Thursday, May 2, 2024

Automotive Tech Update #3

Our instructor Bobby Griffin demonstrates the smoke machine for finding leaks. 

Let's say goodbye to April, which included my favorite day of the year, April Fool's Day! The month of March wrapped up my Ignition and Fuel Systems class, and April started a four-week Emissions class that covers gas and diesel engines, as well as hybrids and electrics. I'm also enrolled in an English class and a college orientation class, but take my word for it, the automotive stuff is way more interesting. Sure, you just might have to cite something using the MLA edition 9 style book, but using a torque wrench is more rewarding. 

Exhaust gas analyzer

Out in the auto-shop, a partner and I wrapped up the head gasket job on a 2002 Chrysler mini-van, so that's given me some experience with taking off and then replacing every part above those gaskets. We were careful to follow all the torque specs on the heads, exhaust, intakes, and etc., so that will be an improvement over what we found when we took it apart and found loose bolts here and there. Another detail of this job was cleaning up and grinding the valves seats and valve stems. It was very rewarding to get this done, and have the engine start up first time with no leaks!

Compared to the head gaskets on the V6 mini van, this was a fairly quick job. We had to replace a fuel pump, so here's the gas tank on the ground. Yes, the fuel pump was in the gas tank. Yes, the tank was nearly full of gas. We also replaced the canister vent line. 

Our resource at school for each vehicle is ProDemand, which is one of the online services that garages can use that probably have all the info for lots of makes of cars. I looked up how much a subscription would be, and it's something like $184 a month. That's a bit high to use at home, but for a business that works on more than one brand of cars, it's a pretty good idea to have access to all the technical info you need to get the job done right. Like most things in life, however, if I win the big lottery, I'll be sure to get a subscription. 

The valve on the right has been ground, so it's nice and shiny, even though you can tell how dirty they are from 22 years of use. 

The shop has this old Sioux Tools valve grinder that we used. 

Check out that clean angle on the valve tip. 

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