The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Transportation => Topic started by: theBINKYhunter on August 24, 2013, 10:54:19 AM

Title: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 24, 2013, 10:54:19 AM
Let me start by saying I am not a gear head at all.

I wanted to start this thread to possibly help motivate and/or encourage other members who aren’t yet doing their own maintenance. Up until a month ago the only thing I could do was change a tire, check (not change) my oil and fluid levels, change wipers and fill up the gas tank. Anything more than that and I went to a shop.

I decided to change all of that because what if there are no shops? What if I need to do a repair on the side of a road because I can’t get a tow or I can’t afford a tow? Also it is a lot cheaper to do the work yourself. I wanted to start learning how to do my own repairs and maintenance. I honestly feel between shop manuals, Youtube, and search engines there is no reason to NOT do your own work, unless you don’t have the equipment (I don’t have a cherry picker so no rebuilt engines for me… yet).

Last month I did the brakes and rotor on my car (05 Chevy Malibu Maxx). Holy cow was that easy. I didn’t take any pictures so I won’t go into detail but I did the numbers and I saved at least $100, gained some knowledge, and honestly it probably took me as long to do the job as it would have if I’d gone to a shop after you factor in driving and waiting.

I will say that a great place I found online to buy parts is www.rockauto.com. They have great prices and quick shipping. Check them out if your local prices are really high.

So here’s the most recent repair I did: I had to replace to filler neck tube on my 94 Ford Ranger.

I got home to find gas leaking onto my driveway. I called a couple of local shops because I thought the tank was going to have to be pulled and no one could even look at it until next week. The leak was right next to the frame and I couldn’t see any holes so I did the only thing I really could which was to siphon out gas. After about a gallon the leak stopped. That was a good thing and after I calmed down about spilling gas everywhere I did some research and determined that it was most likely a cracked filler neck tube as it’s a common problem on my truck. It is almost 20 years old and I’m sure it has never been replaced.

So let’s get started on the repair!

First things first: there are three screws that hold the filler neck tube (FNT) to the side of the bed. Take those out, remove the gas cap, and then push the FNT back through the hole.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030431_zpsed3a4325.jpg)

I had the option to either drop the tank or remove the bed. I don’t have a vehicle lift of jack stands (those are on my short list and Harbor Freight just did a coupon!), or 15 gallons worth of empty gas cans to siphon off the fuel.

A ranger forum I frequent had multiple people say that removing the bed is the simplest solution. I needed a T55 torx bit that the local auto store had. Lucky me my neighbor had a breaker bar I was able to use.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030432_zps1d192af5.jpg)

Once the bolts were loosened I used a ratchet wrench to get them out. They are long!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030433_zpsba76d44b.jpg)

My bed had six bolts and once all were out I was ready to lift and move the bed. I read that a guy was able move the bed by himself… I’m not really sure how he did that. I guess if I had really wanted to I could have but I caught my neighbor on his way out and he lent me a hand. Also note that I needed to unplug the lights or I would have ruined the wiring.

We only needed to move it back about a foot. I placed some scrap blocks I keep around on the bumper to keep the paint nice on the rear of the bed. The front of the bed rested on my tires. (The bed only weighs about 200 lbs).

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030439_zps4a07c7fd.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030434_zps2528223c.jpg)

Here you can see the FNT and fuel pump and 20 years of dirt. You can also see the stains from the fuel that was leaking. This made me feel good because I had correctly diagnosed the problem without actually seeing the problem.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030438_zpse0301f23.jpg)

Here you can see how cracked the end of the tube was that went into the gas tank.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030446_zps1a0dbb38.jpg)

And here is the nice new one right before I installed it. I didn’t take a picture of the whole unit installed, but basically the small end on the left goes into the tank and then there is a c-clamp that you tighten down to secure it to the tank.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030445_zps5e20f0d7.jpg)

I had a friend come over that afternoon and help me put the bed back on the frame. Bolted it down and attached the new FNT to the bed, installed a new locking gas cap and reconnected all of the light wiring (only two harnesses for me, taillights and license plate lights) and I’m back on the road!

In retrospect I probably should have replaced the fuel pump while I had the bed off as it’s probably 20 years old too (I got the truck with 80k original a few months ago). I didn’t think about it and I need the vehicle operational so it’ll have to wait until I either take the bed off again for something else or the pump starts to fail.

How about some project analysis? I ordered the FNT from Amazon as they had the best price. $39 plus Prime 2 day shipping. The local auto store wanted $160 for their cheapest and even www.rockauto.com FNT’s were running around $80, plus about 5 days for shipping. Total work time was only about two hours, although I spent another hour cleaning the frame, brushing dirt off the lines and using my shop vac to blow out all of the dirt that I broke loose. I had to buy the torx bit for $5.

So for about two hours of work and $44 I fixed my problem, I can only imagine what a shop would have charged me… I’m guessing it would have been in the $300 - $400 range.

As I do more repairs/work I’ll update this thread. One cool thing that has happened from this is my dad now wants to do his fuel pump with me. I showed him these pictures and he was pretty impressed. He is like how I used to be an always goes to a shop. They quoted him $600 for the repair. Rockauto has the pump for $160 and we’ll be doing pretty much the same thing. I’ll post that repair job once it’s been done.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Ms. Albatross on August 24, 2013, 11:19:08 AM
Kudos to you TWH! :clap:

I remember all of these  :banghead:  when your family doubted your ability to do the brake job.  It's awesome that you got your dad to trust you enough to do his needed repair job. 

Remember, no "I told you so" to your family - just small treats with the money you saved.  ;)
Thanks for sharing.  I look forward to seeing your future repairs documented here.  BTW - great photos.  They really help!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on August 24, 2013, 12:21:18 PM
Sweet, bro!  Even better you had a little head out there while you were doing it!  The other day, I dropped the front tank on my truck and had the kids under there with me.  They can't wait to do the rear... and the fuel pump... and the front differential... the list never ends!!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 24, 2013, 12:57:26 PM
Sweet, bro!  Even better you had a little head out there while you were doing it!  The other day, I dropped the front tank on my truck and had the kids under there with me.  They can't wait to do the rear... and the fuel pump... and the front differential... the list never ends!!

yeah, she was stacking he spare blocks that i didn't use. she's either doing that or playing inside the cab when i'm out working on it.

and yes the list never ends. my ABS light comes on every now and then which leads me to believe it's a dirty sensor on the rear dif. i need to get under there and take care of that. but since it's not critical i'll probably put it off until cooler weather presides.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on August 25, 2013, 10:34:11 AM
Kudos to you on your successful repair.  That is pretty good being able to get info on the web to diagnose the most likely problem.  Besides saving money, you learned more about the state of other parts on your truck, took the time to do some cleanup most shops would not have done, and you increased your skill base.  Good stuff.

I am in the "take it to the shop" club for my vehicles right now.  I do most of my home repairs such as the washer I just replaced the pump and clutch on.  In the past I have installed hardwood floors, replaced central air ducts, vent fans, electrical outlets, laid 18" floor tiles, etc.  But car repairs I just left to the shop.

I want to get an older work truck and then start doing most of the work on it myself.  Your thread here is good inspiration!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on August 25, 2013, 12:35:52 PM
... such as the washer I just replaced the pump and clutch on.

You just proved can do 80% of your vehicle repairs yourself (if you want to), then!  Another 18% can be taken care of with the help of Google or a friend, and maybe 2% in a shop due to specialty tools and such.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: MTUCache on August 25, 2013, 02:28:50 PM
 :clap:

More guts than me. I'm in the same place you started, but haven't ventured too far down this road yet.

 :popcorn:
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 25, 2013, 04:15:21 PM
and maybe 2% in a shop due to specialty tools and such.

i'd argue with this as most auto shops have those tools that you can rent to do the job, and lots of them will rent them for free (security deposit refunded upon return). i can see the issue with large lifts and cherry-picker stuff though, that's where i am right now, as mentioned in the OP... so i'll say it's 1% ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 25, 2013, 04:16:52 PM
I am in the "take it to the shop" club for my vehicles right now.  I do most of my home repairs such as the washer I just replaced the pump and clutch on.  In the past I have installed hardwood floors, replaced central air ducts, vent fans, electrical outlets, laid 18" floor tiles, etc. 

i honestly believe owning a home is what has given me the confidence to branch out to the vehicles. i've enclosed part of my garage to add a room, that required running electrical and air ducts. i've installed tile and painted among other things.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on August 25, 2013, 04:18:50 PM
You just proved can do 80% of your vehicle repairs yourself (if you want to), then!  Another 18% can be taken care of with the help of Google or a friend, and maybe 2% in a shop due to specialty tools and such.

That's encouraging.  For some reason I have a mental block about working on my vehicles.  Not much on the house intimidates me: I've taken out entire walls, rebuilt a walk-in closet, rewired for bath lights and venting.  for some reason I like figuring that out.  I have done disc brakes, tune-ups on older cars, replaced the head gasket on a 1987 Subaru, replaced water pumps, alternators and a starter on various vehicles in the past.  It just isn't much fun for me. But, I admit it is a valuable skill to have and you only get it by doing.

Keep posting your efforts as it is an inspiration to some of us on the fence.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on August 25, 2013, 04:23:01 PM
i'd argue with this as most auto shops have those tools that you can rent to do the job, and lots of them will rent them for free (security deposit refunded upon return). i can see the issue with large lifts and cherry-picker stuff though, that's where i am right now, as mentioned in the OP... so i'll say it's 1% ;)

Really?!  I never knew auto shops would rent tool.  Are you talking hand tools such as special wrenches, etc.?  I assume then they would also work on a pulled part if it needed welding, pulling, etc?  Are these typically the local small shops, or is it most auto shops (I assume not dealer shops though)?  Thanks for any details you can provide because that is a show stopper for me when you need a $200 tool to replace a $50 part.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: alan123 on August 25, 2013, 04:35:52 PM
I think he means places like Autozone. I have borrowed a wheel bearing  driver from them. You can get cherry pickers from a rental yard. Towable or breakdown type.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on August 25, 2013, 04:50:21 PM
Really?!  I never knew auto shops would rent tool.  Are you talking hand tools such as special wrenches, etc.?  I assume then they would also work on a pulled part if it needed welding, pulling, etc?  Are these typically the local small shops, or is it most auto shops (I assume not dealer shops though)?  Thanks for any details you can provide because that is a show stopper for me when you need a $200 tool to replace a $50 part.

Not very many (if any) shops themselves will rent tools out, because most of what you see is owned by the individual mechanics.  Most stores will, though (AutoZone, and such).  Local shops will 99% of the time weld, cut, or press for you for a small fee.  Dealerships almost never will, unless your cousin works there or something.

i'd argue with this as most auto shops have those tools that you can rent to do the job, and lots of them will rent them for free (security deposit refunded upon return). i can see the issue with large lifts and cherry-picker stuff though, that's where i am right now, as mentioned in the OP... so i'll say it's 1% ;)

It really depends... See above for rentals.  Cherry pickers and tranny-jacks are cheap, and easy to use.  Lifts are convenient, but it's nothing a floor jack and a good set of jack stands won't fix.  Don't need a shop for those.  Where you're going to run into trouble is, no one on the face of the earth is going to rent or lend out their $5000 Snap-on diagnostic scanner, which you'll have to use for anything sensor/ECM related, and newer than OBDII.  They will hook it up for $80, though. 
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 25, 2013, 11:13:11 PM
Not very many (if any) shops themselves will rent tools out, because most of what you see is owned by the individual mechanics.  Most stores will, though (AutoZone, and such).  Local shops will 99% of the time weld, cut, or press for you for a small fee.  Dealerships almost never will, unless your cousin works there or something.

It really depends... See above for rentals.  Cherry pickers and tranny-jacks are cheap, and easy to use.  Lifts are convenient, but it's nothing a floor jack and a good set of jack stands won't fix.  Don't need a shop for those.  Where you're going to run into trouble is, no one on the face of the earth is going to rent or lend out their $5000 Snap-on diagnostic scanner, which you'll have to use for anything sensor/ECM related, and newer than OBDII.  They will hook it up for $80, though. 

yeah, i meant places like auto zone and o'reilly (where i go). usually if you need that oddball tool they have it and you can rent it.

and yes, there are a few things that would be hard to come buy unless you knew someone in the shop. that's why i gave it the 1% still.

and i hear you on the floor jacks/jack stands to replace a lift. i have an axle leak i have to look at next on my car. no way i'm getting under that car with just a floor jack. i'll be putting the front end up on jack stands before i even think of getting under there.

when i was 16 i changed a tire on an incline and was too dumb to block the wheels. the car rolled off the jack and the axle nearly crushed my head. i pulled my head out the second before it happened because i heard a weird noise, that would be the car starting to roll.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on August 26, 2013, 12:01:35 AM
when i was 16 i changed a tire on an incline and was too dumb to block the wheels. the car rolled off the jack and the axle nearly crushed my head. i pulled my head out the second before it happened because i heard a weird noise, that would be the car starting to roll.

That's similar to the way I learned to safety-check when taking over jobs from other mechanics.  I finished a starter replacement in a Kenworth (60lbs) for another guy once.  You have to lay right under it to get it in.  As I almost got it all the way up, I discovered he never disconnected the batteries, and I was showered with sparks.  Still not sure how I managed not to drop it on my face!!!

I got a shit-ton of beer out of that one!!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on August 26, 2013, 06:08:16 AM


WH,

You went from changing your brakes to taking the bed off your truck in what?....a month?    I'm sure you realize how cool that is, but I'll tell you anyway, that is ....well....cool!    Obviously it wasn't above your head, but as a second step into auto maintainence it isn't as easy as you make it look.     In fact, IMO, this is beyond calling it maintainence, it is auto repair at this point.    Brakes, wipers, oil changes, tire rotation all are maintainence.    Taking the bed off your truck to replace the gooseneck on your fuel tank is definately not routine work.

Great pics!  New career as an auto mechanice in your future?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 26, 2013, 08:08:21 AM
Great pics!  New career as an auto mechanice in your future?

thanks for the kind words. and no on the mechanic, i'm actually tossing around going the LEO route right now. there's a thread on the work board for that.

i'm thinking that working on vehicles is like yard work (to me): i enjoy doing it for myself, or would enjoy helping a friend, but the minute i was doing it and getting paid i would probably hate it. case in point: i like working on my yard, but i hate working on my boss' (part of my job duties).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 02, 2013, 11:38:04 PM
I love updating this thread because:

1)   It means I’m learning as I go since I’m new to taking care of my own vehicles
2)   It means I’m hopefully helping others get to the point where they are OK to work on their own
3)   I’m usually saving money since shops overcharge for components and I have to pay labor

Today I’ll be posting about my 05 Malibu Maxx.

So let me set the stage for you. Labor Day weekend. My family off on a short road trip to the White Mountains. We drive up to the Show Low / Snowflake area. The Mogollon Rim is beautiful! Great weather. We’re staying at my friend’s BOL with his family and one other… our ‘team’ if you will. Fun, bonding, and good times ensue.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. Time to go home! Sleep in my own bed and sit on my own toilet (I don’t care who you are, everyone misses their toilet). Off we go do drive through the scenic forests and luscious landscapes. Seven and eight percent grades (where’s my motorcycle?) of twisting and winding roads.

To keep my wife happy and avoid going through a guard rail judicious use of the brakes was needed. But about half way home every time I applied the brakes my driver side front wheel sounded like it was going to rip itself away from my car. The steering wheel would vibrate and shake and frankly it was pretty scary given the driving conditions.

Side note here: our car is a manumatic – the type of transmission that is generally an automatic, but it gives you the option to shift like a stick… with the push of a button… and no clutch… so you can pretend like you’re speed racer… I guess. Before this trip I thought it was a stupid novelty item and never used it. But in order to curb my speed it actually came in handy. I was able to keep the car in a lower gear and that helped to keep my speed down and reduce the use of my brakes. Figured I’d drop that bit of knowledge on you before I got into today’s repair.

OK, back to the meat and potatoes.

I got home and thought maybe it was the CV joint, especially since during the last oil change I was told I had a leak somewhere on my front axle. I looked everywhere and couldn’t see a leak at all. I also couldn’t break the axle nut since I’m weak and had no impact wrench so I decided to get the rotors checked out since they looked pretty rough and they were pretty old.

Sure enough the driver rotor was worn unevenly and while machining it might have done the job, I opted to get new rotors and install them. Here we go!

First thing is to make sure you have good tools. My jack decided to crap out on me today so I had to go buy a new one. Not too big a deal though since I needed jack stands and the parts store had a combo.

Note: never get under your vehicle with just a jack!!!! If I had been under there when my jack failed I would have been in a world of hurt, maybe dead. Use jack stands or something else to keep a vehicle up!

Here are my new toys:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02123520_zpsefccfc9b.jpg)

And here is what we are going to be disassembling and working with today.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02154412_zps588708a9.jpg)

Note: I didn’t take any pictures of removal since I was in a hurry to get the parts checked out, that’s why my rotors look brand new even though I’m writing this as a tear down.

On my car there are two components that need to be removed to change brake pads and rotors. There is the caliper which holds the brake pads and the piston which attached to the caliper. Each has two bolts that need to come out. Also it helps to remove the mount that the brake line attaches to so you have more play with moving the parts around.

Here is a nifty trick when taking stuff off, put on lug back on in order to keep the rotor from flopping around and being a pain in the rear.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02153704_zps836374eb.jpg)

First the piston housing. The two bolts are in red. Remove those and the housing moves freely.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02154207_zps2c6f6663.jpg)

Also let’s remove the brake line mount from its position so we can move things around better.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02131833_zps699c4942.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02154257_zpse4a37375.jpg)

So now the piston is free. You can see that it is hollow – this piston needs to be pushed back in, we’ll do that a little later. Just a note that my rear pistons are solid and those had to be turned back in like a screw, make sure you know how yours go in so you don’t damage anything.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02151404_zpsb799558b.jpg)

Let’s hang the piston out of the way, the struts are a great place to do this:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02151551_zpsc305cd46.jpg)

Now let’s get the caliper off. There are two bolts for those (different size from the piston on my car)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02154023_zpsf6edd0a0.jpg)

Once the bolts are removed this piece slides right off. Here is what it looks like by itself (brake pads installed)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02144405_zps016a96b0.jpg)

There was a ton of red grease crap all over everything. I cleaned all of that off. Also this is a great time to take a wire brush and go over the caliper, piston housing, and wheel axle and clean up everything. There is a ton of dirt and crud in there. You may want to wear a mask as you are basically brushing and blowing powdered dirt everywhere.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02144533_zps7de01c41.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02131821_zpsf02b7175.jpg)

OK, now that we have the dirty stuff clean it’s time to reset the piston. The beauty of my car and cars with similar brakes is that you don’t have to bleed the lines or even open the master cylinder, as long as you do things slowly.

They make a special tool to do this next step, but why buy a tool you will probably only need a few times when you can rig one up yourself? All you need is a c-clamp big enough to span the piston and a piece of wood, I used a piece of fur stripping that I had lying around. Set it up like so and slowly compress the piston back into the housing.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02151446_zps0ebfe944.jpg)

Be careful of the rubber gasket that is around the piston. You don’t want to rip that. I had a section of it not seat right and bulge out on me. I was afraid of it pinching against the brake pads when I reinstalled it. All I had to do was pump the brakes to push the pistons out and the reset it again. No problem.

Once the pistons are reset it’s time to get the rotors on. You need to clean them as they are shipped in a protective coating of oil. If you don’t clean them I’m told that stuff will gum up on your brake pads and you’ll have a problem you don’t need on your hands.

Brake cleaner and a rag is all you need. Spray the surface that the pads will touch and wipe clean. The brake cleaner evaporates quickly so work quickly, I like to do both sides twice, alternating them front back front back.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02153516_zps2203d5a1.jpg)

Once clean put the rotors on the axel and use the lug nut trick I showed you earlier! It will save you a lot of cussing and headache when reinstalling everything.

Now all you have to do is reverse the process. I didn’t show pictures but make sure you grease the contacts points on the OUTSIDE of the brake pads. So basically on the inboard pad a ring/the center where the piston will touch. On the outboard grease the edges of the pad where the piston mount touches them.

Get everything put back together then hop in the car. Slowly pump the brakes several times. This will push the pistons back out and allow them to operate the brakes. You’ll feel them tense up after a few pumps. Again, do this slowly, I’ve heard if you jam them to the floor you could cause a spike in pressure and hurt the master cylinder.

Once the brake pedal feels good, get the tires on, drop the car, tighten the lugs, and take it for a test drive. I do several long slow braking stops and then a few high speed stops, then as a final test I get up to about 50/60 and jam the brakes to the floor. If you aren’t dead then you did a good job.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 02, 2013, 11:46:43 PM
What’s this? Another post within minutes of the last? Yes my friends, this thread is almost as good as Oil Lady’s book thread, I keep the updates coming.

Also while on our trip my rear driver side blinker went out. This car seems to run through blinkers like they’re going out of style so this is a familiar fix and a quick one. I probably got this done in under five minutes.

Here’s my light, there are two Phillips screws that need to come out. You can see one in the top and the other near the bottom:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02184710_zps08eaa48e.jpg)

There are two little expanding plastic pieces that help to seat it, but once the two screws are out you can pull the assembly straight out. Then it looks like this:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02184846_zps3a0448a2.jpg)

I need to change the light in the middle

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02184901_zps570748a0.jpg)

To remove these types of light you just give them a little twist and they come right out. No messing with any individual wires at all, just the harness/bulb socket.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02185036_zpse03ad142.jpg)

Sure enough, my old bulb burned right out

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02184953_zps1cbb82ba.jpg)

They bulbs pull right out. Put the new one in and test it before you reinstall everything, that way in case something is wrong you’re not kicking yourself for having to take it apart again.

Success!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-09-02185057_zps84d41c47.jpg)

Put it all back together and now people won’t get mad at you for not signaling your turn/lane change.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on September 03, 2013, 02:41:49 AM
Nice write up and photos on the brake job.  That is why I love disc brakes over drum brakes, they are so simple in design and repair.  Your write up illustrates that well.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 03, 2013, 07:41:10 AM
Nice write up and photos on the brake job.  That is why I love disc brakes over drum brakes, they are so simple in design and repair.  Your write up illustrates that well.

thanks. my truck has drums in the rear and i haven't attempted to mess with those yet. i may be wrong, but i think i have seen that you can swap out the drums and replace with discs, i may look into that when the time comes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: oktheniknow on September 03, 2013, 09:15:01 AM
Great posts.
On one of our vehicles have changed out the blinker several times. Always good to have extras around.
Wish the car repair manuals had photos as good as yours!
Needing to get some car ramps and may get jacks as well.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on September 03, 2013, 09:54:08 AM
Wish the car repair manuals had photos as good as yours!

Amen!

What do Chilton's and others use to take photos a Brownie camera and super glare lights?  It always seems that one little part you are most interested in lies in pitch black contrast shadow.

Anyway, great photos WarriorHunter.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 03, 2013, 09:57:45 AM
Great posts.
On one of our vehicles have changed out the blinker several times. Always good to have extras around.
Wish the car repair manuals had photos as good as yours!
Needing to get some car ramps and may get jacks as well.

ramps would be a good idea for me... then i could essentially get the whole car off the ground if i needed too. i was going to get another set of jack stands but i had forgotten about those.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 03, 2013, 09:59:30 AM
Amen!

What do Chilton's and others use to take photos a Brownie camera and super glare lights?  It always seems that one little part you are most interested in lies in pitch black contrast shadow.

Anyway, great photos WarriorHunter.

thanks, i figure the clearer i can make it the better. i actually bought a chiltons when at the store thinking the repair was going to be a cv boot but it wasn't. after i did the rotors i decided i'm going to return the manual for the exact reason you mentioned. the pictures aren't that great, and frankly i have been able to find everything i need on car forums, through google, or youtube. why pay 20 bucks for something else to clutter my garage when i can use the net.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: oktheniknow on September 03, 2013, 10:40:30 AM
If a publisher came out with crisp, clear color photos for car repair manuals they would sell like hotcakes.
Course, repair places wouldn't like it so much. Youtube is good, but not when you have a limited Internet data plan.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on September 03, 2013, 03:30:54 PM
You might want to look into replacing the bulbs with LEDs, if they are available for your application. In theory, LEDs should last for a very long time, and they are often brighter than the stock bulbs. The only real problem is they can be expensive!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 04, 2013, 07:26:54 AM
You might want to look into replacing the bulbs with LEDs, if they are available for your application. In theory, LEDs should last for a very long time, and they are often brighter than the stock bulbs. The only real problem is they can be expensive!

thanks for the tip. i have seen LEDs for the headlights, but i've never looked at them for the blinkers.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 04, 2013, 10:21:28 AM
thanks. my truck has drums in the rear and i haven't attempted to mess with those yet. i may be wrong, but i think i have seen that you can swap out the drums and replace with discs, i may look into that when the time comes.
The 8.8 axles came with both drums and discs so they swap should be fairly easy. I would grab a disc axle at a pull a part to get everything you need. Disc brake pistons require more psi then drum wheel cylinders so you will need to get a disc/disc master cylinder also and the correct brake proportioning valve.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 04, 2013, 10:53:48 AM
The 8.8 axles came with both drums and discs so they swap should be fairly easy. I would grab a disc axle at a pull a part to get everything you need. Disc brake pistons require more psi then drum wheel cylinders so you will need to get a disc/disc master cylinder also and the correct brake proportioning valve.

hmm... sounds like it may be cheaper easier to stick with drums... i'll have to research it more. my truck is due for an oil change so i'll be doing that and rotating the tires. when i get them off i'll inspect everything and see if need to replace anything. might be a fun project though.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 04, 2013, 03:19:49 PM
well, after doing some research it looks like putting disc brakes on the rear is pretty simple.

apparently 94-00 mustang disc brakes are what i need to make the swap, a little cutting, run some new lines and bleed them, and i'm good to go. from the basic research it appears i can buy everything new if i want or go to a yard... never been to a yard so i may go that way for the experience. i'll have to pull my bed again so if i do go this route. and from what others have said i won't even have to mess with the master cylinder.

and NC, i looked up my axle and it's actually an 'open 7.5'... i'm guessing 7.5 is the diameter around the differential and open refers to 2 wheel drive? gearing makes me woozy when i try to understand it, i just haven't taken enough time to really learn it yet.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 04, 2013, 03:35:50 PM
The 7.5 refers to the diameter of the ring gear. Its 7.5" across. The bigger the number the stronger the gear. Open refers to the fact that there is no locking device inside the axle. That means when you get stuck in the mud one wheel will spin and the other one wont. I could give you the technical version but I figure you could relate to the mud senerio.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 04, 2013, 03:53:07 PM
The 7.5 refers to the diameter of the ring gear. Its 7.5" across. The bigger the number the stronger the gear. Open refers to the fact that there is no locking device inside the axle. That means when you get stuck in the mud one wheel will spin and the other one wont. I could give you the technical version but I figure you could relate to the mud senerio.

gotcha, that's one of those things that is on my list to learn more about. i've been tossing the idea of changing the gearing/axle/tire size and they all seem to relate in some way. my truck sounds like it's about to die going faster than 65. i'd love to gear it so i can cruise around 75/80.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: oldcountryboy on September 05, 2013, 06:44:25 AM
Wrong flasher or one going bad or a bad ground can cause the blinker bulbs to burn out fast.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 10, 2013, 06:13:12 PM
The Ranger was due for an oil change. I was planning on doing it myself, but after thinking about it I decided to take it to the shop. For $30 they change the oil and rotate the tires. They also tell me what is wrong with it in hopes that I’ll tell them to fix it. I figured I’ve driven for about 5k and nothing is seriously wrong with it mechanically speaking, but I don’t know how to check a lot of the other things. I would pay $30 just to have them check everything out, as far as I’m concerned the oil change and tire rotation is icing on the cake.

