Tag Archives: ice house

Condoms. An essential supply for a chase vehicle.

Today’s blog post is by a contributing author.  Joe will be writing this post.  I gave him free rein to write whatever he wanted to on this subject.

New Tricks for an old dog!  I have resisted my beautiful brides attempts at writing a blog.  Until now, that is.  This is a subject I just couldn’t pass up.  Well, shall we begin this journey down memory lane.

When I was a kid (really long ago) my family would set around the dinner table, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and talk about the “good old times”.  These conversations ran the gamut from my grandpa’s secret weapon, only used at harvest time, to the World War that was just passed.  At the time it was known as the World War.  The Second was only added some time later (I don’t know when that happened).  Some of the things that were talked about became items that were very useful to me in later years.  Grandpa’s secret weapon was, of course, my grandma.  Grandpa had a very large and deep ice house.  You must remember at the beginning of the last century (1900) there were no home ice making machines.  Some of grandpa’s neighbors laughed at his large ice house, saying that he sure wasted a lot of time digging such a large one and that it took such a long and arduous time to fill it.  There was madness to his scheme, which I was told, that none of his close neighbors ever figured out.

To fill the ice house you had to wait until the local stream froze over to a good depth, usually about six to eight inches or more.  You went to it with an ice auger, ice saw, and ice tongs.  You drilled a starting hole with the ice auger and then proceeded to cut the ice into large chunks and remove them to a small wagon.  When the wagon was full you took it to the ice house and packed the pieces in with a large amount of wheat straw that had been saved from the wheat harvest to insulate each of them.  When the ice house was full it was kept full till spring (which was just around the corner) by adding more ice as some was used until the stream was no longer frozen thick enough to walk on.  This ice, from such a large ice house, was usually available most of the year.  At harvest time grandpa always had the pick of the hired field hands to help him. Usually by harvest time all of the other farmers in the area were well into their ice storage and would only use it for their own needs.  Grandma always seemed to have an endless supply of ICED TEA for the field hands in the hot summer weather as well as the best vittles served to the field hands in the area.  Hence grandpa always calling her his “secret weapon”.  He had the pick of the best field hands because of her and her ICED TEA.  Thank you very much for “too large”  of an ice house.   All you business owners today should keep this lesson close.  It might make a big difference in the bottom line.  You think maybe happy workers are the best?

When I started doing this job I pulled my pickup behind the truck or trucks.

The towed vehicle configuration

The towed vehicle configuration

In doing so I had to have some way of disconnecting the differential from the transmission.  My first tow vehicle was our 1985 Ford F250 Diesel pickup.  This truck had a manual transfer case that could be set into neutral and the truck could be towed forever.  The reason behind this is the fact that the transmission has no internal lubrication when only the rear shaft is turning, like when the truck is put into neutral and allowed to move in some manner.  If you pull the vehicle while it is in neutral you will destroy the transmission, from the rear, by having the differential turn the rear shaft of the transmission without any lubrication, thereby ruining the bearings on the shaft.  I pulled my first 1971 Ford F100 pickup, which had a three speed column shift, in neutral and destroyed the transmission, so I am speaking from first hand experience.  The transfer case in my 85 had a rear pump and it would lubricate the gears in the transfer case just fine.  When the engine blew up I had to find another tow vehicle.  Enter our “new” truck Gracie.   She is a 1986 Ford F150 pickup with a C6 automatic transmission just like the 85 but, without the transfer case.  What to do?

Well at that time the answer was to simply “pull the drive line” thereby removing the connection from the transmission to the differential.  This was accomplished by crawling under the pickup, removing the “U bolts”  holding the “U” joint to the differential.  You then have to tie the drive line up out of the way and keep it from hitting the ground while you are moving down the road.

Photo courtesy of      Author: oldturkey03            https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/2003+Ford+F150+Driveshaft+U-joint+rear+Replacement/24873


The only problem with this is the fact that the drive line is under the truck secured up and bouncing down the road.  My “U joint” is only similar to the one in the picture as mine was held on with “U” bolts.  Once the “U” bolts were removed you had to secure the bearing caps on the cross of the “U” joint.  If this was not done well you could loose a cap or two and then have a real problem.  I used several methods to keep the caps in place but, they all have some type of a problem in the end.  So!  Answer!  Remove the whole drive line.  This is accomplished by pulling it off the splined shaft on the end of the carrier bearing.  I could then put the drive line in the back of the pickup bed and keep it secure and clean for the next job.  See the pic below.

Photo courtesy of    a Ford Repair site       http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=56794&stc=1&d=1340240865

As always with a solution comes new problems.  When it came time to replace the drive line and go to the next job I had to clean out the splines before I put the shaft back on.  The splines usually had grease on them and would attract and keep all sorts of nasty things that would not be good for the shaft when it was reinstalled.  After doing this several times I thought I had to find a better way to do this job.  I was laying on the wet roadway when I had a flashback.  Sometimes my mind jumps from one picture to another, to another, and yet to another so fast that I will be in another world in less time than it takes me to blink.  Just ask my beautiful bride about how my mind can jump in a conversation from talking about flowers to sitting in a train car in Central America in less than a second, sometimes leaving her wondering where I went.


Now to the condoms.  During the World War our troops were issued PK Rations or some form of field rations.  These usually included; a meal (misnomer, if ever there was one), pack of cigarettes, fire starter of some sort, other items I can’t remember, and a pack of condoms.  After looking at the films that were prepared for the troops about STD’s you wonder why even bother but, our leaders know best.  The stories went that the condoms were best used for keeping water and dirt out of their rifle barrels.  Unroll the condom over the end of the gun and when you had to pull the trigger you knew the gun would work as advertised.  This worked well when we went hunting in the winter time.  Crossing small creeks, fences, and other impediments were hard to do with getting something on or in your gun.  Condoms worked well for keeping the barrel free from debris.  FLASH!  Why wouldn’t this work on the splined shaft?  Answer:  It works well.  Just unroll it over the spline and when you get to where you are going take it off and put on the shaft.  Bingo.  Job done.

After removing and installing the drive line more times than I would like to remember, I stumbled upon a driver who had a REMCO Quick Disconnect installed on his tow vehicle.  He just had to reach under and slide a coupling in place and his drive line was back in operation.  I had to have one of these.  I looked up Remco in Omaha, Nebraska, and went to their shop and purchased one of their kits, including the “from the cab” operation device.  This item worked for some time.

Drive Shaft Coupling With out Driveshaft

Remember from above:  As always with a solution comes new problems.

We had some problems with it and the factory replaced it three times.  One of the problems happened in Baltimore, Maryland, but that is for another post from my beautiful bride.  She will tell you how she learned to “fire truck” our setup as well but, that’s for another time.

Until then, “Be well and do good things.”  Oneablefox said that.


I hope you have enjoyed this feature author, my awesome husband Joe.  If you would like to read more posts written by Joe please let me know in the comment section.  I think I can twist his arm a little 😀