Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineering)

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Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineering)

Postby Tomlidich the second » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:35 pm UTC

just a general thread about everything motor/gearhead/kludge/mechanic/other stuff.

if its some kind of non virtual type tom foolery, it can probably go here.


any takers?
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Wed May 01, 2013 11:43 pm UTC

*crickets*

*tumbleweed rolls by*
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby UniqueScreenname » Thu May 02, 2013 1:41 am UTC

I have always wondered how people can tell the year of a car just by looking at it. I can understand narrowing it down to a decade or so, but a specific year seems impossible, especially with restorations that add parts from different years.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Fire Brns » Thu May 02, 2013 1:57 am UTC

Those people spend all days with their nose in auto magazines. I can't do that unless the year had a very distinct look or I drove one for > a year.

Other topic: I'm starting a new project involving welding/cutting which I have a person for but I need opinions on the medium. Besides steel what cheap metals would hold a sharp edge decently? (Steel is too shiny for my needs.)
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby SurgicalSteel » Thu May 02, 2013 2:01 am UTC

I think it just has to do with having seen, known and loved lots of cars. My dad can do the same kind of thing with firearms ("Oh, the heel of the grip is rounded instead of angled, it's a Model 21, not a Model 19, but the angle of the hammer spur means it's the '93 version of the 21, not the '92"). That came from years and years of reading and learning about guns. I would guess it's the same for cars. If you're really into a particular make or model, you might follow each new model year and read about what the differences are between them.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Thu May 02, 2013 3:28 am UTC

i can't really narrow it down to a specific year, but sometimes certain model years of cars have a "look" to them, so i can usually narrow it down to a decade and usually am right.

for example 80's american cars were mostly boxy with alot of chrome.


Fire Brns wrote:Other topic: I'm starting a new project involving welding/cutting which I have a person for but I need opinions on the medium. Besides steel what cheap metals would hold a sharp edge decently? (Steel is too shiny for my needs.)


well, conceivably any metal can hold a sharp edge of some kind, depends on your purposes. although mostly would recommend steel for holding edges.

alot can be done cosmetically if shininess is a problem on metals, i would look into a product called cerakote, its very very strong, comes in many colors, its commonly used as a firearms finish.

edit: i would also add that steel is a very comparatively easy medium to work with compared to other metals.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby rath358 » Thu May 02, 2013 5:11 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Those people spend all days with their nose in auto magazines. I can't do that unless the year had a very distinct look or I drove one for > a year.

Other topic: I'm starting a new project involving welding/cutting which I have a person for but I need opinions on the medium. Besides steel what cheap metals would hold a sharp edge decently? (Steel is too shiny for my needs.)

What is the purpose of the material to hold the edge?

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Fire Brns » Thu May 02, 2013 7:36 am UTC

Throwing stars. They are going to be themed as gears (I almost have the math hammered out) and will likely never see use but I'm not one to build things purely for cosmetic purposes.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Adam H » Thu May 02, 2013 2:45 pm UTC

Cheap metal for cutting = steel. I don't think there are any other options (though I could very well be wrong, I only have experience with steel and tungsten carbide). Everything else I can think of is either significantly more expensive/unmachinable (tungsten carbide, titanium) or too soft (aluminum, bronze).

My advice is to research steel grades and surface finishes instead.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Fire Brns » Thu May 02, 2013 3:47 pm UTC

Thanks, I'll do that.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Thu May 02, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

for throwing stars, definitely steel. can look very cool with a black cerakote finish, you will get alot of life out of them.

on a secondary note, my car troubles are not over like i had hoped. blew a head gasket on the way into work this morning.

now i know why that engine block was so cheap.


guess what my weekend plans are now! *facepalm*
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Fri May 03, 2013 2:45 am UTC

I am sad but not entirely unsurprised at the lack of participation in this thread. A few years ago a friend blew a head gasket in his '91 7 Series BMW. If you're at all familiar with the engine block of BMW's, in general, you should be screaming. I have hands about the size of a 9 year old boy's, and they were the only ones in our group of friends small enough to get in with a wrench. Gah, I still shudder remembering that job.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby eran_rathan » Fri May 03, 2013 3:59 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Those people spend all days with their nose in auto magazines. I can't do that unless the year had a very distinct look or I drove one for > a year.

Other topic: I'm starting a new project involving welding/cutting which I have a person for but I need opinions on the medium. Besides steel what cheap metals would hold a sharp edge decently? (Steel is too shiny for my needs.)


