View Full Version : I just love it when my machines saves $$$$

09-25-2002, 07:18 PM
Machined a new fuel pump flange for a friend's Honda CRX. The flange had rusted and it was leaking fuel. The pump was in working condition but the dealer only sold the completely assembly for over $500 CDN !! It costed me about $2 in steel,$2 of silver solder and about 4 hours of sheer fun in the garage. He now owes me a 24oz steak dinner, but I've already been paid handsomely by my sense of achievement and feeling smug about beating the system.

How on earth can these companies justify charging so much for their parts?


Al Messer
09-25-2002, 08:37 PM

09-25-2002, 09:07 PM
Greed maybe, but Rotate demonstrates the free market at work to correct the problem.

Neil Peters

09-25-2002, 09:08 PM
Ah yes our modern society! Never fix, only replace the borken 10 cent part with an assembly that costs a fortune!

09-25-2002, 09:09 PM
Some day I will either learn to spell or proof read

09-25-2002, 09:11 PM

It's much more fun when you don't!

09-25-2002, 09:47 PM
I would not call it a 10c part for from Rotate's perspective it was an $64-84 USA part.

Neil Peters

09-25-2002, 09:49 PM
Now you can justify all your machines.


[This message has been edited by chip's (edited 09-25-2002).]

09-25-2002, 10:09 PM
I had a similar experience with my sister's '92 Nissan Maxima. The ABS module -what controls the anti lock braking functions, has many joints, solenoids and a motor to pump the brakes- was leaking profusely! A call to the LFND- local friendly Nissan dealer- revealed that, yes, this has been a problem, but no- they did not have a seal kit or any way to fix it besides replacing the module. "How Much?" I ask. "Are you sitting down?" they reply. "Yup" I said. "The module will cost you $1,259." After I picked myself off the floor, I said "I'll take it apart and fix it myself!" Click went the phone. Close inspection revealed a crack in an aluminum tube connecting the solenoid array with the pulser motor. A new one of steel took 20 minutes to make and a further 10 minutes to assemble. The job took maybe 2 hours, start to finish, including bleeding. Couldn't charge my poor sister anything, though! I can see them charging this much for the whole unit. But what gets me is the dealer will just do what I did if they are intelligent and STILL charge for the new assembly! Like Al says, Greed!

George Hodge
09-25-2002, 10:23 PM
Seems that many auto parts are said to be unrepairable,GREED,because of the liability factor,GREED. Where I used to work,they were scared to do any repairs like that,STUPID,and would toss out a part that would only need a slight amount of thinking to be repaired as good or better than new.

09-25-2002, 10:51 PM
There is a mentality among manufactirers that folks do not repair things anymore. To some extent that is true, like stereo equipment, which when I wa fixing it cost $40 per hour for labor but is now much higher.
Even at the old cost many would just junk it.

Now, many things are NOT repairable in a practical way. To repair a surface-mount electronics board takes a $1200 repair station (more if you want to do it fast), and a large library of parts.
The board costs the mfgr $30, so he says "nope".
The board at the repair station costs nearly $200, since mfgr sells it for $90 and it is marked up again.

There is some sense, since there are an awful lot of parts anymore, and they change twice a year. Stocking them all, including ones not used in production, ties up an enormous capital, and to have them available SOMEONE has to stock them.

Then pulling one out of stock and sending it off may actually cost a mfgr as much as $25 or more per occurrence, since it may take 10 or 15 minutes process time from order to on-the UPS truck.
That leaves a $30 reward for taking the trouble to have the darn thing.

Usually fora module, nobody but the mfgr will repair it, because the information is not made available. This in turn is because nobody has time to diagnose and sort out the repairables from the deaders.
At the end of the day, repairs cost as much as new, for many things.

Now, if you can fix it yourself, more power to you.
NOW, suppose the ABS fails, and your sister gets in an accident. The other attorney will likely have someone look at the brakes. What do they see?
They see an "amateur backyard fix" made by an "unqualified person", someone to whom safety was less important than "saving a few dollars".
Before you know it, you and/or your sister will be made to look like an Enron exec, and the case will end with you on the toasting fork.

Same goes for "factory fixed" units like that. Even "remanufactured" safety equipment can have you AND the repair folks be made out to be reckless and pennypinching instead of safety-oriented.
Thus, "fixed" things have got a bad name, and so it is easier not to fix them.

