There are still a number of older cars on the road that don’t have LED headlights. Before the LED Headlight craze we had HID (high intensity discharge) projector style lights, and before that halogen lights and even before that incandescent type lighting. It is amazing how far lighting technology has come in just the last 20 years increasing visibility and safety while we are on the road.
My son is a new driver and he was luck enough to be gifted a 1991 Toyota Camry. The car is in great condition for being 30 years old, and runs and drives like it was new! Wanting to make sure he is as safe as he can be in his ride, I decided to make a few upgrades. New dash camera, new radio with Bluetooth, and finally new LED headlights to replace the old halogen bulbs.
Picking a replacement bulb
The Toyota Camry was originally equipped with the standard dual filament 9004 type halogen bulbs. They still make replacement halogen bulbs and modern 9004 bulbs are quite bright. Here we have a direct replacement Philips bulb pair for $33.00 at Amazon
If you want to take your lighting one step further consider installing a direct fit 9004 LED Headlight replacement. The LED Headlights will connect to the existing wiring and should snap right into the same socket as the old bulb.
World War II ended 76 years ago, and at this point there are not many surviving service men and woman around to tell the tales of the time. I believe we need to preserve the stories of the past to enlighten future generations to insure history will never repeat itself. When I came across this Battleship lantern from the mid 1940’s at my local Goodwill, I felt it needed to be restored and preserved to tell its story for many more years.
I purchased the light for $20 from the Goodwill, which I felt was a bit overpriced for its condition. However hopefully some of my purchase price is going to a good cause. Researching a 76 year old flashlight proved to be more difficult than you would expect. According to Google, the 5293-L Lantern was attached to the US Navy Battleships and according to the letter that came with the lantern it was also used on cargo and merchant ships.
There's noting more aggravating than having a fairly new appliance (that is out of warranty) quit working. However there's nothing more satisfying than fixing it yourself and saving $200+ on a service call. I have a 5 year old Frigidaire washer / dryer combo unit and recently the dryer stopped getting hot. The unit continued to spin /tumble, however no heat. The dryer is gas and giving it a good listen there was no attempt to even light the flame. It was time to take the dryer apart!
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
Some type of screw gun or drill with a Phillips bit set. I personally like this Makita, but never the less a cordless drill or screw gun would be helpful.
We need to test some of the parts. Any digital multi-meter with an ohms / continuity scale will work just fine. They are very inexpensive $25 at Amazon
Time to take the unit apart
I am going to describe to the best of my ability how to take this dryer apart, however there are some great YouTube videos that explain it better than I can. I still recommend you read my description as I will tell you what my personal experience was during the process.
First disconnect the power
Shut off the gas line I did not disconnect mine, but it might be a good idea to do so.
Shut off the water lines Again, I left mine attached, but it might be a good idea to disconnect
Remove the drain hose from the sink or stand pipe
Guess what, I left mine connected.
Remove the dryer vent (use the stubby screwdriver)
Now locate the dryer motor access cover and remove the two screws that are holding it to the dryer. You should see the motor, belt and belt tensioner. If you have never done this before take a quick picture of how the belt is set around the motor
Push the tensioner to the left, this will give the belt some slack and allow you to remove it from the motor
There are 4 screws on the rear of the unit (RED ARROWS) remove them (it will make life a bit easier later.
Work your way to the front of the unit. There are two screws holding a white trim cover on - (YELLOW ARROWS) remove them and set the cover aside
Under the trim cover remove the two screws that hold the control panel on, (BLUE) arrows. Then push down on the control panel to remove. *** IMPORTANT *** Disconnect the dryer door switch.
Next there are two screws directly below the screws you just removed. They are holding a silver plate on. Just take the top two out. No need to remove the entire silver plate.
WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE DOOR OFF
Two more additional screws hold the bottom of the door on. remove them.
Next work your way to the top front of the dryer. 4 screws need to be removed. Now the door can come off! Get some help. The DOOR IS HEAVY!
Ok we're in!
There is a little black piece of rubber in the top center of the dryer. Its called a drum stop and needs to be removed.
Now the entire drum needs to come out. You could use a helper with this step. The drum sits in a bearing at the back of the dryer wall. Its like a ball and socket. Lift up on the back of the drum to remove the ball from the socket. (this may take a little bit of effort.)
Slide the drum out (don't catch the belt on anything!
WHAT PARTS TO TEST
This is what the inside of the dryer looks like with the drum removed. Kind of simple, don't you think?
Lets get to testing, all the way in the back on top (RED ARROWS) are two thermal fuses. This is the most common part to die. Start w/ one of the fuses and remove one wire. Then check across the fuse (both legs) with your multi-tester set to continuity. A BEEP = GOOD!
The first part I tested was bad! Thermal limiter 137032600, I believe they sell everything at Amazon and was able to pick this one up for $20
Moving down the line, be sure to test the flame sensor as well (Aqua Arrow) same procedure here, pull one of the wires off and check for continuity.
The yellow arrow points to the leads for the igniter. Use the OHMs setting on the meter to see if there is any resistance. If is shows OPEN (or infinity) its bad.
Same goes for the gas valves, check for resistance.
The reason my dryer failed was because of lint buildup. Over the years lint collected behind the drum and it looked burnt. There was lint in the door, the sides the exhaust fan, pretty much everywhere. Use a vacuum to clean the entire dryer before you put it back together. don't forget the back of the drum.
A couple of closing thoughts
DON'T MOVE THE DRYER AROUND WHILE ITS APART! The sheet metal is so thin it will bend.
The door was hard to get back on because my dryers sheet metal shifted a bit.
The BELT GOES GROOVED SIDE DOWN. While you are in there you may want to order a replacement belt.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!