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Ghetto engineering - car wash edition

6 replies created about 1 year ago
posted by Skylark about 1 year ago

We bought a "classic" car wash. We knew that it was in a state of disrepair. Here are some of the highlights.
Here it is the day that we bought it.

The machine rides on a set of 4 steel wheels on an angle iron rail. The old owner said to "wedge a piece of metal under it". Really??? The wheels are so worn out that the edges of the wheels were hitting the welds and had cracked almost every weld. The sad parts of this is that there is a shed that the old owner never cleaned out that has a brand new set of wheels in it. The angle iron was sitting alongside the fence.

This is in the process of lowering the machine back onto the rails.

The vacuum sucked and not in a good way. I went to vacuum out one of my work vans and the damn thing wouldn't pick up pea gravel! As far as I was concerned that was theft of somebody's money. It immediately got an out of order sign. The next weekend I started in on it. First was a major cleaning! I pulled so much crap out. It got washed out inside as well. I noticed how it was built and saw that the case needed to be sealed for a good suction. Several attempts to break in had occurred and the case was bent pretty bad. I straightened it out and removed the tape "gasket". A new gasket and onto the next problem. I noticed that the bags and motors didn't have gaskets so I made some. I was finally starting to get suction. Then I dealt with the hopes and dreams connection for the hose. Check out the plumbing parts nightmare! That is a close nipple with a hose clamp through it to keep it from being pulled out of the case. What keeps it from being pushed in? Tape, hopes and dreams. I used a coupler on the inside as a nut, an o ring, the case, another o ring, a 2" welded ring, a reducing bushing and finally a hose barb to make a sealed connection. The hose was also cracked but guess what? Buried in the shed was a brand new hose. Now it will suck the floor mat up off of the ground.

Here is a simple fun one. Guess which switch I worked on?

The good news is that the old owner left me clues. Anywhere there is tape there is a problem. The tape is like tiny little flags. Another favorite is that the right brush chain was extremely loose. The old owner said to get a half link to put in there. I said screw it and bought a new chain. I was going to install it but I realized that the chain had never been adjusted properly. The jack screw wasn't even touching the bearing block. All I had to do was adjust it. Slowly but surely we are cleaning and fixing things.



reply by Skylark about 1 year ago

More photos.

reply by Skylark about 1 year ago

My fix. I wish I could get the pictures to attach easier.

reply by Skylark about 1 year ago

A beautiful hose.

reply by Skylark about 1 year ago


reply by Skylark about 1 year ago

Here is our "classic". It is believed to be a 67 Robo Wash.

reply by Skylark about 1 year ago

Finally, guess which one I worked on?

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