[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 09-25-2002).]

09-25-2002, 11:16 PM
I think I boo-booed

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 09-25-2002).]

09-25-2002, 11:29 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thrud:
I think we should just put a lawyer in the lap of every Texan fried in the chair - as an "inmate weight".

The worst case of "parts abuse is aviation. I have a friend who is a helicopter mech. He got me some guts to a turbine - before he could, the serial # are ground off, and a stratigic piece is ground off so it cannot be reused. I have a compressor blade assembly, the blades are bent over, mangled, and chewed up (Ate a rock). I asked him why each blade (about 400) where marked. "Oh, the parts are sent out to be NDT inspected (magnaflx, x-ray)." I said why, it is obviously NFG just deregister it and toss it. He say "Transport Canada AND the FAA require it - they have to know if it is servicable." I said to him, they must have good drugs in the TC & the FAA to not look at this and say "hey, it's baked let's toss it." No, they want scientific proof it is garbage. No wonder plane tickets cost so much.

Way to go! If you ever have to get any modules for a newer car it realy sucks, they will not allow return of the part even if the service department does the work - that is really standing behind your lousy merchandise! I have repaired modules for Mopar's the hard way - reverse engineering their crappy circuits. They grind the standard chip numbers off the tops of the cases to prevent $0.24 replacement of a cooked chip on $189 modules. I really hate it when the bastards pot it - you have to dig, and dig. Screw them, I am a cheap bastard too. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//tongue.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif </font>

09-25-2002, 11:51 PM
My dad had a 91 Buick, through troubleshooting, I found out it was running on 5/6 cylinders. Found dead injector by pulling wires 1 at a time. Swapped wires on 2 injectors, problem moved. Made up simple tester, 1 resistor and 1 LED, all others flash, no signal on bad wire to injector. Uh oh, bad computer.

Dad went up to garage, never said a thing and let them test it. Guy says #3 had a clogged injector,wants to replace it for $280. Dad asked if he checked signal at wire. No, it's gotta be the injector. Dad explains what we found, mechanic says he has to change injector first, he has no way to check signal or computer other than replacing it.

He brought the car home, I traced wires back to computer hoping for a break, no such luck. Trace connections to large transistors, found driver for injector. started comparing comonents on bad driver set to a good one, found open surface mount resistor. Soldered 2cent 1/4 watt resistor across it, cars been running great for 6 months now.

09-25-2002, 11:55 PM
In the end, machining your own parts or reparing things are not about being cheap or saving money. More often than not many of the things that I do in the garage makes no business sense, but boy do I enjoy doing it and for us HSM that's what it's all about.

I don't know about you guys, but I literally fall a sleep dreaming about what to machine next. What is this affliction called? Ferraphilia?


09-26-2002, 12:54 AM
Oh, BTW, I am as cheap as the day is long, so I fix the stuff too.

If I fixed anything safety-related, I would want to have it look just like new, though, no traces.

My own insurance would probably leave me twisting in the wind if something I fixed went wrong even if it was NOT the cause of the accident, occurrence, etc.

Frying is too good for those personal injury lawyers. I want them treated like Tantalus....Hang them up just close enough to escape and saving their worthless hide that they will try, just far enough away to make sure they don't quite make it before they finally croak.

Dang, I'm just stone cold mean.

09-26-2002, 01:16 AM
Ah yes, the Hang Man's dance, and then put them in a cage out at the harbor entrance so the gulls can enjoy a tasty meal.

Neil Peters

09-26-2002, 02:39 AM
One thing to add about the turbine blades. There is a HUGE after market for airplane parts. Legal and illegal. FAA (and others) sometimes collect and destroy part to "assure" that parts are not recylced back into inventory. Un/fortunately most of the illegal parts go overseas where they extend the life of these illegal parts to cut corners. greed.

09-26-2002, 08:25 AM
I did look long and hard at the ABS controller before I dove in and did anything. Safety should not be an issue as it was a dissasemble-reassemble type operation. All this done with surgical cleanliness. It was acually less complicated than rebuilding a master cylinder. And the tube I replaced was far stronger being made of steel than the cracked aluminum was! Great point on Safety Oso! Don't try to repair a tie rod end or anything similar!

09-26-2002, 08:45 AM
I don't know how people live without a machine shop in the basement! Seems as though I'm always fixing something.

