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Found 14 results

  1. The high cost of new vehicles has its counterpart in rising dealership labor costs. Shop labor has crept up, and more consumers find themselves working on their own vehicles. This starts with basic lube and oil/filter changes, spark plugs and an air filter. Then comes the transmission filter and the cooling system flushes. AutoZone, NAPA and O'Reilly's, much like Home Depot and Lowe's, cater to a growing number of DIY customers. Expect this trend to continue. As vehicles fall out of factory warranty, consumers make choices. While the average wage for American workers is now $24.57 per hour, the labor rate for an automotive dealership can vary from $80-$130 per flat rate hour on major service work. Minor service procedures like a lube-oil-and-filter feature deeply discounted rates, making the dealership more competitive with Jiffy Lube and a host of other fast-service outlets. Dealerships also use the lube rack as an opportunity to generate additional service work. Many gulp at paying $80-$130 per hour for service when their own wages are a fraction of that amount. Let's reflect for a moment. Compare the difference between workplace hourly wages and the dealership or independent shop's hourly labor flat rate. The professional shop justifies its rates by considering the wages and benefits paid to employees (including hourly wages or a percentage of flat rate plus half of the technician's FICA rate). The dealership is also required to pay for disability and garage liability insurance plus an attractive medical benefits package, possibly a retirement contribution, supplied uniforms plus a work environment that includes service bay lifts, a lube rack, cabinets, a tool room full of factory service tools, the facility's buildings and their overhead, electricity and heating/AC utilities, shop equipment like computers and the air system, advertising and those shop supplies not charged to customers. The tool room with diagnostic equipment and specialty tools is a large expense. An OBD-II era DRB-III scan tool alone is a spendy item. At the end of the DRB-III era, SPX rented the last of the DRB-III scan tools to shops and consumers with a $6000 credit card deposit. That was the cost of replacement for this diagnostic tool set and its accessories. Fan through the factory service manual for your vehicle and note all of the required tools. Imagine a dealership with various makes and models, each requiring a long list of specialty tools and diagnostic testing devices. So it's realistic to believe that the dealership has some level of justification for today's high hourly flat rate. Some shop personnel get paid on a flat rate basis, typically 30%-40% of the hourly flat rate, sometimes less or more. In the long run, the dealership does profit from the Service Department, which also serves as the number one customer for the Parts Department. Rather than condemn the hourly flat rate, however, consider whether you can save money by performing your own service work. Equipping Your 'DIY' Shop If you're serious about performing your own service work, the first item on the tool list should be the factory workshop manual for each of your vehicles. There is no sense performing work without clear safety standards and step-by-step service guidelines. These books or CDs will also help determine what work you are capable of performing and the tools required. Immediately clear, you will be subletting engine machine work to a competent machine shop. An automatic transmission rebuild may be within reach for some, but the tools required for a one-time job could tip the scale in favor of subletting the job. Perhaps the removal and replacement work can be a DIY task. Weigh the cost and safety equipment needed for R&R work, too. There are often universal service tools that can work in place of niche factory service tools. Harbor Freight and others now offer a variety of minimal use tools. Why pay $300 for a set of professional grade Snap-On impact sockets when the $20 set at Harbor Freight might last for many years given your occasional use of these tools. My mixed medley of socket brands includes U.S. and metric Pittsburgh (Harbor Freight) brand deep impact sockets. At the tool section of the forums, we can discuss professional tools and the less costly alternatives. Diagnostics tools are the same way. For some EFI/MPI work, a $20 OBD-II transmitter and software package for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi can work with your laptop computer or cell phone. Many of these kits get rave reviews at Amazon and can provide a wealth of diagnostics information. Such a "scanner" is actually reading the stored or live data from the vehicle's PCM/ECU/ECM diagnostic port. This information is only reliable if the powertrain controller is functioning properly. The next step up is often a used Snap-On or OTC scanner with software and adapters. Sold at eBay or Craigslist, these scan tools can include newer versions or even used factory diagnostic tools. Sometimes, creative troubleshooting with a quality digital volt-ohmmeter can get the job done. Equipping your home garage or an independent shop is a constant juggling act between safe work and professional results—while not breaking the bank with tools