Molykote
Topic Author
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 4:22 pm

I am about due to replace the (non-interference) timing belt on my Mazda MX-5. I've never replaced a timing belt on a car before (most of my experience was with German cars that used chains).

I do my own work often times because I enjoy it and my work schedule affords the time. I'm by no means an expert mechanic (by profession or hobby) but I seem to have better results myself that either with a dealer or independent shops. I'm not against going to a dealer or independent shop but I am disappointed with the work more often than not.

I recently bought a used Lexus with 65k that had been to the dealer for everything down to wiper blades. As I knew all these records existed in the computer system I had the local dealer's service department fax the service info to my office. The woman introducing herself as a service manager faxed me the records and then suggested that I bring in my ES300 for a *rear differential* fluid change  irked   banghead . (For those unfamiliar with the vehicle, the ES300 is just a Toyota Camry with a few minor additions). I gave the woman on the phone multiple opportunities to acknowledge this "mistake" assuming that perhaps she had based her suggestion on the GS/IS/LS service schedule (which being rear drive would actually *have* a rear differential). After confirming that "You are suggesting that I should have you change the rear differential fluid on my front wheel drive ES300?" I thanked the woman for the service records and ended the phone call. I had to assume that the dealer was at best dishonest and at worst incompetent.

Without going into further details (unless requested) I've had even worse (and repeated) experience with the BMW dealer.

I was thinking about some jobs that I have done both routinely and exceptionally. Some of these are barely jobs but since I was making a list I added them for completeness (although I am sure I am forgetting some things).

Oil Changes
Engine Air Filters
Cabin Air Filters
PCV Valves
Brake Bleed/Fluid
Clutch Bleed/Fluid
Clutch Slave Cylinder
Brake Rotors
Brake Caliper Rebuild
Brake Lines
Brake Master Cylinder
ECUs (I almost called this an EEC. Time to get away from work for a bit.)
Pneumatic Shift Actuator (FSAE car)
Shocks
Springs
Suspension Bushings
Control Arms
Radiators
Coolant Flush/Replacement
Thermostat
Water Pumps
Timing Belts
Intake Manifolds
O2 Sensors
Exhaust/Muffler
Window Regulators
Light Assemblies (interior/exterior)
Accessory Belts
Various External Trim Pieces (Damn BMWs)
Alternators
Hoses
Electrical Harnesses
Door Panels/Interior Trim
Batteries
Wipers
Door Handles/Locks
Transmission Fluid Changes
Gear Oil Changes
Rear Differential Fluid Changes
Engine Teardowns (FSAE car)
Transmission Teardowns (FSAE car)
Spark Plugs
Plug Wires
Ignition Coil Packs

I wouldn't say I have a wealth of experience but I'm curious as to how my list compares to the norm. Share your own...
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
UTA_flyinghigh
Posts: 6304
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:46 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 4:27 pm

I just changed the deodorizer hanging from the rearview mirror.
Took me about a couple of hours to do the job.

UTA  checkeredflag 
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
itsjustme
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:58 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 4:36 pm

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 1):
I just changed the deodorizer hanging from the rearview mirror.
Took me about a couple of hours to do the job.

Pine Tree or New Car smell?
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 4:42 pm

Quoting Molykote (Thread starter):
Auto Work You've Done Yourself

I fuel it up by myself, but only because there are no full-service stations here in Germany.  Wink

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
UTA_flyinghigh
Posts: 6304
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:46 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 4:44 pm

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 2):
Pine Tree or New Car smell?

None, Wild Madagascar Vanilla  Smile

UTA  checkeredflag 
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
MrChips
Posts: 933
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:56 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 5:01 pm

Quoting Molykote (Thread starter):

I wouldn't say I have a wealth of experience but I'm curious as to how my list compares to the norm. Share your own...

For 6 years, I owned a couple of old Volkswagens...

...meaning I rebuilt both of them several times over.

In addition to wear items and consumables (filters, belts, spark plugs and fluids)This is what I have done thusfar:

'87 Cabriolet

Heater Core
Power steering pump
Rear brake drum -> disc conversion
Front + rear brake pads and rotors
Front + rear shocks + springs
Completely rebuilt right front suspension stemming from hitting a curb at 50 km/h
Rebuilt all 4 CV joints (a royal pain in the a$$)
Tie rod boots
3 fuel injectors
New camshaft + 2 hydraulic lifters
Replaced both fuel pumps + fuel accumulator (For those of you who want to experience a new level of terror, get a car with Bosch CIS fuel injection)
Replaced clutch and cable + rebuilt shift linkage (A surprisingly simple job)
Entire exhaust system
Lots of rust removal and general bodywork

Got the car free, sold for $4000.

