Zen and the Art of Vehicle Maintenance

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    Non-dune discussion

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Freakzilla
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Zen and the Art of Vehicle Maintenance

Postby Freakzilla » 20 Jan 2009 14:38

I just replaced the A/C blower motor in my 1995 Cadillac Deville.

The part was $225... for a fan with a motor. If this part costs so god damned much why am I replacing it? Oh yeah, my nuts are freezing to the leather seats.

People who write instructions for installing autoparts should be publicly flogged. "Remove part to be replaced. Install new part." No shit. What they don't tell you is that there isn't room between the A/C duct the blower goes in and the engine to remove or install it. Neither do they mention the various wires and hoses that run between the two. I broke the old blower motor, I had to to get it out. I figured, there's got to be a trick to it. You know, insert it at just the right angle while twisting. Nope.

I finally gave up and went inside to read the automotive forums. I discovered that the manufacturer (GM) conveniently included lines on the A/C duct where you are supposed to cut it away in order to replace the blower. Obviously they thought about the situation enough to include lines on the A/C duct to tell you where to cut. Hey GM, you know what would have really been convenient? If you cut it yourself and put it back on with a couple of fucking screws.

So, thank Gildur for my trust Dremel tool with the rotary cutting disk, which made short work of it. Once I figured out I had to vandelize it the installatino went pretty eazy. I temporarily covered up the lines I cut with some electrical tape and I now have heat! More important though than my comfort, I now have defrost and can actually see where I'm going. Defrost is important in Georgia where it can be 20 degrees at night and 60 in the day, there's almost always some kind of condensation.

But while trying to molest that thing into its hole I knocked loose the wire to the Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor. I found this out after leaving for work and noticing my check engine light was on. So I turned around and went back home (I was already late) to fix that. One other thing GM conveniently equipped my car with is on-board diagnostics that display on the dashboard. I just happened to have a list of trouble codes, which told me it was the MAP, which I located in the manual, then on the car and plugged back in.

I get back in the car and head off to work and it seems a cylinder is not firing. But my nuts are warm. I think I must have knocked one of the spark plug wires off of the clip that keeps it from touching the engine, melting the insulation and grounding/shorting out. But fuck it, it's got seven other cylinders, I'll fix that tonight, replacing a spark plug wire is easy, coparatively.

Now my question is, why cant they make the spark plug wire insulation out of something that won't melt? "Circuit Integrity" cable used in fire alarm systems will last two hours IN A FIRE.

I guess they have to cut costs so they can pay for Viagra for UAW workers.

OK, I feel better now.
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GamePlayer
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Re: Zen and the Art of Vehicle Maintenance

Postby GamePlayer » 20 Jan 2009 15:07

Freakzilla wrote:But my nuts are warm.

OK, I feel better now.


Well, it was all worth it then :lol:
"They can chew you up, but they gotta spit you out."

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Postby Drunken Idaho » 20 Jan 2009 17:15

That sucks... I just had to cough up $500 for my engine this week. One of the coils wasn't firing, and it wasn't covered under warranty. Plus, the guy said that once one coil goes, the other one follows son after, so I had them both replaced. Now she's running better. It's a 2003 Mazda Protege 5, by the way:

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Freakzilla
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Postby Freakzilla » 20 Jan 2009 17:28

I guess it has a coil pack on each side, one for each bank of cylinders?

I'd pay for the mechanical work if I had the money. I like working on cars, it's kind of therapudic, it's just the conditions are never ideal. It's always freezing or there's not enough time or something. It's never warm, I've got all weekend and there's never beer in the fridge when the work needs to be done.


BTW, I looked at my spark plug wires on my last break. It looked like one was touching the engine block but I didn't see any exposed copper. It could be shorting to the engine block through the insulation, I guess. Anyway, I moved it back and started it in the parking lot, seems ok...
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Postby Crysknife » 20 Jan 2009 18:10

Thank all that is Holy for Dremel tools!!

I kid you not, some of the workers in my shop would go bat shit crazy if they didn't have a Dremel.