09-26-2002, 10:50 AM

Me too. Except replace "fixing" with "breaking."

09-26-2002, 09:55 PM
I couldn't get along without my stuff either. Even if the parts arn't bad price wise nobody ever seem to have what you need in stock. I have to make alot of simple parts for this reason.


09-26-2002, 11:27 PM
In a society where no one fixes anything, the Manufacturer treats us like mushrooms are grown.

Keep digging into why it failed even if you can't repair. Sooner or later we are gonna need the skills required to question, improvise and cobble up. Libality problems be dammned.

09-27-2002, 01:58 AM
Just a thought: I'm not defending the car companies, but the word greed is bandied about an awful lot lately.
I repair things for a living and I charge $55.00 per hour to do it. The simple reality,that the average person, who works 9 to 5, in one place, doesn't realize, is that I don't always get 8 hours a day at that rate. It's more like 6. There's a whole litany of things that people don't realize, but the funniest thing of all is that people think the money you charge is all profit! Sure. I just filled the tank on my van for $37.00 and I do that twice a week.
In regards to the price of parts: The $500.00 part that was repaired for a few dollars and "four hours of sheer joy in the garage". If it took you four hours to repair, how long do you think it takes to make it from nothing? Is it then reasonable to assume that LABOR is a large part of the cost, since the people who make it want to get paid? I realize that assembly lines and the like are economies of scale, but consider this: A Ford plant is closing down in Linden, NJ, not far from where I live. An article in the paper said that many of the jobs were worth $50.00 an hour in combined benefits and salary.On an assembly line.
What ought to amaze people is how all of these parts that cost so much wind up being sold as a car for $10,000.00
In my business, as in others like it, there are certain things that are not worth doing. It is pointless for me to rekey a mailbox lock for $10.00 when a new one is $12.00. Many parts are simply not sold. I can get parts easily for a 400.00 combination lock, but rarely for a $40.00 deadbolt. It may be pointless for the car companies to sell individual parts that make up a unit, and in fact it may have been designed that way. Thanks for listening.

PS I would have done it for my friend for a steak dinner, too. I just love to fix things.

09-27-2002, 10:06 AM
Perfectly correct. When you add the fact that many items are made inexpensive by assembly methods such as staking, press-fits, adhesives, etc, you can see that they can't be effectively repaired in those areas.
There will be sub-assemblies that are not repairable.

Now, in defense of the original poster:
Of course you can't count the 4 hours as such, since an experienced rebuild person would probably have:

1) known where to look for the problem, or had a diagnostic procedure
2) known how to disassemble the unit (if that is possible)
3) Had the correct part available instad of having to fabricate it
4) Probably been able to test it on a test jig to verify proper operation
5) As a result, taken maybe 40 minutes to fix it right, if that.

When 1 hour labor is concerned, and the unit is verified for operation, that's a whole different story.

[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 09-27-2002).]

09-27-2002, 02:21 PM
Gents: you are sellingyour selves short. Locksmith is right. We, as a group, differ. Some have knowledge, some want it. But most of the world feels knowledge is a useless burden, that if a "teacher" did not tell them it was needed info, then they don't need it.

One of the old greeks supposedly was approached by a wealthy young man, who demanded he be given knowledge. THe old codger grabbed the kids neck, soused his head under water and when the guy got loose and exclaimed I had no air, i could not breath, you trying to kill me? the oldcodger said "when you want knowledge, like you wanted air, you will get it. End of todays lesson". Seems to me as though this group enjoys knowing and sharing.

Within the hour I returned from getting a f-150 running, loose wire to solenoid on starter. I advised clen the terminal, crimp the connector and see what happens. Friend says " Shop replaced the starter just 6 months ago, second starter on a new truck, some body ain't doing me right" (paraphrased of course cause he traced the shop, the truck, FOMOCO ancestry back to the apes and found not a decent person in the line). I say Tom, slide under here (we were in shopping mall parking lot,where truck had remained over nite) and I'll show you where the problem is, and its a common thing. Freind says, naw I don't no nutt'n about machinery. He is representivative ofthe real world- you guys are the abberation!!!.

