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2022-10-01 07:40 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 121 references
[Comments enabled]  

Things learned from ripping apart (to the empty case) and repairing the rear differential on an '02 Suburban....

  • Yes, they used a case spreader when they put the chunk in and shimmed it.  You don't have one.  While you probably can buy one -- maybe -- for those particular rear ends they're not "all over the place" as they are for some common Dana units.  They're not cheap either.  You can make one if you want to out of (quite-beefy) bar stock if you have a welder and are willing to fabricate it.  This appears to be a sort-of insoluble problem but it isn't.  You see, with reasonable preload on the carrier you need only get it lined up with the shims and, with the shims properly in place, the carrier has to go far enough in that will it go straight and the cap bolts engage.   You can then "walk" it in just like you walked it out.  Note that if the chunk comes out "easily" the preload was wrong -- far too loose -- on the carrier and either the bearings are badly hosed or whoever was in there last did it wrong and if it was run that way for any length of time you almost-certainly have a mess.

  • Make very sure you keep track of what goes on which side and direction, especially the shims!  If you're not changing the ring, pinion or chunk you must put them back exactly where and how you found them or the clearances will be off.  Stay organized in terms of what comes out from where and in what orientation; it all matters.

  • If the gearset and chunk are ok and you don't want to replace them putting the shims back exactly as they were, assuming those parts are serviceable, should leave backlash and carrier preload within spec.  In this case it not only left it in spec it resulted in backlash exactly what it was (literally, to the thousandth) before I took it apart.  Ditto on pinion depth and thus engagement.  Yes, it does go back together within a thousandth.  Not kidding.

  • Cleanliness is a big deal, just like any time you have a valve cover or oil pan off on an engine.  Cover everything when its out and cover or clean-shop-rag stuff all open points when you're not actively working on them.  Make sure you pay attention when putting things back together of course so you remove all said shop rags.  No, I didn't make that mistake but I've seen it and it can be bad.  If you find metal damage either find the pieces or clean everything inside and sweep it much like you'd run patches through a gun.  If you leave any sort of trash (or worse, anything hard and metallic) in there you'll probably be doing the job twice.

  • If the above on chunk, ring and pinion re-use is not true buy setup bearings.  Just do.  Yes, they're $100 or so.  Buy them anyway.  The $100 is cheap compared to your time to take a new one and hone it out yourself, assuming you have the equipment to do so with sufficient precision (Hint: You probably don't.)  You will be taking the carrier in and out several times and getting the pinion inner bearing off without damaging or destroying it is a crap-shoot no matter the tools you have because the design on these typically has no rear relief via which you can get a puller on it that will bear only on the inner race.  $100 spent means you will swear a lot less and, more-importantly, you will not be tempted to accept marginal fitment of something when you shouldn't.

  • Sometimes the new-fangled tools work, sometimes they don't.  The old-fashioned way always works.  Specifically I waited an extra two days for a tool that allegedly could pull carrier bearings without destroying them.  It did pull one.  The other?  It destroyed it anyway and thus out came the dremel to finish it the old-fashioned way (cut the inner race until almost -- but not quite -- through and hit it with a cold chisel to fracture it, thus relieving it off the shaft.)  Was the tool worth it anyway?  That's one I probably should have just said "ah the Hell with that" and grabbed the dremel immediately.  I ain't recommending that one as 1 for 2 is not an admirable record.

  • Don't try this (or other things where you really ought to have one) without a shop press.  There are folks who tell you that you can heat the bearing in the oven and chill the carrier or pinion (e.g. in the freezer, or using dry ice) and it'll work.  Maybe.  But if the bearing does not seat completely -- by so much as a thousandth -- you're in for a bad time and see above for the fun in getting it back off.

