Fixit Log

Fixing and making things, what tools to get and what skills to learn, ...
jacob
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by jacob »

@Lemur - The thing that gets me with these things is that repairing old stuff is never as easy as the manual suggests. In that way it's like plumbing or electric work in an old house. Once you start taking one part off, you might end up having to replace everything since the whole system was held together by rust and corrosion---the bonds of history. Worse, original parts are likely hard to get, so the challenge is figuring out what kind of alternatives are suitable for the old system.

In this case, the Honda Fit does not use standard battery terminals. Instead it uses some proprietary distributor terminal (probably not the right word) that costs $60-100 to replace and is somehow hooked into the starter---the cable just disappears into the engine somewhere, I never figured out where. See exploded diagram here: https://www.hondapartsnow.com/genuine/h ... 6-000.html

The other aspect is when things are mission critical. I'm not sure how much patience DW has with me derping around at my usual "learn a topic from scratch pace". Since the car is 15 years old, the smart thing to do might be to buy a similar younger model and use the older one for parts and experiments.

My real problem likely is that I don't think cars are cool. However, despite being together with DW for 20 years now, I've never managed to talk her out of having a car.

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Lemur
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Lemur »

I’n familiar with those cables. I had a Nissan Maxima when I lived in Guam and those terminals rusted all the time due to the humid and rainy environment. I had a wire brush handy and it was standard maintenance to keep the terminals cleaned. Usually performed at the same time as doing the oil change.

Also once had a 1981 Ford F-150 that lasted until about 600k miles. That car was basically on life support. Engine block literally blew up on the road. Fun while it lasted. Purchased for only $700, no major repairs, and I got a year out of it.

Occasionally older cars are easier to work on because they typically have larger engine bays, the engine components are less compacted, less sensors, and overall easier design. I always used www.Rockauto.com to find older parts.

Best thing to do is find vehicles with reputations for easy designs and interchangeable parts between models. 90s Toyota Corollas are a good bet as well as 2000s Honda Civics. Never owned a Honda Fit…do have a 2012 Prius now that I have had since 2018 or so. I got that car for half the blue book value at the time simply because it had an incident of being t-boned once…but since the damage was just the door and not the engine, I took a chance. Have only had one repair since and that one I was not confident enough to do on my own (rear axle replacement).

ETA: I have sometimes wondered about the tradeoff of getting a much newer vehicle with low mileage and keeping it alive for as long as possible versus a treadmill of used cars at 8-12 year old range. Tough to analyze even when considering depreciation schedules…newer vehicles have better safety features typically and usually more fuel efficient too. Not to mention not having to dig through junk yards for older car parts.

zbigi
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by zbigi »

Lemur wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2024 6:52 pm
ETA: I have sometimes wondered about the tradeoff of getting a much newer vehicle with low mileage and keeping it alive for as long as possible versus a treadmill of used cars at 8-12 year old range. Tough to analyze even when considering depreciation schedules…newer vehicles have better safety features typically and usually more fuel efficient too. Not to mention not having to dig through junk yards for older car parts.
That's my strategy. I bought a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer in 2013 and hadn't had a single failure so far (apart from battery dying from old age). It was only $15k at the time, and I hope to use it for the next 10-15 years. $15k amortized over 300 month (25 years) is just $50 a month, which can't be much more that going through several old clunkers over the same time period.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Missed a few days. Glad you solved the car issues. I had terminal on my Accord corrode badly a few years ago. I bought one of the clamp on ends from the auto parts store and fixed it. The thing to understand about starting is the currents are so high that it doesn’t take much resistance on a bad connection to drop your voltage to nothing.

A voltmeter is a great way to trace these drops. Just start with the black probe on the negative side of the battery. Use the red to probe voltage from points at the positive side of the battery along to the circuit to the motor and then on to the negative side. While current is flowing - you may need a partner to crank the car. Copper wires and good connections should have no drop. The load (starter motor) should have a massive drop. It’s just simple physics. You want all your energy going to the motor.

