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Thread: What broke?

  1. #41
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    "So what happened with the guy who blew up the Probe? It's been a few days, has he just been doing without transport?"

    I have talked to Lee. He said he has not yet even looked at it and will be very busy until next year (a couple of weeks). I think Xmas and other stuff is keeping him busy right now. He has several kids.

    He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

    -Don-

  2. #42
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    "The tappet face is actually contacting (with considerable force) and sliding (on the cam surface) while the engine is operating. Because the cam surface is mostly convex and the tappet face is flat, the contact area is theoretically zero; a mathematical line. Both surfaces deflect infinitesimally, so there's a small but finite contact area. The interface needs an extreme pressure lubricant, because the pressure is extreme."

    Thanks for explaining that. I now understand the problem.

    -Don-

  3. #43
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

    -Don-
    [/color][/size]
    I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo) back in 1999. I spent a few weeks out there (working for a IT company), I really liked the weather/climate and in general most of the SF area. Since the job was in San Mateo I looked at a few houses in the area, the prices were high even then. For instance one house that I liked in San Mateo which was a 2,000 square foot 35 year old home with a 2 car garage on a postage stamp lot for $795,000. I took a pass on the job. Back then I would have had to move to San Jose for inexpensive housing (or Oakland ). Now even San Jose is expensive with little bungalows (no garages) going for well over $600,000.

    Remember the TV series - Full House? That nice row house in downtown SF that the family lived in, is probably worth $4 million in today's market.


  4. #44
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    He has other vehicles, so it's not a big problem. Just the other vehicles eat more gasoline, such as his pickup truck. He lives quite a distance from work, where homes cost about half the price of here near San Francisco.

    -Don-
    [/color][/size]
    I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo) back in 1999. I spent a few weeks out there (working for a IT company), I really liked the weather/climate and in general most of the SF area. Since the job was in San Mateo I looked at a few houses in the area, the prices were high even then. For instance one house that I liked in San Mateo which was a 2,000 square foot 35 year old home with a 2 car garage on a postage stamp lot for $795,000. I took a pass on the job. Back then I would have had to move to San Jose for inexpensive housing (or Oakland ). Now even San Jose is expensive with little bungalows (no garages) going for well over $600,000.

    Remember the TV series - Full House? That nice row house in downtown SF that the family lived in, is probably worth $4 million in today's market.

    Jeasy peasy... that is depressing. It'd be ok if incomes had/were rising so that people could afford to live in these homes - but even in SF, there's no way a middle class income is sufficient to support a $700-$800k home. You'd need to be earning at least $200k annually to make the mortgage - and even then, it'd be tight.

    It's the same in DC - albeit to a lesser extent.

    It's unsustainable - and potentially dangerous. I've read that (according to several experts) nationwide, housing values will have to drop at least 30 percent (on average) to restore the balance that existed before the bubble. This will be catastrophic for those who "bought high" and are facing the prospect of being upside down on their mortgages - and for those who bought more house than they could afford (via ARMs) in the hope that the home would appreciate rapidly to make up for that.


  5. #45
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    Re: What broke?

    Eric,

    Well said the problem I see it is that the middle class is disappearing. SF, LA, DC, Boston, NYC, etc. are all places that the middle class can no longer afford to live. For those people who bought at the top of the market and overextended themselves with ARMs, they are in deep doo-doo. As you said prices are coming down, fast and hard especilly in the areas I listed above.




  6. #46
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Eric,

    Well said the problem I see it is that the middle class is disappearing. SF, LA, DC, Boston, NYC, etc. are all places that the middle class can no longer afford to live. For those people who bought at the top of the market and overextended themselves with ARMs, they are in deep doo-doo. As you said prices are coming down, fast and hard especilly in the areas I listed above.

    It's nuts; I'm glad I'm not 25 right now....

