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Topic: Garage & Tools Tips & Tricks...  (Read 83959 times)

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HipGnosis
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« Reply #160 on: May 12, 2013, 04:36:03 pm »

Here's a trick I just conjured up out of necessity working on my car;
To turn a bolt where I didn't have room to work the ratchet very well - I put an allen wrench that just fit into the ratchet side of the socket and used it as a short handle.
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« Reply #161 on: May 12, 2013, 04:45:08 pm »

I have a car, a truck and 2 bikes.
I track maintenance and repairs (& etc.) for/of them on the computer (naturally).
But, that means the info isn't accessible in the vehicles or the garage, so...
I now change oil on all of them at multiples of 5,000 miles on the odometer.
I can tell at a glance of ea. vehicles odometer how far away the next oil change is 'due'.

BTW; included in my maintenance log file for ea vehicle is a list of exactly what tools are needed for ea. routine maint. job.  The jobs go faster when I don't make multiple trips to the tool box.
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« Reply #162 on: August 13, 2013, 07:53:07 am »

I'll start: To bleed brakes quickly, I use a 60cc cath tip syringe and some surplus tubing. Attach one end of the tubing to the syringe and the other end to the bleed valve, crack the valve and draw back on the syringe. The syringe draws fresh fluid from the reservoir and all air from the line. Tighten the valve and, voila! Brake lines completely bled and free of air.


Here is an even easier method that I use that doesn't even introduce air into the system.

After removing the master cylinder reservoir cover, I drain the brake fluid by pumping the brake lever till the hole within the reservoir is almost exposed.

I then blot the residue (and somtimes there will be dark particles/soot at the bottom of the master cylinder reservoir) with a patch of paper towel dampened (not dripping) with isopropyl alcohol till it is clean (so far no air has been introduced into the system).

I add some brake fluid and continue flushing the system till fresh clear brake fluid comes out of each bleeder.
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« Reply #163 on: September 18, 2013, 10:59:10 pm »



Had a gasket that was seeping.  Was not sure which one.  Presure washed the engine and sprayed with Arrid.  Let it dry white and went for a ride.  Instanlly knew where to try and tighten.  Actually needed to replace, but works like a charm.
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« Reply #164 on: September 18, 2013, 11:03:27 pm »




Had a gasket that was seeping.  Was not sure which one.  Presure washed the engine and sprayed with Arrid.  Let it dry white and went for a ride.  Instanlly knew where to try and tighten.  Actually needed to replace, but works like a charm.



And no more under bike odor.
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« Reply #165 on: October 26, 2013, 02:55:48 pm »


Had a gasket that was seeping.  Was not sure which one.  Presure washed the engine and sprayed with Arrid.  Let it dry white and went for a ride.  Instanlly knew where to try and tighten.  Actually needed to replace, but works like a charm.

Does that work with any spray deoderant or JUST arrid extra dry?
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« Reply #166 on: October 26, 2013, 03:02:07 pm »




Had a gasket that was seeping.  Was not sure which one.  Presure washed the engine and sprayed with Arrid.  Let it dry white and went for a ride.  Instanlly knew where to try and tighten.  Actually needed to replace, but works like a charm.


Cheap athelete's foot spray does the same thing . . . . .  . in case you're out of pit stop
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« Reply #167 on: October 28, 2013, 02:51:10 pm »

To recycle used oil;
Put a heavy trash bag in a plastic milk crate
Put about a cup of oil-zorb (aka kitty-litter) in the bag
Put the bottles you use to transport used oil in the bag, in the milk crate
It's easier to pour oil from your drain pan into the bottles because they can't tip over in the crate
Any spills when pouring the oil from your drain pan to the bottles will be contained in the bag & o-z
The crate can be tied or bungied in your truck bed or trunk
The milk crate has handles for carrying it to the recycle collection point
I keep an oily rag in the crate too, the recycle collection points can be pretty dirty
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« Reply #168 on: December 07, 2013, 12:46:48 am »

For my used oil, I simply went to the local hardware store and bought a plastic, 5 gallon,  diesel can ( they are normally yellow) and wrote "used oil" on the side with a sharpie. I simply pour my drain pan into that and then when it gets close to full I take it to Walmart to dump it. no muss, no fuss and easy to handle.

