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Old 01-25-2015, 09:17 PM   #701
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I've purchased a $35 Harbor Freight tool set to leave at such person's homes for my convenience. It is fairly complete for simple tasks. You can use the 20% coupon on top of the (continuous) sale price.

Digital Savings and Coupons from Harbor Freight
Thanks - that's exactly what I need!
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:16 AM   #702
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I do a fair amount of repairs by myself. Everything from automotive repairs, to home mechanicals and remodeling, nothing is too much to tackle. I have been this way most all of my life. Two repairs I did this last week involved replacing the ice maker in the side-by-side fridge. But not before fully analyzing the system from intake valves to taking the icemaker's timer apart and finding the burnt contacts for the solenoid valve switch. That was something I could not "repair" so had to by a new assembly for about $40. The second repair involved a rusting dish rack in the dishwasher. I cut the old vinyl off the rack back to unaffected metal, cleaned off the rust with a file and phosphoric acid. Then applied 3 coats of new coating on the metal.


Other recent repairs I have done include a valve job on a 2000 Blazer, replace the fuel pump and water pump on the same vehicle.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:51 AM   #703
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....Then applied 3 coats of new coating on the metal. ...........
What did you use to coat the rack?
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:09 AM   #704
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I found it on ebay. It is called Uber Goop. It comes in several colors and with/without caps. No more than 10 bucks for the repair. Cheaper than replacing the rack.


I'm sure a local appliance dealer/repair shop may carry similar stuff. Anymore, I just hate going from place to place to find that nobody carries this or that. Or they ask me "what is that?" It took my wife 4 different clerks at the local hardware store yesterday asking for glazier's points before somebody knew what they were. If I can find it on eBay, it is less hassle, quicker and takes less gas money.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:00 PM   #705
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It's not often I get to do my own repairs (I won't touch household electrical and plumbing because I always screw it up) but this past weekend, I decided to tackle an automotive repair.

I have an old 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with power windows that haven't worked in years. Those Jeeps have a known problem with wiring breaking that lives inside a rubber boot that runs between the chassis and the door.

I decided to peel that rubber boot back to see if it was the problem, and it was. I counted at least four broken wires in there, out of ten. One of which was the ground wire, which ensured that nothing worked (mirrors, windows, door locks).

After doing some Googling, I found a really good thread post somebody had written that advised just snipping off the Molex connectors on either end, run new wire, and solder the connections. I figure the Jeep is over 10 years old and is kind of a beater now anyway, so if I broke anything it wouldn't be a big deal.

So...snip, snip, snip. Cut all the old wiring out, ran new wire, and then realized how much I suck at soldering. I also fell victim to one of the classic blunders. No, not the one about getting involved in a land war in Asia. The other one - forgetting to run heat shrink tubing over the wires before soldering them. Doh! Had to use electrical tape instead.

Oh well. All turned out okay in the end. After I was all done, I put the door panel back on, hooked up the battery and...it all worked!

The power windows, mirrors, door locks - everything that had been broken for five years started working again!

I was so happy I did a "solder dance" and celebrated
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:56 PM   #706
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......

So...snip, snip, snip. Cut all the old wiring out, ran new wire, and then realized how much I suck at soldering. I also fell victim to one of the classic blunders. No, not the one about getting involved in a land war in Asia. The other one - forgetting to run heat shrink tubing over the wires before soldering them. Doh! Had to use electrical tape instead.

Oh well. All turned out okay in the end. After I was all done, I put the door panel back on, hooked up the battery and...it all worked!

The power windows, mirrors, door locks - everything that had been broken for five years started working again!

I was so happy I did a "solder dance" and celebrated

Well done. Now when the other door's wiring needs done.....You will expert.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:01 AM   #707
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Well done. Now when the other door's wiring needs done.....You will expert.
Thank goodness the passenger door almost never gets used (I rarely carry any passengers)

The seat on the passenger side looks almost brand new even after 180k miles. The drivers seat looks like a herd of elephants stampeded over it.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:23 AM   #708
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Originally Posted by LoneAspen View Post
It's not often I get to do my own repairs (I won't touch household electrical and plumbing because I always screw it up) but this past weekend, I decided to tackle an automotive repair.