    When I bought the house in Sterling (I was single then, this is a couple of years before I met my wife) the place cost $170k. This was for a modest (2,100 sq. ft.) "California contemporary" built in the early '70s, on a slab, on a 1/4 acre lot. By the time we sold in summer 2004, the same house (and others like it) were selling in the $400-$500k range. To put that in perspective, my parents' old place in Oakton (which I think you've seen) only sold for $599k circa 1999. And that was a much larger (and custom-built) house on three acres of land in on a private road in a very desirable area.

    So within about five years of that, a much less substantial house on a fraction of the land in a not nearly as nice/desirable area had escalated in price (note - not value) to within spitting range of what a "higher end" home used to go for just a few year earlier.

    I would have had a tough time buying our old place in 2004 - even though at the time I was pulling in a very decent annual income just over $100k. The property taxes alone were closing in on $5k annually by the time we left.

    I don't see how people earning $50-75k survive up there - even $100k. And that is a pretty solid income. Or used to be.

    Luckily for us, my Spider Sense told me the whole thing could not last; that - combined with my dislike of the urban/suburban thing - got us out of there in the nick of time. And we did the opposite of what we, as young Yuppies, were supposed to have been conditioned to do. That is, instead of going from a $400-$500k house in Sterling to a $600 or $700k house in McLean - we skeedaddled, paid off all our debt and bought our present house outright, with cash left over. The best part is that while the price of this house (our current place) was far lower ($270k) we got much more value than we would have for even twice the money in Northern Va.

    We were lucky (and smart). Unfortunately, there are millions not as fortunate - and it's going to get really ugly....

  7. #47
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    We just got back to SSF from our Reno home. Snow chain requirement now in the mountains, but it's going to only get worse in the next few days. We took the 4WD cheap. We left at 0300 hrs so there was no line for the tire chain installation. We did not have to bother with chains because 4WD doesn't usually require them until they are about ready to close the road.

    "I almost took a job in SF area (San Mateo)"

    I lived in San Mateo from the age of 9 to 22. I used to work at GTE Lenkurt in San Carlos. I was the youngest technician there when I was 22.

    Your experience with job hunting here reminds me of a nurse who I was writing in Alabama. She discovered she could get twice the pay out here. But then she discovered that homes cost about ten times as much as there. She then decided to stay put.

    I just spoke with Lee on the phone. He has visited this thread, but he still has not yet taken a good look at his car.

    -Don- SSF

  8. #48
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    "I just spoke with Lee on the phone. He has visited this thread, but he still has not yet taken a good look at his car."

    Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood!

  9. #49
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    "Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood! "

    Lee has not been to work for a couple of weeks or so. He messed up his back from working on his car! But I don't think it was from his Ford Probe, but another car of his that was worth fixing. But I doubt if it was worth his back problem. I don't know all the details yet, but I heard it was a slipped disc so this might be a lasting problem.

    And Lee is a good 20 years younger than I am. This reminds me to be careful in my old age.

    -Don-

  10. #50
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Please encourage him to log in; we need new blood! "

    Lee has not been to work for a couple of weeks or so. He messed up his back from working on his car! But I don't think it was from his Ford Probe, but another car of his that was worth fixing. But I doubt if it was worth his back problem. I don't know all the details yet, but I heard it was a slipped disc so this might be a lasting problem.

    And Lee is a good 20 years younger than I am. This reminds me to be careful in my old age.

    -Don-
    Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes...

    Hope he gets better soon - and when he does, that he'll visit the site!

  11. #51
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    "Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes... "

    Been there, done that a couple of times. But it's been back muscles, not spinal problems, in my case and it went away in a few weeks each time.

    The last time it happened was two summers ago, the morning after I spend most of the day in Frenchman Lake in a small electric boat. The electric motor is in the rear but I had to see where I was going looking forward as I am holding the handle for the electric motor in the rear. There was no problem until the next day when I was sitting at my computer. I felt something moved in my back and then discovered I could not get out of the chair without extreme pain.

    But I hear Lee's problem is more serious. Spinal problems usually last, unlike minor back muscle problems.

