Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Autopian Members: Let’s Talk About Your Car Projects And Problems (And I Have Plenty!)

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Autopian Members: Let’s Talk About Your Car Projects And Problems (And I Have Plenty!)

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Dave Horchak
Dave Horchak
1 year ago

David I have never met you but based on your work at two sites I visited and the help you hsve provided in emails you seem to be a great guy. That being said why are people inviting you on their honeymoons? Are you moonlighting some service to newlyweds? Offering some weird battery cables limousine drive? Frankly if i were to wed I dont think I would want you in the honeymoon stage. Driving the rusty limo sure but cmon.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

Was hoping to replace the HV battery in my Prius this week. It was marked “shipped” last Saturday, but the FedEx tracking hasn’t updated to say they actually received the package yet. Fortunately, the battery isn’t dead yet, it’s just working at very reduced capacity and I can see changes in how the ECU is using it that suggest it’s on its way out. Given that it’s now 16 years old with 155000 miles on it I don’t feel bad about doing a bit of preventative maintenance, even if I could squeeze another six months or a year out of it. It’s probably the last battery this car will ever have, so I might as well start enjoying it sooner rather than later.

On an unrelated note, I’m also waiting on parts to replace a valve stem and TPMS sensor on that car. The last time I rotated the tires I went to rotate my external TPMS sensors (the batteries on the internal ones died and it was way cheaper and simpler to just get an external system) and found that one was seized on the valve stem. Either I cross-threaded it, or road salt got in there and corroded the threads into one piece. By the time I got the sensor off I had wrecked the threads on the valve stem and destroyed the sensor.

Fun fact: The TPMS system I have was $45 on sale at Amazon when I bought it. Replacement sensors are $30 for one sensor. I ended up ordering an entire replacement system so now I’ll have 3 spare sensors and a spare receiver for not that much more than a single sensor.

On the plus side, this will give me a chance to try out some of the shadetree mechanic methods of working on tires. I figure worst case I manage to get it off the bead and can’t get it back on so I have to limp the car in on the spare and humbly ask the tire place to do it for me. 🙂

Dave Horchak
Dave Horchak
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Wow read this twice still have no idea what it has to do with the article. Yea Vodka!

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 year ago

I’m replacing a rear wheel bearing on the RX-8 right now; had to remove the whole knuckle assembly, bring it to the local hardware store so they could press it out and press the new one in. It was a bit of a fight to get all the suspension links detached (thank you MI winters), but finally got it done with PB blaster, some heat, and a big hammer. I’ve got it back now, just need to re-install it and repair the broken wheel speed sensor cable.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 year ago

Current issue/project. 2018 Impreza likes burning through headlights. After replacement number 2, going to have the dealer check it for warranty work. The chances of getting 2 bad headlights on the the drivers side in under a year tells me something else is going on.

Also looking to replace the steel wheels/plastic hubcaps with OEM Alloy wheels. The hubcaps barely clip on and it is over $100 to replace each time.

For David. The truck would be America defined but how much stuff are they brining and are the ok with being in an unsecured truck bed. Maybe adding a cap or larger tool box will help.

If you can get them the Lincoln, that is the American Excess option. 🙂

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
1 year ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

For some reason Subarus with Halogen bulbs just go through them. My mum has a 2007 Impreza, partner a 2010 Impreza and sister-in-law a 2014 Outback and we have replaced a bulb in each pretty much annually.

I’ve also had to replace the headlight bulb connectors in both Imprezas.

My 2006 WRX with HIDs however seems to still be on all the original parts for the headlights.

Papa Bruyant
Papa Bruyant
1 year ago

Transmission pump failed on the family van last night, so started Wrenching Wednesday staring down either a significant repair bill or a time consuming and unenjoyable project. As it turns out the van is under recall for this very issue, so off to the dealer it goes while I spend the evening cleaning up wiring on the Beetle.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 year ago

My problems lately are how to get oil out of the pores of cast aluminum so I can weld cleanly. Anyone have a clue, please let me know. Here or on reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/Welding/comments/10dxxk7/any_advice_on_how_to_purge_contaminants_from/

Also, making an adapter for a thermostat housing for the LS4.9 cylinder head.
https://i.imgur.com/eKMyL32.jpg

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

It was probably a more common issue to reweld or repair cast iron heads way back when. I figure that SOMEONE out there is rewelding cast aluminum that’s been in an oil bath its entire service life. So SOMEONE has to know how to prep the casting, right?

