Rob’s Ramblings: The Innovative Nature of the Local Tradespeople

As can be expected with any vehicle, maintenance issues can pop up after the great trek south. My truck had a leaking transfer case output seal just before I left Canada, so I picked up a replacement seal on my way south, with the intention of changing it once I arrived in La Peñita. I took my truck to a well known mechanico to get this simple job done. No problem, they were quite happy to have my business, and the job could be done for $200 pesos. Once the drive shaft was removed, they noticed the seal was still in good condition, though the leak was from the inner spline. The following procedure was quite interesting to watch. He washed the shaft with a Coke bottle filled with gasoline, and while doing so, splashing the gas all over his Mexican-style extension cord, complete with exposed wires in a metal case. No problem, just dry out the connection a bit with his compressed air hose, then stand back a bit as he tried to plug in the bench grinder to this very wet fixture. I was a bit apprehensive thinking my poor truck was sitting beside this explosive situation with it’s drive shaft removed. To repair the inner spline, he simply cut an old beach flip-flop to size, and bed it into place with some silicon/aluminum. He cleaned up the shaft with some emery-paper, reinstalled it, and it was good to go. I’ll certainly keep on eye on the repair to see how successful it was. Up-north, I’m sure the whole shaft and spline would be replaced at great expense. Not so in Mexico, as here apparently you make do with what you have.

Another repair I had performed a few weeks ago was to convert a natural gas stove to burn local propane gas. I checked with a local gas stove repair shop in La Peñita. Sorry, there were no orifices available to change to the correct size. However, simply paint over the old natural gas orifice, then use the correct size needle to provide a smaller propane gas opening.

The red paint, in the photo below is actually finger nail paint. Once dry, he then used a one-size-fits-all for all 4 propane orifices, which are smaller than the natural gas orifices. As per the spec sheet under the stove, the orifices vary in size, from 68 to 95 microns for natural gas. Smaller orifice openings are for propane.

So far so good, as the stove is working just fine. I plan to find some correct sized orifices next summer. From creative wiring to vehicle repair, most of us from up-north just cringe at some of the repairs we see here. However, if it works for them, lets try it!

About the Author: Rob Erickson, his wife Heather and their rescue cat Mayo, spend half the year living on Vancouver Island, BC. and the other half in the Jaltemba Bay area of Mexico, where they enjoy the warm weather and slower pace of life. Now that Rob has finished building their new house in La Peñita, he can be found mountain biking around the area, volunteering at the JBAR spay and neuter clinics and relaxing in his Mexican-style hammock.

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2 Reviews on “Rob’s Ramblings: The Innovative Nature of the Local Tradespeople”

  1. :

    for Rob Erickson--just read of your venture with car repair. can you send to me the name/location of the mechanic? just had my house completed in Chacala and will be driving a used car there that will remain in my garage at my house. TX

  2. :

    s enjoyed reading about the car mechanic and the work that was done for your car/truck. can you please send that mechanic name to me? I just alos had my house completed in Chcala and will be driving a used car down there and will be in need of a good mechanic! TX ahead of that. For Rob Erickson

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