Something like this.
http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/Midwest-Can-5-Gal.-Diesel-Container/0000000038885?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bsearch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct%20search&gslfah&gclid=CNv3jMK0nbsCFUjNOgodKzwAFg
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« Reply #169 on: December 07, 2013, 04:25:06 am »


For my used oil, I simply went to the local hardware store and bought a plastic, 5 gallon,  diesel can ( they are normally yellow) and wrote "used oil" on the side with a sharpie. I simply pour my drain pan into that and then when it gets close to full I take it to Walmart to dump it. no muss, no fuss and easy to handle.

Something like this.
http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/Midwest-Can-5-Gal.-Diesel-Container/0000000038885?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bsearch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct%20search&gslfah&gclid=CNv3jMK0nbsCFUjNOgodKzwAFg


My local mechanic heats with it. I just walk in put the jug down grab an empty one and walk out.
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« Reply #170 on: December 09, 2013, 04:09:36 pm »




Cheap athelete's foot spray does the same thing . . . . .  . in case you're out of pit stop


So does talcum powder
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« Reply #171 on: August 11, 2014, 11:30:19 am »

Tire bead broken by thought instead of contraption

My dad was a mechanic when he was young.  His dad was mechanic all his life.
I’m a shade-tree mechanic.
I’m also a thinking man.
These complement each other and my motorcycling.

I changed a tire on my Vstar.   So I had to break the bead.  So I thought about it on my last cpl rides before the change.
Breaking a tire bead is really just applying sufficient force at a specific spot.
I don’t change tires enough to justify the money or space for a store-bought bead breaker (or tire changer).
Some of the DIY bead breakers I’ve seen on the internet are brutally scary while others need to be mounted to a wall stud...  they’re all ‘out’.
I have multiple ways of applying force - threads and a ratchet, breaker bar, pry-bars, tire iron...

I invented a way to break the bead quite easily that didn’t need me to buy anything or mount anything!!
I now present the easy, portable, cheap, fast  and easy way to break a tire bead;

All it uses is:  a motorcycle tie-down strap, a piece of auto fuel line, a car jack, a plumbing T and a screw driver.
Yes, that is ALL - I concede that not everyone has a piece of auto fuel line or a plumbing T, but it’s CHEAP!

Instructions;
Release air, remove valve stem
Tire / wheel flat / horizontal
- I did it on a trash can that it fit between the disk break and the rim, with plastic tubing sliced and put over the rim of the can.  Could easily be done with the tire & wheel on 2x4s on the floor.
Put the piece of fuel line (7/16, fuel injection, 4+ inches) on the tire right next to the rim of the wheel
- note: Fuel injection fuel line is stronger and therefore stiffer than ‘regular’ fuel line.
Put the jack (I used a bottle jack, but most any portable could be used) on the tire & fuel line with the inside edge of the jack lined up with the outer edge of the wheel.
Raise the jack enough to put the ram of the jack into the T fitting  – 3/4” PVC (iron would be ‘better’ because it has slight flanges).  You won’t need the fitting if you use a scissors jack...
Wrap the strap around the tire twice – and over the T fitting.  Secure it (to itself) and snug it.
Slowly ‘jack’ the jack.
Use the screwdriver to ensure the jack doesn’t press down on the wheel, but right next to it, on the fuel line.
Once the jack is along side the wheel, jack it!

