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Thread: Interesting experience

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Interesting experience

    A good neighbor has an '08 Altima V-6, his alternator conked out on his way home from work Friday evening. We put the car in my driveway Saturday morning and spent a couple HOURS figuring how on earth to get the thing out of the engine bay without disassembling A/C and cooling systems. A couple YouTube vids suggested it would come out from the left wheelwell... NOT! We got it out from the top, finally. Ran to NAPA for a replacement and it took me another couple hours to fiddle the thing back into the car, yesterday. Reminded me of the 'old days' when we had to fix our cars to get to work Monday morning. Single-handed, lying on your back, cold, damp, and struggling to get that ONE bolt into a hole buried so deep in the bowels of the engine bay you can either see or touch it, but not both at the same time. Then line up the part to accept the 8" thru bolt. The Braille method of parts installation!

    Bottom line: If you ever want a challenge, try this trick at home.
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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    I hope that your neighbor appreciates all your efforts and time spent on his car. I helped (I did the work; he watched) a neighbor install an outdoor motion sensor light over his garage. Multiple trips to get bits and countless trips up the ladder.
    Good on you doc.
    Elliot
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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Reminds me of the Water Pump that I had to replace on my Daughter-in-Laws Pontiac Grand Prix with a supercharger installed! What fun that was!
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Here's hoping the replacement holds up.

    Few years back, alternator failed on the wife's car. Took 5 different replacements before one lasted more than a month!

    Owned a Chevy for many years where you could neither see nor touch the #4 plug (of 6). Had to remove a motor mount, jack the engine over against the other mounts then drop a special wobble socket onto the plug more or less blind.

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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Isn't this a result of engineers deciding how to put a car together rather than repair it?

    As in the Chevy Monza where you have to undo the engine mounts to change spark plugs.
    Or the 1966 Caddy where you have to remove the bumper to change a tail light.
    Maynard
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    Luke Skywalker LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    And everyone thinks the British and European cars of old were hard to work on, todays car disprove that.
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
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    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by TR3driver View Post
    Here's hoping the replacement holds up.

    Few years back, alternator failed on the wife's car. Took 5 different replacements before one lasted more than a month!
    Precisely my concern, BTDT. I won't name names but there's one outfit rebuilding starters, alternators, A/C compressors etc. that I will never trust again. It's why I went to NAPA for the replacement, their units seem to be a bit better at lasting.

    Had this been my car, I'd likely have had a go at replacing the diode bridge rather than replacing the thing with the crap-shoot rebuild.

    Quote Originally Posted by TR3driver View Post
    Owned a Chevy for many years where you could neither see nor touch the #4 plug (of 6). Had to remove a motor mount, jack the engine over against the other mounts then drop a special wobble socket onto the plug more or less blind.
    Another neighbor had a '91 Pontiac Sunbird V-6 with the same issue. Front-wheel drive, the right bank is against the firewall and the plugs are well hidden. Another Braille job. I got the impression the front plug hadn't been changed since the thing left the factory.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    In other news a guy from another forum I frequent (in the UK) stopped to help three older ladies who were hearing strange noises from under the hood (bonnet)

    kitten.jpg
    John-Peter Smit
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    Yoda glemon's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    John-Peter, that is cute. I had to replace the had a problem with the Wife's Honda Fit, either alternator or or idler pulley, turned out to be the pulley, but I pulled both to test. If you take a look at one of those cars they are a model of effecient packaging, but the hood looks like it is about 18" inches long, and it slopes down sharply. There is no room to take anything out without moving a couple other things first. Generator, water pump, belt on most LBCs is a piece of cake with special frosting compared to modern front wheel drive.

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    Re: Interesting experience

    My Toyota has gone through three alternators in the 170,000 I have owned it, luckily it is a fairly easy one to replace. The only hard thing to reach is the belt tensioner that you can neither see nor feel and must blindly fish for with the tensioner tool until you hit it.

    I ran across a 15mm box wrench the other day that had roughly one half cut off and at first I didn't remember why and then I remembered replacing the alternator on my former MIL's Chevy about fifteen years ago and remembered that it had one bolt that I couldn't get a wrench or a ratchet on and that I had to go buy a cheap wrench and cut it in half to get that bolt off. Of course, there was an expensive tool I could have bought that would have done the same job, but that seemed stupid.
    Cheers,
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Interesting experience

    A universal joint socket will save the day many times.
    One of the worst was the starter motor bolt on my son's RX-7. We had to take it to the dealer.

