Cars and Trucks

Anyone else a shade tree mechanic?

I’m about to spend some time giving my truck some TLC. Something cathartic about working on vehicles for me. Here’s what I’m tackling this weekend:

New front shocks! The rears are in the mail, probably do them next weekend.

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I sure am! I take my car to the dealership to get serviced and then go sit under a shade tree and drink beer until they call to tell me it’s done! :grin::wink:

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I used to own a garage. Specialist in lorry repairs and tyres but we did do motorcycle and car repairs and MOTS.

I lost an absolute fortune in that place. I lost my best mate when was my business partner . Ended up mortgaged to the gills on my house and nearly lost it. Took me 5 years to drag myself out of the mess and regain a bit of stability. It was a horrible horrible time.

I now only work on my own vehicles.
I really enjoy working on my motorbikes for fun but only tend to work on my pickup or our passat if it will save me money

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My newest car is an '02, my oldest is an '85 and is the very first car I ever owned. So out of sheer necessity I am definitely a shade tree mechanic!

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Err…at home or at work? :rofl:

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This weekend I finally got the snow tires on.
Started last weekend but the damn key for the McGard lock nuts broke after I put the first one on and went to crack the second.

I use a breaker bar to crack ‘em, jack up that corner of the car and spin em off with a drill (hand loose already) and tighten down with a torque wrench. So shop abuse at the dealer with an air gun probably weakened it over the years, I’m certainly not strong enough to have snapped it myself.

Visited a mechanic friend of mine and we tried a few things including hammering a 20mm socket over the round lock nuts to no avail. Gave it a shot again Monday after @Victork2 made the same suggestion - it has to work right? Succeeded in getting both on the drivers side off. Put the summer back on for the time being, had to head to the polls for our federal election.

Mid-week the replacement key I ordered arrived, so I swapped off the lock nuts. Today I finally swapped the tires, and went a got four more spare lug nuts for the glovebox. Never going to use locking ones after this - what if I had got a flat out on the road, and then the key broke?


Old vs new key
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Lock nuts and the 20mm that took a sledge beating.
.


The second lug from Monday didn’t want to come out of the 20mm. The first got punched out by hammering a 3/8” drive extension down through the 1/2” drive hole. Having gotten enough exposed, I could put the taper under the vice jaw and hammered the socket sideways to rock it up and off - which it soon did, flying across the garage.


Swapping the right rear wheel, I noticed this ugly fracture in my muffler… how that happened is beyond me. I’ve never hit anything / beached it, nor is there any dent - in fact, it’s slightly bulged outwards.

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Ok, not a car or truck. But since the thread began with the question, “is anyone here a shade-tree mechanic?”; yes.

image

This is my alternator installation a couple of months ago. I basically work on it two hours for every one hour I fly. As for “cars and trucks”, I can change oil and brake pads. That’s about it.

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What that tends to be is the inner pipe has rotted away and the force of the expelled gases has forced water into the outer case and rotted it from the inside. As it weakens from the rust it forces the baffle material against it and bulges it out. One good stab with an index finger and you’ll be through that :roll_eyes:

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Ooh that little problem would be enough to get your car failed during a smog test here in California.

Wheels

Laughs in midwest bailing wire and duct tape

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How does $390 USD sound for a new one…I’m not in a rush to spend that money.

Not a mechanic but a quick Google search shows anywhere from 150 to 800 USD depending on the car.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-muffler-cost.htm

Google Search (how much do car mufflers cost): https://tinyurl.com/y5pn9bmm

Wheels

I took it right from Ford Parts - then I have to convert to Canadian. Fortunately that’s where I can stop the price bumps as the local dealer parts prices almost always work out to nearly a straight currency conversion, then add our 13% sales tax.

Ugh, I may have to stop whining about our 8-1/4% taxes on merchandise.

Wheels

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We used to be 15% if that makes you feel any better! :grin:

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We’re at 21% in .nl but we get healthcare, good roads and awesome schools for that.

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If you’re going to be replacing the muffler, and one to put that off for a bit one thing you can try:

Go ahead and pop out all that loose crumbly metal, and use a dremel or something similar to grind back the wall to good solid metal. If possible make the hole rectangular, mostly, and clean up the rest and debris about a 1/2" back from the edge… Cut a patch out of some sheet metal (probably 14 gauge, it’s been a while since I had to do any muffler repair) that is a bit bigger than the hole, about 1/8-1/4" of an inch. Use a high temp epoxy (JB has a high temp version), and epoxy your patch over the hole. Depending on how picky inspections are in your state you should be set. It won’t fix the inner tubing of the muffler, but the casing will be good to go for a while longer.

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Turns out the front shock install is going to be a bigger hassle than I expected. I bought this truck used, and apparently the genius who owned it before me didn’t know the factory shocks are adjustable for lift so he put in a lift block. Not a big deal, but in the process they cut the studs off on the factory mount to put the block in, so now I have to go get two new shock mounts ($100ish).

She’s gonna be sittin on the jackstands a little longer.

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In more fun ways to spend money on a truck, I’m considering getting these vinyls for the side of the bed. Add some extra ‘Murica to her!

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Your raptor makes my hilux look very very limp :joy:

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