Mon. Aug. 26, 2019 – one week in August left

78F and 99%RH. Yuck. Scattered showers yesterday cooled it off a couple of times. Unfortunately those times are followed with hot and VERY humid as all the local moisture heats up. I know, what do I expect in Houston?

One of the tasks that the rain interrupted yesterday was lawn care. I was raking up pecans before cutting the grass. I got over two bushels of spoiled and green pecans. The squirrels try to eat them too soon and spoil the whole crop. Little rats are gonna get theirs when the fall comes and they are the meat on the table…

On another subject, I’m no economist, or financial guru, and I’ve been wrong on my timing for a while, but holy cow the markets are messed up right now. “Frothy” doesn’t even come close. Please consider realizing any gains you have and sitting out for a bit. It’s gambling right now, pure and simple. (standard disclaimer applies.)

Plan for the day is Dr visit. My doc of the last decade is going concierge and unless I win the lottery, I’m losing access to him. This is a huge bummer and I blame our last pretender in chief and the wretches in congress with the devil.

Then some errands, pickup, lawn work, and ebay stuff. Busy day ahead, like usual.

And here we go……..

n

56 thoughts on “Mon. Aug. 26, 2019 – one week in August left”

  1. Our doctor went concierge about 20 years ago. We have been very happy with it and no intention of leaving.

  2. Traveling this week.
    Mom died Saturday morning. It was a comparatively good death. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer 7/31 and gone 8/24.

    We all visited her the second week of August and said our goodbyes. Now I’m flying down to retrieve her dog and my bagpipes.

    Passing thru SeaTac. The way my flights worked I had an overnight layover so I stayed at an AirBNB hoping to get a full night sleep. Shrug. I was horizontal and it was dark however I didn’t rest anymore than I would have crunched onto a bench in the terminal.

    SeaTac TSA is efficient. I went TSA Pre check awhile ago. Line for precheck was loooong however moved at a brisk walking pace. Impressive. I was ‘randomly’ selected. Too tired to be a duck.

    Getting dog home to Alaska was presenting challenges from California. After beating my head against the wall of Labor Day, airplane models (airbus in AK Air fleet aren’t configured for pets in cargo), layover durations, temperature restrictions, I said screw it. I’ve got a rental and will drive to Portland and have a non stop home on a 737. Dog community has stepped up to help and I’ve got crash space halfway thru so I don’t have to do 10-12 hours in one shot of driving.

    I’ll give my oldest sister as much help as she will accept getting mom’s house closed down. Mom was a closet alcoholic but I give her credit for having her finances and will in order.

    That’s good preps in my book.

  3. Our Endocrinologist pulled out of our Cigna network in July without informing any of his patients. So now we are stuck paying 100% of his billing with no recourse. Luckily we have only visited him twice in the last two months.

    As for the markets, I have no investments in the markets so I am on the sidelines. I put all my investments into things I can directly hold or influence like my houses and ATMs.

  4. Passing thru SeaTac. The way my flights worked I had an overnight layover so I stayed at an AirBNB hoping to get a full night sleep. Shrug. I was horizontal and it was dark however I didn’t rest anymore than I would have crunched onto a bench in the terminal.

    One of my wife’s Chinese relations’ rackets is a no-tell motel in Federal Way, not far from SeaTac. It isn’t five star, but I stayed there for a month without significant incident. The bus picks up right in front of the motel.

    The Salvadoran hole-in-the-wall restaurant across the street is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets. If you’re not brave, Shari’s, Carl’s Jr., and even Costco are within walking distance.

  5. Plan for the day is Dr visit. My doc of the last decade is going concierge and unless I win the lottery, I’m losing access to him. This is a huge bummer and I blame our last pretender in chief and the wretches in congress with the devil.

    Our late host used to get upset when I’d say this, but the glut of MBAs in the system need scrutiny, especially since Obamacare passed. Government is only part of the problem. Go look at the AMA building in Chicago the next time you go — they supported Obama.