So here’s the list they gave me of stuff that needs fixing:

Air filter - $10.99
Fuel Filter $59.99
Water Pump (starting to leak) - $281.00
Coolant Flush - $84.99
Rear Brakes - $109.00
Rear Wheel Cylinders - $149.00
Brake Fluid Flush - $49.99
Front and Rear Shocks - $380.00
Total Repair Cost - $1,124.96 (not including tax and supplies… ::))

I don’t think so. Just from doing a bit of price shopping I know I can cut that by over half, probably more like two thirds to three quarters of the price. A new water pump is $30, and I know if I had them do that then they would ‘have’ to do the coolant flush, because that’s the only way to get to the water pump. My thermostat is reading funny (my truck is always running cold, even when it’s 110F out) so when I do the water pump I’ll fix that and do the coolant flush.

I’ll detail the prices for everything as I do this, and I plan on doing the disc brake conversion on the rear because from what I hear, drums are for suckers.

Today I decided to tackle the simplest and easiest one on the list – the air filter. Picked one up for $5.99 and this is so simple it’s crazy to not do it. Easier than the taillight bulb I last posted about.

Here is the specimen we will be using:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030458_zpsfc658308.jpg)

Locate your air filter and take the cover off. Mine needed to screws removed, my car is even easier – I think it’s only clips or maybe one screw.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030459_zpsa84b0d39.jpg)

Take the cover off and you’ll see the air filter.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030462_zps7a8628e2.jpg)

Pull the old filter out and slip in the new. Here’s a bonus picture with the filter removed, it’s really just a box, and these filters operate exactly like the air filters in your house… when’s the last time you changed those?

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030461_zpsd3d1d7b3.jpg)

Here’s a side by side of the new and the old… I have no idea when this was last changed, I’ve never seen one this dirty.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030460_zps24344772.jpg)

Set the new filter in its place, reattach the cover and you’re good to go! First item on the list done and I saved 50% of the shop price. Eventually I want to put one of the reusable K&N filters in both cars, but for now I’ll stick with the cheapo Fram for another 5 - 10k.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on September 10, 2013, 08:03:21 PM
good job! i have a 96 ford ranger, good to know about the fuel filler leaking like that...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 10, 2013, 08:04:35 PM
Alot of AZ dust in there. :D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 10, 2013, 10:44:04 PM
good job! i have a 96 ford ranger, good to know about the fuel filler leaking like that...

yeah, i was freaking out when i saw the gas leaking. i thought it would be a huge ordeal but it was really simple to do. the hardest part was moving the bed. i have been using fordrangerforums.com a lot for learning about the truck, if you haven't gone over there yet i suggest you check it out. lot of great info and 'how to' threads over there.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 10, 2013, 10:46:44 PM
Alot of AZ dust in there. :D

i know. i track my mileage with each fill up (when i'm not rotating gas) and i'll be interested to see if this makes a noticeable difference in mpg.

NC, you seem to know your way around vehicles, any thoughts on the K&N filters that you clean and reuse? are they good or a gimmick?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on September 11, 2013, 12:01:44 AM
... any thoughts on the K&N filters that you clean and reuse? are they good or a gimmick?

They're good, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it for your environment.  K&N boosts performance by having a more porous filtering element (bigger holes), and they depend a lot on the oil you coat it with when you clean it; kind of like a modern version of an oil bath filter.  With the fine particulate dust I'd imagine you have in AZ, you may want to stick with a paper element.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 11, 2013, 12:03:30 AM
yeah, if that's how they work then it's probably no bueno for me. i'd probably spend more time cleaning it than driving.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 11, 2013, 12:06:52 AM
NC, you seem to know your way around vehicles, any thoughts on the K&N filters that you clean and reuse? are they good or a gimmick?
The K&N filters are good. Since you are in a dusty area that might be the way to go. Last time I bought one it was like 60 bucks and the recharging kit was another 15 or so. Basically what you do is when the filter gets good and dirty you take out the cleaner bottle from the kit and spray the filter down. Let it sit a minute or two and then hose off all the dirt and grime. Then take the smaller recharging bottle and oil down the filter with it and your done.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on September 11, 2013, 12:22:49 AM
I bought last year from a guy on ebay, the factory service manual for a 96 Ranger on cd for less the 20 bucks. It's a little wonky, you have to install some emulation software on your computer to launch the program but once running I have the whole thing to use. The electrical schematics were worth the price alone. I'll never buy Hayes/Chilton manual ever again.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 11, 2013, 09:34:47 AM
I bought last year from a guy on ebay, the factory service manual for a 96 Ranger on cd for less the 20 bucks. It's a little wonky, you have to install some emulation software on your computer to launch the program but once running I have the whole thing to use. The electrical schematics were worth the price alone. I'll never buy Hayes/Chilton manual ever again.

yeah, i'm looking for a FSM on disc, but i don't foresee doing any big electrical stuff so i can probably get buy with youtube and google.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 11, 2013, 09:36:12 AM
The K&N filters are good. Since you are in a dusty area that might be the way to go. Last time I bought one it was like 60 bucks and the recharging kit was another 15 or so. Basically what you do is when the filter gets good and dirty you take out the cleaner bottle from the kit and spray the filter down. Let it sit a minute or two and then hose off all the dirt and grime. Then take the smaller recharging bottle and oil down the filter with it and your done.

ok, so one for and one against. is the recharge kit a one time use only thing? if that's the case i'll stick with my $6 air filter, but if the costs will eventually balance out and be a saver then i would consider it. i'm only looking at doing it for the reusability and savings aspect.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 11, 2013, 11:32:09 AM
The recharge kit is multi use and will last you for years.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bsutter on September 11, 2013, 12:31:13 PM
thewarriorhunter

You are doing a great job here.   :popcorn:

I tip my hat to you.

+1
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 21, 2013, 09:11:53 PM
So remember in one of my first posts in this thread how I said my dad kind of balked at me doing my own work on my vehicles? Well I’ve won him over to the dark side! Or is it light side… whatever it is, it’s the right side because it saves money, builds confidence, feels great, and teaches skills.

Today we are fixing this:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030505_zps52df06fe.jpg)

What’s wrong you say? His fuel gauge, that’s what. It hasn’t been reading correctly for a while. My dad’s been filling up based on miles traveled. The shop wanted $800 to fix this. We did it for $300 after parts and tools (he bought me a nice breaker bar, adapters, and drive extensions for my services).

The float was the problem, but to get to it we had to remove the whole fuel pump. He figured since it’s so old might as well just replace the whole thing.

Let’s get started! First things first, since we’re dealing with the fuel pump and we’re going to be disconnecting wires around gas, DISCONNECT THE BATTERY! If you blow yourself up, not my fault.

Now let’s disconnect everything from the bed of the truck so we can remove it. If you ready my filler neck tube replacement on my Ranger this is a pretty similar job in terms of getting to the problem. Speaking of the filler neck tube, we have to remove the screws holding that in, there are four on this truck:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030506_zpsd2cfdac4.jpg)

Once that’s done we need to disconnect all of the lights. Each taillight has a harness, as well as the light in the tailgate and the license plate lights, so four in total. Brace yourselves ladies, you’re about to see a whole lot of sexy:












(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030487_zps3827b3fb.jpg)

Now that the lights are disconnected and you’ve calmed down from seeing ‘white lightning’ let’s move on to the bed bolts. There are eight on this truck and the extension bars are a must. On each side two are between the wheel and cab, and the other two are between the wheel and bumper. They’re pretty easy to spot and with the breaker bar they were a breeze.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030486_zps80f77977.jpg)

On this truck you have to remove the spare and the rod that operates the winch that lowers the spare. Here’s my dad working on that. Once the tire is out there is a pin that holds the rod in place. Remove that and the bar comes right out.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030488_zps855a5b6e.jpg)

Now we can remove the bed, but first we had to get all passengers out of the vehicle. Not sure what he was working on but he was one happy camper helping out dad and grandpa.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030483_zpsccddb11d.jpg)

Now that it’s safe to move the bed, we did… barely. This bed was much heavier than my Ranger, and most of the weight was near the back where we couldn’t really get a good grip. A third person on the tailgate would have been nice to have, but we managed, and laughed the whole time while we almost severed fingers and threw out our backs.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030489_zpsa23dd303.jpg)

Here’s what we’ll be putting in:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030498_zps7d66a2d3.jpg)

But first we have to unhook all of this stuff and get the old pump out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030490_zps87be758e.jpg)

Not sure exactly what everything is, but I believe if we start at the top and go clockwise we have an overflow (it hooks directly into the filler neck tube), fuel line, power, some type of vent (nothing actually went down into the pump.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030492_zps200c98f8.jpg)

Here’s my dad disconnecting stuff. Everything came off pretty easy except for the vent, that was a huge pain both to get out and put back in.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030493_zpsec63083c.jpg)

Everything is off and we’re ready to unscrew the ring. I didn’t get a pic with the strap wrench, but you need a strap wrench that will wrap around the white ring, it was also a pain and really stuck on there, but I eventually got it off.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030494_zpsf797ccf7.jpg)

Be careful taking the old pump out as it will have gasoline in the bottom of it. We had a pan ready and transferred the pump via that so we didn’t fumigate the garage:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030497_zpsb8f07624.jpg)

And we have a big hole…

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030496_zpsd1e8591e.jpg)

That my dad decided to stick his hand in and act like he dropped something… he did this just for you fine folks because I told him about this thread:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030495_zpsd0295aa4.jpg)

There is a rubber ring that goes around the upper lip of the pump. The old one was removed and replaced with a new one.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030499_zps1c577769.jpg)

And it’s in:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030500_zps8a15e83d.jpg)

And I’m reconnecting stuff. Notice the chair I’m sitting on… at first I thought my dad was lazy, but after doing this I think he may be onto something. I see a market for patio chairs in auto shops opening up:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030501_zps899ebab2.jpg)

Everything is back on, battery is hooked back up, and we’re ready to test it out!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030503_zpseb769c29.jpg)

The moment of truth:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030504_zpsa5d3811f.jpg)

Success!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030508_zpsc1fb2181.jpg)

There you go! Put the bed back on the frame, reconnect all of the bolts and light harnesses and you’re good to go. A lot of posts I read on this talked about how much of a pain it was to get the bed lined up right. Not sure what those people were getting at as it went on smoothly. It was nice having a second person to nudge it around when lining up the bolts. Don’t forget to reconnect your filler neck tube!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030507_zps084a3150.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: backwoods_engineer on September 21, 2013, 10:11:48 PM
 :popcorn: :popcorn:
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on September 22, 2013, 01:23:18 AM
Good stuff boss. That's the reason I keep 5 gallon buckets around the garage, the perfect height for sitting.   
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on September 22, 2013, 04:35:57 AM
Excellent, bro!  Looks like I'm going to have to get busy!!!  ;D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: AvenueQ on September 22, 2013, 06:50:14 AM
Note: never get under your vehicle with just a jack!!!! If I had been under there when my jack failed I would have been in a world of hurt, maybe dead. Use jack stands or something else to keep a vehicle up!
How much did those jack stands cost you? I'm also looking to get into the home vehicle repair thing as mine just hit 90,000 miles and I'm in for some costly repairs soon.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 22, 2013, 07:25:10 AM
How much did those jack stands cost you? I'm also looking to get into the home vehicle repair thing as mine just hit 90,000 miles and I'm in for some costly repairs soon.

if there is a harbor freight around you i see coupons for 3 ton jack stands for $20. the set i bought, the jack and stands, was $50 or $60 i think. i am going to see if i can fix my old jack also, i've heard you can, i haven't looked into it yet.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on September 23, 2013, 12:30:31 AM
You are seriously doing top quality photo play-by-play on your repairs.  I did a minor repair today for my daughter and would not even think of taking photos along the way.  I am just happy to get the darn thing done.  I applaud your patience and generosity in sharing these.  Keep this up and you'll have an easily marketable set of repair guides. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Now I know why they keep the repair manuals wrapped in plastic at the auto parts stores.  It isn't to keep them from getting oily smudges all over the pages from window shoppers.  It is so you can't see before you buy it the crummy super contrast smudgy photos they illustrate them with!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 23, 2013, 07:56:11 AM
You are seriously doing top quality photo play-by-play on your repairs.  I did a minor repair today for my daughter and would not even think of taking photos along the way.  I am just happy to get the darn thing done.  I applaud your patience and generosity in sharing these.  Keep this up and you'll have an easily marketable set of repair guides. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Now I know why they keep the repair manuals wrapped in plastic at the auto parts stores.  It isn't to keep them from getting oily smudges all over the pages from window shoppers.  It is so you can't see before you buy it the crummy super contrast smudgy photos they illustrate them with!


yeah, the photos in repair manuals are pretty bad, they look like they were taken with a camera from the 1800's where everyone had to hold still for several minutes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 23, 2013, 08:34:08 AM
one thing to note about this picture:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030501_zps899ebab2.jpg)

you see me reconnecting everything but i forgot to put the ring back on the pump to secure it to the gas tank. we had to disconnect everything again and put the ring on, then reconnect it all again... we got really good at that.

wanted to point that out as a note to make sure you put off the your parts back on the way they come off!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: AvenueQ on September 24, 2013, 07:17:36 AM
if there is a harbor freight around you i see coupons for 3 ton jack stands for $20. the set i bought, the jack and stands, was $50 or $60 i think. i am going to see if i can fix my old jack also, i've heard you can, i haven't looked into it yet.
I know of 2 actually. I'll have to keep my eye out for coupons.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 24, 2013, 08:20:00 AM
I know of 2 actually. I'll have to keep my eye out for coupons.

they're not a bad price without the coupons, but they are even better with them.

so i think i'll be doing my rear differential tomorrow, and certain people within our community gave me some cool artwork, so if all goes well i'll be putting a pretty sweet design on it :D i'm keeping it a secret for now and post the pictures when it's done.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 28, 2013, 11:20:11 PM
Fair warning upfront that this one has quite a few more pictures than the other posts I’ve done. I have to stay ahead of bdhunter’s thread and I also have to pass ncjeeper’s older thread so… here we go!

Today I changed the fluid in my rear differential. It looked like an easy thing to do, I’m sure mine had never been done, and I wanted to paint my cover so I figured why not? I have also been wanting to check my spare to see if it will actually hold up. It’s the original spare that came with the truck… and still has the nubby things… and the original dealer PSI sticker (proof below). The rear differential is easier to get to with the spare out of the way so I figured this would be a good time to do this.

Just a note, different differentials take different types of oil. Make sure you get the right one for yours.

First things first, here’s what we’re looking at. The rear differential is the circular/hexagonal section in between the two axles. For those of you that don’t know (like me before I learned about this) this is the housing for your drive shaft that spins the tires. Without this you don’t go anywhere. As you can see the spare is in the way, so let’s get it down!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030512_zps750e6a63.jpg)

Now the spare is out and we have a lot more room to work with:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030518_zpsee737a2e.jpg)

Here’s a close up of the rear cover:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030522_zpscbf60bdb.jpg)

When I read how to do this originally the guy said he didn’t jack the truck up. He must have been a twig because I could barely get around under there. Those jack stands I bought were great and really made the job a lot nicer:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030520_zps12a9f8c0.jpg)

Now that we’re set up it’s time to get started. There is a drain plug on the front driver side of the rear diff. Remove that and there will be some gear oil that drains out. Make sure whatever you’re using to catch the fluid is in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030519_zpsa1ab7c2b.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030521_zps05d6a583.jpg)

Once you have the plug out set it aside. Time to work on the cover. Go ahead and remove all of the bolts except the top center one. Loosen that bolt but don’t remove it. Then take a flat head screw driver and a hammer and gently tap the screwdriver. There is a seal around the cover that you need to break. Once to get through just wiggle the screwdriver around and out comes the fluid.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030525_zps6c55576f.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030526_zpsf51383b7.jpg)

And now we can remove the last bolt and get the cover off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030527_zpse62412b8.jpg)

And here are the guts of the differential. Let this sit for a while as the rest of the oil will slowly drain out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030528_zps2f175160.jpg)

Now it’s time to clean the cover up really well so I can paint it. The inside is coated with oil. Some paper towels will get a lot of the initial junk out, then I used some brake cleaner and rags to get the rest out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030530_zpsf0257450.jpg)

The outside of the cover was really bad. I bought some wire brushes for my Dremel thinking they would get the job done:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030531_zps705e4401.jpg)

Boy was I wrong. It was like moving a football field with a weed eater. I ended up using some sandpaper to get a lot of the initial junk off along with a stiff wire brush and copious amounts of brake cleaner. Then I went back with the Dremel to detail some areas and that worked out really well.

Also note that you really need to clean the inside of the cover where it sits against the rest of the rear diff. Make sure you get all of the old seal off of both the cover and the main housing. I ran some fine grit sandpaper over those sections to ensure a smooth fit and seal when I reassembled.

Here’s the cleaned up product, quite an improvement.

Inside:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030534_zps94a0e2ad.jpg)

Outside:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030533_zps0e48d02e.jpg)

Now it’s time to set this bad boy up and get it painted. I had a simple stand I made for the kids’ couch tents, it worked nicely as a mount for the cover after a nail was added:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030535_zpsb14416bf.jpg)

First/base coat done:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030536_zpsf4304234.jpg)

While that’s drying and you guys are wondering what the final product will look like, let’s clean up the bolts for the cover. I’m a huge fan of using gasoline as a cleaner… probably a little outdated but it’s how my dad and I used to clean stuff, so I do it.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030532_zpse4cf4cb2.jpg)

After soaking and a good scrubbing here they are:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030537_zps1b1c1928.jpg)

Now that those are clean it’s time to add some stencils to my cover and put the other coat on:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030542_zps1274bb4a.jpg)

Aren’t those freaking sweet?!?! What’s that? How did I make those? Sorry, this is the vehicle repair thread, not the Martha Stewart thread.

For anyone about to say those designs look familiar and call foul on me let me say this: I got direct permission from Jack to use these designs since he owns them and Nicodemus was kind enough to send me the files. The TSP community is freaking awesome.

Stencils on and black paint applied:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030543_zps4584e4b2.jpg)

Alright, time to let that dry and get the 20 year old spare tire checked out. My shop boss came in and showed me how it was done:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030549_zpsa0aec526.jpg)

Nubbies:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030516_zpsb8c779d1.jpg)

These are dents in the sidewall from sitting in the rack for so long. I’m pretty sure this tire has never been removed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030517_zps232a2e18.jpg)

Dealer PSI sticker:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030540_zps02898c61.jpg)

OK, spare is on the truck now and I’ll test it out later. Let’s pull of the stencils and see if it worked. Left side:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030544_zpsec815dc3.jpg)

Right side:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030545_zpsb52c9cba.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030546_zps06d32a4a.jpg)

Can’t wait to see this on the truck! Ok, let’s get the cover back on. You can do this two ways, buy a gasket seal or use a product called RTV and make your own. I chose to use the RTV.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030547_zpsf2ca0c41.jpg)

Put a bead around the cover the cover, making sure you go inside the holes:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030565_zps99d8eac9.jpg)

Place the cover back on the differential and put all of the bolts back in. Don’t go super tight just yet. The RTV needs some time to set. Snug everything up and let it sit for about an hour, then come back and tighten things down.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030570_zpsaab680ef.jpg)

Now things have been sitting for a couple hours. I grilled up some awesome burgers while waiting. Time to fill it up and finish the job… except… I didn’t think about the location of the drain hole and the size up the oil bottle… crap:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030573_zpsf64cc5b2.jpg)

Looks like I have to make a quick run to the store and get a fluid transfer pump.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030574_zps0660e63a.jpg)

The pump worked great and was really simple. I was a little surprised though at the fact that I used two whole quarts of oil. Everything I read the people were saying they used just under. I looked at how much drained out and I was just over… I’m guessing I did a more thorough job than them.

I put the drain hole plug back in and took the truck out for a quick test drive to make sure it was working and also to test the spare. The wheels didn’t seize and the spare didn’t blow so it was a good day!

I’ll probably pick up some more gear oil next time I’m at the store so I can top off the diff, but for now I’m not too concerned about it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 28, 2013, 11:36:59 PM
Hey guys, need your help here. I was told by the shop that I need new drums and shoes. I know nothing about drum brakes (this is the learning thread, after all) and was hoping you guys could help me out. Also my truck comes with 9 or 10 inch drums. I’m pretty sure these are 9 but wanted to double check.

It looks like I still have material left on the shoes, but I don’t know how little is too little. I also don’t know how to tell how worn down the drum itself is. I have a bunch of pictures below of different angles that I thought might be helpful. If I still have time to drive that would be great as I need shocks and also want to do the water pump and coolant flush. But if these brakes are close to being done obviously that is a more important fix that needs to be done.

Pictures for confirming size. Like I said I’m pretty sure it is 9 inches based on the stamp on the drum and the inside measurement, but I want to make sure.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030551_zpsb2184044.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030564_zpsfbc661f7.jpg)

Pictures of the shoes:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030553_zpse7279cee.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030555_zps929f1d84.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030552_zpsb43b21ab.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030554_zps3a168b10.jpg)

And pictures of the drum. The one with the standard bit is for scale. I placed it where I believe the groove from the shoes gets cut into the drum.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030557_zps9fef7bc5.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030556_zpsf101368a.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/P1030559_zps97237b6d.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 29, 2013, 12:43:48 AM
A lot of meat left on the shoes. I don't see any grooves or ridges in the drums either. I would just adjust them and run them for another 10k miles. Then recheck.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: RetiredUSMC on September 29, 2013, 01:11:35 AM
Agree with NCJeeper. As long as you don't leave the e brake on you should be good for at least 10K.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on September 29, 2013, 03:38:10 AM
I concur.  The holes in the shoes are for the rivets which hold the brake media to the shoe.  There's still a ton of media on there.  You'll want to watch the media , and replace when they start getting close to the rivets.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: lettuceman on September 29, 2013, 07:12:01 AM
I see a red flag on the shop.  It appears someone is trying to sell you repairs to increase their bottom line.  In your pictures I see what the others see.  Nothing is wrong, just a little wear.  Good brake inspection.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 29, 2013, 07:27:54 AM
I see a red flag on the shop.  It appears someone is trying to sell you repairs to increase their bottom line.  In your pictures I see what the others see.  Nothing is wrong, just a little wear.  Good brake inspection.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

well, it was a brake shop i took it to. they probably only like to see new brakes ::) it's a chain of shops i go to because, like i said originally, for $29 they change my oil and rotate the tires in about an hour, top off my fluids, and tell me what they think is wrong. i'm sure they pick up on every little thing and hope it sticks.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 29, 2013, 08:47:59 AM
and seriously? no comments on the diff cover? well that was a flop :(
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on September 29, 2013, 09:16:16 AM
Nah, bro.  Looks sweet!  We were all just thunder-struck by the shop trying to screw you over, I promise!!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on September 29, 2013, 11:35:00 AM
i think the diff cover looks good. thanks for doing that, i need to do my truck once the weather dries up.
But now you need to remove and paint the entire back axle to match...

Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 29, 2013, 01:45:46 PM
i think the diff cover looks good. thanks for doing that, i need to do my truck once the weather dries up.
But now you need to remove and paint the entire back axle to match...



You're going to get me in trouble with ideas like that ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Ranger Dave on September 29, 2013, 06:24:07 PM
Hey, paint the axle to match, then brake drums, then front suspension, then bumpers, then body. BTW be sure to post lots of pics ;D ;D

Ranger Dave
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 30, 2013, 07:30:16 AM
Hey, paint the axle to match, then brake drums, then front suspension, then bumpers, then body. BTW be sure to post lots of pics ;D ;D

Ranger Dave

lol. the rear axle is really dirty and i was thinking of dropping that... but probably not. i would love to do all of those little aesthetic touches like colored parts, stainless steel lines, etc. frankly i don't have the time or funds to do all of that stuff. i figure i'll get what needs to be done done and make it look good in the process.

i'm going to be doing shocks next and those will probably be black.

speaking of shocks, anyone have brands that are good/crap? keep in mind this is a daily driver and no off roading. i see a lot of monroe and KYB in my price range. i'm not looking to drop $50+ per shock so i think some of the other brands i see like rancho are off limits. i even found the KYB on amazon for the price of the monroe's at the auto store.

i was looking at these: http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/KYB1/344396/03415.oap?year=1994&make=Ford&model=Ranger&vi=1137967&keyword=shocks!s!struts

i'm assuming they're a step up from the monroe's since they cost more, but i'm not positive. what says the hive?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 30, 2013, 11:35:06 AM
I run rancho's on my stuff, but I see you say nay on those in your post.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: SloSheepdog on September 30, 2013, 12:33:20 PM
Your diff cover has totally inspired me. I might need to do something similar on my Toyota. It's due for new gear oil too. I can't wait for more updates. Well done!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 30, 2013, 12:47:23 PM
I run rancho's on my stuff, but I see you say nay on those in your post.

i hear great stuff about them, but for a daily street driver are those really justified? i'm open to being sold on how i should use those, but the cost was a slight deterrent to me. i believe in you get what you pay for, but i understood ranchos as primarily being for off road use, not street use.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 30, 2013, 01:05:11 PM
but i understood ranchos as primarily being for off road use, not street use.
They work well off road which means they work great on the street also. I imagine a set of 5000's should be under 50 bucks a piece.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on September 30, 2013, 09:18:00 PM
Do you have shocks, or struts?  Autozone is only coming up with struts for your year, with Gabriels ranging from $25 to $43/ea.  Gabriels have a lifetime warranty, which is the seller for me.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 30, 2013, 09:46:39 PM
Do you have shocks, or struts?  Autozone is only coming up with struts for your year, with Gabriels ranging from $25 to $43/ea.  Gabriels have a lifetime warranty, which is the seller for me.

shocks all around, i believe. maybe you entered something on the vehicle wrong: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1994-Ford-Ranger-2WD/Shock-Strut-Rear/_/N-j0molZ8oxxx

so how long is the 'lifetime' determined to be? i know when i sold furniture we said warranties were for the 'lifetime' of the piece. that really meant seven years as that's what the industry determined the lifetime of a couch to be.

and how are the gabriels? they ride pretty nice? ncjeeper has me thinking i need to go for the ranchos, but if i can be a woman here, i really hate the color of them :D also i see autozone is running a rebate on the gabriels, that makes them a little more appealing also...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 02, 2013, 03:27:36 PM
So... anyone ever dropped a tank on an 05 malibu maxx? Smelled some gas, crawled under there and there is some fuel leaking... barely. I can't see where it is coming from... :( I've posted on a malibu forum but haven't heard anything yet.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 02, 2013, 07:44:41 PM
well [insert expletive]. looks like i have to replace the fuel pump... :( anyone know where to find out the size of the tank? dimensions, not capacity. i can't seem to find that, everything that comes up is the capacity. i'm hoping i can get the car high enough on my own to drop the tank. seems like a pretty straightforward job, although the fuel pump is going to run me about $300  :banghead:
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Humble Mechanic on October 03, 2013, 01:24:21 AM
You might want to look into replacing the bulbs with LEDs, if they are available for your application. In theory, LEDs should last for a very long time, and they are often brighter than the stock bulbs. The only real problem is they can be expensive!

