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Old 05-20-2018, 10:57 AM   #2181
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Those old bimmers are much more reliable than today's cars full of gadgets. I love to drive the wife's 960 Volvo rear wheel drive which can cruise at 80 miles very happy. It still young with 180K versus!
Well, the '90s still came with their share of electronics that can go bad -- I had a couple W123-chassis Mercedes diesels years ago that relied on mechanical fuel delivery and vacuum to operate ... the engine would run quite happily without any electrical input whatsoever.

The bimmer has OBD1 engine management, which will spit out trouble codes to help diagnose engine malfunctions. That info is welcome.

What I like about the old BMWs is their relative resistance to rust. We inherited my MiL's 2000 Honda Accord when she quit driving. It drives nicely and has pretty low miles, but rust is eating it up. There's a spot on the front subframe that is just crumbling. And this is a car that was garaged.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:55 AM   #2182
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I have some cracks in the cement drive and cleaned and filled in the cracks on part of the drive. The store was out of the product I use so will finish it later in the week.

I also installed a new sash/window 6 1/2' x 32" that the seal went bad after about 25 years. It is just a section of a large window we have. I had to take all hardware off of the old window and install on new and all went well.

I don't like to do that type of things any more but if I can get started then I seem to enjoy the projects. I like to play now more then do these type of projects. LOL
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:02 PM   #2183
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With about $400 of lumber and deck screws, I replaced about 50% of a treated wood deck at a rental unit this week. 2 contractors offered to replace them and the steps for $12,000.
$11,600 saved, available now for more grapes come September wine season.
It's amazing what some want for labor. I know there is knowledge involved and a certain amount of work, but that is not worth it. When I can, I do things myself because plumbers and handymen and so on want too much money. There has been more than one time when I got stuck in a project and you tube helped me out.


It doesn't always work, sometimes I have to pay. But if I don't have to I'm not going to.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:10 PM   #2184
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DW has been leaving me notes on the kitchen counter to find or buy a 2'" paint brush. I haven't come up with one yet. I'm still "busy" replacing 6' cedar fence boards at DD's house is my excuse. I also just changed the oil and filter on the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. I guess I'll have to face the music and see what the painting is all about soon.
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:30 PM   #2185
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It seems like technicians are not taught analytical skills anymore. A $5 multimeter and a jumper wire should have been enough to find the problem.
You would think. I do have to tell this story on myself, though: I was checking things out and couldn't even find the 24 volts from the thermostat, yet I could hear the relay in the thermostat clicking on, and I could even hear it triggering the contactor coil--but when I disconnected it there and put the meter inline, no voltage. Strange . . .

Then I remembered that this is 24VAC, not DC. The electricity was there alright once I set the VOM to look for AC.

I'm just used to AC being 110 or more, and DC being lower voltages.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:35 PM   #2186
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Just helped my mother with her new old stock programmable thermostat. Had to go and find an obsolete model because that is what she wanted. She had trouble programming it and was upset--figured maybe we had gone to all that trouble for naught. But she is up and running now.
That task interrupted me doing some plumbing repair at our own place--outside spigot, bathroom spigot, and commode replaced. Just finishing up early in the afternoon. I think indulge and get a beer before the 5pm news..
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:08 PM   #2187
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This was a strange one. we have 2 strings of "summer lights" strung across the porch. Unfortunately, like Xmas lites, they are in series. I have had a problem with one bulb, but by jiggling it I could get the lights to work. Unfortunately, after the last jiggle, that one light went out and all the rest stayed on!

Well, i had to get up with a flashlight and a jeweler's loupe to find the problem. The was one tiny wire that was loose, and when you put a bulb in, it shorted it out. I got a pair of small tweezers and pulled the offending wire out. I reinstalled the bulb, and all 10 light now
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:19 PM   #2188
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We have come to our "third" home, a townhouse in NoVA that we used to rent to DD. She bought her own place, and since our kennel people are retiring we've decided to keep the place open for now and use it as a home base for us and the dogs when visiting DD and the grandgirls. It's been shut down for the winter. So far I've had to replace the flapper on three of the four toilets. Plus one handle that I broke in the process. Add that to the floor flange and wax ring replacement in FL and I'm starting to feel like a professional toilet repairman.