    Anymore, edical care is just another racket. In Vantucky, my back of the envelope calculation is that my wife generated $2 million in revenue annually for her employer while she essentially took home a portion of the copay for each visit. Someone was pocketing a *lot* of money, starting with her clinic manager.

    Something has to give, and the doctors are starting to Shrug in the Rand-ian sense.

    My wife is too naive/trusting to go concierge so she works for the VA for now. *Much* better money than non-concierge private practice, and her patient panel is not 3800 people anymore (normal is half that) like it was in Austin private practice.

    If you qualify for VA, she’s out at the Austin Outpatient Center just across the runway from the main airport terminal at ABI. I’m not under a pseudonym here.

  6. @Greg
    Thanks for the suggestions. Those will come in handy next trip. We will look for the Salvadoran restaurant next time. This was a late night arrival / early-ish departure. Maybe 10 overnight hours in the ground.

    The Uber experience leaving SeaTac was surreal last night. Many dozens, low hundreds? people milling around in the designated Uber etc pickup zone. Several aisles of the 3rd floor parking garage, constant stream of incoming Ubers loading and zipping off. Clueless people staring intently at mobile screens wandering into paths of departing vehicles. It was an impressive operation and deceptively efficient. Cars were in constant motion, number of people never diminished, Wild. I could hear people around me kvetching that their Uber’s cancelled on them. I didn’t have a problem but I was specific in my physical description and which stall I was nearest which I suspect helped.

    Virtually all the Ubers were silver Prius’

  7. Thanks for the suggestions. Those will come in handy next trip. We will look for the Salvadoran restaurant next time. This was a late night arrival / early-ish departure. Maybe 10 overnight hours in the ground.

    Might as well have skipped the AirBnB, gone to Shari’s, and eaten pie. They have free WiFi at Shari’s, and the staff generally isn’t in a hurry to kick you out really late at night.

    SeaTac is such a podunk airport for a major metro. Austin is similar, but Seattle has been a tech hub a lot longer.

    The Uber experience leaving SeaTac was surreal last night. Many dozens, low hundreds? people milling around in the designated Uber etc pickup zone.

    Austin is like that downtown on Bacchanalia nights (Fri, Sat) except the city doesn’t have a clearly designated Uber pickup area outside of the big SxSW and ACL events.

    Austin tried banning Uber/Lyft for a while, but many of the Bacchanalia participants would end up sleeping on the streets if they couldn’t press a button on an app and summon a ride home. The city’s drunk tank — they call it a “sobering center” — doesn’t have the capacity.

  8. @Jenny, sorry for your loss. It was similar to that of my wife, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sent to hospice the next day where she passed after four weeks.

    The least bad way to leave, not something fast and unexpected, and I didn’t have to wait a long time for the passing.

  9. @Jenny, sorry for your loss. My mother went in the hospital on Thursday, left in the undertaker’s van five days later. Not a bad way to go. Pastor at my church was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and within three months was gone. Much better than my aunt who rotted in a nursing home for four years. Not my idea of a way to go. I am hoping the wife’s mother has a quick demise when it is time as that time is getting closer.

    I would like to be told I have six months to live. Go visit family and say goodbye. Make certain my affairs are in order. Come to terms with inevitable.

    None of us are getting out of here alive.

  10. Getting dog home to Alaska was presenting challenges from California.

    You can’t get the dog a “Therapy Animal” vest like everyone else? One airline is petitioning the government for therapy miniature horses to be allowed.

    The *airline*. Imagine flying the friendly skies with a horse trotting up and down the aisle. Maybe they can hitch up the beverage cart.

    Portland is 11 hours from San Jose. I timed it out once when I had an interview with Apple and we still lived in Vantucky. Fortunately, this time of year, Grants Pass to PDX on I-5/205 will be very smooth. Don’t fall asleep.

    Rental car return at PDX is fast/convenient … or at least used to be.

    Sorry about your loss. I have a non-existent relationship with my mother, but, sooner or later, I will get the call that I need to go to FL in a hurry.

    As I’ve written before, the poster child for the maternal units of both myself and all of my friends who are around the same age is Allison Janey’s character in “I, Tonya”.

