Repair Wins

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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JayceSlayn
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by JayceSlayn » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:51 pm

Sun Yeti wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:05 pm
My high school robotics students snapped the pins off the connectors for some expensive, proprietary robot motors. I got my high school engineering students, whom I have trained to solder, to solder new pins on and fix them. Win!
Beware the man with a soldering gun who knows how to use it. :D

I was also curious lately: Do kids these days learn how to solder with RoHS solder? Even though I was eventually forced to use lead-free solder later in life, I stocked up on the good ol' 60:Sn/40:Pb ages ago. There's a reason the materials guys chose Sn/Pb so long ago - it just works better than most anything else we've come up with since. We've had a heck of a time finding less toxic alternatives for everything we dumped lead into over the years, it is kind of a wonder element. Don't get me wrong: I think it is all for the better that we are getting rid of it, but I do appreciate the engineering that initially settled on it in the first place.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by wolf_from_wv » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:07 am

Everything is more expensive on a Cadillac, which is why I hadn't planned on ending up with an '03 CTS.

I upgraded my 3rd brake light to LED, and didn't have to spend $600 at the dealer for a new one ($300 at Autozone). The old brake light had a neon tube and transformer that leaked, got wet and rusted, which caused it to stop working.

I bought the PCV upgrade kit (hose assembly and oil filler tube) and installed it myself.

Found a broken wire for the backup lights and fixed that.

Had to make a new brake line when the old one rusted and gave out. GM discontinued them a few years ago for that model year.
Strength Of My Life, whom shall I dread?
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My heart would not fear.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by Sun Yeti » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:42 pm

JayceSlayn wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:51 pm
I was also curious lately: Do kids these days learn how to solder with RoHS solder? Even though I was eventually forced to use lead-free solder later in life, I stocked up on the good ol' 60:Sn/40:Pb ages ago. There's a reason the materials guys chose Sn/Pb so long ago - it just works better than most anything else we've come up with since. We've had a heck of a time finding less toxic alternatives for everything we dumped lead into over the years, it is kind of a wonder element. Don't get me wrong: I think it is all for the better that we are getting rid of it, but I do appreciate the engineering that initially settled on it in the first place.
They use lead-free solder, because that's what I teach them on; it was my call. Velleman brand; it's the best lead-free I've found. Honestly, I don't think it's any worse to work with in terms of flowability or what have you, the main disadvantage is having to clean the iron tip constantly. But they'll never miss what they never had :)
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by JackBauer » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:36 pm

Awesome thread.
As a past TV and stereo repair tech I really appreciate the OP troubleshooting case history . That package that popped was likely a current driver for a solenoid or relay.

Although we live in an urban apartment I keep a well stocked supply of hand and power tools (stored inconspicuously but accessible) that's I've amassed over the past 35 years. I've been able to address any emergency that's come up. Broken bed frame, appliance repair, rebuild a PC, you name it.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by boskone » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:24 pm

Minor thing, but I saved myself a few hundred bucks clearing a clogged kitchen sink. Twice, kinda.

It'd back up after several minutes of water running (or a load of dishes), so it was a good bit down the pipe. I augered it out, then dumped a chemical cleaner to...well, clean things up, break up the remnants of the clog. Worked great for about a day.

Then it clogged again. A 4qt pot of water was enough to back up into the sinks this time. I think the chemicals dislodge a mat of...stuff, which wedged in an elbow Augered it again, and it's been working for a few days. I think the chemical cleaner mostly did what it was supposed to, but dislodged a "mat" of material which stuck in an elbow.

It's been a few years since I've had to do that, but I think I'm going to start running an enzymatic cleaner like once a month to try and keep the pipes cleaned out.

More work than I'd really prefer, and lord but that stuff stunk the house up, but saved probably at least $200 on a plumber.

Note: When I build a place, I'm going to put inspection ports into every run longer than like a foot. :p I have 1 for this entire house, at the other end of the drain pipes from the kitchen.