that will seldom see use. Sometimes, one-time use suggests alternatives like renting the tool(s) from AutoZone or removing the component to have a specialty shop rebuild it. Sublet rebuilding was once common with alternators, generators and starter motors. Local radiator shops hot tanked, rodded or replaced radiator cores. Today, everything electric or electronic has a rebuilt/exchange program or is replaced with new parts. When I worked for Cunningham Pontiac-GMC in the early 'eighties, a defective S/T truck alternator under warranty required bench rebuilding to replace the rectifier bridge or other parts. (Flat rate time for the alternator R&R was 0.1 hour; the rectifier bridge changeout paid an additional 0.2 hour.) A power steering gear or transmission was also rebuilt on a dealership bench. Every vehicle manufacturer now uses a rebuild/exchange program for warranty parts. There are instances where improvising or substituting tools may be possible. Many aftermarket tools meet generic needs. When I operated a mechanical restoration shop for classic and muscle cars, service tools for pre- and post-war cars were obsolete. I made many tools from scratch, using factory tool images from workshop manuals as my guide. You can do this, too, and the cost savings can be dramatic. Common items like floor jacks, an H-frame press or jack stands can be generic. I trust many of the Harbor Freight products, the suppliers often build equipment for major brand manufacturers. I apply my own "overkill ratings" for safety equipment, like using two four-ton rated HF floor jacks to lift the Ram truck's 5,000 pound front end. I support the truck's axles on HF 6-ton rated stands. My 20-ton HF press is good for at least 10-15 tons when following my safety margin. I expect my Harbor Freight equipment to perform safely at 50-70% capacity. These tools last a long time with this kind of usage. I also have chests with prime, spendy tools. For precision work, always use better quality measuring tools. I purchase professional grade instruments from the nearby MSC warehouse. When safety and preserving parts is essential, I use the right tools and suggest that you do, too. Taking the Plunge to the 'DIY' Lifestyle My DIY work dates back to age 14 and my Cushman/Allstate scooter. With a factory shop manual in hand, I was on it! That strategy has stayed with me ever since, and today I'm still curious and interested in new tasks. My confidence grew with experience and tool savvy. Your confidence will build on successful results and learning which tools can perform the job properly. Becoming an accomplished DIY mechanic means doing professional grade work. Without the demands of flat rate time, you can wade your way through unfamiliar territory and get satisfactory results. Time is a concern, as you will spend a great deal of time learning how to perform quality automotive service work. Time can even be a deal breaker. While tools and parts cost, your time is also valuable. Family will quickly let you know when the clock has run out. Yes, you can save a considerable amount of money by performing your own service work. The rewards and satisfaction can be substantial if you enjoy this work. Account for your time as well, however, when deciding whether the savings are worth it. Consider the learning curve, you're developing a second career if you take this work far enough. For major tasks, there's no half way. The work is too demanding, and your safety is at stake. Repairing your vehicle's ABS brake system or troubleshooting a Ford E4OD automatic transmission is way different than replacing your home's screen door or garbage disposal. There are many benefits and rewards when doing your own automotive repair and service work. Troubleshooting can be a great test of your analytical ability, at least as good as working crossword puzzles. Safety is always a concern, as pinning yourself to the floor beneath a vehicle could be catastrophic. The first order of business is shop safety for yourself, any children in the area and your spouse/helper. Gasoline is flammable. Electricity can shock. Knocks, burns, crushed fingers and lacerations that require E.R. attention are simply not acceptable. I am producing an intensive library of streaming rental videos for the magazine's Vimeo On Demand catalog. How-to subjects will include setting up a DIY home garage or a smaller independent shop, emphasizing the use of common and specialized service and diagnostics tools. Meanwhile, become familiar with shop manual language and procedures. Review the magazine's hundreds of free how-to videos. —Moses Ludel
