Archive for the ‘Table Of Contents’ Category

(Hawkins, Texas) THE EAST TEXAS TOWN OF HAWKINS IS ESTABLISHING A LEADING COMMUNITY PRESENCE TO DEFEAT POVERTY.

The Helping Hands Network (HHN) founder has spent 2 years building a support network in the East Texas community of Hawkins Texas. Business partners have been established; volunteers have been organized and trained; and now a community center is ready to be developed.

First option to purchase the community center property has been offered to HHN and they need to raise $50,000 to finance and improve it.

 

(You can visit this link on FLIKR to scroll your cursor and look around the studio space!)
https://tinyurl.com/ycxr3tdj

The location of the property is perfect for the newest HHN addition because there are several groups working together to improve the imnpoverished neighborhood.

The Hawkins / Holy Lake Ranch area churches work together to support one central Helping Hand Mission to provide food, shelter and household emergency items to those in need. This mission is one block from the HHN community center.

The Hawkins area Chamber of Commerce is developing a business incubator location to provide job training to help improve the poverty and homeless problems. This location is 2 blocks from the HHN site.

The City of Hawkins has developed a community park with updated features on the same street as the HHN site.

There is a partnering motel on the same street that can provide emergency shelter to those homeless during disaster relief situations.

The HHN is working with these groups by providing business skill training, survival workshops, wellness classes and other wonderful events at the community center property. The two story complex is perfect for the program.

 

(You can pause the youtube video & drag your cursor to look around the property.)

The upper level provides office space, storage and a wellness studio where visitors have events like yoga and movie/game nights. The lower level will be developed for emergency shelter, group meals, classroom training and art studio space. A community garden is in the second year of growth on the surrounding property.

IF enough money is not raised by February 2018, the property will be sold to the public and the community center and garden program will be forced to start over so please donate if you can. Direct deposits via paypal ID (tfrentz @ hotmail) are preferred to accelerate the processing time. 

Thank you for your consideration.

*Contributors can choose to receive…

– 1 free tech consulting service per $100 gifted.
or
– those in the Hawkins area are eligible for a free home repair worth $50 per $100 gifted.
or

– 5% off any item listed on our eBay store per $100 gifted. Visit http://myworld.ebay.com/Frentzs 

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A portion of the proceeds from our sales go to the Causes listed on netvibes.com/HelpingHandsNet

To View Images or get more details please email: tfrentz@hotmail.com

 

We have 2 eBay accounts for items that can be shipped.

http://myworld.ebay.com/Frentzs

http://myworld.ebay.com/tpsMercedesBenz

 

Hawkins Texas Large Item Inventory:

1031 Inventory list

 

What does enlightenment mean to you? Below I am listing some detailed examples of what it means to me.

Some cultures put more emphasis on the philosophy then others. Some cultures just have a modified version with a different name.

Regardless of where you are in the world, you will find beings on the path of enlightenment. If keywords like peace, love, kindness, forgiveness, health, fitness, nature, knowledge and so on key your attention, then you are on the Enlightenment path.

If you choose to reach further and attain a higher state of enlightenment, this guide is for you.

 

First, you must care for your self above all else. Your body, spirit and mind are the temple that you build your enlightenment upon and they need to be strong in order to shine your light onto others.

Internally you need to be knowledgeable of the science of breathing. The yin of human life requires oxygenated air aprox. every 4 minutes, water every 4 days and nutritional energy within aprox. 4 weeks to live. By the life law of yin, this means breathing is the most powerful form of enlightenment.

Those who have reached the highest levels of enlightenment, do so by mastering ancient breathing meditation techniques. Read “The Science of Breath” by Ramacharaka for detailed guides on how to use breath to reverse illness and many others benefits. Contact me for a free copy.

A healthy human body is over 60% water. Hydration health and nutritional diet are the next most important paths to enlightenment. Drinking at least 64 ounces of pure fluids daily is needed by the average human to maintain maximum health levels. A proper intake of fluids is needed to digest the solid food nutrients that follow.

The oldest of human artifacts and ancient scriptures support the claims that humans are meant to be herbivores. Plant based diets not only achieve a higher level of health enlightenment, but they also provide a solution to some of the world’s biggest evils. The “animals for food and resources” industry is the root of deforestation, the extinction of animals, animal cruelty and many more evils blocking the path to enlightenment. If you want more help getting over an addiction to meat, just watch some of Louie Psihoyos’ films like “Racing Extinction”.   I can get you copies of any of these films you like. It is not just about food consumption either. The slaughter of living creatures is also taking place to provide you with beauty products and medicine and much more. Researching the ingredients of products and refusing to support anything living being based is a major step up on your path.

Moving on, let’s talk muscular and circulatory enlightenment. All around fitness is crucial to happiness and other enlightened emotions. Physical forms of yoga, weight lifting, cardio, Reiki, massage and such have the power to transcend you to a new level. I escape the material world every few months to focus on these methods. Living outside of a temple in a modern day industrialized nation like the United States makes it very hard to maintain or increase your physical enlightenment. Frequent trips to solitude are needed to reset and vanquish the clutter blocking your path. But in the mean time, while you are caught in the rat race, do some random tummy tucks/push ups/squats and such throughout your day to stay balanced. If you are shy and concerned with what those around you will think, then you are failing to surround yourself with other enlightenment seekers and this will only block your path.

Beyond the physical, think about how you spend your time. Are you volunteering and helping contribute to enlightened causes around you? Are you spending the daylight by unplugging and venturing to enjoy hobbies outdoors? Do you think about how your actions affect the world and do your enlightened best? Simple actions like recycling, growing your own food and harnessing your own energy can change the world for the better over night if enough of us do it!