So far the lead contenders are: 1) throw it in the oven and have my wife hate me (I mean, not a dealbreaker, I’m already dealing with that) or 2) weld, grind clean, weld, grind clean, weld, grind clean ad nauseam, eventually you stop having to grind it clean.

I still think that a warm bath of acetone will displace most of the oil. I’ve been thinking of my materials classes too much, though and that’s probably coloring my thoughts.
Need to talk to Dad, he might have some insight. He was trained by the Smithsonian in antique furniture restoration and worked alongside a metal restoration team for a Florida museum for several years.

NDPilot
NDPilot
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

There was a machine shop where I used to live that had an oven they used to bake the oil out of some of the cast iron blocks I rebuilt, maybe there’s one in your area that could do the same for your aluminum. At the very least they should be able to tell you if it’s safe to do so, IE will the heat required to bake out the oil warp the part your working on.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 year ago
Reply to  NDPilot

I’ve also heard to talk to shops that do powdercoating. Obviously they have to bake all kinds of oils out of parts before coating them.

I’ll figure it out sooner or later.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I’d try an ethanol or gasoline bath to dissolve the oil, since the gas or alcohol will evaporate off easily without leaving the heavy residue of oil. A quick discussion and water rinse afterwards will flush out any remaining gas so you won’t run into a hidden puddle or something part way thru welding

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 year ago

That was supposed to be “A quick dishsoap and water rinse…” but I guess you could also try to talk the oil out of the pores?

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 year ago

David, find a good hose shop. Bring old hoses up there, ask for stainless steel braided lines, be done with it.

Do you get an idea of what to look for,, here in Tampa I’d first hit up Amazon Hose on 50th (and have used them before.) Some NAPA stores also make braided hoses on site.

May cost more, but you’ll never worry about it again.

Kinda unsure how an unbled system will create the brake issues you are discussing, unless there is a LOT of air in the lines? Sure it can’t be some other issue?

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 year ago

Haven’t started the project yet, been waiting on the torrential rain in CA to stop, but discovered our ’07 BMW X3 (don’t @ me, I know), has a leak or clog in the sunroof line drains that leaks in from the rear, wets the rear floorboard, and some water in the rear belly tray that contains the battery and some form of control module. Hasn’t affected it yet thank goodness. It’s getting into the rear break lights too, though not much. Didn’t discover it until one storm had passed and another was coming (and another and another), so best I could do was cover it and wait (no garage space).

Not our primary vehicle, but damn, this is going to be a pain to sort out. Despite what people say about the X3, its been a trouble free vehicle, until now. Bought it used a few years ago because we needed an SUV and the inventory in our low population area is pretty limited. Wouldn’t go this route again, but here I am. Any suggestions other than burn it to the ground or push it off a cliff (don’t tempt me), would be most appreciated.

If I sound depressed, I am. The X3 is the least of my problems, got to fix the massive hole in the roof of my house and replace floors and walls, so, yeah.

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

I think I’ll charge up the batteries that have been pulled from the Pickup and tractor and continue to ignore the things I should be doing until it gets REAL cold. Then I’ll work on things. Makes complete sense.

Sarah Bell
Sarah Bell
1 year ago

I pulled the valve cover on my 92 Tracker to replace a leaky gasket and discovered exactly what I didn’t want to- evidence of more hack work inside the engine.
One of the rocker shaft bolts had backed itself halfway out, and the Phillips #3 heads were all jacked up from somebody going at them with a #2. Half were tight, half weren’t.
I torqued them all, adjusted the valves that had no slack at all, and buttoned it back up to continue pretending that everything is fine.