EDIT: should read more fully before asking.


EDIT2: For shurikens, use steel, but you can blue them with either chemical blueing (they have it at WallyWorld, in the hunting section), or you could blue them with a propane or oxy torch.

But use a tool steel, like an A2 or A4 (A2 will be easier to find most likely) - mild steel won't hold as good an edge.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Fri May 03, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

Wednesday wrote: If you're at all familiar with the engine block of BMW's, in general, you should be screaming. .



AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh




i feel your pain.

its much similar in the crown victoria, no space at all in most places. pretty much impossible to remove the exhaust manifolds on it without 2 hours of fiddling and healthy doses of cuts, bruises, and expletives.

thats the other thing i have never quite gotten, if a part is supposed to be removed at some point in the cars life, i should be able to fit a standard sized spanner/wrench in there.

then there is the famous bit of a conveniently placed sharp edge directly adjacent to the very tight bolt you are undoing.

edit: hands larger than most people i know probably doesn't help, good thing my joints and such are fairly flexible.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Sat May 04, 2013 1:48 am UTC

But if it were easy to replace things on your own, dealerships wouldn't make any money off of us.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Hawknc » Sat May 04, 2013 2:21 pm UTC

As someone who designs vehicle powertrains, you're not wrong. We design for serviceability, but in corporate-speak that means dealer-serviceable, not user-serviceable. There's no grand conspiracy to make cars impossible for end-users to service, it's just not the top of the priority list when you need to fit in every other component in an engine bay, meet ever-more-stringent crash standards, add noise dampening material...if I have to make a compromise between making the head gasket easy to service OR meeting NVH targets, for example, I'll take the latter. The "average" customer just doesn't want end-user serviceability as much as they want a host of other attributes that conflict with it.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Sat May 04, 2013 4:46 pm UTC

Yeah, the average user does not, generally, ever do repairs on their own vehicle. Hell, I know people who have owned cars for 40+ years and haven't even changed their own oil. If designers were putting end user serviceability before....anything else, I'd be astonished.

Edit: SPEAKING OF WHICH, I am buying my first car within the next three months. It is a 2006, maybe 2007 Honda Civic, I am buying it from my mom so that I can better commute to college. While I know much about how engines work and how to complete big repairs, I know fuckall about regular maintenance, changing filters, oil replacement, oil grades, tires, tire rotation, etc. This car is in great shape, 80k miles (she used it to commute between two states daily for work and it has been across the country a few times) and one rear fender bender. She calls it the "nicest" Civic released that year, in that it has a better sound system and leather interior. So, fellow gearheads, how the fuck do I take care of a car? Give me the silliest and smallest tips you have. I'm pretty dedicated to running this car into the ground and think I can squeeze at least another 100k out of it. Help me do so?
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sat May 04, 2013 8:23 pm UTC

Wednesday wrote:Edit: SPEAKING OF WHICH, I am buying my first car within the next three months. It is a 2006, maybe 2007 Honda Civic, I am buying it from my mom so that I can better commute to college. While I know much about how engines work and how to complete big repairs, I know fuckall about regular maintenance, changing filters, oil replacement, oil grades, tires, tire rotation, etc. This car is in great shape, 80k miles (she used it to commute between two states daily for work and it has been across the country a few times) and one rear fender bender. She calls it the "nicest" Civic released that year, in that it has a better sound system and leather interior. So, fellow gearheads, how the fuck do I take care of a car? Give me the silliest and smallest tips you have. I'm pretty dedicated to running this car into the ground and think I can squeeze at least another 100k out of it. Help me do so?


Obvious Statement Which is Obvious: Most of the stuff you need to know will be in the manual...

Other than that:
    Unless you're either operating it in an environment that the designer didn't really anticipate (mainly very cold ones) you won't need to deviate from the recommended grades of oil.
    Same on tire sizes and pressures; winter optimised tyres are generally a poor buy unless you live somewhere which either experiences lots of or doesn't cope well with lots of snow (I assume this isn't massively relevant to Boston).
    Always check your fluid levels and tyre pressures before a long trip; It's also good to get into the habit of doing this weekly or biweekly.
    Do adjust your tyre pressure and headlight position (via the convenient switch) to the load you're carrying; the former will improve tyre life and fuel efficiency, the latter is just good manners.
    When you do have to change your filters, washable cotton offers both better performance and long term value for money over one-use paper.
    Following the service schedule is not truly necessary; so long as the belts and oil get done at the correct mileages, if you're driving a lot* you'll be able to feel the consumable components wearing and check them/get them checked.
    Keeping a supply of carrier or pedal bin bags and using them to put rubbish in (and forcing passengers to do the same) prevents the car ever getting messy even on long road trips.

