Monday, April 9, 2012

Crafty Jim

I'm not the only one that's crafty, Jim is crafty too, but his craftiness is on a larger scale - a much larger scale. He is an avid diesel engine fan. He has several of them and he likes to get them (free in this case), fix them up and either keep or sell them.  

Left - a huge generator, Right - a marine engine 

This is Gregory and Patricia. The engines were from Patricia's late husband, he was an avid boatman and they lived asea for 18 years. Patricia's late husband built a boat from scratch and had this generator and engine in it. Patricia's husband died suddenly and she was left with several large engines and this large generator. 

Several years ago, Jim worked at an auto mechanic shop 15 miles out of town and Patricia was one of the customers for the business. Patricia had these two 2,600 pound engines that she wanted to be rid of and this was right up Jim's alley and he took them - he hired a towing company to load them on his truck. Jim had his fun with these 2 engines and have since moved on to other projects.

Last week, Jim's former boss called leaving a message about this engine and generator that Patricia had - she had forgotten Jim's name, but remember where he worked so that's how the re-connection was made. We ended up going to look at these the day before Easter, to see if this was something Jim wanted to deal with. Turns out, the engine and generator were entombed in this shed, they literally built the shed around the engines and forgot about them for 14 years. Redoing the roof was what reminded Patricia and Gregory of these engines and they wanted them out. The front side of the shop had a sloping roof and the backside had trees - this was not going to be an easy task, but Jim and Patricia decided on doing it the next Saturday. As the day went on, Patricia and Jim were in phone contact and because of unsure weather, they decided to tackle this project the next day, Easter Sunday.  

On Sunday, we got there just before 10:30am in the morning and tackled the small engine. The plan was to drag it straight out, avoiding the posts holding up the sloping roof, and Jim would use the crane on his truck to pick up the engine and place it on his truck. There were also issues with a well and septic pipes, so it was a definite challenge.

Jim and Patricia discussing the best way to remove these engines.

This is the smaller one that was being dragged straight out.

There was oil in the pan, so Jim had to drain it to avoid any spillage.

Engine hooked up to chains, that post on the right was a slight problem. It was at this time that someone else needed to drive the truck so Jim could keep an eye on the engine. I can't drive it and Gregory has a bad back, so Patricia manned the steering wheel (she did an awesome job!).

Ok, cleared the post. 

See the sloping roof? That was a challenge for Jim, 
but between him and Patricia, they got that sucker out.

Oops - fall down!

Jim's getting everything hooked up to be craned onto the truck.

Here we go!

Almost there.

After some minor adjustments, it finally seated where Jim wanted it.

All tied up, it's not going anywhere. By this time, about an hour has passed - it's about 11:30am.

Ok, this big boy is next. The plan was to pull it out of the shed 
and pivot right, then pull it out thru the side.

Throughout the entire process, Jim used a small jack and blocks of wood to get things stablized - it was just like moving a house. It was jack up - block, jack down - block over and over again, it was very tedious. Under the skid is a metal piece in each corner (like a shoe). Jim tried to remove it, but it wouldn't come off so it made things a lot tricker.

This heavy duty dolly was going to be placed under the generator so it could be pulled out. Not easy with the skid in the way. It took a lot jacking and blocking - we're lucky Patricia had all those blocks of wood and the plywood.

Not quite there, just a couple more inches.

Got it!

Getting ready to be pulled out.

Nice and easy. Patricia's behind that steering wheel again and 
Gregory is relaying Jim's instructions to her.

Plywood was laid down on top of the dirt. We all thought the dirt was hard, but it wasn't, the dolly sunk right in. The top of the generator managed to clear the beams of the sloping roof by a couple of inches.

Alright, it's out!

Positioning the car trailer so the generator could be pivoted and winched up.

More jacking and blocking.

Nice and easy. Now, I am manning the controls for the winch.

Getting the ramps situated properly.

It's coming along slow and easy.

Almost there.

Woo Hoo! We did it!!

Removing the dolly and tying down.

The shed is empty - waiting for new things to be stored in it.

View of the snow covered Olympics.
We were very lucky - the weather held out and was rather nice. 

The generator took about 2 hours to get seated on the trailer, it took a lot of jacking, blocking and winching to get it on the trailer. We finally broke for lunch around 1:30pm - Jim was beat. After the clean up, we got home around 3pm. Jim just parked everything, covered them up and came in to rest. 

The tentative plan is to see if these even work - if they work, he might pretty them up to put them in the county fair. Patricia is going to do a write up of these engines so people will know it's history.

It had been a very long and tiring day - it surely was not a lazy Easter Sunday for us, but Jim now has 2 new toys to play with.

Thanks for reading!! 

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!


Carol, Simply Gluten Free said...

Wow - you actually had me riveted with this adventure! Lazy days are over rated in my opinion :)

Little Me said...

Thanks Carol. It was quite the adventure. Since being married to Jim (25 years), every once in a while we do stuff like this. Oddly enough, he got the generator to run. :)