The hidden years in Canada 168, bleeding the engine

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 06 September 21:07


Bleeding the lines

I wiped my mouth with my arm and Bill made the engine growl and we drove away from the lake, over the narrow road, which would lead to a mine. Here he was the master of survival and he had total control over his life, as far as providentialities allows us control to do so. I knew an incredible amount more than one week ago, which was also due to the absolute lack of free time. It seemed an age ago since I had seen a television. Our days really numbered 24 hours. Even if you drove no faster than 15 miles per hour over the lakes, after a day, that was still 360 miles covered, the average would be lower because you never drove exactly 15 miles per hour. However, I also realized that even after the many weeks to come, I would not even get close to Bill's experience. It went wonderfully easy, in Calgary I had worked as a busboy and it had not exactly been a heraldic job, Bill was a man who was balding, middle-aged, who had come in for breakfast.

Someone who was not noticed in the big city. An average man coming in for a breakfast, here he was in his element and fluid, he battled with all his knowledge and ingenuity against the conditions that the area of the lost land brought about. Compared to the urban people, I was now a crack in terms of knowledge concerning life up North, but compared to Bill, I knew nothing. I realized that the nickname Arctic Bill, was well chosen. This was probably the last frontier of the old Wild West, where the fittest survived. Not in terms of location but certainly in terms of approach. ‘Penny for your thoughts,’ laughed BiIll. ‘Easy,’ I replied, ‘I mused a bit about life and how strange it can be. When we're in Calgary no one has an idea of ​​who we are. Here we are somebody ‘ Bill looked at me and shifted his gaze back to the road. ‘You expressed it well,’ he thought, ‘that is as it is’.

‘People in the city think they know everything,’ he continued, ‘but they know nothing. We can survive in both areas, which they can not, they can barely keep their own heads above water, in their own territory, too many fools about, eh? Here you have plenty of fools as well, but they are more spread out over a larger area and if you come together it is briefly, only for a moment. Then you respect folk more. The truck groaned and began to falter and on the other side we saw in the distance the plume of smoke that marked the miner's camp. It's a good thing we're going to bleed her, ‘said Bill, because you do not want to cross a lake like this.

Bill stopped the truck outside the camp on a plain and said, 'Everybody just get off, time for a good cup of coffee or soup. There was no pole outside the camp to plug the truck into and Bill left the diesel simply running while we walked to the camp. As with other places we had been, there was a  hut and next to it an office. Moments later we were sitting with a steaming mug of coffee.


‘Look,’ Bill said, ‘there's only one way to clean the lines and nozzles, so listen well and do what I tell you to do, this will come in handy for the rest of your whole life. You need to losen the fuel lines to each of the cylinders, they are bolted to the block. This sounds difficult, but it ends nut-shaped, you can always loosen them using a 14’wrench, which is standard, then you do not have to search for the correct wrench. On the block is a hand pump which takes over the function of the suction pump mechanically. A lever can be moved back and forth pumping, until clean fuel comes out of the pipe, you fasten the line again and you loosen the next one. Per cylinder you have one line. You start at the back cylinder and work forward. ‘

I listened leaning forward.'Is there anything you do not understand of what I'm telling you, ‘asked my boss? I shook my head. ‘You stay in the truck,’ said Bill, ‘and if I have a line loose then I’ll give you a thumb up sign, then run the engine until I lower my thumb. This means that the pump works mechanically, In this cold I m not going to pump like a madman with a hand pump, if it is not necessary. This is possible because we are next to a camp. Normally you use the hand pump, a big engine just turning without starting really drains the battery, the pistons make the strokes purely on battery power. But here we are not going to make our lives difficult. Clear? ‘ I nodded again.

I’ll do four, and then we’ll change and then you do four, because it's awfully cold. You only work with gloves on, because if you do it by hand, which is always slightly moist, touching the cold steel freezes the skin to the steel. Then you need to pull it loose, right? ‘ Bill took another sip of coffee, ‘if we do well we are done within half an hour and we are going towards lake again, at the lake you take the wheel again. So we stood with a spanner size 14, undoing the lines that ran in the block bolts, and then giving a thumbs up sign if the diesel coming out became clean as the engine had turned a moment and then we bolted everything back into place. My boss knew what he was talking about, 20 minutes later the diesel growled satisfied and the snoring of the engine sounded regular and healthy. We drove away towards the lake.

San Daniel 2015

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