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Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:21 am
by davtheram12
I've been slowly selling off the massive video game haul I bought from my best friend I mentioned in a previous post. Within that haul were a few Gameboy games that had dry batteries. These batteries are primarily used to maintain the internal clock and save state of the game. Without functional batteries the game is unplayable (unless the game is played nonstop without turning off the console). I used my credit card points to purchase some flux, solder, solder wick, CR2025 batteries and CR2032 batteries. All in all I paid $14 out of pocket after I depleted my credit card points. Set up my soldering station and within minutes I replaced the batteries. I decided to replace my Super Nintendo game batteries as well since I already had everything out. Spent about another hour to finish those (ran into a small snag with one game but managed to figure it out). After some testing I was done! Already sold one of the Gameboy games for $80 so I'd say taking the time to do some basic soldering was worth my time :P

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:50 am
by Laura Ingalls
My son fixed the dryer in his apartment. He bought installed a new timer switch and knob. Good as new.

My fix-it fail is I just ordered a new dishwasher, range, fridge, and microwave/range hood.

This dishwasher is broke and we have made numerous attempts to fix, fridge runs constantly, the oven does work on the stove, and the microwave is just because you save more money if you buy four :roll:

I do think my superpower is more negotiating and persistence in filling out rebate forms. DH is going to take install it all.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 12:32 pm
by Sclass
Laura Ingalls wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:50 am
My son fixed the dryer in his apartment. He bought installed a new timer switch and knob. Good as new.
A priceless lesson in saving money.

I fixed my mom’s Norge gas tumble dryer for decades. New belt. New timer controller. New thermostatic controller. The nice thing about the old analog mechanical ones is the parts are for the most part interchangeable. They all seemed to be more or less the same dryer inside with different exteriors. This is a motivation to keep an older analog dryer.

Norge had been gone for years but The parts were universal to Maytag and Whirlpool and others so they just dropped in. I finally gave up five years ago when the drum bearings seized. We bought the dryer with the house 45 years prior to that. It was old then but the home seller (oddly our home was for sale by owner) said it was near impossible to get the washer dryer down the narrow stairway into the cellar so it would be wise to buy them. My dad cut a deal for something like $20 as it was a compromise for the guy not to move it out and us to not move new ones in. Since then I’ve been highly motivated to repair rather than replace.

Well I was ready to install new bearings when my hand just collapsed right through the rusted enclosure. The side near the pilot turned into rusty Swiss cheese and it collapsed as I leaned on it. Time for a new one.

After it died in 2017 I realized dryers made in the 60s were a lot smaller than ones made today. I couldn’t get a gas unit small enough to fit down the staircase into the cellar. After a lot of thought and useless tips from my siblings to “simply buy one and hire somebody to carry it in” I bought the smallest GE (happened to be analog) that was still 1” larger than the staircase. I downloaded the assembly diagram and disassembled the thing. I took lots of photos. Then I carried all the parts into the cellar and put them back together. It actually was pretty easy. Took about an hour but took weeks to figure out beforehand.

Short tip - buy a simple washer and dryer and check the repair sites to see if it uses generic replacement parts. Even though the modern ones save more water and energy they tend to be full of one off circuit boards microcontrollers that may not be available in ten years when you need them. These are the same microcontrollers that are causing the global chip shortage for cars.

I own a high tech LG in my residence because my wife insisted on it. But I can imagine when I need to replace a board it may not be stocked. They are literally changing the electronic designs every year so there are no “generic” controllers between models and brands.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:37 pm
by Laura Ingalls
My folks had the same dryer from the mid ‘60 til ~2010. It was avocado green and nobody knew how many times my dad had fixed it.

DS and my dad share the same type of mechanically inclined brain.

I feel some nostalgia for the stove. It is early ‘80s vintage. It has cooked some good meals. The fridge of the same era I disliked both it’s functionality and aesthetics.

I am honestly looking a bit towards the day we sell this place. It’s definitely a “starter” or first timers house. Although nobody seems to ever upgrade (most of the neighbors have been here a long time. I think newer matching appliances signal well cared for house.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:59 pm
by SavingWithBabies
I was surprised to learn, in passing in a video, that there are still American-made clothes washers. There is Staber which seems hard to actually find a place selling one and it's made for the handy owner who prefers to repair it themselves and does not mind working around its quirks (well, I concluded that after reading reviews). Then there is Speed Queen which is more towards the commercial end of things but still sells units without coin operation (both washer and dryer) and seems a bit easier to find retailers for online. Maybe there are more?

