Fixit Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Hey, nice belt. Gave me an idea to make a new camera strap for my camera. I get those neck lanyards from trade shows all the time that are made out of that really strong webbing. I think I'll sew some to the stubs of my frayed camera strap to repair it. Good one.

Just finished rebuilding a set of fuel injectors for my Mercedes. These can get expensive if you buy rebuilt units ~ $250 a set or $250 from a rebuild service. I bought a pressure test pump for my own use. $145. Some new German nozzles and needles for $150. After I rebuild my multiple diesels I think I'll be able to sell it off for a little less to another MB hobbyist. The previous owner had this done to my car 100,000 miles ago. It cost him $1000 back in 2005 to have the dealer do it.

This one is a little dubious till one considers the failure rate on the commercially produced rebuilt units. I hear the failure rate is about 20% right now since production of nozzles has moved out of Germany to China and India. Some of the rebuilt units are failures right out of the box. I was able to source new old stock German injector tips. Fuel injectors have very tight tolerances. Apparently the failures sometimes take about 10,000 miles to occur so you're well into it by the time there's a problem.

Fun stuff. We'll see how long my amateur rebuilts last. I'll probably sell this car before I put another 100,000 miles on it.

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A photo to know how it all goes back together.

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Checking spray pattern and release pressure (1950psi).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPgjXIhvwbM

horsewoman
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by horsewoman »

I needed a small light table for a quick art project today (creating a small batch of artsy business cards) so I re-repurposed a salad bowl - which begann its life as a window/door of a front loader washing machine, actually. A camping light beneath it, and voilà, a small light table! A lot easier than copying the letters from the pc monitor. I should however try to fix my printer, I suppose, but well, I like to draw :)

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jacob
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by jacob »

Fixed the speedometer on my neighbor's ancient stationary bike. The battery terminals were completely corroded, so I cleaned them up and put in new batteries. No bueno. Picking it apart revealed that the corrosion had worked through the copper wires connecting to the circuit board and actually detached one of them. Replacing the wires fixed the problem.

Tools used: Soldering iron, solder, PH1 and PH0 driver bits to take it apart, diagonal pliers to strip the wires, and vinegar + q-tips to clean out the corrosion.

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

jacob wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:02 pm
and vinegar + q-tips to clean out the corrosion.
This is an amazing restoration trick for battery leakage corrosion. I should do a before and after post showing results with vinegar on battery damage. Amazing trick.

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Vinegar also does wonders removing the smell of cat pee from the inside of a campervan. Granted, an unusual fixit, but a fixit nonetheless.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

I did an interesting one a few nights ago. I fixed an oil drip from my oil drain plug that was bothering me. Left a drop of oil everywhere I parked the car. Just one drop, but it is diesel oil and it stains carbon black like india ink. Not cool on white driveways. All I needed to do was change the plug bolt that had been scraped on an obstacle and damaged and change the metal seal washer to one of the new metal and rubber bonded seals common in modern cars...basically a copper washer with an o-ring built into it.

Voila. It doesn't leak anymore. Wow that was easy.
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The interesting part is I didn't have to drain out the oil. I had just changed oil and I didn't want to dump it out again so I found out you can hold the oil in the engine with a shop vac on the oil filler opening while you change the plug and seal. No oil was lost. Physics...and YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp1SpNpXwlE

davtheram12
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Slcass

That has to be one of the coolest way to fix a leaky oil pan bolt! Thanks for sharing. I almost feel like trying it just so I can experience the wizardry myself :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Yeah, that looks like fun but you could have just drained the oil into a pan and dumped it right back into the motor after installing the new washer, or am I missing something?

Riggerjack
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Riggerjack »

or am I missing something?
Yes, that would work just fine.

But in a pro shop, like in the video, oil is drained into the red vertical tank, and would pick up contaminates, so wouldn't be likely to be reused.

In a personal garage, draining and then reusing still results in waste and cleanup.

But where I looked at the possibilities for something like this is working on my backhoe. I couldn't use this for diesel tank or hydraulic fluid tank drain plugs (2 inch bolts, the hole I expect to be too big for the vacuum to hold back the fluid) but I could use it for things like replacing a fuel line or filter. Those tanks are in the 35-50 gallon range, so not having to catch and replace the fluids is a very neat trick! I think I may make a modified tank cap, just for this purpose.

Plus, anything that cuts the waste of hydrocarbons is always a good thing.

Thanks Sclass, very cool vid!

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Ego
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Yeah, the whole time I watched the video I was thinking the vacuum produced by the shop vac would either suck up the oil or not be powerful enough to hold it back from flowing. I imagined it would require a rather precise, narrow range of vacuum to hold it without sucking it up. But obviously it worked for sclass and the mechanic.