I was going to use a piece of 1x4 under the tire when I did the second bead, but it as so easy and FAST  that I forgot about it - and didn’t need it.
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« Reply #172 on: September 08, 2014, 12:03:09 am »

THere is another way to brake the bead,  If you have another bike get a bit of carpet put it down next to the second bike (keeps the rim from getting scratched). lay the rim on the ground & use the kickstand of the second bike to break the bead.
  Been working well for me and real cheap to do  Bigok
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« Reply #173 on: October 10, 2014, 04:25:54 pm »

Front Wheel Rotation.
Wanting to check/add air to front wheel. While on center stand, needed the front wheel  a quarter turn to get the valve stem in the proper location to check air pressure. Too much weight on the front wheel made turning by hand very difficult. Not wanting to push bike off center stand, I wrapped a heavy object (large pipe wrench) in a rag and placed in front wheel on horizontal spoke.  Then I pushed down on the rear end to lift the front tire off the ground and the wheel rotated the quarter turn to access the valve stem.
I've owned that pipe wrench for maybe 25 years and I think that is the first time I used it.
That was to move the wheel in the forward direction. To move it in a reverse direction, I slip a rag through the spokes, away from the stem. Then I grab both ends of the rag and pull up. The tire skids along the floor but works fairly well.
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« Reply #174 on: July 18, 2016, 03:53:01 pm »

Can't believe nobody's mentioned the DIY carb sync tool yet. Need to sync your carbs but don't want to spend $125 on a Morgan Carbtune? Well for $0.40 per foot, go buy  20 feet of clear pvc tubing at the hardware store and make a manometer for under $10 that is self calibrating and more accurate... that's right, more accurate and precise (I'll explain why in a bit.)  You'll have to decide what diameter you'll need, but for me 3/16 inch ID fits perfectly snug on my bikes carb vacuum ports. I had an old metal yardstick at home, but any scrap piece of wood will work. Find the halfway point of the tubing, then bend it in a U and zip tie it to the yardstick all the way to the top. That leaves you 2 7-foot lengths of tubing to go to two carbs. Using a turkey baster or large syringe, fill the tube with ATF. Technically nearly any fluid will work, but I like red ATF. You want a more viscous fluid than water with a higher boiling point....water can boil at room temperature under vacuum. Also ATF won't damage your engine if a mishap occurs and it gets sucked into the carb...just cause smoke and lube the top end of that cylinder.  Anyway, the only tricky part is getting the right amount of ATF in the tube so it makes two columns about 18 to 24 inches high up each tube from the U bend at the bottom...and all the air bubbles out. Patience is the key here, but once you've got it done and all the bubbles out it'll always be right and you'll never have to do it again. Mine has hung on the garage wall for years now.

The manometer uses differential pressure, not against the atmospheric pressure, but against each leg and gravity. It never needs calibrating because gravity always works. It's directly comparing the vacuum of each carb relative to the other, not against each carb to the atmospheric pressure as a reference.

I built mine years ago, and it still works flawlessly, used it just last night in fact. I simply use some string or a zip tie to hang it in a convenient place right in front of my bike... you could get creative with your carpentry skills and make a lumber stand.

Yes it only measures two carbs at a time. But it is more precise and accurate. Balance cylinders 1 vs 2. Then switch ports over to 3 vs 4 (being sure to cap off the ports on 1 and 2 first.) Then sync 1 vs 4....may be iterative process though, as your idle speed is sure to change and adjusting the idle speed seems to change the sync between 1 and 4 for some reason...maybe just a quirk the the throttle linkage on my GPz, because I don't remember having that issue with my Katana.