Be careful with this, especially on a turn signal. The resistance of an LED can be different than a standard bulb. It can make the signal blink too fast as if the bulb is out. It doesn't always happen, but it can. Also, many newer cars have bulb monitoring. Most LEDs really tweak the monitor. Just an FYI

This is awesome! I wish more people would do this type of thing. Keep the updates coming. You are doing great,
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 03, 2013, 07:38:27 AM
This is awesome! I wish more people would do this type of thing. Keep the updates coming. You are doing great,

thanks. i just did the MAF sensors in both cars, i need to put that update together. really simple job. i am also planning on doing the throttle bodies and i learned a really cool trick with the spark plugs to improve my truck, pay attention to that ARCHER! you might be interested!

tonight i'm going to do the fuel pump on the malibu... not happy about having to do it but it has to be done.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on October 03, 2013, 10:43:12 AM
thanks. i just did the MAF sensors in both cars, i need to put that update together. really simple job. i am also planning on doing the throttle bodies and i learned a really cool trick with the spark plugs to improve my truck, pay attention to that ARCHER! you might be interested!

what about spark plugs? outside of my bitch about why does a 4 cylinder truck have 8 spark plugs???? argh.... wires and plugs cost a lot more.

Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on October 03, 2013, 11:10:22 AM
i'm hoping i can get the car high enough on my own to drop the tank.
I would think its less than 12" deep. So if your raise your vehicle a couple of feet you should be good. If you were closer I would say to come over and use my lift.
(http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae266/ncjeeper-1/DSCF0519.jpg) (http://s978.photobucket.com/user/ncjeeper-1/media/DSCF0519.jpg.html)
(Its much easier doing things standing up than on your back.) :)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on October 03, 2013, 11:41:13 AM
damn, talk about a man cave.....
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 03, 2013, 03:40:45 PM
damn, talk about a man cave.....

lol, that's just what i was thinking
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 03, 2013, 03:45:22 PM
what about spark plugs? outside of my bitch about why does a 4 cylinder truck have 8 spark plugs???? argh.... wires and plugs cost a lot more.



i was going to try this, but with the fuel pump it will have to wait. here's a link to what i found that seems pretty interesting, and enough people have commented on it to make me comfortable with doing it. it sounds like it will work with your ranger since you are upset about the coil packs ;)

http://www.fordrangerforum.com/how-submissions/46529-how-dual-ignition-plug-mod-dual-plug-2-3-2-5l-only.html
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on October 03, 2013, 04:39:57 PM
Yeah. I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: pokeshell on October 03, 2013, 06:18:59 PM
thanks, i figure the clearer i can make it the better. i actually bought a chiltons when at the store thinking the repair was going to be a cv boot but it wasn't. after i did the rotors i decided i'm going to return the manual for the exact reason you mentioned. the pictures aren't that great, and frankly i have been able to find everything i need on car forums, through google, or youtube. why pay 20 bucks for something else to clutter my garage when i can use the net.

I have become very fond of googleing videos of car repairs, boats also. Sometimes with photos, you can not tell what they are showing you. Videos, you can tell what it is, and listen to them describe.

I like the posts, older cars are much harder to work on up here in MN. everything is dirty and rusted.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 04, 2013, 07:01:17 AM
don't know when i'll have time to post the write up as the next week is super busy with the job stuff and my last class started yesterday, but my buddy came over last night and we got er done in about three hours  :happydance: it was a bad connection on the fuel pump and there was no way to replace it as it was part of the housing :( i was really hoping it would have been cheaper... oh well.

i'll try to get this and the MAF stuff done sometime soon and post them up.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: pokeshell on October 05, 2013, 08:29:03 AM
and seriously? no comments on the diff cover? well that was a flop :(

I think it was the way you laid out the pix. Should have put the filling of fluids before the final awesome shot.

Looks super cool. I like it. ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 06, 2013, 09:19:09 PM
Finally had time to get to this write up, and this is a really simple maintenance item to get done. I decided to clean my Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor after reading a how to on a Ranger forum. Apparently it is recommended that you clean your MAF sensor every time you change your air filter.

“But TWH,” you ask, “what does this MAF sensor do? I’ve never heard of such a thing before!”

Calm your nervous soul, my mechanic Padawan, I have the answer for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_flow_sensor. Basically the MAF sensor helps the engine determine the air to fuel ratio based on air temperature and some other stuff. Read the Wiki article to get the full details.

Let’s begin!

First you need to disconnect the negative on your battery since this is an electronic component. Find your battery and disconnect:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030588_zps5978e0ff.jpg)

First time I disconnected the battery in this truck, wow was the terminal nasty:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030589_zps750a9514.jpg)

I cleaned it up really well and made sure the negative wasn’t going to touch the terminal:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030590_zpsac14be77.jpg)

Now you need to find the MAF sensor. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure in most cars it’s near your air filter. You can see mine located in the tubing that connects the air filter to the engine. It’s the square box.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030591_zpsea015780.jpg)

In case you aren’t sure it has an arrow indicating the direction of air flow. Also in this picture take note of the two screws holding it in place. One is a security torx bit and the other is the same bit, but with some type of hardened resin on it.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030592_zps3d91295d.jpg)

Go ahead and unplug the electrical plug that is running to the MAF. Here’s mine unplugged:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030593_zpsdc1092b3.jpg)

Now it’s time to remove the screws and get the sensor out. Remember that security torx bit? It was a great excuse for me to go buy a set of bits that had security bits in it. Remember the one with the resin on it? I couldn’t scrape the stuff off, it was hard. There was enough room for channel locks so I used them to get the screw out. Here it is:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030595_zps865056d8.jpg)

Time to get that resin off… say hello to my little friend:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030596_zps03a33551.jpg)

Free off resinous oppression!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030597_zpsb08c58f9.jpg)

Time to get the sensor out, all you have to do is gently pull straight out. There are delicate wires in there that you don’t want to break. If you do, it’s a $100 part that you get to go buy.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030598_zpsa633d347.jpg)

Here’s a close up of the sensor and the two wires that do all of the work:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030599_zpse57bca24.jpg)

Now all you need to do is hit it was some MAF cleaner. It’s only $6/can and I’m pretty sure the can will last forever.
 
(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030607_zps7bc567d5.jpg)

I sprayed the sensor twice and let it sit each time to dry out. I also cleaned up the area around the connection as well as wiping down the outside of the sensor. After that all you have to do is put it back in and reconnect everything.

I’ve read some people claim improvements in acceleration and MPG with this maintenance. I haven’t filled up since I did it so I can’t vouch for that. I may have noticed a small improvement in the low end power but I might just be telling myself that because I read others have done it. Either way I figure for a $6 can of cleaner and about ten minutes of work why not do it? In the last picture you can see the MAF sensor from my car, I did both in about 15 minutes. It’s one more little thing you can do to help keep your car in tip top shape.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 06, 2013, 09:30:16 PM
As mentioned in my previous MAF post I did both sensors for my Ranger and Malibu Maxx at the same time. Here’s the write up for the Malibu. This sensor is a different type but you follow the same steps to get to it and clean it.

First disconnect your battery. Here’s mine pre-disconnect:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030602_zps6c554179.jpg)

Now you need to locate the sensor. This one is in the same position as the Ranger, but it is a different type. Instead of the sensor being separate from the tubing, this MAF sensor is built into a section of the air flow system.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030600_zps0757e94e.jpg)

Here’s a close up, and you can see it has the electrical connection. Go ahead and remove that:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030601_zps88c9ed72.jpg)

At first, since I didn’t see any screws from the top, I thought there were screws on the side and the sensor pulled out in that direction, I was wrong:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030604_zps22179304.jpg)

That led me to the realization that the whole section came out. You can see all of the c-clamps around it. Loosen the two that are holding the section in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030603_zpsdb545746.jpg)

And remove it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030605_zpsd0c1df6e.jpg)

Here’s a close up of the sensor and the wires that do the work. As you can see it’s laid out differently than the Ranger’s, but it’s very similar.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030606_zps846454ee.jpg)

Hit it with the cleaner, let it dry, and reinstall and you’re done!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20MAF%20Sensor/P1030607_zps7bc567d5.jpg)

Performance results for this are about the same as the Ranger. I haven’t had a chance to fill up yet and figure out if my MPG has improved, and I’m not really sure if power is better either. I plan on doing the throttle bodies for both vehicles soon, and that’s where I’ll see the most improvement, I think.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 06, 2013, 10:33:15 PM
The Malibu has been having problems starting recently. Starting it after it sat all night or all day at work resulted in the car trying to turn over and not. Starting a second time resulted in a rough start, but a start. The short term solution to that? Turn the key to the accessory position so all the electrical went on. This primed the fuel lines. Back the key off, do it again, then start, and wala! Car fires right up.

That was fine for a while because I was trying to figure out what the problem was, but then I started smelling gas from the rear of the car. I never saw any puddles or dripping fuel so I thought it was the gas cap, but nope, that was fine.

I finally got a chance to crawl under the car and check things out and what do I find? Gas covering the outside of the gas tank. It seems I had a seeping line or something. Just enough to let gas out, but not enough to actually drip onto the ground. I did some research and found a guy on a forum who described my exact symptoms, I mean, you’d have thought it was me who wrote the post. For him it was a non-replaceable line on the fuel pump. He also said he took it to a shop and when all was said and done he was out almost a grand between parts and labor… I don’t think so!

While I didn’t know for sure it was my fuel pump I picked one up at the auto store to potentially save myself a trip. $300 later and I’m on my way to fix my car so my wife isn’t driving my kids around in a death trap. Plus she made plans to go to the zoo with a friend, what kind of father deprives his kids of that?

First things first, I need to get the car high enough to work under it. Since I don’t live close to ncjeeper and can’t take advantage of his sweet man cave and lift, I’ll settle for the next best thing I can get. I got vehicle ramps from one friend and another who came to help me brought some big jack stands and a rather large jack. Both of those were extremely useful with this repair.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/2013-10-03173144_zps998f05a1.jpg)

Next a cool trick I saw to empty some of the lines of fuel. Turn the car on and then find your fuel pump fuse. Pull that fuse and the car will run itself out of gas and you relieve pressure on at least one line. Then disconnect your battery as you’ll need to unplug the bad fuel pump to replace it.

This was one of the smoothest repairs that I have done yet, with one exception. I filled the car up right before catching the problem. I quickly learned that my car has a filler neck tube (FNT) with a 90 degree angle and a valve that prevents people from siphoning out gas. Even my ½ inch drip line couldn’t get into the tank:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030614_zps7061929c.jpg)

Well, time was burning so I decided to gamble that the fuel line was below the FNT and we would pull that and siphon right out of there. There is a small c-clamp that had to be loosened. In this picture you can also see the fuel that had leaked onto the outside of the tank. What you can’t see is a small fuel line that runs parallel to the FNT. We disconnect that later.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030615_zpsf991821e.jpg)

My assumption was good :D No gas spilled and we started siphoning out the fuel.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030617_zps6c409c73.jpg)

Once we got as much gas as we could out of the tank we started disconnecting all of the lines. These lines were in the front of the tank.

NOTE: Wear eye protections! Some of these lines have fuel in them and they spray when you disconnect them.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030618_zpsacc4c3df.jpg)

Different angle:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030619_zpsce0e4217.jpg)

We also disconnected the line that ran along the FNT. Then it was time for the electrical. There were two plugs for this car. Both were attached to the gas tank. The one on the side of the tank (facing you in the picture) had to be removed from the tank as it was connected to the car frame.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030620_zpsfe4185b5.jpg)

Now that everything is disconnected we had to get the exhaust out of the way. If you follow the exhaust under your car you’ll see several rubber pieces holding it to the frame.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030621_zps6f66a8f6.jpg)

Put a little petroleum based lubricant (Vaseline) on the outside edge and start pulling until it comes off. We had to remove three:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030624_zps56079176.jpg)

Exhaust down and out of the way:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030630_zpsa8c5cd05.jpg)

I didn’t get any shots of them, but you’re most likely going to have a couple tank straps that have to be removed. On this car there were two with two bolts each. Two of the bolts were easy to get to so those were removed. The other two were nightmares to get to so we only loosened those.

Before you loosen/remove the tank straps have someone/something (preferable something) under the tank. Remember that huge jack my friend brought over? That went right under the tank and was the support for it. We slowly started to lower the tank, making sure it was not caught on anything, that all the connections were disconnected, and that nothing would catch/break. You can also see one of the straps in this picture:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030625_zps7ba1c3fd.jpg)

And the tank is out with nothing broken! That was a good feeling. Here’s the top of it. You can see all of the gas that had been leaking onto it. The problem was the connection on the black hose at the top, with the line running at a 45 degree angle. Same exact issue as the guy who posted, and unfortunately it required a whole new fuel pump, I couldn’t fix that part as it was part of the fuel pump itself.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030626_zpsd251a92f.jpg)

Disconnect all of the lines and electrical connections. There is a ring holding the pump in place. This one is metal and you have to get a chisel of other flat object. Place that in the notches and hammer counter clockwise to remove it.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030627_zps86a232b7.jpg)

I tried to get the pump out but it was hung up on something. Looked underneath and what do you know? There’s another line plugged into the bottom of the pump. Make sure you don’t just yank things out!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030628_zpsb43dd35d.jpg)

Pump is out and you can see that sneaky little line sitting in the tank:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030629_zps15de13f6.jpg)

Cleaned up the area around the opening and placed the new gasket where it needed to go. We also coated that in the Vaseline to help the seal:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030632_zps52b82ced.jpg)

New pump is in and everything reconnected:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030633_zps9f2362d4.jpg)

And because we both care about doing a good job we cleaned up the entire gas tank. I figure the part is out, might as well make it look good, plus if there are problems with this pump cleaning everything will hopefully aid in identifying what is going on.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Fuel%20Pump/P1030634_zps5efd0167.jpg)

And that’s it! Do everything in reverse and you’re good to go. It was pretty easy to reinstall everything. We took our time and used the jack to get it back into position, making sure nothing got hung up or pinched. Everything reconnected without a problem.

After installing the fuel pump fuse (the first time, I didn’t forget!) and reconnecting the battery the car fired right up. We put the fuel back in and after a test drive the repair was declared a success.

All in all it only took about three hours to do the whole job, and that included having a beer while waiting for the fuel to siphon out of the tank. I had a great time with my friend while doing this and we had a lot of laughs. I’ll take fellowship, a cold beer, and a $300 part vs. a $1,000 repair bill any day of the week.

Oh, and my kids made it to the zoo and had a blast ;).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 12, 2013, 03:08:57 PM
Nothing too exciting today. Washed the truck with my son and then spent some time detailing the engine compartment. I checked all of the fluids and wow are they dirty. I'm sure they've never been changed so it looks like I'll be doing all of the fluids: coolant, power steering, and brake.

It's not going to win me any awards at car shows but it looks a lot better and it gave me a chance to go over everything. Along with checking the fluids I looked at all of the lines that I could and they all seem intact with no cracks.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/2013-10-12131318_zpsaee1fddf.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 15, 2013, 09:43:34 PM
Today I cleaned the throttle body and IAC sensor on my truck. This is another relatively simple and straightforward maintenance item that can be done. It’s a little more involved that some of the other things because there are a couple of plugs and hoses that have to be removed, but nothing that is difficult.

Cleaning both of these will help your vehicle to run more efficiently and give you some pride because it is one more thing you can do and maintain. Plus a can of throttle body cleaner is only about $9, the sensor for me is around $45ish and I have no idea what a new throttle body is, I’m sure more.

Let’s get started! Since we’ll be unplugging some wires go ahead and disconnect your battery. Here is the throttle body, it’s the silver piece behind the black cover. You can see the air flow tube running into it.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030666_zpsdbbaf47f.jpg)

Here’s a different angle. The small hose you see comes out later so that the TB can be removed.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030668_zps9fbeb0d8.jpg)

I removed the black cover that you saw. What you see is the throttle cable and the cruise control cable. The throttle cable is the larger one with the spring at the base. The cruise control is the small one with all the slack (more on that later).

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030670_zps067be013.jpg)

I removed the air flow tube as most things I read said to do this. I understand why as it gets it out of the way and for me at least, it’s only two c clamps. Some guys pulled the whole air filter housing… I don’t see why that was needed (unless they were doing their air filter too, then I could understand it).

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030671_zpsd1232704.jpg)

Next I unplugged the two sensors. The small one in the back is the Idle Air Control sensor (IAC). The other one I’m not sure about, I need to research it. I think I know but I’m not sure.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030672_zps93839fe7.jpg)

Unplugged and out of the way:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030673_zps4cf82050.jpg)

The throttle cable just snaps right off of the ball joint it’s on:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030675_zps091a011c.jpg)

The cruise control cable has a loop on the end and slips right off. Look at all of that slack! No wonder my cruise rarely works. I’m working on a way to shorten the wire up. I saw one guy used the chain from a ceiling fan on his.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030674_zps720d9af7.jpg)

Next the hose from the TB to the top of the engine comes off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030677_zps754671f7.jpg)

I had to remove the whole tube since it was too short and there was not enough play to remove only the end attached to the TB:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030678_zpse3f51fd9.jpg)

Time to remove the bolts holding it on. There are four of them, and take note of the sizes. One of the bolts was longer than the other three. In this picture you see the two on the top. There are two more on the bottom corners of the TB, make sure you don’t lose them.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030676_zpsf73c006d.jpg)

What’s this? One more tube hiding underneath? Just goes to show that like the Malibu’s fuel pump, don’t go yanking things out when you think they’re clear. If I had ripped this guy out I probably would have damaged that hose or line.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030679_zps4b04719f.jpg)

And there’s where it was. I went through here and cleaned up the top of the engine and the hoses as best I could. This pic is pre clean:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030680_zps7277a8a4.jpg)

This is the engine side of the TB valve, yuck!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030681_zpsb9118534.jpg)

Air filter side:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030682_zps12d77d8e.jpg)

This is the IAC sensor attached to the TB:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030684_zps27394dac.jpg)

Remove the two bolts holding it on and it comes right off, be gentle!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030685_zpsdf1a3554.jpg)

TB with IAC removed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030686_zps9344ea75.jpg)

Use the TB cleaner on the IAC. Spray it down so that the cleaner gets in the holes, but don’t soak it. Gently use some q-tips to clean out the inside. That’s really the only way you are going to clean this out without damaging it, try to shove a rag in there and you might as well plan a trip to the auto parts store to get a new one.

Here is the cleaned IAC and the dirty q-tips:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030687_zpsd136d1c2.jpg)

Cleaning the throttle body itself is pretty straightforward. Spray the cleaner, wipe up crud, repeat as needed. The one thing everyone said was the most difficult to do was to hold the valve open and clean its edges, and the areas that it touched when closed… either I’m a genius or they don’t have zip ties. Boom baby:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030690_zpsd220baf4.jpg)

I just opened up the valve and then looped the zip tie through one of the holes for the screws and around the linkage for the throttle cable. Piece of cake. I used q-tips again for all of the edges and corners.

Be careful when cleaning with the valve open. There were two screws holding the round plate onto its support and one of them cut me. Not a bad one, but if I’d been going gung ho I could have gotten sliced up pretty bad. I looked at removing them but the ends appeared deliberately marred so they couldn’t back out. Figured I’d better leave them alone (you can see the crushed ends in the next picture).

Remember that first dirty picture of the engine side of the valve? Here it is nice and shiny:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030693_zps23a7722e.jpg)

Here’s the other side:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Throttle%20Body%20-%20IAC%20Sensor/P1030692_zps602cd455.jpg)

And that’s it! Put everything back together, hook everything up, and you’re good to go. If I’m lucky with this cleaning I’ll be able to break my Ranger’s current land speed record of 72 ;)

The other thing that was good about doing this was that I found why my cruise control isn’t working. There is way too much slack in that cable. That goes to show that keeping your own vehicle up will allow you to notice when things are wrong.

I also need to research the other sensor on the TB. When I’ve read about cleaning sensors I always see three grouped together, the MAF, IAC and this one. It’s help on my two Philips screws but they wouldn’t budge and since it is electronic I was hesitant to blast it with WD-40 to loosen them up. Once I figure it out I’ll determine if I need to go in and clean that right away, or if it can wait.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on October 15, 2013, 09:59:53 PM
I use an old toothbrush to help clean out the crud in throttle bodies. Sometimes you got to scrub out the stuff. ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 15, 2013, 10:34:37 PM
yeah, i was ready to do that but everything came off fairly easy with the cleaner, paper towels, q-tips.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 16, 2013, 07:06:21 AM
fun times on the way to work this morning  ::) right as i hit warp speed on the interstate because of my cleaned out throttle body a minor incident struck me. apparently i didn't properly secure my hood and it popped up on me! luckily for me the latch held and kept it closed rather than it flying up and blinding me, or worse flying off!

for those that don't know, my hood opens in a two step process. you pull the release and a latch lifts up while still holding onto the hood, then you have to remove the latch from the hood to open.

pulled over and slammed it home and made sure it was properly latched this time. just an example to make sure you button everything up when you're done! i'm very fortunate this wasn't worse.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on October 16, 2013, 03:49:55 PM
just an example to make sure you button everything up when you're done! i'm very fortunate this wasn't worse.
Yep goes along with make sure the oil plug and filter are snug when changing your oil. Dont want to be driving off leaving an oil trail. Jiffy lube is good at that. :D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 16, 2013, 03:57:33 PM
hey NC, quick question. i've heard i need a special tool to get my fan off for when i do the coolant flush/water pump. is that the case with some vehicles?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on October 16, 2013, 06:34:27 PM
Are talking about service wrenches? They are slim and flat making access to cramped places easier.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 17, 2013, 07:18:15 AM
not sure, i don't think it was that... but i could be wrong. i'm going to research it today as i've heard pulling the fan makes life a lot easier for getting to the water pump. someone on a forum said 'special tool' that cost about $15... real specific, i know ::)

the funny thing is, i have everything i need except a $1 gasket for the thermostat. my go to store didn't have one :( hoping it comes in today because the entire job i want to do can't go on without that. i may just run to another store if it doesn't show up.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on October 17, 2013, 08:21:29 AM
I guess he was talking about this maybe?
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200396117_200396117?cm_mmc=Google-pla-_-Auto%20Repair-_-Specialty%20Tools-_-9094133&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=9094133&gclid=CIWVhduGnroCFaXm7AodknAAHg (http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200396117_200396117?cm_mmc=Google-pla-_-Auto%20Repair-_-Specialty%20Tools-_-9094133&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=9094133&gclid=CIWVhduGnroCFaXm7AodknAAHg)

I just use a big crescent wrench and smack it with a hammer to bust it loose. Leave all the belts on to hold it in place. 
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 17, 2013, 03:10:06 PM
that's probably it. hitting things with a hammer sounds like a lot more fun :D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on October 17, 2013, 04:48:11 PM
Warrior I read your caption about you Cruise control and let me begin by saying DO NOT DO NOT SHORTEN THE CRUISE SERVO CABLE SLACK!!!!!!!!!!!.

most all electronic cruise servos have an internal switch that determines the throttle stops with the Throttle position sensor input

If you make a mistake you could engage the cruise on the road and have the pedal go the floor and stay there!!! or only partially return.

Find out why it doesn't work check the fuses/ Does the cruise light come on when you turn the system on? Bad brake light switches are common for cruise problems its a safety for the cruise system. Bad wiring/high resistance /bad cruise control switch/bad wiring in the steering column

I have had that happen to me after an aftermarket cruise installer didn't want a Young Dealer Mechanic (ME) replacing parts on their defective (Piece of Sheite) cruise system. I went there picked up the minivan after they (fixed It) tested it on the road on the way home and to the friggin' floor the throttle went the second I hit it. I had both feet on the brake until I turned it off but it was a wild ride and I was lucky I didn't hurt anyone.

Slack is normal check its components first
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 18, 2013, 08:22:39 AM
thanks for the advice. i will check all of the other things and go over to the ford forum and look/ask around. the reason i made the length comment was all the pictures i saw of other people's cruise control cables showed them not having nearly as much slack as mine. and the slack in mine gets crazy when the TB is open so that a higher speed can be maintained.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 21, 2013, 10:30:50 PM
So this is going to be a pretty cool post, not so much for what I did, but for what I did… you follow? I should warn you that this has nothing to do with vehicles, but I thought I’d post it in this thread since working on my vehicles directly affected my ability to overcome a problem I had today.

If you’ve been following this thread you know I serviced my rear differential a few weeks ago. Ended up having a problem today that I was able to fix because of how similar it was, and also because of the confidence I had gained from working on my truck and car.

Some of you may know I work for a coffee company, Mai Thai Coffee. It just happens to be the coffee company that gives an MSB discount so if you like good coffee get your code and order some! I was down at the roaster today flavoring coffee. The machine used to flavor the coffee was made by putting together some parts about 10 years ago, long before I was involved with the coffee. The machine consist of a motor, speed reducer, a drum (for the coffee) and a belt that goes around the speed reducer and the drum to mix large amounts of coffee at once. Here’s what it looks like:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21153445_zps99452548.jpg)

I had to flavor over 750 pounds of coffee today, and after only 200 the contraption stopped working! I noticed the barrel wasn’t spinning but I could hear the motor turning. That led me to assume that a gear was possibly broken in the reducer. Time to take it apart.

Here’s the reducer up close:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21105829_zpsea5d3fe5.jpg)

Here’s the motor taken off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21105852_zps5f006166.jpg)

And the inside of the reducer:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21105907_zpsaafeeb58.jpg)

After looking at everything it was obvious the teeth were good, on both metal gears and the nylon joiner. I then realized the set screw had backed out and the gear was pushed back, so it was free spinning and not turning the reducer. Pretty easy fix!

But that’s not all! Before I removed the motor the owner or the shop thought it might be an oil issue, so we had removed some of the plugs from the reducer’s body to check it out. It was nasty! Lucky for me this was just like my rear diff. I told Denney not to worry and that I could swap the oil out for him no problem. He said that would be good, because he didn’t think it’d been serviced since 94 or so…

I got to it! The ideal thing would have been to remove the whole reducer, but I didn’t want to mess with that. I removed the fill level plug first:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21110607_zps06020481.jpg)

Propped one side up on a 2x4 so I could direct the flow of oil:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21110848_zps083a1bb3.jpg)

Removed the lowest plug to get out as much oil as I could:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21111100_zpsae7acd3f.jpg)

Drained as much as I could and then removed another plug on the side so I could get a funnel in to add more gear oil:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21122621_zps00ddfb83.jpg)

Filled it up to the fill level and installed all the plugs. Got everything hooked up, bolted on, and working again and I was back to flavoring coffee!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Coffee/2013-10-21153503_zps23895bc5.jpg)

This was a really cool thing for me to do. Had this happened even three months ago I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what to do and I would have really been hosed, along with the shop because they would have had to mess around with it. While the contraption is a homemade piece of equipment it is essential both to their business and mine. It is a huge time saver for flavoring coffee. I finished flavoring all the coffee, albeit a little late, but the job was finished instead of left incomplete.