  2. When we were in kindergarten, it was common to take a watch apart—and not get it back together. Some of us, not content with things that no longer worked, went on to fixing things instead of just taking them apart. Toying with mechanical things versus putting things back together properly is for most a clear fork in the road. In my early childhood, I was fascinated with all things that rolled: trucks, cars, bicycles, motorized cycles, locomotives, take your pick! By age eleven, with the go kart and mini-bike craze in full swing, a neighbor built his sons a gasoline powered, wooden cart with a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine that had a rope starter…I was hooked. On my birthday two years later, my folks found a used Bug Kart with a bent front axle and a Clinton 2.5 horsepower two-stroke engine. I witnessed my first oxygen-acetylene welding repair when a family friend, Paul Starjack, restored the front axle with a fresh piece of new chrome-moly tubing. The task could have been a candidate for TIG, but Paul's adept skill with a gas torch made quick work of the 4130 chromoly welding repair. 55 years ago, I had a Bug Kart similar to this one. Mine came with a bent front axle tube. Watching a skilled welder replace that tube with a fresh 4130 piece taught me the the merits of welding! The end result and a fresh coat of paint made my cart look and run great. By fourteen, other mentors crossed my mechanical path. Joe Bruns ran a traditional postwar garage at Gardnerville, across the street from the Hancock gas station where I held my first job. An $8 street legal Cushman/Allstate scooter occupied my time and money that summer, and when the magneto would not fire, Mr. Bruns taught me the intricacies of a condenser on his grease-covered work bench. The dimly lit, acrid oil wafting shop, full of old cars like a Graham-Paige, a Willys-Knight tow truck, a Hudson Terraplane and a Packard, captured my imagination. This beautifully restored 1955 Allstate (Cushman) Deluxe scooter is the 'as new' version of the $8 "beater" that I bought in the summer of 1963 at Gardnerville, Nevada. Mine came with a rod knock and white paint job that looked like it had been applied with a broom. Nevada's Scooter Law enabled riding at 35 mph maximum on highways with a "basic speed law". It was not uncommon for cars and trucks to legally pass scooters at 100 mph on Highway 395. (Photo courtesy of the owner's posting online...Thanks, it's gorgeous, and the mountain backdrop looks like Carson Valley!) I grew up around older Buicks and Packards in our family, which drew me to the C.O.D. Garage (Chevrolet/Buick/Jeep® dealership) at Minden, Nevada. The dirt field across the main drag was the dealership's parking lot for Depression Era, 'forties and 'fifties cars and trucks that made their last run into Carson Valley on a tow hook. Rolling into valley from California and nearby rural Nevada communities, these vehicles had died unceremoniously from overheating, cracked blocks, throwing connecting rods or frying transmission and axle gears. I worked at the community’s service stations under the tutelage of full-service mechanics, in those years men who performed breaker point tune-ups, chassis work, tire busting and detailed lubrication and fluid changes. An oscilloscope tune-up was the hallmark of the era, and working at Bud Berrum’s Minden Chevron Station schooled me at vehicle light service and lube room repairs. This would prove ground school for my early automotive trade employment as a light and medium duty truck fleet mechanic. From age 14 to 18, I had my share of four-wheeled “project” vehicles plus numerous trips to Werner's Machine Shop at Carson City. Bill Werner smiled each time I showed up with a Ford flathead V-8 block. Several of these blocks failed the test for machining and landed in the iron scrap pile. Most often, they had cracks from freezing or cylinder wall weaknesses that opened up during the boring process. Bill was relieved when I moved to mid-'fifties Chevy small-block OHV V-8s. There were many other “teachers”. My Douglas High School Ag and Welding instructor, Mr. Gray, taught me the foundation skills for welding that led to my lifetime interest in metallurgy and all forms of welding and brazing processes. The Odom brothers at the East Bay, George Zirkle at the Nevada City NAPA machine shop, veteran truck fleet mechanic colleagues and service pros, machinists and chassis/alignment experts each deserve their due. When I served an apprenticeship with Local 3 of the Operating Engineers Union, old hands taught me the new and old school repair, welding and operator’s skills around heavy equipment…To all of these folks and any not named here, I am grateful. The learning was typically hands on, often accompanied by patient discussion, and I looked over many shoulders before performing work myself. Years later, after 15 years of hands-on professional work as a journey level truck fleet mechanic, motorcycle tech and 4x4 restorer, I worked at Cunningham GMC/Pontiac in El Cajon, California, representing the service department at the General Motors Burbank Training Center and bringing that information home to be shared with the dealership's techs. Just prior to working for the Cunningham family and fresh out of the University of Oregon, I had my first taste of teaching at the San Diego Job Corps. That was my original stint of “giving back” through teaching, passing along those years of exposure to top professionals. My next step along the path was journalism, writing technical articles and columns for a broad range of enthusiast trade magazines and newspapers. Learning to Teach When I taught at the Job Corps in the early ‘eighties, the breaker point ignition era was barely ended. Electronic fuel injection was the lofty undertaking of German engineers at Bosch. That quickly changed, and by the mid-‘eighties, American vehicle manufacturers brought the internal combustion engine back from the edge of emissions extinction with the use of EFI and electronic spark management systems. All of us went back to the drawing board, up the learning curve, and became familiar with the new electronic technology. I held California smog equipment Installer and Inspection licenses during that period. Learning EFI/spark management required a foundation at automotive mechanics and the willingness to read. I was writing simultaneously to the tune of 880 published pages of magazine articles per year by 1989 (not to be confused with manuscript pages). 