Real cost of being able to fix things (as The Trapper says he does) is the years of past investigation, knowledge, persistance not the knowledge demonstrated in the few minutes needed to weld, file, tighten etc. Rememberthe old joke about the mech how charged 2.00 for knowing where to hit the carburator, and 10 cents for hitting it (from the prices you know its an old old joke)? That past knowledge is what we are losing and not replacing. And they say cure the education system! but you can't get nine gals preg and have a baby in one month.
Peace all steve

Alistair Hosie
09-27-2002, 02:40 PM
When I heard the words greed I thought you were all referring to a twenty four ounce steak which I was releaved to discover was not the case as everyone knows such a small steak is a snack.
To be serious nothing repeat nothing can feel more rewarding than doing something like this I have had that feeling many times and it sure is good well done Albert Alistair

09-27-2002, 03:07 PM
Albert, Oso, All

And sometimes you just get pissed off and annoyed at how it is made and insist on doing it the hard way. And, I have even broken stuff just for an excuse to fix it. Albert, it is called being a "gearhead" - welcome to the club brother.

I would like to back Alistair up by saying that a 24 oz. steak makes a nice sandwich. However, real men all know a steak is not a steak until it weighs at least 8Lbs. This is known as the "Fred Flintstone Rule o'dinning". We have a law here - any rib under 2lbs. each is "Barney Ruble finger food.".

If any of you guys ever come to Edmonton - make sure you go to "Smokey Joe's" Oklahoma pit BBQ (Smoked yummies galore, Nuclear Chicken Wings, 2Lb. Ribs (yeah!), Hickory smoked beef, pork, turkey).

09-28-2002, 12:04 AM
The current thread reminds me of what I have christened "The Vendetta Stage." How many of you experienced this, and maybe called it something else ?
Somebody drops something off to be fixed. You pick it up and start working on it, thinking it ought to be easy. But it doesn't quite work to your satisfaction, so you goose it a little more. The inevitable spring pops out and falls into the abyss and so it goes. The Vendetta stage is when it is no longer a matter of making money, you've got to fix it no matter what, simply as a matter of pride.

09-28-2002, 02:57 AM
What you guys overlook is that you are the olympic champions of "fixers". You can run a computer and apply your lifetime of taking things apart to the problem to see what makes them work.(or not work) My mom still has stuff I took apart 40 years ago, thinking that someday I'll figure out how to put it back together! When I was 8, they built a new church near my house and I went every day to watch them weld, saw, hammer and pour cement. They finally called my Mom and told her to keep me home so they could get something done w/o some little kid pestering them.

Guys that make a living fixing things could tell you hundreds of stories about customers that tried to fix their problem themselves and screwed it up. I had a guy try to straighten his spun brass bell on his son's saxophone with a vice grip. What I could have fixed using my "paintless style" dent remover from the inside and charged $25 for, cost over $250. The bell looked like the corrugated end of dryer vent--all stretched out and had to be replaced. (soldering, stripping lacquer, buffing and relacquering.) I could give you a dozen more examples w/o straining. For every guy who can fix his own problem, there are 50 idiots that screw up the repair.

Most people can't even set the clock on their VCR! How are they going to find a loose connection on a car computer? It is no wonder that the pro's don't recommend home repairs.

Replacing the whole part assures that it will work the first time. I can't be screwing around doing something 3 or 4 times trying fix or save a part and only charge for taking it out and replacing it once. Thanks--Mike.

09-28-2002, 10:22 AM
Mike makes some good points, but I LOVE the locksmith's observation !!!!!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Been there many times- sometimes i think I made a living doing things by the Vendetta way. Others made the real money but I got the job done on time, on cost, despite the unreasonable monies and time allowed, So others made the money at expense of my skin and old clothes (and that of the others with me). Reminds me of bar room fights where the declared winner is the guy still standing and swinging but the real winner is the little guy in the corner, unmarked, never took a lick, hair still parted.

Gotta remember the "vendetta" thing. It really hurts to observe something, think about it, wonder if any one else has noticed the phenomena- then describe it and learn that its old hat . That the Greeks saw it and had a word for it!!!.