More than anything else, If you're setting out with the intent that you'll drive the car until it's run into the ground, never ever forget that it's just a car... Don't be tempted to try and repair any major issues if you can replace it for similar money or less.

The above advice does come from someone in a slightly different position to you though, I buy 150K+ Diesels (usually the european equivalent of a full size station wagon) cheaply and view them as consumables; I have a 100+ mile commute to work, regularly carry heavy machines and timber in the back and on the roof, load it up with 5 kayaks and 5 people and go on extended trips quite regularly and do 60-70k each year; With that much use it would be pretty expensive to do it any other way.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Sat May 04, 2013 11:21 pm UTC

All seems reasonable. Boston gets four or five snowfalls every winter, and the accumulation varies between a few cm and a meter. The city handles removal pretty well, and while snow has definitely been a problem once or twice before I'll probably stick with all-season tires. I imagine the specific fluid levels and "which fucking cap is it?" questions are answered in the manual. I am asking mostly because there are things like waxing and applying rain guard on the windshields that some people do, but I don't know are necessary, and it'd be cool to know that. What would you say is necessary in an emergency kit? Handy to have around in general, other than bin bags?

Also, *wow* cars have become fancy in the last decade... Heated side mirrors are a thing now?
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sun May 05, 2013 12:29 am UTC

Wednesday wrote:Also, *wow* cars have become fancy in the last decade...


The first car I had was a top trim level Peugeot estate with electric everything, cruise control, climate control, and a 2.2L HDi Engine with a Stage 3 intercooler and ECU mods delivering 200bhp and 300ish lb/ft.... best of it is, I only found out about the engine when I had it in for a new clutch, the dealer hadn't known about the engine mods when he sold me it. I'm yet to own a car as fancy as that 12 year old estate, in spite of getting newer cars since.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sun May 05, 2013 1:08 am UTC

My first car was a 1973 GMC Classic fleetside with dual saddle-bag gas tanks, bench seats, a channel-lock for a window crank and it would shut off if you let it idle for too long on cold mornings and had a turning radius of about 8 miles. Least fancy car I've ever owned, but I'd love to have it back.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Sun May 05, 2013 8:31 pm UTC

2008 Honda Civic EX-L, no nav or xm radio. But it *does* have heated side view mirrors. I can absolutely see the use in this, but it seems so strangely luxurious.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby eran_rathan » Mon May 06, 2013 1:10 pm UTC

Honda Civics are pretty remarkable cars, had a 1997 that held together despite my best intentions, and got close to 41 mpg.

my only issue with them is that there are so many after-market parts for Civics its hard to find good quality ones sometimes.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Mon May 06, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

I have a 2001 Nissan Altima, and it has a leaky cylinder head gasket. I do not have thousands of dollars to pay somebody else to fix it, but I do have the 40 dollars it takes to buy the part. I do have the Haynes book on the car, and IIRC it does detail every step in the process.

Were I to replace my own cylinder head gasket, what should I keep in mind? My intention is to take plenty of pictures and keep track of everything I remove, so that I know how to put it back together; a brief talk with my mechanic has given me the impression that it should take me ~20 hours to fix (and it takes an experienced mechanic about 10 hours to perform this repair), plus the extra time to bring the cylinder head to a machine shop to be straightened out. There are automotive stores around here which will lend tools for free.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Mon May 06, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

Bet on more like 25-30 hours if this is your first time digging into your engine this much. You probably want somewhere indoors to do the repair, too, because a ton of the parts you're going to be exposing are pretty susceptible to oxidizing very quickly. That, or hope it doesn't rain, snow, or get very humid. Label your shit and take pictures, too, it's the only way we were able to put my friend's head back together more than a week after disassembling it.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Mon May 06, 2013 10:04 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:As someone who designs vehicle powertrains, you're not wrong. We design for serviceability, but in corporate-speak that means dealer-serviceable, not user-serviceable. There's no grand conspiracy to make cars impossible for end-users to service, it's just not the top of the priority list when you need to fit in every other component in an engine bay, meet ever-more-stringent crash standards, add noise dampening material...if I have to make a compromise between making the head gasket easy to service OR meeting NVH targets, for example, I'll take the latter. The "average" customer just doesn't want end-user serviceability as much as they want a host of other attributes that conflict with it.