1990-1998 became a period of book projects alongside my continuing flow of magazine and newspaper assignments each month. Consulting to 4x4 truck, Jeep® and SUV manufacturers, plus new book editions, involved even more writing. After an intensive career at photojournalism, tech column writing, book authorship and building magazine 4x4 projects, I took a detour and returned to the classroom from 1999-2004, five teaching and administrator contract years. Working with the Rite of Passage program, first as an Automotive/Diesel Technologies instructor then as the Director of Vocational Training for four Rite of Passage campuses, we taught automotive, welding, construction trades and IT. Within the Rite of Passage training process, I was as much a student as teacher. Sure, I brought over three decades of profession level trade skills to the classroom, but my effectiveness at teaching was only as good as the delivery. What I quickly discovered in the era just before the onslaught of internet information, was that students without a clear direction and foundation in a subject were as apt to “take the watch apart” as to fix it. When left to their own devices, some students were perfectly happy dismantling mechanical things with no sense for how to put them back together—and not an inkling of academic ambition nor the curiosity to read a manual or textbook! Lectures or audio visual training tapes could easily put a non-invested student to sleep. These young adults provided the humbling lesson that without context and a drive to learn, human beings are capable of remaining kindergarten level performers forever. And that pre-internet learning environment was merely a portent of things to come, heralding Toffler's glorious, consumer driven Information Era. Along Came the Internet The fledgling internet and its information exchange showed promise. Maybe the Tofflers' predictions in their 2006 book Revolutionary Wealth were true. Alvin and Heidi Toffler predicted that the internet's wealth of “free” information would lead to a society of consumers who were less dependent upon paying for services and far more self-reliant. The emerging age would be a virtual barter system of freebie facts and answers meeting consumer needs, essentially a way to circumvent the increasingly pervasive co-dependency on corporations and professional service outlets. This idealized view of the internet, a virtual blueprint for opting out of consumer dependency, was the optimal solution to the rising costs of consumer services. In fact, outsourcing and subletting labor costs, using automotive “professional” services as just one example, have skyrocketed over the last dozen years. At North America, there is no more glaring example of consumer dependency than the automotive consumer market. Imagine paying $75,815 for a new, decked out Ram 4x4 with a Cummins 6.7L diesel. Now add to that the maintenance costs at the local dealership. CANBus troubleshooting and diagnostics equipment, exotic transmission filling and draining methods plus a host of other "specialty equipment" requirements compel many DIY consumers to reluctantly creep back into the dealerships' service lanes. Once the warranty period ends on the vehicle, consumers often try the nearly as expensive independent shops, aware that second tier aftermarket diagnostic equipment may not be up to date. A dealership's labor rate can be $110 per hour or higher. Independent shops are at least $75-$90 per hour. So given these conditions and the potential information available online, what if you could get diagnostic and troubleshooting information—or even actual how-to repair steps—for free online. Yes, how about gleaning information gratuitously placed before your eyes by simply participating at a free forum? Many believe this is possible, and to such an extent that they cannot envision paying for any kind of automotive information. Of course, we do want to avoid the high cost of labor and limited parts choices, i.e., the additional and arbitrary cost for dealership provided parts. Do we also expect to become independent mechanics without scaling any kind of learning curve or paying for schooling? As a point of interest, aside from earning a Pac-Ten university four-year degree with Dean's List honors and all the textbook costs that entailed, my library of classic and contemporary professional automotive factory and trade service manuals, plus a dozen welding instruction and metallurgy books, would today cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,500. I bought the Tofflers' book as an audio CD version and played it in my shop while performing professional restoration work on vintage transmissions, steering gears, engines, engine peripherals and axles. The book's theme was captivating, suggesting that we could be energy independent (off the