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Thread: They say things come in threes..

  1. #1
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    They say things come in threes..

    First the blasted oven dies.. Cold dinner. Managed to fix it with a little unorthodox rewiring. Then it's on to the oh so critical AC unit (heat index is 113F here today). Compressor making a lovely light-dimming buzzing "I'm never going to spin up again" sound. Argg. After bashing it with a hammer a few times to try and get it un-siezed, I gave in. Got a new one installed before we all melted luckily. Then of course, the wife has been running her bras in the dryer. One of those underwires works its way out and scoops up the heating element behind the back wall of the drum. Dryer screeches to a horrific halt as the heating element gets wound onto the axle. New heating elements for my dryer. Lucky we didn't have a fire I guess... Now it's on to the fridge.. The fan motor down under the unit that blows air over the condenser coils seizes up and makes that lovely burnt motor smell.. Gonna be two weeks to get a replacement in. I said to hell with it, chopped up a small space-heater and swapped its fan and case into my fridge. All this within the space of a week!! I could so easily make a full time job of keeping this place up and running. ::looks around nervously at appliances:: I guess it's a good thing the wife bought me all that electrical tape!
    Last edited by Psycho0124; 08-21-2009 at 05:28 PM.

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    Damn, Thats' one bad electrical week
    On the positive side at least your hot water tank is still working !!
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

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    I wouldn't push his luck! look around on ebay they got some good stuff.

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    Hehe.. Yet another mechanical issue.. This time with the car! I've been driving this old Honda Civic since I purchased it back in high school over a decade ago. It's great on gas, never smokes, purrs like a kitten, and is really just a treat to drive with its tight suspension and peppy acceleration. I've been all over the country in this thing and not even one single time has it left me stranded. Ever. My wife and I have owned several other cars over the years but this little Honda has always been dear to me.

    Well starting about the beginning of summer, for the first time, it has been running a little hot. I do all my own maintenance and repair so I started going down the list when I service it. Checked the fan, checked water pump, flushed the radiator, swapped out the thermostat for a lower temperature unit. I even bypassed the fans thermostat to force the fan to operate whenever the ignition is on. For the life of me I just couldn't figure it out. Well the other day on an especially hot afternoon drive, the temp started climbing above operating temperature. For the first time in the cars 11 years of service with me, I pulled it over and shut her down. Went and got something to eat while it cooled off, then gently drove it on home.

    I decided to go ahead and check for the worst-case scenario; the head gasket. Opened up the hood, took off the radiator cap, started up the motor and watched. Bubbles about the size of a grape would pop up in the fill spout every few seconds. When I goosed the throttle, coolant would rise up and overflow the spout, followed by larger more frequent bubbles. The head gasket was seeping combustion gasses into the cooling system. Air pockets were keeping the coolant from carrying the heat out of the engine.. Damn it.

    The car is 22 years old. Yes I drive a 1987 Honda Civic with over 300,000 miles on it. I was 4 years old when that car rolled off the assembly line and 15 years old when I worked all summer to afford it.

    Doing a full motor overhaul would cost far more than just buying a newer car. As a last ditch effort, I decided to pull the valve cover and check the head bolts. Since the gasket wasn't blown yet, just seeping, it might indicate some stretch on the bolts. If the head isn't tightly secured to the block, the gasket won't be supported enough to get a tight seal. Sure enough, I put a torque wrench on the bolts and found all but the center 2 were WAY below factory spec (49 ft/lbs). The pairs on the outer-most edges were down to ~25 or so ft/lbs!! I tightened everybody back down to where they should have been and closed her up.

    I'm on day two after the fix now and that car, even under heavy load (got her up to 100mph on the highway) hasn't gone above 33% on the temperature gauge. It used to sit around 50% and climb to 60% when it's running hot. No more bubbles in my cooling system and absolutely zero overheat. It's even making more power! Hell, I'll probably need to swap in a higher temp thermostat when winter rolls around otherwise the thing will never warm up enough to heat the car! I am relieved beyond words!

    So I guess the moral of the story, if you drive an older car, check your head bolts! You might just
    Last edited by Psycho0124; 08-26-2009 at 11:40 AM.
    If man makes it, man can fix it!

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    wish I could have done the same with my old oldsmobile silhouette. But alas after changing out my intake gasket and putting everything back together and running the engine, the temperature gauge shot up to the red line, engine was making steam in the coolant galleries. brought it home and started to tear it down again. blown head gaskets. couldn't get it down past the engine bolt on left front side. engine was sitting on the motor bracket. lack of equipment - called the junker. he picked it up. I pocketed $125 - goodbye ol girl! sniff!

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    Honda Civic....

    Good catch on those head bolts. It's not often it works out that well. Good mileage count, too. I 'inherited' a Silverado from my son. It now has 347,000+ on it and starts every time, has tons of power. That Civic still looks good. With the fuel prices the way they are, it's a good machine to have around
    Since this positive happening for you, maybe the it signals the bad run of luck and you'll be off the hook for a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcaptainbob View Post
    Since this positive happening for you, maybe the it signals the bad run of luck and you'll be off the hook for a while.
    Oh I hope so. My oldest son just started kindergarten and we've got enough on our plate as it is without having to fix things left and right.

    One thing with head bolts.. When I was a young'n (still am I suppose), my dad had me help him build his muscle car. It was a light-weight Duster with a giant 440cu/in V8 with 3 2-barrel carbs on top. I remember I could nearly fit my head into the cylinders . When we finally dropped the motor in, he tipped me off about a little secret. Start the motor but DO NOT REV IT! If you do, the gasket will blow and you've gotta tear it all down again. Let it run for a minute or two then kill it and put a wrench on the head bolts. The torque may lessen by as much as 30% that first startup! Retighten to spec and drive it gently for a few days. Give it one final tightening (usually about 10%) and it will be good for years (I guess about 22 years from my experiance ). I guess the new gasket mashes down a little more as the motor warms up and compresses it. Also those bolts will stretch from the tension and heat.

    It's a picky little procedure he taught me but it's never failed us! When you think about it, the whole operation of the motor relies on what goes on around that gasket. An extra hour of work over the period of a week may save a whole lot more time and money in the long run!
    If man makes it, man can fix it!

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    Head bolt torque.

    Absolutely! Dad knew his stuff. You also lucked out in not having it suck anti freeze backwards. Once the gasket surface gets contaminated, without a good cleaning, it would never seal. Fortunately yours was a compression only leak. My wife's Aspire ended up with a either a cracked block or cracked head a few years ago. She sure loved that Pink-Mobile. But it had pressure in the rad like yhours, but also contaminated oil. I hated to0 break the news to her, but the undercarriage was so rotted that engine rebuild would not be worth the effort.
    Sure liked the vision I got from your describing that engine.A 440 with Tri-Power. Not many cars today that we can do THAT with!

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    oh god, dont jynx the poor guy!

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