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Last post Author Topic: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?  (Read 17533 times)

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2015, 05:43:56 AM »
Quote
And if you can't get something wrong in that lot you ought to be doing your own maintenance

i estimate the likelyhood of me breaking something during each procedure at 5%.
unfortunately that puts me at about a 45% likelyhood of needing to have my car towed to a mechanic before i'm through.

Try to opt for the broken object not being a knuckle.  Beware of ratchets.  The "always pull a wrench, never push it" is a good rule of thumb until you develop some feel.  Then you can get away with it.. usually.  :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2015, 06:27:40 AM »
Then you can get away with it.. usually.

LOL ...Usually..  :Thmbsup:

Keeping you hand open so the ratchet hits first helps a bit on those odd occasions too. Alternatively I'm a huge fan of breaker bars as they nicely limit the amount of force that needs to be controlled.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2015, 06:52:32 AM »
Then you can get away with it.. usually.

LOL ...Usually..  :Thmbsup:

Keeping you hand open so the ratchet hits first helps a bit on those odd occasions too. Alternatively I'm a huge fan of breaker bars as they nicely limit the amount of force that needs to be controlled.

With a cheater bar over the breaker bar.  ;)
But part of the fun is setting your reflexes to react when the fastener starts to give.  You pull back just before knuckle contact.  At least I could do that when I was young.  Now all that touch is gone.  I'd rather type clumsily on the keyboard.  :)

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2015, 07:26:08 AM »
Quote
Don't forget hand-cleaner.


Thanks for the reminder.

Quote
May I suggest Harbor Freight Tools.. You may have a store near you.


There is one quite near me -- I bought my floor jack there (consensus seems to be that their floor jacks are good). :up:

Quote
I presume you have an alternate form of transportation?

Yep, i'll have someone with me to help in case of problems.

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always pull a wrench, never push it

yep, i have heard that -- i will try to remember it; i have a good breaker bar.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #54 on: April 23, 2015, 05:05:51 PM »
With a cheater bar over the breaker bar.

If by cheater bar you mean a piece of pipe then yes, I've done both. Actually motorcycle front fork tubes work wonderfully for that. (Speaking of which...) Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread?? I didn't ... And I snapped 2 Craftsman 1/2" ratchets and split 3 sockets before I figured it out.

mouser

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2015, 05:23:36 PM »
Quote
Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread?? I didn't ... And I snapped 2 Craftsman 1/2" ratchets and split 3 sockets before I figured it out.

ouch!

Target

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2015, 05:33:06 PM »
Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread??

just so we all know that the issue of 'standards' was around long before software was commonplace ;D ;D ;D

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2015, 05:33:51 PM »
With a cheater bar over the breaker bar.

If by cheater bar you mean a piece of pipe then yes, I've done both. Actually motorcycle front fork tubes work wonderfully for that. (Speaking of which...) Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread?? I didn't ... And I snapped 2 Craftsman 1/2" ratchets and split 3 sockets before I figured it out.

Yeah, for a long time Chrysler corp. had this weird idea that if the lugs were Left Hand Thread on one side and Right Hand Thread on the other somehow loose lugs would be less likely to spin all the way off while driving.  A bizarre idea.  It was a real pita because every time you trained a new guy to bust tires you had to watch out for him snapping a couple of lugs off the LHT side of those cars with the impact wrench.  Some of those engineers must have been ahead of the curve when it came to water pipe usage.  :)

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2015, 05:34:08 PM »
Quote
May I suggest Harbor Freight Tools.. You may have a store near you.


There is one quite near me -- I bought my floor jack there (consensus seems to be that their floor jacks are good). :up:

I have one of their floor jacks as well.  A small one made of steel and it does the lifting quite well.
As you may know... not all of Harbor Freight's stuff is first-rate so beware. :)

------------------

Love is blind so i presume a Carfax Report would not sway you?  http://www.carfax.com/free-carfax-reports

I'm no gearhead but any vehicle with around 22k miles that needs shocks (already), 5-wheel alignment and just 2 rear tires, may indicate mistreatment of some kind.  A bent frame will continue to twist all shocks you install and constantly erase tire treads.

----------------------

Some gaskets and seals may start to leak when you flush things out.  Replacing old sludge with clean fluid sometimes does this.  (i used old dirty engine oil to help clean greasy hands before using the store-bought cleaner).  Non-clumping kitty-litter will help absorb these fluid puddles and it's cheaper that oil-dry.