shouldn't matter between a dealer mechanic and a home mechanic, if it takes 20 more hours to service a vehicle, you are losing money on your warranty repairs. its easy enough to make a car simple to service and still stick within guidelines, sometimes another half an inch or another 3 degrees can make all the difference for servicing something, if in doubt, make a tiny bit more space than necessary, and then leave it be. i guarantee making an engine bay 3 inches wider overall is not going to put a significant dent in anything such as aerodynamics or weight.
sometimes its just basic common sense. NO, you should not a run a coolant line joint directly over your ignition coil and spark plug assembly, because when you remove it, you are going to soak everything underneath it. (ask me how i know teehee)


not saying that other priorities should fall by the wayside for serviceability, but throw me a bone here. the ford crown victoria frame seems to be the culmination of bad engineering when it came to service and reliability, no other car i have ever worked on, has as many problems as this design does. if there is something to be changed, it can only be done in the most round-about, inconvenient manner possible. if there is a bolt that needs to be undone, there is never any space left for a wrench or any decent sized human hand to fit in. if a part needs to come out, it almost certainly require uncomfortable angles and a severe amount of force which usually ends up breaking other things. even the damn oil filter takes 20 minutes of jimmying and a whole lot of other stuff moved to get out. im gonna be really happy when i finally do get rid of this thing for a much easier to service car.

Wednesday wrote:Edit: SPEAKING OF WHICH, I am buying my first car within the next three months. It is a 2006, maybe 2007 Honda Civic, I am buying it from my mom so that I can better commute to college. While I know much about how engines work and how to complete big repairs, I know fuckall about regular maintenance, changing filters, oil replacement, oil grades, tires, tire rotation, etc. This car is in great shape, 80k miles (she used it to commute between two states daily for work and it has been across the country a few times) and one rear fender bender. She calls it the "nicest" Civic released that year, in that it has a better sound system and leather interior. So, fellow gearheads, how the fuck do I take care of a car? Give me the silliest and smallest tips you have. I'm pretty dedicated to running this car into the ground and think I can squeeze at least another 100k out of it. Help me do so?



oil, oil, oil. can't say it enough, keep your oil clean and topped off. that alone will prevent alot of different problems from arising.
got pretty screwed on my car, the ford crown victoria. owners manual says 5 quarts of oil. it is not 5, more like 6, with the added oil cooler, (CVPI, or police interceptor model) yet they still publish the same service manual. shop i took it to ONCE when i had no spare time to get my oil changed, ran me a quart low, i didn't bother to check it. hundred miles later, i had destroyed my block.

also, ALWAYS keep around DAWN BRAND dish soap. it gets everything, off of everything and everywhere. if you live with someone else, possibly have an S.O., they will appreciate it.

nitrile gloves, keep your hands somewhat clean. grease has a tendency to stain your nail beds and stuff which is NOT attractive.

somewhat as an emergency thing, somewhat as a good luck charm, buy an extra accesory belt for your car, and leave it in there. also having a quart of motor oil and whatever amount of engine coolant you can keep handy on the vehicle is very good.

internet forums are your friend. find the forum for your particular car, and you will have a wealth of knowledge at your finger tips about finding problems, how to ACTUALLY fix problems (because if you have ever owned a service manual that read " unbolt and remove part x" while you scream at the top of your lungs "how the flying f*ck do i do that?!?!" you will know) and just general maintenance tips, like what oil brands work, common issues that arise, etc.


thats about all i can think of, its sort of an adventure and a whole lot of trial, error, sweat, blood, and tears to learn to be a mechanic. (and yes, many of my tools have had copious amounts of blood on them)
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Mon May 06, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:grease has a tendency to stain your nail beds and stuff which is NOT attractive.

Man, fuck that, my boyfriend doesn't like me for my beautiful nails (note: they are not beautiful, his *are*). I'll definitely keep an accessory belt around, that's something I would never have thought of. Ditto a quart or two of oil, coolant, antifreeze, whatever. Now, is paying 20-30 dollars in exchange for an oil change a decent trade-off for time and not having great oil disposal at my fingertips? It's entirely possible that I won't have a driveway or garage come September, and I don't think jacking my car up, changing my own oil and occupying a street parking spot is going to go quite so well in my town, unfortunately (ahh, renting...). I suppose I could probably call on my mechanic friend D to use his space for a bit, he'd probably do it for free, and I'd know what's going into my engine. Hm.

