Author Topic: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles  (Read 156531 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #90 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:



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



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



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.



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.



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



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:



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



Free off resinous oppression!



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.



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



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.
 


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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #91 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:



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.



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



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:



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:



And remove it:



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.



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



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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #92 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.



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:



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.



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



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.



Different angle:



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.



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.



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



Exhaust down and out of the way:



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:



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.



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.



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!



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



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:



New pump is in and everything reconnected:



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.



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 ;).

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #93 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.


Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #94 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.



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



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).



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).



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.



Unplugged and out of the way:



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



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.



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



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:



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.



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.



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:



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



Air filter side:



This is the IAC sensor attached to the TB:



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



TB with IAC removed:



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:



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:



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:



Here’s the other side:



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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #95 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. ;)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #96 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #97 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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #98 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

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #99 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?

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #100 on: October 16, 2013, 06:34:27 PM »
Are talking about service wrenches? They are slim and flat making access to cramped places easier.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #101 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.

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #102 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

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. 

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #103 on: October 17, 2013, 03:10:06 PM »
that's probably it. hitting things with a hammer sounds like a lot more fun :D

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #104 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

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #105 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #106 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:



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:



Here’s the motor taken off:



And the inside of the reducer:



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:



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



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



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:



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!



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!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #107 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.

Offline bdhutier

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #108 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. 

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #109 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.

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #110 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.

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #111 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.

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #112 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 ;)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #113 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?

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #114 on: November 08, 2013, 11:48:46 AM »
Hose clamp needs a little tightening?

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #115 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?

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #116 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.

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #117 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)..

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #118 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!



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.



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:



Reservoir line along with the radiator cap (removed):



The lower radiator hose:



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.



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



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…



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.



And now we have room to work!



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:



Four bolts and it’s off:



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:



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



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!



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:



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:



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:



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.



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:



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



Finally got everything out:



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



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



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



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.



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



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



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.



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.



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:



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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #119 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.