    I will see if I can talk him into posting a message here.

    I wonder what he did with his Probe.

    -Don-(in rainy SSF)

  12. #52
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Messing up your back can happen at any age; all it takes is one awkward movement sometimes... "

    Been there, done that a couple of times. But it's been back muscles, not spinal problems, in my case and it went away in a few weeks each time.

    The last time it happened was two summers ago, the morning after I spend most of the day in Frenchman Lake in a small electric boat. The electric motor is in the rear but I had to see where I was going looking forward as I am holding the handle for the electric motor in the rear. There was no problem until the next day when I was sitting at my computer. I felt something moved in my back and then discovered I could not get out of the chair without extreme pain.

    But I hear Lee's problem is more serious. Spinal problems usually last, unlike minor back muscle problems.

    I will see if I can talk him into posting a message here.

    I wonder what he did with his Probe.

    -Don-(in rainy SSF)
    Once you experience such an injury - even if relatively minor and passing - you come away with a renewed respect for your body and the importance of mobility. I treat my knees, hips and shoulders/back with great care. I only run on grass (not pavement) and do not exceed 8 miles, even though I could go farther. No squats at the gym; I'd rather have skinny legs and be walking at 70 than need knee replacements at 45!

  13. #53
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Squats aren't bad for your knees unless you have bad form, or if you stop before you get to parallel.

  14. #54
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: What broke?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Squats aren't bad for your knees unless you have bad form, or if you stop before you get to parallel.
    I'm 6ft 3 and I am very leery of bending down (squats) with heavy weights; aside from the chance of injury resulting from less than perfect form (almost inevitable with very heavy weights) I think putting 300 or 400 pounds of additional weight (on top of body weight) on load-bearing joints such as knees and hips is not a good idea.

    This is anecdotal, but guys who do these heavy-weight squats for years seem to be the ones who can't run anymore - and sometimes have trouble walking, especially up stairs - by their 50s and 60s. Sometimes by their mid-late '40s.

    No thanks.

  15. #55
    ltjr63
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    Re: What broke?

    Hey Don,
    It's been confirmed! My Probe had a broken timing belt! The guy I sold it to, called me this past Wed.- He had a question about the radio for the car- and then he went on to tell me that he fixed the car already by replacing the valves and timing belt of course.

    At the time the car broke down, it never dawned on me that the timing belt broke. Not until the guy I sold it to heard it try to start and suggested that banging sound- which I thought was a broken rod-was bad valves.

    I checked and found out that the '95 Probe has an interference engine! Ah man! But what I don't understand is what fell off the engine on the road when it broke down? At least it seemed like something fell off?

    I'll tell what? I won't forget about replacing a timing belt again!

  16. #56
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    Re: What broke?

    I think putting 300 or 400 pounds of additional weight (on top of body weight) on load-bearing joints such as knees and hips is not a good idea.
    That's too much weight -- start with 50 lbs and work your way up to heavier weights over a long period of time, so that the muscles get built up.

    But generally, to avoid back pain, just do some exercises in the morning to build up the abs -- some crunches, some leg raises, and 30+ seconds spent in the 'Superman' position.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  17. #57
    DonTom
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    Re: What broke?

    Lee,

    I see you're working as hard as usual! I noticed the time & date of your post.

    "I checked and found out that the '95 Probe has an interference engine! Ah man! But what I don't understand is what fell off the engine on the road when it broke down? At least it seemed like something fell off?"

    It must have been a slipped timing belt, not a broken one. If it broke, your engine would stop right then, not slowly crap out as you explained. Perhaps you heard a piston bang right into a valve or two and sounded like something fell off! At least there was no piston damage.

    These days, most cars have interference engines. They now try to get the last drop of efficiently out of every engine for better MPG and performance. I would rather have a noninterference engine, but they are getting scarce these days.

    At least my Saturn used a timing chain, which is somewhat unusual in a little engine that's less than 2.0 L.

    -Don- (back in SSF, we were in Reno yesterday)



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