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Old 10-21-2020, 07:50 AM   #3341
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To the folks ringing the alarm bell about disconnecting the battery in a running car: thanks for that! My knowledge on that is indeed from back in the 60-ies and apparently, I never got the new memo on that....
Yeah, back when you had an alternator, a starter, a few incandescent lights and the coil/distributor.

Bullet proof! Of course, you changed starters every 30k for other reasons of reliability.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:01 AM   #3342
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The weather has been lousy so far in South East Florida so I picked up some items from Home Depot and performed some improvements in our condo. I replaced the standard switch for the exhaust fan control in both bathrooms with programmable timer switches. I added to ceiling mounted LED lights in our kitchen and connected the wiring to the existing LED ceiling light that I installed when we bought the condo.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:08 AM   #3343
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
How old is this truck, as I recall voltmeters from long ago, and thought it a shame they became a light that went on when things were bad.
It's a 1998 Toyata T-100. It has an electric meter that indicates voltage but has no numbers on it. But in normal operation it reads just under 3/4 of full scale, on my way to get the battery it read very slightly under 1/2 scale.
Everything is working fine.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:27 AM   #3344
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It's a 1998 Toyata T-100. It has an electric meter that indicates voltage but has no numbers on it. But in normal operation it reads just under 3/4 of full scale, on my way to get the battery it read very slightly under 1/2 scale.
Everything is working fine.
Easy to add a meter to a car. Amazon has a number of them, some plug right into the cig lighter socket (accessory connector now a days?):

https://www.amazon.com/Zeltauto-Ciga...ts_id=15729811

https://www.amazon.com/Linkstyle-Vol...ts_id=15729811


I started a thread a while back that our car batteries were getting low due to short drives and long times sitting, I need to update that with some more info, but I'll just note now that it can take several hours for a battery to reach its 'resting voltage' which can be used to estimate the charge level. Just opening the door and triggering the dome lights can throw it off for a while. I may add one of these to each of our cars.

-ERD50
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:45 PM   #3345
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A scheme I've used is to have a spare valve handy, and if a diaphragm or other part on top failed (other than an easy to replace solenoid), install the top half of the new valve onto the bottom of the old valve. This way, no need to touch any pipe connections. Works for every failure, except a cracked lower half, which I have not experienced.
All of my valves are distributed, no manifold, that is common around here.
Well, I tried to replace the solenoid, and it still did not help. DW (bless her) found an ad from our local paper for a sprinkler repairman. I called him and he showed up a half hour later. He took the valve apart, explaining everything to me, and discovered that a small screw had somehow gotten into the valve assembly.
He swapped assemblies, checked it out, and only charged $30! I am having his card framed in case I need him again
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:21 PM   #3346
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I have a 22 yr old self propelled leaf shredder-vacuum with a Briggs and Stratton engine. This thing never ran well from day one. In a good year it might get used for 5 or 6 hours. Most years I never even try to get it started. Iím not good about getting the old fuel out between seasons. Iíve repaired it a few times....clean and reinstall carb, de rust timing marks, etc. This year I took the carb down and the float had a hole in it so I needed the float plus a gasket set that was gonna run $30 plus shipping. I really wanted the satisfaction of just fixing what was broken but Amazon has these amazing deals on cheap (Chinese?) carb kits that include the whole carb plus filters, fuel line, spark plug etc for $10-$20. Reading reviews I went for the $20 kit. Ordered Sat afternoon and it was delivered on Sunday. I put it on today and WOW! This machine runs better than new. Too bad I canít get a replacement bag for less than $200.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:39 PM   #3347
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... I replaced the standard switch for the exhaust fan control in both bathrooms with programmable timer switches...
I did something similar, but used a PIR occupancy sensor switch, and set the time for about 10 minutes.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:15 PM   #3348
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Fixed my iphone 6S Plus yesterday. It was discharging much faster than normal even when I wasn't using it.
I had replaced the battery earlier this summer and it worked much better. But several weeks later it started discharging much faster than normal.
None of the apps appeared to be the problem so I started suspecting the hardware. Tried lots of things and finally found a procedure online that fixed it.
Went to Settings/General/Reset and selected Reset Network Settings. Then you have to re-enter the wifi password.
Apparently the phone was in some kind of handshake loop with the wifi router and was draining the battery faster than normal.
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:25 PM   #3349
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I'll spare you all the details (and cussing) but it these times that I question my adherence to "if I can do it, then I will."