Treasure your freedom and defend it through these enlightened methods. Live in the moment; appreciate life like it is ending today! Grasp every second like you are on a vacation and the end is near, because it really is closer than we sometimes realize!

Peace, love, forgive, enlighten.

HH Logo 1

 

 

 

 

I have spent most of the past year building up the Helping Hands Network in East Texas and now it is time for a road trip to visit some of the areas established in the past.

 

Over the weeks leading up to my trip I restored my ’85 Mercedes 300DT enough that it would make another 1500 mile round trip to visit my family in Nebraska. It was still lacking air conditioning, cruise control, a rear shock and had a damaged front sway bar but I had confidence in it.  I prepared to be on the road for a few weeks, made all the necessary arrangements around my home and with work commitments and packed my bags.

 

The morning I was going to load up and leave, my main work partner, Greg, sent me a text asking to help him with some last minute small jobs before I left. He picked me up and took us to one of our clients who just happen to have a 2006 Honda Element for sale. On the way there Greg explained that he appreciated that I do not raise my labor rates and that he purchased the Honda Element for me to drive so I would have a safe vehicle. He would take care of the insurance and registration if I did all the mechanical and cosmetic maintenance.  It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

Honda Element

 

The Honda needed fluids, new tires/bumper/windshield, a tow bar and a serious bath. It had been stored in the deep woods for years without a cleaning and had a thick layer of mildew all over it. We spent the day getting all the paper work together and cleaning it.

 

I left Hawkins, TX  on Friday afternoon and made it to the Northeast Texas boat races by sunset. Lake Crook north of Paris was the site of this years party. The campground was completely full of fancy trailers, campers and boats with massive engines. I heard loud music and followed it to the far corner. When I arrived, there were people dancing and drinking around their ATV’s as a band played. There boats and campers all around and the band was being powered by a portable power station trailer. The gates were closing at 11 so I walked around looking at the boats and then left at 10:45 to continue down the road to Tulsa.

Boat Races

 

I stopped at a rest area just south of Tulsa around 2am. This morning, July 29, was the Tulsa and OKC Choctaw Pow-wow’s so I went and explored the grounds before continuing on my journey. I get so upset when visiting these large commercialized pow-wow’s that are nothing like the authentic private ceremonies you find deep in Indian country. Hopefully there will be a traditional gathering along my path through Sioux land in the days ahead.

 

I arrived in Omaha around 4pm and did a quick tour of visits at all my local hangouts. It was nice to catch up with so many of my friends. One particular couple, the Valgora’s, have spent the past 25 years opening their doors to those in need and I always make it a point to visit and remind them how much their efforts are appreciated. Unfortunately on this visit they were at a movie and could not be reached in time.

Many of my friends met up with me at the evening dart tournament so I signed up to compete. I was partnered up with one of my best friends lady friend and we were able to win our way to first place and some nice cash.

 

After the tournament I continued on my way to a rest stop in Lincoln to get some sleep. The next morning I picked up some food and went to one of the best workout areas in town, Holmes Lake. On this morning the Cornhusker State Game Bike Races were happening so I was surrounded by yoga lovers as I did my routine.

Holmes Lake

I then went to my favorite meditation gardens in the middle of town. Lincoln has one of the largest networks of Gardens in the world event though they only grow 8 months out of the year.

 

Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens 2

 

 

I toured some of my favorite hang out spots like the Haymarket, University Campus, Antelope Park and then headed for the State Games Dart Tournament where several more of my friends would be. There are even BMX and Remote Control Vehicle complex’s! (pictured below)

 

 

My final destination in Lincoln would be Pioneers Park and the Buddhist Temple for a Sunset meditation. Just two more examples of how many amazing places there are to enjoy in this fabulous city.

 

 

I finally concluded this leg of the journey by arriving at my mother’s house in Grand Island for a good nights rest. My brother, his wife and their 1 year old were staying at the house as well while they were waiting for their new house to be ready. It was a nice surprise to be able to spend the entire time with all of them as I repacked for the next leg of the journey through my ancestor’s Indian land en-route to the Black Hills.

 

(p.2 Black Hills)

 

 

*turn on our social media alerts to follow the action live. 360 videos and event highlights are starting around noon Saturday and continue until Sunday night.
Saturday morning 9am: 

Boarded the train for 100 mike journey into Dallas. I could feel the stress from home melting away. A train ride is much simpler and more enjoyable then flying and more scenic than a cruise boat. Each have their benefits but for a short journey, the train is the way to go.
11am – Arrived downtown and boarded city train to Fair Park.

11:45? – Arrived at Dallas Earth Day.

Q

Posted: February 6, 2017 in GREEN, Secrets, Table Of Contents

BUILDING & REMODELING  101

by Tim Frentz

Stirling Solar System

I specialize in sustainable tiny home design and enjoy consulting projects of all sizes. This is a helpful guide for home building or remodeling of any size project. It will give you the pros and cons of the choices you have to make along the way so you can make the most informed decision possible.

If you have received a free copy of this guide, please consider making a small donation to our non-profit Helping Hands Network by emailing tfrentz@hotmail.com for payment options.

This guide is also very helpful for those that are relying on a general contractor to treat them fairly and make the best quality decisions possible on their behalf within the agreed contract pricing. I recommend you retain your general contracting rights and contract each stage of the project on your own. It is a difference in paying approximately a 33% mark up on every single process. In the end, it is the difference between paying closer to $66,000 instead of $100,000.