  11. From @Greg yesterday:

    So, the big question is, do I spend the $2,500 on a valve timing kit and installation ? The transmission is good, the fuel injectors are good, the spark plugs are good, the ignition coils are good, the radio is good, the electronics are getting dodgy (the steering wheel buttons are the worst). And who knows how the bearings and piston rings are ?

    Dave Ramsey would say fix the truck and drive it for another year or five.

    I’d roll the dice on the timing belt through the closing of your house. Being a solid citizen, I speak from experience that the mortgage broker will give you the financial equivalent of a rectal probe.

    Yup, that is what the wife wants to do, except the closing on selling our present house (two closings !). I am thinking about it. The real problem is that a timing chain break may put me on the side of the road. And, since the variable valve timing is no longer working, I have 200 hp instead of 300+ hp. Makes a difference on the heavy vehicle.

  12. From @nick yesterday:

    So, the big question is, do I spend the $2,500 on a valve timing kit and installation ? The transmission is good, the fuel injectors are good, the spark plugs are good, the ignition coils are good, the radio is good, the electronics are getting dodgy (the steering wheel buttons are the worst). And who knows how the bearings and piston rings are ?

    Dave Ramsey would say fix the truck and drive it for another year or five.

    @lynn, planetford was running their ads with huge discounts on F150 and $12k off list on Ranger….

    I’m all about fixing and extending, and minimizing outflows, but at some point, you do have to either change how you use the vehicle or change the vehicle.
    That said, I’m not up for a $40k vehicle atm, no matter how much I might want one.

    Yeah, I bought the wife the 2019 Highlander last Dec 30 so we have a five year payment at $450/month on that for another four years. I really do not want to have another vehicle payment until we get both houses closed (buying and selling). January at the best.

    I do have the backup 2005 Honda rice rod that runs just fine with 119K miles. It is just so low to the ground that I have difficulty getting in and out of it. I am 6’1″ with a 34 inch inseam (long legs). The seats are below my knees.

  13. @jenny, I too am sorry for your loss. No matter the circumstances or history, the effects reverberate through everyone involved. You did what you could, and you continue to do so. That’s all that anyone can do.

    n

  14. Turns out that concierge medicine can be surprisingly affordable. I hope to continue with my current doctor for a while yet. We’ll have to see what the insurance situation is, but I pay almost as much cash as my Dr wants, just to have a chiropractic practice on tap for when I need it, so I think my wife will be amenable to just spending the cash for my regular care. I never use my deductible, so I’m essentially paying for the privilege of paying cash for my care anyway.

    I’ll share as appropriate as this develops, since I think that anyone who can afford it will probably end up here sooner or later.

    n

  15. Traveling this week.
    Mom died Saturday morning. It was a comparatively good death. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer 7/31 and gone 8/24.

    I’ll give my oldest sister as much help as she will accept getting mom’s house closed down. Mom was a closet alcoholic but I give her credit for having her finances and will in order.

    That’s good preps in my book.

    Wow, that was quick. Sorry for your loss, no matter how expected it is probably still a shock.

    And kudos to your mom for leaving her finances and will in order. That does not happen very often from what I understand.

  16. Jenny, sorry to hear about your mother. This is always difficult no matter the circumstances, and knowing she is better off is only a small compensation.

  17. For those who like to follow financial entertainers, and I use that term carefully, consider reading one or more of Ric Edelman’s books. I have glanced through a couple, and they seem better than most. My wife and I used to visit thrift stores quite a bit in the past, and his books were always around.

    Although I am fascinated with investing, and have done well, I never considered much advice from others. Oh, sure, I read a lot, but most of the specific advice is flawed, or at least has limited applicability. That is not to say it is wrong, just that it might not be applicable to everyone. Ric resonates with me, but he is controversial. Some of the institutional investors dislike him for exposing their poor performance, and that is OK with me.

    While we are on the subject of investing, another Good Thing might to be to study people who have made a lot of money. However, some of the best ones are pretty private, and probably for good reason. Nothing comes to mind right now.

