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Old 10-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #41
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From what I can remember:

Laptop: screen (kid cracked it).
Water heater: gas valve, main board.
Pool heater: various parts, including rewiring mouse-chewed wires.
Dishwasher: various parts on two different ones, including water valve.
Ice maker: various parts on one and complete replacement of another.
Washing machine: lid switch.
Dryer: motor.
Garage heater: motor.

There is an amazing amount of information out there that helps repair almost anything. I've found it most helpful to google the symptoms and make/model if you can't figure out what's wrong or how to repair.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:10 PM   #42
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I diagnosed and replaced a small inductive sender unit that inserts in the differential of my Dodge PU when the speedometer went haywire at low speeds.

I recently disassembled my cell phone and replaced the broken USB port.

I kept the old dishwasher, washer, and dryer alive for decades by replacing latches, springs, switches, and motors. I finally replaced them all with quieter, more efficient models, though.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:13 PM   #43
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Fence. Damn windstorm...
Multiband shortwave antenna. Damn windstorm...
12 volt linear power supply. Bad electrolytic capacitors...

I think that covers October so far.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:48 AM   #44
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Took my old car to a couple mechanics to get estimates when it would stall out sometimes and make blue smoke until it warmed up. Both said I needed to rebuild the engine since rings were worn out, or valve seals (insert bs reason here), which would cost $500 or so. I got on the internet for a while and found out it was just a $12 part attached to the carburetor which solved the problem completely. Did it myself and avoided the ripoff.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:11 PM   #45
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My 25 year-old Echo leaf blower would no longer start and I assumed it had finally died. While researching new models online, I came across a YouTube video decribing how to rebuild the carburetor. I decided to take a chance by fixing it myself and ordered a rebuild kit online. Did the job myself and it runs like new!
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:22 AM   #46
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Had a crack in the gas cap on my old McCulloch sidewalk edger that I'd found on Overstock.com for $99 ~15 years ago. They're long since out of business so while I looked around a bit for a replacement I didn't expect to find one and didn't. Nothing I tried matched the screw threads. I hated to throw it out for lack of such a simple thing.

So after cleaning it thoroughly I used some old model airplane canopy glue that works great on plastic just to hold things together for the more permanent repair. I had some fiberglass cloth from my model airplane days and used that with some epoxy made for plastics to hold the cap together. I haven't tried it yet - the epoxy hasn't fully set yet - but I'll sand down the rough edges and see how it goes.

It ain't pretty but I think it'll work.
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File Type: jpg gas_cap_repair-4.jpg (110.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg gas_cap_repair-5.jpg (126.2 KB, 11 views)
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #47
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Had a crack in the gas cap on my old McCulloch sidewalk edger that I'd found on Overstock.com for $99 ~15 years ago. They're long since out of business so while I looked around a bit for a replacement I didn't expect to find one and didn't. Nothing I tried matched the screw threads. I hated to throw it out for lack of such a simple thing.

So after cleaning it thoroughly I used some old model airplane canopy glue that works great on plastic just to hold things together for the more permanent repair. I had some fiberglass cloth from my model airplane days and used that with some epoxy made for plastics to hold the cap together. I haven't tried it yet - the epoxy hasn't fully set yet - but I'll sand down the rough edges and see how it goes.

It ain't pretty but I think it'll work.
You can epoxy almost anything. Great idea. Wait, you said McCullouch went out of business?

MRG
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:00 PM   #48
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One of the passenger door locks stopped working on our 4Runner. The first time I went to remove the door panel, I chickened out because it felt like I was going to break something. I then did a search and found a link to a video on how to do it. I found I missed one screw and that it was okay to use a lot more force to pop it off. Unfortunately, the power lock mechanism tested bad and that was a $220 part. For that amount, we can reach behind us to lock/unlock the door.

So, a successful access, but unsuccessful repair. Maybe at some future point when I'm retired, I'll take a shot at fixing the short.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #49
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Quote:
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... It ain't pretty but I think it'll work.
Pretty? Surely you already knew how the frugal ER'ers here choose between pretty and cheap!

And talk about epoxy, I removed the leaking radiator from my minivan for inspection, and was ready to buy a replacement. Instead, I found a small leak that I should be able to patch with epoxy.

But I took the occasion to remove the two end panels of the radiator to clean the inside, as I happened to know that I could buy the two long gaskets to seal the plastic end caps of the radiator to its main body consisting of skinny channels held together with fins.

I used JB Weld, which is a bit more expensive than regular epoxies, but the darn thing is strong and worth it for applications like this. Still holding up after 5 years of scorching summer heat, with the radiator pressure as high as that of a steam locomotive. OK, OK, I exaggerate, but you've got to agree that 5 years is a long time.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:36 PM   #50
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Wait, you said McCullouch went out of business?

MRG
According to this article they declared bankruptcy in 1999, although I gather the brand name still exists. I didn't research it any further, being more interested in the gas cap.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:38 PM   #51
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Still holding up after 5 years of scorching summer heat, with the radiator pressure as high as that of a steam locomotive. OK, OK, I exaggerate, but you've got to agree that 5 years is a long time.
I sure wouldn't have bet on that working but it's sure good to know about.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:47 PM   #52
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J-B Weld claims tensile strength of 4000 psi, adhesion of 1800 psi, shear strength of 1000 psi, and temperature of 300F.