grid) and consumer self-sufficient, sidestepping the endless grind of societal consumerism in America. Pondering just how well that would work with automotive service or IT needs, it took little thought after four decades in the automotive trade (when this book came out) to realize that bartering information, or even information in itself, is not enough to get the job done! So Where Do You Get Your “Free” Information? For automotive service work around sophisticated powertrains with 8-speed automatic transmissions or variable cylinder EFI/MPI systems, where do you barter for your free service information? Consider the bevy of diagnostic tools needed to service a vehicle and the $200-plus CD set that makes up the factory service manual for a particular model. Do you know a trained service professional who has spent $10,000 or more on equipment and data and wants to freely offer that investment to total strangers surfing the internet's Google Search engine? According to the Tofflers theory, the model would apply better to pouring a garden foot path and needing information on how to set forms. This kind of information can be found at the Lowe’s or Home Depot professional contractors desk. It’s not critical, "permitted" work and does not require meeting code. Seldom will anyone get hurt by a DIY foot path project or improperly laid sidewalk pavers. These two retailers will gladly offer free information since they will be providing the materials you need for this job. Now let’s fast forward to your automotive project. A motor vehicle is built to SAE, DOT, NHTSA and EPA standards. Whether an owner elects to honor the EPA requirements, the SAE, DOT and NHTSA standards for brakes, steering and safe suspension are something not to be ignored. There are sanctioning bodies like ASE and dealership tech training programs, apprenticeships, military training schools and college trade programs intended to support these professional standards for automotive service work. Why? Simple: Because your life and the lives of family members and others on the road depend upon vehicles that perform safely and reliably. This includes brakes, tires, chassis members, steering, suspension, the engine/powertrain, axles and electrical/electronic systems. So that begs the question: Where do you get your automotive service recommendations? Exactly who is at that forum with years of professional experience, mentoring, college level courses, military training schools, apprentice training or dealership training? If they have that level of schooling and experience, why are they at the forum giving away information for free? The Toffler paradigm may apply to shoveling and forming the ditch for a garden path footing or macramé, but do you really want to fix your brakes or troubleshoot that engine issue without a service manual, a basic knowledge of automotive mechanics or a “mentor” with some trade experience? I taught adult education level automotive and diesel mechanics plus welding for seven years. As of this month, I have a half-century of professional experience at mechanics, yet I still pull a professional trade manual or “FSM” off the shelf for any work I perform on my vehicles. —Moses Ludel
  3. Hello to All.... I wish to thank all the members and especially you Mr. Ludell for all the time spent on our endless problems.... I have reviewed all the posts that might pertain to my problem and do not wish to ask a question that can be easily answered by simple review... My YJ has had an.. "on again / off again" problem that may not be related to this exact problem but it just seems to have never been 100 % or maybe even 80%... The current problem started on an outing in the woods ..drove fine climbing, downhill and 4wd.. coming back the engine began to act like it was starving for fuel..the harder you press on the gas the more it chocked out...would idle fine..no power.. So... I took it to mean a faulty pump and ordered same...pulled tank ..found sock off the pump..Problem solved ??..decided since I have a new one might as well drop it in.. "nice to have a trail spare anyway".. replaced tank with new filter... went to fire it up ...no start..no apparent fuel at the TBI....Now it wont run at all... So... check electrical to pump ..fine..check lines..fine.. Ordered a Pressure gauge...slap it on the TBI access port ..No pressure.....Check pressure before the TBI... jumps to 50 psi...way to much..?? checked inline with " T " Key on 25 psi.. Start..jumps to 50 psi..no apparent fuel returning to tank.. SO.... rebuild the TBI... bad regulator..Maybe...clean, replace TPS , new injector, and filters while its apart... " Nice to have trail spares anyway" reassemble...try to start ...no fuel.... So....Back to ZERO.... No fuel getting past the Regulator... Remove TBI..reinspect , reassemble..try to start...no fuel Also the CPS..MAT sensors replaced during the last session...Of unknown problems..."Nice to have trail spares anyway" When fuel is manually poured in the carb. she fires right up and I can keep it running if i drizzle it in.. So... it runs if i can figure out how to get my wife under the hood with a squeeze bottle while I drive....Could work...Maybe.. Make a great hood ornament...Should switch that around encase she reads this..She Drives....ya sounds better... The questions are.....will the pressure spike to 50 psi if there is no return to tank..? Is 50 psi just way to much ..? Will to much pressure cause the regulator to shut down so to speak..? Is it possible the spring in the regulator is bad ,The kit did not have a new spring...Seems a weak spring would allow to much fuel...did try to adjust with set screw...no Fuel...? The TBI is clean no blockage in ports...so what could be stopping the flow... Other than the regulator... ? "Did I just answer my own question..Maybe" Why are my troubles worse now after the repairs..At least it ran at idle before? Your Attention , Patience and experience with this matter will earn you my admiration and a box of Girl Scout cookies...of your choice Jamie