NDPilot
NDPilot
1 year ago

No wrenching as of yet this week I’ve been busy working on the house, unfortunately not the garage. I was asked to put on of my cars in a show next month so I’ll be doing some detail work on it over the next month, nothing too big though.

Since DT asked, my advice would be to go ahead and do the brakes, since you’ve got all the stuff it would provide peace of mind. As Mark’s post suggested finding a shop to build a reliable brake hose would be best, unfortunately your experience with garbage parts is becoming all too common among the automotive aftermarket. I suspect (although don’t have any real evidence) that a lot of companies are finding the cheapest part that fits a large swath of applications and eliminating more specialized individual components. Best example I’ve personally encountered were wheel cylinders sold to me for a 60s dodge truck which only loosely fit the brake backing plates and used metric hardware. They still fit after some hardware sesrching and functioned but clearly weren’t direct original spec replacements.
As for your heater core, I’ve had some luck putting a solution of CLR into particularly plugged cores and letting it soak for a half hour or so before flushing it out. The downside is that if there is enough corrosion it could expose a hole or exacerbate a previously undetected pinhole leak, I haven’t had it happen but it’s possible.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 year ago

Take the old brake hoses you want to replace off, find a hydraulic shop and have them make new ones. I haven’t read all the comments yet, but surely someone has already said this in some form. A few months ago I needed an NPT/AN adapter fitting for the fuel filter on my 911 and found a local hydraulic shop that had it in stock. Talking to the guys at the counter, I realized they could solve just about any hose problem I had. My Saab SPG needs new oil cooler hoses, so when I get to that I’ll just take the old ones off, hand them over, and come back in a day or two to pick up the new ones. I’m confident you can do this with the Jeep’s brake lines, too.

OpposedPiston
OpposedPiston
1 year ago
Reply to  Theotherotter

There’s custom hydraulic line shops all over metro Detroit, too. There are two within 10 minutes of my house, but I’m on the opposite side of town from DT.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 year ago
Reply to  OpposedPiston

I’ve done the same thing, not for brake lines but oil cooler lines on the RX-7. Brought the old lines in, they re-used the fittings with new crimp hardware since they were still in good shape, clocked them correctly, and replaced the flexible part of the hose. I just went to the PIRTEK location between Warren and Royal Oak (so not far from Troy) and they took care of it.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
1 year ago

The garage cleanout from absolute fucking hell continues at a snail’s pace after yet another very expensive house problem, this time pulling out a switch to discover the only thing between me and certain death was two thin strips of electrical tape keeping it from contacting the box.
I wish I was joking. Did I mention it’s in a bathroom?
Which turned into about a $3500 estimate to replace the load center and give me a 240V50A subpanel in the garage. (Had to explain about 5 times that no, seriously, I only want a 4 or 6 breaker panel in this specific spot because there is no way in hell it will even be possible to start installing new conduit for at least 3 months.)

But the garage. Fuck. It’s cold as hell, uninsulated, and unheated. And there is already basically 1.5 full service machine shops in there. My production Bantam and drill press, and then an entire machine shop including tooling. And I mean entire. 5 axis Bridgeport, two chop saws, two drill presses, a 6 foot lathe, 3 full size toolboxes (not counting mine,) 4 shorty toolboxes, a quarter to half inch of metal shavings on the floor (mostly non-ferrous,) and at least 250lbs of mixed stock not counting my copper slugs.
I have no damn idea what I’m going to do with all this crap.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 year ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Wanna ship some stock my way in a flat-rate box? I don’t need much, but I’m just starting my shop and could definitely need some stuff to feed my lathe.

I’ve missed some of the other Wrenching Wednesday posts, why are you clearing everything out?

