Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Videos You Watch When No One Is Watching You

It's early in the morning and I'm awake, downstairs with my coffee and my laptop. No one can see what I'm doing. I'm clever with a computer, so I can hide my Internet tracks fairly well.

I'm watching videos. Oh, baby, you better believe I'm watching some videos.

In all seriousness, the smaller Catican Guard woke me way early with her zany antics (she'll be given extra field exercises as punishment), so I started my morning routine around 0430. Blech. I quickly got tired of the political and economics sites - they hold less and less interest for me all the time - and I need to rebuild the suspension on the FredMobile, so I checked out YouTube.

1A Auto Parts is fantastic. I've never ordered from them, but from now on, they're going to be my go-to place for parts. I don't care about shopping for prices, either. Anyone who goes to this much trouble to make outstanding how-to videos has earned my business. They've shown me how easy it's going to be to do a couple of repairs I was dreading.

First, I need to replace my struts and I can't find a pair of quick-struts to save my life. Quick-struts have the spring already mounted. With a normal strut, you need to use a spring compressor to pull the strut assembly apart. My repair book makes it sounds like the spring will leap out and kill you if you look at it wrong, but watching the 1A Auto Parts video showed me it was actually pretty easy.

The other job that was alarming me was the one shown above, the outer tie rod. Since this controls the steering of the car, I was afraid that even a slight mistake on my part would cause the wheels to point at wacky angles when I was done. Like the struts, it's really not that hard.

I enjoy working on cars, but I've avoided working on the FredMobile, intimidated by all the newfangled odds and ends on the thing. I prefer working on simpler, older cars. The FredMobile was approaching its doom because the repair bills have been climbing. Thanks to an early morning video session, the repair bills will be reduced to the cost of the parts. The FredMobile just got a new lease on life.


tim eisele said...

I'd like to do more of my own work on my 21-year-old truck, but unfortunately the rust on the underbody is so severe that just getting a single bolt to turn can be an all-day project[1]. I understand the rust issue isn't so bad in California, but up in the Midwest the road commissions put a lot of salt on the roads to melt ice, and it is murder on steel.

[1] A friend of ours was using our driveway as a place to try to replace a brake disk on his jeep last month. After three weeks of trying everything short of a cutting torch to get the bolts out, he finally just gave it up as a bad job, put it back together and drove off.

K T Cat said...

When I replaced the rear leaf springs on my MGB, I used a lever long enough to almost tip the car over and still didn't budge the nut. A hacksaw took care of the bolt in short order. Problem solved!

Mostly Nothing said...

That tie rod video just completely misses the important part.

Replacing is easy, but getting the wheel pointing right is still hard.

First, the castle nut still needs to be torqued to a range.

Second, a tape measure on the rod, is a pretty course tool for getting the toe in right. I'm stIll not convinced I have my MG's alignment right. My tires are 10 years old now, so I need to replace them soon anyway.

After you replace the struts and tie rods, take it to a shop and get an alignment.

I haven't had time to work on the MG this year, needs body work. I hate body work. Also, looks like someone keyed it yesterday. Not happy. The good door.

K T Cat said...

MN, my plan is to make the car drivable and then bring it to an alignment shop. From the video, I think I can get close enough.