This process solves 90% of electrical problems. And I estimate starting and battery related stuff to be half of all breakdowns. Once you get this down you have the majority of bugs under control.

loutfard
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by loutfard »

My wife recently bought an unused new in package blender thingie from the non-profit thrift store for 9€. It didn't work. I opened it up. I didn't have my multimeter around, but I had a box of Wago clamps.

I bridged power to the motor directly. That worked fine, so it was something to do with a switch or a sensor. Then I got lazy. I just rewired things internally to just use the one button we really needed. Fifteen minutes later, I made a banana milkshake with it.

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P.S. Don't worry about this going wrong. I properly immobilised the power cord, and I put back the protective hood for the motor too.

jesmine
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by jesmine »

I did a few minor repairs on some shoes. Once the original stitches/thread start wearing and tearing, it's not long before the shoe becomes dysfunctional. I have a small awl and some thread. I wish I had a smaller needle to do the finer work. The brown shoe seam was only overlapped by 1/8 inch and the top side of leather was folded but also ripped from breaking apart, so that repair stitch looks like shit, but it will hold good. I picked up a small spool of waxed coated sinew from the local Amish harness shop. An awl is really just a needle with a handle to make it easy to push and pull. The awl I have has a channel cut into the length of the needle for the thicker threads to lie in so as to make it easier to push and pull.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/uz9J5Pntbh3VUTDP6
Below is the stitching method I used with some knots to terminate the stitch. I overlap the new stitch with the old to lock it in. I let the old thread get mixed in with the new stitching. It doesn't look as neat, but doesn't hurt any either.
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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

I love that sewing tool. Big money saver. I had a sewing post years ago here where I showed how to make one of those sewing awl needles out of a sewing needle and a piece of almond wood. It’s a slow process but it will save high value items like shoes, backpacks, purses and sporting goods.

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Frita
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Frita »

Our toilet had been taking up to three minutes to flush with the flapper not wanting to seal. When I was cleaning the bowl, I noticed the syphon hole (term learned from toilet schematics) was completely blocked with mineral buildup. After scraping out a few tablespoons of mineral deposit, it flushes well again without flapper issues.

Cam
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Cam »

I might have stumbled upon a gem. Was scrolling through Kijiji recently and spotted a wine cooler in the "free stuff" section. The description said "needs a new start capacitor. All other components functional" I thought that's interesting. I googled it - turns out the thing is worth $1700 new.

https://rosehillwinecellars.com/product ... 9pEALw_wcB

I was confused. If the person knew exactly what fix it needed - why not do it? Especially because if he is techy enough to know how to diagnose the issue, he would know how cheap parts are. My best guess was that he just didn't have the time. People with $1700 wine coolers likely have lots of money and very little time :D

I recruited my brother to help me load it in my car. We went out yesterday morning, and I bought him some fancy donuts as a thank you for his help. I didn't want to go by myself, because one of my pet peeves with giving stuff away is when people come and then ask for helping moving something heavy/awkward...no thanks I am already giving something perfectly functional away and don't need to risk hurting myself in the process.

Anyways - we went out yesterday morning. I emptied out my car, and put the seats down. I threw more blankets and pillows in to cushion everything. We drove out, and arrived at his place. It was exactly as I had guessed. This guy was loaded (with money and/or debt) - big truck, big house, big shop etc. He said it needed that one part and it was good to go, but he just didn't have the time, plus he had three more of the same cooler already :lol:

I plugged it in today after the 24 hour period, and it seems exactly as he said. No power to the display or anything. The power cord is fine. The first thing it runs to is the start capacitor. Apparently it is just clipped in.

I don't need a wine chiller, so when I do get this fixed it's going up on Kijiji. I'm not sure how much to discount it yet. So far I am pretty excited though. Will post photos once I get my USB C cable down to my girlfriends (all photos are on my dumb phone).