Fixes so many damn things they should put it in the Smithsonian.
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Sole Man

On Car conditions

Postby Sole Man » 20 Jan 2009 18:22

Not ever warm? Come down here in the spring-time, You'll probably ditch your shirt real fast. Its easy to get beer.

I know a little lot you can work at...

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Postby Freakzilla » 21 Jan 2009 13:52

You rarely make sense, and when you do it's offensive.

Anyway...

I now have airflow but it only comes out warm when I'm moving, it doesn't come out warm at idle... which defeats the purpose of defrost. I need to see out the windshield BEFORE I start driving.

<sigh>

Looks like I'll be replacing spark plug wires now too.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Postby GamePlayer » 21 Jan 2009 14:00

An old 1989 Jeep Cherokee I once owned had a similar problem. Even after replacing the block heater, the hot air would drop significantly upon idling. Sometimes, the heat would fail so completely that it would actually blast cold air through the vents. I tried solving the issue by installing an auxiliary heater, but it never worked well enough. Last attempt was replacing most of the ducting and ensuring all the seals on the engine were replaced. Still nothing.

If I had one word of advice for this problem, it would be to get rid of the vehicle. I spent a lot of time and money trying to fix that problem and it never did work again. Finally, I just sold the thing :)
"They can chew you up, but they gotta spit you out."

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Freakzilla
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Postby Freakzilla » 21 Jan 2009 14:06

The wierd thing is it was woking fine before the blower started to go bad.

I hope the spark plug wires didn't fry it, but I think the blower motor only controls fan speed and that works great now.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
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Postby Crysknife » 21 Jan 2009 15:58

An old 1989 Jeep Cherokee


Well that was your first problem.

I swear Jeeps were made to biodegrade after 5 years.
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Postby Freakzilla » 21 Jan 2009 16:09

...besides, I can't sell my pimp-mobile! What would I do with the dead hookers in the trunk?

Seriously though, if I'm going to make a 110 mile round trip commute every day it's going to be in style and comfort. It's going to be tough to beat a paid-for Caddy. I can't afford a car payment right now, full coverage insurance neither.

As long as I spend less than a car note and full coverage insurance on maintenance I'm still saving money.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

Sole Man

on Freakzilla

Postby Sole Man » 21 Jan 2009 16:10

Freakzilla wrote:You rarely make sense, and when you do it's offensive.


What...?

Oh I get it, you're saying I don't make snese, while not making sense yourself.

Freak's geinus lives on!

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Postby Freakzilla » 21 Jan 2009 16:15

Crysknife wrote:
An old 1989 Jeep Cherokee


Well that was your first problem.

I swear Jeeps were made to biodegrade after 5 years.


I don't think they make cars to last more than three years now.

And people wonder why our economy and the auto industry is in the shitter.

Build me a car that I can hand down to my kids and I'll buy it. Until that happens I can keep a used car running for three years for a few grand.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Postby GamePlayer » 21 Jan 2009 18:27

Freakzilla wrote:...besides, I can't sell my pimp-mobile! What would I do with the dead hookers in the trunk?


Just start singing "dirty crack whore and I don't care" and all your pimp-mobile problems melt away :)

Seriously though, I understand. The last thing you want to do is buy a new car in this economic climate. I just wanted to warn you about the trap of an old auto. One really has to be prepared to take a good look at what it's ultimately costing to keep it running. I kept my Jeep for a few years longer than I should have and I'll never make that same mistake again. But if you're still ahead at this point, best to keep your ho-hummer :)

Crysknife wrote:
An old 1989 Jeep Cherokee


Well that was your first problem.

I swear Jeeps were made to biodegrade after 5 years.


Actually, it lasted 10 years before parts started to go, but most automobiles seem to have some terrible 4 year life span. Who knew Tyrell Corporation started out with cars :)
"They can chew you up, but they gotta spit you out."

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Postby SandChigger » 21 Jan 2009 18:57

Some watching the sea breams in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate? :P
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on my suicidal thoughts

Postby Sole Man » 21 Jan 2009 20:04

Time to die.

