Author Topic: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles  (Read 152232 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #300 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.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #301 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #302 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.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #303 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #304 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.

Offline TexDaddy

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Offline machinisttx

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #306 on: June 03, 2015, 11:22:52 PM »
Found it! 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #307 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.

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #308 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #309 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.

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #310 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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #311 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.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #312 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

Offline Tyler Durden

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #313 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.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #314 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)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #315 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:



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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #316 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.


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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #317 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:



The air system is in the way for the front three so I had to remove that:



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:



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:



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:



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:



I also put labels on them in case they got kicked around or moved before I was ready for them:



My camera didn’t want to focus, but old vs. new:



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!



Blinker fluid – helps with electrical connections n stuff:



Got the wires reinstalled with the dialectic grease on them and made sure they were organized back into their brackets:



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:



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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #318 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:



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:



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:



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:



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:



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:



After that reverse the steps and you’re done. The truck fired right up and there was no more leaking fuel.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #319 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?

Offline machinisttx

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #320 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?

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #321 on: September 25, 2015, 10:39:39 PM »
No luggage rack. Can the seal not be replaced?

Offline machinisttx

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #322 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.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #323 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....

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #324 on: September 28, 2015, 10:34:34 AM »
I think my deductible is 250 or 500, but a straight cash replacement is $150 - $200ish.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #325 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.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #326 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.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #327 on: September 29, 2015, 07:13:25 PM »
I think it only costs us about $50 for a windshield replacement via insurance.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #328 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  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.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My journey to maintaining my own vehicles
« Reply #329 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.