I have always wanted to see Lake Louise (Canada). Never been there, see the right picure and want to be there very much. Developedthe desire as a young man. Few years ago I was swapping ideas and lies with a philospher (professor from local university). He says the germans have a word for it- the meaning is "home sick for places you have never been"- Course prof said he knew the word, never understod it, used it to ridicule travelers. Said he felt he now understood more nearly what the idea the germans were expressing was.

thanks for the Vendetta concept. makes me smile and shake my head http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

09-28-2002, 07:15 PM
That is exactly what I was trying to spit out in my last post. Damn. You sure are a silver tongued hombre! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I have a tendency to talk to the offending part often referring to its illegitimate heritage when it becomes more and more beligerent in my attempts of its rescue... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//mad.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

09-28-2002, 08:59 PM
It must run in nature or at least to the folks who use this board to have the vendetta concept. I know I sure do.
It seem the nastier the part or repair has become the more detirmed you can become. No matter what it take it has to be fixed.
Don't the easy ones always seem to be the complete worst?
I am sometimes greatful to one person I work with who has a big hammer and can smash stuff readily before or after you were able to try and repair it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

09-28-2002, 09:31 PM
Thrud - Is that what they mean by "assembly language"?

09-28-2002, 09:45 PM
six weeks or so ago, friends electric mill drive failed- somehow a chunk of metal got between the brush holder and ground. No sweat, cleaned the gunk and slag. New brushes did not fit, little sandpaper will fix that!.

But the scr and a diode or two failed. no sschematics, too much smoke on the parts. Took it home. Every measurement required complete assemly of the two halves. Short wire leads. Very neatly added length. Now I could move the PC board safely. Made a quick holder for the damn board. No scr numbers. Radio shack no longer stocks scrs. Triacs will probably work. wish i were sure which why that diode used to go!. Made a neat drawing of the PC board, both side and hand over hand drew a schematic- about five times before all the parts fell into a logical order (I hate the cad electronics drawings cause they don't show signal flows and power flows). Damn thermal switch don't work no more. cant find one to right size and trip. Throw the thing away like frind said to do? Naw my dumb friend had washed the thing out with oily parts cleaner. But only a fool rebuilds switches- now i have classified my self properly. REbuilt switch works fine. Damned pot has 3" shaft 6MM 500 ohm. Shimmed the case apart with 1/4 nuts and fed wires out side so i can "bread board it!!!!! things looking up!!&gt; now motor moves smooth and slow- redesigned the span and range of the control circuit. take it back and tell ex friend to never again use parts cleaner on electonics/ electrical.

Friend says new control comming in tomorrow or maybe to day. but lets install old one any way. works well. control better than new!

Hot dern it!!!!- new control dont work!!! Joy in JAcksonville. put the old one back on http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif. All hunky dory!!! I feel good. Talk about predisposed to vendettas!!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

09-29-2002, 01:14 AM
What a drag! I just spent 15 minutes typing a story for you guys and the damn thing blipped out.
Anybody with a friend named Hiram, email me.

Jim Hubbell
09-29-2002, 03:45 AM
Checked out a customer’s window A/C. Blower motor froze up. Cost to repair was almost cost of new A/C. Customer says “junk it”. Pulled motor down ( opened tab “A” from slot “B” etc.) and shaft not bad but bushing shot. Bored and re-bushed bushing . Assembled and ran fine. Told him to come pick it up no charge (couldn’t guarantee it ). He came by with a six-pack for me and picked it up. It’s hard to pass a challenge like that. I wonder if growing up in ‘30s has something to do with it? But then most of you aren’t that old yet still feel same way about it! Very interesting.


09-29-2002, 11:08 AM
Hey, I caught it from my father, who DID grow up in the 30s, in fact he was the family wage-earner via the quiz-kids.

But it is very current to fix stuff, in a way.....you know the mantra....reduce, REUSE, recycle.

Fixing comes under the "reuse" heading. If you can do it yourself, it is cheaper by far, other than your time.

Now, however, cheap cheap stuff is almost unrepairable, due to surface-mounted electronics, plastics that cannot be glued or bonded, heat-staking, etc, etc, etc.

Anyone else just plain hate those "stronger than steel" plastics?

They are fine when in one piece, work good, hard to break. But when they break, they stay broke (kinda like a macintosh computer).

At least metal stuff you can pound back to shape, rivet, solder, weld, or just use as-is.

