Home » What Job Or Repair Turned Out Way Easier Than Expected? It’s Wrenching Wednesday!

What Job Or Repair Turned Out Way Easier Than Expected? It’s Wrenching Wednesday!

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Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
3 months ago

Definitely removing and replacing the cylinder head on mum’s 1995 Ford Courier, ‘Utey’ after we found out it was slightly warped and the PO had just slapped a new head gasket on instead of fixing it.

Held the timing chain up to the bonnet/hood with zip ties so that we didn’t have to remove the timing cover, water pump or anything off the front of the engine and then the only tricky part was accessing all the wiring connectors and coolant hoses that Mazda engineers decided to run everywhere with no logical reason!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago

My 91, Mazda Protege with two hundred and thirty thousand (teen and early twenty year old driver) miles on the odometer…

The automatic transmission ate itself then evaporated from existence in a cartoonish fashion in the middle of nowhere Arizona.
Because I dared to try to keep up with the speed limit on the highway. The car loaded down with everything I owned like it was, couldn’t handle a slight incline.

Easiest wrenching I’ve ever experienced…
It was a bad situation.
I grabbed my tools and CD books and…

Left the “Mighty Mouse” on the side of the road, hitched a ride to Oklahoma.

Bought an onion and a belt for two dimes and a quarter.
Back then we called quarters pumpernickels!
On account of George Washington being on the heads side of the coin when you flipped it to find out who goes first in our ole ragtime hop scotch and jacks gambling!
You See!
It was a different time back then!
You could fit two stout men in any cars engine bay….

Last edited 3 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago

… that’s enough!

Alex Estill
Alex Estill
3 months ago

Started my GTI on a Tuesday morning and the exhaust was louder than expected. Not “straight pipe” louder, but enough for me to notice a difference. Little more vibration through the floorboards too. Drove through the rest of the week inventing nightmare scenarios: someone tried to steel my cat and got spooked before they finished; rusted muffler, deceased small animal, wayward chunk of metal wedged under the exhaust pipe, etc.

Weekend comes, I jack up the car, start it up, crawl under and quickly discover a sleeve clamp between the cat and muffler has rusted away to nothing. What will it take to get this rusted mess off? Last repair I attempted (front end suspension bushings) ended in failure after breaking a bolt and limping the car to my mechanic to finish the job.

Watch a youtube video – just pry the rusted clamps off with a screwdriver and the sleeve will slide off. Cool! Crawl back under and the sleeve is off in 30 seconds. Lets go get a replacement! Hop on the bicycle, Advance Auto is the closest. Guy at advance: “what is that”? (not a good sign) me: “exhaust sleeve” guy: “we don’t sell those”. Hmm, figured this would be a cakewalk, at least a universal part if not vehicle specific… but nothing?!? Buy some banjo clamps in case I need a temporary repair and decide to try another store.

Head to Autozone #1. Autozone guy looks up the car, finds a suitable replacement: “we don’t have this in stock, but this other Autozone does”. Autozone #2 is in the opposite direction, but not too far away so fine.

Head to Autozone #2. Guy goes back to get the part, brings it out, we compare. New part is smaller in diameter than old part by at least a quarter inch. Guy checks the part number from Autozone #1 guy. “is this a golf or a GTI?” me: “GTI” guy: “this isn’t the right part, you need this other part… we don’t sell it”. Cool. Autozone guy #2 “go to the Napa down the street”. OK, fair, at least he provided some info.

Head to Napa. Plunk my part on the counter. Napa gal is moving at top speed helping another customer. Glances at the part on the counter as she passes, doesn’t even slow down: (under her breath) “I wonder if we have any sleeves in stock”. (over her shoulder to me) “is that for a volkswagen?” (please note, we haven’t even talked yet, I arrived on a bicycle, and this thing is a hunk of rusty metal). me: “yep, how do you know that?” Napa gal comes back with a couple sleeves. We pick one that appears to be fractionally smaller than my part, but very close. Now I’m nervous, though. Is it right? Will it fight me? I thank the Napa gal, pay for my part, head home.

Crawl under the car. Napa sleeve is perfect! Slides on to the exhaust pipes like a perfectly thrown skeeball dropping into the hole. One minute later and the clamps are tight and I’m done! Start the car and it purrs like a kitten.

TL/DR – easiest install ever… once I found the replacement part. Also – go to Napa!