  • If you change one bearing, change all of them except perhaps the axle bearings.  Always change the axle seals; they're cheap (about $20 for both) and easy to replace with the axle out.  The carrier bearings and races looked ok.  The one that I destroyed trying to use the new-fangled tool exposed the inner race of that one, of course, which while it wasn't dead was headed that way.  I had contemplated not changing the carrier bearings based on inspection of the rollers and races but am glad I did; I would have been royally annoyed if I had to take it back apart on short time.  The axle bearings are more-complex; you typically want to change both bearing and the running surface since they wear as a set which, in that case, is the axle as there is no inner race; the bearing runs on a machined surface of the axle itself.  The bearing is reasonably cheap, the axle is not so much.  As such unless you see evidence of damage I would not do the axle bearings and didn't.  R&R on the axle halves is a trivially-easy job and a pair of axles and bearings is north of $500.  If they need it then they do, but if not leave that alone.

  • Your breaker bar is not long enough.   Trust me, it isn't.  Specifically for the pinion nut, and while its fine to rattle it to get it off it's not fine to do so to put the new one on, because the crush sleeve crushes exactly once so you must sneak up on it.  If you go too far you get to take it all apart again and buy another sleeve.  So yeah, that has to be done by hand.  And its a lot tighter than you think it might be.

  • To go along with the above spend the money on a locking tool for the yoke.  Best $25 I spent on a tool for this job and it'll work on virtually any other yoke on anything ever again.  You put a couple of the yoke cap bolts in with a nice washer under them, tighten it up and it has both 1/2" and 3/4" square drive holes; insert wrench handle, put pipe on end if necessary, brace it (e.g. against the floor) and crank away.  Easy-peasy.  Without it?  Hoh hoh hoh good luck.

  • Don't buy cheap bearings.  Koyo, Timken and there's a well-respected place in South Korea called Iljin; all three are used as OE by car and truck manufacturers.  Any of those is ok and all mark their product.  Do not put Chinese garbage inside or on anything important where if it fails it is hard to change or can trash something expensive, ever, period.  Yeah, I know a quality kit or piece-by-piece they cost more -- like twice as much.  Spend the money.  If you find a "good deal" on any of the above three do not believe for a second they're not counterfeit -- they probably are.  And yes, this means do not even think about buying parts like this off eBay or similar.  Ever.

Oh, and yes, a reasonably-competent schlub can indeed do this sort of a job in their own garage.  Its not rocket science and the specs are readily-available in terms of preload and backlash, so its simply a matter of paying attention and doing the work.

I still have the original ring and pinion (albeit both in good condition) and roller-locker chunk in there.  If I had to change any of those I would have almost-certainly bought a posi chunk instead, simply because they're little if any more money, and the ring and pinion are a matched set so if you change one you must do both or the new and old will destroy each other.  Somewhere down the road perhaps one of those will go bad and I'll get to do this again -- and if so, I'm properly armed to take it on, so there you have it.

Onward and upward.

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2022-09-30 07:05 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 326 references
[Comments enabled]  

If you're a DeSantis lover click away now.

You were fairly warned.

Ian came roaring into the Naples/Port Charlotte area as a strong hurricane and trashed a bunch of people's homes and businesses.  Hurricanes do that, as South Florida was rudely awakened to by Andrew in the "modern era", not that Andrew was the first -- nor will Ian be the last.

I lived in Florida for 20 years, on the water, and Ivan came to visit quite-closely, along with a bunch of lesser storms over that time.  From roughly June to November I was checking what was up in the tropics on a more-or-less daily basis.  It goes with living in the State, and trips out of town on an extended basis during those months are unwise, especially if you can't abort them and get back within 48 hours or so.  I have a bit of a perspective on these things, as you might imagine.

Unlike a tornado or earthquake you get plenty of warning with a hurricane.  Two or three days is usual from "you're likely to get it" to getting it, and frequently you get five days of warning, although the uncertainty at that timeline is frequently large.  Being just 50 miles off one way or the other on where it goes is the difference between taking it in the face and it raining on your back porch, as I pointed out when Michael came in with first-hand live footage.  It rained and was a bit windy in my Lanai.  Over toward Panama City and Mexico Beach they got pasted.

A friend of mine lives in Venice.  They're fine; a bit of cosmetic damage, but nothing serious.  Fort Myers?  Pasted.

"Climate change" is the bogeyman for whatever happens with the weather.  Its nonsense.  You need only look at the actual record of hurricanes to find plenty of really nasty ones that have hit the US, including Florida.