Most of the time, these decisions are made because of increased pressure on the home owners by the lender. In most cases, lenders will have some qualifications that need to be met before approving the loan. This just means that you need to find a construction friend that can sign-off as a general contractor on your behalf. The main qualification hurdle on a whole home build loan is that you contract a professional framer. Beyond that, most of the other processes are more lightly regulated by the lender.

I strongly urge you to save up your cash and only build a little at a time as you have enough funds without financing from a high interest rate lender. By doing this you limit the chains that prevent you from living freely out of debt.

This guide is written in the order of a new construction process from the planning to finishing stages.

Prices change often and vary by region so I do not list them in this guide. You will need to look up current pricing for your area as needed.

 

RESOURCE PLANNING

The more cash and credit you have available, the easier it will be to achieve your goals. However, do not feel that a project is beyond reach due to a lack of available finances. I have completed some amazing projects with resources acquired through barter, thrift, salvage, auction and even scrap yard hunting.

Once you have completed your first wave of resource planning through all discounted methods, it is time to begin looking for the products and services that you will need to pay more for. Keep watching for deals from the first phase of resources but get your plan B in order.

I will give examples as this guide goes over each section of the process. Price estimates are based on a 2000 sq. ft.; 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home.

 

 

DESIGN DRAFTS

After you have a resource list organized, you are ready to place them in a blueprint of your project. After you have a blueprint, you will know how many items or how much material you need. If this is a complete structure build or remodel, you will need to obtain the property or a trailer to put it on.

 

INSPECT & OBTAIN PROPERTY

You can now pick a location that may have some of the natural resources you need in your design plans. It is best to obtain free property from family or homestead an unclaimed territory for new building but if you must resort to buying, try to avoid a realtor at all costs and contact private sellers. If you have trade skills, you can use them to build a friendship with the owner of a property you have your eye on. Do enough projects with them and you will likely get a nice discount.

While reviewing land, look closely. Are there any trees in the way of building equipment? Are the trees in the right location for shade? Are there any food baring plants and trees? Are there enough lumber trees to burn for heat on cool nights?

If there is a natural spring or running stream you can have drinking water and the ability to connect a hydro turbine for electricity. If there is a hill, you will be able to form a swell wall to catch rain in a pond and gravity drop your plumbing to avoid city or county utilities. Do you know what the outdoor burning rules are so you can minimize your non recyclable waste?

What is the ground content? Take a shovel and dig 2 feet down if you can because the content of the ground determines your options and how expensive the foundation and power will be.

 

GROUND BREAKING & FOUNDATION  

*Assuming this is not a mobile or trailer project

A solid foundation pad is a must. If you cut corners on setting your foundation, the rest of the house will fail long before you are gone. If you build on top of soft dirt or sand your house will settle and potentially brake windows, doors, walls, tile and much more and you will end up removing and replacing everything you planned so hard to save money on.

Hopefully the property has some form of long lasting material to base the foundation. Ideally you want a hard wood forest on site so you can hue the logs, tar them and build on top of those that have a long shelf life. This land will most likely have enough soft spots that geothermal tubes can be placed 30 feet into the ground to provide heat and cooling.

If the ground is hard, you will only need to pay for a leveling service. Make sure they clear a path or driveway also while doing the pad. Chances are that a soft area for geothermal will not be available and drilling would be too expensive so other renewable energy solutions will need to be considered.

 

Building into the side of a hill and doing an earth roof will increase your homes climate comfort while minimizing the need for heating and cooling so hopefully your land has plenty of free “earth” to use. Building into a slope on one side of your home will also protect your family from tornado type storms.

 

Basements are an added expense but if you are in a strong storm area, you will want to consider a small shelter room that can double up as a panic room and valuables safe. But for most purposes, building into the side of a hill will provide safety rooms along that one side.

A standard leveling charge for a service where the removed layer remains on the property is around $2000. Hard rock/ore delivery plus compacting services will cost around $8000. A medium sized poured basement is around $12,000. There is no reason to pay to have your earth hauled off. There will be plenty of landscape uses for it.

*My next home will have an earth wall and roof.  J

 

FRAMING  

I strongly encourage you to consider building naturally. Commercial lumber, drywall and paint is all processed with chemicals that your body absorbs over time. Adobe, straw bale and natural wood along with other repurposed materials should be researched before using any commercial products.

 

If you must use commercial products, standard pine lumber does fine and unless you are doing mostly glass walls, you do not need any metal framing. On a earth wall, treated lumber with waterproof wrapping and prepped gravel and draining measures will be needed. The most important parts of commercial framing include having treated 2×6 base plates on a solid foundation with proper drainage, 2×8 floor laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams, high weight baring ceiling trusses and properly supported weight baring walls.

Any external wood wall structure needs to be wrapped in waterproof sheeting. This also improves insulation values. The typical 2000 sq. ft. home will cost about $14,000 to frame with commercial products. Using natural products will reduce this cost tremendously.

Porch easements are included in framing but not deck and sun room additions. See “SURROUNDING” comments for details.

 

ROOF

There are many options for roofing and it is easy to over think and get overwhelmed in the decision.

