Category Archives: Auto and Motorcycle

How to Change a Car Battery

Like any other battery, car batteries do not last forever and will eventually need replacement. Batteries can be changed at an auto mechanic garage, or even a full service gas station. However, with time and the right tools, changing a car battery is an easy and inexpensive task you can undergo yourself.

Tools

  • Wrench or Socket Wrench
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Screwdriver
  • Stiff brush
  • Work Gloves (or latex gloves)
  • Baking Soda or store bought battery cleaning solution
  • Wire Brush

Removing old battery

  1. Buy a replacement battery that suits your engine’s specifications. It is sometimes not enough to read the specifications on the old battery and buy another one exactly like it. Ask questions and you may be able to upgrade your battery to one with better chemistry or more intelligent current management.
  2. Open car hood and remove both leads to your car’s existing battery with a wrench. Disconnect the black leads first, before disconnecting the red ones. (Removing the leads in this order will prevent dangerous electric shock and short circuit.)
  3. To remove the battery, unscrew the bracket holding it in place with a screwdriver.
  4. Try to avoid contact with conductive metal engine parts if possible.
  5. Lift the battery out of the engine by supporting it from beneath and with knees bent.
  6. Take the old battery to the nearest local repair shop for disposal.

Installing new battery

  1. Inspect cable terminals to ensure they are clean and unobstructed. Replace them if necessary.
  2. A stiff dampened brush can be used to clean terminals.
  3. If terminals contain excessive build up, use a baking soda solution or a store bought battery cleaner and a wire brush to clean terminals.
  4. Fresh water or a baking soda solution should be used to clean dirty battery trays.
  5. Allow battery tray and terminals to dry completely.
  6. Lower in new battery and attach the connectors.
  7. Screw bracket in place.
  8. Close hood and clean up grease messes with a water dampened rag.
  9. Try ignition.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some best-selling car batteries on the market now come with built-in hardware that can be used in the case of a dead battery, and several are specifically rated for use in cold weather and other conditions.
  • Car batteries are heavy! So do take care when lifting them.
  • Car batteries are toxic and cannot be thrown out like regular household garbage. Take it to an auto mechanic garage, recycling centre or full service gas station for disposal. There may be a charge for the disposal of the battery.
  • Any electrolyte spills or corrosions can be neutralised with a solution of baking soda and water.
  • Be cautious to prevent electrical spark around the battery. Extinguish all smoking materials and open flames.

How to Clean Fuel Injectors

When faced with intense engine problems people generally never think that something as simple as dirty fuel injectors could have been the root of their problem. The reality is however that dirty fuel injectors can in fact cause clogging and it is at that point that all your car troubles are born. You can know when your injectors needs to be cleaned if your engine is experiencing symptoms of lean misfire, rough idle, hesitation and stumbling on light acceleration, a loss of power, higher hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Your fuel injector can be cleaned via two methods, either while they are still in the car or by taking them completely out of the car. The most popular method is the in – car cleaning which in most cases is very sufficient. Fortunately this is reality easy and using this simple guide I will show you how.

Required Tools

  • Fuel Injector Cleaning Kit

Instructions

  1. With the engine turned off open the engine compartment and locate the fuel injectors. If you are not familiar with the engine set up, use your manual to help you find them.
  2. Remove the tubing connecting the fuel inlet to the fuel outlet or remove the fuel pump and stop the fuel return to ensure that no fuel is being pumped into the engine when started.
  3. Connect a pressurized solvent to the fuel injector and start the engine.
  4. Allow the pressurized solvent to run through the engine.
  5. Turn off the engine and proceed to remove the cleaning supplies.
  6. Reconnect your car parts so that they look exactly how they were before then restart your engine to check if the performance has improved, if not run the process once more.

Tips and Warnings

  • If upon running the performance check twice you see no further improvements your fuel injector will require off – car cleaning. To have this done it is recommended that you take your vehicle to professional as this requires expensive equipment. The whole process, however, should not take more than an hour and will cost you between $30 to $50 to complete.
  • Ensure that your protective gear is worn at all times as the solvents used can be quite acidic.
  • Exercise caution when removing fuel lines as they are pressurized.
  • Never attempt to clean your fuel injectors within less than 100 mile radius of any sparks or flames as the solvent has been proven to be more flammable than gas.
  • Avoid using cheap or unknown gases as there are many companies out there using unsafe alternatives in order to cut back on the amount of detergent they buy.