  4. My 1966 summer job at age seventeen was loading and driving the campground garbage truck at Mono Village, Upper Twin Lakes, California. Our hauler was a postwar 2-1/2 ton Chevrolet Advance Design truck with a lift bed. Other chores were performed with various WWII surplus vehicles. One, a WWII weapons carrier pickup, was a Dodge WC 4x4. The truck had extremely low gearing and a staid, inline L-head six cylinder engine that cranked over slowly with its 6-volt electrical system but never failed to start. At the peak of the 'sixties muscle car era, this workhorse was relegated to campground duty. Dodge came away from its wartime chores with the military line-up plus a rugged civilian 4x4 Power Wagon launched in 1945. Surplus military and postwar civilian Power Wagon trucks worked at ski resorts, house moving, mining sites and any other place where maximum traction and hauling power were a requirement. In this forum, owners and restorers can share tips, questions, experiences and enthusiasm for their vintage Dodge truck projects, including the WC, M37 and civilian W100, W200, W300, W500 and W600 Power Wagon all-wheel drive models through 1980. In my library of mechanical restoration manuals, I have professional level rebuilding and troubleshooting details, data and specifications that cover Dodge/Fargo Power Wagon 4x4s and even the larger W500 and W600 trucks from this era. I can share my experience, tips and mechanical details for 1941 to 1980 Dodge 4x4 military and civilian models. Rebuilding a 230 or 251 (1961-up) cubic-inch flathead inline-six cylinder engine, a 225 slant six (1963-up), poly head 315 or 318 V-8s, or a vintage 331/354/392 Hemi V-8, an LA 318 V-8 with forged crankshaft or a big block 383 B-Series Wedge V-8? Restoring vintage axles, a two-speed transfer case, 4-speed manual transmission (spur gear and synchromesh) with power take off (PTO) or a vintage steering gear? Need reliable shop level facts, data and parts details, or want to share your Dodge/Fargo 4x4 experiences? Join us here!—Moses Ludel It was 1960, and our family's '58 Plymouth was overworking itself with its 230 cubic inch L-head six and column shift 3-speed manual transmission. The Plymouth was a 'Silver Special' model that my folks bought as their first-ever new car. It was stripped to the bone, with a dealer installed heater and no radio—by today's standards, a shell!...When gas station attendants opened the hood, they gawked at the same engine bay that housed a 392 hemi V-8 in a Chrysler or Imperial. Narrow and straight up, you could stand alongside the L-head inline six, a 1930s design on its last rounds. By 1960, the "slant six" 225 replaced this venerable old engine. All Mopar cars were "full-size" in 1958—essentially the same engine bay regardless of engine type! Anyway, we were driving over Sonora Pass before dawn, heading from Twin Lakes near Bridgeport to the Bay Area. California Highway 108 was even more twisting and narrow then, if that's possible, and the switchbacks at the summit of the pass sapped the lacking horsepower right out of that flathead six! Rough factoring of 3-5 percent loss of horsepower per 1000 feet elevation, the carbureted engine was down to 55% or so of its somewhat miniscule 132 horsepower: 72.6 horsepower remaining! Description of Sonora Pass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonora_Pass The engine stalled on one in the steep (up to 26% grade near Leavitt Meadows!) switchbacks. It was pitch darkness, starlight only, when my father backed the car down slightly to clear the narrow road. The one-wheel (double hitch, swivel wheel) camp supply trailer went off the road and onto a milder slope of granite rock. The Plymouth followed, becoming high-centered, not in a damaging way, fortunately, yet with the frame perched on rock and the rear tires unable to gain traction. Try to the point of smoking the clutch, there was no way to move the car ahead, and when the sun eventually rose and lit the Sierra Range, the predicament became clear: It was July, yet traffic was nearly non-existent. One car passed and wished us well, then a flat-fender Jeep crept up the switchbacks, its four-banger whining through the pine trees. Two hearty guys had the top down, and they looked half frozen. They stopped the Jeep and talked with my father for a minute. Out came a tow chain, and they vainly attempted to pull the Plymouth forward. With all four tires chirping away and the chain acting like a tether, the vintage Jeep CJ and its L-head four proved no match for the Plymouth and trailer—even in low range. Simply not enough weight to