An earth covered roof is the longest lasting with proper installation and maintenance. Treated plywood with a layer of ice and water shield covered by rubber rolled roofing is the best way to waterproof the roof.  Put a shovel scoop of gravel down before each section of the sod to keep roots from growing into the rubber and to keep the sod from eroding away in high winds. Framing needs to be done with 2×6 walls to support the extra weight but the benefits are well worth the minor increased lumber cost. The earth roof will filter out dangerous radio waves and radiation but yet allow a decent phone signal through.
Metal roofs require special tools and a lot of expensive screws, custom edge pieces, and ridge and end caps. If the pitch is not steep enough, rain will make a very annoying loud pounding noise. Extra insulation is needed to keep the noise muffled. Metal will disrupt radio waves so if you rely on cell phones you will want to consider a copula bell tower with windows to hold a range extender to improve your reception and data flow.

Asphalt shingles are inexpensive and easy to repair and maintain and do not filter radio waves as much as metal.

Wood shakes and clay tiles are expensive and pricey to maintain and repair.

Tesla has a Solar Shingle

SunFlare has a solar film wrap.

 

HEATING / COOLING

The most efficient heating/cooling system to install will cost about the same as a traditional system. The only headache is that the Sterling Engine will take some self training to repair if it ever acts up. A sterling engine uses far less energy than a natural gas furnace and electric air cooling condenser.

Here is an example of a Sterling engine on a geothermal system by Cool Energy of Boulder CO. The only change I recommend is switching to an inline on demand water heater instead of the water tank. Tanks cost the same price and have more maintenance issues and take up too much space.

Stirling Solar System

 

A Sterling engine works by using the pressure created by temperature change to move the engine pistons as needed. This means that in a geothermal system, there is no need for gas or electric power input to drive the system. It is completely powered by the change of the temperature alone. The higher the range of temperature in your area, the more energy it creates.  The city of Boulder, CO is a leader in renewable energy implementation and design and they use several SolarFlow Systems.

To read more about this technology visit…

NewEnergyDirection.com/blog/2009/06/stirling-engine-generator/ (read the comments)

CoolEnergyInc.com/video-solarflow-system/

I recommend having the HVAC unit wired to the grid as well as to the Sterling (SolarHeart) engine just in case one or the other has problems.

 

 

 

PLUMBING

There is not much to plumbing. You need a constant reliable source of fresh water like a well, stream, lake or pond; a digester for waste; and a heating source. A raised water tank or up-hill source provides the needed water pressure for showers while an in-line water heater powered by a single solar panel system with battery backup will provide all the warm water you need.

If the main water source is a pond or river, you will need a pump powered by a water wheel turbine or solar system to move the water uphill to your house unless it is channeled from a higher elevation. If that is the case, your land is in a high danger of being flooded often.

Make sure your water lines are pex tubing and that they are not installed on any external walls if you are in a region that gets below freezing.

You will want to find a good deal on a UV filtering system also. You have no idea what is in bottled or public water sources. Rain water will have the least amount of harmful chemicals but near large industrial plants even the rain water is likely to be contaminated. A UV filter system is the best way to be certain you have minimized the risk of your drinking water.

 

ELECTRICAL

With the framing, roof and main plumbing lines done, electrical wiring can be setup. There is not much to be decided. The main choices you have to make are where you want outlets, switches, speakers, fans and such located. You will want to obtain a code book from the local utility office to help you. Make sure your fuse breaker box is not outside. It is no fun to go out in the weather to reset a breaker. Anything outdoors is also a target for vandals.

You can buy the wire at a contractor supply wholesaler or through an electrician friend and do some quick research on the codes in your area. When running wire, drill holes in the middle of the wood and tack metal plates over the holes on the interior wall side of the holes to prevent wall nails from penetrating the wiring which could result in shorts and possible fire. You need to use wire staples to hold the wire to the studs at least every 12 inches to prevent it from being punctured by wall nails.

Make sure you use the proper gauge of wire for the items being used on the circuit. You will want to review your wiring diagrams with an expert to make sure you are running them properly and then you just need to pay a licensed electrician to connect everything for the inspection.

You will want to have as many windows as possible to limit the need for electrical light but when you do need them, pick Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights to minimize the energy dependence.

Make sure you wire for renewable energy sources like solar panels, a backup battery bank and a grid tie inverter.

Run as much of the wire as possible underground to limit electric pulses surrounding you and minimize interference. This usually is limited to the main line running from a utility pole to the fuse box. Make sure your fuse box and the connection point of the main utility line is properly placed for the line coming in from the utility pole. It is a common mistake to place a fuse box and hook up in a location not serviceable. This means that thousands of dollars in running wire could be wasted if it has to be pulled and relocated. The expense can grow very large if other finish work like drywall and such would need to be torn out for a rewire.

 

IF you connect to an Electric Utility grid, make sure you demand a mechanical meter. DO NOT accept a digital SMART METER. These smart meters amplify electric pulses and radiation surrounding you in order to emit strong waves of data 100’s of feet away to allow utility vehicles to drive around and monitor energy use. They also serve as a computer hackers back door into your privacy. The signal can be hacked and skilled thieves can see the energy spikes. This information tells a thief if anyone is home and allows them to case a target easier. (See StopSmartMeters.org)

Here are some links for materials to build a Tesla Battery Bank to hold extra power from your solar generation.
Laptop Batteries http://j35.us/Ebay-Laptop-Battery-Lot
$6 per 15 – 18650 Holders http://j35.us/18650-spacer-clips
? Copper buss bars http://j35.us/1NGpBo4
$12 per 5 Brass strips http://j35.us/Small-Brass-Strips
? Cell Fuse wire http://j35.us/1k-Ohm-resistor
$195 PowerLab 6 – http://j35.us/FMA-PowerLab-6
$20 Cell Log 8 – http://j35.us/Cell-Log8

 

DOORS AND WINDOWS

As valuable products begin moving into the home, the doors and windows need to be installed. These are very simple and you don’t need to pay a builder to do a task that a couple of friends or family can help you do. Unfortunately it is hard to find a builder who is willing to allow home owners to get in the middle of some projects like doors and windows. Most of the time owners just give in and overpay to have the ease of mind and smooth progress. Two key things to remember include, insulating the gaps and taping over the outside edges to water proof them before stone work, siding, flashing and trim begins.

