LumberJocks

A journey into the workshop. #107: Another interesting evening... More car stuff, more deck stuff.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 06-30-2016 02:10 PM 829 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 106: Interesting past couple of days... Part 107 of A journey into the workshop. series Part 108: Shop cleanup. What I didn't show in the video. »

So yesterday coming back to work from lunch, I went to make a left turn, then the turn signal lever literally fell apart in my hands. Okay it’s an older car I bought used, things are going to break, but a turn signal lever literally falling apart? That was a bit on the odd side…

Anyway, so I run to the Chevrolet dealer and get the part, odd how car dealers put their parts departments in the hardest to find areas of the dealership… And I had to pretty much try to dodge and weave around no fewer than 4 car salespeople to get to the parts dept… But I made it!

Got to my brother in laws shop, and worked with him on the switch, I’ve never done one before and wasn’t sure how. Pretty easy actually. Telescope the column out, remove the air bag with a special tool I don’t own but he does, remove steering wheel, pop tabs holding the top of the column cover on, remove top of column cover, remove 3 bolts holding bottom of column cover on, remove, 2 tabs holding switch in place, 2 tabs (1 each) holding the wiring bundles to the switch and out it came, assembly of course was the reverse of removal… Pretty easy.

Had to do some digging to find my drill, went to work on my father in law’s deck rail. The pieces were all pre cut and drilled, just needed to space them, level them up, and screw them in. 2 screws on the bottom rail each, move to the next… Then lined up the 2×4, made sure the uprights were, well upright, clamped everything together, measured my cutoff points, took the 2×4 to the miter saw and cut to shape, or as close as possible, Finish it off with the circular saw, then clamp it all back together, and run all the screws home.

I still need to get 3 4×4 posts to finish the job up. The end of the rail I want to finish off to a 4×4 lag bolted to the 2×6 bottom rail, The 2×2 uprights simply flex too much, the 2×6 and 4×4 don’t.. I also want 4×4 corner posts at each section where the ramp meets the deck. I want to cap them off with pyramid finnials, or simply pyramid cut the 4×4 post. Just don’t want a plain ol hunk of 4s4 sticking out there is all…

I found the deck framing isn’t quite as solid as I had wanted with the nail construction, so I am adding a couple of heavy decking screws at each corner connection, which totally eliminated flexing. Now the deck is rock solid and won’t go anywhere. Which is good, and bad. If they ever decide to move the trailer on the property, we are going to need a forklift to move this deck!

With the surprise repairs on the Chevy that happened to me this week, I am behind in finishing up the work on the Saturn. Not happy about that, but it will get done. I am planning on ordering everything for the rear brakes on the Saturn except the drums. The drums on it have less than 5K miles, the shoes were new, but I just discovered why the lube isn’t working. Wheel cylinder leak is pretty bad, washed out the lube and swelled up the shoes, so the shopping list for that is…

Wheel Cylinders x2.
Rear Wheel bearings x2
Brake Shoes (1 set)
Spring / Hardware kit 1
Fresh can of brake cleaner 1 (my old can is empty).
High Temp matte black paint to repaint the drums.
DOT3 brake fluid, 1 QT.

So the plan is…
Drag the Saturn up to my BILs shop, put it on the lift and…
- Install the receiver / dryer, lines, seals, and suction side compressor filter screen.
- Pull a vacuum and fun full vacuum test on the AC system. Assuming that passes move on to…
- Inject factory recommended QTY of PAG oil, use the stuff with tracer dye in it just in case…
- Add factory recommended QTY of R134A, which I believe is 2.6lbs but I will verify before I just stab it in willy nilly…
- Test for ice cold air. Be happy if it is, if not, keep diagnosing to find any and all leaks…
- Remove rear wheels, brake drums, and tear down to backing plates and rear wheel bearings.
- Replace wheel bearings.
- Clean backing plates to within an inch of their lives.
- Install new wheel cylinders.
- Clean, dry, and paint drums. Let dry.
- Install brake shoes, springs, retainers, adjusters etc…
- Turn the slight glaze off the drum friction surface.
- Reassemble, adjust.
- Bleed and flush brake system.
- If everything looks good at that time, road test the car. At that point it should have good solid brakes, and ice cold AC.

The plan moving forward with the deck is going to be…
- Finish the railing. I have one short section of deck (30”) to finish, and then one side of the ramp to finish. All is pre cut, just need to pre- drill it all and the assemble.
- Once the uprights and rail are done, cut, trim with either finnials or pyramid cut tops 4×4 post sections lag bolted into place. Given the lateral strength of 4×4 pine, If it all goes according to plan, I should be able to toss my not inconsequential mass at the rail and it not be able to budge… Or at least that’s the though.

Man, I am getting tired just writing all this stuff down. Ugh, now I actually have to do it all!

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com



5 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3962 posts in 2625 days


#1 posted 06-30-2016 03:23 PM

Sometime, somewhere, in my distant past, I fixed a blinker switch as well. But that was before air bags. No where near as complicated as now. Do they still sell those manuals to fix most everything on a particular car? I think I was able to buy them locally, meaning in Fairbanks, for instance. I remember now that I did more automotive stuff than I realized. But not for the last 30 years, basically.

I have a railing similar to what you describe on my front porch/deck here in Anchorage. While replacing the top of a railing by the stairs, due to warping and some rot, as I recall, I noted the railings were not as solid as I would like, and had some flex. 4×4’s were used at each end of a railing at the corner and lagged in at the bottom, and then joined with the 2×6 railing top. For some reason just this one corner and its associated sections of railing had flex. Occasionally ice and snow slides off the roof and bombards that particular area, so that might be the culprit.

