Writer’s Block?

I’m teaching a kid to ride a bicycle. “Be careful not to run into that mailbox”, I tell her. She doesn’t know how to steer yet, so she zeroes in on the mailbox, focussing so hard on not hitting it that she rams it head on. If I hadn’t said anything, she’d be fine.

You didn’t come here to read about bicycles, so what’s my point?

You’re trying to write something, doesn’t matter what it is – let’s say there’s a guy in your department, he’s unpleasant, he does his job badly. You want to get rid of him. So you’re writing a report to your boss about him. But there’s all these things you can’t say – you don’t want to look like a snitch. You can’t be sarcastic and snippy. You can’t be insulting or angry. You can’t be unprofessional. So this half page report takes 8 hours to write, every sentence rewritten a dozen times.

Or you’re writing a blog post. You’re outraged, and everyone loves a good rant. If you can throw some useful info in there as well, it’ll be a hit, right? But you’re not free to write what you want. You want to point fingers and name names. You want to accuse the guilty and call them to account. You want everyone to know and to destroy their reputation. But you’re afraid of the backlash, that people won’t trust you anymore, or that they’ll write a rebuttal that says worse things about you.

Every time you go to write, you’re choked by all these things you can’t say. Your funny, angry tirade becomes a dry recitation of facts.

So what’s my point?

First, to get past writers block, one way is to make shorter the list of things you can’t write. After all, no one is forcing you to publish anything. You can write any vile, mean-spirited, angry thing you want, if you store it on an encrypted hard drive under a folder called “Tax Documents ’05 to 09”.

Second, I’m not hard enough to take my own advice – I stopped writing on my blog shitjobtales.blogspot.com because all the things that made good stories were things that would cause my parents and my brother to give me a hard time. Hey, maybe they had a point. Probably they did. But I got so tired of having to censor myself for them that I stopped writing. Sure, I could just disregard them and write what I wanted anyway, but every time I write something raw online, it causes fights in my family. So this is why I’m into technical writing now. Just the facts, as clear as possible. No emotions, no opinions. Does it still have value?





KZ305 Carburetor Removal and Inspection

First, a question and an answer.

Is it safe to use red Permatex to seal a carburetor? NO IT IS NOT.

This tutorial details the removal and inspection of carburetors from a 1982 Kawasaki KZ305b LTD.

This is the carburetor.

side view motorcycleRemove the seat.

seat removedRemove the air box and tool kit.

Remove the battery.

Turn the petcock to “off” and disconnect the fuel hose from the fuel tank.

Remove the fuel tank.fuel tank removed

Remove the two bolts holding the bigger part of the air box in place. The one on the right has electrical contacts under it – remember to replace them when you put this back together.air box screws

Loosen the screws on the carb boot clamps. Sorry I didn’t get a better picture than this; there are four of them, one on each carburetor boot.

Now is a good time to drain gasoline out of the float bowls. Connect a length of hose to the float bowl drain.

carb boot screwLoosen the drain screw. You’ll have to pull it most of the way out.float bowl drain screw

Pull off the rubber hose connecting the engine to the air box.hose between engine and air box

Pull back the air box, and wiggle the boots off of the carburetor. Carefully pull it out of the frame.

This is the throttle cable. Loosen the locknut, push the spring mechanism back with your thumb as shown, and screw out the end of the cable housing. throttle cable

Then pop the end of the cable out of its bracket. Now the carb is totally disconnected from the bike.pop out cable end(On this occasion, I am not planning to rebuild or thoroughly clean the carburetor. I’m only inspecting them.)

Lay the carb bodies upside down on a flat surface. Hold them over a pan as you turn them about, as there might still be gasoline sloshing around inside.

Carefully remove the 4 screws holding the float bowl in place.

carb bodies pside downWARNING: If it has been several years since the carb was last disassembled, the next steps will almost certainly ruin the seal and you will need to replace it.

Give the bowl a sharp rap with the end of a screwdriver or something to knock it loose. If, as with mine, it’s sealed with gasket maker, use a penknife to pry it off.

Inspect the inside of the bowl. As you can see, too much gasket maker was used, and it was not a gasoline-safe type. The parts exposed to gas have swollen up and this is causing the motorcycle to run badly.

inside of float bowl filled with permatexNext post I’ll post pics of the jets and seals that you need to inspect.