 

EXTERNAL FEATURES

After plumbing and electrical holes are all in place through external walls, you can start installing accent features like stone or brick. I recommend at least one third of the outside be done in a durable long lasting resource.

Siding

There are so many external product options that a person can go insane trying to design and decide their ideal finish. The longest lasting, easiest to maintain and most affordable options to compliment the stone includes barn wood, hardwood logs, and steel panels. These do not need paint maintenance.

Hard wood logs need to be from a species that no pests are attracted to in your area. Do your research. Poplar is one I prefer. Cedar is the leading choice for fascia and trim because it is rot resistant.

Vinyl and standard wood siding require a lot of maintenance costs. Vinyl fades and cracks easily. Base wood siding products need excessive nailing, paint and caulk which doubles the cost. The ridge on most horizontal wood siding attracts dirt, mildew and webs.

Concrete (Hardy) board siding is durable and allows custom color finishes but has far too many disadvantages. It chips under pressure and is hard to repair. Labor costs are 3x the cost of other options because it is messy and requires special tools. It also needs trim nailed on seams and needs caulked and painted. It does not miter well for trim. It also makes a dangerous dust that gets in your eyes and lungs when being cut.

 

Soffit

For soffit, I prefer wide 1/2 inch thick wainscot planks with tongue and groove laps treated in polyurethane. Vents just attract dirt and insects so I just drill small holes for ventilation. My second choice is a vinyl paneling. Do not go with aluminum because the paint fails and the slightest of dings are permanent. Some minor dings can be reversed by placing a heat gun over the dent but it is not guaranteed. Aluminum soffit is also hard to replace.

Wood rots and cement hardy board chips so I do not recommend using them. Dirt and webs also stick to them and are much harder to power wash off.

Fascia

The wood should be treated or rot resistant and it should be covered in aluminum. An 80 ft. by 3ft role of coil costs about $100 and a bending machine can be rented for about $50/day. There is nothing complicated about doing this. After installing the metal, make sure to seal the edges with caulk and your fascia will look like new for a long time with just occasional washing. This will also keep pests out.

Window & Door External Trim

Make sure all the edges are sealed with water proof tape and have metal rain flashing installed. Now, add any wood frames you want and then use the same materials as the fascia over the frames unless you are adding some nice stone or brick highlights. This needs to be done before the stone or siding goes on.

Gutter

Controlling the flow of water near your foundation is critical. Installing gutter at the right angle will take two people but it is a simple “DIY” project. Long seamless runs of gutter are nice but they are not worth the cost of custom ordering and the hassle of installing.

Rain Catchment

Install the down spouts of the gutters to barrels so you can channel the excess water into your gardens and home plumbing system.

 


INTERIOR

Insulation

The standard r30 rated rolled insulation is great for walls but if you have a metal roof you are going to want to add some blow in insulation on top of it to drown out rain. That also means you can’t have vaulted ceilings. Insulation requires no special skills to install so save some money and get your friends to help with this too.

Walls

Drywall is heavy but with strong help it is not complicated to install. You will want to install it and then pay an expert to come in and sand the joints. You then want to make sure you paint a sealer/primer over the drywall to protects it before being painted. Again, I encourage natural products like wood or adobe instead of chemically polluted drywall.

Tile is best for bathrooms and kitchens.

Ceiling

Drywall, labor, plaster texture and paint is just as expensive as doing ceilings in a nice wood so consider it heavily.

Flooring

Remember to watch for deals. You can get great wood flooring at auctions or clearance areas of hardware stores and flooring liquidator warehouses. Installation is easy but requires a special nail gun that can be rented for about $40 a day.

Carpet does not last and it requires vacuum maintenance and stores bacteria germs and pet hair.

Tile is great but requires a special cutting saw and the grout in the joints requires a lot of time to keep clean on floors.

 

 

Trim

Borders, frames, base board, wall accents and ceiling crown molding is an art form. It is a bit challenging to get joints mitered just right and caulked for paint but you should at least try it before giving in to pay an expert.

Stone Fire Guard

A wood burning stove doubles as a room warmer in the cold months. It is one of the most used items in my home. A stone mantle or raised floor fire guard is nice accent piece to any home.

Counters

Again, I’m a strong supporter of natural wood. Marble and granite are nice but expensive and when they get damaged you have to live with it because it is too expensive to replace. I will take a nice hard wood with thick layers of durable clear coat any time.

Cabinets

There are a lot of DIY kits available. Go check some out at IKEA or a similar store where they let you use computer diagrams to layout and print blueprints. I recommend you consider auctions and area salvage stores for discounted handles and hardware before over paying at stores. Antique hardware is better crafted and cleans up nicely.

Closets

There are a lot of easy DIY kits available so don’t pay someone to put them together.

Appliances

Dish washers are a waste of space and water. The average person, washes their dishes and then still puts them in a dishwasher thinking the high heat treatment is needed to eliminate any remaining bacteria. The extra use of energy and water is just silly.