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by tedbeau » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:53 pm

My daughter bought her first house two years ago and since she has a lot of property she bought a used riding mower.
The thing ran ok but was burning lots of gas, as in over two gallons to cut an acre
I found a replacement carburetor online for 20 dollars. It took about 30 minutes to put on and probably paid for it self in a few months
Then one day she called and said it wouldn’t move.
I went over and saw the drive belt had jumped off the pulley. When I put it back on the pulley was flopping around like crazy and the belt jumped off again
I determined the bearing for input shaft if the transaxle was bad
I was able to order a new one through the company I work for for 9.00.
It took us about 4 hours to take the tranny out and tear it down, press in the new bearing and put it back together
I don’t know if I could even have found a shop around here
I did find a video online on rebuilding the tranny though so that did help
I hate throwing away things
I always try to fix anything I can
Last edited by tedbeau on Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by MPMalloy » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:11 pm

tedbeau wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:53 pm
I hate throwing away things. I always try to fix anything I can.
This used to life SOP. What changed? Seriously!

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by NT2C » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:50 pm

I thought I posted this but I'm not finding it so:
(edit: found it in Chat thread reposting here)

When the hell did bread machines get so expensive? :shock:

I have two of them, a Sensio XBM-1028 and a Zojirushi BBCC-V20. The Sensio I bought about the time my wife and I started living together 15 years ago. That particular model is sold by a lot of Chinese companies and was sold by the TV Food Network for a while. A nice little unit that bakes 1 lb. or 1.5 lb. loaves and has some good features. I think I paid about $35 (new) for it in 2005 and it has baked many hundreds of loaves since then.

The Zojirushi was given to me as a gift by a friend of ours that we helped move. He'd gotten it for himself, baked one loaf and decided bread baking was not for him. I think it originally sold for about $350, does only 2 lb. loaves and is considered one of the better bread makers on the market.

Two weeks ago, while it was kneading a loaf of bread for us to have at breakfast the Sensio started making funny noises then stopped kneading and all you could hear was the motor running and sounding odd. Shit... I figured the poor thing had suffered a transmission failure and kneaded its last loaf, moved the dough to the Zojirushi (adding a little flour, water, yeast to bring the loaf size up) and was about to toss it after looking and seeing deeply recessed security screws I don't have a bit for (but I can make one) but decided to see if they were still being made and maybe buy a replacement. Well, I found out four things.
  1. They stopped selling them in the US in 2008 but still sell them in Asia
  2. They didn't sell very many in the US
  3. They use a belt drive and a new belt is just $16.47 shipped
  4. If you can find one on eBay they start around $30 used and $120 new :shock:
I also found out that the cheapest Zojirushi bread machine these days sells for about $500 and there is only one bread machine I could find, a Hamilton Beach, that sells for under $100 ($85 on Amazon).

The belt arrived a few days ago and I went to work taking the machine apart with the same screwdriver set I use for working on laptops as it had the right security bit. Replacement of the belt and reassembly took about 30 minutes. As you can see below the old belt was pretty well and truly borked.

Image
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by CHUKGLEASON » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:36 am

There's an advancing group called RepairCafe', (https://repaircafe.org/en/) for just this reason. Teach other people how to do their own troubleshooting and repairs.

I work with one around Cary/Raleigh, NC. (https://repaircafenc.org/) Pretty cool group of dudes & dudettes; lamps, vacuums, electronics, clocks, jewelry, furniture. Wide range of people too. A couple of us are hams, there are some computer programmers & IT folks, just an overall good mix.

Our last 2 'meetings' have been via Zoom because of COVID-19; set up with 'panelists' - the experienced - and 'attendees' - people with projects.

Other wins? I have lost count of the number of times I've fixed stuff around the house that would have cost big bucks. Temp sensor on the clothes drier, icemakers in fridges, microwave control boards, the headlight on our Kenmore vacuum. I'm pretty handy to keep around.

Something my FIL taught me - (he was a Chem. Engr) - whenever you do plumbing work put in a shutoff valve so you can isolate a problem section but keep the rest of the house running. Nothin' cramps your house's style like having water off for the kitchen too when you just need to replace a toilet connection at the other end of the house.

