Fuel Primer Repair – Part 3

After measuring how much fuel primer line I would need I threaded it through the protective mesh webbing and added heat shrink tubing on both ends of the mesh.


Then I heated the tubing ends up in boiling water to help them stretch and slide over the fittings on the carburetor more easily.  I secured the carburetor end of the primer line and then slide the primer bulb ends of the tubing and mesh through the hole in the Rodeo Nirvana backshell.  I had to file out the hole a little because the primer tubing was slightly thicker walled than the orginal tubing.  I added some Gorilla Glue and then propped the motor up so that the glue wouldn’t run.  A little tape around the hole in the backshell prevented (most of) the glue from running out the hole.

After the glue dried I cut the tubes to length and pushed them onto the primer bulb fittings.  I put a dab of superglue on the tube ends to make sure they stayed on the primer bulb.  I did not glue the primer bulb to the backshell but just left it snapped in place.  If no leaks develop then I’ll glue it in.



Fuel Primer Repair – Part 2

First of all it was a beautiful day here in California’s vast Central Valley.  It was sunny and 100 degrees here a few days ago and this morning I woke up to 62 degrees and this…


It’s a great way to usher in Autumn.  But I know that it will get hot again in a few days.  I’m just enjoying the cool weather until then.

Fuel Primer – Part 2

My workaround has been working great but it’s not a permanent fix.  I started on the permanent fix today.  This required removing the engine from the trike, removing the fuel tank, removing the workaround primer, and removing the old primer line.

After removing the old primer line I salvaged the sleeving used to protect it and ran the new primer ine through it.  I still need to get some heat shrink tubing to protect the ends of the sleeving and to secure the fuel lines inside it.

Tomorrow I’ll get the heat shrink tubing and hopefully finish off this repair.

Sunday morning flight

I’ve had an opportunity to test out my PPG engine primer fix.  The primer bulb is just temporarily attached near the carburetor but works very well.  It’s not a long term fix but will work until I get some fuel line in to make the rest of the repairs.  I did the first test flight at my home base at Oakdale Airport.  All seemed well so I went for a longer flight this morning out at New Jerusalem.  I blew the first launch but the second went find and I had a real nice flight around the river.

Nirvana Rodeo Engine Maintenance

The Rodeo engine (made by Nirvana) had it’s first maintenance issue this past Friday.  It was just bad enough to ground me though a relatively easy fix.  I say relatively because I have to take the entire trike apart to make the repair.  The problem was my primer bulb.  When I tried to prime the engine this past Friday I pulled back a very smelly and wet finger.

*Pauses to let laughter subside*

When I looked at my primer bulb it had developed a pinhole leak.  If I tried to start the engine without priming a very fine stream of gasoline would come out of the bulb when the engine was turning.  Not a good thing.  So I grounded the machine until it could be repaired.  And for those who don’t know what a primer bulb is… it’s a small pump basically.  You press it with your thumb and it squirts fuel directly into the carb which helps the engine to start.

I said earlier that the repair is ‘relatively’ easy  because the repair is a simple matter of replacing a $2.00 primer bulb.  It snaps out and back in.  The ‘relatively’ part comes into play when you’re trying to gain access to the primer bulb.  To get it out you basically have to take the entire machine apart.

First I had to remove the propeller, the propeller cage, and the seat and harness.

Then I had to remove the engine from the trike and dump the fuel back into the gas can.  Most of it made it back into the can.  After I had the engine up on the workbench I had to carefully remove the fuel tank.  This is kind of difficult with one person but can be done with patience.   Note that the gas cap was removed when I removed the tank, I put it back on to keep contaminents out of th tank.


With the tank removed I could then get at the back side of the primer bulb.  I removed the fuel lines from the primer and labeled them so the would go back on in the correct positions.  On the carb end I labeld them L and R for left and right.  On the primer end I labeled them S and L for short and long which correspond to the fittings the fuel line was removed from.  One is short, one is long.

After that it was a simple matter of squeezing the locking pins together and popping the bulb out.

Once I had the bulb out I could see that the pinhole had quickly become a bigger hole just with vibration and a little bit of manhandling which it got when I removed it.  It’s hard to see but the entire middle of the bulb is about to come off.


Apparently this is a fairly common part on chainsaws and similar small engine equipment.  I found a box of 5 on Amazon for about $6.00 and it will arrive on Tuesday.  I’ll post an update when I put it all back together.




California Dust Harvest

California’s vast Central Valley is known for it’s fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables.  They literally are farm fresh to your table out here.  But we have another harvest that is not as well known; the California dust harvest.


Fruits are still hand picked for the most part but nuts are harvested in two phases.  First the shaker comes along and shakes the tree causing all the nuts to fall on the ground, then the sweeper will come along and sweep the nuts up then dump them into waiting trucks.  Above we see sweepers in the orchard.  Sweepers are the prime cause of poor air quality in the Valley during the late Summer and early Autmn months.  However, when a farmer looks at this picture do you know what he sees?  Money! 🙂  Hey everyone’s got to eat.

I think you should know that to get this photo I had to go flying in my PPG (heh, ‘had to’ go flying.)  And to get airborne it took me 4 tries.  This intermediate wing is just so maneuverable that I have trouble getting it stable in the air so I can take off.  I think I’m gong to have to go back to my kindergarten wing for a while.


Here’s the steely-eyed airman flinging his eager craft through footless halls of air…



In other news this weekend is my daughter’s 19th birthday.  One of the things she wanted to do was learn how to fire my gun.  I happily obliged and took her down to the shooting range.

Did she enjoy herself?


Yeah, I think so. 🙂

Flying And Other News

I haven’t been able to post any updates lately because the past few weeks at work have been a blur.  A nice blur but very busy.  The days seem to fly by.  I am enjoying working there though.  The people are nice, the rate at which work comes in is manageable, and they make sure we have down time.  I’m also blessed in that my boss, and her boss are both believers and prayed for the right person to fill their open position.  I prayed for God to guide me to the right job.  Everything worked out perfectly for both sides.

In my down time on the weekends I’ve been enjoying flying my PPG.  Sometimes with my new friends from the PPG Facebook group, sometimes alone.  It’s nice to finally be getting more comfortable with my launches, even when I mess them up.  I have purposefully not taken any video or pictures on most of these flight in order to enjoy “being in the moment.”  However, this past weekend I couldn’t resist.

My new (to me) Dudek Universal Wing

When I originally started researching this sport I decided I wanted two things; a Nirvana paramotor and a Dudek Universal wing.  This came from a lot of different folks making recommendations.  During training though, I just couldn’t seem to keep the Universal under control when I was trying to launch.  Ryan Shaw switched out to a more docile and stable wing; a Dudek Nemo.  That is the wing I ultimately bought and brought home.  Why mess with something that’s working?

Recently Ryan put up a used Universal for sale on Facebook.  I figured this would be a good way to finally try out that Universal and if it was a disaster I could always sell it again.  Well this morning I finally had a chance to take it out.  I proved no easier for me to launch.  I had three blown launch attempts with this wing.  I was about to pack it in but gave it one more try.  I finally got the wing stable and flying nicely above my Cruise Carbon Trike so I fed in full throttle and got to fly it for the first time.  Wow, what a difference!  This wing is way more maneuverable, slightly faster, and way more stabile!  The Nemo has a tendency to roll back and forth.  This is easily dampened but you have to work to stop it.  The Universal had no such tendency.  I could stow the brake toggles and just fly hands in my lap rock solid stabile.  I’m going to enjoy getting to know this wing!

Here is a short video this morning of flying the Dudek Universal!