Possible New Z Axis Design for the ShapeOko

I’ve been thinking about how to upgrade the Z Axis on my ShapeOko for a while now and I finally started drawing up some stuff in Inventor. As a side note, it’s way cool to build assemblies in Inventor and create parts in-place and on-the-fly. So much fun.

The main reason for the Z axis upgrade is to increase rigidity. There is too much flex in my current setup.

I also want to use the new v2 design that flips the makerslide around, but I had issues with the travel limitations with the stock spindle mount plate. Additionally I want to move the motor off to the side with the new Z axis pulley drive. I also purchased a DWP611 router motor (you can buy just the motor on Amazon) and a Precise Bits collet set for it.

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Porter-Cable Profile Sander Repair

I have a Porter-Cable Model 444 profile sander. I’m not sure where I got it, and I’m not sure I’ve ever used it. I think I either bought it used, or got it from my father.

In any case, I wanted to use it the other day. I got it out, put some sand paper on it and got to work. Suddenly it started making a different noise and shaking really badly.

The head was really loose and shook from side to side. That’s not right.

So what do I do next? I take it apart to investigate.

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528i – Replacing the Headlight Adjusters

Since the 528i is a BMW, it’s a little overly complicated. Because it’s German. Why make it simple when you can make it complicated?

The headlights on the 528i have a auto-leveling feature. Which means that if you load the trunk full of stuff, thus lowering the rear and raising the front, the auto-leveling headlights will compensate and you won’t blind on-coming traffic.

Which is cool, I guess, but it also adds more stuff to break. And break it does.

When I was polishing the headlights I heard some rattling in the right one. So I opened it up and took out some chunks of white plastic. Since I’ve spent some time surfing the various BMW forums, I knew what that meant.

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528i – Polishing the Headlights

About 6 weeks ago we bought a 1999 BMW 528i wagon. I really love this car. But since it’s 15 years old it has some issues. Nothing major and I’m working my way through them.

One of the issues is that the headlights have plastic lenses (as do most cars starting about 20 years back) and they are fogged and pitted. They are not too yellow, but they were pretty foggy.

before

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RS Resurrection – Finale, For Now

Yesterday I got mad enough to really figure out why the rear brakes were not working.

I ended up taking off the master cylinder to adjust the linkage (it’s really a pain to adjust – you either have to fully remove the master cylinder and brake pedal, or remove the rear wheel and the swingarm!)

I also took the caliper apart again to make sure the o-ring was seated correctly (it was) and not pinched (it wasn’t.)

Then, as I was trying to bleed the brakes again, it struck me: The way the caliper is mounted means that the pistons are higher than the inlet and the bleeder valve. There is no way the air is going to come out of there!

So I unmounted the caliper, again, turned it around, and slipped it back onto the disk so that the bleeder valve was the highest point. Then I bled the brakes and what do you know? I got a bunch of air out and it firmed right up! Damn it, that took way too much mucking about to figure out.

So that was the final hurdle to finishing up.

Today I did a rough balance of the carbs and then rode the bike around for a while to get it fully warmed up. Then back into the garage to adjust the idle, idle mixture and balance.

It’s running pretty sweet now! I stopped in a parking lot and shot a short video of it idling.

I’ll have to get one of it starting for Jon – it still starts nice and quick. :)

If it’s not raining in the morning I’ll be riding it to work!

The reason the title of this post says “For Now” is because there are still some issues to address:

  • It still needs a major bath. I’ll be doing that tomorrow afternoon if it doesn’t rain again.
  • The new oil pan gasket is leaking. I don’t think it’s any worse than the old one, but it’s certainly not better. I’ll probably order a new one later and replace it again. I guess this time I’ll have to stone the surfaces to make sure they are not nicked or anything. Bah.
  • The right side exhaust valve is at the limit of the rocker arm adjustment. I’m afraid this means either the valve seat is bad, the valve is bad or the seat is recessing into the head. In any case, it means pulling the heads and having them worked on. And a bunch of $$ I don’t have to spend right now. So I’ll just watch it and see if it gets a lot worse.
  • The base gaskets and push rod tube rubbers are weeping. This is normal, but still, ugly and messy. But if (when) I pull the heads these will get replaced, so there is that.
  • The clock is not working. I guess it’s $80-$90 to get it fixed, or I can buy a (different) replacement gauge for $75, but then I’d want to replace the voltmeter with a matching gauge for another $40. So I’ll probably just remount the broken clock for now.
  • The fairing and gas tank really need repainting. But again, big $$. So that won’t be happening for a while.
  • It still feels a little loosey-goosey, but I discovered part of the problem was that I forgot to tighten the pinch bolts on the forks. I’ll have to check the swingarm and steering head bearings, but it may just be that I’ve forgotten the nature of this beast.

Still, all in all, it’s a fun ride, the exhaust sounds great and it will do 80 MPH without too much drama, though it seems to prefer 65-70. (I happen to know it was capable of more than 100 MPH in the past, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that again any time soon.)

I Think Someone’s Getting Jealous…

I got on the K1100RS to ride home from work this afternoon and headed down the road to get on the freeway.

As I accelerated down the entrance ramp all of a sudden the tach dropped to zero and the engine started running really rough – like it dropped a cylinder or something.

So I pulled over on the shoulder (good thing there was a shoulder) and shut off the bike. Maybe a restart will clear it up.

Nope, still runs like shit with no tach reading. Weird.

I put on the flashers and babied it along the shoulder to the next exit. Right when I got to the stop light at the end of the ramp the tach sprang to life and the bike started running fine!

Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot?

So I got back on the freeway and the bike ran fine all the way home!

The intermittent failure mode and the tach behaviour rules out mechanical failure, so there must be some electrical issue. Great. Those are always fun to troubleshoot.

Preliminary googling doesn’t turn up much other than “clean all the electrical connectors” and “might be a bad computer” (Ye Gods I hope not!)

I guess the K bike is getting jealous of all the attention that I’m paying to the R bike these days.

And I just bought a BMW car why?