Not certain as to the cause, I bought a 4×4 of the same lumber, cut myself an 18” piece and finished it the same as the rest of the railing. Then I lagged it into the two 4×4’s at the outside of the corner, using 6” x 1/2” lag bolts, three going each way, in alternating positions so they didn’t hit each other. That made the corner totally rigid, and probably permanently so. It is up at the second story level, and screened by a large lilac bush that is determined to become a tree, so it is not noticeable.

I am not sure if that is clear, but it is an outside corner, and each railing ends with a 4×4 at the corner, effectively leaving an empty 4×4 spot at the point of the corner. As noted, 2×6’s are mitered at the corner and toenailed together, and therefore cover my added piece. Just in case you have some issues, thought this might give you ideas.

Later…..........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5604 posts in 2692 days


#2 posted 06-30-2016 06:10 PM

On the manuals. Yes Haines manuals can still be had locally around me pretty much at every auto parts store. However there are 2 primary repair manual companies, Haines and Chilton. Haines to be blunt, stinks. For example something as basic to maintenance on a car, and an illustration of serpentine belt routing is flat out missing in the manual for the 2004 – 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. Oddly enough, I found it VERY difficult to find the proper chart until I actually found a replacement belt routing decal for my car. Go figure… My Saturn is a LOT easier to do belt routing too. It has one ilder pulley and one tensioner. The Malibu with the 3.5L V6 has one tensioner and 3 ilder pulleys. I am guessing GM wanted to make sure you bought more parts from them as the car aged… Why on earth would the routing be so convoluted as to need 3 idlers? But I digress…

This deck arrangement isn’t meant to be permanent, so I was initially trying to do it without 4×4s except on the platform. I found that the 2×2 uprights just simply flex too much. So for the most part, everything that is 2×6 or 4×4 (the deck itself, and the ramp) is solid as can be, the 2×2 uprights, and 2×4 railing on the other hand are not so much. My thought is, a 4×4 post is actually 3.5×3.5x whatever length you cut it to, the 2×6 rail it will attach to is 1.5” thick. That gives a total thickness of 5”, so I am thinking either 1/4” or 5/16” x 4.5” lag bolts, pilot drilled, and run in solidly will firmly attach the posts to the frame, at the corners of the ramp where things are loose, and then attach the 2×4 rail to the post using 2.5” wood / deck screws.

I believe my wife wants me to go up to work on her Dad’s stuff again tonight… He needs WiFi set up off of his Comcast internet. He has the modem set up but no router, and wants to access with his tablet and smart TV. I figure I can find something to work at Walmart on the way over…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3962 posts in 2625 days


#3 posted 07-01-2016 02:09 AM

Briefly…........yes, it was the Chilton manuals I used. Not into the extensive repairs you do, but still saved a lot of money when I didn’t have much. Plus, I liked to do it, and understand the machines.

More tomorrow, worked long in shop today….......time for dinner….....

Later….........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5604 posts in 2692 days


#4 posted 07-01-2016 04:44 PM

Okay so here’s the poop. I needed to go to my BILs shop to use the vacuum pump for the AC system on the Saturn, everything else I can do in the driveway…

Well, long story short, his bays are occupied with paying customer cars, so I am SOL there… But I found out Harbor Freight has a little compressor driven vacuum pump that will do the trick for $20.00, so off the HF I go this afternoon.

Went and saw my FIL last night, didn’t work on the deck any more as my back wouldn’t put up with it, but set up a Smart TV for him, got it on the WiFi, got him set up with his Google account and Youtube, need to set up his Netflix and Hulu and we are all set…

Previous night I managed to break one of my Speed Load quick change drill bits, a hex drive 1/8” TiN coated bit. I am pretty sure I hit a nail or something in the wood… Not too upset by it, but sure hate hunting down the single bits when they break…

Not that I can’t find them, but I can only get them in say sets of 4 with 3 sizes I don’t need… Okay one will get me back to a TiN coated bit instead of black oxide, but I digress…

On the back issue, still doing testing, but there appears to be some loss of flexibility between the vertebrae, working with PT to see if we can get it moving again. Did my eval on that and they gave me stretches / exersizes to do that make my back hurt like hades, and feel better at the same time.

I absolutely need to get helping hands on my big projects and soon, so if anyone wants to help out…

All in all, considering the damage done, and the fact I walked away from a car wreck that should have killed me, I must say I am doing great!

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3962 posts in 2625 days


#5 posted 07-01-2016 07:46 PM

I hate when the hex drive bits break, for the same reason as you. Hard to find replacements. The biggest problem is that it is always the same ones, the small ones at 1/8” and below. I have an ancient drill index that I have to fill in from time to time, but because it isn’t hex drive, it isn’t a big deal. I have a few old sets that work as fill in sets for that. You might check out HD and see if they have any Ryobi hex drive sets on sale. 4th of July weekend should bring some sales. If you could get a full set at a cheap price, you could fill in from that. The Ryobi stuff has really picked up in quality, just like Rigid. For drills and drivers, I prefer the Ryobi’s over anything else.

When I stretch, it hurts like hell just like you but it is my legs and my back. Since I was born with my issues, I don’t complain because I have always lived with them. Every once in a while, looking at the bright side of things, like being thankful you walked away from that accident, resets the psychological switch, and you look and feel better. Since I am already 75, and in relatively good health, no matter what happens to me, I shouldn’t complain. I know so many people that are much worse off, or are already dead.

Home alone for the 4th weekend. My wife is at a small retreat with a couple of close friends. The three of them get along well. They are all so different it doesn’t make much sense on paper, so to speak, but it works in practice.

Later, got a few things to do….............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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