If I were to try this, I know beyond doubt I'd end up with an oil clogged shop vac or I'd accidentally trip on the cord and get a face full of oil.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

I don’t think the vac is strong enough to pull the oil up through the oil galleries in the engine. It is easier to pull air instead of oil...and I think that is exactly why this works. You hear this gurgling and bubbling when the oil plug comes out. I think it is the same phenomenon that makes a bong work. Air bubbles into the drain hole and it doesn’t allow the oil to rush out.

The option of draining it out was unacceptable because it makes a mess. I’d have to get a clean pan at $0.99 only stores and that would waste a dollar and some plastic. If I save it I waste a bunch of rags. There is also the spilling when I spaz on the refill. I think of this movie when I try to pour fluids from a big vessel back into the car. I pour this well.

https://youtu.be/2ccAx792uoI

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

davtheram12
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

I spent this past weekend doing some car maintenance. Car is a 2011 Honda Fit with 126k miles. I've owned it since day one when it had 3 miles and have since done all of the maintenance and repairs. The following was completed in preparation for a long road trip.

Serpentine belt ($15)
Drivers side turn signal bulb ($5)
Interior dome light bulb ($2)
Brake fluid flush ($18)
Oil change ($22)
Transmission fluid change ($30)
Transmission fluid filter ($20)
Cabin air filter ($2)
Engine air filter ($18)
Iridium spark plugs ($20)
Coolant/antifreeze flush ($15)
Thermostat ($15)
Drivers side headlight bulb ($12)
Restore faded black grill and windshield wiper cowl ($Free)
Inspect and clean rear drum brakes ($1)

I can't imagine how expensive it would have cost me had I paid someone to do all the above listed work. A coworker once told me his 2011 Honda Accord was totalled after getting sandwiched between a semi truck and a wall. He said insurance paid him for the value of the car but he lost out on the brake job he recently paid a mechanic to perform. I asked how much the brake job was and he responded "oh it was like $1,200" :shock:

Yeah I think I'll keep doing my own car maintenance.

Best part of the whole ordeal was being able to do it in a climate controlled garage that had a carpet lined floor. (old carpeting from the main house that was repurposed. It made things very comfortable :P

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Awesome. You saved hundreds of dollars and made your car robust. The Fit is a really nice minimalist car. From what I've heard they're well made. Have a safe trip!

Check this out.

Oh no! How did this happen? My brand new double wall vacuum lunch bowl! Oh s..t! I just bought this!
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Apparently dropped on the tile floor.
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I dug this whisk out of the trash. My wife didn't "like it's performance". So she dumped it. It had a nice stainless steel shaft. Food grade. I may need it someday. Like today. Time to sacrifice it to make my lunch bucket live again. Cut it up for the steel rod.
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Fabricate a little metal "L" shape with the rod and some simple tools.
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Drill it in and glue with superglue.
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A fix!
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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

davtheram12 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:36 pm

I can't imagine how expensive it would have cost me had I paid someone to do all the above listed work. A coworker once told me his 2011 Honda Accord was totalled after getting sandwiched between a semi truck and a wall. He said insurance paid him for the value of the car but he lost out on the brake job he recently paid a mechanic to perform. I asked how much the brake job was and he responded "oh it was like $1,200" :shock:
You know, I think I spoke too soon. Your work looks like it went into the thousands not hundreds. This stuff adds up. The shops always jack up the price of the parts too. You basically get half price when you buy online or at Autozone.

In grad school (1990s) my friend got reamed on a brake job for his Ford Escort. $2300 in 1994 dollars. He called me after the fact to hear if it was reasonable. He needed pads/shoes. They sold him, pads, shoes, rotors, drums, hoses, master cylinder, calipers and slave cylinders. Basically the entire system was replaced. The car was only worth $5000. But he was told “it was dangerous!” And he bit. This guy wasn’t a dummy either. He got a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and now designs RF circuitry at Apple. But he bit it on the car repair. Grease monkey gave him a righteous reaming. He slowly paid it off out of his stipend.

So after that all my classmates started hanging around my lab (that conveniently had a service bay for our group’s mobile lab) and learned brake jobs. Just pads and shoes. That’s it. $20 of parts and you’re good to go. Forget all the scare stories at the brake shop. We even used our lab’s micrometers to measure our rotors to check for wear. I still have the old Norton respirator I snatched from the chem stockroom to protect my lungs from asbestos. We all had them. :P And like good grad students we wore those disks down to the limits before replacement which never came because we graduated and bought better cars.

I remember years after graduation my buddy who was now working at PayPal stopped by our home with brake pads and beer. My wife came running out in the garage yelling “you make more than Sclass stop bringing your *$#@ing car here like a grad student!”

