Archive for the ‘How to…’ Category

How to: Change out the radiator for a Nissan Frontier.

May 2nd, 2010 5 comments

Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of: fix your ride. Today we are going to cover how you’d go about replacing a radiator for a 1998 Nissan Frontier. Although you may not own a Nissan Frontier, the lessons presented in reference to radiator replacement is universally applicable to most cars. This issue was selected because I drive a Nissan Frontier, and it just so happens that my radiator decided to explode after just 200,000 miles of use, causing me to have to go out and replace the damn thing. I’ve enclosed a bunch of pictures taken during repair that will be arranged in chronological order. The level of difficulty involved with this process is just slightly harder than that of changing the oil. If you have any mechanical inclination whatsoever, you will do just fine.

Before delving into pictures, make a mental note of the few items listed below for a safer and more enjoyable repair experience: Firstly, before heading out to your favorite store, call to make sure that the radiator that fits your model car is available and in stock.  Secondly, pick up a radiator flush kit to rid any residual coolant in the system and pick up a gallon of coolant for after the installation. Thirdly, be sure that the vehicle has been off for awhile and that all engine components are cool to the touch.

Reverse the disassemble process to make whole your vehicle. Once everything is replaced, fill the new radiator with 50/50 water and antifreeze coolant. The aftermarket radiator that I purchased had a minor defect where the fan box was seated to the ledge. The distance of the rounded-rectangular cut out in the ledge where the pegs from the fan box were to have been inserted were off by 2mm. The 2 mm caused me an extra 20 minutes of improvised sawing to make the thing work. Best of luck with your radiator repair adventures. Feel free to drop a comment with further questions or concerns.

Categories: Fix your ride Tags: , ,

How-to: Honda Civic Door Lock Mechanism

March 22nd, 2010 9 comments

If you find the pictures are too small, right click and download them to your computer. I’ve not yet the time to re-code the html for the neat pop-up feature because I’m lazy. They are now click-able :-p

In our previous episode, we uncovered the door panel of a Honda
Civic in order to replace a defective auto doorlock mechanism. Upon
further investigation into the root of the problem that’s inspired this
exercise, we’ve discovered that the problem is attributed to the
breakdown of a $2 DC motor component. Honda, you need to have a serious
meeting with the manufacturer of this inferior component before this
potentially cancerous trend of defective crap plagues your entire
product line. Things like this have happened before, and it can and
will happen to anyone, even Honda. Enough blabbery. For those of you
really interested in what went wrong with the auto doorlock component,

The doorlock assembly. Top portion is actual mechanism (metallic),
bottom is auto doorlock motor (black).
The white nipple structure on the doorlock motor is what actuates
the mechanism.
Note the simple gearing construction inside the auto doorlock motor
Closer view.
The $2 DC mortor burnt out, which led to my having spent $60 on this
component, which leads me to having to throw all this stuff in the
garbage, which will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere. Now,
where’s the environmentology in that? To exacerbate my frustration, the
doorlock motor on the driver’s side door also burned-out recently.
Support this amateur car repair blogger.

I sincerely hope that somebody at Honda will look into this issue and
take care of this nuisance. I’m certain that a quick database search
into the parts sold will quickly reveal the deficiency in this
department: If 500,000 Honda Civics were sold in 2001 and 6 Million Lock
Assembly (part number 72110-s5p-A22) has been purchased since, it
doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the problem may be.

This article is yet another transplant from 10-25-2007, from an older version of powered by Drupal®.

How-to: Open a 2001 Honda Civic door panel

March 21st, 2010 29 comments

Below you’ll find step-by-step illustrations of how to go about
cracking open the interior door paneling for a Honda Civic. This
experiment was conducted to replace a failed auto-doorlock mechanism.

