Author Topic: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles  (Read 157537 times)

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #120 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. ;)

Offline archer

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #121 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

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #122 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #123 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!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #124 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:



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:



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:



Here’s the passenger side:



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:



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.



Old shock next to the new one:



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:



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 :) ):



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.



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



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



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:



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:



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



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:



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



And the shock is out:



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:





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.

Offline RacinRob

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #125 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.

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #126 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!

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #127 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

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #128 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #129 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #130 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

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #131 on: November 22, 2013, 10:25:02 AM »
thanks, i'll read these later tonight.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #132 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 :(

Offline lettuceman

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #133 on: November 24, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »
Thanks for the link.

d3nni5

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #134 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #135 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 :(

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #136 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:



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:



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:



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:



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:



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.



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



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:



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



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:



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:



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



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:



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:



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)

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #137 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

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #138 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #139 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.


Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #140 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

Offline bdhutier

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #141 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!!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #142 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #143 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #144 on: December 25, 2013, 06:01:32 PM »
for my next repair...


Offline lettuceman

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #145 on: December 26, 2013, 03:34:11 PM »
One little oops and you have a real problem.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #146 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #147 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #148 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.

Offline Greekman

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #149 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.