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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

YES.. Thermostats are Important!

Complaint; "I have no heat inside my Dodge Grand Caravan. Can you tell me why and fix it?" Why sure I thought; time for the space age tools! Using my laserguided thermal temp gun I was able to deduce that the vehicle no longer had a thermostat. I would find that the thermostat had fallen apart and was now spread out deep within the upper intake manifold. Using my borescope, with grappler attachment I searched the inside of this vehicles lower intake manifold and retrieved 90% of all the thermostats components.

Now the fun begins.

The thermostat assembly in this vehicle was used in two model years, and that's 10 years ago. If I wait another four days I can get another housing. NAH! I decided to reuse the outlet housing, and it was no big deal. By grinding the stakes away I was now ready to install a new thermostat. Only thing left to do is align the thermostat and stake it in place.


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These are the parts I finished out of that Dodge Grand Caravan. Yes it needed new antifreeze, and the fluid state might have caused the thermostat to fall apart, or was it simply poor engineering.

Can you recall the last time your thermostat was replaced? I know that IT HAS A PROFOUND EFFECT ON FUEL MILEAGE, but I can't remember the last time it was changed.

My missing P-Trap

Finding and then finally fixing a problem is always a rewarding event. Fixing a problem that you've been avoiding can have its rewards too. Let's use my "P-pipe", or lack of interest for an example. As the story goes, everyone has caught a whiff of the infamous methane gas. Here this lingers for quite some time, but no one is ever able to trace down its source. Many different types of "Band-Aid" style repairs or fixes have been applied and tried, but all to no avail.

No matter what the methane gas smell always returned after any fix is completed. No one admits to having any plumbing skills and, yet after years of rescuing jewelry; greasy hairballs, and those little Legos all from that evil gooseneck below the sink, I think I know why we have the methane cloud problem.

If I was putting in this pipe logic would have made me think twice before burying the drainpipe in the concrete floor. Lets cut to the chase; the house I moved my family into back in 2003 must have been built by an extinct race. Only to be bought years later by me. I am only human as are you, and must rely on the expertise and wisdom of those who say they are experts in their field.

Here's a before and after look at just what I found encased in the concrete floor of my home.

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 I should mention all the names from real estate agent and the agency he represents, the builder, the County building inspector or the County Health Department inspectors who all signed off on the final inspection. I should, but I won't.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It is so rewarding to finish!

Six hours to trace out all fuel system controls; both electrical and mechanical. The bad part was found. It was the PCM or computer that was cycling powers and grounds off so rapidly a lab scope with a high millisecond grid was the only tool that saw the problem. Using a breakout box paired with a lab scope was the trick. Diagnostics time, and final restoration of this Ford trucks’ sensors system would all be a learning experience. Sorry about the tech speak; just excited.

Someone had to find the problem; you can’t just throw away hard to diagnose vehicles. Lucky me, I guess.
This what it looks like when things are working!
One millisecond of data


Other problems found were engine oil mixed contaminated with gas.
DPFE was melted down. The catalytic convertors had been removed and tossed!
All four of them were needed for the system to work properly.
Spark plugs were so carbon fouled they were useless so they were replaced with original brand Motorcraft Platinum plugs.
Incorrect O2 sensors were not helping the problem either, new OE cost almost the same as NAPA. All testing drilled down to a PCM not supplying ground OR power to internal board component logic modules.

But what caused this to happen? My guess is a simple jump start, zappp! Do you have any ideas?