How to Change Drum Brakes

By learning how to change drum brakes, people can continue to enjoy the advantages and benefits that these parts can bring to their vehicles. These parts are highly efficient, inexpensive and very easy to maintain. With the right knowledge and materials, anyone can easily learn this simple but very useful skill.

Materials Needed

For people who wish to learn how to change drum brakes, they need to have several important materials and tools. Without these, this task is very difficult to accomplish. The materials include a car lift, white lithium grease and new brake shoes. For safety purposes, it is best to wear a dust mask and latex gloves. Additional tools needed for this job include a car lift, pliers and hammer. Of course, do not fail to bring in a pry bar, screwdriver, brake retainer tool, wrenches, jack and brake spring pliers.

Steps

The very first step for this task is the removal of drum brakes. Check the vehicle if it is a rear-wheel drive or a front-wheel drive. Search for the master cylinder and then remove its content. Drain the brake fluid down until only half of it is left. Get a new brake fluid and then replace the drained content.

Get the tires off the vehicle. For one that has a rear-wheel drive, look for the round clip somewhere at the wheel studs. After finding it, simply remove it together with the drum brakes. Be careful in doing this step as excessive force can destroy them. On the other hand, a vehicle with a front-wheel drive is a different thing. Take off the bearing cap together with the wheel bearings. After this, use only enough force and pressure to remove the drum brakes. Lubricate them. If they do not loosen up, simply adjust the screws.

When the drum brakes are off, check if there is a parking brake cable. If there is, take it off. After that, remove the springs that hold the brake shoes in place. Do the same thing to all the other materials and parts that are attached to these parts.

After removing the drum brakes, it is now time to install the replacement. Align the backing plate and brake shoes in position. Use the screws to do this. Furthermore, put the self-adjustment spring as well. Connect the drum brakes, return springs and new brake drums. Screw the tires back in place. Test the vehicle if the newly installed parts are functioning properly.

Additional Tips and Information

Be safe when taking the vehicle out for a test drive. Do not proceed with this job if the right materials are unavailable. Every single step in the process must be done properly and carefully.

How to Build a Go Cart Frame

Do you enjoy participating in go cart racing? Go carts are very useful if you want to practice and master your skills in driving and racing. To save money and to make sure that the go cart that will be used is stable, it is beneficial to know how to build a go cart frame. In this way, you can be assured that the materials that will be attached to the frame have good quality. Before proceeding with the steps, it is essential to gather all the materials.

Tools and Materials

One of the most important materials in the project is the electric motor. Depending on the design of the frame, you can replace the electric motor with a gas engine. Aside from these, you need a steel plank, metal tubing, wooden dowels, seat, bolts, screws, saw and a drill. To complete the frame, you will use a car battery, a braking kit, a steering kit, wheel rims and four wheel tires.

Steps

To begin with the creation of a go cart frame, search the Internet, books and magazines for the style of the frame that you prefer. Use this as a pattern when building the go cart frame. Make sure that the style has measurements and specifications. Afterwards, get the saw and cut the tubing as well as the dowels depending on the measurements given in the pattern. Get the bolts and screws. Fasten the tubing and the other accessories and parts of the frame like the braking kit and steering kit. After attaching the kits, fasten the other parts including the seat, roll bars and the wheels.

Designs

Many go cart frames are square or oval. Choosing the design for the frame is essential to make a stable go cart. It is necessary that the frame is one to two inches above the ground. If you like to be sure that you will fit in the frame, get a cardboard and sit on it. Afterwards, make an outline of the frame’s design. Remember to provide extra space at the sides, front and back.

Additional Tips

To ensure your safety, download or print a construction plan for a go cart that will suit the design of the frame. To prevent experiencing delays, gather all the tools as well as materials beforehand. Finally, always use high quality materials to be assured that there will be no damages in the frame and that the parts will function effectively and as expected.

How to Stop Radiator Leaks

Radiator leaks are not hard to miss. A leak of any size, whether big or small, a slit or a hole, will surely weep, drip, or spray coolant. The loss of coolant often leads to engine overheating which can lead to more damage if the leak is not found and fixed. Fortunately, leaks are usually easily fixed with a sealer. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to fix small radiator leaks.

