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 What did you DIY today? 
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Troubleshooting a space heater

Is it a bad thing for the contacts to get red hot?

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:40 pm
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RocketScott wrote:
Troubleshooting a space heater

Is it a bad thing for the contacts to get red hot?
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No way man! More heat from the heater! :thumbsup2:

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:53 pm
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That's the new "mini element", isn't it?

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Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:33 pm
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That looks perfect for some spot welding


Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:57 pm
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Fished my 20x20 deck today.


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Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:56 pm
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^ Holy crap . . . that's awesome. thumbsup

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Leave it cleaner than you found it.


Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:10 pm
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My 12" disc sander decided to start running whether the switch was off or on, so I was controlling it by plugging it in to run and pulling the cord when I didn't need it. I thought maybe the switch was full of fine wood dust, but that turned out to not be the case.

I was able to pull the switch apart after a bit of persuasion and found two sets of cooked contacts. There'd been too much arcing and sparking to just polish them, so I broke out the Dremel and a fine cone and ground down both sides of the contacts, then cleaned them up with one of the rubber impregnated bits till they were shiny.

Put it all back together, and voila, the switch is working again.

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Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:35 pm
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DIY'd a leaky toilet. Took a couple hours of time all things factored in, and is a hassle but not difficult.

Recommend anyone installing a toilet not to use the gross and ineffective old wax seals at the base. Spend the few extra dollars on a modern design base seal. I used a Fluid Master which was about $8. If it works as advertised it should never leak in a lifetime of use. Wax, however, frequently fails and needs replacing. Cost difference is not even a consideration, about $5.

And if you ever have to replace the toilet, you should not have to replace the seal.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster ... /205762183

A little more expensive and similar product to consider:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Toilet-Gask ... 564758-_-N

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Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:40 pm
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Changed a light bulb! :ROFLMAO: :thumbsup2:

Yup. I'm proud of it too!

I have a very difficult to reach expired flourescent lightbulb at the top of a vaulted ceiling over a staircase, and the bulb is probably a death-fall off of a ladder high. Easily 15-20'. Top way to die in America is falling (accidents being ranked 3rd way to die, including falling, at 50 per 100,000. That's 10x the homicide rate for comparison).

Anyway, had the extension ladder out for some gutter cleaning and moss removal on the roof, also precariously high points on steep roof slopes - which I do NOT enjoy. Brought it inside and got up on about 3/4 of the way on the extension ladder and say, "nope, not gonna happen." I just envisioned laying on the ground with broken hips and legs and thinking how stupid that decision would have been for a light bulb...

Debated spending $20 and a drive to Home Depot for a 1-time use extension tool. I like being creative and winning with creativity. Decided to make my own using a long pipe, an empty juice jug, and a few pieces (maybe a foot total) of duct tape to affix the jug upside down, and make some double sticky side tape on the concave bottom of the jug. Laid down some thick foam pad in case the bulb fell.

A few twists off for the old bulb, and installed a new LED bulb with a few twists on. Surprisingly simple and saved a lot of risk on a ladder and a drive/expense at Home Depot... :)

So, yeah, I changed a light bulb and I'm proud of it!

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Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:30 pm
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Brakes. I was getting a bad warping feeling so for $203 I got ceramic pads and slotted and drilled rotors all around. Saved myself $1000.

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:18 am
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Mounted the front license plate on my Jetta. Stay with me...

My 2006 Jetta doesn't have anywhere to mount a license plate, and as far as I knew, I didn't need one (this turned out to not be true). New Year's eve, Rita & I decide to grab dinner in town since we'd been doing NY Shoot stuff all day. Pulled out of my driveway which is right on the corner, and made the left turn in town behind a cop. He made the same right turn I was about to, and immediately pulled over into a parking area. Shit, he's going to pull me over! For what? Turns out Sharp-eyes McCop had noticed the lack of a plate as he made his turn in front of me, and sure enough, he pulled me over & lectured me about not having a plate. He even asked me if the address on my license was correct, and I pointed out that he'd just watched me pull out of the driveway at that address. Fortunately, he didn't write me a ticket, but I went on the hunt for a mounting kit.

There are several that are made for about $20-$25, but the reviews for all of them are horrible, so I ended up buying a kit from CravenSpeed for 4x what the other kits wanted ($93), and they had to custom make it for me (same day service and shipping, their customer service people are awesome).

When I went to install it Friday evening, I understood why they don't offer them as off the shelf for my car. You have to remove an entire piece of front trim to mount it to the tow hook attachment point. Most newer cars just have a little 2" x 2" pop out plate to expose the hole, but mine's a remove-the-mounting-screw & an 8" x 16" piece of trim leaving a gaping hole in my bumper type of mount access. I couldn't stand the sight of it.

So, yesterday, I broke out my Dremel and oscillating multi-tool with it's narrowest blade to cut as small an access hole as I could in the trim piece so I could get the trim piece mounted back in the bumper properly. Took me about an hour of measuring, marking with a white wax pencil, and careful cutting to get it to fit, but now the trim piece is back in place, my front plate is mounted legally (if dorky looking, just sitting out there like some Dumbo ears or something), and I no longer have a gaping hole in my bumper.