Bought a 2002 Ford Taurus wagon last November for $1300 as a "dog" car (I hike with our two pups daily, pretty much), and something that got better mileage than my 16mpg truck. This as a stopgap to buy us a couple more years before we renew our daily drivers. With taxes, title, registration and a few parts including new headlights to replace the cloudy ones, I was up to just shy of $1900. I have since put over 12k mi on it, mostly driving to and from our second home in NH.


Recently it started making a lot of rolling noise from the left front wheel. "While driving" bearing noise test confirmed there was a bad bearing. $37 online order part, and yes there are several YouTube videos. And I had already bought ball joints ($10 each) even though I had no reason to believe the ones in there were bad.


2 days, lot's of cussing, torches and use of my 20 ton press to get the bearing/hub out of the knuckle (read: dissimilar metals issues) and today I hope to wrap it all up in a couple hours since "all the stuck stuff had been taken care of".

But it was not to be.

At first it went pretty good, I have ball joint press, lots of air tools, but then pushing the control arm down led to cussing, use of a long pry pipe, cussing, the pipe slipping with me pulling it down while sitting on the floor and smacking me in the head, LOUD cussing, "take a deep breath, let the engineer in you solve this...." finally notching the sub frame that limited the control arm downward travel a bit, and I got the new ball joint shank in the control arm. 3+ hours in.


Then....


I finally pretty much everything back in and tightened down, except the axle spindle nut which gets torqued to 184 foot lbs and is best done last with the wheel back on the car and the car on the ground. But there isn't a washer for that I can find. I look at the other side axle, yes, washer there. I scan the shop floor. Nada. Check my hardware storage drawers for something that might work. Nada. Decide to wash my hands, go inside and see if I can find something online. I find a to spec one for $3.19 at a nearby auto parts store, the website says they have it in stock and, despite being exhausted from getting up on and off the shop floor I bet 60+ times today, I decide to go the gym and play Racquetball after picking up that part. So I head to the AP store, and the guy looks it up and says he doesn't have one. I tell him the website says he should, and he says that the website "does that" sometimes, and shows parts that are in the warehouse. But he tells me that another store out near my gym (sort of) has 5 of them. Off I go. Put it in my phone GPS.8 miles as the crow flies, but um, 29 miles on the roads because "you can't get there (easy) from here (a river/bridge thing)....


So I make the stupid long drive in my 16 mpg truck, get there and the girl says "who said we had 5 of these?". I told her and she informs me that they have TWO stores in this town, the other one is 4 miles away, back in the direction I came.


So I do make I there and then head down to the gym, realizing that I spend 1.5 hours, drove almost 40 miles and probably burned $16 worth of gas... all for a $3.16 cent washer. (but it is really thick and a hardware store washer would not have done well under a nut torqued to 184 ft lbs.......)


So we'll see how tomorrow goes....
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:49 PM   #3350
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I'll spare you all the details (and cussing) but it these times that I question my adherence to "if I can do it, then I will."

Bought a 2002 Ford Taurus wagon last November for $1300 as a "dog" car (I hike with our two pups daily, pretty much), and something that got better mileage than my 16mpg truck. This as a stopgap to buy us a couple more years before we renew our daily drivers. With taxes, title, registration and a few parts including new headlights to replace the cloudy ones, I was up to just shy of $1900. I have since put over 12k mi on it, mostly driving to and from our second home in NH.


Recently it started making a lot of rolling noise from the left front wheel. "While driving" bearing noise test confirmed there was a bad bearing. $37 online order part, and yes there are several YouTube videos. And I had already bought ball joints ($10 each) even though I had no reason to believe the ones in there were bad.


2 days, lot's of cussing, torches and use of my 20 ton press to get the bearing/hub out of the knuckle (read: dissimilar metals issues) and today I hope to wrap it all up in a couple hours since "all the stuck stuff had been taken care of".

But it was not to be.

At first it went pretty good, I have ball joint press, lots of air tools, but then pushing the control arm down led to cussing, use of a long pry pipe, cussing, the pipe slipping with me pulling it down while sitting on the floor and smacking me in the head, LOUD cussing, "take a deep breath, let the engineer in you solve this...." finally notching the sub frame that limited the control arm downward travel a bit, and I got the new ball joint shank in the control arm. 3+ hours in.


Then....