Materials Needed

  • Duct tape
  • Ground black pepper
  • Steps to Stop a Radiator Leak

    1. Locate the leakage. Its location along with its severity will determine if the radiator leak can be saved with a quick fix or a trip to the garage.
    2. If the leak is from the hose, you can use a duct tape to patch it up. The tape can hold up the leak for approximately one week. This should give you time to purchase a new hose and change the damaged one.
    3. If the leak is in the radiator, remove the radiator cap and add one to two teaspoons of ground black pepper. Ground pepper bores into the hole. It also swells up when water touches it. Make sure that the radiator has cooled down before removing the cap.
    4. Replace the radiator cap once it has been filled with water up to the appropriate level.
    5. Carry extra pepper and a jug of water when driving out as it may be necessary to add more pepper and water in the radiator.Set a schedule with a mechanic to give your radiator a permanent fix. Inform the mechanic of the temporary steps you have taken to stop the leak.

How to Flush Radiators

A car’s radiator and cooling system should be cleaned regularly to keep them functioning properly. Over time, solid deposits can build in a car’s radiator, which can clog the cooling system. Flushing these clogs from the radiator helps keep a car’s cooling system in shape.

Materials Needed

  • Wrench or phillips head screwdriver
  • Rag or cloth
  • Radiator flush solution
  • Coolant
  • Funnel
  • Receptacle (for used coolant)

Steps to Flush a Radiator

  1. Locate the radiator’s drain plug, which can be found anywhere along the bottom of the radiator. The plug may appear as a screw plug, a bolt plug, or a petcock drain valve.
  2. Place the coolant catcher beneath the drain. Unscrew the plug and drain the coolant until the receptacle is completely empty.
  3. Replace the plug after emptying the coolant.
  4. Remove the radiator cap.
  5. Pour all of the radiator flush solution into the radiator. Fill it to the brim with water.
  6. Replace and tighten the radiator cap.
  7. Start the car. Let the engine run until it gets to its operating temperature.
  8. Turn the heater on. Move its temperature control to the hottest position. Leave the car running for 10 minutes with the heater on.
  9. Turn the engine off and wait for it to cool down. Do not open the radiator cap if it is still too hot to touch.
  10. Open the radiator once the engine has cooled down. Drain the entire contents of the radiator into the coolant receptacle.
  11. Refill the radiator with fresh coolant. Fill it with a 50/50 mixture of water and coolant.
  12. Replace the radiator drain plug or fully close the petcock valve.

How Does an Octane Booster Work?

Octane boosters increase the octane gasoline levels in automobiles. Octane is a unit of measure denoting the rate at which gasoline burns. You can buy octane boosters from car shops and retailers.

Octane boosters help increase an automobile’s horsepower. This is made possible by increasing the vehicle’s compression ratio. The compression ratio denotes how many strokes the cylinder of the vehicle makes before the fuel ignites. The car’s compression ratio is proportional to the amount of the octane level fuel it needs.

An excess in compression, however, results in pre-ignition. This is also called knocking or detonation. When the car engine has been pre-ignited, it may become damaged unless the ignition is suppressed.

Octane boosters are very useful in these situations. They allow the engine to compress fully without pre-igniting. Therefore, they make the vehicle seem as though it contains more powerful gasoline. However, this is not so. Octane boosters do not add power, they only control pre-ignition.

Common examples of octane boosters are those primarily made of aromatics or alcohols and ferosene. These octane boosters have different levels of efficiencies. The results depend on the exact formulae used. Many car owners use octane boosters. Others believe that octane boosters should be used moderately. This is because octane boosters can damage the engine because of the deposits they leave the car.

How Does a Stirling Engine Work?

A Stirling engine is a closed-cycle heat engine that turns heat into mechanical work. It is an external combustion engine where the heat comes from an external source, such as fuel burners, geothermal heat, solar heat, and fossil fuel heat. It is similar to other familiar heat engines like steam engines, diesel, and gasoline.

The Stirling engine works on the principle that when air is heated it expands, and when it becomes cooled it contracts. It heats and cools air within a closed container at regular intervals, and uses the pressure changes this causes to run a piston.

This cyclical operation of heat is done by having one part of the engine kept hot and another part kept cold through thermal contact with an external heat source and an external heat sink. A mechanism then shifts the air from the hot side to the cold side, back and forth. The air cannot escape because it is in a sealed chamber. When the air goes to the hot area, it swells and pushes the piston upward. When the air returns to the cold side, it grows smaller and pulls down the piston. This occurs continuously.

