DIY auto mechanic info

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Airtime, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I generally do the repair work on my own vehicles. Sadly, manuals are not what they used to be especially with respect to wiring. Hanes manuals (which is what the auto parts stores all sell, sometimes with a Chilton cover on it) suck when it comes to wiring information. Here is a resource that is FREE and has wiring diagrams and technical service bulletins for most vehicles. Even if you don't work on your own vehicles, it might be worth downloading every diagram for your vehicles. Then if the internet, parts stores, etc. go off-line, the information would still be at the finger tips for you or someone else to possibly deal with a vehicle that is down. Have fun.

    BBB Industries - TSB's & Wiring Diagrams

  2. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    [winkthumb][winkthumb] Thanks!
    Like you I do all my own repairs and sometimes some for friends/neighbors.Agree 100% about the newer manuals. I have several old chiltons and others that date back to the 40's. Day and night difference from todays-for one they are hard bound;) For all the rigs we have here I bought the factory service manuals through a family member who is a dealership wrench turner.
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    "Modern" electrical vehicle systems have defeated me. I'm no longer a qualified shade tree mechanic. Tho' I used to do all my own vehicle work, including panel pounding, it's off my skill list now. More's the pity, but the shops get my money these days.
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  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I too, hate the newer manuals, because they show every version, and option, not what YOU have.
    I had a '66 Ford F-100 along with the complete 3volume SERVICE MANUAL AND THE ENTIRE WIRING DIAGRAMS for everything put out by Ford in '66. When I sold the truck, I also sold the manuals (I got $200.00 for the manuals:eek::D)
    I watched the flea markets and Ford Expos for part when I had it.
    I have also found a library that buys and sells auto manuals. If you need one for something specific, let me know, and I will drop by and see if they have it. Most of them ARE the modern manuals, but there are a few gems among the sand. (Allow for a delay, it will require @45minutes each way, and a reason to be in that area.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Here is some more information that I use on occasion regarding how the on board diagnostic systems function for Ford and GM vehicles. The regulations mandate that this info be readily available at no more than a reasonable fee for publication expenses to the service industry. Ford and GM just put it out for everyone for free. Some good information and can give a bit of insight as to how the controls function. That is the main challenge with modern vehicles, knowing how they work. There are a boat load of sensors and some actuators but what does the ECM do with that information is the hard part to find and understand.
    Motorcraft Technical Resource

    Have fun. AT
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
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  6. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Then there are the fun ones, like a Dakota that uses the signal from the instrument bus to turn the ground on in the ecm to turn the transmission control module on...via a relay that's powered by another relay.

    Never a dull day at work!
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Being lucky to have grown up when cars were simple has helped me to interpolate the modern computers.

    The first thing I usually find is that the designers are pound foolish and penny wise. In this they have many open ended circuits that are not self checking and some of the time the diagnose points you in the wrong direction.

    An example is the Toyota ad the MAF detector on the Tacoma. If this item becomes dirty (a simple heated resistor that provides the MAF by using the airflow to cool the resistor) the diagnostic tell you the O2 sensor is bad. WHAT! Well of course if the MAF is out of spec the engine will not provide the correct fuel mixture and the O2 sensor will run hot or cold. Use your gut when the first thing to change is the most expensive. BTW the MAF sensor can be removed and cleaned in about 15 minutes, using alcohol and a soft cloth./ the resistor collects a layer of dirt and becomes insulated so the MAF reading is incorrect.

    Just one of many wrong designs.
    Tully Mars, Airtime and kellory like this.
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Stock Air filter changed according to spec. Bought it new, cleaned the MAF twice in 10 years never replaced the O2 sensor.
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  9. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    There is information out there that can help explain these systems. They aren't rocket surgery, generally just poorly explained, hence the mystery:
    Technical Library - Diagnose, Repair, Optimization based on OBDII Information | Welcome | Engine Performance Diagnostics eBook and Printed Book | YouTube Premium | Don't Be a Parts Changer
  10. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    And a 'nother revelation on the infamous check engine light. Got one recently and checked the code, low and behold it said I had a LOW water level, radiator overflow container. Not a happening since I had checked it as I saw the light. False alarm, bad connection, vaporous water that recombined?

    Saying you need to see LIVE read out is fine if you carry the lap top and connectors.

    Codes pretty much are just a starting point.