I have an old 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with power windows that haven't worked in years. Those Jeeps have a known problem with wiring breaking that lives inside a rubber boot that runs between the chassis and the door.

I decided to peel that rubber boot back to see if it was the problem, and it was. I counted at least four broken wires in there, out of ten. One of which was the ground wire, which ensured that nothing worked (mirrors, windows, door locks).

After doing some Googling, I found a really good thread post somebody had written that advised just snipping off the Molex connectors on either end, run new wire, and solder the connections. I figure the Jeep is over 10 years old and is kind of a beater now anyway, so if I broke anything it wouldn't be a big deal.

So...snip, snip, snip. Cut all the old wiring out, ran new wire, and then realized how much I suck at soldering. I also fell victim to one of the classic blunders. No, not the one about getting involved in a land war in Asia. The other one - forgetting to run heat shrink tubing over the wires before soldering them. Doh! Had to use electrical tape instead.

Oh well. All turned out okay in the end. After I was all done, I put the door panel back on, hooked up the battery and...it all worked!

The power windows, mirrors, door locks - everything that had been broken for five years started working again!

I was so happy I did a "solder dance" and celebrated
I like that brush-on liquid "electrical tape" -- it's a rubberized compound that cures into a flexible, weathertight coating. It's not as pretty as the shrink wraps but very permanent. You just paint it over any connections you want to protect.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #709
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In the past month I have replaced the cabin air filter in my and my GF's cars. Doesn't sound like much (& it isn't), but the dealership sends us "coupons" that they will do it for the great price of $45. I did both in under 10 minutes with $10 cost for the filters.

The brake lights on my car stopped working (all of them) and after some testing I guessed it must be the brake light switch. I got one online for $20 delivered (instead of $40 to buy it from the dealership) but it came with no instructions. Looking under the dash I could easily see how to do it. About 15 minutes of twisting and squirming and the new switch was installed. I can only imagine how much the dealership would want to do it ($100?).

Last week the furnace would fire up, run for 15 seconds, and turn off. After taking off the access panels and watching for a while, I was no closer to a solution. I noticed a flashing LED light on a small circuit board. After looking about, I spotted a sticker on the furnace describing the LED codes. There were a few reasons listed for the code I saw, but one indicated oxidation on the ignition sensor and also had how to fix it. All I did was use fine sandpaper and squeeze my hand in and just sand the sensor as best I could. Since then its been working great. Repairman visit eliminated.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #710
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The brake lights on my car stopped working (all of them) and after some testing I guessed it must be the brake light switch. I got one online for $20 delivered (instead of $40 to buy it from the dealership) but it came with no instructions. Looking under the dash I could easily see how to do it. About 15 minutes of twisting and squirming and the new switch was installed. I can only imagine how much the dealership would want to do it ($100?).
Good luck for $100...

At dealer (est):

Run diagnostic software to find trouble code - $100
New Switch - $60
Install switch - $120.

Total = $280.00
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:50 AM   #711
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Originally Posted by LoneAspen View Post
It's not often I get to do my own repairs (I won't touch household electrical and plumbing because I always screw it up) but this past weekend, I decided to tackle an automotive repair.

I have an old 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with power windows that haven't worked in years. ...
So...snip, snip, snip. Cut all the old wiring out, ran new wire, ....

The power windows, mirrors, door locks - everything that had been broken for five years started working again!

I was so happy I did a "solder dance" and celebrated
Congrats! This is a good example of where some DIY skills really pay off. We can make decisions to do a 'non-standard' repair, take the time to do it, and in the off-chance that it doesn't last, just re-do it (though I'm sure yours will be fine).

A pro really can't take the time to investigate alternatives, and risk a call back, just to save you a few bucks (and it might not be a savings at all at the labor rates they need to charge to cover their overhead).

I've done countless band-aid fixes, that are perfectly fine for the application, cost me little/nothing and a little time, and I might have paid several hundreds to a pro for that job. Often, the pro repair wouldn't even make sense versus purchase new, so I've managed to stretch the useful life of several items by many years. The secondary benefit of stretching a big purchase a few years is that often (not always), the newer models are cheaper/better.