I finally pretty much everything back in and tightened down, except the axle spindle nut which gets torqued to 184 foot lbs and is best done last with the wheel back on the car and the car on the ground. But there isn't a washer for that I can find. I look at the other side axle, yes, washer there. I scan the shop floor. Nada. Check my hardware storage drawers for something that might work. Nada. Decide to wash my hands, go inside and see if I can find something online. I find a to spec one for $3.19 at a nearby auto parts store, the website says they have it in stock and, despite being exhausted from getting up on and off the shop floor I bet 60+ times today, I decide to go the gym and play Racquetball after picking up that part. So I head to the AP store, and the guy looks it up and says he doesn't have one. I tell him the website says he should, and he says that the website "does that" sometimes, and shows parts that are in the warehouse. But he tells me that another store out near my gym (sort of) has 5 of them. Off I go. Put it in my phone GPS.8 miles as the crow flies, but um, 29 miles on the roads because "you can't get there (easy) from here (a river/bridge thing)....


So I make the stupid long drive in my 16 mpg truck, get there and the girl says "who said we had 5 of these?". I told her and she informs me that they have TWO stores in this town, the other one is 4 miles away, back in the direction I came.


So I do make I there and then head down to the gym, realizing that I spend 1.5 hours, drove almost 40 miles and probably burned $16 worth of gas... all for a $3.16 cent washer. (but it is really thick and a hardware store washer would not have done well under a nut torqued to 184 ft lbs.......)


So we'll see how tomorrow goes....
Wow! I want to say "I have been there," but you went further "there" than I ever have! Sounds taxing!
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:34 AM   #3351
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doneat54,


please don't take this the wrong way but thanks for the great laugh this morning
I only laughed because this sounds just like something I would do and have done in the name of stubborn, hard core DIY pursuits.
I hope it all turns out well for you in the end.
I could probably write several episodes like this myself!
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:24 AM   #3352
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Oh, I forgot to mention something. Shortly after I took that pic of the knuckle with the new hub and ball joint installed, I turned the hub by hand... and heard a "clunk....clunk... clunk...clunk.....

It's defective.


Called around local stores and found one for $22 more than the mail order one (I know, lesson learned) went out and got THAT, re-installed. That all before the big $3 washer chase in the evening....!!!
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:48 AM   #3353
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Oh boy! I "feel your pain" after working on my/our vehicles for over 50 years! There are a lot of poor quality made in China auto parts these days. Many auto parts ARE made in China, but some of the American manufacturers (ex-manufacturers?) do a better job of selecting who, and designing the parts themselves, then monitoring the manufacturing over there. But even some of those also have "value" or "economy" lines, which I avoid!

The hardest press job I ever had was pressing out U-joint bearings from late 1960s-1970 vintage big block driveshafts that were almost 5" in diameter, that had an assembled CV joint up front that was created with dual U-joints with an H-yoke. They were nylon locked, liquid nylon was injected under pressure to a hole in the yoke at each cap, which traveled around each cap via a groove in both cap and yoke. I had the whole very heavy shaft up on boxes and saw horses. It took incredible force to break the nylon. I stood off to the side in-line with my hydraulic presses side rails, in case something blew. Still was a bit scary. When the cap would let go, there was a heck of a bang, and the whole heavy long driveshaft jumped up in the air! No rust locking, as these were Southern.

When we moved south decades ago, the two cars we brought with us were the last rust vehicles I had to work on. So so much nicer without the rust! And without salt to create the galvanic battery, dissimilar metals isn't that big of a deal either.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:19 PM   #3354
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Bolding by me. Don't do that!!!

Disconnecting the battery while the engine is running to check on the health of the alternator and overall charging system was a 1960s-era trick. The advent of expensive electronics in vehicles, and the increasing content of it over the years, makes that trick a very bad idea. The alternator puts out full-wave rectified 3-phase AC. All the electronics in the vehicle expect that the extremely low AC impedance of the battery will be there to integrate out the high AC ripple. Also, the battery absorbs transients. Disconnecting the battery on a running vehicle allows bad high peak AC ripple to hit all the electronics. The absorption of transients disappears also. Damage of semiconductors does not always result in failure immediately. Every factory-authorized shop manual will warn against doing it. Don't do it. This topic may appear on the Semester Final Exam, study up!
\
The truck seemed fine for about 8 days then I noticed the voltmeter was reading low. I could make it read high, low or just right, by turning on the lights or reving the engine. I changed the alternator and the voltmeter reads normal but a little higher.
Seems OK for now.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:23 PM   #3355
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\
The truck seemed fine for about 8 days then I noticed the voltmeter was reading low. I could make it read high, low or just right, by turning on the lights or reving the engine. I changed the alternator and the voltmeter reads normal but a little higher.
Seems OK for now.
Maybe it was the alternator all along, and the old battery was fine.
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Fixed the squeak in the vinyl floor!
Old 11-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #3356
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Fixed the squeak in the vinyl floor!