Do you really need a dryer? You can hang your clothes up to dry and save a lot of money on energy bills. It may not be as big of a deal if you are generating an abundance with your solar and wind systems but a dryer is the biggest consumer of energy in a home along with a furnace. The luxury of being able to de-wrinkle or improve odors quickly is a hard habit to break but with proper preparation, you can do this just as well without a dryer.

Make sure you check all the hardware store clearance isles and classified listings in the area before paying retail for an appliance.

 

 

Paint

Don’t skimp on paint. Get a top quality latex paint for high traffic areas. This will minimize damages and allow for stains to be cleaned easily without the need to do much touch up painting. In low traffic or raised areas, you can use a lower quality paint with a satin or flat finish to save money.

Window Treatments & Shelving

This area is unlimited with great choices. There are so many great designs that there really is no way to recommend any particulars. I do suggest that you visit tradeshows or seek out local wood workers to get ideas for custom shelves and unique wood furniture needs.

 

SURROUNDING

Decks are a great addition. Half of our time at home should be spent outside and a relaxation center like a deck or patio encourages us to get off the couch and be active. I spend most my time in tiny home living quarters of less than 800 sq. ft. One of the first things I do when I relocate is build a deck or patio to create the extra space I need for activities. My homes usually have a small sleeping area, a cooking area and an eating area that doubles as an office and entertainment room. My workout room, greenhouse, art studio, music room and any other needed space is blended into an outdoor deck or sunroom.

Decks need to have a solid foundation. If it is just a walk through area, it can be supported with basic 16×16 foundation pads on top soil but if it is an area with a framed structure and a large gathering space, it will need concrete pillars 2 feet deep.

The frame needs to be treated and/or rot resistant wood. There are a lot of options for decking. I suggest colored concrete for patio like areas and regular pine lumber elsewhere with a combination of tile or stone accents. The lumber needs water treated and stained every two years but the added cost of composite or using treated wood for the entire deck is not worth $100 of stain and 2 days of your time every two years. The lumber should be held together with weather proof screws with high torque heads. (NOT your normal Phillips bit head.) In most applications a hidden spacer bracket (Deck Lock) can be used to minimize visible screw heads.

Composite warps and fades under the elements just as fast as standard pine wood so it is not worth the extra cost.

Patios are one of my most enjoyable projects to design and implement. They set the tone for the surrounding landscape plan. A combination of rock, stone and colored/stamped concrete is amazing. Brick and block pads will eventually frustrate you as they catch dirt allowing weeds to seed and grow.

You will want any gaps to either be hairline thin or larger than a half inch wide. Gaps less than a half inch will trap dirt and sand and need continuous cleaning.

Sun Rooms have improved in design since the last time I built one so I will add more to this section after I do the next one. For now I just want to make sure you choose products that are energy star rated. There are still single pane glass options out there and they need to be avoided. You will not be please with the buildup of condensation and moisture damage and staining caused by single pane glass. You will also be dissatisfied with the noise pollution and lack of insulation for climate control.

 

KEY POINTS

I am available to stay a week at a time on any special projects you may have to help manage your contracting needs.

Here is a list of the services I provide the most:

– Framing; Roof; windows; doors; floors; trim; paint; wood ceiling; electric prep and fixture install; decks; sunrooms; renewable energy system installs; gutters; siding; soffit/fascia; closets; custom wood features; landscaping; fencing and cement patio features.

 

*Everything else, I can help sub-contract to others for you.

 

If you are using a general contractor of your own, they will add 15-20% on top of my prices. I recommend you leave the floors; trim; paint; wood ceiling; fixture installs; decks; sunrooms; renewable energy system installs; gutters; siding; soffit/fascia; closets; custom wood features; landscaping; fencing and cement patio features OFF the contract and pay your friends or family directly for these services.

 

HELPFUL LINKS

http://earthship.com/

Natural Building

http://geofflawton.com/

 

Patio Ideas

 

 

 

 

THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY

I just signed a deal with the south’s largest Mercedes Diesel Collector. The Helping Hands Network Charity I am the director for, now has access to below market priced parts for pre-millennium DIESEL Mercedes’!  Just email me a question about what part you are looking for and I will get you a price. I am at the parts yard often and am helping inventory his 3 barns and over 200+ vehicles!

tfrentz@hotmail.com

Mercedes Benz Turbo Diesel TD300

MANUAL: http://www.toddcomputer.com/Mercedez-manual/300D-repair-manual.html

Donate $5 to our Charity and I’ll get you a ZIP file with the full manual to view offline.

RESOURCES:

http://dieselgiant.com/mercedes_diesel_maintenance_tips.htm  (dieselworld@bellsouth.net)

peachparts.com ; benzworld ; mercedesdieselguy.blogspot.com ; mbca.org

PARTS:

http://www.benzcostless.com

Car-Stuff.com

 

Problem: Grinding in wheel gears.

Cause: Torn boots, dry axle gears, bad bearing.

Solution: Check all lubrication. Jack up wheels and hand turn them and listen or feel for problems. IN MY CASE, the grinding only starts in the rear passenger side after driving at least 40 mph for 20 miles consecutively. I am still testing to identify the exact cause and solution.

 

Problem: Broken Accelerator pedal

Cause: Damaged AC condensation drain tube allowing water to settle at the pedal base plate which then rots the floor out.

Pedal damageAC drain foam

 

 

 

 

Solution:  Replace the damaged foam AC drain tube with a rubber and duct tape tube. Then weld a new pedal connector in place with seam sealant, rust inhibiting paint spray and rubber coating. Also spray the bottom of the car. I riveted my pedal plate in place because I didn’t make the plate large enough to weld to solid floor metal.