-----------------------

Stay hydrated.  Sweating is healthy but it's hard to concentrate on the task at hand if you're spittin-cotten and the muscle cramps are murder.
Screaming for help comes easier as well.

p.s.  You know about anti-freeze and animals drinking it... right?  Doesn't take much to lose a bud.  :(

IainB

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2015, 06:28:59 AM »
Quote
Don't forget hand-cleaner.
________________________


Thanks for the reminder.
________________________

The main one I used to use in the UK was something called Swarfega. It was very good = got rid of grease/oil and cleaned up the hands very well. Also cleaned out the oils from your skin. So after some experimenting, I started using a barrier cream. Quite useful stuff.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 08:10:27 PM by IainB, Reason: Corrected quotes. »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2015, 06:44:28 AM »
Non-clumping kitty-litter will help absorb these fluid puddles and it's cheaper that oil-dry.

 :D I've been doing that one for years (sand works ok in a pinch too). :Thmbsup:

Vurbal

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #61 on: April 24, 2015, 07:52:56 AM »
With a cheater bar over the breaker bar.

If by cheater bar you mean a piece of pipe then yes, I've done both. Actually motorcycle front fork tubes work wonderfully for that. (Speaking of which...) Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread?? I didn't ... And I snapped 2 Craftsman 1/2" ratchets and split 3 sockets before I figured it out.

Yeah, for a long time Chrysler corp. had this weird idea that if the lugs were Left Hand Thread on one side and Right Hand Thread on the other somehow loose lugs would be less likely to spin all the way off while driving.  A bizarre idea.  It was a real pita because every time you trained a new guy to bust tires you had to watch out for him snapping a couple of lugs off the LHT side of those cars with the impact wrench.  Some of those engineers must have been ahead of the curve when it came to water pipe usage.  :)


There's certainly no shortage of incompetent engineers out there. A friend of mine had some great stories about one of his co-workers. They were both chemical engineers who designed pumping stations, mostly for rural water systems. One time this guy (the co-worker) decided that when he replaced the siding on his house, he was going to use sheetrock because it was cheaper and easier, and should insulate pretty well. He figured as long as he used greenboard, it would be fine.  :huh:

On the subject of automotive oddities, though, are the old 6V positive ground electrical systems. They weren't unusual in their day, but, aside from International pickups, I haven't seen too many of them that haven't been converted.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2015, 11:30:28 AM »
On the subject of automotive oddities, though, are the old 6V positive ground electrical systems.

1960's era British motorcycles (like the 1969 Norton Commando I had years ago) were known for that configuration. They were also the driving force behind the popular then derisive phrase "Lucas, master of darkness".

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2015, 02:29:17 AM »
@Mouser

A few more suggestions  :)

WD-40 may help loosen rusty stuff.  Like lug nuts.
01 wd-40.png

------------

02 noalox.png

Anti-oxident compound will provide a lasting connection between the battery poles and the cables.
You apply it to the cleaned (wire brushed) poles and/or cable lugs and then connect the cables to the battery.
The Home Depot sells this brand.  It's in the electrical dept.  Possibly near the light-fixture parts; (pull-chains, toggle switches, etc).

When i asked my auto-parts store people about this type of stuff... they looked at me like i had three-heads.
Then tried to sell me some kind of liquid.   :-\   Noalox is like toothpaste.

-------------

Petroleum jelly will help prevent the white-powder from forming on the outside of battery connections.
03 p jelly.png

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2015, 06:00:18 AM »
Anyone remember the name of this mechanic's hand soap?  It came in a can with a blue label.  It looked just like Crisco.  Like a white lard.  Or like the white part of Dannon :fruit on the bottom" yogurt.

It escapes my memory.   :-[

Vurbal

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2015, 09:12:48 AM »
^ Are you talking about Goop?
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2015, 09:51:20 AM »
^ Are you talking about Goop?

If it looks like solid Crisco then that must be it.  It's been a long time since I had a roll-around toolbox.  I got out of the racket in the 1980s.  I remember it was considered expensive by the management.  So they would substitute this cheap green stuff with abrasive.  Not good during the winter at all.  :)

Vurbal

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2015, 10:29:39 AM »
^ Are you talking about Goop?

If it looks like solid Crisco then that must be it.  It's been a long time since I had a roll-around toolbox.  I got out of the racket in the 1980s.  I remember it was considered expensive by the management.  So they would substitute this cheap green stuff with abrasive.  Not good during the winter at all.  :)


Must have been Goop then. I would imagine the other was one of the soft soap Lava type deals. The abrasive would have been pumicite.

Honestly, when it comes to just straight up grease, it's hard to do better than Dawn dish soap. That whole "takes grease out of your way" ad campaign was surprisingly truthful. Not that there's anything, short of an acid bath, capable of getting all the grime off a mechanic's hands - or under their nails.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2015, 07:50:05 PM »
Anyone remember the name of this mechanic's hand soap?  It came in a can with a blue label.  It looked just like Crisco.  Like a white lard.  Or like the white part of Dannon :fruit on the bottom" yogurt.