Might not be enough for a steam locomotive boiler, but certainly enough for my radiator, as has been proven out.

I was told of this epoxy by a friend, who used it for everything. Given a choice, he would want his surgeon to use it on a knee or hip replacement for himself.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #53
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Car maintenance and repair is where I routinely save big dollars. Some things are better left to a pro. But the Honda dealer wanted about $500 for new brake pads and the install. I bought parts myself for less than $60, and finished the job in about 2 hours. Same thing on my Chevy. The dealer also wanted $119 to simply clean the throttle body. That can be done with a $5 can of spray from AutoZone or Amazon.

Thousands of dollars in savings in just the past few years.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
J-B Weld claims tensile strength of 4000 psi, adhesion of 1800 psi, shear strength of 1000 psi, and temperature of 300F.

Might not be enough for a steam locomotive boiler, but certainly enough for my radiator, as has been proven out.

I was told of this epoxy by a friend, who used it for everything. Given a choice, he would want his surgeon to use it on a knee or hip replacement for himself.
JB Weld is amazing. My F-150 used to drag its radio antenna on the open garage door when I drove in to the garage. I pulled off the little ball off the antenna, cut off a few inches of antenna, and jb welded the ball back on. It'll never come off now, and now it clears the garage opening when I pull in
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #55
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Ah hah. You are like my friend, whose vocabulary included JB Weld as a verb.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #56
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I use JB weld for many things that need to be solid/unmoving. Another great glue is the Goop glues, I use the plumbers Goop it's like silicone glue on steriods.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:36 PM   #57
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I put a new capacitor on my A/C unit every other year or so. The symptoms are (besides not cooling), the fan motor is warm and hums but the fan doesn't spin. It's a shared cap with the compressor. I used to buy the replacement cap at the local parts store, but they more than doubled their prices for 'walk ins', and give huge discounts to account holders. So now I buy 'em on eBay for 25% of the local store price. I've always got a new spare. At less than $10, my inventory carrying cost is affordable :-)
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:49 PM   #58
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I'm in the middle of a repair. DW hates the first day we turn of the furnace, I guess it is just a sign of winter coming. So I should have done this earlier, but when I checked it out, no familiar 'whoooosh' of blue flames. OK, pilot is out, no problem, go through re-light procedure.... won't stay on. No problem, most likely a bad thermo-couple, I replaced one about 10 years ago, it's probably due, and I have a spare. Get it in place, still no go.

Hmmmm, a little research shows you should get ~ 20 mV from a hot thermo-couple. Got that on the new and old one. Pointing to the gas valve. You can't really work on that, for safety reasons the pilot solenoid is integral to the gas valve, so I go online to the place I bought the blower motor from a few years ago. Long story, but shipping got messed up, and I expected it Saturday, Monday latest, and it probably won't be here until Thursday. $100 bucks for the valve, so not too bad. Managing with ~ 62F in the house. With an electric blanket, sitting around is fine though. And when I'm active it's not so bad.

On the plus side, since I had to pull the burners to get the gas valve out (ez, four screws), I got a real good look into the first row of tubes in the heat exchanger. Brushed out a little white powder and dust, and they look like new - no rust that I could see. Took apart the draft inducer to clean it and try to get oil in the sleeve bearings. That all looks good now.

And I learned from my reading, a cracked heat exchanger isn't the CO danger I always thought it was. If you think about it, the duct air is under pressure at that point, it blows into cracks in the exchanger. The danger is that causes the flame to back-draft out of the furnace. I saw a video of that on youtube - it takes about 30 seconds for the flame detector to respond, and it was looking pretty scary by that time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donzo View Post
I use JB weld for many things that need to be solid/unmoving. Another great glue is the Goop glues, I use the plumbers Goop it's like silicone glue on steriods.
JB Weld has a great reputation with the DIY crowd. I'll have to try some of that Goop.

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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
I put a new capacitor on my A/C unit every other year or so. ....
That seems odd to have it blow regularly like that. Just thinking out loud, but the motor also has some switches that kick in when the motor spins up. IIRC, they open to take the cap out of the circuit after start-up. I wonder if that switch might be bad? Seems like there should be some underlying cause.


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Old 10-18-2013, 09:04 PM   #59
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Replaced the heater core and fixed the blender doors on the A/C in my old 2000 Jetta diesel. Took one Sunday afternoon and a few Bud Lights. Had to pull the dash and steering column plus a ton of plastic parts:



Old heater core:



Air circulation unit with HVAC tape on blend doors (replaced old foam sheeting)



Now I have heat for the winter! (not bad for a 70 year old dude)
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:43 PM   #60
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Last month I had what I am assuming is one of the most costly possible home repairs. Had to replace the roof for about $3700. It's going to take a few months of rent to pay for that one. I'm just glad it's a small house.
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