*You guys hear a loud loud gunshot from some distance away*

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Postby Omphalos » 21 Jan 2009 21:02

And there was much rejoycing. :D

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Postby Robspierre » 22 Jan 2009 00:18

Freakzilla wrote:Build me a car that I can hand down to my kids and I'll buy it. Until that happens I can keep a used car running for three years for a few grand.


Toyota Corolla's or Honda Civics. My brother is driving a 96 Corolla with 260,000 + miles on it and is still averaging 45 MPG. Regular oil changes and routine maintenance and these rice burners run forever.

Rob

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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Jan 2009 09:54

GamePlayer wrote:Seriously though, I understand. The last thing you want to do is buy a new car in this economic climate. I just wanted to warn you about the trap of an old auto.


Thanks, but I haven't owned a new car in like ten years. I can fix most things that aren't inside the engine or transmission. I can do a lot of work on a car for under $500 a month, which is what a new car+insurance might cost. I have to have a car I can fit the whole family of six in too. I think the '95 Caddy is probably the most well-built car I've ever had.

Plus, the 4.9L V-8 makes me throb. VROOOOOM! :wink:
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Jan 2009 09:55

Robspierre wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Build me a car that I can hand down to my kids and I'll buy it. Until that happens I can keep a used car running for three years for a few grand.


Toyota Corolla's or Honda Civics. My brother is driving a 96 Corolla with 260,000 + miles on it and is still averaging 45 MPG. Regular oil changes and routine maintenance and these rice burners run forever.

Rob


I hear ya, but how well does a family of six fit in a Corolla or a Civic?
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Freakzilla
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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Jan 2009 10:10

Baraka Bryan wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Robspierre wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Build me a car that I can hand down to my kids and I'll buy it. Until that happens I can keep a used car running for three years for a few grand.


Toyota Corolla's or Honda Civics. My brother is driving a 96 Corolla with 260,000 + miles on it and is still averaging 45 MPG. Regular oil changes and routine maintenance and these rice burners run forever.

Rob


I hear ya, but how well does a family of six fit in a Corolla or a Civic?



two in the front, three in the back, one strapped to the roof.. (there's always that one kid you don't care about quite as much ;) )


The middle child? JUST KIDDING! I LOVE YOU SPENCER!

What am I thinking? The step-son goes on the roof. Duh...
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Postby SandRider » 22 Jan 2009 16:05

my farm truck is a 1986 Chevy Scottsdale.
have no idea how many miles are on it, changed out transmissions
in the mid-nineties and the speedo and odometer ain't worked
right since, but I'm guessing it's up over 500K. Tough ass truck,
will pull a house down. Gets about 8 mpg, tho.

my travelling car is a 2001 Buick Century, and sweet. Smooth,
quiet, stupidly comfortable. I've got 250K on it right now, and have
had absolutely ZERO problems with it. It'll average 38 mpg, and on
one trip on the section of I-80 where you can do 80-85 mph, I got 52 mpg.
V-6, so there's not alot of quick pick-up, if you stomp on it, it'll drink
gas, but a smooth steady foot does well.

I've had my share of bullshit cars & trucks, too, tho. As to the maintence
problems, Freak, get you a personal Mexican.
................ I exist only to amuse myself ................
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Freakzilla
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Postby Freakzilla » 22 Jan 2009 16:25

SandRider wrote:As to the maintence problems, Freak, get you a personal Mexican.


Shit, I'm so poor I'm thinking of becoming someone's personal Mexican.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

Sole Man

on Freak's childrens

Postby Sole Man » 22 Jan 2009 17:12

Freakzilla wrote:The middle child? JUST KIDDING! I LOVE YOU SPENCER!


Your wife typed that, right?

Please God tell me your wife typed that.

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Re: on Freak's childrens

Postby Freakzilla » 22 Jan 2009 17:15

Sole Man wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:The middle child? JUST KIDDING! I LOVE YOU SPENCER!


Your wife typed that, right?

Please God tell me your wife typed that.


I don't let my wife on here. You've got to have your own space.

Is there something wrong with loving your children?

Oh wait... I get it... it all makes sense to me now...
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman


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