Fixed the squeak in the vinyl floor! 16 year old vinyl floor developed a bad squeak right in front of the fridge. It is either the subfloor against the underlayment, OR the luan the guys put down over the last vinyl.

In any case, I went for it and decided to use the snap off screws. Put them right through the vinyl face, trying to pick a speckle on the pattern. Even though the vinyl isn't "soft", it mostly relaxed back over the hole and you can't see that I just put a screw right through it.

Cool product! https://www.squeakyfloor.com/counter...or-repair-kit/
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A quickie to correct sloppy oil furnace service.
Old 11-02-2020, 12:15 PM   #3357
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A quickie to correct sloppy oil furnace service.

Got home yesterday from camp, OAT around 36F, house around 60F. Not looking at thermostat, nudged it a bit higher. Half hour later still not warmer.
Pushed thermostat to 75, heard oil burner kick on, check on floor vent five or sominutes later, no airflow. Dang!
Head to basement, hear oil burner, then it shut down, still no fan. Open blower cabinet, say a few "our father and hail marys with some added expletives" see two wires hanging. Turns out they were the wires going to the motor start capacitor. Look at start capacitor, see bare terminals, nothing connected.

Turn off main switch, push two connectors onto capacitor's terminals, turn on main switch, voila, blower starts. Back upstairs reset thermostat to 70F.

The cleaning, nozzle change and other fall service includes checking the value of the blower motor's starting capacitior, they hope charge $80.- for a $10.- item if it is below value. I don't let them change it, easy enough if sufficiently out of tolerance.

All is well, except for the a$$ chewing I dished out to the furnace cleaning company's boss first thing this morning. Hope it made his day
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:30 AM   #3358
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Yesterday between the start and end of a post I managed to spill a cup of coffee on my key board. After disassembly and cleaning/drying my a,z,q,1,` didn't work and possibly F1, F2 etc. I'm not sure. I disassembled the keyboard again and started looking at the traces, I found two that had a little deterioration, one of those measured open. I didn't have any conductive liquid to paint across the open trace. so I cut a fine uninsulated wire and taped it a cross the open trace.

Works fine, I'll get a new one soon, because I suspect that second trace is not far behind the first. But for now I'm up and typing!

btw, In recent months on my about 8 occasions I had a problem where (a) would stick and and continue repeating until I unplugged the keyboard. It wasn't the key, I suspect where there's deterioration of those two lines there was some conductive material that caused that. Although I can't explain why it would stop when unplugged and plugged the keyboard back in.


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Old 11-11-2020, 01:11 PM   #3359
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hope charge $80.- for a $10.- item if it is below value. I don't let them change it, easy enough if sufficiently out of tolerance.

All is well, except for the a$$ chewing I dished out to the furnace cleaning company's boss first thing this morning. Hope it made his day
Maybe they were looking for another $ervice call; if doing something wrong then charging extra to fix it is good enough for hospitals, it's got to be good enough for HVAC contractors, lol!

Unquoted, but talking about driving screws into the floor... I just installed some radiant heat panels. Not a 'fix', per se, but a fix for my cold feet while sitting in the breakfast room. The stuff is called "QuietWarmth" and it's a roll of plastic that's stapled between joists. The plastic has a conductive compound printed on it. Pulling down the insulation, stapling the film in place, and replacing the insulation was the easy part. Adding a 20 amp circuit, running the 12-2 to under the breakfast room was a bit of a pain. And you need to run two thick 12-2 sized up the wall to the control (thermostat and heavy duty relay), so wrestling those 12's are so much more of a pain than the 14's. Then all the panels go into a local junction box, no problem there. The big pump that's called "Eta" is making the floor 75 degrees without turning on the new heat, but I did test it briefly, and it looks like it's going to work. It's only 300 or 400 watts, so won't cost too much to run, and the control has a setback capability, so doesn't have to run all the time. And of course shuts off when it's up to set point.

This was one of those "what should I do today" things and 20 minutes later, I had an order into the Wayfair (the big box stores didn't have stock). Then when it arrived, I did the install. Almost too easy.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:20 PM   #3360
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The last couple of days we started noticing water in the bottom of our refrigerator and ice building up on the floor of the freezer. So my wife and I spent the afternoon pulling the freezer apart and thawing out the ice buildup that was blocking the freezer drain tube. It took about three hours pouring hot water and heating things with a blow dryer before the drain tube was clear again.

Everything is back together and seems to be working now, but we will be keeping an eye on it the next few days.
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