Re: blood sweat and tears, yeeeah, I still have a few scars from a different head gasket replacement than the one previously mentioned. It...ow. Yeah, ow.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Mon May 06, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

Wednesday wrote:
Tomlidich the second wrote:grease has a tendency to stain your nail beds and stuff which is NOT attractive.

Man, fuck that, my boyfriend doesn't like me for my beautiful nails (note: they are not beautiful, his *are*). I'll definitely keep an accessory belt around, that's something I would never have thought of. Ditto a quart or two of oil, coolant, antifreeze, whatever. Now, is paying 20-30 dollars in exchange for an oil change a decent trade-off for time and not having great oil disposal at my fingertips? It's entirely possible that I won't have a driveway or garage come September, and I don't think jacking my car up, changing my own oil and occupying a street parking spot is going to go quite so well in my town, unfortunately (ahh, renting...). I suppose I could probably call on my mechanic friend D to use his space for a bit, he'd probably do it for free, and I'd know what's going into my engine. Hm.

Re: blood sweat and tears, yeeeah, I still have a few scars from a different head gasket replacement than the one previously mentioned. It...ow. Yeah, ow.


whatever floats your boat, often ill skip the gloves and just wear the grease stains with pride, triumphantly exclaiming "I AM A MECHANIC!" then running when people give me funny looks.

its really a personal assesment of value. for me, i like the ease of mind of knowing that i used the right filter, grade of oil, and amount of oil for my car, none of my parts were tampered with, nothing got left out, etc. on the flip side, thousands upon thousands of drivers get their oil changed at a shop with no ill side effects every day, so odds are it will be fine. just i am a borderline paranoid maniac about equipment maintenance, so i change everything myself.

if you have your friend do it, its good ettiquette to do something nice for them as well. keep them company, maybe bring over a case of beer, and help out a bit. if they are not big into drinking, i dunno, bring em some take out lunch? even though i do free work for people, it is nice to know that they appreciate the time and effort i put into a project.


wear those scars with pride, a true mechanic has many of them, and always a good gory tale to go with it.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Adacore » Tue May 07, 2013 12:37 am UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:shouldn't matter between a dealer mechanic and a home mechanic, if it takes 20 more hours to service a vehicle, you are losing money on your warranty repairs. its easy enough to make a car simple to service and still stick within guidelines, sometimes another half an inch or another 3 degrees can make all the difference for servicing something, if in doubt, make a tiny bit more space than necessary, and then leave it be. i guarantee making an engine bay 3 inches wider overall is not going to put a significant dent in anything such as aerodynamics or weight.
sometimes its just basic common sense. NO, you should not a run a coolant line joint directly over your ignition coil and spark plug assembly, because when you remove it, you are going to soak everything underneath it. (ask me how i know teehee)

I suspect there's a pretty big difference between what tools and facilities you can reasonably expect a home mechanic to have access to, as compared to a dealer mechanic. If your brand of car requires some strange new-fangled computerised robo-tool to maintain, and it costs $10,000, then a dealer will be able to use that tool enough to be worth the purchase, but a home mechanic may as well just buy a brand new car.

Also, as an engineer myself, I would expect that an additional 3 inches of space in something the size of the engine bay will make a big difference to the engineering of the bay. That's going to be around 5% increase in width, which I'm fairly certain is a pretty big deal when you're dealing with high-precision optimised engineering stuff. I know if someone suggested arbitrarily increasing the width of our products by 5% the engineers would have kittens.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Fire Brns » Tue May 07, 2013 2:57 am UTC

Good New: I found the metal I want for my throwing stars. 1/4 inch steel plates they sell at the hardware store have the physical properties I'm looking for. Appearance wise worst case I'll paint it.
Bad news: My welding guy is a no. I need to find someone with a plasma torch...
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Hawknc » Tue May 07, 2013 9:46 am UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:
Hawknc wrote:As someone who designs vehicle powertrains, you're not wrong. We design for serviceability, but in corporate-speak that means dealer-serviceable, not user-serviceable. There's no grand conspiracy to make cars impossible for end-users to service, it's just not the top of the priority list when you need to fit in every other component in an engine bay, meet ever-more-stringent crash standards, add noise dampening material...if I have to make a compromise between making the head gasket easy to service OR meeting NVH targets, for example, I'll take the latter. The "average" customer just doesn't want end-user serviceability as much as they want a host of other attributes that conflict with it.