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

“Only one problem: Their arrival date, February 6, is fast approaching, and frankly, I don’t have the cars quite sorted”

Aha! That must be the real reason for the party. 😛

I am completely in favor of having brake lines made by a specialist. On a couple of the project bikes, the rubber lines are 40+ years old; I had considered getting a spool of new brake hose, fittings, the correct tools, etc. to make my own lines, then decided that brakes are important enough to be left to a professional. Would the lines that I assembled slowly (with trial and error) work? Probably. Not gonna risk it though.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 year ago

I hit 2 big audio wrenching wins this week (whilst still performing my other Autopian duties such as watering DTs plants) on my ’93 New Yorker.

Win 1:
The aftermarket radio didn’t work when I purchased the car (out of a back alley in a bad part of town). Radio fuse checked out, as did a visual check of the wiring harness. Tried popping a cheap OEM radio from the local pick n pull in there: same deal.

Found another fused circuit named “Control Module” with a 15A blown fuse. Popped a new one in and started hearing shitty Pop music! You gotta love the easy ones regardless if they’re not straightforward.

Win 2:
“Ok now why the heck are only the front speakers working?” says I. Pulled the radio back out and traced all the speaker wires on the harness to ensure correct routing. It was correctly situated. I then popped that OEM radio back in to ensure that the head unit didn’t have a bad fader or such. Also no dice.

I then popped an extra speaker I had lying about the garage onto one of the rear speaker wires and was blessed with that same shitty Pop music! Eureka!

The Process Of Elimination, for the win.

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
1 year ago

That reminds me, I really need to replace the speakers in the WRX!

I’ll have to check if they are 6″ or 6.5″

Jblues
Jblues
1 year ago

This weekend’s jeep LJ to-do list:

Door seals. After finding 1/2 oz of water in my Weathertechs, I discovered my door seals had splits at the top. Parts are in, just need to do the work.

Backup camera. I’m going to grit my teeth and do it. No choice but to mount it on the license plate.

While I’m doing that – Track down the reason my phone keeps connecting/disconnecting from the head unit’s USB over and over.

Carbon fiber wrap on the radio/AC dash bezel.

Removing the crappy non-functional and non-safe trailer hitch and the back bumper in prep for replacing the broken rear frame cross-member. I get to go buy a cheater bar for my ratchet!

Jblues
Jblues
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I literally pondered the Flex Seal Tape question out loud.
Luckily, the As-Seen-On-TV product is almost as expensive as new door seals, so I opted for full-ass rather than half-ass.

NDPilot
NDPilot
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

And as a bonus they can make a world of difference in how effective the heater works if it’s not trying to fight a 65 mph draft blasting through the vehicle!

OpposedPiston
OpposedPiston
1 year ago
Reply to  NDPilot

Not to mention noise reduction. Of course, if there are other perforations in the passenger compartment, the perceptible change will be negligible.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

To quote Todd Rundgren: “We gotta get you a woman.” 🙂

But seriously, about the brake lines: What about a shop that does custom work? Someone should be able to make you some nice braided lines. Sure, it might cost a bit more, but if you’re keeping the truck, and redoing the brakes anyway, why not? Just a thought.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I’d talk to one of the PIRTEK stores in the area; they made custom oil cooler hoses for my RX-7 and have a bunch of stores north of Detroit. I went to the one off of 696 near Warren & Royal Oak and they were very helpful

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

My thoughts exactly on the brake hoses, surely in Detroit there would be more than a few shops that can make up some new brake hose?
They used to make any brake or clutch hose at a hydraulics store in Dubbo, but the new manager banned any automotive stuff like that from a liability standpoint.

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 year ago

Mr. Rogers, what are you wrenching upon this week? Interested to hear!

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
1 year ago

I haven’t done much in the way of wrenching the past week or two since returning to work. All I’ve done the past fortnight is replace the cabin air filters in my WRX and Bek’s Impreza.

Over the holidays I did finally replace the 4 speed close-ratio box in the Charger with a wide-ratio I’ve had ready for two years, and install the short-shift kit I’ve had on the shelf for almost three years!

I prefer the wide-ratio box as 1st and 2nd are a bit shorter, makes for nicer in-town driving and the short shift kit has really tightened up the gear changing, it’s shifting better than the WRX now!

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
1 year ago

Glorious, my man!

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