I love cars, to me they are not just a functional piece of everyday life but more a work of art. Even the ugliest car had to be designed by someone who thought it was a good idea at the time. My kids are getting older and my youngest is learning to drive. We were fortunate to have a 1991 Toyota Camry dropped into our lap. A 30 year old “beater” that runs and drives and is in surprisingly good condition. The only problem is it has 30 year old paint, that has apparently never been waxed or polished. The goal is to do a paint correction that would give the car a great look from 10ft away (lol)
Old radio enthusiast please don’t send me hate mail after reading this blog. I know many of you will frown on what I have done to this 80+ year old radio. I promise you this Zenith will get tons more use in its current condition rather than in original form.
The project consisted of gutting the original electronics from the radio and replacing them with newer more modern tech. Resulting in a working radio that still has the spirit of the original.
Parts List – Hardware
An older Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – I don’t recommend you go out and purchase a surface for this project. Re-purposing and old laptop, or tablet is ideal to keep the cost down. I’m sure you could even use a Raspberry Pi with an external display. I just happened to have an old Surface that needed a new job. Continue reading “1940’s Zenith Radio Restomod”
Covid19 has pretty much left me trapped in the house over the last few months. Needing to keep busy I started to clean out the basement, selling some stuff on Ebay while tossing the rest out in the trash. I did come across this Everedy Gear Top Bottle Capper under a table gathering dust and rust and decided it would be a good restoration project. Restoration would be very easy as there are only a few parts and the capper was simple to take apart.
Tools you can use
Since the bottle capper is made of cast iron and had some serious rust, I decided to go with a wire brush to remove the dirt and prep the surface for paint.
Wire wheel brush set – About $9 at amazon
If you have been to my site before you know that I’m a DIY type of guy and that includes taking care of my cars. I have been hand washing and waxing my cars since I was 17 years old. Car care technology has changed over the last 30 years and I’m always looking for the next big thing to try on my vehicle. Lately there has been lots of talk about Ceramic Coating your car for the ultimate shine and protection.
I did a ton of research into different types of Ceramic Coatings and most of them have proven to be very expensive, and they come in small bottles so you could possibly need two to complete your car. Also, if you put too much on your paint could develop high spots and it could wind up worse than when you started.
Turtle wax 53409 hybrid solutions ceramic coating
We all rely on the 12 volt auxiliary power outlet (formerly know as the cigarette lighter) in our cars. They charge our phones, power our GPS, run our kids video games. When the power goes out it can really be frustrating. Most of the time these auxiliary power outlets are easy to fix and get back into service quickly and easily.
Sometimes its as simple as a fuse
The car auxiliary power outlet was designed in the early 1900’s for lighting cigarettes in automobiles and though we have a profound new view on smoking the outlet itself has not changed much since then. The shape of the outlet opens itself up to issues simply because small metal objects can become lodged in the socket causing short circuits. In all honesty, there have been quite a few times I had a penny fall into the auxiliary power outlet and caused a blown fuse.
In the case of my 2014 Dodge Charger I’m not exactly what caused the fuse to blow, but its a simple fix none the less.
Parts you will need
If you have read my blog before you would know that I’m a DIY kind of guy. I love to fix anything and everything including my own cars. Since the mid 90’s car computers and systems have become increasingly complex. Though it would be quite simple for most modern cars to display any errors and trouble codes on their numerous screens, the manufactures still love to light the check engine light! This is where the BlueDriver comes into play. The BlueDriver can help you scan your cars computer and not only read the trouble codes, but it also suggests common fixes for your issue.
A little history – Why the BlueDriver exists(or scan tools in general)
In the 1990’s the world was becoming more aware to the global warming crisis and how automobiles were contributing to the problem. Governments were trying to help by passing more stringent emissions standards. The problem was how could we insure the new emissions systems were properly working? The solution came in 1996 with the ODBII system On-Bard Diagnostic System 2. Prior to 1996 there were other more rudimentary systems, but ODBII was the standard for them all and still the standard today.
When an emissions fault was detected by the ODBII system it would light the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) also know as the check engine light. You would then take the car to your local dealer and they would use a scan tool to pull the error code to diagnose the malfunction. At first in the 90’s all cars had the same codes to diagnose emission issues, however as time went on manufactures started to add manufacture specific codes which required a manufacture specific scan tool.
The ODBII system grew into a robust diagnostic system that could not only report on your emission system, but also provide a wealth of information from live real time engine data to errors in baking systems, cooling systems, electrical issues, and so much more. Continue reading “BlueDriver is the best weekend mechanic scan tool for your car!”
Washing machines are just like any other durable good we buy for our home, eventually they will wear out and break down. Once this occurs we have three choices. 1. Replace the Washing Machine with new, 2. Call the repair man or 3. Just fix it yourself. According to an article I read in Consumer Reports once the machine hits 5 years you may consider tossing it for new, and at 10 years its a dead man walking. Mine had a leaky pump.
I currently have a Maytag MAV4755AWW that is around 15 years old, during a recent load of laundry water began leaking from the bottom of the machine. Was this the beginning of the end for my reliable Maytag washer? After a quick inspection it appeared that the leak was coming from the washer pump.
The big question is it worth while to replace the pump or simply replace the washing machine. In this case the pump is under $50 so well worth the time it takes to do this DIY repair!
If you have read my blog in the past you would know that I picked up my first classic car about six months ago. A 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS! So far it has been a blast to drive and I have been enjoying it every chance I get. However through the month of November I was away for a couple weekends and the weather was poor for the rest so my SS went unused for about 6 weeks. Finally in mid December I had an opportunity to take the car out only to find the battery was drained and not enough juice left to turn her over. After talking to a few friends that also own classics they recommended I keep the battery topped off with a Battery Tender!
What is a battery tender and why do I need one?
There are a number of devices that can assist you with tending to your battery and starting your car. Continue reading “Choosing A Battery Tender For Your Classic Car”
My 2014 Dodge Charger threw a check engine light last week while my wife was driving home from work. After a brief read from my scan tool it was revealed that the error code is was P0128. Most likely culprit, the thermostat!
What is a P0128 error code?
The official meaning for the P0128 error code is “Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature” In plain English the car is basically saying that after a predetermined amount of time the coolant temperature has not come up to normal operating temperature. In other words the car is to cold! Modern fuel injected engines like to run at their specified operating temperature, and in the short term this is mainly a nuisance check-engine light, in the long run it could damage you engine and should be addressed. Continue reading “2014 – Dodge Charger – How To Fix P0128 Error Code”
In my previous post I went though the procedure to change out my Monte Carlo SS blower motor resistor Unfortunately that did not fix the issue and I moved on to the next component in the circuit. The blower motor relay. Again this is an inexpensive part and is worth the investment to repair my classic car.
I have to say that I now believe that Amazon carries everything or at least put you in contact with a vendor that has what you need.
Here is a link to the RY20 relay from Standard Motor Products that is an exact replacement to the existing relay. Under $14.00 at Amazon!