shouldn't matter between a dealer mechanic and a home mechanic, if it takes 20 more hours to service a vehicle, you are losing money on your warranty repairs. its easy enough to make a car simple to service and still stick within guidelines, sometimes another half an inch or another 3 degrees can make all the difference for servicing something, if in doubt, make a tiny bit more space than necessary, and then leave it be. i guarantee making an engine bay 3 inches wider overall is not going to put a significant dent in anything such as aerodynamics or weight.
sometimes its just basic common sense. NO, you should not a run a coolant line joint directly over your ignition coil and spark plug assembly, because when you remove it, you are going to soak everything underneath it. (ask me how i know teehee)


not saying that other priorities should fall by the wayside for serviceability, but throw me a bone here. the ford crown victoria frame seems to be the culmination of bad engineering when it came to service and reliability, no other car i have ever worked on, has as many problems as this design does. if there is something to be changed, it can only be done in the most round-about, inconvenient manner possible. if there is a bolt that needs to be undone, there is never any space left for a wrench or any decent sized human hand to fit in. if a part needs to come out, it almost certainly require uncomfortable angles and a severe amount of force which usually ends up breaking other things. even the damn oil filter takes 20 minutes of jimmying and a whole lot of other stuff moved to get out. im gonna be really happy when i finally do get rid of this thing for a much easier to service car.

3 inches is pretty huge. (That's not what she said.) Let's say you want to widen your engine bay by that much - your options are widening the whole car (new track width and significantly more cost if you're carrying over a platform), thinning the front end structure (serious risk to safety in a frontal collision) or reducing the engine size (most engines are not designed for specific vehicles - the engine typically comes first and the vehicle is designed around it, so there's very little scope to change anything about the engine).

That said, your argument seems based on your experiences with one car. The Crown Vic's basic architecture must be nearing 20 years old, and police forces and fleets have been servicing them for that long, so it's certainly not impossible to do so. We've also come a pretty long way in 20 years - you should stick your head under a 2013 Taurus or Mustang some time and see if they're as unserviceable as your car.

Also please tell me you did not disconnect a coolant hose without draining the system first...

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby roband » Tue May 07, 2013 1:16 pm UTC

I'd love some advice.

This thing on my car split - http://i.imgur.com/heZ1oKg.jpg

I "fixed" it with duct tape. With my MOT coming up, I don't think that's going to cut it - so it needs fixing properly. Only thing is, none of the possible replacement parts I can find are right.

It seems to have some kind of sensor attached to the tube. Can anyone tell me what it is, what the sensor does and how I might go about sorting it out?

Thanks

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Heisenberg » Tue May 07, 2013 1:19 pm UTC

Coolant really burns the eyes...

So my old Jeep quit in my driveway and started pouring coolant everywhere. Next day I take a look at it and I think it's the lower radiator hose. I replace it (note: wear safety glasses!) and go to refill the radiator and it still leaks like a sieve, maybe a quart a minute out the bottom. I think the leak is up higher in the actual engine block, but I need to take it apart to find exactly where. My question is this:

If I have a crack in the metal, but it's just a coolant tube, can I throw some JB Weld on it and drive for another month? Or do I call the junkyard now? I'm leaning toward the latter.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Heisenberg » Tue May 07, 2013 1:31 pm UTC

roband wrote:I'd love some advice.

This thing on my car split - http://i.imgur.com/heZ1oKg.jpg

I "fixed" it with duct tape. With my MOT coming up, I don't think that's going to cut it - so it needs fixing properly. Only thing is, none of the possible replacement parts I can find are right.

It seems to have some kind of sensor attached to the tube. Can anyone tell me what it is, what the sensor does and how I might go about sorting it out?

Thanks

Looks like your air intake. If you open up the housing on the left it should contain your air filter. If the sensor's not broken, you should be able to unscrew/unplug it and use it again. As far as a replacement your options are an auto parts store, eBay, and a junkyard.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby roband » Tue May 07, 2013 1:38 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
roband wrote:I'd love some advice.

This thing on my car split - http://i.imgur.com/heZ1oKg.jpg

I "fixed" it with duct tape. With my MOT coming up, I don't think that's going to cut it - so it needs fixing properly. Only thing is, none of the possible replacement parts I can find are right.