    Finally, ignore most of the “rules.” Knowing which ones to ignore is the challenge 😉

  18. Sympathies, Jenny.

    Imagine flying the friendly skies with a horse trotting up and down the aisle.

    -shrug- A miniature horse weighs much less than the blubberinas you’ll see all over the place, and the horse’s butt is much narrower. And the horse probably doesn’t smell as bad.

    None of us are getting out of here alive.

    Challenge accepted!

    Finally, ignore most of the “rules.” Knowing which ones to ignore is the challenge

    “Half of our advertising is worthless. The problem is we don’t know which half.”

    Lynn, check on whether the timing chain breaking will destroy the valves and such. If not, I’d keep driving it — local trips only! — until the house closings. If a broken chain would result in you needing a couple thousand dollars in additional repairs, I’d either get the chains done now, get a new car, or at least borrow a vehicle until the closings.

  19. Although I am fascinated with investing, and have done well, I never considered much advice from others.

    I read Andrew Tobias book about 20 years ago.

    I also learned some technical analysis used by the robo traders and had once a long, interesting conversation at iPhone Boot Camp with a developer who believed in Damark Indicators.

    I haven’t watched any of the financial press entertainers since Louis Reukeyser died. Jim Cramer … and many of the old “Wall Street Week” regulars … should be in prison IMHO.

    My investing track record was decent, but I was wiped out by cashing in a bunch of things to pay for Vantucky, starting about 10 years ago, thinking that would be a forever job for the wife. Bzzzt. Vantucky represents a six figure dollar amount we will never see back — if we hadn’t left in 2014, I hesitate to think where we would be financially right now.

  20. Serves me right for commenting a couple of days ago that our summer was about normal, and no monsoonal moisture. Relative humidity just zoomed up to a measured 19%. It will barely break below 10% later this PM. That’s Hewmid for us. Fortunately, the evap cooling is keeping the house below 75F, but the RH inside is 75%. Oh well, reminds me of my attitude late in winter, when I know it can’t last much longer.

    Also reminds me of Sonny Eliot, who was a TV weatherman in Detroit for a long time. He once mispronounced Engadine, the name of a town, and that started a long running series of curious spellings and pronunciations such as HEWmid. He had quite a following, and could be very entertaining. Almost made those gloomy winter days bearable.


  21. …many of the old “Wall Street Week” regulars … should be in prison IMHO

    Exactly my point about appropriateness and resonance. Yep, they might have been successful investors, but they put on their entertainer hats when the little red light on the camera lit up. I did like some of them as entertainers, but would never have based decisions on their patter.

    For a while, Paul Kangas of the Nightly Business Report (now retired) on PBS did good interviews. His trademark was to start a guest with their recommendations made on their last visit, and how those had performed. Then he gave the guest a turn. A huge percentage of the time the guest said they had gotten out of the recommendation just a short while after making it. Now, that is legitimate, and it taught me a good lesson: always have a strategy, and that includes a plan of how to realize the gain. Yeah, I’m a genius, NOT!

    I also really enjoyed Uncle Lou (Rukeyser), who often repeated the secret to making money on a stock: buy it, and when it goes up, sell it… If it doesn’t go up, don’t buy it! Old joke, but wise.

  22. Lynn, check on whether the timing chain breaking will destroy the valves and such. If not, I’d keep driving it — local trips only! — until the house closings. If a broken chain would result in you needing a couple thousand dollars in additional repairs, I’d either get the chains done now, get a new car, or at least borrow a vehicle until the closings.

    I have been told that the Ford 5.4L 3 valve V8 is a non-interference engine. In fact, the repair manager said that when one chain breaks, the other engine bank will keep running. He said that it is a heck of a racket though. I was wrong about three timing chains, there are only two timing chains. It is a SOHC (single overhead cam) engine.

    I am totally amazed that the engine has variable valve timing using plastic shoes to make the timing chains tighter. That is a feat of materials that those plastic shoes have lasted this long on metal timing chains, 210K miles. I would not think that a plastic shoe would last 10,000 miles pushing on a metal chain. That said, timing chains should last longer than 210K miles in a truck.