09-29-2002, 02:10 PM
I'm sure you have had the odd stuff to work on as well but...We had some vandalism on one of our buildings. A car was driven into the doors of the building, (at least we guess it was a car)mashing the door and the mortise lock some.
I was able to rethread the mortise cylinder on the lathe and repair the lock sides enough for temp. use. It was primus (high security) lock, naturly I had used my spare cylinders 2 days before. I had no choice but to repair what I had.
I had to bore the cylinder to get the plug to turn ok also. I was sure glad fo the lathe.
If you can find the black hole where plug cap retaining pin springs go please let me know.
I hope most don't have to deal with cars and doors but it is the vendetta thing that sure gets you all the time, ya just gotta fix it.

10-03-2002, 01:00 AM
A few of you mentioned memorable jobs that you did, but here's a beauty:
Today I had to go down to the police station and remove a malfunctioning handcuff from a junkies wrist. Can you imagine cutting this thing off with the guy still attached and nodding out all over the place?
I got to keep the handcuffs, so I could figure out what went wrong. You can't make this stuff up.
This was not my most bizarre job. I have other tales to tell, but since they're not machinist related, I won't waste the space unless you guys want to hear them. Let me know.

10-03-2002, 02:15 AM
Mac's are easy to fix - what you talking about? It can be difficult to get parts to fix it cheap - email me with your Mac woes maybe I can help. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

10-03-2002, 02:49 AM
On the subject of unrepairable new cars... I mentioned to someone at work that I couldn't check the tranny fluid in my girlfriend's new car (Alero), and she said that the new Exploders don't have an engine oil dipstick!
Is that true? I'm a Ford fan, but that could be a pretty bad trend.

Mike L
10-03-2002, 10:50 AM
Why would they have a dipstick? The owner's can't be bothered to check tire pressure, what makes you think they would check the oil level?

Seriously, doesn't it make you feel good when someone tells you 'You're lucky you can fix things. It would cost me $200 and you fixed it in an hour.'

I think it is mostly powers of observation. So many people just don't (or can't) see what is directly in front of them. They can't see cause and effect.

Either that or we all have abilities and ours just run on a different track than most peoples. I can only grow weeds. So I buy food. My musical abilities stop at listening. I'm not even sure I understand most of what passes for art. But, I wouldn't trade my abilities for any of those; I'm happy with what I have.

Mike L

[This message has been edited by Mike L (edited 10-03-2002).]

10-03-2002, 12:22 PM
Soon they'll take away the dip stick for the engine oil too. I no longer see anyone checking oil level at gas stations, and I don't blame them. My wife's Corolla has 250,000km, and it simply doesn't burn any oil so checking the level is simply a waste of time.

It's been my observation that doing vehicle maintenance work on your own is going the way of Heath Kit. I don't know anyone who even changes their own engine oil anymore. I do it not to save money but because I know that it's being done right. You may laugh, but I like to use my torque wrench when tightening the drain plug.

Hey, is all this discussion for self gratification or may be even self glorification?


10-03-2002, 06:03 PM
Naw, don'thave a mac, but the ones at work work great, until they have some goofy incompatibility in the OS.
THEn the trouble starts, cuz a Mac with a real problem seems to puzzle all the computer folks, even the Mac experts. We have a couple that won't talk to particular printers, even though others do, and the best available "mac software fixit guys" don't even have a clue.
Maybe its because they usually work fine, nobody gets any practice.

10-04-2002, 12:41 AM
Tell us a story or two locksmith. Just remember "first liar ain't got a chance". If you can beat some of the stories a locksmith i once knew told, they will be worth the time.

If any one GIVES me a car with no dipstick (I sure won't buy one and am too smart to steal a car with no dipsticks) I'll be drilling a hole or something into crank case. Course they could have finally figured out how to make a oil level meter that works well. Dodge had one in their 727 transmissions that depended on a negative temp coefficient resistor. I put in a gauge (meter) to measure oil temp- the meter read backwards. cant have too many meters- keeps the mind working as I drive.


10-04-2002, 01:50 AM
I've thouroughly enjoyed this banter and feel compelled to share my own philosophy on the matter. When I was a boy I read a Sci-Fi novel about a society after "the BIG ONE" where there were two groups of people -the button pusher's and the one's that knew how the button's worked. Guess which group was more prized. I have always kept that thought in the back of my mind - what makes the button work? At 37 I'm a neo-phite compared to many of you who regularly visit this veniew and it makes me feel good that so many of you who have seen so much in your lives continue to embrace new things and share your wealth of knowledge. It absolutely flabergasts me when people half my age know absolutely NOTHING about computer's! They can work with them but GOD forbid they have a problem with it. Button pusher's at work! May the cuts be true my friends - I've ranted enough - even for my fellow Canadian THRUD.
Best wishes

10-04-2002, 03:34 AM
Mike L:
Now I see who took my 1st choice of login names http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

I had a garage change my oil once... they screwed it up, and charged more than they advertised (oh... filters are EXTRA! How silly of me)
Plus, thats when I get a chance to look around underneath and see what else may need attention.