Stirling engines are deemed reliable because they have no sparkplugs and valves. Unlike steam engines, Stirling engines don’t use a boiler, which has a high tendency to explode if not monitored well.

While the mechanism of Stirling engine is quite easy, understanding how specific models of Stirling engine work is difficult because there are hundreds of various engine designs that can utilize the Stirling cycle.

Some models of this engine use a piece of foam (like the one used as a filter in an air conditioner) to move the air between the hot side and the cold side. In this model, the air moves through and around the displacer from and to the different thermal areas, creating a power pulse.

When a side of the piston is exposed to the atmosphere, the process is a little bit different. When the sealed part of the working gas gets in contact with the hot part of the cylinder, it expands and works on the piston and on the atmosphere, as well. When the working gas goes to the cold area, the pressure of the air declines to below the pressure of the atmosphere; then the atmosphere would work on the piston and on the gas.

Motorcycle Frame Jig

A motorcycle frame jig is an instrument that holds the parts of the motorcycle frame in place. This device allows the motorcycle frame to be easily prepared for fitting and tack welding.

It can be bought from several motorcycle shops. Make sure to test the jig before you purchase it. Check if it is compatible with your motorcycle frame.

You can also create your own motorcycle frame jig.

  1. Prepare two pieces of five-inch steel mill channels. These serve as the foundation where the other parts of the frame jig will be attached to.
  2. Create the neck jig post by acquiring two plates. Clamp the plates to the five-inch channel. The neck jig post should be made of 1/8” thick steel tubing that measures 2”x 3”. Doing these steps will make the neck adjustable in terms of its height.
  3. Take a ¾ inch rod on a pivot and use it to follow through the frame’s neck.
  4. To create the axle post, you need 2 x 4 inches of ¼ steel tubing. Use ¾ inch axles to hold the axle plates. Shaft collars and spacers will keep the axles well in place.
  5. Get a ½-inch steel plate and a ½-inch square tube and weld the two together. This will let the plate move vertically for small adjustments and for leveling. Make sure that the axle posts can be moved in any direction.
  6. Take 1 1/4-inch steel stubbing and use it to set up the lower rails. Then take a 1 x 4 inch steel bar that will serve as your engine bar.
  7. Once you have assembled all the above components, use a threaded rod to pass through the channels. To keep the bolt in place, you can use an angle and nut. Take the engine plate and secure it to the structure using set screws on each of the engine plate’s corners.

How to Replace a Starter

A starter is also known as a starter motor or an automobile self starter. It is an electric motor that starts a rotating motion for a car’s internal combustion engine.

For a car to start, a charge needs to be sent from the battery to the starter and alternator. If it fails to send a charge from the battery to the starter or alternator, the starter needs to be replaced.

 

Necessary Materials and Tools

 

  • starter
  • duct tape
  • marker
  • ratchet set (metric)
  • flood light
  • crescent wrenches
  • car jack

 

Step By Step Instructions

 

  1. Jack the vehicle or hoist it on top of two jack stands. Ensure that the brake is set and that chalk blocks are secured behind the rear wheels.
  2. Take out the negative battery cable from the battery and keep it safely out of the way. When working under a vehicle, make sure not to touch unnecessary electrical wirings and connections.
  3. Each vehicle has a different location for its starter. You can begin looking for the starter of your vehicle on the driver’s side of the car near the manifold. Most starters will look like an 8” tube with a diameter of about 5 to 6”. In older models, the starter will be down the engine compartment and just about left from the center.
  4. The starter will usually have two electrical connections and one mounting connection. You have to remove the electrical cables and indicate the connection point by using marking pens.
  5. Tape the cables to the engine so that they will be out of the way.
  6. Get rid of the mounting connection by using a crescent wrench or a ratchet. If you experience difficulty in removing the connections, you may need the help of WD-40 along with an adequate soaking period.
  7. Do not use force to remove the connection because you might break the stem or strip the bolt. After removing all connections, it’s time to remove the starter.
  8. You can install the new starter in the reverse order of how you removed it. Make sure that all electrical connections go back in their right places.
  9. Do not forget to get rid of the marking tape or else it will burn.
  10. Connect the negative battery cable to the main battery and secure the connection tightly. To test if you have successfully made the connections, start your engine.