  23. I am totally amazed that the engine has variable valve timing using plastic shoes to make the timing chains tighter. That is a feat of materials that those plastic shoes have lasted this long on metal timing chains, 210K miles. I would not think that a plastic shoe would last 10,000 miles pushing on a metal chain.

    Plastic chain guides have been used on motorcycle cams and a few primary drives for decades, and they can last. I’m assuming your Ford has roller chains; only the chain rollers contact the guides. I have a 1966 Harley Davidson Sportster that has a triplex primary chain that uses a nylon tensioner to adjust the chain tension. The engine and transmission are “unit” construction, so they can’t be moved relative to each other to adjust for chain wear. It has over 50k miles on it, and the original parts are still good. Still, not the best design. BTW, the engine puts out about 50 peak hp, which is more than the camshafts on a V engine need.

    Some cars have chain guides to control chain vibration. Most of these are plastic, but some are metal. Usually, the chain is the weak part, which fails first. Oh, some of these cars use plastic faced cam sprockets to control noise; these can fail, causing the chain to jump a tooth or two. Usually disastrous, because these older engines were all interference designs.

    We had a 1971 Toyota with an 8RC 4 cyl engine with a single overhead cam. These had a roller chain from the crank to a jackshaft (that drove the oil pump and distributor) and another from the jackshaft to the cam. These were known to fail, and the result was broken castings. Make sure your Ford won’t do this. Also, some of the debris might get into Bad Places in the engine. If you intend to repair this engine, it is better to stop driving it, although if the chain is noisy, there is likely debris circulating already. This is a case where good advice is essential. I don’t know anything about this engine, but someone does.

    Finally, the chain guides do more than control tension. They control vibration, which can destroy chain drives in just a few hours. In the 1930s, such drives were always tower shafts with bevel gears. IMHO, these were better designs, but they are long gone except on a few exotics.

    As for lasting 210k miles, welcome to the present. Unfortunately, complexity rules, and long life is not much of a goal any more. But you already knew that.

  24. Engine swap! has to be cheaper than the other work….

    The auto repair place swapped a 5.4L V8 on a 2009 F-150 the other day with a broken timing chain (was still running !, the owner drove it in). The used engine was “very expensive” due to the high demand. He charged the F-150 owner $4,900. He did not say how much the used engine was.

  25. Wow, the Fort Bend County school bus drivers are all over the radio today. Kids on wrong buses, kids not on the bus, stops in the middle of no where that can’t be right….

    it’s a freaking sh!tshow.

    n


  26. Imagine flying the friendly skies with a horse trotting up and down the aisle.

    I have sat next to a couple of them on flights. Smell the same as horses or are doused in cheap perfume that sells in 1 gallon bottles. But they are unable to trot.

  27. _Undefeated World (The EMP Survivor Series)_ by Chris Pike
    https://www.amazon.com/Undefeated-World-Survivor-Chris-Pike/dp/198588318X/?tag=ttgnet-20

    The fifth book in a five book apocalyptic EMP fantasy series. I read the well printed and bound POD (print on demand) trade paperback self published by the author. The series appears to be at the end.

    The Russians did it ! Well yes, they did EMP the USA in this series. And they invaded the USA. Where was the USA military, you have to read the book for that answer.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (163 reviews)

  28. Wow, the Fort Bend County school bus drivers are all over the radio today. Kids on wrong buses, kids not on the bus, stops in the middle of no where that can’t be right….

    The first day of school is always traumatic. It will all be cleared up by the end of the school year.

  29. “Placing a flamethrower, fireworks, or a gun on your drone is a serious no-no. Under US law, it’s illegal to attach any dangerous weapon to a retail drone and could result in a $25,000 fine.”

    I wonder if I could drop Skittles and Ice Tea and lure “suspects” to a big hole with Mr. SteveF at the bottom. I’m in Florida, so I could probably do it here.