It escapes my memory.   :-[


Maybe Gojo?

ch gojo.jpg

It looked like off-white Crisco and was expensive.  A small can like this, back in the 60s, was around 4 bucks.   :o

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #69 on: April 26, 2015, 09:41:43 AM »



Anyone remember the name of this mechanic's hand soap?  It came in a can with a blue label.  It looked just like Crisco.  Like a white lard.  Or like the white part of Dannon :fruit on the bottom" yogurt.

It escapes my memory.   :-[


Maybe Gojo?

I would have remembered that name once mentioned.  It must have been goop.  I remember it had Lanolin.  That was back before anyone knew how good aloe was.  :)

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #70 on: April 26, 2015, 07:57:33 PM »


Anyone remember the name of this mechanic's hand soap?  It came in a can with a blue label.  It looked just like Crisco.  Like a white lard.  Or like the white part of Dannon :fruit on the bottom" yogurt.

It escapes my memory.   :-[


Maybe Gojo?

I would have remembered that name once mentioned.  It must have been goop.  I remember it had Lanolin.  That was back before anyone knew how good aloe was.  :)


I love a mystery...  :)

Would you have remembered Zep?  (I didn't until about 10 min. ago)
ch zep.jpg

I don't recall seeing it sold retail, (mid 70s), but the dispenser-ready can, used in truck repair-shops, was mostly this color blue w/ this logo.

The can was about 6" x 10".  The top lid was the same size as the can and could be pryed open with a screw driver.

There was a second lid on the bottom, about the size of a golf ball, if you wanted to use a dispenser.

It was off-white Crisco as well but i never used any... so i don't know if it was gritty or had Lanolin.

Both Goop and Zep have been around for more than 60 years.  Haven't researched Gojo.

MilesAhead

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #71 on: April 27, 2015, 05:34:03 AM »
I remember the name Zep.  But not what it was like using it.

Edit: come to think of it, I seem to remember this was the green stuff with abrasive.  Like a green mud.  I remember the dual opening can described.

Goop, if that's what it was, was a strong lye based soap.  But at least it didn't have abrasives.  Anyway, none of the stuff worked if you had to bust tires.  Some of the tire changers wore gloves.  But I needed more control.  I was a thin guy and not strong back then.  (Now I'm a fat not strong guy.  Progress! ) I had to rely on timing.  I never changed a split rim truck tire the whole time.  That was better side-stepped in my estimation.  The store where I did my first stint as an official mechanic there was a tire cage with two of the bars bent out from one of the rims going off during inflation.  It was like that when I got there.  Anyway the managers didn't push it since they could see how slight of build I was.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 07:16:08 AM by MilesAhead »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #72 on: April 27, 2015, 06:47:24 AM »
Beats me. Outside of Goop/GoJo all I can think of is Fast Orange...(I have a 1 gallon bottle in the garage that I've had for years)...but that doesn't fit the description. It's a pumice/lanolin hand cleaner on a hand lotion style pump dispenser.

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2015, 02:17:38 AM »
I remember the name Zep.  But not what it was like using it.

Edit: come to think of it, I seem to remember this was the green stuff with abrasive.  Like a green mud.  I remember the dual opening can described.

Goop, if that's what it was, was a strong lye based soap.  But at least it didn't have abrasives.  Anyway, none of the stuff worked if you had to bust tires.  Some of the tire changers wore gloves.  But I needed more control.  I was a thin guy and not strong back then.  (Now I'm a fat not strong guy.  Progress! ) I had to rely on timing.  I never changed a split rim truck tire the whole time.  That was better side-stepped in my estimation.  The store where I did my first stint as an official mechanic there was a tire cage with two of the bars bent out from one of the rims going off during inflation.  It was like that when I got there.  Anyway the managers didn't push it since they could see how slight of build I was.



You may have to remember on your own.  I was a weekend-warrior that happened to be in close contact with professional mechanics at a job I had.
My ground-in dirt came from years of pulling out and rewinding 3" fuel hoses stored on reels... at this job... refueling commercial aircraft.
Timing was the key when wrestling these hoses, not strength and gloves just got in the way.  Sometimes strength is confused with being in shape.
(After that job i never saw 180 again).   :-\

The only 'soaps' I recall using were:
1)  Tide Laundry Detergent; the powder.  (Tide would remind me of any cuts that may need a second look).
2)  Lava; the green bar.  (Lava worked best on dried acrylic paint or slightly dirty hands).

Unfortunately ground-in dirt needs to be ground-out.  Tide + stiff bristled brush = cleaner hands.
Sometimes I would skip the fingernails if i was headed back to the auto-parts store.  A sort of 70s style status symbol.   8)

crabby3

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Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice?
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2015, 02:33:43 AM »
@Stoic Joker

My choice as well.   :Thmbsup:  Seems to improve with age.

ch fast orange.jpg