Author Topic: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles  (Read 156424 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #210 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #211 on: March 05, 2014, 07:50:06 PM »
Got her home safe and sound! I started a new that will cover the rebuild here .

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #212 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?

Offline archer

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #213 on: March 12, 2014, 12:34:45 PM »
oh, i found that replacing the door locks on a 95 Ford ranger is simple.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #214 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #215 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

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #216 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #217 on: March 12, 2014, 10:42:35 PM »
It is a harmonic balancer, will do on the inspection.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #218 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:



Upper mount:



Lower mount, which is what I removed first since I think it’s easier to start there:



Different angle and the one that I worked from:



One bolt on the lower shock mount, pretty easy to remove:



On to the top where the shock mounts into this bracket. Those two nuts come off to remove it:



…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:



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:



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:



Old next to the new, you can see the hardware that has to transfer to the new shock:



To remove the hardware from the shock there is a nut on the top that needs to be removed:



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:



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:



I started the bottom bolt to hold the shock in place, then lined up the top and cut the strap off:



Let the shock expand on its own and guide the top right into place:



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:



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:



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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #219 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #220 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #221 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 ;)

Offline yodal

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #222 on: March 26, 2014, 03:00:27 PM »
WOOHOO! Good job WH!

Offline womule

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #223 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

Offline womule

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #224 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.

Offline womule

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #225 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.

Offline Ranger Dave

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #226 on: March 27, 2014, 06:40:25 PM »
Listened to your interview with Jack today, Great Job

Ranger Dave

Offline Tactical Hamster

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #227 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #228 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:



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):



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:



Bracket and nuts are off. I used a hammer to tap out the bolts and remove the spindle from the base of the strut:



Hammered out (mostly):



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:



Removed:



Once everything is disconnected I pulled the spindle out of the lower strut mount:



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:



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:



And here’s the special spring compressor tool I rented:



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:



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:



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:



And the new strut is put together and ready for install! Also my dad was helping and wanted to show off his dirty hands:



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.



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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #229 on: April 03, 2014, 11:09:51 PM »
Dawn liquid dishwashing soap works wonders also for getting grime and grease off of your hands.

Offline Greekman

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #230 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!

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #231 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?

Offline Tactical Hamster

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #232 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.

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #233 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.

Offline Tactical Hamster

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #234 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #235 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.

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #236 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.

Offline cpf240

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #237 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...

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #238 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... ::)

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #239 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