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Cam wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 12:08 pm
No power to the display or anything. The power cord is fine. The first thing it runs to is the start capacitor. Apparently it is just clipped in.
Not sure it’s the capacitor. The capacitor is likely used to start the compressor. If there is no display or lights I’d check for a fuse or circuit breaker. Perhaps a thermal fuse. Best to trace it out with a meter and see where the power is going (or not going).

ETA - ooh stopped by https://winecellr.ca/

I found their marketing nauseating. “Be Audacious. Live the moment.”

Yeah Cam I’d look at the power supply, fusing etc. before jumping into the start capacitor. I doubt the capacitor would take out the function of the electronics. Since the electronics likely governs the cycling of the compressor, no electronics means no start of the compressor. The fact there are no lights suggests the problem is in the DC power supply to the electronics. If you’re lucky it’s a bad connection or a burned fuse.

Cam
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Cam »

Thanks Sclass I'll have a look around. Good point about the electronics governing the cycling of the compressor. I'll take another look and upload some photos later.

I don't know if it's possible to truly live in the moment without knowing your wine is staying right at 8.5 C. Not knowing would weigh heavily on my conscience.

Cam
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Cam »

I have been poking around on stack exchange getting help there. Sclass I think you were right. Take a look at my post here https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions ... wering-on?

The fuse just happens to be bundled right in with the start capacitor under the black plastic cap. I was able to pop both off, and find a near perfect match on eBay for $14.

Now just to wait for the parts to arrive. Once I pop them in we will find out if I got lucky or not.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Good stuff Cam. Hope you get it working.

Tonight I repaired my half Axel on our 2011 Honda Accord. It started vibrating on the freeway at speeds over 60mph when under power. The sound went away when coasting and didn’t show up at low speeds. I was kind of confused and worried it was a transmission problem so I started searching online. Fifteen minutes later I was an expert on the issue.

Apparently on 8th generation accords the passenger side half Axel gets some irregular wear in the inner CV joint. The remedy is to swap out the half Axel. I watched a couple of videos and I was convinced I could do it. I free rented tie rod and balljoint pullers from Autozone. Took about two hours to muscle the half shaft out. It was rusted in pretty tightly.

I tested the car out and indeed changing the passenger side half shaft stopped the vibration at speed. Amazing. Thanks to the internet. I would have never guessed that my CV joint was bad. The car only has 90,000 miles. On my Mercedes cars the CV joints have 350,000 and 200,000 miles and have never been replaces. I’ve only needed new rubber boots and grease. Apparently the 8th gen Hondas have a design flaw according to the source online. The races get irregular scoring that causes vibration at highway speeds. Thank goodness somebody wrote it up and posted it. It almost makes me feel like I’m a good mechanic.

Good YouTube videos of the replacement process helped too. Also having a wide variety of electric impact drivers helped speed the wrenching up.

Saved a few dollars.

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dranudin
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by dranudin »

My washing machine stopped getting warm. I searched a few minutes in the internet what could be the reason. It seemed that it is usually the heating element that breaks. I watched a video of a guy, who had a similar model. Seemed easy, so I thought I would try it. It was easy unscrewing everything, but the element itself was kind of stuck and it took me some fiddling and force to get it out. It looked ok from the outside. I then took my multimeter (cheap one from LIDL) and measured unlimited resistance between the two ends. So probably it is the heater that is broken. Here is a picture of it:

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I ordered the parts online from the producing company. It is actually a "Whirlpool" machine inside, that they sell under a different brand (Bauknecht) in my country. The spare parts come from a factory in Italy, where they sell it under a different brand again (indesit). I ordered also a new tempearture gauge because it was cheap. When the parts arrive the temperature gauge seemed a little different than the original part, but it would fit in. That made me suspicuous but I assembled everything anyway (heater eleement and gauge). With the result that the washing machine still did not heat up. So I decided to put the original gauge back in. Now everything works fine.
That fix did not only save me a lot of money, but also a lot of hassle. Moving washing machines around is no fun. Probably it took me less time to repair the machine than it would take to buy a new one, have it delivered and get rid of the old one..
Last edited by dranudin on Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Cam wrote:
Fri May 24, 2024 2:31 pm