Besides (promise not to tell!), I enjoy doing that sort of stuff.

Mike L
10-04-2002, 10:47 AM
CompositeEngr - Sorry about the name theft. It probably is theft since I wasn't born with the name Mike, I just took it about 30 years ago.

If your handle isn't just something you took, but something you do, please email me offline at: mike.ledtje@thermo.com

We have a potential composite project and maybe you can steer us in the right direction, maybe we can even do business.

Mike L

10-05-2002, 06:26 AM
Do you have any bimetal concerns? Aluminum is subject to many weird corrosion mechanisms and butting aluminum against steel in an electrolyte can cause the aluminum to go away quickly.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ponderingjunkman:
I did look long and hard at the ABS controller before I dove in and did anything. Safety should not be an issue as it was a dissasemble-reassemble type operation. All this done with surgical cleanliness. It was acually less complicated than rebuilding a master cylinder. And the tube I replaced was far stronger being made of steel than the cracked aluminum was! Great point on Safety Oso! Don't try to repair a tie rod end or anything similar!</font>

10-05-2002, 09:12 AM
I did think of that- But since steel brake lines screw into the same casting that my steel part joins with I thought it would be a non issue. I replied to an Email from a member in detail about this fix-explaining all its aspects. It is sort of long, but would anyone else like to hear it? I'll try to post it if you like.

Al Messer
10-05-2002, 09:05 PM
Hey, Rotate!!

Heath Kit?? Man! I haven't heard that name in years!!! Are they still on the market??


10-05-2002, 11:48 PM
Ok. Probably the most bizarre thing I ever saw was at this "Artist's" house in Jersey City, NJ. The place had probably been a funeral home at one time, judging from the facade on this place.
The guy's friend opens the door and invites me in to show me what locks need to be changed. At the end of the hallway, I see what appears to be a naked guy leaning against the wall. It turns out to be an anatomically correct manakin. I'm wondering about this as I follow the guy into the living room, and as I turn into the room, there in front of me is a 4 foot diameter,lifelike sculpture of the head of Christ on the cross, complete with the crown of thorns. Scared the hell out of me for a second. I look around the room and there's about 8 of these things hanging on racks: one looks like Buckwheat, another is a guy in a gas mask, and so on. I look to the left and there had to be at least 10 human manakins,just like the first one, every one of them naked ,with ALL their equipment and hair: Two little kids playing marbles, an old woman leaning on a card table. On shelves along the walls, he had human size sculptures of the 4 foot heads on the other side of the room.
The friend just shook his head when I asked him about. It seems he thought his buddy was a little strange as well. I did what I had to do, but I couldn't shake the feeling of a dozen eyes upon me while I did it. Creepy!

10-06-2002, 06:24 AM
My father has made several repairs on his Honda Accord, most of the fixes to non serviceable components : blower motors, computer controls, relays etc. A few days ago the car wouldn't start due to no fuel pressure, pump was OK, the control module was defective, would have been hunreds of dollars at the dealer to repair, he took it apart and resoldered a component. He knows the car better than the service techs at the dealer because they can only replace the parts.

Uncle Dunc
10-06-2002, 03:39 PM
My '82 Toyota pickup has an oil dipstick, but I never use it anymore. I already know what it's going to say. The truck burns a little oil when I start it up, and if that gets any worse, I'll see more smoke. It leaks a little oil, about four ounces a year right now, and if that gets any worse, I'll see bigger spots on the driveway. It's down a quart in 7 or 8,000 miles, and I usually get the oil changed after 3000, so I'm not worried about running it dry. And it's got 254,000 miles on it.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out car makers can build an engine that never needs oil between the recommended oil change intervals. Some, and I emphasize some, aspects of automotive engineering really are advanced over what they were 30 or 40 or 50 years ago.

[This message has been edited by Uncle Dunc (edited 10-06-2002).]