But before A/C made it so popular, and particularly post-Andrew and may I remind you the population of the state has risen about 60% since then the simple reality is that if you put more people on what was swampland, fill it and then pave it over, you put more value in both assets and humans in the path of the natural destructive forces of nature while at the same time building things on subsiding (that is, sinking) ground and, to top off the stupidity, you also destroy much of the natural buffer that used to be there in the form of those swamps you turned into subdivisions and commercial buildings.

CNN ever pointed this out in a shocking bit of truth wildly out of character with their usual histrionics.  But what they didn't point out is yet another part of the reason for the destructiveness of these storms -- frauds.

Post-Andrew the state toughened building codes, and that was good.  But what they didn't do was put anything into criminally punishing firms and individuals who commit fraud against said codes, nor have they gone after the myriad scammers that show up after every storm both in the contracting business and among homeowners themselves.

After every one of these storms you can find "newer" houses -- post Andrew -- that clearly did not meet the roofing codes.  How do you know?  Because the evidence is in the middle of the street or speared through the neighbor's building missing the allegedly-required enhancements.  Stopping this is not difficult: First you throw every contractor personally in prison who cheats in this manner no matter when they did it when the storm comes and the roof is in the next door neighbor's back yard and you throw in prison all of the so-called county inspectors who either didn't actually inspect or knowingly signed off on work that was crap.

personally caught a bit of this but not in storm mitigation -- in my case it was electrical work that I had done to install a dock and it was done wrong.  The county "inspector" signed off on the work but obviously never opened the newly-installed subpanel and look, which means he didn't inspect anything.  I subsequently found it when I went to install a whole-house surge suppressor, fixed it and reamed him a new orifice but he should have gone to prison because it was possible, given time and ordinary wear and tear, that this could have led to a hazardous condition including possibly electrocuting me while I was on my dock at some point in the future.

You see when it comes to permitted work all such scams must have not one but two people committing crimes -- first, the contractor who does the not-to-code thing, and then the so-called "inspector" who doesn't actually inspect, whether out of laziness or perhaps something more-direct.

The same thing applies to roofs.  If there's supposed to be a secondary barrier (basically an adhesive rubber membrane) there so if your shingles get ripped off it doesn't rain in the house for the next eight hours where's the inspector verifying it is in fact there before it gets covered up?  Ditto for the hurricane "clips" and ties again, before they're covered up and inaccessible.

Then there are towns and other entities (including HOAs) that prohibit cutting of trees that are in the fall line of your roof.  In a hurricane-prone area that's nuts and should lead to criminal liability for the HOAs and municipalities involved.  It is not that the wind blows its what the wind blows and a 100' tree coming down on your roof is going to destroy it and at least part of your house every time.

Now let's add to this the outrageous games played by both homeowners and others when it comes to "insurance."  I've seen it.  Someone has an older roof, it needs replacement but they don't feel like paying the check for that.  Tropical storm comes in, no worse than an average thunderstorm in terms of wind and suddenly they have "roof damage" and claim it on insurance.  That's fraudHave you ever heard of someone going to prison for this?  The roofing company knows damned well there was no storm damage and certainly not worthy of what was claimed, as does the "homeowner."

Then there is the orgy of schemers and scammers that inevitably show up after these storms.  Seen that too.  All I'll observe in that regard is that sharks have a purpose and they are often hungry, but once again nobody ever goes to prison for any of this.

Could Florida fix a lot of this?  You bet.  But they never have, and won't.  After all it generates a lot of business activity, doesn't it?

Could Florida, after Andrew, insisted that those who wish to build or do major repairs and upgrades in a surge-prone area do so with no living level below the highest reasonable surge level including reasonably-expected wave height on top of that?  Yep.  Oh, but the old people want a slab-on-grade single-floor house on the water!  Uh...... ok then that particularly house or other structure is deemed uninsurable and the prospective owner, before its built, signs a permanent waiver that gets attached to the deed.  If the storm comes (and it eventually will), so sorry so sad that's just tough crap.