So now you’ve seen a small piece of the coffee business as well! Go buy some coffee and enjoy!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 30, 2013, 07:28:18 PM
what a day. replaced my water pump and thermostat today and what a pain! i also found where my leak was coming from, and it had to be a hose that i can't get too unless i take the whole fan assembly off... oh well. patched it up. i'll have a write up in the next day or two.

couple of questions:

i thought replacing my thermostat would fix my engine gauge showing a cold engine. it did not. what would the next step be?

also i looked at my timing belt while doing this and it is cracked all over. they aren't huge, but there where a bunch of them and they're big enough for me to notice. i'm assuming this means it is time to replace the timing belt, am i right? and if i'm write is this something you guys would recommend i take a crack at? i've seen posts on how to do it, but i've heard nightmare stories about screwing everything up.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on October 30, 2013, 08:24:51 PM
Thermostat: Off the top of my head, I'd say A) your gauge itself is not working, B) Your pump is cycling coolant all the time, not just when the T-stat allows it to.

Timing belt: If you can see the threads/belts in the timing belt, then change it.  Small cracks in belts are normal, and not necessarily something to worry about.  If it's been on there forever, then you can change it as a preemptive measure.  You'll have to get some of the gas-burner guys here to get more specific on how to do that. 
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on October 30, 2013, 09:54:41 PM
Thermostat: Off the top of my head, I'd say A) your gauge itself is not working, B) Your pump is cycling coolant all the time, not just when the T-stat allows it to.

the gauge moves, it slowly creeps up and then goes down... then up and then down, but it never reaches 'normal'. i have that question out on my ford forum to see what they say. i'll get this figured out.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on October 31, 2013, 09:46:35 PM
What is the recommended replacement interval for the timing belt?

Is the engine in question a "non-interference" engine? If  not, better to replace the belt sooner rather than later. Usually its done the other way around... the main job is to replace the timing belt, and the water pump gets replaced because it had to come out anyway.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 01, 2013, 07:53:42 AM
What is the recommended replacement interval for the timing belt?

Is the engine in question a "non-interference" engine? If  not, better to replace the belt sooner rather than later. Usually its done the other way around... the main job is to replace the timing belt, and the water pump gets replaced because it had to come out anyway.

not sure about the interval, i'll have to check. and i also don't know what a non-interference engine is so i have something to learn today! also i'm not positive, but i think my timing belt could be replaced without removing the water pump. the belt wraps around the pump and isn't directly in front of or behind the pump. if i did have to pull the pump again that would suck, but oh well. just have to get a new gasket and seal it back up.

just ordered shocks today too. sadly i thought today was the last day in october so i missed the buy 3 get 1 free that i could have gotten on a set of ranchos... oh well. ended up going with some kyb shocks. i've heard they are OK, and anything will be better than they blown ones i have right now.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on November 01, 2013, 08:53:01 AM
An interference engine is one that the valves will hit the pistons if the crankshaft is rotated out of time with the camshaft

non-interference is the opposite where the crank can be spun without the pistons hitting the valves if they are open

one of the many reasons to follow the change interval for timing belts especially on interference motors Belt snaps on the road and your doing a valve job and sometimes a new head depending on the damage.

example was the Laser/Eagle Talon/Mitsubishi Eclipse 2.0 16 valve Mitsubishi head (same head found on many Hondas) the turbo models were tough on belts and many needed valve jobs & heads on Monday after weekend street races ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 08, 2013, 06:03:43 AM
so... drive home from work yesterday. when i get home i notice antifreeze leaking from what looked like my lower radiator hose near the water pump, not the radiator. got under it but couldn't see anything more and after a minute the leaking stopped.

this morning i drive to work and look under the truck... no leak. i'll check the radiator cap and reservoir when the truck cools down in a few hours and report if there are any low levels there. i would think a leak that low in the system would leak until it was out though...

any thoughts?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on November 08, 2013, 11:48:46 AM
Hose clamp needs a little tightening?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 08, 2013, 03:29:43 PM
Hose clamp needs a little tightening?

that's what i'm going to check tomorrow morning when i can get under it. i'm hoping that's the issue, it'll still be a pain to get too, but it will be a lot better if that's the issue and not the gasket seal.

i guess i should have clarified, any thoughts no why it leaked last night and not this morning?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on November 08, 2013, 04:43:32 PM
Just sitting there cold it is probably tight enough. Probably only starts to leak once pressure is built up in the system.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on November 08, 2013, 09:49:58 PM
Don't forget to clean up the spilled coolant as best you can... that stuff can lead to a very painful death of a pet or other animal(s)..
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 13, 2013, 02:52:21 PM
Not sure if anyone was sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for this, so if you were I’m sorry!

Changed out the water pump and my thermostat a couple weeks ago. The shop said it was leaking and there was a mess of stuff everywhere. I figured I’d go ahead and replace it and while I was at it put a new thermostat in since my gauge has been acting up and not reading properly.

Let’s get started!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030698_zps64f16acd.jpg)

First let’s remove the grill. The write up I saw showed the guy doing this because it allowed you direct access to everything once you get the radiator out. Pretty simple on my truck, all you do is remove several screws along the top trim piece and then a few on the grill.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030699_zps995fa63d.jpg)

Now we need to disconnect everything to get the radiator out. This picture shows the upper radiator hose and the two screws that are removed to get the fan shroud off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030700_zpsd69a2feb.jpg)

Reservoir line along with the radiator cap (removed):

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030701_zps02d9906e.jpg)

The lower radiator hose:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030702_zpsf88f5596.jpg)

Note: before you start pulling off hoses make sure you have something to catch all of the fluid. My truck holds just shy of two gallons of coolant.

Both the upper and lower hoses connect with a simple clamp. A pair of pliers gets it right off.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030703_zps75be072f.jpg)

Remember the container I mentioned? Here’s mine… most of the coolant made it, had a little splashing from when it was first disconnected.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030704_zpsd156870c.jpg)

Here’s the inside of one of the tubes. Nasty stuff… I don’t think the coolant was ever flushed, so while the 85k miles isn’t too bad, the 20 years it was sitting in there probably was a little too long…

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030706_zps4302b020.jpg)

Don’t forget to remove the reservoir hose as well. Then remove the screws holding the fan shroud in place. That pulls back slightly and then you can get to the screws that hold the radiator in place. There isn’t enough room to get the shroud out without removing the radiator first. Then they both come right out.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030707_zps719a9195.jpg)

And now we have room to work!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030708_zps741d879b.jpg)

At this point I realized I still had a screen (bottom of picture) that would be in the way of my direct access that the other write up mentioned. I traced the lines and believe they are part of the AC unit, so I’m guessing it has something to do with that, but I don’t know what it’s called and haven’t looked into yet. I guess the write up I was looking at didn’t have AC in his truck. Oh well, onward!

Next to come out is the fan:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030709_zps60f26557.jpg)

Four bolts and it’s off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030711_zps80689032.jpg)

Next is the serpentine belt. There is a belt tensioner that keeps it in place. This is similar to the drain plug on the rear differential. Use a ¾ drive socket in the top hole. Push to the left (lefty loosey) to relive the tension on the belt. This lets you slip the belt off and remove it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030712_zps72e52244.jpg)

Next are the four bolts holding the fan base into the pulley wheel.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030714_zps3061fbf4.jpg)

They are pretty tight and if you try to loosen them without holding the pulley it’s akin to loosening lug nuts when the wheel is off the ground, the whole thing will spin. So what do you do? Pipe wrench baby!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030715_zps8fe62952.jpg)

Tighten that on there to hold the axis in place while you break the bolts loose, then they come out nicely and the assembly slides right out. The pulley cover does the same:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030716_zps0bed1ba0.jpg)

Now to remove the water pump. The timing belt cover is in the way but you can work around it. I held the new pump up so I could get an idea of where the bolts go:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030717_zpse37f5986.jpg)

Now that the water pump is out we can remove the thermostat housing to replace that. It is right above the water pump and held in by two bolts:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030718_zps67412cef.jpg)

At this point I wanted to set my truck on fire. I couldn’t get the last bolt out. For some reason there was a piece of material on the alternator brace in my way. I don’t know if it was a mess up when it was made or if some sadistic engineer thought it was a good idea to put it there. The fit was too tight to get a socket around and I couldn’t get a wrench in there.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030722_zps6aa9d89c.jpg)

So what did I do to give myself room? I removed both coil packs and their brace in order to get to it… I was not a happy mechanic at this point. Note, since we are removing and unplugging electrical stuff make sure you disconnect your battery!

The wires snap right in so they are easy to remove, note which numbered wire goes where:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030719_zpsd246a036.jpg)

Then it’s four bolts to remove the coil pack:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030720_zpsd21b0ce9.jpg)

Finally got everything out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030721_zps00068206.jpg)

And after about 1000 micro turns with an end wrench the bolt is out and I have the thermostat housing. Victory!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030724_zpsdf84173a.jpg)

And while checking one of the hoses that connects the thermostat look what I found. The leaky water pump:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030725_zps460609c6.jpg)

Here’s the front of the engine with everything removed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030726_zps7ad7923a.jpg)

Time to fix the hose. My wife was at work so I had no means of going to the store and getting a new hose. I had to drive this truck tomorrow… duct tape to the rescue! It’s not on a hot spot so I wrapped the sucker up like an Egyptian mummy and called it good.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030728_zpse009d623.jpg)

Now to install the new thermostat. The old one pops right out and the new one pops right in, simple:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030727_zps85e7b15c.jpg)

I used blue RTV to create a seal between the gasket and block. It also helps to hold the gasket in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030729_zpse848a4f3.jpg)

Apply RTV to the area of the thermostat housing that will be in contact with the gasket. Then screw the bolts back in nice and snug.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030730_zps81e6a7f3.jpg)

I should note that the bolt that gave me so much trouble went in with a socket and saved me a lot of time. I cleaned the area and the bolt head up really well when I could get to it, I also think already having the socket on the bolt helped. It was still an incredibly tight fit that I had to force to work, but it worked. Those few millimeters of metal cost me probably close to two hours of time.

At this point I was burned out and forgot to take pictures of the water pump, but it’s the same as the thermostat. RTV around the gasket and block, then RTV again on the other side of the gasket and water pump. Tighten bolts. And here we are with both pieces put back in.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030731_zps1ef858ed.jpg)

Put everything back together and fill with coolant and you’re done!

A note about cleaning the system. I took the radiator and flushed it out really well with water along with the hoses I removed. I scrubbed out as much junk as I could from the openings. Make sure you do a final flush with distilled water! Tap water can corrode the inside of your radiator with all of the minerals that are in it. Distilled water is the final flush that you want to do.

Also one final note about the leak I mentioned I noticed. It turned out that the lower radiator hose going into the water pump wasn’t tight enough. Thankfully I had just enough space to cram my hand into the area and was able to get a socket on the clamp bolt. A socket wrench wouldn’t fid though so I figured this out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/2013-11-10135459_zps01863929.jpg)

I took a quarter inch hex drive that comes with my socket set. Stuck a socket on the end and used the closed end of a wrench to tighten. I had to make a bunch of micro turns but I didn’t have to take anything apart and all was well.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 16, 2013, 11:22:37 AM
just finished getting the shocks put on! man it's nice to hit a bump and not rock around like a low rider.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on November 16, 2013, 03:16:17 PM
Only thing to add is I probably would have taken the radiator to a shop to have them cook out the corrosion and pressure test it since it is 20 years old. It cost like 40 bucks around here. Other wise looking good on the wrench turning. ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on November 16, 2013, 04:02:39 PM
just finished getting the shocks put on! man it's nice to hit a bump and not rock around like a low rider.
now you gotta turn down the volume
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 16, 2013, 04:24:31 PM
Only thing to add is I probably would have taken the radiator to a shop to have them cook out the corrosion and pressure test it since it is 20 years old. It cost like 40 bucks around here. Other wise looking good on the wrench turning. ;)

never knew to do that, and while that would have been nice, it wouldn't have been possible that day since i didn't have another car, hence the duct tape hose repair ;). i'll keep that in mind next time, and i have been watching my coolant level and it is good.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 16, 2013, 04:27:35 PM
now you gotta turn down the volume

speakers are actually on my short list of 'nice to have' things. the passenger side door speaker likes to garble things a lot of the time. the truck also has a tape deck in it, i will do speakers for sure, i'm debating if i want to put a cd player in it... radio is fine, but a jack to plug my phone it would be good. i saw a cool gadget at the store that plugs into the 12v power and you can run a phone through that and the radio picks it up.

hell, maybe i should rip the seats out, instal bucket seats and then drop the biggest sub i can in between them. squeeze an amp or two behind the seats and blast it!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 20, 2013, 08:00:50 PM
Got the shocks done on the truck the other day. Man does it ride nice! I can go over speed bumps without feeling like I’m in a low rider. The old shocks were squeaking/creaking really bad too so it’s nice to not have to listen to that.

This was a really simple job. The back shocks were more of a pain just because of space, the front shocks were a breeze.

Here’s what we’ll be working with:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030784_zpsb6612035.jpg)

I ended up needing some end wrenches for the front shocks that aren’t pictured. And I will say if you don’t own a breaker bar yet you need to get one. It’s probably been the best tool purchase I’ve ever made.

I did the rears first. Here’s a picture of one to give you an idea of location… right behind my spare:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030785_zps0b571cad.jpg)

I could have done this without dropping the spare, but I didn’t feel like cramping my space even more. You can see with the spare out that I have a lot more room to work with:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030786_zps7ca464b9.jpg)

Here’s the passenger side:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030787_zps12fda457.jpg)

Let’s get them out! There are only two things to loosen. A bolt and nut on the bottom and a nut on the top. Here’s a close up of the bottom, you will need something to hold the nut/bolt stationary while you loosen the other:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030791_zpsc605128d.jpg)

You may need to LIGHTLY hammer the bolt out if it doesn’t come out freely. Next is the top. Remove the nut and if needed, LIGHTLY hammer off the old shock. You don’t want to mess up the threading on this as it’s attached to the frame.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030789_zpsa75fe2fc.jpg)

Old shock next to the new one:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030793_zps883eb7fa.jpg)

Leave the plastic around the shock for now, it keeps it compressed for you. Install the shock on the top mount and put the nut back on, but don’t tighten it. Then pull/cut the plastic off and line up the bottom of the shock with the holes, install the bolt. If you miss don’t worry, it’s easy enough to push it back in a little so you can line up the holes:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030794_zpsb83c978a.jpg)

Driver’s side done, onto the passenger side. This shock was useless, as you can see by all of the grime stuck to what I am assuming was the leaking gas from inside of it. (note my daughter ‘helping’ me in the background making a house from scrap wood :) ):

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030795_zpsa567d8e6.jpg)

The top bolt was a pain to get to since my muffler was in the way. Good thing I had extension bars, otherwise this bolt would have ruined the repair.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030796_zps8786cbe6.jpg)

And here’s an after picture with both rear shocks installed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030797_zps938e9bae.jpg)

Time for the front. Here’s a picture of it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030805_zpsb0d015db.jpg)

As you can see the tire is in the way, guess that needs to come off. Once it was removed I had a much better space to work with:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030806_zps9b80a781.jpg)

Just to show, I have to put the jack on the axle under the spring, but I made sure to have a car jack under the frame. Never get under your vehicle with just a jack holding it up:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030815_zpsccc088df.jpg)

Back to work – the bottom nut on the shock is straightforward, take it off, but leave the shock on the bracket:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030807_zpsaf5f5e90.jpg)

The reason for leaving the shock on was that you have to rotate it to remove the top nuts. If it’s off the lower bracket it wiggles around a lot and makes things more difficult than they need to be. As you can see it’s a bit of a tight work space, and I don’t have deep sockets to jam on there:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030808_zps267b2671.jpg)

Problem solved, wrench on the top to hold it stationary, and another wrench on the nut below the bracket to remove the shock:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030809_zps729652a0.jpg)

And the shock is out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030810_zpsee243f72.jpg)

Also while I had the wheel off I inspected the brake pads and rotors, since I know how to do that now. Those brake jobs a couple months ago paid off! The pads look great, and while this picture is a bad one, I realized there is actually a window in the calipers off to the side so you can see the rear pad as well:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Shocks/P1030811_zps5b03c3af.jpg)



Put the new shock on and everything is good to go. The shop wanted around $300 to do all four, I did them for just under $100.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: RacinRob on November 21, 2013, 07:04:54 PM
I hate your rust free cars!  It looks so nice to not get a face full rust every time you roll under a car.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on November 21, 2013, 10:57:25 PM
Awesome!

One thing that helps on older, or more rust-prone vehicles... a few days before you plan on doing the work, hit the nuts / bolts involved with a penetrating oil, such as PB Blaster. Do try to avoid getting such oils on the break pads/rotors/shoes/drums though!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on November 22, 2013, 06:04:23 AM


TWH,

Do you take requests?    I have to remove the dash of a 2000 Nissan Altima and find out why the instruments flake out and stop working off and on.  If you could get right on that so I can get it done over the holidays, I'd appreciate it!

:)

-Dennis
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 22, 2013, 06:28:04 AM
I hate your rust free cars!  It looks so nice to not get a face full rust every time you roll under a car.

well, i may not get hit with rust, but there is deffinetly a lot of dirt and grime under there. i've had my fair share of watery eyes. i really do need to get a good pair of clear shop glasses. and it helps that the truck has always been in AZ, kinda hard to get a rusted out car here with how dry it is. don't get me wrong, there's some surface rust, but nothing like what a 20 year old car would experience on one of the coasts.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 22, 2013, 06:37:02 AM

TWH,

Do you take requests?    I have to remove the dash of a 2000 Nissan Altima and find out why the instruments flake out and stop working off and on.  If you could get right on that so I can get it done over the holidays, I'd appreciate it!

:)

-Dennis

bring it over and i'd be more than happy to tear into it with you! a combo TSP repair! we could take this thread places i never thought possible!

i did a quick google search and got this thread: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/altima/3640-altima-2000-gauges-dropping-zero.html

a lot of possible repair ideas on that board, and then the last post on page one and one on page two says it was a headlight issue... that might be a really simple fix, not sure though... but maybe?

here's another one talking about grounds (which makes sense as this seems to be an electrical issue): http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/altima/8158-2000-altima-guages-tach-speedometer-cruise-stop-working.html

here's one more that points to it being a ground/connector/electrical issue: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/altima/1133-altima-2000-instrument-cluster-blanking-out-help-please.html

hope that helps and gives you a starting place. sine you say it's an off and on problem i would think it is a connection somewhere. one of the other guys who know more than me that post on here might have some ideas for you.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 22, 2013, 06:43:56 AM
and here's one more post from another board where a guy suggests changing out the whole instrument cluster: http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/general-nissan-altima-discussion-1993-2001/259306-so-what-solution-instrument-cluster-problem.html

if that is the case it looks like ebay has some for about $80. https://www.google.com/#q=2000+altima+instrument+cluster
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on November 22, 2013, 10:25:02 AM
thanks, i'll read these later tonight.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 23, 2013, 06:06:09 PM
just found an awesome resource that i wanted to share: http://www.bbbind.com/tsb_eula.html

accept the agreement and you have access to a plethora or trouble shooting guides and wiring diagrams for (i'm assuming) all systems in most vehicles. i have found several things for my ranger so i assume it will be the same for other makes and models.

also, i can't get my heater figured out, so if any of you know an amazing ford tech i'd love to hear from them :(
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: lettuceman on November 24, 2013, 07:39:41 AM
Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on November 26, 2013, 04:56:02 AM

Yup,

Looks like it is the unified meter control unit.   My brother can get me a good price on these at cost to him, shouldn't be too bad to replace.   Maybe I'll take pictures and post it up.   

He says the only concern here is the odometer.   I think if you adjust the mileage it has to reflect on the title.   However, he says that the dealer can calibrate it and I may be able to get around that problem.  This is important to me, because I have such low miles on this car.   It only has 71K miles after 13 years of driving.   It is a selling point if I ever decide to get rid of it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 26, 2013, 05:12:18 AM
let us know how it goes. do you have to pull your whole dash out?

my heater isn't working, i'm going to flush the heater core, if that doesn't work i have to check the t-stat i installed. i may have put it in wrong (not rotated correctly). if it's not the t-stat the next step is to replace the heater core or blend door. both require removing the dash to get too :(
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 07, 2013, 04:32:24 PM
Guess what I did yesterday? I drove to work in 30 degree temperatures with no heat. Started the morning with ice on my windshield too… so after getting the ice off my windshield I pretty much froze. Oh yeah, I also had no defroster so in order to keep my windows from fogging up I had to crack them… it was great  ::)

If you’ve been following this thread you know I recently replaced the thermostat thinking that might be part of the issue… some people were telling me my thermostat had a little hole in it for air to pass through and I had installed it wrong. I checked out a thermostat at the auto shop and there was no hole… so those guys were wrong… maybe they were thinking of a different model year.

While at the shop I was talking to one of the guys and he walked out to the truck. He looked things over with me and suggested I flush my heater core, which I was planning on doing since that was another possible issue for it not working.  The heater core is located in the cabin of the truck, behind the dash. There are two metal spouts that stick into the engine compartment where the lines hook up. He mentioned that those were usually soldered on and since they were twenty years old I ran a high risk of breaking them.

So I came home with a really cool kit. It’s a pretty basic kit that you use to help flush your cooling system:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030939_zpsc4b4c17a.jpg)

Let’s get too it. This picture shows the two lines running into the firewall. That is where the heater core is. The left line runs from my thermostat, the right one runs to my water pump. The air system is in the way so that has to come out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030940_zpsa70f4f7e.jpg)

Now that it’s out I can work. I had originally taken off the entire air filter housing as well, but there were too many exposed electrical harnesses and I wasn’t sure what fluid would get where, so I put it back on. I also marked the lines so you can see what I’m doing where. The red line is running from my thermostat to the heater core. The yellow line is running back to the thermostat, and that is the line that I’ll be cutting to install the kit I bought:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030942_zpsd5f0d2eb.jpg)

First thing is to cut the line. Instead of ruining my wife’s scissors or sawing at it with a knife, I grabbed these bad boys:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030943_zps0fc2f561.jpg)

They are pipe cutters for PVC pipe that I have lying around for irrigation work. You can pick up a pair for a couple bucks at your preferred home improvement store.

These lines are the high point in the cooling system, so there was some coolant loss. I didn’t know how much to expect but I was cautions. I placed a big bowl under the cut to catch the fluid. Then I cut about half way through and twisted the cutters to open the line so the fluid would come out. Not much was coming out so I cut the whole way through and let it drain:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030944_zps9386143f.jpg)

Time to install the ‘T’ that comes with the flush kit. It comes with three sizes so find the one you need. At this time I only installed one side, slide it in and tighten the c-clamp around the line.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030945_zps3830cf99.jpg)

At this point I caught movement in my peripheral vision. Looked over and saw my favorite desert bird, the road runner:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030946_zpsc0d53e59.jpg)

He stopped, stared at me for a moment, and after approving of my work he ran under the car. With new found inspiration I pressed on!

Time to remove the red line from the thermostat. There is a ‘T’ for a sensor so I removed it at that point:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030947_zps12d4eb21.jpg)

I made sure to have a container below to catch the fluid once it was off the ‘T’:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030948_zps86abab9c.jpg)

The system is now open so time to flush it out. I didn’t want to flush the red line into the engine compartment of my truck, so a little work with some bungee cords and it’s pointed in a safe direction:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030949_zpscf579c6c.jpg)

The ‘T’ that I installed had a coupler so you can attach a garden hose too it. I turned on the water and used my thumb to plug up the open section on the ‘T’ so all the water would be forced through the heater core:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030951_zpsbd573757.jpg)

And this is what came out… for about two minutes of constant water pressure:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030950_zps54319f91.jpg)

That was gross… very glad I thought to point the hose in a safe direction. After it ran clear I unhooked the hose and set all that aside. Then I attached the other end of the hose to the ‘T’ and tightened the c-clamp. Just a note that I did remove about a half in section of the hose since the ‘T’ was about that size. I probably could have gotten by without doing it, but figured I would since I could and that kept all of the lengths the same as they were:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030952_zps5ba1c5bc.jpg)

You can see I also put Teflon tape around the threads. There is a cap that goes on there and while the instructions didn’t say to do that, I figure liquid will be running through there so why not?

I reattached the other line back on to close the system and was good to go:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Heater%20Core%20Flush/P1030953_zpscb059da2.jpg)

Put the air system back together and fired the truck up. No leaks from any of the lines that I touched, and more importantly, I had heat.

Bring it on Jack Frost  8)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on December 07, 2013, 09:48:12 PM
Nice Job Warrior but you really should do a complete flush again of the whole system. get a couple bottles of radiator flush and drain & flush the system with the hose setup you have first a couple times before using it. try to get as much of that orange/rust gunk out as you can, it will ruin the water pump seals early. Most radiator flush has water pump lube in it too. You'll see in a couple days the new coolant you put in will be orange and dirty fast. it's tough to flush old coolant after its gets rusty without boiling the radiator and as you've seen it clogs the heater core

when you have older cores and fittings a trick is to cut the heater hose with a razor blade or utility knife and peel the hose off like an orange peel trying to twist the hose off by hand or with a plier on an older core can crush or split the solder seams and then its heater core time.

the other trick to filling is to either lift the front wheels off the ground so the high point is the fill port/overflow tank/radiator neck, it makes it much easier to get the air out and to fill it while its running until the fans come on and the stat opens before you put the cap back on

Great job and happy you have heat again driving an ice truck around gets old fast ;)

You have a steep enough driveway and could park uphill to make it easier to fill the coolant and the core will be level or below the filler neck
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 09, 2013, 08:11:24 AM
when you have older cores and fittings a trick is to cut the heater hose with a razor blade or utility knife and peel the hose off like an orange peel trying to twist the hose off by hand or with a plier on an older core can crush or split the solder seams and then its heater core time.

that is what the guy at the shop suggested if i decided to pull the hoses off the core. he then recommended the flush kit and i'm so glad he did. as much as i hate to agree with you, i think another flush is in order since i can flush it with pressure from the hose. i did fill the system several times with water and ran the truck, but i'm sure nothing really moved since all that gunk was in there.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 20, 2013, 10:26:35 AM
found a camper today on CL for a great price... but it's missing a window. anyone possible know the brand on this? i'm trying to price out a window to see if picking up the camper is worth the extra cost/work. also, is it difficult to instal a window in a camper? i have a post out on my ranger forum but i figured i'd ask here too.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/camper_zpsf891d99c.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on December 20, 2013, 11:19:53 AM
Try Leer.com looks like theirs and one of the most common. and contact a local auto glass shop if you can locate a part number on the opposite side window that you need. There should be a few numbers on the glass to identify the one you need
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: bdhutier on December 20, 2013, 01:22:55 PM
Dangit, I'm a dummy... just replaced ball joints and sway-bar bushings on the wife's van... forgot to take pics and stuff!!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 20, 2013, 02:14:26 PM
Try Leer.com looks like theirs and one of the most common. and contact a local auto glass shop if you can locate a part number on the opposite side window that you need. There should be a few numbers on the glass to identify the one you need

the seller finally got back to me and it is a leer. i called the local dealer and they wanted $200 ish for the window, IF they could get it. i am having a windshield replaced and asked them about it, they said they don't do them because they're usually so expensive that it's more cost effective to buy a new unit, or one with all the windows intact. he suggested i buy a sheet of plexiglass and epoxy that to the camper... not a bad idea.

the window is on the cabin side so it won't stick out like a sore thumb, and it will be a fun little project. plus sheets of plexiglass are only about 30 bucks or so. i could have a complete camper that matches the truck for under $200... i'm going to try and take a look at it tonight.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 20, 2013, 11:59:25 PM
Eh, it was a bust. The window wasn't removed, it had been cut out of the camper. There were also some pretty bad cracks in it. Too bad, the inside was pristine and had the carpet lining... The search goes on.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 25, 2013, 06:01:32 PM
for my next repair...