Fixing and driving an older car and investing the savings had a big effect on my numbers. A few thousand in the right place twenty years ago has become a handy sum of retirement savings.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

You can also use a shop vac to find exhaust leaks. With the car off, jam the vacuum hose into the end of the tailpipe and turn the vac on. You should be able to hear and feel where the leak is.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Yes, I did that on my 65 pickup. I wish I had a photo. It was hilarious. I have dual exhaust tips and duct taped a blue rubber glove over one pipe to plug it up. Blew into the other with the shop vac hose secured with duct tape. Neighbors thought I was crazy. The glove inflated to about 1' in diameter so I had this big blue hand waving off one pipe and the shop vac howling in the other as I crawled around the car feeling for leaks. :lol:

Found two leaks, one at the manifold ring seal and another on the recirculating heat valve (old car thing) for the carb. I learned that one from ChrisFix on YouTube. I'd been chasing that leak for months and dozing off behind the wheel with a CO induced coma. I bought at CO meter for $20 on Aliexpress and discovered I had dangerous levels of CO in the cab ~5ppm which got to me after half an hour of driving. Once I knew the sleepiness wasn't boredom/depression behind the wheel of my old truck I started YouTubing for an answer and found ChrisFix. Shop vac trick worked great for pinpointing the leak. I used soap suds on the suspected spots and looked for bubbles.

Last night I noticed my NordicTrack ski machine was getting a little clunky. Turned out there are these plastic glider buttons on the ski boards that need to run in the wood channels on the machine. I've used one of these for a few years.

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they were worn flush down the the boards. I guess it happens over time. time to laminate with some plastic bottle. this'll buy some time before I need to buy the $13 ones online. My trash company doesn't recycle this kind of bottle. It says recyclable on the side but they only take clear drink bottles.

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cut some strips. laminate and glue.

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And voila, fixed. Good for a few more hours of fake cross country skiing. Now it stands proud of the surface by about one peroxide bottle's thickness.
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jacob
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by jacob »

Fixit fail...

The stem on one of my watches has been bent so the crown is at an angle---likely the crown caught on something at some point. I therefore wanted to remove the stem to straighten it out (with force) w/o risking the watch. I get the back off. I've never removed a stem before but according to the internets there's usually a lever or a hole or some such that must be depressed with a pair of tweezers while pulling the stem out. Sometimes these are marked with an arrow. There's indeed a hole with an arrow pointing towards it. In the hole (and using 10x magnification) I can see a lever with an indent in it. I (think I) press it down and pull the stem but it doesn't come out. Internets say not to use force, so I don't.
There are two other holes next to the arrow hole closer to the stem. I can see the lever there too and it's clearly moving when I pull the stem in and out (to set time and date). However, it's unclear how the system works, so I give up.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Oooh boy. Don’t force it. Sounds like you’re doing it correctly. The little button usually lifts a lever out of a slot on the stem. That lever is part of the setting mechanism. I don’t know the correct name off hand, “set hack?” Maybe. On some watches is a screw and cam mechanism but it sounds like you have the little button one.

It might matter if the crown is in the winding position, time set or date set position when the button is pressed.

When it comes out be careful when straightening. The stems are very brittle. I’ve broken one or two trying to straighten them. Use mild heat to remove the crown. Then slowly bend the stem straight.

Good luck.

horsewoman
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by horsewoman »

We got a young dog a few months back. He is now in this delightful stage of his career where he chews on and destroys everything in his path. As a seasoned dog owner I know that this will end soon, plus it trains one to pick up stuff before it gets eaten. So it is not all bad :)
His latest victim was an old armchair the dogs sleep on. He bit a hole into the fraying fabric and pulled the stuffing out. My first impulse was to throw the old chair out but I really don't know how to do this - in Germany you need to get a special (and costly, for us cheapskates) pick-up for large pieces of rubbish like furniture, and they do not even come for one chair. So fixing it was actually less hassle than getting rid of it.

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First step: Pulling the edges of the tear together with messy stitching. I had to remove stuffing and was not able to pull very tightly due to the brittle fabric.

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Second step: Covering the tear. I used a cut-off leg from a denim jeans I had left over from another project, and finished the edges with the serger to avoid fraying. The hand sewing was a little cumbersome, since I'm not really practised in it. It is messy but since the surface will be covered with another layer it did not matter. I also put in some wide stitches on the sides to attach the denim more securely.

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Last step: putting a layer of artificial leather on the seat. I bought this PU-leather last year to protect the dog sofa but - you guessed it - the young dog chewed a hole in it - right in the middle of course. So I have two smaller pieces of it on hand, perfect for recycling it in this project. I put a few stitches in close to the backrest to keep it from slipping off. I hope this will last for while. The seat might be a little lumpy but that's usually not something my dogs object to. So we will see how it is accepted as a bed in this form. This fix took me about 45 minutes, which I consider a worthwhile use of my time.

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George the original one
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by George the original one »

horsewoman wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:27 am
My first impulse was to throw the old chair out but I really don't know how to do this - in Germany you need to get a special (and costly, for us cheapskates) pick-up for large pieces of rubbish like furniture, and they do not even come for one chair.
American rural tradition, the clean version: dig hole, dump item in, fill hole.

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