Labor Day Barn Projects Part 2…

Ok, here is the second reason for the and work party…there were a few minor details to finish up on the actual barn itself. The final inspection was scheduled for the next day, and we had a couple minor details from the inspectors punch list left.

Here’s a picture of some of the last bits of trim up under the front edge of the eaves of the barn:

And here is the proverbial last nail, well ok, actually I think there was one more nail in the corner here that I didn’t catch a photo of, but hey, second to last nail:

And, last, but not least, the all important paper…and a well deserved drink…

Ok, I’ll explain what this is. This paper is the official final inspection sign off from the building inspector. Meaning that for all legal purposes, the Barn is complete! But as anyone with a major project and a tinkering attitude knows, it’s never really complete…

Labor Day Barn Projects…

It’s time for installment 6,732 of our Barn Projects Series. I kid, but really, we’re nearing “the end”. The first order of business for this weekend was to clear brush from the area where the fire suppression water tanks are to be located. Have you ever tried to clear scrub oak? I have now, and it’s hard, even with a rented backhoe.

Here is surveying the land before we begin:

First we chainsaw:

Now we bring in the heavy equipment:

Attempting to compact the ground as we go(hint:it didn’t do much good):

This was really grueling work, and we ended up stoping for the weekend, due in part to stuff like these:

But I promise we had a good reason to stop…

Good ‘ol Saturn v3…

So, for a while, my Saturn has been burning a fairly decent amount of oil, as in like a quart every 1,000-1,500 miles. I had myself worried that I had blown a head gasket, so I bought myself a new Subaru Crosstrek. But not wanting to admit defeat to the Saturn, I kept searching for answers as to the oil consumption. I found a few forum post pointing to a know defect in the construction of the plastic intake manifold, particularly on side where the coolant circulates. There are two general options for repair: a junkyard intake manifold which may have the same defect, or a new old stock replacement. But then one of the forum posts mentioned a shop that manufactures a CNC machined metal replacement for just the end of the manifold that is commonly the problem. I figured that ~$65 was worth a shot.

Hood removed for ease of access, as recommended in the instructions:

The offending end of the intake manifold, the black plastic tube with no hose connected:

Part way through removal, cut using a vibrating multitool:

Offending part removed, with some cleanup still to do and the old mounting stud in the foreground:

Test fitting the replacement part with new mounting studs and new green gasket, before final tightening:

After final reassembly:

And last, but not least, the removed portion of the offending manifold:

So far, so good! Oil and coolant levels seems to be holding, with no unusual consumption amounts. Not bad for someone who would certainly not consider himself a mechanic, but when the pressure of working on you daily driver in no longer a factor, I really didn’t have much to loose. Either a ~$65 part, and most of a weekend day of work, was going to fix the issue, or it wasn’t. Not bad.