It seems to have some kind of sensor attached to the tube. Can anyone tell me what it is, what the sensor does and how I might go about sorting it out?

Thanks

Looks like your air intake. If you open up the housing on the left it should contain your air filter. If the sensor's not broken, you should be able to unscrew/unplug it and use it again. As far as a replacement your options are an auto parts store, eBay, and a junkyard.

All the replacement intake hoses I've found haven't had a hole (for want of a better word) for the sensor. Makes it seem like I need a special part as a replacement.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Heisenberg » Tue May 07, 2013 2:02 pm UTC

Holes are easy to put in. Hard to take out.

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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Tue May 07, 2013 4:21 pm UTC

Wednesday wrote:
Tomlidich the second wrote:grease has a tendency to stain your nail beds and stuff which is NOT attractive.

Man, fuck that, my boyfriend doesn't like me for my beautiful nails (note: they are not beautiful, his *are*).


When I was working in the sawmill i had to periodically go and work for the toolroom, fitters and occasionally with millwrights who were contracting... I discovered that lubricants, swarf and general muck will destroy your skin in pretty short order if you're in frequent contact... having your skin crack open on your finger tips is no fun at all! Nitrile or Vitrile gloves are the way forwards.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Tue May 07, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

roband wrote:I'd love some advice.

This thing on my car split - http://i.imgur.com/heZ1oKg.jpg

I "fixed" it with duct tape. With my MOT coming up, I don't think that's going to cut it - so it needs fixing properly. Only thing is, none of the possible replacement parts I can find are right.

It seems to have some kind of sensor attached to the tube. Can anyone tell me what it is, what the sensor does and how I might go about sorting it out?

Thanks

looks like it could be your MAF or, mass air flow sensor, very important.
better pic of the sensor would be helpful. if nothing else, jb weld fixes all, or at least if you need it to look proffesional, black electrical tape.

edit: sometimes a car manufacturer will do funny stuff like have changes by model year, or different types of engines for the same car, look up the block that goes in your car, learn what you can about it.
sometimes you can find wikipedia lists of what changed between one model year to the next, that sensor being added could very well be one of those things.

Hawknc wrote:Also please tell me you did not disconnect a coolant hose without draining the system first...


with its close proximity to the intake manifold, assumed it was a vaccuum line. did not make that mistake twice.

Heisenberg wrote:Coolant really burns the eyes...

So my old Jeep quit in my driveway and started pouring coolant everywhere. Next day I take a look at it and I think it's the lower radiator hose. I replace it (note: wear safety glasses!) and go to refill the radiator and it still leaks like a sieve, maybe a quart a minute out the bottom. I think the leak is up higher in the actual engine block, but I need to take it apart to find exactly where. My question is this:

If I have a crack in the metal, but it's just a coolant tube, can I throw some JB Weld on it and drive for another month? Or do I call the junkyard now? I'm leaning toward the latter.



i have seen tractors that ran for years with blocks held together with jb weld, so maybe.

theres alot of sealer type products for coolant lines sold by auto parts stores, you drain the system, put water and the product in, run the engine for 15 or so minutes, drain it again, let it sit out to air dry, and it will seal it. no certainty it will work, its always an iffy prospect.

if by calling a junk yard you mean finding a scrap block and dropping it in, you can do that too. many different options.

but to know better, find that leak. it could be something as simple as a leaky coolant gasket somewhere that just needs a little work.


Hawknc wrote:That said, your argument seems based on your experiences with one car. The Crown Vic's basic architecture must be nearing 20 years old, and police forces and fleets have been servicing them for that long, so it's certainly not impossible to do so. We've also come a pretty long way in 20 years - you should stick your head under a 2013 Taurus or Mustang some time and see if they're as unserviceable as your car..


i get funny looks if i try to do that at the dealership.....
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Wednesday » Tue May 07, 2013 6:04 pm UTC

Pretty sure it was meant that a junkyard might be a source of functioning parts, not an entire "new" block.
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Re: Gearheads united! (kludges, motor enthusiasts, engineeri

Postby Tomlidich the second » Tue May 07, 2013 6:06 pm UTC

Wednesday wrote:Pretty sure it was meant that a junkyard might be a source of functioning parts, not an entire "new" block.

well, if the block is cracked and leaking, thats the part you need to replace.
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