(http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc462/MrEs_photos/funny%209/gif%202/friday_gifdump_523_14_zps20e9a617.gif~original)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: lettuceman on December 26, 2013, 03:34:11 PM
One little oops and you have a real problem.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on December 28, 2013, 01:59:24 PM
Yeah I like my fingers too much to loose one. I have two friends that have nubs for fingers because of fan blades.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 30, 2013, 07:14:28 AM
yeah, plus my belts a little more complicated than that, i think i'd need to be an octopus to attempt that on my truck.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 07, 2014, 01:01:53 PM
ok guys, need some diagnosis help here for both vehicles.

malibu - i am hearing a popping noise from my driver side front wheel. it happens when i turn the wheel (more so when i turn to the right) and also when i am going over a bumpy road, then the popping noise turns into more of a rattle. if i'm cruising straight on the freeway no issues at all. the malibu forum has been a [mostly] dead end so i wondered if anyone here had thoughts. i think my struts are still good, i hear the 'whoosh' sound when i go over a speed bump and my car isn't rocking.

it's been suggested that it may be the cv boot, ball joint, or wheel bearings. the cv boot looks good and the rubber is intact. i haven't checked the ball joint out but i will tomorrow, and i'll also take a swing at inspecting the bearings. any other thoughts on what the issue might be? i know it's hard to armchair diagnose this stuff but it is worth a shot.

ranger - i have a metalish grinding/groaning noise coming from the front (i think drivers side) when i reverse and turn. going forward and turning, no noise. turning the wheels left or right all the way while still, no noise. it only seems to happen when i reverse and turn, or if i go over a speed bump.

the ranger forum has been a little better and seems to be pointing to ball joint or brake pads/rotors (i don't think it is those). i'll check the ball joints tomorrow hopefully and figure this out, but again if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions i'm open to them. i really want to get both of these noises solved.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Greekman on January 07, 2014, 03:48:26 PM
In the mailbu case, the symptoms are typical of a wheen bearing.
It has happened to me -as everyone else- but do not take my word a 100%.
I hope a more experienced member chies in.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on January 07, 2014, 04:15:17 PM
Malibu- I would lean towards the cv joint worn out.

Ranger- I would lean towards the brakes. Maybe the caliper sticking and not releasing all the way, or minor warpage of the rotor.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 07, 2014, 07:42:50 PM
i talked to my neighbor tonight and he said the malibu sounds like a cv joint, which is what i was leaning towards. tomorrow i'm going to get under it and have my wife turn the wheel while i tinker underneath and try to hear anything.

the ranger looks to be the upper ball joint. everything else looks solid, but when we were looking at it the wheel had slight play moving up and down, but not left and right. i also some some scratches on the dust shield from the rotor, so the noise seems to be coming from the metal grinding and the rotor is scraping the dust shield when it is loaded with all of the weight from reversing and turning.

i'll try to get some pictures up, but i just reloaded my computer and am still putting software back on it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on January 07, 2014, 08:19:32 PM
tomorrow i'm going to get under it and have my wife turn the wheel while i tinker underneath and try to hear anything.
There is a good chance you wont hear it popping or clicking unless its under power. Have the wife drive real slow in circles while you walk next to it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 08, 2014, 02:16:22 PM
Today I’ll show you how simple it is to replace lift supports. These are the supports that your car has if you have a hatchback. The hatchback on the Malibu was getting hard to lift (although I didn’t realize how much harder it was until the new supports were installed). The old supports were making noise and squeaking so I decided it was time to replace them. Plus I didn’t want them to fail when my wife or myself was under the hatch. It’s heavy, and that would hurt.

Let’s get started! Here’s a picture of the lift supports that I replaced:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030965_zpsc21e7436.jpg)

Make sure you have a way to hold up your hatch, like I said, it is heavy. With one support removed it wanted to fall, trying to do this by yourself with no support would be pretty difficult. Either have a second pair of hands or get a long pole or tie it up. I went for the tie it up method:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030966_zps6dd771dd.jpg)

These are clamped on to ball joints. All you have to do is use a small screwdriver to pull back the metal clips. Here’s the top:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030968_zpsafa28506.jpg)

Here’s the bottom, you can see there is an indent for where the screwdriver goes. The indent is in the top as well, but it’s easier to show with the lower clamp:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030969_zps90bc3be8.jpg)

Just slip the screwdriver right in and the support will come right off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030971_zpsb4b9d73a.jpg)

Here is the ball joint that the supports attach too (cleaned up). It is the same top and bottom:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030974_zps73810d4b.jpg)

Here is the opening so you can see how the clamp works. This is with the clamp snug and not spaced out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030972_zpsd67e0e01.jpg)

Then you slip the screwdriver into the clamp to spread it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030975_zps6fa7b64d.jpg)

And the inside edges spread back so you can slip the old one off and the new one on to the ball:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030973_zps1733ac5e.jpg)

All you need to do now is reverse the process. Spread the lower clamp and slide it over the ball:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030976_zps6151d849.jpg)

And to the same to the top:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Lift%20Supports/P1030978_zps9c14ed7f.jpg)

And just like that you’re done! Pretty simple fix to make sure your hatch stays safe. Once the new ones were installed it was night and day opening the hatch. It pops right up now, before we had to lift it almost the whole way up until the supports were able to hold it up.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 08, 2014, 02:17:57 PM
There is a good chance you wont hear it popping or clicking unless its under power. Have the wife drive real slow in circles while you walk next to it.

do you mean under weight? for power i can turn the key over to have the ability to turn the wheels.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 09, 2014, 12:53:50 PM
just called the shop i used to go to, they said to replace the lift supports on the hatch it would cost around $90 + tax :)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on January 10, 2014, 12:27:28 PM
just called the shop i used to go to, they said to replace the lift supports on the hatch it would cost around $90 + tax :)
Thats about right. $40 bucks in parts and half an hour for labor (100 an hour labor rate).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 10, 2014, 01:05:39 PM
plus the drive to the shop. sitting around at the shop. driving home from the shop. much cheaper for me to do it :)

i just ordered ball joints all around for the front of the truck, and it looks like a straightforward job. wish i didn't have to get an alignment afterwards, but oh well. the parts should show up next week so i think i will try to get that done on saturday.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on January 13, 2014, 07:01:17 AM
so people, what's you take on the fuel system cleaners that you add to you gasoline? i've never used them, but wondered if they really work or if it's just marketing.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on January 13, 2014, 01:01:28 PM
so people, what's you take on the fuel system cleaners that you add to you gasoline? i've never used them, but wondered if they really work or if it's just marketing.

For the most part, it is just marketing. If you drive your vehicles with any kind of regularity, there is no need for them. If you have vehicles that sit a lot and the gas gets crappy, it might be worth running. But I've worked on a lot of vehicles, and if you keep up on your maintenance, and drive the vehicle on a fairly regular basis, there is no need for stuff like that.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Greekman on January 13, 2014, 01:32:46 PM
It is my understanding that they are alcohol based and their purpose is to make a complex with the water in the gas.
But how much will be enough, one cannot know
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 19, 2014, 06:38:11 AM
had the car in for an oil change and got the list of things that need to be done from them. time to take the list and do the repairs myself to save money (they want $1400!) and am hoping to get a couple questions answered about some line items they have listed.

my right front axle seal is leaking as well as my front crank seal. it is my understanding that the axle seal is where the cv joint/boot goes into the transmission case... yes? so this means there is nothing wrong with the cv joint, just where it joins up with the case? i haven't had a chance to get under the car and look (serviced yesterday) but when i was under it a month ago the cv joints looked good on both sides (no cracks, tears, leaks)

and the front crank seal, what and where is that? i tried googling it and was getting the same pictures as the front axle seal... are these the same things?

also they recommend a decarb and fuel rail service... i can decarb my own throttle body no problem, it's actually been on my to do list and i haven't gotten around to it, but what is the fuel rail service? can i do that on my own? is it needed? i've never heard of it before now. the research i've done leads me to believe it's something to do with cleaning the injector, which i wouldn't mind as i had one go bad a while back, but i'm not about to pay $150 for them to scrape my TB with a toothbrush and spray some cleaner in it.

last thing, shocks and struts are blown. rear shocks are no problem. the front struts... i can buy just the strut or i can buy a unit with new springs and everything... is replacing just the strut easy or is that spring under a lot of pressure? i don't want to kill myself or break the car, and i don't have a spring compressor. struts by themselves are a LOT cheaper, but better to be alive and have spent a few bucks more, i am a survivalist, after all ;)

thanks in advance!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 19, 2014, 07:52:17 AM
i watched a video and springs are going to be cake and o'reilly's has a compressor i can rent. i found a smoking deal on both struts and both shocks for $212 plus free shipping! woohoo! will order those tomorrow after pay day. are springs something that need to be replaced? i can't imagine that the auto shop would have given me whole new assemblies, i would imagine they were just going to replace the struts and keep the springs, i'll have to call and find out.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Leftout on February 19, 2014, 11:19:11 AM
thewarriorhunter, you might want to think about replacing the upper strut mount/bearing while you have the struts out.   Have to figure the rubber mount and bearing is as old and used as the rest of the strut.
Also if you have someone to offer another pair of hands, it can help make it go quicker.  As in leverage to pull down the lower arm as the other moves the strut out.
Otherwise lots of penetrate oil on the nuts and studs.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 19, 2014, 11:57:13 AM
good call, those are about $30 each, so not a bad investment since i'm replacing the whole shebang... i'm going to pop the wheels off tomorrow and take a good look at everything. also i'll try to pinpoint those leaks and see if i can get some pictures to help ID what parts i may/may not need.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 19, 2014, 01:57:53 PM
so... are new coil springs worth $45? as it stands if i buy the struts/shock package that i found and purchase strut mounts i'm saving $45. if springs should be replaced then i may as well just get the monroe all in one setups that have everything. if not then i'll stick with the KYB set i found and not worry about springs.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 19, 2014, 04:15:59 PM
Front crank seal = the oil pan gasket. The front and rear part of the gaskets will be rubber half moon shaped and seals the bottom part where the crank is mounted by the 2 bolt mains. This is an easy repair and you can handle it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on February 19, 2014, 09:55:10 PM
Springs... how old are they? Original, I presume... so, the question is, does the car have a noticeable sag at the front end? If not, I wouldn't worry about the springs.

Spring compressor... be REALLY CAREFUL with those things... I used two of the threaded rod with clamps variety many years ago on a MacPherson strut assembly... almost lost an eye when the clamps let loose and sent the upper spring seat into my eye socket. Fun times... not.

Lets be careful out there everybody!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 19, 2014, 10:16:07 PM
Yeah, i plan on keeping the springs perpendicular to me when working on them.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on February 20, 2014, 10:17:42 AM
it is my understanding that the axle seal is where the cv joint/boot goes into the transmission case... yes? so this means there is nothing wrong with the cv joint, just where it joins up with the case? i haven't had a chance to get under the car and look (serviced yesterday) but when i was under it a month ago the cv joints looked good on both sides (no cracks, tears, leaks)


Typically, there is nothing wrong with the CV shaft itself. Just the seal is worn and leaking. But in some instances, the seal can wear a groove into the CV shaft and cause the leak. This isn't typical, but something to look for if doing it yourself. But typically one of those jobs where the parts are like $30 and it takes you 4 hours to do.

Quote
and the front crank seal, what and where is that? i tried googling it and was getting the same pictures as the front axle seal... are these the same things?

ncjeeper mentioned that the front crank seal is the same as the oil pan seal. I going to say it is not. The crank typically extends out the front of the engine block and will have a large pulley on it. The belt will run around this pulley and drive the accessories on the front of the engine. The front crank seal is usually behind this pulley and either in the engine block itself or in some kind of cover. Again, not usually an expensive part, but just labor intensive to replace it. Not usually anything hard. Just a lot to remove to get to it.

Quote
also they recommend a decarb and fuel rail service... i can decarb my own throttle body no problem, it's actually been on my to do list and i haven't gotten around to it, but what is the fuel rail service? can i do that on my own? is it needed? i've never heard of it before now. the research i've done leads me to believe it's something to do with cleaning the injector, which i wouldn't mind as i had one go bad a while back, but i'm not about to pay $150 for them to scrape my TB with a toothbrush and spray some cleaner in it.

Yes, decarbing the TB is easy. A fuel rail service is just cleaning the inside of the fuel rail and injectors. Not typically a problem, but it can help the engine run smoother and a little more efficient. But usually this is a service that is sold or added on when they have no clue if it is needed or not. I wouldn't pay someone to do it. But I would rather run some fuel injector cleaner through the fuel myself. Seafoam or Lucas products is what I would recommend.

Quote
last thing, shocks and struts are blown. rear shocks are no problem. the front struts... i can buy just the strut or i can buy a unit with new springs and everything... is replacing just the strut easy or is that spring under a lot of pressure? i don't want to kill myself or break the car, and i don't have a spring compressor. struts by themselves are a LOT cheaper, but better to be alive and have spent a few bucks more, i am a survivalist, after all ;)

thanks in advance!

Depends on the mileage about replacing the spring. If they are more than say 8 years old or have over 100k miles, I would replace them. Springs get weak and wear out. They will sag and just not support the car as well. If you are doing it, I would do the whole things, springs, struts, mounts, etc. Monroe usually makes a quick-strut assembly that comes completely assembled. That is the easiest thing to go with. The strut/spring compressors work, but they are a pain. I've done quite a few sets, and if I can get out of using them and put in a full assembly, I would do it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 20, 2014, 04:27:01 PM
Here are some pictures of the axle leak and the crank seal leak.

The axle leak I’m not too concerned about replacing, I just need to know WHAT exactly to replace, just the seal or the whole half shaft? I want to do this at the same time as the struts since I will need an alignment.

Also keep in mind I’m pretty sure these are the original parts and the car is 10 years old with 110k miles. What is the realistic life expectancy of these parts? If they are nearing their end of life I’d rather just buy all new components now and get everything done at once.

All of the leak/grease/dirt is on the half shaft where it goes into the transmission. The actual joints of the shaft looked good with no tears or dirt on them. These are the best pictures I could get, part of the car frame runs directly under where they connect to the transmission:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040041_zps9c8dade7.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040042_zpsc1f35621.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040043_zps7225283d.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040044_zps8725be23.jpg)

So, just the seals? A whole new CV Joint/half shaft? What do my gear head friends suggest?

I think the crank shaft seal is going to be the tough one… not a lot of room to work as it’s right next to the frame. I got the best pictures I could, but I can definitely see leaking oil around it and on the oil pan. Here are the best pictures I could get, along with evidence of the leaking.

Looking down, the bolt belongs to the crank pulley:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040046_zps8f4ab8b2.jpg)

The next two are from underneath the car, best angle I could get, that pesky frame was in the way again.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040047_zpsefda8154.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040048_zps6898a8d2.jpg)

Oil pan with fresh oil on the underside, looks like it is running down from the crankshaft area:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040049_zps31a242d2.jpg)

Frame underneath the crankshaft:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Trouble%20Shooting/P1040050_zps214a9814.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on February 21, 2014, 08:35:49 AM
Here are some pictures of the axle leak and the crank seal leak.

The axle leak I’m not too concerned about replacing, I just need to know WHAT exactly to replace, just the seal or the whole half shaft? I want to do this at the same time as the struts since I will need an alignment.

Also keep in mind I’m pretty sure these are the original parts and the car is 10 years old with 110k miles. What is the realistic life expectancy of these parts? If they are nearing their end of life I’d rather just buy all new components now and get everything done at once.

All of the leak/grease/dirt is on the half shaft where it goes into the transmission. The actual joints of the shaft looked good with no tears or dirt on them. These are the best pictures I could get, part of the car frame runs directly under where they connect to the transmission:

So, just the seals? A whole new CV Joint/half shaft? What do my gear head friends suggest?

I think the crank shaft seal is going to be the tough one… not a lot of room to work as it’s right next to the frame. I got the best pictures I could, but I can definitely see leaking oil around it and on the oil pan. Here are the best pictures I could get, along with evidence of the leaking.

Looking down, the bolt belongs to the crank pulley:

The next two are from underneath the car, best angle I could get, that pesky frame was in the way again.

Oil pan with fresh oil on the underside, looks like it is running down from the crankshaft area:

Frame underneath the crankshaft:

From the pictures, it looks like just what they told you. Front crank seal and axle seal. I'm not sure what kind of vehicle it is on (I can't remember and didn't bother looking), but I would guess the crank seal is the harder of the two.

With the axle seal, 98% of the time just replacing the seal will fix the leak. But those few instances the seal will wear the shaft of the axle. This is probably more common on aftermarket axles where the hardness of the shaft is questionable and the rubber can actually wear into the softer metal. With OEM axles like you should have at that low of mileage, I don't think that should be a concern. So I would just plan on replacing the seal. But make sure to check the axle shaft when you remove it and feel for any grooves. But planning to just replace the seal should be sufficient.

I wouldn't worry about replacing components that aren't bad. On most vehicles, CV shafts don't go bad that often. I would think 150-200k miles should be an average life expectancy. Not worth replacing at this point IMO unless they are cracked or leaking.

With the crank seal, the hardest part of it all will be getting the bolt loose on the center of the pulley. If I remember correctly, you don't have a whole lot of tools, so I'm guessing you don't have an impact gun. Usually, that is what is needed to remove those crank bolts. They are TIGHT. And when you try to loosen them with a regular ratchet, the engine will just spin. So either you find some way to hold the engine from turning over (like a screwdriver in the flywheel) and use a breaker bar and long pipe on the end, or use an impact that uses a lot of short blows to break the bolt free. The second hardest thing will be space, as you mentioned. You have to remove a lot of stuff (belts, alternator, pulleys, etc) to even get to the thing. Then you are working against everything to try and remove the seal. But with the way it looks, it needs replaced or will just get worse. It's definitely a moderately difficult job. But doable.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 21, 2014, 09:07:55 AM
ok... i'll have to research the crank seal more, but it is literally right next to the wall of the engine compartment, that first top down picture is all the room i have. unless i pull the engine out there is no way any type of impact gun is getting in there. stupid question (wait, there are none, right?) if/when i do this job i'll have to drain all of the oil, right? that crank seal is at the bottom of the engine/oil pan so my guess is behind that seal is a lot of oil.

the malibu forum i go to sucks on responses and i haven't heard anything back from there :(

EDIT: autozone rocks! just learned they have repair guides with diagrams for a bunch of vehicles. aparently that section of engine compartment can be removed and allows access to the crankshaft, then a special tool can be used to remove the crankshaft. looks like i just need to get all of the parts, i bet this will be easier to do if i do it after removing the old strut so i have even less in my way.

but... i can't find a place to rent the flywheel holder... anyone have one i can borrow? i'll pay postage. i guess i can go with the screwdriver method, but the right tool for the right job is always nicer.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on February 21, 2014, 09:42:54 AM
ok... i'll have to research the crank seal more, but it is literally right next to the wall of the engine compartment, that first top down picture is all the room i have. unless i pull the engine out there is no way any type of impact gun is getting in there. stupid question (wait, there are none, right?) if/when i do this job i'll have to drain all of the oil, right? that crank seal is at the bottom of the engine/oil pan so my guess is behind that seal is a lot of oil.

the malibu forum i go to sucks on responses and i haven't heard anything back from there :(

EDIT: autozone rocks! just learned they have repair guides with diagrams for a bunch of vehicles. aparently that section of engine compartment can be removed and allows access to the crankshaft, then a special tool can be used to remove the crankshaft. looks like i just need to get all of the parts, i bet this will be easier to do if i do it after removing the old strut so i have even less in my way.

but... i can't find a place to rent the flywheel holder... anyone have one i can borrow? i'll pay postage. i guess i can go with the screwdriver method, but the right tool for the right job is always nicer.

Yes, it would be a good idea to drain the oil and replace with new. I wouldn't worry about changing the filter. But once the oil is out of the engine, I don't trust it to go back in. Only use new.

Yes, usually there is a plastic shield covering the lower portion that can be removed and allow access to the lower parts of the engine. That is how you would get an impact gun in there.

Wife used to have a Malibu and I had the same experience about their forum.

I've never used a flywheel holder. It doesn't take much to hold with a screwdriver and that is what I have always done. If a friend, or even the wife is close by, I have them do it. Otherwise, I find a way to wedge it down to the floor. Yeah, I'm cheap.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 21, 2014, 10:19:54 AM
i'm cheap too, luckily both auto shops have the puller and installer tools that i will need, so this is getting easier and easier as i research more and watch more videos, gotta love youtube. harbor freight has a tool i could buy, but why buy when i can rent? a screwdriver jammed in will work for holding the flywheel in place. i think my dad is going to come down when i do the work so i'll have a second set of hands to help with everything. after watching the repair i see why the shop wants $200 for a $20 part.

i think the biggest issue with this will be leverage for removing/installing the part.

what's a good torque wrench recommendation? at the tire shop i see them using ones that have and audible click, i'm assuming when they reach the desired torque spec. that'd be a nice tool to add, especially since this will need to be torqued down pretty good.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 21, 2014, 11:07:34 AM
what's a good torque wrench recommendation?
I use snap on wrenches. Click type for most applications. I use the dial type for checking preload on pinions and such.
Peterson's 4 wheel drive had an article awhile back where they tested different brands of torque wrenches. Actually the harbor freight wrenches faired very well. So for the weekend mechanic I would recommend to just buy a HF one.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 21, 2014, 12:28:29 PM
if HF has a clicker that will work for me. i always have a 20% off coupon or two lying around, plus their freebies that i can get. they also had some puller/installer kits for the crankshaft but since i can use those for free from the auto shop i'm going to pass.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on February 21, 2014, 01:41:42 PM
Actually the harbor freight wrenches faired very well. So for the weekend mechanic I would recommend to just buy a HF one.

I was going to recommend the same thing. Overall, a good torque wrench for a weekend warrior.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 22, 2014, 08:16:05 AM
Remember, vehicle repairs aren’t always ripping your car apart and getting fluid everywhere. My license plate light went out on me so it was time to change the bulb. If anything is going to get you pulled over it’s a broken light, and while I’m not anti-cop (some of my best friends are LEO), I am anti-give-the-cop-an-easy-reason-to-pull-you-over.

The bulb is a real simple one & look! I’m green! Eiko Certified Green bulbs! Polar bears and baby seals around the world rejoice!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040034_zps27638451.jpg)

All lights are different, my car only has one and it mounts right above the plate under the bumper. Those two screws are holding it in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040033_zps14571732.jpg)

Once the screws are out the light comes out. I had to wiggle it around a little bit so it would fit through the opening:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040036_zpsbc63de0f.jpg)

Here is the housing. The plug going into the housing needs to be twisted about a quarter turn and it comes right out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040037_zpsb98ba3dd.jpg)

Here’s the old bulb, burned out so bad it blew up inside and cracked the glass:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040039_zps3b2edcd6.jpg)

Before you put everything back together make sure the new bulb works:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20License%20Plate%20Light/P1040040_zps320951cf.jpg)

Put it back together and you’re all done. Not being able to hold the housing made reinserting the screws a little difficult, but a pair of needle nose pliers really helped to hold the light in place.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 22, 2014, 11:31:47 AM
The 194"s are a common bulb. Never hurts to have a spare pack. You will find them used in side marker lights and as dash lights too.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 22, 2014, 12:19:49 PM
yep, and when i need a bulb i tend to only need one, and they are usually sold as a set, so i have a drawer in an organizer bin full of spare bulbs
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 22, 2014, 04:08:33 PM
figured i'd share here, i just saw a pretty cool OBD2 scan tool that works with your andoid: http://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products-Bluetooth-diagnostics-Android/dp/B005NLQAHS/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

has over 1800 reviews and almost 5 starts on amazon, might be something to look into if you do a lot of your own work, i know most shops will read codes for you, but the ability to do it yourself would be really nice. i'll probably pick one up eventually, but i'm already buying a couple tools for this suspension/steering job so that will have to wait.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: boyscout57 on February 22, 2014, 06:11:40 PM
OBD2 scanners are great for starting you in the right direction. They only can indicate when something is out of spec, like Bank 1 Position 1 O2 lean....doesn't mean the sensor is bad, but it is reading conditions outside of normal operating perameters....How would you feel spending $150 on an oxygen sensor and then finding out it was 75 cents worth of vacuun lline that caused the code. There are specific diagnostic guides in the factory service manuals for each code that helps you get to the problem. Advace, Autozone and O'Rieley will read the code for free but it is up to you or the technician fgure out the real problem. Having been a technician for many years and now a parts pofessional, I have seen way too many parts replaced by blindly followig a diagnostic code without the full diagnostics done. If you get the scanner,you will need the factory manual or access to All-Data service for the poceedures that you'll need. It think Autozone sells on-line access to All-Data for $20 for 7 days access....check it out.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 24, 2014, 12:49:32 PM
i shared this on another thread but i thought it could be applied here. basically a guy used a dash cam to catch a dealer service center ripping him off and charging him for way more work than was actually done. another reason why learning to do things yourself can help to save you money and time.

here's a link to the other forum thread (not sure if guests can see it): http://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31610

youtube link to just the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ3wzKgzuVQ
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 24, 2014, 05:22:03 PM
They don't call them stealerships for nothing. ;D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on February 25, 2014, 10:43:01 AM
The 194"s are a common bulb. Never hurts to have a spare pack. You will find them used in side marker lights and as dash lights too.

Yeah, I always have several spares of almost every bulb I use in the toolbox. Just last week I started the car, walked over to the truck to grab something I needed, and noticed a fog light bulb was out. So I went in the garage, got a 893 bulb out of the tool box, and in 2 minutes it was fixed. Now I just need to pick up another spare.

