The Mechanic? ~ Part One

Just a few days after our return home from Key West I was busily working on my vehicles. The Ford F-250 Super Duty needed some new sneakers. The Lexus RX 350 needed new struts and tires also. Both vehicles had to have their yearly State inspections. This is besides all of the planned projects on the 5th wheel and some unplanned projects!

The unplanned work, on the 5th wheel

The hot water flow to all the faucets stopped. This happened on the way home. I was baffled as to what was causing the hot water not to flow out of the faucet. Back home, I emptied the heater thinking scale was plugging the outlet. No luck in that department. After looking at my water heater info literature, no luck for a solution! “YouTube” was my next point of the study. I discovered that the way the 5th wheel manufacturer had piped the hot and cold,  one bypass valve and a “check valve” was installed and this check valve malfunctioning. It wasn’t really a surprise that I had to remove the Suburban heater from the camper. I couldn’t get enough leverage to remove the fitting. I ordered a two valve bypass kit that will eliminate this problem in the future. Like most things I tackle, I’m not an expert when I start, but I surely gain a lot of knowledge, after I finish the repair!

Defective Checkvalve!.jpg

The culprit!

The Lexus was my most stressful repair so far. It needed struts all the way around. The struts are the shock absorbers. In most cases, you can order “Quick Struts” which means the coil springs and struts are all assembled. This would have been a “piece of cake”. The problem was that the big three aftermarket manufacturers don’t make a quick strut assembly for my vehicle

The Rental Strut Compressor.jpg

The Rental Coil Compressor

. So, O’Reily’s Auto Parts had a good deal in that you can rent a coil compression tool for $54.00 for 48hrs, bring the tool back and get your $54.00 back. (The above photo) That’s the way I went, but I had a difficult time of compressing the springs enough to get the retaining nut on. This tedious task took me three days of work only to discover that I hadn’t torqued the retaining nut enough causing an intolerable clicking noise. I had to remove all four struts from the vehicle. Luckily a local garage owner, the guy who I bought $1,400.00 worth of tires, let me use their wall mounted strut compressor and in fifteen minutes all was completed except reinstalling on the car.

The Professional Strut Compressor.jpg

The Professional Coil Compresor!

Like I said in the above paragraph, I knew little when I started, but I know a lot when I finished. Did I save money by doing the work myself? Well, yes and no, I would have spent the extra money if the quick struts where available. My new knowledge is my reward! Oh, by not going to the Lexus Dealer I definitely saved lots of $$$$’s.

That is what I fixed and did!