A couple examples - The water softener internal timing valve was leaking, passing hard water right through in a small trickle to the main soft water supply. I took it apart, found that the hard rubber valve seat had taken a 'set', and just would not seal properly against the face of the port. Then I noticed that the rubber piece was symmetrical - I turned it 180 degrees, re-assembled, and it's been working ever since (at least 5 years ago).

I also had the power window go out on the rear driver side (I probably mentioned it earlier in this thread). It was a mechanical problem, I finally managed to jam it closed, so then I just silicone caulked it shut, and disconnected the control wires. There - I 'fixed' it!

And I had a similar repair as yours on a car. A module was giving fault codes, after a lot of troubleshooting and research, I found one of the pins in the connector was corroded. I just jumpered that one pin with a wire across the connector to the wire on each side. Fixed!

-ERD50
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:07 PM   #712
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Years ago I had an old CRT TV that had a purplish tint in one corner and the tint was slowly spreading along the screen. Well over $100 just to have a repair guy look at it.

I noticed that there were three wires attached to the neck of the picture tube. One was loose. But, years of accumulated dust left a clear oval foot print where it had been attached. With some Crazy glue I glued the wire back onto the neck of the tube. Result? A perfect picture with no discoloration. Cost ? About $2 at that time.

I kept the TV for about 7 more years and only gave it away when my kids, tired of having to watch a small picture at my place gave me a 42 inch plasma TV.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:27 AM   #713
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Got a check engine light on my winter beater truck. My scanner identified P0301. #1 plug misfire. Removed plug, broken insulator. Replaced all 8 plugs. The other seven looked normal. Chances are that cylinder is having some other problems.

Either partially clogged injector or valve issues letting oil in, or rings. Did not do compression check. Too lazy. maybe in the spring time. On the next dry day might give it an Italian tuneup. It will either kill it or cure it.

Since it is past 190,000 miles, not too concerned.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:44 AM   #714
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Replaced a toilet tank fill valve. I wish all repairs were this easy.


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Old 01-30-2015, 03:44 PM   #715
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2 for 2 on refrigeration units. replaced a defroster heater in the side by side, and a hard start relay kit in my chest freezer. Saved some money and trip to the dump. I may celebrate with a beer tonight.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:51 PM   #716
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I had to look up what an "Italian tuneup" was. We used to do that when I-495 (Washington Beltway) first opened - AKA "Drive it around the Beltway" but I'd never heard it called that before.

That was back when you could drive 80 mph on the Beltway. Now you're doing well to drive 18 mph.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:22 PM   #717
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I had to look up what an "Italian tuneup" was. We used to do that when I-495 (Washington Beltway) first opened - AKA "Drive it around the Beltway" but I'd never heard it called that before.

That was back when you could drive 80 mph on the Beltway. Now you're doing well to drive 18 mph.
More accurately, find a very long and very steep road, put it second gear, floor it until you get to the top. Should clean all the gunk and carbon out, or blow.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:26 PM   #718
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More accurately, find a very long and very steep road, put it second gear, floor it until you get to the top. Should clean all the gunk and carbon out, or blow.
For something similar, but even better try "fogging" your car with Seafoam. Lots of fun in my old car. Did it on my mower, and it took care of a very rough idle.

http://youtu.be/eOnVx4Z8b_0
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:31 PM   #719
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Eh, I prefer the ride up a 10 mile steep road at full throttle. And not inhale all the smoke, like doofus did.


By the way today's accomplishment was to load up Linux mate 17.1 on a pc given to me by a SIL. With instructions to destroy securely erase the hard drive, which had windoze XP on it. The drive was duly modified by a 20lb sledge hammer impact.

Installed my own. and installed linux. I am typing this mesage on said Linux and Firefox. It is actually a faster pc than anything els I have. Nice gift.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:36 PM   #720
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Eh, I prefer the ride up a 10 mile steep road at full throttle. And not inhale all the smoke, like doofus did.
I regularly do this hill at speed in my 76 Monte Carlo: Old Lewiston Grade "The Spiral Highway" - GOING UP - YouTube

It is an elevation change of about 1800 feet in five miles. I follow it with about 30 minutes of relatively flat road at 70mph. Seafoam still made a difference.
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