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:41 am

I'm on well water and noticed one evening that the water pump had been running constantly for longer than usual. Went down to the basement and found water pouring from my electric water heater. RIpped off the insulating jacket and discovered a badly corroded component hanging loose from a threaded opening halfway up from the bottom. I know nothing about water heaters but knew enough to shut off the water supply valves and flipped the circuit breaker.

Disconnected the electrical wires from said badly corroded component and contemplated what I later learned (via the internet) was the electric heater element. A couple of Youtube videos later and I ordered a likely looking replacement from Home Depot, along with a heater element wrench (oversized socket). While waiting several days for it to arrive, I made my mock long term post-SHTF bug-in exercise even more realistic by taking sponge baths using water heated from the stove.

The replacement element turned out to be slightly longer than the original, but I correctly guessed the base diameter and threading had to be fairly standardized. My only confusion was I hadn't noted which colored wire goes to which contact. Using my dimly remembered 6th grade knowledge of electricity, I decided since this was a simple resistance element, it should not matter which direction the electrons flow. Everything installed without a hitch and aside from taking it a while to build pressure in the hot water line, worked perfectly.

Sorry for the overly dramatic description, but to have hot water, lose it during cold New England weather and then get it back again without outside assistance* was a huge win for me. That first hot shower following 6 days of sponge baths was a near religious experience.

*Well, aside from functioning electrical service, the internet, operating parts distribution channels and free home delivery, this was just like a post-SHTF bug in scenario. :clownshoes:

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by NT2C » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:04 am

majorhavoc wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:41 am
I'm on well water and noticed one evening that the water pump had been running constantly for longer than usual. Went down to the basement and found water pouring from my electric water heater. RIpped off the insulating jacket and discovered a badly corroded component hanging loose from a threaded opening halfway up from the bottom. I know nothing about water heaters but knew enough to shut off the water supply valves and flipped the circuit breaker.

Disconnected the electrical wires from said badly corroded component and contemplated what I later learned (via the internet) was the electric heater element. A couple of Youtube videos later and I ordered a likely looking replacement from Home Depot, along with a heater element wrench (oversized socket). While waiting several days for it to arrive, I made my mock long term post-SHTF bug-in exercise even more realistic by taking sponge baths using water heated from the stove.

The replacement element turned out to be slightly longer than the original, but I correctly guessed the base diameter and threading had to be fairly standardized. My only confusion was I hadn't noted which colored wire goes to which contact. Using my dimly remembered 6th grade knowledge of electricity, I decided since this was a simple resistance element, it should not matter which direction the electrons flow. Everything installed without a hitch and aside from taking it a while to build pressure in the hot water line, worked perfectly.

Sorry for the overly dramatic description, but to have hot water, lose it during cold New England weather and then get it back again without outside assistance* was a huge win for me. That first hot shower following 6 days of sponge baths was a near religious experience.

*Well, aside from functioning electrical service, the internet, operating parts distribution channels and free home delivery, this was just like a post-SHTF bug in scenario. :clownshoes:
Water heaters generally have two elements and a sacrificial anode. If you had one element fail the other isn't far behind, the tank itself may be getting close, and the sacrificial anode may be gone. If you want to try saving the unit I'd suggest replacing the upper element (if yours has one, most do but not all), the anode, and taking steps to isolate the unit from stray electric currents and galvanic action. That would be done by ensuring the inlet and outlet nipples on the tank are the dielectric type and also bonding the supply line with the outlet line (assuming they are metal) using proper clamps and a heavy gauge (at least 10 gauge) copper wire (kit) connecting the two like so:

Image

(heater in my mother-in-law's house that I properly connected while rewiring the place in '07)
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:44 am

NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:04 am
<Beaucoup additional information>
Thank you; that's super helpful. I did learn about the two separate heater elements and sacrificial anode from the YT videos I watched. What I actually bought was a HW tune up kit that includes two new heating elements and replacement upper and lower thermostats. All I replaced was the upper heating element; I've got the other parts in reserve.