AC drainAC drain linePedal repair close

 

 

 

Pedal new holder Pedal new

 

Problem: RUST! ARE YOU IN AN ICY CLIMATE? If you are in 80% of the USA your vehicle is at risk. Some of the main places and parts to keep protected include the fender well cover along the floor support & the independent suspension. A hole will rust out in the fender along the frame support and moisture will get into the lower frame and find it’s way down on to the suspension parts.

Mercedes Shock RustRear PAssenger Quarter

Solutions: Re-coat your fender wells with truck liner as needed. IF it is too late you will find that the rear shock mounts sit in a bowl made to support the spring and that will rust out. To get that replaced is a major job as the spring support and the wheel base and axle are ALL attached to this suspension arm and they will need to be removed. The main suspension arm will likely be rusted and you will have to cut off the bolt head and cut out the support tube away from the rubber bushing because it is usually rusted to the bolt.

Suspension Bolt Grinding Suspension Bolt

REMOVE your suspension arm bolts right now and go grease them if it is not too late!!! Make sure you jack the arm up and keep it in place while removing the bolt because if you let it tweek out of place it is a pain in the ass to get the freshly greased bolt to start threading.

 

Problem: Floor Board and trunk rust rot (usually due to failing door/trunk seals)

Solutions: Replace or repair seals. Treat them often with rubber conditioner.

Door Seal b4Door Seals

 

Problem: Window switch is not working. The rear window switch on the rear door works but not the front control switch. (The switches get goo in them over time and the contacts arc and burn out.)

Solutions: Disassemble the switch and clean the contacts and other parts with a razor blade and rotate them before reassembling.

Switch Cleaning 1 Switch Cleaning

 

 

Problem: Transmission or drive shaft allows the vehicle to role about 2 inches when put into park.

Solutions: The main issue is likely that the bushing between the two pieces of the axle is getting worn out. This is very common and is not known to brake completely so there is little risk of being stranded. The drive shaft joint fingers also are very flexible and the give increases with ware.

 

Problem: Transmission shifts hard and horse power seams weak.

Solutions: *LATE ’84 or newer models have a unique shifting vacuum pressure line out of the banjo bolt found on the drivers side of the valve cover. Test by removing the vacuum filter line for the shifting and bypass it by plugging it up. It shifts smoother and increased my horsepower because the extra shifting filter really is not necessary and decreases the pressure too much. This is also a way to test if your turbo is working by unplugging it while vehicle is running to see how much pressure is coming through the banjo.

 

Problem: Concerned how good my engine seals are and if they are causing too much blow by and oil leaking.

Solution: You can put your thumb over the vent hole on the top of the valve cover to get a good idea how healthy your ring seals are. The longer the engine continues to run, the better the seals. 3 seconds means run away from that engine while 6 seconds is average and 9 or more is like new! Mine is 7ish  🙂

 

Problem: Transmission shifts hard, then sometimes it stops and has no power and no acceleration?

Solutions:

1. Check the Tranny Levers/Valves and throttle linkage. http://dieselgiant.com/trannyleverreplace.htm

In my case, the throttle pivot bushing connecting the pedal arm to the accelerator linkage connected to the firewall was broke. (see pictures below)

This part is $54+ from PeachParts: http://tinyurl.com/7nwjhdf

$41+ from Car-Stuff.com : http://tinyurl.com/6wst7cc

A: 1984+ has a metal tranny valve  lever on top of the engine

B: <1983 has (2) plastic levers

2. Clean the Banjo-bolt and LINE located on back of engine, near transmission fluid dip stick at rear of exhaust manifold. (*Need cleaning agent and wire brush) Remove line from firewall switch-over valve.

A: 1984+

B: <1983

Switch-over valve line to banjo bolt cleaned? (if you by-pass the switch over, your engine can not prevent over fueling from over boost! This will ruin the engine by ______ ?

3. Clean Fuel and air system (filters, sea foam etc.)

4. check vacuum system (adjust tranny linkage) The 5 way connector by the throttle linkage on pre 1983’s or the 4 ways on 1984+ is usually swollen from oil vapors and heat.

http://dieselgiant.com/mercedesvacuumtroubleshooting.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlg7mZffni8

Start at the ALDA with vacuum tester, and if the pressure is not making it that far, then you’ll need to investigate to figure out what is the source of the problem.  Make sure you’ve got the ALDA – there are also vacuum fittings connected to the vacuum shut-off valve on the injection pump,

You can modify the vacuum lines. Remove all lines to the head valve cover. The main vacuum supply goes to a single T as seen in the photo. One end of the T goes to the vacuum control valve (via the green dampener) and the remaining end goes off to the transmission. Note the restriction orifice remains in the line to the vacuum control valve.

One T is completely eliminated……..the line to the black box on top of the valve cover is eliminated. The vent line goes directly to the vacuum control valve. Second T is completely eliminated. The return vent line to the black box on top of the valve cover is eliminated. Remove the line from the black box to the temperature switch on the thermostat housing. Finally, the line from the temperature switch to the EGR valve is eliminated. Opened up the black box and pull out the remains of the 3-2 switches. The IP linkage works a bit smoother when you don’t need to force the cam.

*By removing the EGR vacuum lines connected to the Switchover (3/2) valves and temperature switch, you improve mileage and power but lose first gear and increase carbon blow back. (The 3/2 valves activate the transmission’s 1st gear).