But this does remind me I have one of my two license plate bulbs out.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 25, 2014, 09:22:15 PM
So, factory service manuals... Not Haynes or Chilton's. Is alldatadiy good? A helm FSM is about $250 for my car, best used one I found was $180... Ouch. Anyone have experience with all data?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 25, 2014, 09:59:27 PM
All data kicks butt but not cost effective for the weekend mechanic to have access.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on February 25, 2014, 10:37:02 PM
Might want to check e-bay for manuals. I don't know if they are actually legal, but I've seen factory manuals on CDs/DVDs for very little money for various makes/models.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 05:44:11 AM
double post somehow...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 05:47:02 AM
All data kicks butt but not cost effective for the weekend mechanic to have access.

for my car it would be $45 for 5 years, i realize this is the DIY version and not the pro 'shop' version. but the cheapest used one i can find is $180, and i didn't see any CDs at all... i'll keep looking though.

i really would like to pick something up because the support for the malibu sucks in the online community. all the forums i can find have hardly any response to my 'tough' DIY questions. most of the forums have stuff like 'i want to lower my car' or 'what shop should i take it to for this?' i asked a couple questions about the crank seal and had 0 responses for over a week, and then the one that did come back didn't help at all. i guess just a bunch of yuppie nancies drive them  ::)

i did find my ford one, pretty sure this is what i want:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-FORD-EXPLORER-RANGER-AEROSTAR-ORIGINAL-FACTORY-SERVICE-MANUALS-/360866347764 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-FORD-EXPLORER-RANGER-AEROSTAR-ORIGINAL-FACTORY-SERVICE-MANUALS-/360866347764)

and i found it on CD for even cheaper, which i think might be better because i would imagine it is searchable and i can print off only what i need when i need it:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Ford-Aerostar-Explorer-Ranger-Shop-Service-Repair-Manual-CD-Factory-OEM/360469989798?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D261%26meid%3D5108034663568615318%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D360866347764%26 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Ford-Aerostar-Explorer-Ranger-Shop-Service-Repair-Manual-CD-Factory-OEM/360469989798?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D261%26meid%3D5108034663568615318%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D360866347764%26)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on February 26, 2014, 11:42:27 AM
So, factory service manuals... Not Haynes or Chilton's. Is alldatadiy good? A helm FSM is about $250 for my car, best used one I found was $180... Ouch. Anyone have experience with all data?

Did you go to helminc.com to look for your manuals? Factory manuals are expensive because they are good and have many tips/hidden diagnostic functions that many people don't know outside the dealer system(and some inside who never read the factory manuals at all) Alldata is good but there is no replacement for factory manuals and technical service bulletins(TSBs)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 11:48:41 AM
yes, ranger stuff is out of stock and when i stock is $80, malibu is $200 for the main manual and $50 for the transmission manual. that's why i was asking about alldata. i could get the manuals for the ford off ebay, and i probably will, but i can't justify that price for the malibu.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on February 26, 2014, 11:56:18 AM
What year is the Malibu? I'll keep an eye out for manuals for it when I hit the car shows always guys selling manuals/books.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 12:01:02 PM
05, it's a malibu maxx, but i don't think they made a 'maxx' specific manual
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on February 26, 2014, 12:35:38 PM
I bought the cd manual for my late Ford Ranger. It installs VMWare to run but I can print out sections so I can read it while I worked on the truck. The wiring diagrams are worth the price alone. I had lights that wouldn't come on. I followed the diagram and found out where they hooked up to another system that was corroded. Little electrical cleaner and problem solved. 
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 01:02:15 PM
good to hear, i'm pretty set on picking up the CD, i'll probably wait until next month as i have spent most of my fun/prep allowance for now and i don't have any major work coming up on it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on February 26, 2014, 03:01:32 PM
If you had 96-99 I could send you mine. I won't be needing it anymore.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 26, 2014, 03:06:04 PM
If you had 96-99 I could send you mine. I won't be needing it anymore.

i think 93-97 were the same generation... i could be wrong...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on February 28, 2014, 05:59:34 PM
Put a roll cage on the beast ;D

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Gardening/2014/0228141627_zps6jq5tvjp.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on February 28, 2014, 06:43:53 PM
I dont know whether to laugh or cry.  ::)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 04, 2014, 04:09:31 PM
laugh with me, my friend.

i started a thread on this but wanted the opinions of some of you guys that have helped me out on here...

so a little off topic but not too far: i'm looking for a project bike to fix up and ride. i found what seems to be a really sweet rolling chassis, an 86 honda vfr700 to be exact. the guy who has it says he recently bought it to fix it up and had it running. then when he had the top of the carbs off his roommate pushed it outside and it got rained on (just a few days ago), and the engine chamber got flooded and now it won't run, i'm sure because of the water. so that being said, even if it's not water in the crank case, is water a deal breaker for fixing? i wondered if i got it and cleaned everything up real well if it wouldn't matter since it hasn't been sitting in water for years (supposedly, i realize there's always a risk going into something like this).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on March 04, 2014, 04:40:55 PM
Im not a scooter guy, so cant really help you. But If it was a car/truck engine with water in it I would have to have it torn down to see what kind of water damage was done and that equals extra spent money. So unless this is a rare model or you get it SUPER cheap I would pass and look for a better platform to start with.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 04, 2014, 04:50:58 PM
not too rare, but not too common, and yes, super cheap. it's a rolling chassis with a clean and clear title for $200. i've heard back a bit from some of the VFR guys and they're saying that it isn't a HUGE issue, and the price is definitely right given it's complete and just needs work.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on March 04, 2014, 07:44:36 PM
Ok. Worst case senerio. If you had to pay to have the engine rebuilt because of water damage would you still come out ahead? If so then go for it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 04, 2014, 08:27:05 PM
ahead, maybe. break even, maybe. i'm more interested in getting this fixed up for fun to keep. he did say he drained it so hopefully it is in good shape. i think absolute worst case i can part this bike out for what i will have paid and start looking again.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 04, 2014, 09:01:35 PM
More work done on the car so time to share. This time I needed to replace a power mirror. The current one will move left and right but not up and down. In order to replace the mirror I had to remove the whole door panel. Let’s get started.

New mirror with wiring harness:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040051_zpsaf509919.jpg)

Door panel:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040052_zps22e40ecd.jpg)

First the plastic trim around the handle has to come off. Using a screwdriver I pushed up on the inside and pulled out on the edges:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040054_zps13fa2d03.jpg)

Here is a picture of it out so you can see the tabs that held it in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040055_zpsa16460ab.jpg)

Next I needed to unplug the power mirror and lock switch. In order to do that the plastic insert they are in needed to be removed from the door. Again the handy screwdriver was put to work:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040057_zpsd60caa5e.jpg)

It pulls up and slides out, then there are two plugs that need to be removed, one for the window and one for the lock:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040067_zpsf5822bf2.jpg)

Tada!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040069_zpsc932283a.jpg)

Next there is a small panel behind the arm rest that pops off using a screwdriver:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040058_zpsb27e7854.jpg)

Behind that panel was hiding two torx screws. Lucky for me I bought a bit set when I did the MAF sensor on my truck, I love having the tools I need on hand!

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040059_zps8fd22349.jpg)

Once those are out then there are two more pins in the side of the door:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040060_zpse479f8cf.jpg)

Use a small punch or screwdriver to push in the center of them:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040061_zps208dc052.jpg)

Once the centers are pressed in you can pull them out, this is what they look like:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040062_zps22296a60.jpg)

That center piece was actually pulled out as I took that picture when it was time to reinsert them.

Now all that’s left is to pop the door panel off. There is a door panel removal tool that you can buy, or just grab a chisel or putty knife and slide it in between the panel and the door frame. You are basically prying it out and popping loose the tabs that hold the panel in place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040063_zpsd5010114.jpg)

This is why the whole panel has to be removed. This small section covers the bolts of the mirror, but the wiring harness plugs in behind the panel:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040065_zps45a32833.jpg)

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040064_zps9d8442fe.jpg)

Once all of the tabs are loose the panel slides right up and off of the door:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040068_zpsd880fd97.jpg)

There’s the harness plug, too bad they didn’t have it connect behind the smaller section:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040070_zps3a25a455.jpg)

And here are the three bolts that hold the mirror in place

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040071_zpsf1fcc9c0.jpg)

Once those are removed the mirror pulls right out:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Door%20Panel%20Removal/P1040072_zps6382a154.jpg)

Reverse all of the steps and everything is put back together.

Now the fun part, I installed the new mirror and plugged it in and tested it before I put everything back together. This mirror also didn’t move up or down… so I guess after all that it is a wiring issue somewhere. I was wondering when my first one was going to pop up. Not sure when I’ll have the time to look into that or if I ever will since the horizontal motion is more important than the vertical (to me). But hey, at least I learned a little more and got to share with you fine people!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on March 04, 2014, 11:13:27 PM
Check the switch for that mirror. If its good then check the wires running to the mirror. A simple multimeter will be your friend for this.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 05, 2014, 07:00:22 AM
Check the switch for that mirror. If its good then check the wires running to the mirror. A simple multimeter will be your friend for this.

yup, what i was thinking. the driver side mirror works left right and up and down, so i'm pretty sure it's not the actual adjusting switch. i have to change over another little button from 'R' to 'L', and i'm sure there is where the issue is. but my shocks and struts just came in so that is the next thing on the list, along with the axle and crankshaft seals. baby is due any day so those will probably have to wait a couple weeks before i can get to them and not be sleep deprived.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on March 05, 2014, 10:20:01 AM
Ok. Worst case senerio. If you had to pay to have the engine rebuilt because of water damage would you still come out ahead? If so then go for it.

On the bike, for that price, I would probably pick it up. Take the chance and clean up the engine and try to get it running. If you can't and the motor is junk, you aren't out that much. And a rebuild probably isn't going to put it over the value of the bike. Overall, for the price, I don't think it's a bad deal. And you always have the option of finding a used motor to put in.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 05, 2014, 10:30:40 AM
i am going to pick it up, waiting to hear from the guy about when we can meet. i found a crank case on ebay for $100, so i know parts are out there for it, will just have to wait and see when i actually get into it. i'll probably start a thread just for the rebuild on that bike.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 05, 2014, 07:50:06 PM
Got her home safe and sound! I started a new that will cover the rebuild  here  (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=48551.msg546914#new).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 12, 2014, 12:29:47 PM
well, i purchased a five year membership to alldata for both vehicles. i found a code that got me both for $50 instead of $75 so i figured why not give it a try? so far i'm on the fence, it seems a lot of what i think should be in there isn't, and a lot of what is in there i can find online. that being said, i haven't really done any hardcore electrical stuff and those diagrams are all in there, so i guess i'll vet this thing out over the next five years and see what i think... stay tuned! ;)

i was reading the instructions for the crankshaft seal and am getting a little nervous. the part of the instructions that concern me are:

Quote
Install the jack stands to the frame.

Loosen the left frame bolts and remove the right side frame bolts.

Using the jack stands, lower the right side of the frame to access the crankshaft balancer.

frame bolts... hmm... that has me concerned because there aren't any good diagrams that i can find to show where the bolts are. and i only have two jack stands and a jack... plus the dinky jack that came with the car. it sounds like i could use one stand to lift the car, then use the jack to support the frame as i lower it, then the other jack stand to support the frame once it's in a position to be worked on...

should the bolts be pretty obvious? i have researched actually removing the harmonic balancer to get to the seal and have no problems with that, but the frame is very much in the way so i understand why it needs to be lowered to allow the pulley to clear. what do you guys things about this? worrying about nothing?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on March 12, 2014, 12:34:45 PM
oh, i found that replacing the door locks on a 95 Ford ranger is simple.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on March 12, 2014, 01:57:53 PM
FSM (factory service manual) which Alldata is based on is usually overkill. But it is hard to say if you really have to lower the frame or not. I am guessing not. But I can't say for sure.

But the frame bolts are quite identifiable. There should be four. One on each corner of the frame. Usually a larger diameter bolt, with a head somewhere around 18mm.

If I was going to go about lowering one side of the frame, I would jack the car and support it on the uni-body rearward of the subframe that you are going to drop. Then jack up on the oil pan, using a wide board for added support between the pan and jack, just enough that the weight is taken off the frame. Then loosen the bolts a little bit and lower the jack slightly to see how far the frame has dropped. Then jack it up a little, and loosen the bolts a little more and lower the jack. Keep doing this until just enough room is reached. And then keep the jack on with holding some weight of the frame so not all the weight is on the threads of the bolts.

But as I said, I can't imagine you will have to do that. I can't see that lowering one side of the frame would gain you enough room to really do anything.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 12, 2014, 03:59:01 PM
If you look at some of the top down photos of the crankshaft you can see the white portion of the frame is right there. I think lowering the frame allows the pulley to clear through the wheel well... I think. Will know more when I get under there during the strut/axle shaft seal, hoping to get those done soon. I did the rear shocks earlier today so that write up is coming
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on March 12, 2014, 07:17:02 PM
While you are at it, inspect that balancer. If it is the harmonic type, that functions as a vibration dampener, check the rubber ring for cracks or missing chunks, etc. If one of those goes bad, it can lead to things like broken crankshafts.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 12, 2014, 10:42:35 PM
It is a harmonic balancer, will do on the inspection.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 20, 2014, 11:00:22 PM
Rear shocks this time on the Malibu. These were pretty simple and similar to the front shocks on my truck. The upper mounting bracket was a little different but was still simple. Here we go, the aforementioned shock:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040109_zpsd90b83b7.jpg)

Upper mount:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040111_zps88f1d474.jpg)

Lower mount, which is what I removed first since I think it’s easier to start there:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040110_zps8a18c2dc.jpg)

Different angle and the one that I worked from:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040112_zpsf0e9850d.jpg)

One bolt on the lower shock mount, pretty easy to remove:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040114_zpsd5908352.jpg)

On to the top where the shock mounts into this bracket. Those two nuts come off to remove it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040115_zps3228c786.jpg)

…but my sockets weren’t long enough :( A good set of deep sockets and accompanying wrench is probably next on my ‘tool to buy’ list:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040116_zps6ffd9386.jpg)

So I had to wrench it off which was cool, because for Christmas my dad got be a nice set of SAE and Metric Craftsman wrenches:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040117_zpsb0d3c21f.jpg)

With the nuts off the bracket comes right off. Mine was stuck after being there for nine years so a couple good jerks and it came loose:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040118_zps3ab1ebaa.jpg)

Old next to the new, you can see the hardware that has to transfer to the new shock:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040119_zps1bc2d7f0.jpg)

To remove the hardware from the shock there is a nut on the top that needs to be removed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040120_zps89516722.jpg)

As I took the pieces off I set them on my bench in the order that they go on so I didn’t mix any up or lose any:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040121_zpscdf56e25.jpg)

As you install the bracket on the new shock try to keep it compressed, and then put the plastic strap back over the bracket, that will make it easier to handle and install:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040122_zpsa2d855df.jpg)

I started the bottom bolt to hold the shock in place, then lined up the top and cut the strap off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040123_zpsf494a1a9.jpg)

Let the shock expand on its own and guide the top right into place:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040126_zpsdc30dda7.jpg)

In anticipation of pulling my harmonic balancer I got a torque wrench. I also found a good deal on for AlldataDIY and subscribed for both vehicles… guess who is torqueing to spec now? It works well on my tablet so I can look stuff up without having to go inside and get yelled at for being dirty:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040125_zpsa24494d3.jpg)

One last note about the difference new shocks make, and I was shocked to see how drastic the difference was! When I lower the car I only lower the jack enough to clear the frame and take it out, that way I’m not jacking up a bunch of dead space… if that makes sense.

Well I went to put the jack under the other side of the car and look what happened:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Rear%20Shocks%20Replacement/P1040128_zps877589d4.jpg)

The new shock raised that side of the car about half an inch so the jack wouldn’t clear the lower side. I thought that was pretty cool and proof that shocks do make a difference. Also it rides much nicer now in the rear.

Also another note: that lower bolt was big 7/8 or something like that, I can’t remember, but it needed to be torqued to 135 ft/lbs. It was a pain getting there while lying on my side, but more importantly one of my cheap Chinese sockets cracked trying to achieve the torque spec. A note to me and others getting into this, big bolts/nuts are going to need bigger high quality sockets.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on March 21, 2014, 12:18:51 PM
I guess there is an advantage to living in AZ. The wheel well and control arms are like crazy clean. If that was a NC vehicle you would have caked in mud, sand, road grime, road kill parts, and etc to deal with.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 21, 2014, 12:32:16 PM
I guess there is an advantage to living in AZ. The wheel well and control arms are like crazy clean. If that was a NC vehicle you would have caked in mud, sand, road grime, road kill parts, and etc to deal with.

lol, those vehicles do exist around here, but i tend to stick to paved roads for most of my driving. very rarely do i need/have to drive on dirt, and since it hardly rains the dirt stays dirt... doesn't turn to mud.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on March 26, 2014, 10:22:24 AM
oh, i found that replacing the door locks on a 95 Ford ranger is simple.

i am going through this whole thread again in preparation for... something ;) was this your truck? i thought you said you had a 96... liar ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: yodal on March 26, 2014, 03:00:27 PM
WOOHOO! Good job WH!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: womule on March 26, 2014, 08:59:20 PM
I am an ASE certified GM certified mechanic. I have worked as a mechanic since 1999 on all makes of cars {BMW MERCEDES and their ilk excluded lol] and im just saying you can email me @ womule2009@yahoo.com if you ever need help diagnosis/repairing your truck or another car.

just remind me in the email about this thread and such so I don't think youre a spammer or something.  maybe post the link in the email to remind me.

I would be glad to help as much as I can through email

good work  BTW.  not many people have the resolve to pick up a new skill on their own like that
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: womule on March 26, 2014, 09:11:39 PM
ive used alldata in shops to get service information on non GM vehicles.  It will never be as good as GM's [ or fords' chrylser's Toyotas etc] service manuals but it is very helpful.  they could do a better job of listing the information.  I know ive spent way to much time searching for torque specs or wiring diagrams.  their wiring diagrams caused me the most frustration because they weren't always located in the system I would expect and many diagrams fell under multiple systems.  but with determination I got the job done.  when you are using alldata to troubleshoot your car.. a little word of advice... give a minute to looking through the TSB [technical service bulletins] section because many cars/trucks have problems that are common for their particular make/model and this will save you time in troubleshooting and repairing.  you may have trouble with an PCM code P0126 [example] on your truck.  maybe... just MAYBE that is a common occurrence on that particular truck and a TSB will be present which will take you straight to the source of the problem. 

TSBs aren't always there for you but its good to look first just in case.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: womule on March 26, 2014, 09:18:35 PM
so people, what's you take on the fuel system cleaners that you add to you gasoline? i've never used them, but wondered if they really work or if it's just marketing.

I can only vouch for one product.  seafoam.  autozone advance napa walmart all carry it.  ive seen in breathe life into some motors before.  im exaggerating a little.. but it does work great.  I had an engine that was oil fouled really bad and I used a can of seafoam and had back up and running in no time.  I usually apply it to the gasoline on every two or three oil changes just to keep the engine clean.. but under some rough circumstances I have disabled the fuel system and ran the motor off seafoam directly.  I wouldn't recommend that because such an action is a little risky.  you can hydro-lock a motor easily or burn up the catalytic converter or something if you don't know exactly how to do it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Ranger Dave on March 27, 2014, 06:40:25 PM
Listened to your interview with Jack today, Great Job

Ranger Dave
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tactical Hamster on March 27, 2014, 10:26:42 PM
Great work so far, spent 5 1/2 years as a helicopter mechanic and you have done far more work on a car then I have.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 03, 2014, 10:25:35 PM
Finally have some spare time as the baby is sleeping and my wife is tinkering with her sewing machine so here comes the front strut write up.

Here are the struts in need of installation:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040162_zps6501c539.jpg)

Ignore the seals, nothing happening with them. If you listened to my interview with Jack you’ll know those are the bastards that I wasn’t able to install because life was against me (overly dramatic, I know ;) ).

Here’s the old strut that needs to come out (ncjeeper, notice those nice, clean, wheel wells):

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040163_zps5a1bb542.jpg)

Here’s the base of the strut. The bracket holding the brake line needs to come off, as well as those two large bolts that hold the spindle to the base of the strut:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040164_zpsc622c069.jpg)

Bracket and nuts are off. I used a hammer to tap out the bolts and remove the spindle from the base of the strut:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040165_zps75afd6aa.jpg)

Hammered out (mostly):

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040168_zps8b645685.jpg)

This nut comes off so the bar can be removed. I honestly have no idea what the rod is for, I think it connects to the lower control arm:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040166_zpse917b911.jpg)

Removed:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040167_zps585be848.jpg)

Once everything is disconnected I pulled the spindle out of the lower strut mount:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040170_zps1ed2b78a.jpg)

This is where the top of the strut mounts under the hood. The three nuts need to be removed and at that point the whole assembly will be free. Note, while the strut is still mounted break that nut in the center loose, it will make life easier when disassembling the whole strut:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040169_zps64be0088.jpg)

And the strut assembly is out. Next to the new one you can see the coil spring and top mount will transfer over to the new strut:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040172_zpsc60eb55e.jpg)

And here’s the special spring compressor tool I rented:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040171_zpsb857a790.jpg)

A note: if you need specialty tools you can rent them from almost any auto parts stores for free. Put a deposit down and get a full refund when you return it.

The compressor was really easy to use. Put one as high as you can and one as low as you can on the spring and start tightening down. Be careful and go slow and make sure the tool is securely on the spring:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040173_zpsa30d8d78.jpg)

Once the spring is compressed I removed the nut that I loosened while the strut was still mounted in the car. Even with loosening it I needed a pair of locking pliers to keep the strut from turning:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040178_zps33a7bbdd.jpg)

This is a hodgepodge picture of the strut assembly broken down. You can see how close the spring compressor sections are together compared to when I first started:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040177_zps055a8cac.jpg)

And the new strut is put together and ready for install! Also my dad was helping and wanted to show off his dirty hands:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040179_zpsefdcda3f.jpg)

And if I could add one product to the list of things to get it would be this GOJO stuff. I didn’t mention it on the show as I forgot. My dad insisted I buy some when we were getting some parts. It was about $2.50 and is amazing for cleaning up your hands. Rub a little of that around and the grease comes right off – pretty amazing stuff.

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Malibu%20Front%20Struts/P1040185_zpsa1c35f62.jpg)

As I mentioned earlier I couldn’t do the axle seal or the crankshaft seal. The struts took longer than I thought so I was tired, I ran into all sorts of problems for the seals: 1 – the tool to break the half shaft loose from the wheel bearing didn’t fit. 2 – I couldn’t get the leverage I needed to actually remove the half shaft from the transmission housing. 3 – Getting to the crankshaft seal was a pain and by that time I was done.

I probably could have done the crankshaft if I’d wanted to spend four or five hours tinkering around, but I didn’t feel like it, and I didn’t want to hurt myself or break something more out of frustration. Sometimes you have to know when to throw in the towel.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on April 03, 2014, 11:09:51 PM
Dawn liquid dishwashing soap works wonders also for getting grime and grease off of your hands.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Greekman on April 04, 2014, 01:12:50 AM
thewarriorhunter, you are an inspiration!

a lay persons hand cleaner over here is clothes hand washing powder and thin saw dust mixture.
REAL scrubbing power!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 04, 2014, 08:24:19 AM
so, my truck is running a lean condition - that's what the code says at least. i've read to get some carb cleaner and spray it at all of the connections on air intake and inspect the vacuum lines for cracks. anything other suggestions?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tactical Hamster on April 04, 2014, 09:32:44 AM
Quote
And if I could add one product to the list of things to get it would be this GOJO stuff. I didn’t mention it on the show as I forgot. My dad insisted I buy some when we were getting some parts. It was about $2.50 and is amazing for cleaning up your hands. Rub a little of that around and the grease comes right off – pretty amazing stuff.
I found the Orange Gojo works better, they also have some waterless stuff, but it smells like pure petroleum so not sure how safe it really is.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on April 04, 2014, 09:36:12 PM
so, my truck is running a lean condition - that's what the code says at least. i've read to get some carb cleaner and spray it at all of the connections on air intake and inspect the vacuum lines for cracks. anything other suggestions?

On our old '94 Ford Exploder that problem was the result of the air flow sensor being gunked up. A security screwdriver bit and some brake cleaner on the sensor element, and all was well afterwards.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tactical Hamster on April 04, 2014, 09:40:04 PM
On our old '94 Ford Exploder that problem was the result of the air flow sensor being gunked up. A security screwdriver bit and some brake cleaner on the sensor element, and all was well afterwards.
Can you use brake cleaner on the air flow sensor? I don't really know how that little guy operates, but I know they make one specifically for the MAS, and of course it costs a bunch more. If it is an electrical component I think I would feel better using electrical connector spray.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 05, 2014, 11:59:45 AM
I cleaned the mad sensor a couple months ago. I'm going to check for vacuum leaks, and I've read the PVC can be the issue sometimes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on April 05, 2014, 12:13:03 PM
Does it show a code? How does the engine run? does it get worse as the engine warms up?

Does this truck have an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)valve? Either external on the manifold or an internal port in the intake manifold itself The valves burn open as they get old and always dump unburned exhaust when the engines running not off idle like its supposed to. then the computer leans the injectors to make up for it. some times you an spot it with a scanner hooked up and check the intake temp after the car warms up a little, if its 150degrees and it's  60degrees in the building somethings wrong.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: cpf240 on April 05, 2014, 10:33:27 PM
Can you use brake cleaner on the air flow sensor? I don't really know how that little guy operates, but I know they make one specifically for the MAS, and of course it costs a bunch more. If it is an electrical component I think I would feel better using electrical connector spray.

All I can say is that it worked for me. That was the suggestion I got from the online forums at the time we had the problem. Its not so much about cleaning contacts, which is what the electrical cleaners are generally for. The problem seems to be that the element in the sensor gets dirty from stuff that made it past the air filter, or perhaps from the PVC system, etc.

As I understand it, most of the airflow sensors are pretty much open air resistors, where air flow cools the glowing element, changing its resistance, which is read by the computer. I don' t know for sure that that is correct though...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 06, 2014, 01:56:49 PM
Does it show a code? How does the engine run? does it get worse as the engine warms up?

Does this truck have an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)valve?

the code was a 172, which is:

DTC 172
Lack of heated oxygen sensor switches indicates lean (bank # 1).

truck runs fine and doesn't exhibit a change, from cold to running. also usually after a few minutes the light goes off.

i have no idea on the EGR valve. i'll pull the MAF and clean that again since that's simple and easy, and then i'll start tracing lines. i was going to do this today but i slept funny last night and can hardly move my neck. it's just now starting to get better... bleh. lot of stuff didn't get done today. we prep for all of these disaster scenarios, but sleep slightly off and you're day can be ruined... ::)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on April 07, 2014, 09:56:14 AM
Sounds like the O2 heater isn't working ( may just be a worn out O2 sensor but wiring could be involved I'd lean toward a worn O2 if it's never been changed) and after the O2 heats up to temp it starts switching like its supposed to then the Check Engine Light goes out( Heated O2s just get to temp faster)

No pinging or knocking on the road under load (like up a steep hill) If Not then Id consider a new O2 and check the heater wiring to be sure
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 07, 2014, 10:18:42 AM
well, wiring looks good and i didn't see any cracks in the lines so i ordered a new o2 sensor. it was easy to spot so i should be able to change it out in a couple of minutes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on April 07, 2014, 10:22:48 AM
well, wiring looks good and i didn't see any cracks in the lines so i ordered a new o2 sensor. it was easy to spot so i should be able to change it out in a couple of minutes.