get traction. It was bone-chilling dawn at over 9,000 feet elevation! Highway 108 is the second highest pass over the Sierra Range at 9,624 feet. There were still snow banks adjacent to the recently opened, seasonal highway. Sonora Pass is best known for the Marine Corps' Mountain Warfare Training Center on the Bridgeport or West Walker River side of the route. Our cause seemed lost. Finally, at first light, the silence broke with the sound of a husky V-8 engine. Minutes later, the 1957 Dodge W100 Power Wagon pickup came into view. Huddled in the Plymouth to keep warm, we could not imagine a more welcome site! The truck stopped on the deserted road, and we could see a couple talking. The driver got out of the truck and took a close look at the Plymouth. His wife was commenting on how far we were from Sonora, California. "Could disconnect the trailer, although it's not that heavy," the man talked as if thinking aloud. "I've got enough weight that if I pull your car downhill onto this curve in the road, it will slide off that rock and be free." My father got his instructions: He was to keep the Plymouth running and apply power lightly when the Power Wagon took the slack out of the logging chain that connected the vehicle frames. My mother, sister and I stood by the high side of the road and watched. The Power Wagon was amazing. I'd never heard a low range growl through truck axle gearing. Creeping forward and down the steep, narrow roadway, the massive truck turned the Plymouth sideways. The V-8 never rose beyond a fast idle... In less than a minute, the Plymouth and trailer aligned with the road and popped onto the pavement. Chain disconnected, my father took off to the bottom of that switchback and safely turned the car and trailer around. We watched him sail by in first gear, foot well into the throttle, as he aimed for the crest of the hill. At eleven years of age, I watched a V-8 Power Wagon W100 in action and was sold! Dodge was years ahead of Ford and General Motors, and the V-8 offering even eclipsed the inline six-cylinder I-H 4x4 pickups of the mid-'50s. Years of military and civilian truck building came together in the '57 W100 and W200 Power Wagon pickups, and the 315 and 318 poly-spherical cylinder head V-8 options helped transition Dodge into the modern truck era...Early in the game, I learned what a Dodge W100 Power Wagon could do!
  5. My 2000 F-350 V-10 4x4 Over Drive light just started flashing last week. The vehicle has 90,000 miles on it. I just purchased it 8 months ago, so I'm not sure if the fluid has been changed...any ideas on what I should try first ? I took it to Oreilly's Auto to have the codes checked. My codes are : P1000 P0783
  6. So I replaced the head assembly, rods, lifters, cam, timing chain, etc. Everything except the pistons basically. I took it to a mechanic at first but after taking it apart e decided he didn't want to work on it. I've put it back together without any left over parts. I know the cam timing is ok, I lined up the dots on the sprockets (see photo). When I dropped in the distributor I had the oil pump notch just past the 3 o'clock position, and when it dropped in the rotor was at the 6 o'clock position just like the manual says. But to make things even better, when the engine is turning over, every once in awhile a puff of fuel will shoot out of the injector. I replaced the injector, same thing. The only thing I am not sure of being the same as before the work started is 1 orange wire (see photo). It goes to the connector (see photo) but I haven't followed it back any further. Anyone know what it is supposed to be connected to? Is there a wire that is supposed to be screwed to the distributor case? I replaced the distributor because the casing was cracked on the old one.
  7. I recently rebuilt an AX 5 transmission, first time doing so, not new to rebuilding transmission though. After replacing all the bearing and synchronizing rings, first and second shift fork and collar and all other clips and springs necessary. I now have a couple issues, first off it will not shift into 5th or reverse ( it did on the bench) second issue is when I drove it it was very difficult to shift from 1st to 2nd and visa versa. I am thinking 1st/2nd issue would be the detents and springs in the hub assembly. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
  8. New here and tried searching but came up with nothing similar. My 06 LJ 4.0 (155000 miles) recently developed a habit of going to a fast idle/high rev of around 1500 RPM's or so. If I blip the throttle it settles down until you take of again and it repeats. I installed a Genright 31.5 gallon fuel tank and replaced the fuel pump assembly at the same time because it was a whole lot easier and I didn't want to drop the new tank anytime soon. I had a code for EVAP system small leak which I attributed to the vent hose from the tank to the filler neck as the hose that came with the tank was rather short and had no clamps. I installed it and put some zip ties on it until I could get a new section of line and clamp, which I did a week or so later. I also had a code for O2 sensor which I forgot to write down but it was present long before these symptoms began. I have searched for vacuum leaks but it's possible I might have missed one. Anyone have thoughts on this?