It definitely seems like one of those purchases where if you go with one of these American units, you're paying ~2-4x what a typical big box machine would cost (at least for the washer) but you may get better quality and it may be easier to repair yourself. I'm curious if anyone has experience with the American-made units of today.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:06 pm
by Laura Ingalls
My mom also has one of these
https://images.app.goo.gl/TYHUobhXNbcXCdsw8

Fully functional. We used it when I was a kid. I never minded using it.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:01 am
by Sclass
I had two friends who ran those coin op machines in their homes. Washers as I recall. At the time I found it kind of quirky but now I kind of get it. They were older landlords and they’d acquired them somehow either from their own rentals or free from friends.

It has crossed my mind that one of these machines would be BIFL. But as you say they probably cost more. I suspect you can find a used one cheap when an apartment complex is renovated to luxury where the coin ops get swapped out for in unit hookups. I haven’t looked at one in thirty years but I suspect their infinitely rebuildable.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:31 am
by Ego
Sclass wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:01 am
It has crossed my mind that one of these machines would be BIFL. But as you say they probably cost more. I suspect you can find a used one cheap when an apartment complex is renovated to luxury where the coin ops get swapped out for in unit hookups. I haven’t looked at one in thirty years but I suspect their infinitely rebuildable.
Right now is the time to buy. We have a laundry company who manages the machines on our property and gives us a cut of the take. Many apartment complexes like ours are insisting that these companies replace the perfectly functional coin-op machines with app-op machines. The only real problem we ever had with the old Speed Queens was with the coin mechanism would periodically jam. The machines themselves ran perfectly. I always talk with the tech's when they came and learned that on the rare occasion that one broke, it was easily repairable . Look at CL or even ebay local pickup to get them.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 3:58 pm
by davtheram12
Boy do I hate vandalism. People can be such a pain! Went out to my DW's car on our way to visit the in-laws and the whole driver's side was keyed. They managed to get the quarter panel, rear door, front door and fender. The pattern was odd so I decided to look at the other cars that were parked in line with her car. Sure enough five other cars were keyed as well :x Looks like I'll have to spend the next few days fixing it. Not ideal since it's at least 4 feet of paint I have to apply and blend. Luckily I have all of the tools so it shouldn't cost much more than the price of factory OEM paint.

@sclass
Ever had to deal with something similar?

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:50 am
by Sclass
Yes I had to deal with this once when I was a college student. I came home on spring break and my dropout neighbor (kid I played with across the street) destroyed every surface of my vintage sports car I was in the process of restoring. In the middle of the night. I learned recently from his brother that he was going through some issues after dropping out of high school and was resentful of what the world had done to him. I’m still pissed off about it. Never fixed it. I just drove the car and never owned anything nice again. There’s a lesson in there. If I reflect enough I think I can say I should have known better.

I belong to a car club and the other members comment how my vehicles could use a repaint. These guys polish so much you can see your face smiling in the paint. Been there done that no thanks. I paint my cars with a brush and roller now just enough to stop rust. Nothing to envy. I focus on mechanicals now.

Good luck touching things up. Key scratches are hard to fix without repainting entire areas. Not like rock chips.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:06 am
by davtheram12
Wow! I would have been livid had something like that happened to my car when I was in college. It's interesting to see what lengths people will go when they feel life has wronged them. Deep seeded resentment with a lack of emotional fitness can really make someone snap. It's usually a significant other that has been wronged in a relationship. Those crimes of passion make more sense to me than vandalizing someone's property out of spite. Especially if the victim had no connection to the perpetrator.
I'm not looking forward to the repair. I'm already having a hard time sourcing the paint. And to make things worse, the paint is slightly faded with age, it has metallics in it and one of the panels has already been previously repaired (Im positive matching the paint will be even more difficult now). Maybe I can convince my DW to let me rat-rod the car :lol:

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:28 pm
by Sclass
You have some awful people living in your neighborhood. Good luck with that.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:46 pm
by davtheram12
@sclass
Lol they aren't all awful but since the pandemic started I've noticed a huge influx of transients. Most keep to themselves but some have been getting a little aggressive and odd. One guy asked my female neighbor for a cigarette. After she responded that she doesn't smoke he asked for food. She gave him a confused look, he saw me and walked away without a word. Cars wheels have been stolen. Garages have been broken into. Lots of odds things have been happening lately.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:30 pm
by white belt
Well my back wheel stayed true for about 2 weeks and on my ride home from work last night it started to rub on the fender again. It's like the wheel progressively got bent again during the ride even though I didn't hit any major bumps. I haven't had issues in the past with the back wheel before this and I'm only carrying about 20 lbs at most on my rear rack.

