Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Limited Blogging: Arm and Neck Problems; Corvette Maintenance

I took the day off work because of neck and arm problems, which I think are rotator cuff muscle weakness.  I used to do exercises for this, but because I was having problems, sort of fell out of the habit.  I guess that I need to get back to it.  Unfortunately, I have been busily working on a presentation for the Texas Bar Association in September, and in combination with my day job, it seems to be too much for my body to do.

Instead, I spent the day icing my neck and left arm, and doing things that did not involve sitting in front of a computer, including reading the new textbook that we are using for U.S. History this fall.  Interesting items that I learned today: Lewis Tappan, one of the radical abolitionists who helped fund the Harper's Ferry raid, started a credit reporting agency that eventually became today's Dun & Bradstreet!

I also spent part of the day trying to make the weird squeaking and popping noises from the removable roof panel on the Corvette go away.  These problems were only severe on really bad roads, but they were present even on reasonably paved ones.  It turns out that there were four tricks:

1. Put O-rings on the pins where the roof panel slides into the body at rear of the panel.  This means that there is less room for this part of the panel to move around.

2. At the rear of the roof panel is a hook that grabs onto the body.  By removing a 2mm Allen head wrench, I was able to turn the hook clockwise one turn, making it latch the rear of the panel more securely to the body.  (This is an adjustment needed because of wear and age.)

3. The front of the roof panel has two latches which attach to corresponding brackets.  I loosened the 10mm bolts holding those brackets to the body, and moved each bracket down 1.5mm.  (Yes, using a micrometer.)

4. Spray silicone grease on the rubber seals (including the one that my wife and I replaced Saturday) to reduce the squeaking of rubber against rubber.

The net effect of all this is that the popping and squeaking on really bad roads, like the one between my driveway and the old highway, is about 20% of what it used to be.  On good roads, it is now almost completely gone.  Perhaps taking those front brackets down another 0.5mm would help, but it is so good now that I don't consider it objectionable on a removable roof panel car.  Of course, the downside of all this is that the installation and removal of the panel is a tighter than it was before, but unless I am trying to do remove or install in a rainstorm, or a riot, it is well worth it.


  1. I've been having similar problems. Sitting in front of a computer for a living is not good for the neck and upper back. At least for me.

    If money were no object, I'd probably take a job that involved physical labor for a few years to undo the abuse I've done to my body from a sedentary job.

  2. I've had physical labor jobs in my younger days and do find I need to exercise more with a computer jockey job, but full-time labor can wear your body out in a hurry (and ruin it).

    For a desk job ergonomics of interface, seat and body are definitely critical along with targeted exercise based on your body type and use. I think there are physical therapists these days that specialize in that. Of course there are loads of books and websites on the subject as well.

    I sometimes have wrist and arm irritation, but have been lucky that it hasn't been a major problem.