-up time for the other person's tabletops. He knew not much else, like where's my snow blower, or if the other customer had called to complain. He said he had a truck "close by" (down in Longmont, about 25 miles South of here), and that the driver would "be there in a couple of hours".

So since it was another very pleasant Fall day, I decided to polish out the headlights on my Jeep while I waited.

They needed more than just polishing.

They laughed at Novus #3 polish, about the most aggressive thing I'll use with power tools. Buffing plastic to restore a smooth, flat, scratch-free, optically clear surface is as much art as science. And if you use power tools and aggressive abrasives on plastic, you can easily overheat it, and either "smear" the surface, or melt the surface, both of which might destroy the item you're polishing.

I wound up having to wet sand the living snot out of them, first with 600 grit paper, and then finishing up with 1500 grit paper. It was like deep cleaning the Supra paint all over again. Copious amounts of yellow sludge were produced as I kept the area soaked as I sanded. It's WET sanding, and on something like this you keep it flooded to wash away the grit and crud you're cutting off the surface. Otherwise the stuff you just removed could scratch the surface you're trying to clean.

After about 45 minutes per headlight, I felt they were smooth enough that I could resume machine polishing, starting with the #3 Novus, and then moving to the #2.

Another 45 minutes per lamp, and they were looking remarkably better than the hazy, yellowish lamps that were there before.

Then I replaced both the Low and the High beam bulbs with new ones. The ones in the car are the ones it was made with back in 2006, and 12 years for a set of OEM bulbs is pretty good. I put in some Sylvania "Silver Star" replacements. Not the crazy expensive ones, but the ones two steps up from what was in it. Took about 30 minutes to do the four bulbs, and I put on gloves and wiped the new bulbs down with denatured Alcohol. A dab of silicone grease on the terminals, and I was done.

Firing up the engine and turning on the new headlights was dazzling. What I saw on the garage door before were big, yellowish splotches of light. Now I see the clearly defined pattern of the low beams, and turning on the high beams really makes a light show.

The low beams are 55 Watts, and the highs are 65 Watts, so I shouldn't have to worry about overheating the plastic lamp assembly.

Then I added three quarts of coolant (how'd that happen?), a half-gallon of windshield washer fluid, checked the power steering and brake fluid levels, and checked the oil.'s now 1630 and no truck? Wonder when they guy will get here?

Anyway....peeled off all the heavy masking tape I had on the edges of the metal so I wouldn't burn the paint, cleaned all the sludge and crud off the front of the car, scrubbed the fog lamp lenses clean of years of road crud and bug splats, and did a final hand polish and sealant application on my "90% clean/100% better" headlamps. Cleaned up the tools and garage, and low and behold, at 1810 here comes a truck. It's not from "JW Logistics", but from some other place. No, the guy doesn't know anything other than he's to pick up two pieces, and haul them somewhere. Nice enough guy, but a drone to the electronic tablet he was carrying around, and constantly checking and inputting to.

Oh, well. I guess I wait for either the snow blower to show up, or to hear from the shipping company again.

These guys are making Home Depot look really bad........but I've got nice clean headlights!


  1. You're making the rest of us look bad, DRJIM. I think that I would have replaced the lenses with new ones.

    1. Thank God, a voice of reason....

    2. I normally would, LL, but I'm feeling cheap these days....

  2. Where does Home Despot say your snow blower is???

    1. I've been dealing with "JW Logistics", who I'm starting to think is just a middleman with a phone who has The Three Amigos on speed dial....

      HD kind of blew me off. When I called them the said they'd contact the shipping company, who would in turn contact me, and to have a nice day!'s sitting in the garage as I type.


Keep it civil, please....

A Bit Of Rearranging In The Electronics Shop

 Since I've been cranking away on projects, I decided to rearrange things on the bench a bit to make it easier to use my test equipment....