Oh but then those palatial mansions could not be insured!  Correct -- and maybe they wouldn't be built either.

Look at some of the pictures.  Many of these homes have intact roofs.  The structure didn't fail, it flooded.  There's not a damn thing you can do about that other than don't build anything you care about that low.  Mexico Beach was full of places that were cheap vacation spots or cheap residences when built because the people who put them on the beach back then knew damn well that a hurricane would destroy them.  That was then, 30 or 40 years later said "cheap place to look at the nice ocean" gets flipped a few times, embellished and suddenly is a million dollar+ house that still gets destroyed when the hurricane comes -- and it always eventually does.

Do we know that building things right through code changes works?  You bet.  Witness Charlie, which trashed Punta Gorda.  Ian came through the same place, almost-exactly.  The school and courthouse, both of which were badly damaged by Charlie, were rebuilt properly.  Guess what?  Neither took so much as a broken window from Ian.

Of course there's also the barrier island problem, which is a whole different level of crazy.  Barrier islands are not permanent.  They never have been.  Oh sure, maybe they are from the perspective of a human lifetime, but maybe not too.  Sanibel Island anyone?

Hell, Navarre Beach had a pass cut through by man in the 1960s -- and shortly thereafter Hurricane Betsy had other ideas and closed it back off!  One storm erased what man created in a few hours.

I get it.

People like to live near the water.

They bid up property near the water but don't want to build a house on structural piers that will laugh at 15' of surge and then a structure on said piers that will laugh at 150mph winds.  They also want to shift the cost of "beach renourishment" to be paid in part by someone else to get around the fact that nature reshapes beaches all the time, frequently via storms, and if you don't intervene at very high expense your house on piers might be 50' into the surf.

I get it.

Really, I do.

But then we must accept that we're basically giving the finger to nature, and there's a reason we call it mother nature, frequently using another word right after "mother" rather than "nature."  Having lived on the Florida Gulf Coast for 20 years the standard "chestnut" of people who live there is that about once a decade you get a "good one."  Maybe not in the face, just close, but close enough to matter and when enough of those decades pass one of them will be "in your face."

It's not "global" anything; there have always been hurricanes, including really bad hurricanes -- and there always will be.

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2022-09-29 12:26 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 186 references

Support the roaming and very-cute young lady!


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2022-09-29 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Monetary , 629 references
[Comments enabled]  

The rally yesterday was triggered by a belief that the Bank of England was "restarting" QE while still raising rates.  The money flow into US assets (and out of there) was fast and furious, followed closely by a decent amount of flow out of the Euro and (somewhat less) Yen as well.

Don't bet on Pavlov's dog actually getting the steak.

Indeed if you got trapped in this downtrend you might think of it as a short-term reprieve that may go on for a little while.

But not for long.

Reality is that the stupidity of printing credit up to cover all ills is global in the Western World and also extends to China.  The unwind of that, which has to happen or we get a stagflationary recession far worse than the late 1970s, also has to happen.

It won't happen in a straight line and 20+ years of "training" people in the markets that when the first sneeze occurs central banks will be there to hand you a hanky is going to take quite some time to break.

But break it shall, and the sooner you recognize that the less you will lose.

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2022-09-28 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 613 references
[Comments enabled]  

In case you haven't noticed productivity has been in the tank.  Even the government admits it, but you see it everywhere.  Staff in stores that aren't doing much if anything at all, surly assistance, firms apologizing when you come in the door because they're "short-staffed" and similar.

Productivity is simple to define: It is doing more with less.

That's all.

It is, over the five or so thousand years of recorded human history, the single event that moves the common status of mankind forward.

But now, it has stopped.

What you often hear is "well, the government paid people to sit at home and drink beer" and, indeed, that did happen.  Remember who asked for and made that happen: A so-called "Red" President who was also the self-described "king of Debt."

Of course anyone who has ever put too much on the credit card knows how that turns out; the elation of that weekend in Vegas complete with plenty of booze, maybe some hookers and blow on top turns into serious pain when the bill comes.  It doesn't even have to be Vegas, of course; the local pub and hanging out with the homies works just as well to screw up your world if you put it all on the plastic and can't, when you get down to it, afford that.