Old Hippie
Old Hippie
3 months ago

Replacing the shock/strut assemblies on my ’93 Toyota Corolla. I figured after 30 years, the nuts and bolts would be completely seized. I sprayed them all with PB Blaster the day before and was prepared to use torches and cheater bars, but it took less than 15 minutes/corner. I had to ask for a hand to start the first nut on the tops (short arms ) and that was it. I didn’t even finish my wrench beer!

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

Electrical problems are both the best and worst for this. Figuring out that it is A) just an electrical problem and B) where the problem is can be a nightmare, but the fix is usually just “replace whatever corroded away”.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
3 months ago

Three or four years ago I was on a rally in the mountains of West Virginia in my 911 (SC) when I blew a spark plug out. Before I had gotten it the PO had rebuilt the top end and probably slightly cross-threaded the plug. A couple years before this it blew out randomly one day – I was in WI but happened to be within sight of a Farm & Fleet so I walked down, got some tools and screwed it back in, where it was fine for a good while longer but unbeknownst to me slightly more cross-threaded. Later I did a valve adjustment and replaced the plugs just because, and that’s what made that one plug critically not-good-enough, and it was the next weekend that it blew out.

The plug was the #6 plug, all the way in the back on the right. Fortunately the car is running on a Megasquirt instead of CIS, so disconnecting fuel is as easy as unplugging an injector. I evaluated my options that evening – do I drive it to Pittsburgh, leave it with a friend there and have a local shop fix it, fly home and come back to get it later? Or can I drive it home? Decided it was safe to drive home, so I went home on the I-80 turnpike sounding like a Harley-Davidson dealership on five cylinders.

Now the car was in my garage, but I was certain that I had an engine drop ahead of me – how else was I going to Helicoil that plug hole? The plug hole points straight at the frame rail and 36 is buried in the back. An engine drop isn’t the worst thing in the world but it’s a lot of work, especially your first time. Turns out there’s a small company that makes a tool for *THIS EXACT PROBLEM* – fixing a stripped spark plug hole in an air-cooled 911 with the engine in the car. You remove the upper valve cover, bolt the fixture down, slide the Time-sert fixture into the fixture and install a Time-sert. The jig means you are doing this totally blind but you know it’s in exactly the right spot.

What I thought was going to be a lot of time, money, or both turned out to be $400 and three hours on a Saturday afternoon. I even got personal help from the company owner on a 4th of July weekend. 11/10 experience.

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
3 months ago

Replacing the blower motor on a Volvo 740.

Most cars seem assembled around the heater core and blower motor – I’ve sold cars rather than spend days scraping up my arms and knuckles dissembling a dash and crawling under whats left to change one.

On the Volvo 740 it was mounted behind the glove box and took me all of 10 minutes.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
3 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

The blower motor placement really depends … In the first Mazda 5 I had, it was a huge pain, requiring a ton of identifying and unscrewing/screwing by feel while laying on my back in the driver’s footwell, threading a single arm up past the pedals with no line of sight. In the Saab 9-3 and RX7 it was as simple as could be, right behind the glovebox with minimal other disassembly

DrDanteIII
DrDanteIII
3 months ago

Replacing the starter on my Kubota tractor. I had been putting it off for years, turning the key 10, 20, 70 times hoping it would catch each time. I was intimidate by taking the cowling off and accessing the starter.

Turns out the side cowling popped right off without tools and the started was easily accessible. The starter was 2 bolts and a wire.

Total time, 10 minutes.

Josh Jones
Josh Jones
3 months ago

Replacing a bunch of parts behind the dashboard on a Forester. I was pretty intimidated by the youtube videos I’d skimmed before buying the parts I needed and saw that most of them basically completely removed the dash and the center console, and all of them complained about how difficult it was to disconnect the climate control knobs…

Turns out I could just undo a couple screws and drop the glovebox out the bottom, then just look up behind it to get behind the climate controls and undo the “tricky” bits of disconnecting what was essentially bike brake lines going to them. After that, it was just a few screws and clips to get to everything I needed.

Took me a couple hours because I decided to run a bunch of cabling for another project that was on my to-do list while I was in there, but it was way easier than youtube made it look.

Dest
Dest
3 months ago

The newest car I own is my ’13 Wrangler. Needless to say when a month after I got it a code indicating the thermostat was bad I was not pleased. Even with all my previous xj ownership I had never done one. Easy peasy! The hardest part was figuring out what coolant to use ..

Thomas Kilger
Thomas Kilger
3 months ago

Engine replacement in a ’92 Escort GT

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

Replacing the front passenger door lock actuator/latch on my 2012 ,
Cruze. With the help of looking at a video, it took 30 minutes. It helps to have small hands. Folks with hams otherwise have to remove the window and window regulator.

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