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:42 am
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Those Duvall guys!

Jaime awesome been there done that.

David. Nice write up. Wowser.

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:54 am
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Well, it was yesterday, but I was so disappointed with the products of my efforts.

I had the starter in the crane changed by 10 AM, had the forklift rigged with lifting chains, and the whole day planned out for high production and getting stuff DONE.

Battery was topped off and I got into the crane and pushed the start button.
"click"

Exactly the same as the previous starter. So no, I had not bench tested the "old" starter... I just ran with the assumption that it was the same solenoid contacts problem that I have had in the crane over several years. I'll try to find the photos of the insides of the solenoid that I sent to the manufacturer last year. :
Seal tested by Wilson!
Attachment:
Image3.jpg


If it was sealed, what do they do before shipping? Give a little spritz of battery acid in there?
Attachment:
Image2.jpg


The contacts that are supposed to be copper colored:
Attachment:
Image4.jpg


Those photos are all from around a year ago when I experienced the most recent starter problem... Not a big deal. While waiting for the new starter to arrive I cleaned the solenoid contacts (like delliottg described in his post the other day) and reassembled the solenoid and starter, and it ran like a champ. No problem, so I placed the brand new starter on the parts shelf and have been running with the "refurbished" old starter.

The other day when it came time to unload the forklift from the pickup, the crane engine turned over a mite slowly when I tried to start it, so I stopped cranking and put the battery charger on it for an hour... Tried to start it again and no turn, just a click.
Great! Solenoid contacts again! Not my first rodeo, me thinks in my normal state of profound ignorance.

So after discovering that the brand new starter wouldn't turn the crane engine over either, I placed a wrench on the crank end and discovered that I was not able to move the engine crankshaft.
I've hydraulically locked one other engine... But the circumstances were quite a bit different. I had a dipper control on a backhoe fail in the open position, so as the engine cranked over it slowed down as the hydraulic pump tried to pressurize a closed line.
After a certain amount of time, the pressure drained off and the engine would crank until it pressurized that dead-ended line again.
This crane thing- no motion at all, so I am guessing that I have a cylinder of the engine locked. Never experienced that before. Not looking forward to it. Have to get to it quick in case it's water in a cylinder... But shouldn't be, because the crankcase oil level is normal.
The diesel drives two big hydraulic pumps, one for the drive functions and the other for the hoist, rotate and boom functions. Maybe one of them locked up? Just kind of strange that I have no motion at all, just a click as the solenoid engaged. It is drawing juice for the locked motor, not just the solenoid.

I pretty much stopped there with the crane in frustration and disappointment... I was so sure that it was going to be fine. LOL

So next step was to figure out a way to have the planet Earth assist me in the task of moving the forklift from the back of the pickup to it's less energy rich position next to the ground. I did it, but did not get to enjoy the hefty rumble and thump of the miniature earthquake due to being on another machine. :cussing: Dammit, if I am going to drop 7000 pounds from 3.5 feet in the air, I want to be able to enjoy the thump!
I had to do that... Kind of a crappy position to be in having my only driveable vehicle be the one with a blown head gasket.

So after that was taken care of, I needed to get some things ready for a genset... I made up a "new" set of battery cables. The new parts were the battery post clamps and ring terminal ends, the cable itself is older than the hills, but nice and heavy. 2/0.

I also poured 40 pounds of lead ingots as I worked through some odd shaped lead as I was working through the clogged lead pot ayer.

Lately the Balrog has gotten into "cooking", and anytime that I sit down for a break, she hauls over one "dish" at a time and tells me exactly how I should eat it, whether with a fork or not, what noises I should make, and how I should congratulate her for her fine cooking... and makes sure that I do not forget to wash each down with freshly poured strawberry tea from the smiley teapot.
Attachment:
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:52 am
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Here's my stupid question of the day (I've never really worked with cranes or hydraulics much), but when we went to start our giant diesel gensets in the Azores, we had what we called "blow down valves". One per cylinder and it was just a screw down hand valve that you could use to relieve pressure when starting the engine (or when they randomly vibrated open during the midwatch, scare the bejezus out of you). Could you crack the hydraulics / pistons (I'm not sure which it'd be for your case), and rotate the engine by hand to relieve the hydraulic lock?

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:01 pm
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delliottg wrote:
Could you crack the hydraulics / pistons (I'm not sure which it'd be for your case), and rotate the engine by hand to relieve the hydraulic lock?

I've cycled all the available hydraulic controls to ensure that the valves have had a chance to dump pressure back to the tank.
Right now I am thinking of cracking the high pressure connections coming out of the pumps.
For a hydraulically locked engine (cylinder(s) filled with a fluid), the plan is to remove each injector... first to check to see if one is full, and then to test the injector itself.
It really shouldn't be a liquid filled cylinder... If it was that, it should show up in the crankcase by now.
I'm a shade tree mechanic, so wide open for corrections in my mile-wide gaps of heavy eqpt mechanic skills.

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:23 pm
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