Some more internet research reveals that I may have to get a spoke tension gauge. When I trued the wheel by eye I tried to ensure relatively even spoke tension and followed the recommended process of loosening one spoke before tightening the spoke on the opposite side. Nevertheless, I think I might have to true it again then ensure the spoke tension is up to manufacturer's specs so I don't have to deal with this issue every other week. The alternative is to shell out $60-100+ to have the wheel trued at a bike shop, but for that kind of money I'm pretty sure it's worth at least attempting to fix myself. Worst case is a buy a $20 spoke tension gauge (alternatively I might have a friend who has one) and spend an hour fixing it, only have to have the issue re-appear and then I'll take it to a professional.

I'm open to suggestions if anyone has other ideas.

Edit: My wheel has a Shimano Nexus 8 hub, which makes replacing the wheel a bit more complicated, so I'm hoping it's not beyond repair.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:29 pm
by Ego
Sounds like it is time for the IBM.
https://youtu.be/i73vVq7t138?t=331

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:30 pm
by shaz
@whitebelt how many miles did the wheel have on it before it started going out of true? Was there an obvious cause when it initially went out of true? Sometimes new wheels (esp rear wheels) don't have enough tension on the spokes (bad build), and they will just keep going out of true until you re-tension the whole thing.

If it is a very low-spoke wheel, it also is possible the wheel isn't sufficiently sturdy for the way you use it. If it has at least 28 spokes, that probably is not the problem.

Also, you can try plucking the spokes and listening to the tone to see if the tension is approximately equal. Your drive side spokes should have more tension than the non-drive side spokes, but the spokes on one side should all sing close to the same note when you pluck them.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:41 pm
by SavingWithBabies
I bought a tension meter but I ended up selling it because plucking the spokes was easier. Go to the opposite side of the rim where the wheel is still true. Now pluck the spokes on each side of the rim (they might be same tension on each side but odds are one side is different tension from the other). Pluck a bunch in a row and get a sense for how they sound. Now go to the side with the problem and try to replicate that. If the rim is bent, you'll end up having to make it tighter (higher pitched) and looser (lower pitched) to pull out the bend. Probably...

You definitely can get a tension meter but you can do it without it too. This book is good and goes into the whole plucking thing. I used it to build some wheels:

https://www.wheelpro.co.uk/wheelbuilding/book.php

Oh, and @shaz beat me too it (just read the other replies while writing this). So I'm seconding what he is saying. The book is well worth it though if you are curious about making your own wheelsets. Not that complicated but worth avoiding mistakes.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:20 pm
by Ego
Fixit-it failure with the Bowflex dumbbells. Each dumbbell has a bolt running through the center, threaded on each end with nylon-insert locknuts. It was impossible to unscrew both ends as there is no way to hold the bolt from spinning. So I unscrewed one end, pulled everything off of the bolt, put the new pieces in place and tried to put it back together then bolt the end. The already tightened end spun and spun further down the shaft while the other end would not tighten at all. There is no way to get purchase on the bolt to keep it form spinning. All the while the bearings and springs continually pop out if a tiny bit of slack is permitted. I gave up after 2 hours of fighting with it. Snapped a photo and listed it on CL. I just sold both dumbbells for $185. Of course, I explained the problem to the buyer. I believe he has some experience with them so he may do better than I did.

They took a simple indestructible product, dumbbells, and built in some planned obsolescence. I will use the profit to buy a few more kettlebells or a set of Indian clubs when I see them at the swap meet. Not much to break with those.

Re: Fixit Log

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:45 am
by davtheram12
Ego wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:20 pm
I just sold both dumbbells for $185.

They took a simple indestructible product, dumbbells, and built in some planned obsolescence. I will use the profit to buy a few more kettlebells or a set of Indian clubs when I see them at the swap meet.
What a pain! Glad to hear you were still able to sell them. I'm certain there was a trick when it came to reassembly but chances are they would have given you more issues in the future. Good choice on purchasing more kettlebells or a set of Indian clubs. Simple and effective tech.