The fuse just happens to be bundled right in with the start capacitor under the black plastic cap. I was able to pop both off, and find a near perfect match on eBay for $14.
@cam I wandered over to stack exchange and saw your post. Looking at the schematic I don’t think the cap and fuse you got are the issue. Something is interrupting power to your display board. There is likely a fuse on your “Main Controller Board”. Take a clear photo of the component side of the board and I can help you find the circuit protection components.

These designs are pretty sensible. AC power comes in on one side. It gets rectified and regulated to DC. The. The DC voltages get distributed downstream. Likely there is a glass fuse on this main board or a poly resettable fuse to prevent a fire with an over current condition. Sometimes the designer screws up and lets the fuse trip at too low a transient current during startups. Or the fuse just wears out with lots of power cycling or vibration. Let’s take a look at the components on the main co troller board. The fuse you’re currently messing with is for the motor only.

@dranudin great fix. I’ve kept the appliance repairman out of my home and pocket for years. It really adds up and it is satisfying to take care of these issues by yourself. That’s cool how LIDL sells multimeters. We have Aldi in the US and they have some useful tools too.

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Sclass
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Fixed my LG washer again. The display went blank. I opened it up and wiggled the crystal again and it flickered a bit. I think I have a broken solder joint. The issue is the board is dipped in silicone and the back of the board has this plastic shield glued to it. I needed to cut an access hole to get at the solder bumps which were located under the plastic backing.

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Flip it over to access the backside. Cut a hole with a Dremel saw.

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Clear the potting away from the underside of the blue crystal. Actually it’s technically a ceramic oscillator but it serves as the system clock source.

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Resolder the bumps. Put some tape over he hole to keep water out.

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Booyeah! Kept $300 in my pocket. No new board required ($300 on Amazon) not to mention no repairman in my pocket. The whole washer cost only $700.

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Cam
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Cam »

Sclass wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:50 pm
@cam I wandered over to stack exchange and saw your post. Looking at the schematic I don’t think the cap and fuse you got are the issue. Something is interrupting power to your display board. There is likely a fuse on your “Main Controller Board”. Take a clear photo of the component side of the board and I can help you find the circuit protection components.

These designs are pretty sensible. AC power comes in on one side. It gets rectified and regulated to DC. The. The DC voltages get distributed downstream. Likely there is a glass fuse on this main board or a poly resettable fuse to prevent a fire with an over current condition. Sometimes the designer screws up and lets the fuse trip at too low a transient current during startups. Or the fuse just wears out with lots of power cycling or vibration. Let’s take a look at the components on the main co troller board. The fuse you’re currently messing with is for the motor only.
Thanks Sclass I very much appreciate your help. I did already order the relay and overcurrent protector for the motor, and when they arrived I snipped the old ones out as some of the spade connectors (had to google that, didn't know what they were called) were so stubborn that they wouldn't budge even with a lot of effort. So I snipped them off and thought I'd get some new ones. That was when I realized I had ordered a single pin relay instead of a three pin one. Damn, and after all it was wasted effort. Oh well, it shouldn't be too much trouble to reinstall the connectors and to put the relay and overcurrent protector back into place.

I'll take some photos of the inside panel after work tonight. Thanks for helping me out with this...and great fix on your washer display!

Cam
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Re: Fixit Log

Post by Cam »

I did some digging around @Sclass. First photo is of the entire board. The second is of the 250V fuse. I don't see any burn marks on the fuse, but I don't know if that matters? Thanks again for the help with this!

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main control board

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fuse

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