BEFORE PICT:

AFTER PICT:

5. check kickdown solenoid performance

Check that the kickdown solenoid isn’t stuck. A simple test you could do is turn the key on and have a helper press the go pedal to kickdown a couple times. You should be able to feel or hear the solenoid click. If it is stuck, pressing the pedal to kickdown quite a few times may free it up.

There is a button under the pedal connected to a cable to the solenoid in the rear of the transmission.

6. check/adjust throttle linkage

Adjustment Of Cable Control For Control Pressure. Vehicles with engine 617.95.

  1. Push off ball socket (19).
  2. Push ball socket (19) first to the rear (opposite to direction of arrow), then pull carefully forward (direction of arrow) until a slight resistance is felt.
  3. In this position, hold ball socket (19) above ball head ; drag lever (13) should rest against stop (14).
  4. Adjust control pressure cable control at adjusting screw (15) in such a manner that the ball socket (19) can be pushed free of tension on ball head.

Mercedes Benz 300D Shifting Problem

7. Check/Replace change-over valve.

The vacuum line from the rear of the intake manifold goes to the changeover valve which is operated by DC power.  From the changeover valve the line goes on the the ALDA. A new Changeover valve has returned the engine back to it original power at all speeds according to some. This is located next to the brake booster.

8. Adjust ENGINE valves (*Need 13mm torque wrench for header bolts, new Gasket maybe, MM feeler gauge, 27mm socket, 2 angled 17mm wrenches (tightner wrench needs to be skinny to fit on tightner nut under adjuster nut, baggies for parts, paper and marker to label parts and mark rocker arm as completed)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LzJsD6gc4E

http://youtube.com/jpiTfk6Z3n8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcsgyPGgaxg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkzz-8YJOp4

A. put 27mm socket on crank pulley to turn engine

B. loosen air breather tube from base but leave attached to head plate or you will break it and need to replace. Remove header bolts a turn each at a time to prevent header warping. Gently shimmy header loose to protect gasket and avoid replacing.

C. Crank engine with 27mm on pulley until valve #1 cam rocker arm is straight up. Loosen lock nut on bottom, move adjuster on top to desired spacing. Tighten lock nut.

D. set intake valves at .004 inch (drivers side), exhaust/out take valves to .012 inches (passenger side)

E. repeat for each valve and reconnect header with 2 or 3 torque clicks of pressure (aprox. 15lbs. of pressure?) and breather tube

9. adjust ALDA  (Automatische Lade Druck Anreicherung – Automatic load pressure enrichment) Adjusting may not do anything? 1/2 turn counter clockwise should result in light smoke from exhaust which signifies more fuel being processed by engine and increased power. BE CAREFULL, the screw is easy to break!

In a nut shell the ALDA unit sits on top of the fuel injection pump and contains 2 aneroid capsules and some internal linkage, that enriches the fuel deliver in response to altitude and intake manifold pressure.  When the turbo charger starts making boost the small banjo bolt  and accompanying plastic line, transmits this pressure signal to the switchover valve on the firewall.

http://dieselgiant.com/mercedesaldaboostsystemservi.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyYAMpuqRwg&feature=related

IF YOU REMOVE the ALDA …. BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT FULL THROTTLE TAKE OFFS, don’t do them. It will run very rich under acceleration but OK under cruising, watch your temp. If you leave it off you’ll need a manifold boost gauge and pyrometer to avoid overheating pistons

10. EGR VALVE plugged or plated off with steel

Unplug the vacuum line going to the EGR valve (in front of the air cleaner)  IF there is a power increase service the EGR Valve. IF you leave it blocked, it is recommended to use Bio Diesel as much as possible to minimize exhaust carbon from breaking down the vacuum rubber components and causing build up on other parts.

11. Check the timing

Check the timing marks on the cam gear and tower with the crank pulley at TDC. IF off/retarded by more than 5 degrees replace the timing chain which brings the timing to 2.5 degrees retarded. Offset woodruff keys are available to further correct timing.

12. Replacing the injectors will improve starting, performance, and limit exhaust smoke. http://dieselgiant.com/mercedesinjectornozzlereplace.htm

Mercedes late OM-616, -617 nozzle
Refer to MB part number 001 017 29 12
For later (~1980-’85) Mercedes-Benz applications OM617, OM616, and OM601.921
Sold as each, specify quantity needed.

Price: $43.00 at http://www.kermatdi.com

13. Check Fuel Rack Damper Bolt

Replacing or adjusting fuel rack damper bolt improves idle and smoothes the engine shake.

Loosen the lock nut and screw the bolt in until the engine smooths out and then back it out and go in again, just to make sure it’s in the right place. Tighten lock nut.

You really only want it screwed in as far as you need to stop the wild side to side rocking. Once that stops, screwing it in further is not going to make it smoother. These engines shake and that’s all there is too it. If it’s screwed in too far it will mostly likely stall and be difficult to start.

http://articles.mbz.org/engine/diesel/rackbolt/

 

 

OTHER FUN NOTES ON THE 300td:

Run the Engine Cooler by drilling holes in the Thermostat! http://dieselgiant.com/thermostatreplacementandmodif.htm

DO A CITRUS FLUSH every year for 3 years then every other year to clean rust build up off components!

http://dieselgiant.com/mercedes_citrus_flush.htm

AC TROUBLE SHOOTING

http://dieselgiant.com/repairyourac.htm

HONDA cb750 1980 4b DOHC

http://wp.me/p13eVj-qj

DODGE 1995 6L Mark250 VAN

http://wp.me/p13eVj-qY