You've convinced me to look into replacing the anode (and while I'm at it, the second heating element). And investigating the inlet/outlet nipples. We all like to think we're tough as nails in dealing with hardship during a crisis. But seriously, it's still plenty cold here in Maine (we had snow twice during my hot water outage) and I found almost a week of lukewarm sponge baths to seriously suck. I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if this had occurred in January or February. :ohdear:

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by NT2C » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:26 am

majorhavoc wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:44 am
NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:04 am
<Beaucoup additional information>
Thank you; that's super helpful. I did learn about the two separate heater elements and sacrificial anode from the YT videos I watched. What I actually bought was a HW tune up kit that includes two new heating elements and replacement upper and lower thermostats. All I replaced was the upper heating element; I've got the other parts in reserve.

You've convinced me to look into replacing the anode (and while I'm at it, the second heating element). And investigating the inlet/outlet nipples. We all like to think we're tough as nails in dealing with hardship during a crisis. But seriously, it's still plenty cold here in Maine (we had snow twice during my hot water outage) and I found almost a week of lukewarm sponge baths to seriously suck. I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if this had occurred in January or February. :ohdear:
Hopefully, the tank isn't compromised. Usually the bottom rots out about the same time as the elements so you might want to hang on to that stimulus money for a possible replacement.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by majorhavoc » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:34 am

If a new anode buys me another year or two it'll be worth it. Honestly at this point during the shelter in, I'm looking for projects with a high glory ratio (low effort/high payoff). Thanks again. As always, ZS is a veritable font of good information. :awesome:

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:20 pm

I think this is less of a repair win and more of a "why the hell not" sort of thing. Also, I was bored and wanted to see if it'd work.

I've got a Kershaw knife (not sure on the exact model since it came in a multi pack from Walmart during their holiday sales) and the pivot pin screw stripped out on me awhile back. So previously I had filed a notch into the borked screw and left it as such. It worked and I left it like that.

Cut to today when I was going through some leftover screws and found a bolt that looked like it should function as a replacement pivot pin. It fits, but man it look like crap.

The knife functions just like it would with the factory pivot pin, but with a bolt and nut instead. It's fugly, but functional. :lol:

ETA: Knife has now gone from fugly, but functional to kind of normal looking and functional. I found a hex head screw that fit the original pivot pin really closely, so I got rid of the bolt and nut combo and reinstalled the original pivot pin with the new screw.

I needed a small washer to make everything line up correctly, but other than that everything is back to normal with it. It's also a lot better looking cosmetically. The new hex head screw sticks out slightly, but way less than the bolt and nut deal I had originally used.

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by eugene » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:47 pm

Bought a pair of used bike wheels/tires matching my bike for cheap. They appear to have been left outside as they were quite rusty. Disassembling and putting the parts in my reloading brass tumbler cleaned them up to like new. New use of existing prep gear/tools to save some $ to have a spare wheel set which will also be used on a roller trainer when I can't get out.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by majorhavoc » Sun May 03, 2020 7:31 pm

NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:26 am
majorhavoc wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:44 am
NT2C wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:04 am
<Beaucoup additional information>
Thank you; that's super helpful. I did learn about the two separate heater elements and sacrificial anode from the YT videos I watched. What I actually bought was a HW tune up kit that includes two new heating elements and replacement upper and lower thermostats. All I replaced was the upper heating element; I've got the other parts in reserve.

You've convinced me to look into replacing the anode (and while I'm at it, the second heating element). And investigating the inlet/outlet nipples. We all like to think we're tough as nails in dealing with hardship during a crisis. But seriously, it's still plenty cold here in Maine (we had snow twice during my hot water outage) and I found almost a week of lukewarm sponge baths to seriously suck. I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if this had occurred in January or February. :ohdear:
Hopefully, the tank isn't compromised. Usually the bottom rots out about the same time as the elements so you might want to hang on to that stimulus money for a possible replacement.
Hey NT2C, just wanted to thank you again for all your knowledge and insight re: water heaters.

