Category: Repairs

Why I love my Amex Gold Card

I have a gold Amex card and I am not a big fan of the $150 annual fee, I feel like I golddon’t get enough from the card versus what I pay to possess it. Of course, it is a step down from the platinum I had in ’07 and ’08 til the economy made me rethink every nickel I spent as a small business owner and I had to dump 6 employees and my warehouse to survive the tsunami that is our current economy.

Fast forward to 2012, I knew I needed a new vehicle and I had to decide between a car and a truck. Oh, how I wanted a GMC pick up ( it would have been my third in 20 years), I can’t begin to tell you how those commercials pulled at my strings to make me want sugar coated, prettily colored rice with yummy marshmallows in a bowl of succulent milk. I kept looking at those pickups like a cactus looks at chapstick, I simply had to have one.

But, at the end of the day, I decided a really fun car would offset my disappointment

cactuswith not getting a new truck. So I got an Infinti instead, the absolute opposite of a GMC Sierra( why can’t American car companies make a good premium car anymore?). GM would be disappointed of course, and the cacti would not get Chapstick to slaver all over themselves, but at the end of the day I realized, why would I want to buy a new truck so I can trash it up with my construction business? I store all my tools in the back seat. I jump in my truck frequently with a screw driver in my back pocket and end up slicing a hole in the seat.  My current truck smells like fries, ass, and foot. This is the ideal smellesborg if  you are single and ever have to put a date inside the cab .

Did I mention the Spring hail this prior year pounded my area beyond recognition and totaled out the truck (along with everything around me) and really added a touch of “white trash” to my previously blemished work vehicle? Well, since the hail my truck looks like the ugly cousin of Fester. Which is fine with me, as long as it runs. Unfortunately for me that has changed recently.

Seven months ago I swapped out the old fuel pump for a new one. The truck has run great until this past month. Twice I have driven to a habitat job site only to end up stuck there cranking the engine while it mockingly refuses to turn over. Quite a pain in my ass to say the least. Twice I have had to have the truck towed home. If you are wondering why I didn’t fix the truck after the first tow see this post. This is where my Amex comes into play. I found out that I get 4 tows a year at $25 each. That’s a hell of a nice bonus from the card, which has already paid for itself this past month and definitely makes it my favorite card for sure. So, if you own an older vehicle a gold card is a great way to cover your rear if you ever get stuck anywhere.





How I removed my harmonic balancer

Removing the harmonic balancer on any car is akin to trying to skin a cat with a hairbrush.  To accomplish this Herculaneum feat you need massive leverage, fire and a mouth like a sailor.

I did this about a month ago with my Lexus ES300 and thought I would post the how to here and the video.  The bolt that holds a harmonic balancer in place is quite large and about 2″ long. It generally will be rusted in place and if, like my car, yours has 150k in miles, then the screw has been screwed down even more with time.

Things you will need:

  1. Rent or buy 1/2″ large breaker bar ( 3 feet ought to do it. Autozone has them for free with a deposit)
  2. Extension rods to bring the clearance out enough to work with the breaker bar. I used 2 12″ to get the job done.
  3. A jack to leverage against

  4. A high temp torch, no cheap ‘ole propane torch will do the work
  5. A breaker bar to hold onto the harmonic balanceer ( I made my own after watching a youtube video

I watched all sorts of videos to figure out how to do this and I had to try all of them to come to a solution that worked for me. I would under no circumstances suggest starting the car with a breaker bar attached to the balancer. That simply

didn’t pass the smell test with me and sounded like a great way to fuck up the engine. I opted for elbow grease and fire. Once the harmonic balance is exposed and ready for removal, you need to set up the system with a large breaker bar and a jack that will support the load of you standing on the breaker bar and trying to torque the nut off. If this doesn’t work after several tries ( I applied well in excess of 300lbs of torque with no luck then it is time to try fire. I broker out my

oxygen/ propane kit and got a nice hot flame and set it on the bolt for about 20 seconds to

get it really hot. I then tried standing on my breaker bar again and successfully broke the connection.

Breaker Bar I made from a metal rod and 1.5" pipe floor flange. I notched the floor flange with a grinder to fit over my balancer and drilled 2 holes to accomodate 2 bolts to fit in the harmonic balancer's threading.

The harmonic breaker attached to the balancer with the jack stand supporting my breaker bar.

Close up of the pipe flange with the grinder cuts I did to fit into the balancer.

Kenmore Elite HE3 front loading washing machine clogged

I’m an engineer at heart and I love tinkering and taking things apart. Broken is an acronym in my head to fix something when others call in the repair man or toss the item. My girlfriend’s washing machine went on the blink this weekend and stopped draining and gave her a series of errors. I looked on line and it appeared to be a filter in these units that was likely clogged up.

So I decided to remove the front lower service plate which is annoyingly held in place by 3 torx screws that are hard to get at. After I removed them the panel popped off and the filter was easy to get at. Once I unscrewed the cap lots of water came out along with a watch, spring, staples and the big problem….a stocking that was jammed over in the right side of the unit. I had to use a pair of tweezers to remove it. Alls well now.

Changing the broken LCD on a Jenn-air WW30430P oven

I recently decided to repair the broken LCD screen on my girlfriends Jenn-Air

Original Logic Clock board was white

double built in wall oven.

After doing some research on line I decided it was an easy repair and shouldn’t take too long. First, of course, I had to order the part. I found the part number 71001872 at Amazon in stock and got it quickly. The repair is a no brainer. There are 3 screws on the bottom of the face that are visible with the top oven door open. Once they are removed the face must slide up 6″ to come off the guides that hold it in place. When you remove it you will notice 2 sets of cables on the back that fasten into the clock logic board.

Notice 2 cables coming from oven going to logic board

They simply pull off then you can set the face down on a table with a towel under it. Once you have it set down, make sure you remove the ribbon cable that powers the buttons in front. To do this look closely at the side edges of the ribbon cable adapter and you will notice to small notched brackets coming up and pointing outwards. Using your fingernails simply pull these up and the ribbon cable will release. Then, there are 4- 1/4″ SAE sheet metal screws holding the clock logic board in place.

Notice small brackets on the ribbon cable fastener. These lift up to release the ribbon cable.

Using a ratchet or similar tool unscrew the 4 screws. Re-installation is the opposite. Total time for me was 15 minutes. Money saved from hiring a pro at least $200.

Range electronic control 71001872 is used on Maytag, Amana, Admiral, Norge, Crosley, Estate, Jenn Air, Magic Chef, and some Sears, Kenmore ranges

Replaces 71001872R, AP4090010, 695197,

PS2077427, PT12263997

Here are a few of the models that use range electronic control 71001872,

ACB6260AB, ACB6260AS, ACB6260AW, ACB6280AS, MEW6627BAB, MEW6627BAC,?

MEW6627BAQ, MEW6627BAS, MEW6627BAW, MEW6627CAS, MEW6630BAB, MEW6630BAC,? MEW6630BAQ, MEW6630BAS, MEW6630BAW, MEW6630CAS, WW27430B, WW27430BC,? WW27430P, WW27430PF, WW27430PG, WW27430PK, WW27430PR, WW27430PU,? WW27430W, WW27430WC, WW30430B, WW30430P, WW30430PC, WW30430PF,? WW30430PG, WW30430PK, WW30430PR,

Remove the ribbon cable by lifting the small corner brackets with? your finger nails, then remove the 4 sheet metal screws.

WW30430PU, WW30430W