'89 A2 GTI

Rear drum ->disc conversion
Added Corrado front brakes
1.8T engine swap and 02A manual transmission, plus making a hybrid wiring harness
New high-flow exhaust system
Changed three coilpacks
Competition FK suspension front + rear
New rims
Minor bodywork (filling in dings and fixing scratches)
Removing extra weight from interior (basically, everything other than the dash and front seats), relocating the battery to the trunk - this removed almost 200 lb. from the curb weight.

Got the car for $2000, sold it to a friend (who still owns it and autocrosses regularly) for almost $6500.

'89 Merc 560 SEC

New rear struts - and thank God that's it so far - one rear strut cost as much as all 4 FK coilovers for the GTI.

The only thing I didn't do to any of the cars was to the GTI - I had a VW performance shop re-flash the ECU of the new engine - something that requires special equipment and very detailed knowledge of engine mapping (neither of which I have).

[Edited 2006-05-16 10:09:19]
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
willo
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:21 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 5:03 pm

I've just changed the front brake discs and pads on my Brava. Other than oil/filter/plug changes there isn't much one can do on an engine these days without specialist tooling.

I also recently had to do the rear drums and shoes on my Punto, as my local "independent" garage f**c**d the self-adjusters (to get the car through its annual MOT check) which caused the shoes to suddenly come away from their anchor positions and just hang loose in the drum. Luckily, I had only driven about 50 yards from home when it happened.  Angry
 
oly720man
Posts: 5740
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 5:25 pm

At various times on VW Beetle, Golf Scirocco and Renault Megane.... and most of the battle is having the right parts...

Brakes, disks/drums, plugs, oil, filters (usual stuff)
shock absorbers (Beetle, Scirocco, Golf)
cv joints (all cars at some stage)
O2 sensor (Meg)
power steering pump (Meg)
timing belts (Scirocco, Megane (2 now))
Throttle housing (Megane) Expensive part and it was only the pot that had gone.

Had to have someone else do the cylinder head gasket on the Megane recently. At least they gave me a courtesy car.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
KevinL1011
Posts: 2858
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:48 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 6:27 pm

Impressive list, however replacing an air filter on an ES300 is cake compared to a Chevy Venture. Try changing the battery on a 2000 Chrysler Sebring. Try replacing the windshield washer bottle on a 2001+ Chevy Silverado. Your MX5 for instance. Try replacing the alternator. Sure it unbolts easy enough, but then there's not enough room to get it out.

Let's take a look at your list of performed repairs and rate some of the operations on a difficulty scale of "Man" or "Pussy" dependent on the car you're working on:

Brake Bleed/Fluid. MAN: 1991 Regal w/ABS. PUSSY: 1991 Civic
Clutch Bleed/Fluid. MAN: 2001 Camaro. PUSSY: Any Toyota
Clutch Slave Cylinder. MAN: Ford Ranger4x4. PUSSY: Celica
Brake Rotors. MAN: 1991Accord. PUSSY: Any FWD G.M. car
Brake Caliper Rebuild. MAN: Corvette. PUSSY: Cavalier.
Brake Master Cylinder. MAN: Astro w/hydro-boost. PUSSY: 90's Accord.
ECUs. "ECU" is GM of the 80's, "EEC" is Ford. Chrysler calls it "PCM". GM now has ECM,BCM,IPCM, dependent on function.
Shocks. MAN: Rear Audi Quattro. PUSSY: Any GM Truck.
Control Arms. MAN: 2wd 4-Runner.PUSSY: Any 2wd GM Truck.
Radiators. MAN: Dodge Intrepid. PUSSY: 93 Civic.
Coolant Flush/Replacement. MAN: 1993 Grand Cherokee. PUSSY: Civic.
Thermostat. MAN: 2000 Intrepid. PUSSY: 1990's Chev Truck
Water Pumps. MAN: 1994 Calais 2.4L PUSSY: Caravan 3.3L
Timing Belts. MAN: Lumina Z-24 PUSSY: 90's Civic.
Intake Manifolds. MAN: Q45 PUSSY: Mustang 3.8L
O2 Sensors. MAN: Explorer. PUSSY: Civic
Window Regulators. MAN: Saturn. PUSSY: Maxima
Accessory Belts. MAN: Contour. PUSSY: Any G.M.Truck
Alternators. MAN: V6 Contour. PUSSY: Any GM Truck
Electrical HarnessesMAN: Caravan B+ battery cable. PUSSY: Ford Truck B+ Cable
Spark Plugs. MAN: V-10 Econoline. PUSSY: BAFDT  
Plug Wires. MAN: Chevy Venture PUSSY:. Toyota 4-cyl.
Ignition Coil Packs. MAN: 1991 Lumina 3.1L. PUSSY: Lumina 3.8L

So....Are you a MAN or PUSSY ?
If you can do the T-Belt on an MX5, That qualifies you as a Man.
Only your vehicle knows for sure.   