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    In other news, had a text from my brother today - his 2013 Sante Fe engine just seized. Looks like there is a lot of issues with the engines still having swarf in them from the manufacturing process. yikes
    John-Peter Smit
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    Luke Skywalker LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    These new engines are made quickly, shipped and installed. I don't know how many actually test them before shipping. That is why you change oil as soon as you get your new car home. Done it in everything I buy new.
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
    03 Cooper S, 2011 Cooper S Countryman, 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX, 1964 Valiant V200
    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JPSmit View Post
    In other news, had a text from my brother today - his 2013 Sante Fe engine just seized. Looks like there is a lot of issues with the engines still having swarf in them from the manufacturing process. yikes
    There was a BIG recall on those engines a few years ago... lots of disappointed owners
    Elliot
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by waltesefalcon View Post
    My Toyota has gone through three alternators in the 170,000 I have owned it, luckily it is a fairly easy one to replace. The only hard thing to reach is the belt tensioner that you can neither see nor feel and must blindly fish for with the tensioner tool until you hit it.

    I ran across a 15mm box wrench the other day that had roughly one half cut off and at first I didn't remember why and then I remembered replacing the alternator on my former MIL's Chevy about fifteen years ago and remembered that it had one bolt that I couldn't get a wrench or a ratchet on and that I had to go buy a cheap wrench and cut it in half to get that bolt off. Of course, there was an expensive tool I could have bought that would have done the same job, but that seemed stupid.
    A few months ago the oil cooler lines in the diesel car began leaking badly. Only way to disconnect them at the filter housing was to 'modify' a couple wrenches. I bit the bullet and bought a set of ready-modified wrenches for the task. Would have cost nearly the same to buy some "cheap" ones and spend the time making them fit the lines and fittings.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    A few months ago the oil cooler lines in the diesel car began leaking badly. Only way to disconnect them at the filter housing was to 'modify' a couple wrenches. I bit the bullet and bought a set of ready-modified wrenches for the task. Would have cost nearly the same to buy some "cheap" ones and spend the time making them fit the lines and fittings.
    I hear that, I have several tools that I have bought for one application simply because it was cost effective. In the above case the special GM tool cost something like $90 and the harbor freight wrench cost something like $4.
    Cheers,
    Walter
    52 International L110
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    68 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by waltesefalcon View Post
    I hear that, I have several tools that I have bought for one application simply because it was cost effective. In the above case the special GM tool cost something like $90 and the harbor freight wrench cost something like $4.
    Understood. In this case it was three different wrenches, shaved, shortened and bent to accomplish the task. I'd have messed around for hours making 'generics' fit the job. At least that's how I justify it.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
    '78 Alfa Romeo Spider-undergoing surgery: O=\*/=O
    '84 300D Turbo-"Diesela"-Now my Daily: Oo|≣|oO
    '02 Toyota Camry- SWMBO's 'new-to-her' Daily. <sigh>
    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

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    Yoda PAUL161's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    Removing and replacing the exhaust pipe flange nuts on the TF is not a pleasant thing and the use of a universal, long extension and very thin socket is about the only way you can get to them, especially the one by the block. Couldn't use a crows foot, which I use a lot on some unusual stuff. Buddy of mine had a Cadillac about 10 years ago and had to cut a hole in the right fender well to change the rear spark plug. Made a plate to cover the hole and it looked like it belonged there. I have no idea how the dealer would have changed it as it wasn't accessible from above or below. My wifes new Buick was built around one bolt that was thrown on the floor, they built the car around it! If you want to get to anything close to that bolt, half the car will have to come off!

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Interesting experience

    I remember that certain GM cars had rear spark plugs that required removal of a front wheel and a cover to get at the plugs. When I worked as a mechanic many years ago, I said they should make the design engineers work on these cars after 5 or 10 years...

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting experience

    We had a hard and fast rule in our shop: If the car is over ten years old, there is no "flat rate" for any job. Pay the hourly or take it elsewhere. Rusted fasteners, bodged work by prior folks, too many variables and no crystal ball to consult.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Chaos & Mayhem PTY, LTD..C.I.O. & Floor Sweepervisor

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