Step 1: Locate the door. Step 2: Remove the plastic covering behind the door opener.
Step 3: Remove these screws. Step 4: Remove the plastic covering in the recessed door handle
Step 5: Remove this screw. Step 6: Remove the plastic covering at the right rear-view mirror.
In retrospect, you should pry this triangular piece from the top,
instead of from the front of vehicle as illustrated.
Step 8: Remove door-handle by shifting the piece towards the front
of vehicle and prying up on the interior side. Proceed patiently and
gingerly, otherwise you’ll end up having to buy a new door panel.
Step 9: Remove the door-handle and detach the power-window harness. Step 10: Expose the main structural screws that hold the panel to
the door.
Step 11: Remove the 2 screws. Step 12: Begin prying the panel off the door starting from the
top-rear section. Gently pop-off the white plastic grommets which keep
the paneling bound to the door (see step 17 for location of white
plastic thingys).
Step 13: More white grommets (see step 17 for location of white
plastic thingys).
Step 14: Turn the blue plastic thingy counter-clockwise to release
the steel transfer bar that is attached to the door latch.
Step 15: You’ll encounter several of these types of attachment;
remember them well.
Step 16: Remove the door panel after having released all white
plastic grommets and lift. The paneling hangs on the door like a picture
Step 17: Note the location of the white plastic grommet thingys. Step 18: Tear off the caulking that attaches the plastic moisture
barrier starting at midway of the door (This may not be necessary unless
you’re replacing the door lock mechanism).
Step 19: Remove black plastic grommet towards the rear-top corner. Step 20: Continue removal of caulking until you have access to what
you need to get to(This may not be necessary unless you’re replacing the
door lock mechanism).
Step 21: Take a moment of rest and observe the tasks before you. Step 22: Note the exterior door handle and keyhole are attached to
transfer bars with plastic thingys encountered in step 14.
Step 23: Window guide track (keeps the window from falling into the
door when you roll it down.)
Step 24: unscrew the brass bolt and gently remove the guide track
from its plastic sheathing by sliding it downwards.
Step 25: Nice and easy. Slow and steady. Step 26: Take another moment to admire the genuine Honda part that I
paid too much for.
Step 27: I can’t believe they charge $60 for this $&it. Step 28: Unhook the plastic object from the transfer bar. (Remember
to do them all. There are 3 of them: the black one in the foreground,
the green one in the background, and a yellow one on the assembly that
connects to the interior door handle transfer bar.) It’ll take some
effort to remove the exterior door handle transfer bar. Take care not to
break the damn thing.
Step 29: Unhook the power-doorlock harness. unscrew and remove the
brown plastic cover that shields the door lock transfer. Snake the
neoprene coverd door lock cable through the opening, inside the the door
cavity. Unscrew the 3 giant screws that holds the door lock mechanism
to the door.
Step 30: What it should look like if you are successful with step
29. My apologies for the muddled instruction – it’s kinda hard to take
pictures when you’ve got your hands inside the door.
Step 31: Remove the lock cable (neoprene covered) from the old door
lock mechanism. I know you’ve seen this set-up somewhere before.
Step 32: Make sure the mechanism is in the unlocked setting,
otherwise, the L-hook will butt-up against the housing and get stuck.
Step 33: Note the striking similarity between the old and the new. Step 34: Install the cable onto the new assembly.
Step 35: With the exterior door lock and handle transfer bars facing
upward, proceed to reintegrate the new part.
Step 36: Integration in progress.
Step 37: Loosely attach the door lock mechanism with screws (This is
so you have room to fudge with the transfer bars.
Step 38: Attaching exterior door lock transfer bar.
Step 39: Attaching the exterior door handle transfer bar. Step 40: Exerting some gentle persuasion.
Step 41: Nothing a little brute force can’t rectify. Step 42: re-attach interior door latch transfer bar.
Step 43: How it looks out of focus. Step 44: Snake the door lock cable out of the cavity and re-install
brown cover.
Step 45: re-attach the power doorlock harness. Step 46: secure the screws holding the entire assembly.
Step 47: Re-insert window guide under the sheathing and push all the
way up.
Step 48: If the hole does not match the end of the guide, you did it
wrong. Re-work step 47 until you get it right.
Step 49: Grease all moving parts to and zinc-coat all ferrous parts
if possible. Run a bead of caulking along the edge of the moisture
Step 50: Read the disassembly instructions backwards to assemble the
parts that’s now all over the floor. Good luck.

This article is a transplant from 10-25-2007, from an older version of powered by Drupal®.