I advocate changing the sensor as well. Sounds like the culprit to me.

You may want to spray it down a few times with a good penetrating oil like PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench. And letting it soak in while driving it over a few days will help. Spray, let soak, drive, spray, let soak, drive, etc. This can help work the fluid into the cracks of the threads. O2 sensors can be a pain to get loose sometimes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 07, 2014, 10:27:44 AM
will do, it will be here wed so i'll hit it tonight when i get home and then in the morning...

so here's a questions, is PB the same as WD-40? i use WD like PB, but i never hear people recommend it for applications like stuck bolts... it seems to work fine for me
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on April 08, 2014, 10:27:01 AM
will do, it will be here wed so i'll hit it tonight when i get home and then in the morning...

so here's a questions, is PB the same as WD-40? i use WD like PB, but i never hear people recommend it for applications like stuck bolts... it seems to work fine for me

WD-40 is good as a light oil and lubricant. But it is not very effective as a penetrating oil. I used to always use PB Blaster and it worked great. But I've found that Liquid Wrench works better.

The best penetrating oil that I have used so far is a product called Kano Kroil. But it is hard to find. My dad has a small can and it works amazingly.

But no, most people won't use WD-40 on stuck bolts.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on April 08, 2014, 01:25:25 PM
A homemade mixture of acetone and atf fluid works wonders also rusty threads.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on April 08, 2014, 02:47:51 PM
2 things everyone should have in the kit/toolbox/ garage is Boeshield spray by Boeing it should be Illegal its that good for protecting metals in saltwater and great for wiring/towing connections/corroded switches/bolts.

But for heavyduty manifold bolts/exhaust bolts/turbo charger studs/brake caliper bolts O2 sensors and the like. Get a couple cans of MOPAR rust buster 4318039 old number 4318039AC new number. It works and even better if you can soak it a cpl times over a day or 2  before you remove it.

I had a 87 Grand National that I bought used and had a ton of performance parts that I was going to swap on my vacation including the Turbo-Radiator-intercooler + piping -Turbo oil lines and fuel rails plus a Sh*t load of other stuff   I soaked all the turbo bolts everyday when I came home for 3 days and started Sat morning.  I didn't BREAK a SINGLE BOLT on the Turbo charger , exhaust manifold or Downpipe they walked off with just a 1/2" breaker bar. Unheard of not to snap studs on any Turbo job especially on an older car. That stuff has saved many a mechanic a lot of aggravation it works. Walk in to any Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler dealer and ask for Rust Buster
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 13, 2014, 05:40:20 PM
Thanks for the help with the check engine light and lean condition code everyone. I replaced the O2 sensor yesterday and took the truck for a drive and no light! Problem solved, and now I’ll show you how I did it.

Here is the new sensor that I’ll be replacing:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040225_zps76de9013.jpg)

Look at me putting my Alldata subscription to use! Here is a diagram of the sensor location:

(http://www.alldatadiy.com/alldatadiy/DIY~V42549693~C12364~R0~OB0~P2R0H~N/0/41746445/56351079/56351116/56351117/34853741/34857029/34857030/101367132/34857587/56360636/42349881)

What the diagram doesn’t show you is all of the other stuff that is in the way. I couldn’t get to it from the top and had to go underneath. Here’s a picture of it from below:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040226_zps21f3e0a8.jpg)

My mud flap was annoying and kept getting in my way so I removed it:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040227_zps0227753f.jpg)

Here we are again, I broke the O2 sensor loose with my wrench but it didn’t want to turn because of the wiring. The connecting end is the white piece and it was stuck bad:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040228_zps499f7a92.jpg)

The angle was bad and I couldn’t disconnect the two so I tried to remove the whole harness, but wouldn’t you know the 20 year old plastic tree snapped right off:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040231_zps1fe5269e.jpg)

Oh well, I managed to get the old O2 sensor out. Here’s a side by side, old and new:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040232_zps99831e30.jpg)

Close up of the business end:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040233_zpscdfeb41d.jpg)

New sensor installed and tightened:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040234_zps4fb025d1.jpg)

There was a little plastic left on the connector assembly so I put it back on the bracket. I’m sure the first bump I hit would cause it to fall loose. It probably could have hung there without any problems but I put a zip tie around it to keep it secured where it was originally:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040235_zps184e627c.jpg)

After a job well done and problem solved time to enjoy a cold drink next to my beautiful bougainvillea:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20O2%20Sensor/P1040237_zpsafeebe9c.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on April 14, 2014, 10:10:17 AM
Good work man. That Whitewater IPA is some smooth beer.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 14, 2014, 11:14:58 AM
i love just about anything that is sam adams, except for some of their fruit flavored bears, they are too sweet for me.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on April 15, 2014, 08:16:49 AM
Nice Job!!! glad it's fixed and running ok. feels good to bust your knuckles and then run afterwards ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Greekman on April 15, 2014, 09:13:55 AM
warriorhunter, after all this time what is the balance between doing all this work in shops and doing it yourself after you factor in:
- spare parts
- buying of hiring the tools for the job
- cost of transportation to pick up parts
- fueling you with beer  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 16, 2014, 11:55:37 AM
warriorhunter, after all this time what is the balance between doing all this work in shops and doing it yourself after you factor in:
- spare parts
- buying of hiring the tools for the job
- cost of transportation to pick up parts
- fueling you with beer  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

well, i don't have hard numbers but i do know i'm ahead by about $2400 bucks since i started this.

PARTS:
i can usually gets parts for half the price that a shop would charge me, in some cases i can get them for a fraction of the price. case in point i had to have them replace those two seals, they charged me $65 for seals that i bought for $15. i wasn't too happy about that, and i had meant to take the seals to the shop and have them use them but i forgot them at home.  :banghead:

TOOLS:
i haven't bought too many tools as i had a lot of them lying around already, but i have bought some. mostly what i have bought are non specialty tools that i can use around the house as well, if i need a really specialized tool i can rent it for free from the local auto parts store.

TRANSPORTATION:
if i buy from the local shop, it is right now the road from my work so i don't really drive more than normal to pick up parts, and honestly most of my bigger purchases are made online because the prices are so much better. lots of time things are prime from amazon or i do pay some shipping from rockauto, but even with that the cost is still lower than the local shops a lot of the times.

BEER:
already at the home, so it wouldn't be fair to factor it in ;D
i don't drink a lot, maybe one a week, sometimes none a week, sometimes three a week. i recently bought a 12 pack and didn't know my wife bought the bulk costco 24 pack, then a friend brought over some for dinner and left quite a few... i look like an alcoholic but i have enough beer to hold me over for several months at least.

if i do break even or lose in any area it would be 'time'. a shop can do a lot of what i do faster, but i think about it and i have to factor in the time/gas to get to the shop, sitting around, and time/gas to get back home. when i think about that i would say i break even on time, and i am learning so i still say i'm ahead when it comes to that aspect of the repairs.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 20, 2014, 10:25:31 PM
On Friday I walked out to my truck and saw a nice fresh puddle of green fluid underneath it. Popped the hood and sure enough I was leaking coolant. I should have taken a picture but it looked like my truck vomited coolant. The leak was falling onto my belt and getting thrown around everywhere. I was a little freaked out until I saw that and I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

The issue was this:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030728_zpse009d623.jpg)

The ol’ duct tape patch wasn’t holding up anymore. Who would have guessed that? Fortunately I had a spare section of hose lying around. I actually bought it anticipating this repair but was holding off since I didn’t really want to flush out the system again.

Thankfully I was able to access both ends of the hose without too much trouble. I remembered from doing the water pump that bracket that held the coil packs on was open which allowed me access to the covered end of the tube:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/P1030720_zpsd21b0ce9.jpg)

That was a relief because that turned what could have been a long job into a short one. Got the hose off, put the new one on, and since the system was empty I put some Flush + Cleaner stuff in it from Prestone, I think JerseyVince recommended doing that when I originally did the water pump:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zKEfb39vL.jpg)

That’s running in the truck right now, I’ll drain and refill with coolant tomorrow or Tuesday.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 21, 2014, 08:26:05 AM
i forgot to add the best part about this! my son was out playing and wanted to help, so he came along with his play tools and started 'screwing' bolts for me. he even lost a bit down in the engine compartment which i had to find for him, and did. he's a real mechanic now!

he was surprised when i picked him up and set him on the truck, handed him a screwdriver, and showed him the screws i needed tightened to put the coil pack back on:

(http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss352/thewarriorhunter/Vehicle%20Repairs/Ranger%20Water%20Pump%20-%20Thermostat/BryanHelping_zps8c303e5c.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Cedar on April 21, 2014, 09:23:47 AM
And that is how they learn..

Cedar
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 28, 2014, 10:45:37 PM
so... a little hiccup tonight... anyone care to tell me how to thoroughly clean up an oil spill? total type 1 error on my part:

(http://i.imgur.com/i09ZiWJ.jpg)

lucky for me i'm a forward thinking individual and had extra cat litter on hand for the kitty. i never thought i'd be so glad to have some lying around. i covered the spill in it but there is a pretty bad stain and some residue oil left in the cracks of the concrete slabs. the stain i can live with, but cleaning out those cracks is going to be a pain.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 13, 2014, 11:08:22 AM
Time to renew the registration on my truck, which means I have to have it tested to pass emissions in my county. I went this morning and it passed with flying colors, all the marks were way below where they needed to be. Just goes to show that a well maintained 20 year old vehicle can still perform as it did when it was new (mostly).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on May 13, 2014, 11:13:43 AM
i covered the spill in it but there is a pretty bad stain and some residue oil left in the cracks of the concrete slabs. the stain i can live with, but cleaning out those cracks is going to be a pain.

Leave it there!  Call it a badge of honor.  :)    Par for the course when wrenching on your car and should make you proud! 

Seriously, time should take care of it....what's it been 2 weeks?  Past the initial cleanup, everyday dust and dirt should disappear it.   How's it look today?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 13, 2014, 04:14:10 PM
Looks good, a second round of cat litter got most of it up, and as you said it is slowly fading with time. I have cardboard over the spill right now to help stop drips in the future so I haven't seen it in a while.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: keebler on May 13, 2014, 04:42:19 PM
take a brick with Cat litter on the concrete ---scrub it---stain will deminish
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 14, 2014, 10:14:09 AM
Car was making a noise from the front driver side wheel. I couldn't figure it out but it was time for an oil change so I took it in. Apparently when I did the struts I pulled the axle out slightly without realizing it, which in turn damaged the seal. So they are replacing that because I don't have the time to do it myself. Pretty bummed about it, but I guess it could have been worse.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on May 14, 2014, 10:16:02 AM
ah damn, 2 steps forward, 1 step back.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 14, 2014, 12:03:33 PM
I guess... I'm still ahead of the game, but damn this is frustrating. What gets me is I tried really hard to get the left half shaft out to replace that seal when I did the struts and it wouldn't budge. I was short on time and didn't have an appropriate pry bar to pop it out. Yet the right sight slipped out willy nilly without any force applied to it at all. That's what frustrates me the most.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on May 14, 2014, 07:08:27 PM
It could be just a crappy seal. Its hard to get quality parts now days. I replaced a TPS sensor on a 4.0 motor 3 times until I got a good one. The first two were bad.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Humble Mechanic on May 24, 2014, 01:32:12 PM
Hey everyone,
Sorry it's been a while since I have been on.

I just want to say I really love this thread! Fixing cars, learning, teaching kids, how freaking awesome!

I wish that people would get the "I don't know about cars" idea out of their heads. You know far more than you think.

 :)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 24, 2014, 02:43:32 PM
Rounded bolt heads, what do you guys do? I saw  socket extractors  (http://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-Bolt-out-Piece-Damaged-Remover/dp/B007C6KKAK/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1400958779&sr=1-3&keywords=bolt+grip) that looked like they would do a good job and I like the idea of using those vs. drilling the bolt and using one of the  insertion type extractors  (http://www.amazon.com/Alden-8440P-Grabit-Damaged-Extractor/dp/B001A4CWHO/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1400958477&sr=1-7&keywords=turbo+sockets).
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Humble Mechanic on May 24, 2014, 02:54:08 PM
Rounded bolt heads, what do you guys do? I saw  socket extractors  (http://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-Bolt-out-Piece-Damaged-Remover/dp/B007C6KKAK/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1400958779&sr=1-3&keywords=bolt+grip) that looked like they would do a good job and I like the idea of using those vs. drilling the bolt and using one of the  insertion type extractors  (http://www.amazon.com/Alden-8440P-Grabit-Damaged-Extractor/dp/B001A4CWHO/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1400958477&sr=1-7&keywords=turbo+sockets).

Drilling out is my LAST resort. I like the Craftsman ones you linked to. They work really well. Just a little tip, don't be afraid to beat the hell out of it to seat it on the bolt. It needs it.

If you have the room, look at using a "Parrot jaw" plier. Channel lock makes a great set.

http://humblemechanic.com/2012/07/10/dealing-with-damaged-bolts-an-auto-mechanics-uh-oh-drawer/

This is some of the tools I use for this type of thing.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: SloSheepdog on June 10, 2014, 10:52:53 AM
I really really dislike rounded off boltheads and other fasteners, and I have had to deal with them more than I would like to. Good luck!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 06, 2014, 11:16:07 PM
Quick questions guys:

On my bike rebuild I'm getting the point that I need to start cleaning these parts and seeing what I have. I have read about boiling parts in water, boiling in lemon juice, or just dipping in carb cleaner. Any recommended methods for cleaning this type of stuff up? I'm planning on buying a stock pot large enough to fit each individual piece if I go the boiling route and seeing if my grill's side burner will do the job. Pretty sure my wife would kill me if I tried to boil this off inside.

I posted this over here since not everyone that has commented on here has commented on there and I'd love to get some advice. If you want to see what I'm cleaning my most recent post  here  (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=48551.msg576253#msg576253) will show you. Thanks!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on July 07, 2014, 12:48:58 AM
I have and use a 20 gallon parts washer. It has the nice skull and crossbones solvent in it. The crappy environmental friendly stuff sucks and does not clean very well. I think harbor freight sells the 20 gallon model for around 99 bucks?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 07, 2014, 09:22:57 AM
This guy: http://www.harborfreight.com/20-gallon-parts-washer-with-pump-60769.html ?

Do you put your solvent in it and then drain the solvent back into a container? They have a smaller 6.5 gal model that might fit better in my garage, it looks like the same system but smaller.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on July 07, 2014, 01:08:11 PM
Yep that's it. I have had mine for 10 years now and still going strong. I keep the solvent in the washer. Every year I will drain the solvent into buckets and clean the dirt and gunk out of the bottom of the washer and then pour the solvent back in. Get a set of scrub brushes and old tooth brushes work good for the small hard to clean spaces.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 07, 2014, 03:27:48 PM
Good to know, I'll have to check out that next time I'm around. I think that might be a bit big for as often as I would use it, but the 6.5 Gal one might be perfect.

So that, and some 'I hate the environment solvent' and I'll be good to go!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on August 03, 2014, 02:51:52 PM
My buddy has an 06 Malibu and needed to replace his rotors and pads. He asked me to help since I'd told him I started working on my car. I didn't do a photo opp of the repair since we were in a hurry, but it was identical to my second repair post in this thread which is here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=45154.msg506092#msg506092

Saved him some money and had a good visit in the process, was a great morning.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 19, 2014, 09:14:50 AM
Just ordered some ramps (finally) and am going to get under the car to look at the oil pan leak. What would be the best sealer to potentially put on that? Jeeper, you had mentioned grey silicone, is there a specific brand that is best for this type of application? My dad had mentioned JB weld... My biggest concern right now is that there may not be enough room to get to the leak and properly seal it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on November 19, 2014, 10:08:11 AM
Just ordered some ramps (finally) and am going to get under the car to look at the oil pan leak. What would be the best sealer to potentially put on that? Jeeper, you had mentioned grey silicone, is there a specific brand that is best for this type of application? My dad had mentioned JB weld... My biggest concern right now is that there may not be enough room to get to the leak and properly seal it.

I highly doubt you are going to be able to put any kind of sealer on the outside of the pan and get it to seal up any better. I would think that if you are going to have any luck, you are going to need to remove the oil pan and put in a new gasket.

If you do want to try something, I would suggest a high temp silicone RTV gasket maker like this. (http://amzn.to/14M3ay7)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 19, 2014, 10:22:10 AM
Yeah, I'm skeptical, but given Jeeper's response in another thread I wanted to consider it. The oil pan removal is ridiculous. I have to disconnect the transmission from the engine to get the pan out (according to alldata and the shop I go to) so I'm looking at $700 for them to replace this and another seal all from labor. There's actually three places that are leaking, one seal they did and they'll replace for free, the other I could/may do but I'll have to basically do an oil change and I just had one done (They'll also have to drain the oil for the seal they are covering).

I really really really want to be able to replace the pan seal but given all that's involved and my time/shop limitations I may not be able to do this one, hence the outside seal job was something I would consider. The gasket is only $10, labor to get too the gasket is where the shop bill is coming from. At the least, I think the shop will let me supply my own parts for the filter seal and pan seal, and that will save me some money if I have to go that route.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on November 19, 2014, 02:44:48 PM
I used the gray RTV that would set up in oil, grease etc. Once I cleaned the front lip of the pan real good I put on a helping of RTV and it slowed the leak down to just a little sipage. It ended up being a good temporary fix until I could drop the pan and replace the gasket.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 22, 2014, 09:42:21 AM
OK, so I think I can do this whole job after looking at the repair data a little more and getting under the car. My biggest concern right now is that I need an engine support fixture... will this one from Harbor Freight do the trick?  Engine Support Fixture  (http://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-capacity-engine-support-bar-96524.html) It's specced at 1,000lbs for the load... I can't imagine my engine is weighing more than that. Another question I have is where do I hook this thing up? I'll look at the engine more closely but how do you use it to support the engine?

I'm sure I have a 20% off coupon somewhere, and even with the purchase of that and the gaskets I need and taking an extra day off work (most of it paid) I'd still be ahead in terms of cost vs having the shop do it. I can have them do the seal they will cover and I can do the others.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 22, 2014, 07:56:42 PM
 I need to replace my oil pan seal and oil filter adapter gasket. The gasket is simple but the oil pan not so much. The shop wants ~$600 for the oil pan, most of that being labor. I think the book quotes 5 hours of labor for this job.


I need an engine support brace (of the 'T' variety) to do this myself since the engine has to be separated from transaxle in order to remove the oil pan. The engine brackets that the brace will hook onto don't seem to line up well with any solid parts of the car frame. If you can help me figure out the best place to put the brace that would be great.


Here's the album of my engine and the left and right side of the compartment: http://imgur.com/a/lHVgY (http://imgur.com/a/lHVgY)


 
If I were to put the straight section right across the compartment then the feet would be on the body side panel where the frame dips down (red underline). That doesn't seem like a great place to put a brace.


My other thought is to put the straight section closer to the front of the car and hope the third section could run across the engine and rest on the passenger strut mount.


Last thing: is a brace a brace? I was looking at these two on Amazon:


Astro Pneumatic 5820 (http://www.amazon.com/Astro-Pneumatic-5820-Transverse-Support/dp/B00061SFRI/ref=zg_bs_2268030011_16)


 
and


ATD Tools 7477 (http://www.amazon.com/ATD-7477-Engine-Transverse-Support/dp/B000OUXUI0/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1416705029&sr=1-2&keywords=engine+support+bar)


 
Shouldn't either of those work? Should I look at something else? Those dips that I mentioned earlier are just shy of 60 inches wide, so I think I'm going to be maxing out most of these braces, I think they extend to 64 inches at their greatest.


If you need more pictures or details to help me let me know. Thanks!
 
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JakeG on November 22, 2014, 10:29:56 PM
My answer would vary depending on how many times you'll need the engine brace.

Monthly or every other month, I'd buy an actual engine brace like what you've linked to.

Once a year or less... How bout a few 4x4's bolted together? They would stand upright on either side of your fenders and maybe one in front of your vehicle to tie it all together. You would simply take the design of the metal engine brace, grow it outwards and make it out of wood which could be repurposed. A few long sections of 3/8"-1/2" all thread, large drill bit, fender washers and matching nuts and you'd be in business.

You could even make it out of wood on the same size scale as the real engine braces. 1x6's standing upright on the inner fender's rail with a 4x4 across the top. It would be notched out to accept the 1x6's.

Just a thought! :)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 23, 2014, 08:55:58 AM
Yeah, I saw people build their own out of wood... Just a preference of mine, I'd rather buy the right tool than try to fabricate one. It's one more thing I can keep in the garage/shop in case I ever need it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JakeG on November 23, 2014, 11:57:26 AM
I have the Blue-Point brand engine support but I do have MANY atd tools. I will continue to use them. Never heard of the Astro tools but they both have great reviews.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on November 26, 2014, 10:24:07 AM
I had the need for an engine support brace several years ago. I was (and still am) cheap, so I built one using 2 4x4s. Very easy.

From looking at your pictures, you would need a support going left to right across the strut towers. Then two coming forward and resting on your radiator support. One running over top of each of the lift brackets you have circled in red. You may be able to get one of the purchased ones you linked to work by angling the leg coming forward. But it is hard to know if they will line up exact.

And you definitely do not want to put the support where you have indicated on the fenders. They will not hold the weight and will buckle your fenders.

I would estimate the weight of the engine and transmission to weigh 400-500 lbs. Not heavy, but definitely not light.

If it were me, I would build one. I've used mine several times and it works great. Exactly what I need, holes in the right place, more than sturdy enough, and was free.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 26, 2014, 12:47:21 PM
Here is the OEM recommended tool for the job: J 28467-b & J 63462 Adapter

(http://www.handsontools.com/assets/images/j-28467-500b.jpg)

(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$%28KGrHqV,!lcE1GHGviUOBNdEThueWw~~_35.JPG)

Seeing as how that would make a 'T' and looking at the feet on that I was hoping one of the others would work since it didn't seem like this one rested on the struts.

The more I look at this though it may just be simpler to build one out of 4x4s, drill some holes and drop some hooked lag bolts in there for support. I do need to be able to lift the engine slightly so some type of a lag bolt with a hook on it will be needed. I can put some washers and a nut on it and screw that to raise the engine when I need too. I only need to raise it 1/2 inch so not too much.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 29, 2014, 08:15:56 PM
OK, enough whining about my car and the leaking oil pan. Today I finally replaced the fuel filter on my truck. I’ve had it sitting on my workbench for a while now and figured I could use the real estate…

This is a pretty simple job. First thing is to locate the filter, which happens to be in the frame right under the driver side door:

(http://i.imgur.com/nKTEsAY.jpg)

I removed the two nuts and the whole bracket was movable. Filter was turned on its side so I could loosed the clamp and get it off of the bracket:

(http://i.imgur.com/oemnU1m.jpg)

Once that is done there were two plastic retention clips that popped off and the lines slid right off. My catch pan missed some of the fuel that came out… guess it’s a good thing it evaporates!

(http://i.imgur.com/Eb0XEjx.jpg)

Out with the old, in with the new:

(http://i.imgur.com/MIh7EGN.jpg)

Here’s the new one installed, you can see the white retention clip on the line towards the filter.

(http://i.imgur.com/Kg4m227.jpg)

I broke one while removing them. I was able to semi install in and used a zip tie to hold it in place. As I was looking online to buy a replacement I realized/remembered that my filter came with two new ones… so I’ll get getting back under there to install the new ones, but for now all is well.

Bonus pictures!:

(http://i.imgur.com/WAymTWW.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Ri1SKpT.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/XTjClWt.jpg)

I’m trying to figure out what this part is and what it is called. I’ll look into further but you can save me some work! This is in my brake system. The yellow part has brake fluid dripping out of it, and the line that is really dirty and covered in crud is the brake line that goes to my rear brakes. The clean/gray line that is the same type of line that you see is running into the yellow block from my master cylinder. I noticed the leak when I was underneath working on the fuel line. I guess this will be the next job on the list.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on November 30, 2014, 08:37:15 AM
Off the top of my head I would guess that is your proportioning valve.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on November 30, 2014, 11:24:20 AM
Found out it is my ABS control module. It doesn't seem to be a cheap part...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: fritz_monroe on December 09, 2014, 02:13:15 PM
I figured I'd add my own vehicle repair to the thread.  There was a sheet of paper laying in the road.  The person in front of me ran over it and it lifted off the road.  I had vehicles beside me so couldn't avoid it.  It ended up being a large thin sheet of fiberglass.  It broke my grill pretty well.  I found the part online for about $100, a little steep for something that is cosmetic in my car.  It would probably be at least that much for labor.  I found an aftermarket grill on Amazon for $30.  It took me about 45 minutes to do the repair and that included digging through my screw bin for a washer.  Piece of cake and an extra ~$150+ in my pocket.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on December 12, 2014, 08:30:37 PM
Nicely done!
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 16, 2015, 10:55:23 AM
I'm going to put this here because I think one of you guys can probably give some guidance. Had a guy offer $150 for the tank from my bike. It's got a big dent though. He said if one prep the dent area he'll take it. Can I sand this down and then bondo/putty to fill it in or is it too big? And ideas on how to pop the dent out? I thought about getting a dent puller tool but I'm not sure if it's worth it.

(http://i.imgur.com/a2Wxvzc.jpg)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: d3nni5 on April 16, 2015, 11:08:31 AM
I'm going to put this here because I think one of you guys can probably give some guidance. Had a guy offer $150 for the tank from my bike. It's got a big dent though. He said if one prep the dent area he'll take it. Can I sand this down and then bondo/putty to fill it in or is it too big? And ideas on how to pop the dent out? I thought about getting a dent puller tool but I'm not sure if it's worth it.

(http://i.imgur.com/a2Wxvzc.jpg)

 And ideas on how to pop the dent out?

I have used a football before to pop out dents.  I had a big dent in the truck, deflated a football, and stuck it inside the panel.   Pumped it up and it popped out.   Do your kids have an old smaller ball that can be sacrificed?     Your tank should be designed on the underside to straddle the frame.   I bet you could get something in there and use that inside wall of the tank for leverage.  Blow it up to pop it out.    It wouldn't be perfect, but would require less bondo in the end.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on April 16, 2015, 11:57:56 AM
Just watched a video where a guy used a blood pressure cuff in a similar fashion... my wife might kill me if I use her's but it's worth a shot. I may pick up a cheap dent puller kit from HF. They have them for $13 and I can throw a coupon at it. ~$10 for a pulled dent might be worth it. I was only going to ask $100, but if he wants to give me $150 and the extra goes towards another tool and some more experience I'm OK with that.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: JerseyVince on April 16, 2015, 02:34:22 PM
An old-school way to pop some dents that you don't see much anymore is a body shop suction cup puller. they work great on a lot of larger panel dents and can help with smaller ones that you are trying to work from the inside. I still have some from snapon made from good tire rubber/silicone, wet them and you can almost hang your body weight on it. I'm sure some guys use the glass handle ones too that have the pump in the handle but the body shop ones are 10-15 bucks and work well.