My homemade manometer is more precise because 1) the engine pulses don't cause the fluid to bounce once a vacuum is established in both legs....no restrictors needed. The columns pulse maybe 1 mm at most. With my old mercury stick even with restrictors the mercury columns bounced up and down maddeningly. 2) The standard in my manual says the carbs are synched if within 2.7 kpa, or 2 cm Hg column height.  Well, with a specific gravity of 0.87, an equivalent column height of ATF is about 12.5 inches! I'm able to easily get my carbs within about a half inch, if not spot on. So for less than $10 of plastic tubing, some zip ties, some wood or a yardstick, and 16 cc's of ATF you'll have a great method of syncing your carbs.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 02:31:15 pm by Walker » Logged

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« Reply #175 on: July 19, 2016, 08:57:26 pm »

WOW!!! That is a heck of an idea. Please move to the front of the room!
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« Reply #176 on: August 08, 2016, 10:44:58 am »

If changing tires has always been difficult and daunting for you, or you are really concerned about scratching your rims, this method is for you! I've read about and seen a YouTube video on it, so with new rubber to put on I went to Harbor Freight to get two packs of 24 inch long zip ties at $1.34 each (10 per pack).

So far I've only done my rear tire (which for me has always been the most difficult.) It went like this: after getting the rear wheel off and the valve core removed, I soaped up the beads with some dish soap water and propped the wheel flat on the concrete with two 2x4s. I actually broke the beads free using a garden spade (shovel) by placing the blade of the spade on the bead next to the rim edge and jumping on it. It popped right off and came loose all around. Flip over and repeat on the other side.

Then take a seat on your stool, stand the wheel up, and feed a zip tie through between the rim and the beads, squeezing the beads into the drop center of the rim. Cinch the zip tie up best you can, squeezing the beads together. Continue around the rim. Took me 6 zip ties total, but I probably could have used more to make it that much easier. Go around and cinch them up some more, as after you get them on it becomes easier and easier to squeeze the beads together.

Soap up the beads again, lay the wheel back down on the 2x4s and position the tire in the drop center on one side of the wheel and lift it up over the rim on the other. I actually used a tire spoon at this point to get it started over, but once to starts, the rest can be pulled off by hand. It helps to have the tires warmed in the sun or with a heat gun to make them more flexible. But it was comparatively really easy than just using tire irons alone!

Cleaned up my wheel really well then got ready to put the new tire on. I used 8 zip ties to cinch the beads tight all the way around, then soapy water on both beads. Set the wheel down on the 2x4s and, double checked the tire rotation direction, then got it started on one side in the drop center, I was able to get the tire on by hand with no tools at all...just kneeled on the tire and pushed it on! Took less than 30 seconds. Before cutting the zip ties, rotate the tire around to line up the red dot with the valve stem. You can either use some wire cutters and cut the ties, or do like I did and used a very small screwdriver to release the ratchet pawl on the zip tie so I can reuse them on my front tire. (PITA! But I'm a tightwad.)

The new tire (Shinko 009 Raven) popped right on the beads at 45 psi, and balanced right up easily. Rode in to work this morning and I am very happy so far. I wanted to scrub in the new rear tire before changing the front. I'll likely have the new front tire on tonight after work.

This has been a real game changer for me. I intend to use this method from now on because the extra time it took to get the ties on and cinched up really paid off big time. My wheels have a very shallow drop center so changing tires has always been really challenging, and the local shop charges $30 per wheel and will only mount tires you bought from them. For you traditionalists poo pooing this method thinking "grow a beard and some gonads and get out there with your irons son! That's a sissy way!" all I can say is try it, you'll be a devout convert after.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 11:00:08 am by Walker » Logged

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« Reply #177 on: August 08, 2016, 11:16:44 am »

Got a pick of how the zip ties are done?
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« Reply #178 on: August 08, 2016, 06:18:30 pm »


Got a pick of how the zip ties are done?


Not my pic, but shows it perfectly

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We'd just keep going, "Are we not men? We are Devo!" for like 25 minutes, directed at people in an aggressive enough manner that even the most peace-lovin' hippie wanted to throw fis
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« Reply #179 on: August 09, 2016, 05:51:20 pm »




Not my pic, but shows it perfectly




Another good idea by Walker. I had ordered a Harbor Freight tire changing set-up a week and a half ago for cheap so I will use a wood clamp as a way to keep the tire squeezed for easy removal.
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