Then DW couldn't get a floor lamp to turn on. I changed bulbs, tried different outlets, nothing worked. I finally decided to take it apart and make sure the wiring was OK. That's when I discovered that somehow one of those tiny desiccant packs had gotten crammed down into the bulb socket. Pulled it out and everything was fine. But I wasted an hour on a 10 second "repair".
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:35 AM   #2189
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Currently deliberating about replacing fuel pump in my fun car, the 88 Trans Am. Mechanics want a fortune (have heard from $600 to $1000) labor, and the pump only costs about $100 (some less). But the task is a horror show, apparently, dropping exhaust, and maybe even the rear axle, to get tank out (fuel pump is annoyingly in the tank). Alternative method is to cut an access hole in the car's sheet metal, above the tank, and get to pump that way. Youtubing it now.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:04 AM   #2190
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^ lets us know how you do.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:58 AM   #2191
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Currently deliberating about replacing fuel pump in my fun car, the 88 Trans Am. Mechanics want a fortune (have heard from $600 to $1000) labor, and the pump only costs about $100 (some less). But the task is a horror show, apparently, dropping exhaust, and maybe even the rear axle, to get tank out (fuel pump is annoyingly in the tank). Alternative method is to cut an access hole in the car's sheet metal, above the tank, and get to pump that way. Youtubing it now.
John - I did this job years ago on my third generation Camaro Iroc Z. Please don't hack up the car by cutting an access hole. I hate seeing that. Use the time you would spend cutting a hole to do the job right.

This is a relatively straight forward job. Nothing complex, just time consuming. If you have a pneumatic impact wrench that will help. To drop the exhaust, I just disconnected the pipe to rear of the catalytic converter and removed the rest of the system in one piece, out the passenger's side up and over the right rear brake assembly. To drop the axle, it's all just removing nuts and bolts, and supporting with jack stands. I removed the clip supporting the brake line but didn't need disconnect the flexible line from the hard line.

The job isn't that bad once you drop the exhaust and rear axle. Once the axle and exhaust are dropped, and the fuel lines are disconnected, you have to snake the tank and filler tube out keeping in mind that the filler tube is rigidly attached to the tank. Be sure to remove as much gas as possible from the tank before beginning the job. Just take your time and you will be fine. One other note: This is a good time to replace the rear coil springs if they are weak (and they probably are if they are original) since they will basically just fall out once the axle is dropped. Good luck and holler if you have questions.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:32 AM   #2192
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Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
Currently deliberating about replacing fuel pump in my fun car, the 88 Trans Am. Mechanics want a fortune (have heard from $600 to $1000) labor, and the pump only costs about $100 (some less). But the task is a horror show, apparently, dropping exhaust, and maybe even the rear axle, to get tank out (fuel pump is annoyingly in the tank). Alternative method is to cut an access hole in the car's sheet metal, above the tank, and get to pump that way. Youtubing it now.

The front wheel drive Volvo's have an access in the trunk but for some unknown reason the cross country has no access.
To change the pump you not only need to drop the tank but the rear axles and muffler.


I went to a junk yard and drill some pilot holes and made a template.
I made the access just like all other Volvo's with a similar plate from the junk yard.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:38 AM   #2193
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John - I did this job years ago on my third generation Camaro Iroc Z. Please don't hack up the car by cutting an access hole. I hate seeing that ....
But once you cover that hole with duct tape, who's gonna know?


-ERD50
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:16 AM   #2194
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My Samsung French door refrigerator was leaking water underneath the crisper drawers, the defrost drain was clogged with ice. Apparently the defrost element that extends into the drain is too short so the drain freezes and water dumps into the fridge. Youtube is great - found a forced defrost function that defrosted the cooling panel and was able to get the panel off. Ordering the longer element from ebay, cost $9. Samsung tech support wants $135-185 to come out and do this for me.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:58 AM   #2195
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The front wheel drive Volvo's have an access in the trunk but for some unknown reason the cross country has no access.
To change the pump you not only need to drop the tank but the rear axles and muffler.