    There *were* some cool videos on YT of drones with pistols attached. Almost trivial these days. I like the kilo of C4 option best. Get rid of the evidence.

  30. non-interference is a good thing. We had a Mopar 318 that tossed the chain. It was worth replacing the valves.

    Anyway. You’re trying to buy a house. So buying a new critter may not be a useful thing right now. Get the house deal done and /then/ mess with the Ford. You have a spare car, use it. The squats to get in and out are probably good for ya anyway.

    We were going to buy a house in Pflugerville. I forget the number, but it was on Applewood. Two story. We had the tile and carpet picked and installed. Our house! But there was the problem of running the water in the kitchen sink and then water is bubbling up in the downstairs shower. And a few other unwanted “features” that made us want out of the deal.

    One morning, going to work, up North Lamar where the road narrowed before I-35, right in front of the Seven-11, a minivan cut in front of me and slammed on her brakes. Of course I got the ticket because “failure to not tailgate” and her chillrun were at risk.

    Man. I still miss my ’76 Cordoba. But I had to buy a new car. And that disqualified our loan app on the house. A silver lining….

    edit… went past the house about 6 years later and the whole neighborhood looked like shit. Nevermind the ugly trash bins, but everyone needed to have their house re-painted.

  31. The auto repair place swapped a 5.4L V8 on a 2009 F-150 the other day with a broken timing chain (was still running !, the owner drove it in). The used engine was “very expensive” due to the high demand.

    Wait until the turbo-ed V6 engines are driven hard for a decade.


  32. Wait until the turbo-ed V6 engines are driven hard for a decade.

    I have one of those engines. I only work it hard when towing.


  33. a big hole with Mr. SteveF at the bottom

    No no no, I’m at the top of the hole. “It puts the lotion on its skin.”

  34. Here comes the catalyst for a Labor Day gas shortage on the Gulf Coast.

    I forgot quotes around the word “shortage”.

  35. “Placing a flamethrower, fireworks, or a gun on your drone is a serious no-no. Under US law, it’s illegal to attach any dangerous weapon to a retail drone and could result in a $25,000 fine.”

    Let’s leave the 2nd Amendment as is, but modify the Preamble: “We the people of the United States and their drones, in order to ….”

  36. Yup, plastic guides. Here is the $800 kit at Big River. Are these “roller chains” ?

    I just had Amazon lie about the origin of a low end laptop for one of my kids. I’m not sure I’d trust them with car parts more complicated than a set of floor mats.

  37. The other issue with our Constitution is that the ProgLibTurds interpret it as: “We the people of the United States (which includes all those illegal aliens here as a result of criminal entry)…..”

  38. re arming drones: Miller in the 1930s made clear that the Second Amendment protects weapons of military utility. The governments of and in the United States, at all levels down to city police, use drones armed with everything from tear gas dispensers to large rockets. The FAA’s ruling would seem to be prima facie unConstitutional.

  39. My nephew the cop in Laredo, TX, says their cop drone would fuck you up in a heartbeat.

  40. [snip] Placing a flamethrower, fireworks, or a gun on your drone is a serious no-no. Under US law [snip]

    I’ll note for the record that they don’t mention things like CH3NCO or (CH3)2Hg) . Pressurize a {well sealed} mason jar, drop it from 15 meters or higher, and watch the fun begin.

  41. Sorry for your loss, Jenny.

    Go look at the AMA building in Chicago the next time you go — they supported Obama.

    Less than 50% of the doctors in the US belong to the AMA. It’s dominated by academics.

    The specialty associations opposed PPACA very, very vociferously.

  42. “Less than 50% of the doctors in the US belong to the AMA. It’s dominated by academics.”

    The specialty associations opposed PPACA very, very vociferously.

    Specialists made out pretty well under ACA. The big clinic groups pay their salaries with revenues from general practice and pediatrics. They’re automatically “made men” in the rackets because the managing doctors are usually … specialists.

    Medicaid For All will decimate them. I’m not going to be sad about that. Skilled surgeons are a valuable commodity, but some specialties are just about the board certificate and landing the right residency, not any real knowledge beyond a GP.