Somehow we seem to think that this doesn't apply at a national scale.  One need only look at public opinion when it comes to Congress; everyone hates Congress except for their guy or gal, who they vote for once again because they bring home the credit from the government and spread it around.

How many of said people vote someone out when that's not funded by prior taxation?  Zero.  Ever.

How many of said people vote someone out when they sit back and allow things like NY and California to try to shut down the use of carbon-based fuels, upon which literally every advancement of human achievement over the years has been predicated upon?  Zero.  Ever.

How many of said people vote someone out of office because they will not put a stop to the scam of claiming something is "green" when in fact all that was done is shove the pollution overseas where the people are incapable of resisting, such as is the case with (in particular) lithium-based batteries?  Zero.  Ever.

How many of said people vote someone out of office because every single hospital and other medical institution has, through policies and acts that facially violate 100+ year old law, specifically 15 USC Chapter 1, and by doing so have taken medical expense from 3% of the economy to roughly 20% and, at the same time, have pushed and even tried to force acceptance of various procedures and drugs upon the population?  Zero.  Ever.

How many of said people understand that the entire medical industry is by definition parasitic; that is, it produces nothing and at best it can enable someone to economically produce where they otherwise could not, and that paying for acts rather than results is guaranteed to have a net negative outcome for society as a whole -- and thus this must be stopped and said elected representatives must be compelled to do so by, at minimum, loss of their job if they don't?  Zero.  Ever.

How many of said people understand that the entirety of the last 40 years when it comes to stock and other asset prices (e.g. houses) has been predicated on an always-declining interest-rate environment and thus the interest expense for a given amount of debt has continually trended lower.  Nothing, of course, can continue forever and that is no exception.  In other words this scheme was always going to end and now has, so no, you weren't "geniuses", you were exploiting an unnatural and in fact destructive set of circumstances for your short-term personal gain at the expense of your children and the nation's future?  Zero.  Ever.

Can what is an impending calamity be stopped?  Sure.

Will it hurt more to stop it now than it would have to stop in 2000, or in 2007?

You bet.

I've pointed that out several times over the roughly fifteen years I've penned this column; the longer you keep the distortion going the worse the economic pain is that you must undertake to resolve the problem.

Do recall that both "Blue" and "Red" sides of the aisle have continually refused to accept any of said facts.  Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden -- all the same in that regard.

What was a modest amount of pain in 2000, and a moderate amount of pain in 2007 is now very severe pain and yet if we try to deny arithmetic once again and engage in yet more schemes and scams instead of facing the facts that irrespective of whether you believe in climate change as a result of man or not we cannot have a viable modern society without carbon based fuels as its core simply on the laws of physics, and that Congress must not spend money it does not first tax we are going to continue to dig the hole deeper and deeper until we find ourselves with electric bills so high that we can't pay them and industry will shut down because they can't pay said bill either.

This, and only this, has made possible replacement of actual output with parasitic or even directly harmful acts to our modern way of life including alleged "advancements" that cannot work because they violate the laws of physics and/or mathematics.


Citizenship is not a spectator sport and if you refuse to discharge your responsibility as a citizen then very bad things can and are likely to happen.

The time for the appearance of capacity for such scams to "work" is over because it eventually had to be over.  If you do not recognize that inevitability you are claiming time has no value and thus people will not demand to be paid for said value of time.  Yet this is known false by every single human being on the planet from the point of first self-recognition of time by a young child.  The time I spent writing this column I can never get back no matter what I do.  The time you spend drinking a beer, working or watching a football game you can never get back either.  Every self-aware individual knows this from their earliest childhood.  Time always has had value and always will yet we've denied that for forty years as a matter of policy and trope.  It was always a lie and worse, we've refused to stop lying to ourselves and enabling others, along with ourselves, to exploit said lie for alleged "gains" because being honest about an immutable fact of existence means not having everything we want today.

I know you all like the basics of modern life -- a refrigerator, a stove, an an A/C unit, never mind convenient heat in the winter.

All of that can go away if you don't face facts.

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