I went to a junk yard and drill some pilot holes and made a template.
I made the access just like all other Volvo's with a similar plate from the junk yard.
Yea, I would cut a hole to get access. It isn't like you're going to undermine the body's structural strength. With access through the trunk/floor, replacing a fuel pump is a 30-minute job.

As a buddy of mine likes to say, "You're not building a church."
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:06 PM   #2196
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Yea, I would cut a hole to get access. It isn't like you're going to undermine the body's structural strength. With access through the trunk/floor, replacing a fuel pump is a 30-minute job.

As a buddy of mine likes to say, "You're not building a church."
Cutting an access hole on the third generation Camaro or Firebird isn't all you have to hack up if you do the job this way. You will also need to hack up the fuel lines, and if they leak down the road you are dangerously close to the exhaust system that could lead to a fire.

There's almost nothing I hate worse when looking at used cars than to see that someone permanently hacked up a system to try to save a couple of hours of labor. I'll usually pass on buying that vehicle because there are most likely other "repairs" that were performed in a similar nonprofessional manner.

When I did the job, I had less than a total of four hours in doing it correctly, and that included the time it took to drain the tank. I'll also note that this was done by only me with no help, on the garage floor, (no lift) with only a hydraulic jack and jack stands.

My point is, it doesn't take much more time to do it correctly.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:24 PM   #2197
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The front wheel drive Volvo's have an access in the trunk but for some unknown reason the cross country has no access.
To change the pump you not only need to drop the tank but the rear axles and muffler.
When I see this kind of thing, it makes me crazy. It would cost them about $5 to add a little screw-down panel in a spot like that.
Can't any car maker do these sorts of things, highlight them in their marketing, and sell a few more cars, and for a few more bucks? I would gladly pay more money for a car that was designed to make maintenance easy (for me, or fewer hours for whoever I pay). Put the wiper and heater motors where they can be accessed and fixed, don't use blind fasteners/clips that can't be easily backed out, put the darn oil and air filter where they can be reached, don't change the body panels and lenses every 3 years (so spare parts are more readily available), etc.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:27 PM   #2198
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Cutting an access hole isn't all you have to hack up if you do the job this way. You will also need to hack up the fuel lines, and if they leak down the road you are dangerously close to the exhaust system that could lead to a fire.

There's almost nothing I hate worse when looking at used cars than to see that someone permanently hacked up a system to try to save a couple of hours of labor.

When I did the job, I had less than a total of four hours in doing it correctly, and that included the time it took to drain the tank. I'll also note that this was done by only me with no help, on the garage floor, (no lift) with only a hydraulic jack and jack stands.

My point is, it doesn't take much more time to do it correctly.
I'm a total stranger to GM products, but this process looks pretty easy with no hacking of lines or wiring necessary. It would require some care when cutting the hole, certainly.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #2199
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When I see this kind of thing, it makes me crazy. It would cost them about $5 to add a little screw-down panel in a spot like that.
Can't any car maker do these sorts of things, highlight them in their marketing, and sell a few more cars, and for a few more bucks? I would gladly pay more money for a car that was designed to make maintenance easy (for me, or fewer hours for whoever I pay). Put the wiper and heater motors where they can be accessed and fixed, don't use blind fasteners/clips that can't be easily backed out, put the darn oil and air filter where they can be reached, don't change the body panels and lenses every 3 years (so spare parts are more readily available), etc.
VW brands have an access panel under the rear seat to get to the fuel pump and relay. Has been this way since late 1990's in their cars, maybe earlier.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:42 PM   #2200
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Not so much a repair, as a reset that I had no idea existed.

For whatever reason the icemaker in the GE refrigerator up and decided to quit working. While pondering the dysfunctional device, I noticed a little green LED light blinking. Hmmm... that might be a clue so I look up "GE icemaker blinking green light" and stumble across directions at (of all places!) the GE web site.

It turns out all I had to do was turn it off for 15 seconds, turn it back on, and then within 15 seconds push in on the paddle (that swings out and senses when the ice bin is full) three times. Kinda like clicking your heels and touching your nose to get back to Kansas, or something like that.

Anyway, it worked. LET THERE BE ICE!
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