Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Transportation

My journey to maintaining my own vehicles

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--- Quote from: alexlindsay on May 21, 2017, 01:10:54 PM ---A suggestion that I don't think has been covered in this thread. instead of getting an expensive code reader a more cost effective way of doing it is to get an ELM 327 dongle on eBay for less than 10$ and the torque pro app for a smartphone. I got one of these when working on my 6.0 f350. it allowed me to read outputs from a bunch of different sensors and diagnose problems without throwing parts at it. definitely worth it.

--- End quote ---
Could you throw in some links?

Good suggestion by the way. +1


coupled with the torque pro app I was able to read the sensors for the high pressure oil system that runs the injectors, which enabled me to determine why my truck was having a starting problem when the oil was hot. it also allowed me to test the output voltage of my ficm, which is another common problem for 6.0 powerstrokes.

Good suggestion. I have seen those but haven't gotten one yet. Usually if my check engine light goes on I swing into an Auto Zone and have them pull the code for me. It's free and they usually provide a printout of everything that's involved with the code: potential causes, potential parts needed, troubleshooting steps, etc.

It’s been a while since I updated this thread. Honestly I haven’t done much on the vehicles and I’ve been too busy to tinker. I recently got a motorcycle and it’s going to get some work/modifications/maintenance done since I’m a) excited about it b) not sure what’s been done/not been done so I want to make sure it gets done and c) want to learn the ins and outs of the ride.

To start I cleaned my chain and checked the tension last week. It seemed loose and after looking up the specs in the service manual it is in fact loose. Specs say it should have 20-30mm of movement, roughly .75 – 1.25 inches.

As you can see from the first to pictures it had about two inches of movement:

To start I bought a neat little tool that clamps onto the sprocket help with the alignment. To install it I need to remove the chain guard. One bolt out and the guard will pivot up and be out of my way:

The tool is basic and has a long rod that runs down the chain. You site along it to make sure it and the chain are running parallel.

Next the Axel nut needs to be loosed. Out with a cotter pin and the nut will loosen right up:

After that there are two bolts that require an allen wrench to adjust on either side of the wheel. The left side adjusts the actual chain tension and the right side (pictured below) adjusts the yaw of the wheel. There are markings on the swing-arm to help line things up but the tool I installed is a better way to check.

And that’s it! Once the wheel is aligned tighten the axel nut to spec and reinstall the cotter pin. Mine’s actually incomplete right now because I didn’t have a socket big enough to fit the nut. I loosed it with a crescent wrench but I need to use my torque wrench to tighten it. I’ll pick one up tomorrow and have the job finished up then.

I’m also not thrilled about reusing the cotter pin since I have to shape it to lock so I’ll see if I can pick one up along with the socket. It’ll probably be ok but for such a cheap part I figure why not get new and unbent for a replacement.

The chain is within spec now as shown by the two pictures:

It might still be a little on the loose side but it’s really close. Since it’s my first time doing any work like this I’d rather be careful. A chain that’s too tight is just as bad as a chain that’s too loose. Even if this is still a tad loose it’s an improvement over where it was before I started.

The mechanic says I need new struts as my tires are cupping. I replaced the struts in the car in March of 2014 and have put 45k miles on since then. I feel like that's not that long of a life span but I did hit them hard the last year commuting to the new job. Does this sound typical?


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