    Cough … Internal Medicine … Infectious Disease … cough.


  43. Are these “roller chains” ?

    No, they are inverted tooth or “silent” chains, originally invented by the Morse company. I should have looked when you first linked to it. In your case, the guides have a spring loaded mechanism that bears on the slack side of the chain and dampers on the loaded side, as can be seen in the photo on that link. The main purpose is to suppress vibration or whipping on those long runs of chain. The plastic is probably Delrin(TM), a cousin of Teflon(TM) with better strength and wear characteristics. This is better than the Nylon that I mentioned for earlier applications.

    As to what is failing, don’t jump to the conclusion that it is the plastic. Doesn’t matter anyway, except that hopefully only plastic debris are circulating. I will assume that the chain case has crankcase oil circulating through it, and the debris get all through the engine. Or, there might be a screen to prevent larger chunks from getting where they shouldn’t. All speculation: you still need good advice.

    As for the type of chain drive, you now know what silent chain is. Roller chain looks like bicycle chain. Silent chain can be made in any practical width. Roller chain can be duplex, triplex, etc. Think of it as multiple chains joined together side by side. The really important difference is that roller chain generates vibration because it essentially goes over a polygon (sprocket) that has as many sides as teeth. This makes it noisy, and the vibration causes other problems. The silent chain moves smoothly. Imagine spur gears mating: the teeth actually roll over each other with no rotational acceleration.

    Because they run smoothly, silent chains can run faster and therefore transmit more power for a given amount of space. But, power isn’t important here, smoothness is. So, why do some cars use roller chains? That has been a mystery to me. I can find a roughly equal number of situations where people want to replace one type with the other. My favorite example is that almost all American engines with cams in the block used silent chains, but there are kits to replace them with roller chains. Probably could find the reverse somewhere. Which is “better”? Depends… and the argument won’t be settled here. I can say that I have seen several severely worn silent chains; the few used roller chains I have seen were in good condition. Maybe that is because the roller setups are sold as premium products. FWIW, I have put in two roller conversions, and could not detect any noise above other engine noises. These have too few miles to judge their longevity. Another thought is that one of those swaps was to replace a silent chain that was worn to the point of danger in only about 50k miles (the engine was rebuilt.) As I said, there are many made-to-a-price silent replacement sets, but the roller sets are premium. No reason why a good silent set couldn’t last the life of the engine.

    One last point. Chains don’t “stretch,” unless they are severely overloaded to the point of failure. They wear. Because of their design, silent chains add small amounts of length to each link. Roller chains have two types of links: pin and roller. The pin links do NOT elongate, but the other ones do. This means that if there is a sprocket with an even number of teeth, such as with a cam drive, the chain should be replaced to a marked tooth if it is ever removed. Moving the chain one tooth will put a lot o stress on it, and could cause early failure.

    OK, didn’t solve any of your problems, but I enjoyed writing it.

  44. Speaking only for myself, just breadth, little depth.

    BTW, most of what I learned came from working with smart engineers and technicians, and reading engineering handbooks. Engineering is wonderful. We get to stand on the shoulders of those who have learned the hard way. Some of my earliest experience had inputs from applications engineers. Yes, there are such, but they are probably almost extinct.

  45. OK, didn’t solve any of your problems, but I enjoyed writing it.

    And I enjoyed reading it.

    No, they are inverted tooth or “silent” chains, originally invented by the Morse company. I should have looked when you first linked to it. In your case, the guides have a spring loaded mechanism that bears on the slack side of the chain and dampers on the loaded side, as can be seen in the photo on that link. The main purpose is to suppress vibration or whipping on those long runs of chain. The plastic is probably Delrin(TM), a cousin of Teflon(TM) with better strength and wear characteristics. This is better than the Nylon that I mentioned for earlier applications.

    I am still amazed that they have plungers on the plastic guides to push the chains tighter and get more valve travel at higher engine speeds therefore allowing them to use smaller valves for better efficiency at low loads.

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