You might try a bike tire tube if you can fold it right and slide it in
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 13, 2015, 08:37:22 AM
So...

Parked my car and pushed the e-brake pedal down like usual. There was a loud snap/pop and all tension on the pedal instantly disappeared. It did release and come back up. The car was parked on a slight incline and when I released the normal breaks it did roll forward slightly before the gears stopped the movement (in park) so I believe that the e-brake is not engaged at this time.

I found a small metal piece (http://imgur.com/a/Eiewe) on my floor that I'm assuming is the end of the cable that was held by the pedal mechanism.

Anyone know what I'm looking at to fix this? I am hitting google and a Malibu specific forum and also wanted to post here. My biggest concern is if I can drive it right now - my fear being a loose cable wrapping itself around something and causing more damage. I did not see anything hanging or sagging underneath the car.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on May 13, 2015, 10:14:24 AM
Yup, end there is a little ball molded onto the end of the cable to allow the cable to be pulled when you push the pedal down. That ball pulled off. Usually the cable is in two pieces. It will run from the pedal, through the floor, and back along the underside of the vehicle about half way to the rear wheels. Then it will connect to a second cable that runs to the rear brakes. You probably need to replace the front half of the parking brake cable. Usually not too expensive and someone with your level of experience should be able to handle it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 13, 2015, 10:37:01 AM
That's what I thought, you thin there will be any issues with driving this home with the busted cable?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on May 14, 2015, 10:04:01 AM
That's what I thought, you thin there will be any issues with driving this home with the busted cable?

Seeing as you posted this yesterday, I'm not sure my post will help. But no, I don't think there is any issues with driving it like that.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 14, 2015, 01:27:56 PM
Seeing as you posted this yesterday, I'm not sure my post will help. But no, I don't think there is any issues with driving it like that.

Yeah, shame on you for not getting back to me in time!

I drover home with no issues. Now I need to find time to get a cable and replace it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on May 22, 2015, 11:12:22 PM
Any updates on your ebrake cable?

Tomorrow I will be tearing down my '00 Cherokee. Two days ago the harmonic balancer came apart and left me stranded. While I'm in there to replace that, I'll also be replacing the timing chain, oil pan gasket, oil pump, rear main seal, and motor mounts....if it doesn't rain some more.  :-\ Adding to the misery is that somehow my downstream oxygen sensor got unplugged and the vehicle side wiring evidently got caught by the driveshaft, so it ripped the wires off. It tore them off just above the transfer case, meaning I need to drop the t-case to have enough room to access the wiring I need to splice. I guess I'll be ordering new t-case mounts with the O2 sensor repair harness.  :'(
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 26, 2015, 11:29:26 PM
Wow, sounds like you've got some work ahead of you.

I need to buy the cable and get into it to fix it. I haven't been able to find any good repair guides online and alldata doesn't have the solution either. I also haven't had a lot of time to devote to this. Thankfully we live in a relatively flat area so it's not a huge concern if this doesn't get fixed for a few more weeks.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on May 27, 2015, 10:11:25 AM
Wow, sounds like you've got some work ahead of you.

I need to buy the cable and get into it to fix it. I haven't been able to find any good repair guides online and alldata doesn't have the solution either. I also haven't had a lot of time to devote to this. Thankfully we live in a relatively flat area so it's not a huge concern if this doesn't get fixed for a few more weeks.

FWIW, I live in a hilly area and hardly ever use my parking brake.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 27, 2015, 03:18:44 PM
Yeah, it's a habit I won't let die from all the time I drove a standard.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on May 30, 2015, 10:40:02 AM
I suggest obtaining a factory service manual for your vehicle. They're usually around $100 for a new paper version, or you can probably find a free copy available for download. I'd have to look through my bookmarks, but there is also a place to download FSM's for many vehicles for ~$8 each. Factory service manuals are light years better than haynes or chilton manuals and often are model year specific. Sometimes, being that specific is very important.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 30, 2015, 08:16:14 PM
Totally agree. I looked for one for my car some time ago and couldn't find any that weren't over $125. I'm all for a download but I didn't find that either... although I wasn't looking for a download at the time. I have one for the bike restoration project that I had to scrap and it was invaluable.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: TexDaddy on May 30, 2015, 08:30:24 PM
See if this will help. http://www.hotmanuals.com/parts_877/95744059/Chevrolet+Malibu+2004-2008+Service+Repair+Manual
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on June 03, 2015, 11:22:52 PM
Found it! http://www.pacificcoastmanuals.com/index.html (http://www.pacificcoastmanuals.com/index.html) I don't know what all they have manuals for, but the ones I looked for were $8-$9 to download.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on June 10, 2015, 11:12:51 AM
See if this will help. http://www.hotmanuals.com/parts_877/95744059/Chevrolet+Malibu+2004-2008+Service+Repair+Manual

Than manual worked. Thanks for the link.

Looks like everything that should be there is, including different sized engines.

It was also suggested that I replace my spark plugs and wires at the shop so I'll probably be doing that sometime soon.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tyler Durden on July 03, 2015, 07:13:55 AM
Got into this thread a little late, but I started doing all of my own repairs about 13 years ago after a dealership screwed up my car.  Just pulled the steering knuckle yesterday on my Honda Civic and had Napa's machine shop remove and press in both a new wheel bearing and a new lower balljoint.  Last fall I did the head gasket and timing belt.  I also am not a gear head, but am mechanically inclined.  You can do almost anything to a vehicle these days.  The only thing I purchase for my vehicles is a Haynes or Chilton manual.  Everything else is Youtube and Google.  Also, every vehicle has a forum dedicated to it.  These forums are to the vehicle what the TSP forum is to prepping.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 03, 2015, 07:31:07 AM
True on the forum, but I've noticed all forums communities are not created equal. The forums for my Ranger were great, the ones for my Malibu suck. I haven't had to do anything that involved on our new van yet, and hopefully I shouldn't for a while, but I suspect any Town & Country forums will be similar to the Malibu, which is slow, very few replies (unless were modding the car with dumb ass rims and lights), and 'take it to the dealer' type responses.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tyler Durden on July 03, 2015, 10:03:04 AM
Haven't looked much at the Town & Country forums but I'm sure I will, it is a Chrysler after all (Wife has a 2012 T&C).  I think there is a T&C forum, but there are probably more than one, and T&C stuff will be covered in the various Chrysler ones.  There are so many of them.  For my Honda, there were a few but I use www.civicforums.com exclusively.  It was the biggest factor in me completing my head gasket.

Maybe we can swap some minivan horror stories in the future.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 03, 2015, 02:32:15 PM
Maybe we can swap some minivan horror stories in the future.

I hope not! I want no horror stories to share.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on July 06, 2015, 10:03:40 AM
I hope not! I want no horror stories to share.

Isn't owning a mini-van a horror story in itself?


Just kidding! :P
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Tyler Durden on July 06, 2015, 02:37:35 PM
Isn't owning a mini-van a horror story in itself?


Just kidding! :P

Yes.  It is.  I just keep telling myself it's for the wife.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: TexDaddy on July 06, 2015, 03:54:49 PM
My wife loves her T&C.

And the best part is she won't even let me drive it.  8)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 06, 2015, 09:39:40 PM
I gotta say, I thought I'd hate the mini van, but it really is nice. As much as I hate to say it... it's so practical ... and I think that's why it's such a winner.

Sure, I'd prefer the Suburban but when I think about it the van does everything we need and then some. Plus since it's so much cheaper we were able to get the T&C with the leather, DVD, and other bells and whistles.

But, assuming nothing bad happens to our car, the next vehicle we get is this:

(http://i2.wp.com/www.asphaltandrubber.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2015-Yamaha-FJ-09-MT-09-Tracer-29.jpg)

I have been salivating over this bike for months. It won't happen till I'm done with school so I'm looking at salivating for at least another year, but when I get it I'm going to be so freaking happy.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on July 07, 2015, 10:50:15 AM
Doing some front end work on my buddy's F250 truck. Its getting new ball joints, drag link, and tie rods.
(http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae266/ncjeeper-1/DSCF1063_zpsdo51yk5f.jpg) (http://s978.photobucket.com/user/ncjeeper-1/media/DSCF1063_zpsdo51yk5f.jpg.html)
(http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae266/ncjeeper-1/DSCF1064_zpsojebvvvq.jpg) (http://s978.photobucket.com/user/ncjeeper-1/media/DSCF1064_zpsojebvvvq.jpg.html)
The vacuum seals require a special tool to drive them on. Cheapest I could find one for was 75 bucks. I decided to make one and save the money.
(http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae266/ncjeeper-1/DSCF1066_zpstcxym0z8.jpg) (http://s978.photobucket.com/user/ncjeeper-1/media/DSCF1066_zpstcxym0z8.jpg.html)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 08, 2015, 04:18:59 PM
Well, it’s been a while since I did any work but I did recently replace the spark plugs in the Malibu. Car has just over 125k on it and I guess it’s recommended to change them every 100k. Shop wanted $300 for it, I bought everything for $100 and got to spend some time alone with my thoughts, I’ll take it.

First things first is the engine compartment. Here’s what I had to work with. The engine in this car is rotated so that three plugs are in the front and three are in the rear:

(http://i.imgur.com/ijs9eIf.jpg)

The air system is in the way for the front three so I had to remove that:

(http://i.imgur.com/i95hJZT.jpg)

Got that out of the way and was able to access the front plugs. I’m also changing the wires out since they’re 10 years old. Here’s where they attach to the coil packs:

(http://i.imgur.com/zJK4f7M.jpg)

Everything is pretty well laid out and identifiable. If you’re replacing wires the stock ones probably have numbers on them to identify the cylinder they belong too, like mine did:

(http://i.imgur.com/lLdPwVQ.jpg)

The next part is straightforward, but for me it was a little difficult. Pull the boots off the plugs and then remove the wires from their coil packs. Also unscrew the spark plugs so you can replace them. The front three were easy, but the back three were a pain, you’ll notice how clean my engine cover is after I was wiggling around on it trying to leverage the wires off the plugs:

(http://i.imgur.com/7jRMiso.jpg)

My new wires didn’t have cylinder numbers on them so I paired them up with the old wires so I would get the correct lengths on the correct cylinder when I reinstalled:

(http://i.imgur.com/cOBgvDf.jpg)

I also put labels on them in case they got kicked around or moved before I was ready for them:

(http://i.imgur.com/pTgIPso.jpg)

My camera didn’t want to focus, but old vs. new:

(http://i.imgur.com/OsCIlH7.jpg)

Here’s two reinstalled and about to put the third. They were way under there. For the back three I was working completely on feel alone. One note, don’t try to just screw the plug in, if you screw the threading up you’ve got a big problem. I turned the plugs backwards until I could feel the thread seat and then tried to screw them in. Start slow and make sure the threads line up!

(http://i.imgur.com/iavHc00.jpg)

Blinker fluid – helps with electrical connections n stuff:

(http://i.imgur.com/LRRJWF4.jpg)

Got the wires reinstalled with the dialectic grease on them and made sure they were organized back into their brackets:

(http://i.imgur.com/jAEpoK8.jpg)

And we’re done! Car started right up, my mpg seems to have gone up by about 1. It doesn’t feel any different when I drive it but it was something fun to do and now I don’t need to worry about it in the future.

Possibly up next:

(http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery%20%20A/Yamaha%20XJ650%20Maxim%2082.jpg)

I had a guy offer me a free Yamaha Maxim 650. If I pick it up I’ll have a new project bike on my hands since I had to scrap the VFR.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 12, 2015, 09:41:32 PM
So, went up to visit my parents and walked into my dad’s garage to find this waiting for me… seriously, he set it up just for me:

(http://i.imgur.com/oDafYuk.jpg)

OK then, looks like I’m fixing something on my dad’s truck. The part in question is the fuel regulator. It had been leaking for a few weeks and for whatever reason he didn’t want to fix it because he was worried about getting sprayed with fuel.

Here’s the part nestled into its tiny and cramped area of the engine compartment:

(http://i.imgur.com/gfAfFHg.jpg)

This was a fairly simple and straightforward job. First thing was to disconnect the air hose that ran form the regulator to the air intake system:

(http://i.imgur.com/3HEqy2j.jpg)

There were two torx bolts holding it in place. One held the actual regulator in place, the other held a bracket attached to one of the fuel lines so it couldn’t pop out. The first bolt was simple to remove. The second one had hardly any space to work with… so it was a pair of needle nose vice grips and many, many, many small turns to get it out:

(http://i.imgur.com/pQOlL8u.jpg)

After those bolts were done the regulator pulls right out. I needed another pair of vice grips though since my ham hands couldn’t squeeze into the area and get enough leverage. Here’s the area after the regulator was removed:

(http://i.imgur.com/aa8VW4u.jpg)

Here’s the new regulator waiting to get prepped and installed. I put a little bit of petroleum jelly on the O-rings to give them a smoother install. Just a little bit is all that is really needed:

(http://i.imgur.com/4aXo4Iw.jpg)

After that reverse the steps and you’re done. The truck fired right up and there was no more leaking fuel.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 25, 2015, 12:32:35 PM
So, the windshield in our van 'whistles' at freeway speeds when there is a cross wind. Sometimes it's not much, other times you want to go deaf because it is so annoying.

I've talked to a couple windshield guys and they say it can't be fixed, even if my windshield is replaced... I'm kinda baffled at this... am I missing something?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on September 25, 2015, 08:51:26 PM
The seal around the windshield may be leaking. If not, it's an aerodynamic issue and nothing can be done. If a reputable auto glass company says replacing it won't help, I'd trust what they say....but verify it with others. Might not be the windshield though. Does your van have a luggage rack on top?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 25, 2015, 10:39:39 PM
No luggage rack. Can the seal not be replaced?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on September 26, 2015, 03:03:44 PM
Yep, seal can be replaced. I've read horror stories on some vehicles though, particular models that had issues with being difficult to get the seal to do it's job properly.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on September 28, 2015, 10:20:35 AM
Check your auto insurance policy. If you have glass coverage with low deductible, and your windshield just happened to get a crack in it, it could be replaced quite cheaply. Just sayin....
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on September 28, 2015, 10:34:34 AM
I think my deductible is 250 or 500, but a straight cash replacement is $150 - $200ish.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on September 28, 2015, 10:50:02 AM
I think my deductible is 250 or 500, but a straight cash replacement is $150 - $200ish.

Our deductible on standard collision & comprehensive is $500. But we have no deductible on glass coverage. All depends on the policy.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ncjeeper on September 28, 2015, 11:47:19 AM
Check with your agent. Usually there is a clause in your insurance. I only pay 100 dollar deductible on windshield replacements.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on September 29, 2015, 07:13:25 PM
I think it only costs us about $50 for a windshield replacement via insurance.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: NWPilgrim on May 02, 2017, 11:27:00 PM
An interesting article by Karl Denniger about why you should learn to fix your vehicle. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=232012 (http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=232012)  Binkyhunter is right on track with his thinking.  You are doing a great service to our community with your numerous and illustrative posts!

Quote
But you need to be the guy who isn't Pajama Boy when it comes to things like this.  You don't have to be materialistic, or a rocket scientist yourself, and it probably helps if you're neither. But you damn well ought to be able to fix a car.
...

Folks, work like that isn't hard.  Yes, it's detailed -- this bolt is tightened to that torque spec, this bolt is not to be reused (it will break if you re-use it) and similar.  So what?  It's not difficult when you get down to it; it just requires that you pay attention to what you're doing and it does consume time.

What the hell is wrong with us as a nation when we can't handle something like this any more -- virtually to an individual?

Wake up folks and pick up a screwdriver or wrench today.  Not only will it save you a lot of money it will also greatly reduce the risk of you having bad things happen without warning that greatly inconvenience you (or worse.)

Lots more in the article about finding other imminent problems while fixing one thing, patience, etc.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 03, 2017, 08:27:18 AM
Thanks. I haven't really done too much work lately aside from getting the car serviced (I still don't change my oil, the shop can change it, rotate tires, and look under it for problems I can't easily see). However the rear driver side window isn't going down/up smoothly so I think I may take a look at that just to do something. Depending on what the issue is and the cost to fix it I may do it or ignore it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on May 03, 2017, 10:17:44 AM
Thanks. I haven't really done too much work lately aside from getting the car serviced (I still don't change my oil, the shop can change it, rotate tires, and look under it for problems I can't easily see). However the rear driver side window isn't going down/up smoothly so I think I may take a look at that just to do something. Depending on what the issue is and the cost to fix it I may do it or ignore it.

I use silicone spray on my window gaskets. Something like this: http://amzn.to/2qFnmN3

I spray a liberal amount on the rubber track that goes along both sides of the windows. This will help them move easier. I do this once a year or so to all the windows on all the cars. Only takes a couple minutes to do and keeps things moving better and prevents stuff inside the door from breaking.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 03, 2017, 05:11:57 PM
Good to know. When you say both sides do you mean inside and outside or left/right? Are you removing the door panel?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: ChrisFox on May 03, 2017, 06:01:04 PM
Some times motor/regulator going out. They are notorious for cheaping out on those. Lucky to get 5 years out of them. Easy to fix though. I did all 4 last year. About $200 all together.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Zef_66 on May 04, 2017, 11:18:40 AM
Good to know. When you say both sides do you mean inside and outside or left/right? Are you removing the door panel?

Left and right. But I put the window down before spraying to make sure I get both the inside and outside as well if that makes sense.

Standing on the side of the vehicle looking at the closed door, usually a rubber groove/track will run up and down the left and right side of the door frame. The window slides up and down this groove and keeps it in the same place and from moving too much. The rubber can dry out and cause the motor to work hard to overcome the extra friction of the dry rubber. Spraying with silicone lubricant once a year helps keep the window moving better.

I do this with window down, door open, and door panel on. Just turn the key to the on position, lower the window, open the door, and spray the grooves. Takes less than a minute per window.

Ah, found a good video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS62LquGOUk
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: alexlindsay on May 21, 2017, 01:10:54 PM
A suggestion that I don't think has been covered in this thread. instead of getting an expensive code reader a more cost effective way of doing it is to get an ELM 327 dongle on eBay for less than 10$ and the torque pro app for a smartphone. I got one of these when working on my 6.0 f350. it allowed me to read outputs from a bunch of different sensors and diagnose problems without throwing parts at it. definitely worth it.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Chemsoldier on May 21, 2017, 01:25:24 PM
A suggestion that I don't think has been covered in this thread. instead of getting an expensive code reader a more cost effective way of doing it is to get an ELM 327 dongle on eBay for less than 10$ and the torque pro app for a smartphone. I got one of these when working on my 6.0 f350. it allowed me to read outputs from a bunch of different sensors and diagnose problems without throwing parts at it. definitely worth it.
Could you throw in some links?

Good suggestion by the way. +1
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: alexlindsay on May 21, 2017, 05:08:09 PM
http://m.ebay.com/itm/ELM327-V1-5-OBD2-Car-WIFI-Interface-Diagnostic-Tool-Scanner-For-Android-IOS-/222325625481?hash=item33c3a3d289%3Ag%3A3soAAOSwo4pYOAop&_trkparms=pageci%253A39b73720-3e7a-11e7-9726-74dbd1800e6f%257Cparentrq%253A2d43be0015c0ab4d6c3f731ffffe3d83%257Ciid%253A12

coupled with the torque pro app I was able to read the sensors for the high pressure oil system that runs the injectors, which enabled me to determine why my truck was having a starting problem when the oil was hot. it also allowed me to test the output voltage of my ficm, which is another common problem for 6.0 powerstrokes.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on May 21, 2017, 07:59:53 PM
Good suggestion. I have seen those but haven't gotten one yet. Usually if my check engine light goes on I swing into an Auto Zone and have them pull the code for me. It's free and they usually provide a printout of everything that's involved with the code: potential causes, potential parts needed, troubleshooting steps, etc.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 12, 2017, 10:14:16 PM
It’s been a while since I updated this thread. Honestly I haven’t done much on the vehicles and I’ve been too busy to tinker. I recently got a motorcycle and it’s going to get some work/modifications/maintenance done since I’m a) excited about it b) not sure what’s been done/not been done so I want to make sure it gets done and c) want to learn the ins and outs of the ride.

To start I cleaned my chain and checked the tension last week. It seemed loose and after looking up the specs in the service manual it is in fact loose. Specs say it should have 20-30mm of movement, roughly .75 – 1.25 inches.

As you can see from the first to pictures it had about two inches of movement:

(http://i.imgur.com/OyuvQ7e.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/gHARZ8O.jpg)

To start I bought a neat little tool that clamps onto the sprocket help with the alignment. To install it I need to remove the chain guard. One bolt out and the guard will pivot up and be out of my way:

(http://i.imgur.com/sobMu8o.jpg)

The tool is basic and has a long rod that runs down the chain. You site along it to make sure it and the chain are running parallel.

(http://i.imgur.com/lnpa8Mu.jpg)

Next the Axel nut needs to be loosed. Out with a cotter pin and the nut will loosen right up:

(http://i.imgur.com/oZayPpU.jpg)

After that there are two bolts that require an allen wrench to adjust on either side of the wheel. The left side adjusts the actual chain tension and the right side (pictured below) adjusts the yaw of the wheel. There are markings on the swing-arm to help line things up but the tool I installed is a better way to check.

(http://i.imgur.com/dSWhjOy.jpg)

And that’s it! Once the wheel is aligned tighten the axel nut to spec and reinstall the cotter pin. Mine’s actually incomplete right now because I didn’t have a socket big enough to fit the nut. I loosed it with a crescent wrench but I need to use my torque wrench to tighten it. I’ll pick one up tomorrow and have the job finished up then.

I’m also not thrilled about reusing the cotter pin since I have to shape it to lock so I’ll see if I can pick one up along with the socket. It’ll probably be ok but for such a cheap part I figure why not get new and unbent for a replacement.

The chain is within spec now as shown by the two pictures:

(http://i.imgur.com/B5z1jFL.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/Md32VKb.jpg)

It might still be a little on the loose side but it’s really close. Since it’s my first time doing any work like this I’d rather be careful. A chain that’s too tight is just as bad as a chain that’s too loose. Even if this is still a tad loose it’s an improvement over where it was before I started.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 26, 2017, 08:33:28 PM
The mechanic says I need new struts as my tires are cupping. I replaced the struts in the car in March of 2014 and have put 45k miles on since then. I feel like that's not that long of a life span but I did hit them hard the last year commuting to the new job. Does this sound typical?
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: CharlesH on July 27, 2017, 05:53:56 AM
It seemed too soon to me until I read that you hit them hard, so maybe one or more was damaged.  I'm several years removed from working much on my cars anymore, but I remember one test for the shock absorber system I had luck with was putting all my weight on one corner of the car by sitting or stepping on the bumper.  Let the car settle than remove your weight.  If the car comes back to a normal rest position quickly and with minimal bouncing your system on that corner is probably ok.  If it bounces ul and down before come to rest in position you have a problem.
 
As I said, it's been many years since I've done much work on cars myself, you should probably look this test up online to see what I've forgotten... but it may be a good place to start.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on July 27, 2017, 09:25:25 AM
that looks more like 6" of free play in that chain to start with, not 2". or so I told my ex wife.. ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 27, 2017, 02:47:28 PM
that looks more like 6" of free play in that chain to start with, not 2". or so I told my ex wife.. ;)

Ex's will say anything they feel like... don't listen to her. ;)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Carl on July 27, 2017, 07:16:15 PM
  STRUTS....cupping in tires can also be caused by resonance and irregular tire wear due to not being rotated often enough. Struts usually last longer though rough roads can wear them faster.I worked ,not as a mechanic,but at a goodyear tire  retred plant for 20 years or so in many work positions and the mechanics would often sell struts when the culprit was tires not being rotated. Don't just take my word for it as autos have changed a lot in 35 years.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on July 27, 2017, 07:51:52 PM
I would say it's more likely a rotation issue than a strut issue. Typically when struts or shocks are worn you will have uneven wear around the circumference of the tire because the suspension never "settles". It's easy to spot a car with bad shocks/struts going down the road...one or more wheels will continually oscillate up and down, even on a perfectly smooth road surface.

Putting in new struts is a lot cheaper than replacing tires though, at least on the strut equipped cars I've worked on.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 28, 2017, 08:18:53 AM
Well, I rotate every 5k when I change the oil. And the tires were bought in January so I would like to take care of them. I am driving a lot less now between moving closer to work and taking the motorcycle most days.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on July 28, 2017, 08:19:45 AM
swapped out the alternator in my '96 ford ranger last night. i did this 3 yrs ago also... hmm, wonder if the one that died had a problem... easy to do.. ford did a good job designing the swap out.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 28, 2017, 09:48:51 AM
I miss my ranger, it was so easy to work on. I dread the first major repair on my van, there is no space for my hands in that engine compartment unless i remove the engine...
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Carl on July 28, 2017, 10:26:06 AM
I miss my ranger, it was so easy to work on. I dread the first major repair on my van, there is no space for my hands in that engine compartment unless i remove the engine...

Technology has helped a bit ,though often the technology is the problem. I used to change oil every 5 K and do tune-op on dwell and timing once a month etc...under the hood or under the car at least two times a month....now the ignition time itself...you can turn the distributer and not changem a thing...if the auto even has one and the carb or now more often air body has no real adjustment though your auto has more computers than NASA while men went to the moon..I can put in synthetic oil and good filters and my car is good to go for 40K or more miles.

  But self maintaining is becoming a real bear as you don't repair much...you just replace and robots that build them have smaller arms.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: LVWood on July 28, 2017, 10:56:18 AM
It was an engine pull to replace the water cooled alternator on a VW Touareg with the V8.
Fine German engineering indeed.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: Carl on July 28, 2017, 01:50:33 PM
It was an engine pull to replace the water cooled alternator on a VW Touareg with the V8.
Fine German engineering indeed.

Their engineering is top notch,but they proved in the 40's that they lack in people skills. ::)
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: archer on July 28, 2017, 02:24:25 PM
It was an engine pull to replace the water cooled alternator on a VW Touareg with the V8.
Fine German engineering indeed.

damn, i almost bought a used one..
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 28, 2017, 07:20:14 PM
damn, i almost bought a used one..

I remember reading somewhere that the V8 Touarage was one of worst vehicles for fuel economy, and that was years ago before the whole VW scandal happened.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: machinisttx on July 28, 2017, 09:21:52 PM
Well, I rotate every 5k when I change the oil. And the tires were bought in January so I would like to take care of them. I am driving a lot less now between moving closer to work and taking the motorcycle most days.

Check rockauto.com for whatever parts you need. IIRC, the last time I put struts on the civic I ordered from them and paid a little over half of what it would have cost at oreilly's/autozone/etc. for the exact same parts. The only thing to watch out for when ordering from them is that everything is coming from the same warehouse.



Archer: I don't know much about the ford alternators, but if it stopped putting out power then there was definitely something wrong. Possibly as simple as a $5 set of brushes. Automotive alternators are pretty simple to repair most of the time.
Title: Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
Post by: theBINKYhunter on July 29, 2017, 08:47:29 AM
I'm a huge fan of rockauto. Surprisingly Amazon is pretty competitive in price with them with some parts. eBay works too, just used that for a piece is trim for my van.