    I cleared that light and no problem since.

    Then again I have a "Pretension Code" now, well sorta. The light blinks on and off and will not set a the code. The computer programmer was so dumb and so selective that the seat with the problem is not indicated. Now just why is that, they couldn't define the side by R/L?

    After a lot of searching I concluded that what I have is a poor connection, most likely under a seat, 50/50 chance on which one.

    Poor connection just means that a few pennies were saved when gold plated contacts inside a connector were not spected.

    Of course I'm sure the dealer would be glad to remove both seats and check the wiring, for several hundred bucks.

    Nah, I'll do it when I run out of other work.

    After all I spent most of my life in "Controls" and I never programmed those type blunders, then again I am a Legacy sort of guy and got my hands dirty before I got to the corner office.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  11. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I consult/contract to a company that manufactures engines. It is astounding to me the number of engineers writing diagnostic algorithms and control routines that have only been out of school 2-3 years. Most of these kids have never turned a wrench. There are some sharp engineers in the service organizations but a disproportionate number of the engineers in service and manufacturing engineering were ones that struggled in the design side and moved. It is no surprise to me when diagnostic trees are stupid and things are wired weird. But on the other hand, it keeps gray haired old farts like me working to constantly help the kids out.
    Tully Mars, HK_User and BTPost like this.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    It has always been my Opinion, that Design Engineers must have worked as Field Tech Engineers, for a minimum 5 years, BEFORE they are allowed into the Design Group. This would solve a lot of the "Bad Design Issues" coming from Design Groups....
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Based on my experience, there should never be a qualified/lead engineer that hasn't served in both the field and design. I am less fussy about whether design or field comes first, both are requirements. Been there, done that, I have.
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  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Techs make the best salesmen, as well. They know at a glance what is needed, what options would work, and a rough idea of how long it would take....because they have done it.
    BTPost likes this.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Not really, Pure Techs are missing the information on a number of levels. Cost, design longevity needed for the product to out last the base equipment and then of course safety and a bit of awareness of legal eagles beat downs on the part/design in discussion.

    Then again as a VERY good Industrial Engineer often said, "Ya know, each of our designs is not a Moon Shot or connected to Brain Surgery".

    It's all about the balance of the product and less about Pie In The Sky Sales.
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  16. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    That is not quite what I meant. I mean that the job gets ordered in correctly, with the right hardware, and the best application. The tech knows the variables best, and what would suit the end user's needs.
    A tech knows what measurements are vital, and what can be altered, where as a sales jocky just knows what parts are sold, and where to find them.
    I have gotten so frustrated with salesmen who could not be bothered to measure properly, and just eyeballed, figuring the tech would make it work.
    In fact, I once slammed a measuring tape on a salesmen's desk, and declared "these d&mn things only work if you USE them, for something becides a paper weight!!" (He had just screwed the pooch with custom, special made machinery that could not be returned, and wasted my weekend to boot)
    It was more than a year, before we found a new home for them, and a buyer got a great deal on " last year's model..."
    HK_User likes this.
  17. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Yup, the words for your problem is the often used phrase "That's a Field Installers Problem".

    Later in my career I was able to work "for the Company" In that I made the budget estimates, designed the equipment/installation worked with sub contractors and had an excellent Industrial Engineer as a Project manager who attempted to keep me in line and in budget. We were always on time and we produced great to build workable fun designs incorporating the latest technology in a special environment. We worked for the end user, that being our employer. We had to design for the company and all our designs were used In-House to enable us to do what was best for our company. Best fun I've ever had with my clothes on.
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  18. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Lord, whatever happened to large C.I.D., Rochester and Holly carbs, Accel/Mallory ignitions Cragar SS mags, Hooker headers and a short throw 4 on the floor?? [winkthumb][winkthumb]
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  19. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Now it's called NASCAR.

    The genius of Bill France and company with the NASCAR success recipe was sticking to those things that Bubba knew, eschewing fancy fuel injection and electronics (save a simple electronic ignition) that he didn't know and preserving the illusion for Bubba that if he really wanted, he could build and field a car that would be competitive. When Bubba and his sons are gone and the next generation of fans have no memories or stories from Dad about Holly, Edelbrock, etc. I wonder what the NASCAR formula will need to resort to in order to keep the brand alive and the money flowing?

  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Hover cars....:)
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