[Edited 2006-05-16 11:36:55]
474218, Carl, You will be missed.
 
Molykote
Topic Author
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 7:47 pm

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 8):
Impressive list, however replacing an air filter on an ES300 is cake compared to a Chevy Venture. Try changing the battery on a 2000 Chrysler Sebring. Try replacing the windshield washer bottle on a 2001+ Chevy Silverado. Your MX5 for instance. Try replacing the alternator. Sure it unbolts easy enough, but then there's not enough room to get it out.

I've started to just remove parts rather than weasel into a place that my body isn't welcome (radiator in this MX-5 alternator case). At least Lucas didn't make the alternator  bigthumbsup  - else I'd install quick disconnects on my radiator/coolant lines.

Since you appear to be quite experienced with cars you might enjoy this:
http://www.hummingbirds.net/lucas/index.html
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
bill142
Posts: 7853
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 7:58 pm

Nothing on my new car. Will leave that one for the professionals. But on my old car, I installed my own CD player, changed the brakes, replaced perished fuel lines, minor panel beating, change the rocker cover, changed the crank angle sensor.
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7174
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 9:51 pm

On my grand am all i've done was oil every 3k, then brakes and a tire rotation, Also did plugs,wires air cleaner and did a coolant flush.

On my 3.1 Lumina i've dont radiator and water pump. oil soon.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 10:14 pm

Check Oil, Transmission, Windshield Washer, fill it with diesel.

Otherwise, it goes to the shop . . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
bristolflyer
Posts: 2103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 1:35 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 10:28 pm

Built a kit car (Caterham Seven).

On a Land Rover 90 I used to own:
Did an engine conversion (from 3.5l V8 to 2.8l Isuzu TD)
Replaced brakes
Wheel bearings
Axles
Drive shafts
Seats
Chassis members
Just about everything on the car got replaced at some stage...

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 10:31 pm

ANCFlyer - diriving a Ford, I bet you have done lots of auto work yourself.  duck 
 
LHMark
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 10:32 pm

I dented my own fender by sitting on it.

Signed, KROC
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 10:35 pm

Quoting KROC (Reply 14):
ANCFlyer - diriving a Ford, I bet you have done lots of auto work yourself.

 no  no  no  You have me confused the drivers of Dodge POS Pickups . . . I don't even know why they're considered real trucks . . .  duck 

Here's a little sumthing for you KROC my friend . . .

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/csmpep/icon_fU.gif
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 11:38 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 17):
Here's a little sumthing for you KROC my friend . . .

Lol. Easy there Hartman. I'm a Ford guy myself...even though I currently roll a Pontiac. Just breakin balls.  mischievous 
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 11:45 pm

Only some work: New headers, redid the entire intake (including manifold), installed lowering springs (took 12 hours), installed a chip in my computer to free up some more HP...
Go big or go home
 
A332
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:58 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Tue May 16, 2006 11:55 pm

I've done all sorts of mechanical repairs on vehicles over the years, especially back when I was poor and I had no choice but to do it myself...

I have completed repairs ranging from whole engine/transmission swaps to alternators, brakes, suspension, minor/major tuneups... etc... not much I have not had experience in repairing on a car!

Now that I have newer vehicles under warranty, I let the shop do it all!  Wink
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 12:19 am

I threw some ducktape on the frame ERRRRRRRRRR sole of my Converse All-Star...but thats it.

Signed, LHMark
 
EWS
Posts: 3369
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:41 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 12:20 am

I changed a window wiper once!

Lew  laughing 
 
dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:17 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 12:23 am

Quoting Molykote (Thread starter):
Auto Work You've Done Yourself

emptied the ashtray
Filled the washer fluid
put air in the tires (tyres)
filled the gas tank
oh,

I've also changed a tire (tyre)!
Compare New York Air, the Airline that works for your Business
 
Molykote
Topic Author
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 3:01 am

Quoting KROC (Reply 14):
ANCFlyer - diriving a Ford, I bet you have done lots of auto work yourself.

Fixed
Or
Rebuilt
Daily

And to show that I'm an equal opportunity basher....

Italian
Retard
Out
Cruisin'

Bring
More
Wwallet

Quoting AA61Hvy (Reply 18):
Only some work: New headers, redid the entire intake (including manifold), installed lowering springs (took 12 hours), installed a chip in my computer to free up some more HP...

What type of car?
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 9:21 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 3:51 am

Quoting Molykote (Reply 23):
What type of car?

99 Mustang...I'm about to get rid of it in the next month or so...
Go big or go home
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Auto Work You've Done Yourself

Wed May 17, 2006 6:25 am

I love to work on other people's cars, especially when they drive upper class limos.

Signed,

LOT767-300ER
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!

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