Per your suggestion, I replaced the sacrificial anode today. Until your post, I didn't even know that they existed in water heaters. The replacement job was considerably more difficult than the YT videos make it out to be. First of all, accessing the anode wasn't a simple matter of prying off a plastic cap, but rather it was underneath a metal knock out plug; confirmation that the anode had never been replaced. And it didn't want to unscrew, even using the 18" cheater bar I bought a few years back. That cheater bar has never worked for me; it's never defeated a seized fastener no matter how much I crank on it. The 1/2" drive Chicago Electric (Harbor Freight's bottom rung corded electric tool line) electric impact wrench, on the other hand, blasted that sucker out. I think I paid something like $35 for that tool and need it maybe once every two years when nothing else works. It pays for itself every time. Just throwing that out there for others as a useful option if you don't have an air compressor to run a proper pneumatic impact wrench.

The anode was ... well, it was completely gone. It consisted of the 1 and 1/16" cap screw and maybe an inch and a half of rusted metal. Which is to say your prediction that my water heater isn't long for the world is probably correct. As I said before, if this long-overdue anode replacement buys me another year it'll be worth it. At least now I know that water heaters have an anode and it needs to be replaced every 4 or 5 years. And now I know how to do it.

By the way, I had to buy the segmented type of anode because there wasn't nearly enough clearance above my water heater to insert a solid anode. Again, thanks for the input; it's been an education.
Last edited by majorhavoc on Sun May 03, 2020 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by Halfapint » Sun May 03, 2020 8:15 pm

Just took my dads Stihl 029 apart Because it wasn’t working as well as it should. Never taken a saw apart down to just the motor. Got everything cleaned up, and out back together in a day. Go to start it and this saw was usually a 5-6 pull with full choke on. Now it’s a 1 pull start.

Put a new muffler on and ported it so it’s basucally straight exhaust and she runs better than new! I think my dad bought it brand new in 1987. He used it up to about a month before he died. I can’t count how many hundreds if not thousands of cords this saw has cut.

Hopefully I’ll have it and pass it onto my kids.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by NT2C » Sun May 03, 2020 9:02 pm

majorhavoc wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 7:31 pm
By the way, I had to buy the segmented type of anode because there wasn't nearly enough clearance above my water heater to insert a solid anode. Again, thanks for the input; it's been an education.
No problem. We all learn new things every day. Some days we get to teach them too. :wink:
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by eugene » Mon May 11, 2020 10:51 am

$30 repair kit for our dryer so we didn't have to call someone or replace it. Took maybe two hours to disassemble and reassemble after replacing all the rollers and belt.
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by Halfapint » Mon May 11, 2020 10:24 pm

Picked up a Trager 2 days ago because it “heated inconsistently an couldn’t start by itself.

Got it home and realized the lady NEVER cleaned it, 3 inches of shit in the burn box. And probably 2” of crap on the bottom of the rest of the barrel.

Chipped out the crap in the firebox, set the fugger to 450 or whatever the highest setting is and let it burn for 3 hours. Next morning sucked it al out with the vacuum and good to go!
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Re: Repair Wins

Post by lailr » Wed May 20, 2020 3:15 pm

Deck totally FUBAR on my John Deere LA115........


New Deck $600, mower isn't worth that......

Scrounged up an old rusted deck that was very similar from a much older, John Deere, out of a lawnmower junkyard for $25.

Fabricated two metal connection arms, sanded, painted, new blades, success! It would throw a belt after about 40 minutes, but I've been working my way down to smaller, and smaller belts, and have mowed three times on this one, so I may have it dialed in finally

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Re: Repair Wins

Post by Halfapint » Wed May 20, 2020 3:31 pm

Wife’s moms pressure washer wouldn’t start. Drained gas and noticed that that was a line at the bottom of the jar, water.

Ran denatured alcohol through the tank and drained. New gas in and still nothing. Took carb apart cleaned it in the ultrasonic cleaner dried it over our wood stove, reinstalled, still nothing. Took spark plug off cleaned it, up pulled it with spark plug off to clear cylinder, reinstalled and it tried to start.

Didn’t have any engine start so used propane directly into carb and she started right up. Ran it for a minute with propane going in and she kept running. Let it run for 5 minutes then stopped it, starts on first pull now.
JeeperCreeper wrote:I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
Spazzy wrote:Tell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...

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