  9. I have purchased an 87 yj tbi 2.5. With help from this site I have been tinkering with this thing trying to get it to run as its suppose to especially in this cold weather. I was looking at my egr valve while I was replacing the vacuum lines and noticed it was unhooked and the line feeding it is plugged. I did notice that the vacuum port on the egr was facing the front of the jeep, that seems to be the wrong direction to me.
  10. Hello All, i need your help. i have a 2.5L that I cannot make run with the MAP sensor plugged in. I have tested the MAP sensor and it reads good. i have tested the MAT, Engine Temp and Idle Air Control Motor as well. Replaced the TPS, O2 sensor and the ECU. i have checked for Vacuum leaks and have come up with nothing. it runs better with the MAP unplugged from vacuum. I am running out of ideas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  11. 95 f 150 xlt with a 5.8 l v-8...tranny was kinda slipping, had to manually shift it even tho it was auto, taking off in drive was just too sluggish sluggish to move...lost 1st and 2nd (might as well say we lost all gears cause u cant take off in drive) so all thats left is drive and reverse...changed fluid, no metal shavings or chunks but was def. burnt but new fluid and filter made no changes in it.....help
  12. I have a F350 4 x 4, 5.4L, I am having an issue when I am driving anywhere from 40 to 75, it feels like someone going 100 miles per hour rams right into the back of my truck then it seems as if the gear gets stuck, it causes me whiplash almost and also my tires screech. Then I have to pull over and turn off vehicle for it to kind of reset it self. Does it happen all the time no. Is it happening more frequently, yes. The code that was flashing was for a solenoid sensor so that was replaced. Can you give some sort of direction. After code was fixed we thought issue was fixed and no still did same thing, and the truck is NOT giving one single code. please help. Thank you Quote Edit
  13. Hello im new to this i am from hawaii i have a 1989 jeep wrangler and have a brand new motor installed it had an idle problem so i changed the tps set it in between 4.6 and 4.7 on the multimeter which is what the dealer said to set it as and it runs for ten minutes and as soon as i tal the gad it sputter then dies any ideas ?
  14. Hi Moses I purchased your AX-15 rebuild video on vimeo. I also downloaded the AX-15 service manual before I started this project. When I started this project it was supposed to be a simple clutch install. How ever when I removed the transmission from the Jeep which is a 93 YJ Sahara. I noticed that the pilot bearing had grenaded and part of the inner race had welded its self to the input shaft on the transmission. I figured since I will have to tear the transmission down to replace the input shaft I might as well do a full rebuild since I had noticed some grinding going into 3'd gear on occasion. I ordered a new input shaft, and full rebuild kit with bearings, seals, synchro rings and what not and began the process of doing the rebuild. I followed your video to the T and verified everything with the shop manual. I got everything rebuilt and installed back in the jeep and everything worked fine albeit a bit on the tight side. The transmission shifted with no issues smoothly for about the first 5 miles. I then parked the jeep over night and when I went to drive it the next day it would grind horribly trying to get into 4th gear and would not go into 4th at all. Even if I put the jeep in 4th and then started the motor and let the clutch out it would just pop right out of 4th. There is also now a subdued but high pitched whining noise from the transmission. Any idea on what could be wrong and why it worked fine until I parked it and then everything went to the birds? The Jeep has a new friction disc, Pressure plate, Pilot bearing, Throwout bearing, New bearings, synchro's, seals, shifter bushing and seal, Transfer case was rebuilt with new bearings, new chain, new range fork, new mode fork pads, slip yoke eliminator kit, New heavy duty rear driveshaft, new Ujoints in the front drive shaft. Front and rear diff fluid changed and sealed. Tons of work to get the driveline back into good shape and now the trans has started having problems it never had before.
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