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Sledgstone

Damn exhaust pipe

As I was driving home from work last monday I noticed my saturn kept getting louder and louder. And then, right on the last couple streets to get to my house, my car started screaming at me. The car drove fine, felt fine, but the f*cking thing sounded like a drag racer. I got home and checked my exhaust and sure as hell, the joint where the exhaust pipe connects at broke. A car with no exhaust connected to it is so friggin loud you almost need earplugs.

The joint was pretty rusted, but the reason it broke is because another support piece further down the exhaust pipe broke and that caused the pipe to have enough back/forth and up/down movement to finish off the joint. I don't have any pictures of it or my repair job. But it should be all fine now since I quicksteeled the support and main joint back together again. Thank goodness for quicksteel. Aside from duct tape, this epoxy steel is versitile as all hell. *rubs my sore fingers from all the kneeding* x_x

Sledgstone

I was looking through my old blog posts and I see this:

http://www.ancientclan.com/blog/1/entry-33-worst-case-scenario-for-us-by-end-of-2008/

I was watching way too much MSNBC in 2008. Back in the day I used to watch Fox News. I thought Bill O'Reilly was great with how he interviewed politicians. The no spin zone was a concept that I liked. My dad would listen to Rush Limbaugh and I'd hear many of his broadcasts. Years later I moved to NY. Democrats are more popular in this state. I ended up eventually watching some MSNBC instead of Fox News or CNN. After a few years and a presidential election I realized that all media is biased. Looking back on my days of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh I used to vote party line all republican. I didn't even know who any one was.. just the fact that it was republican was good enough for me. When I finally started voting in NY I eventually voted the same way. Party line democrat.

Looking back on it all, I was controlled. Based upon the biased news I'd hear, I was manipulated into thinking a certain way without being out right told to do so.

I no longer watch these channels when I can avoid them. Instead I'll look at twitter, see some headlines, then google search those words and read the news from a couple of random sources. I get a much better view on whats real this way. And if I see an article that is highly motivated towards a specific party then I disregard that website or channel and try to avoid them.

I was easily manipulated for years by a one sided argument against the other political party. They are like religious leaders. Preaching their story and telling you how to think and behave but never telling you about the good things the other party actually does. Like religion, everyone is expected to pick a side and all other views and opinions are blasphemous and should not be considered or even listened to. I believe, because of my religious christian upbringing, I was, in essence pre-programmed as a child to accept things that are presented to me and keep coming back for me of the same speech. As well as stay true to the person or in this case, channel, giving me my information.

I can honestly say that most of the reliable news I get comes from NPR. I can fact check a variety of stories or search for different views on some subjects they cover and they are not biased or necessarily pro government. Any other website or news source that says other wise is the equivalent of a pastor reprimanding you for looking into or asking about another religion. If you don't get your news fix from only them, then NPR and all other news is corrupt. What a load of shit.

What also kills me is the ridiculous unchecked comments. Everyone has comments, but no moderators. I've seen sites where pro democrats say they'll move to canada if a republican is ever elected president again. I've seen fear mongering from democrats basically stating that many right wing nuts are about to push the boundaries for starting a civil war.

I've also seen comments from pro republican sites where people talk about the day the south will eventually rise again and reclaim america, "but not in a racially motivated slave way".. I've also seen where people want to force god back into the country but refuse to admit that the founding fathers were secualrists.

All of it is dumbfounding. US citizens are basically sheep following a flock. I'm just glad the flat earth society was never main stream. Imagine if I fell into that way of thinking.. lol. People alive today still believe the earth is flat. wtf.

Sledgstone

In my previous blog post I showed my new smoker:

New Brinkmann Smoker (ECB) El Cheapo Brinkmann

But the smoker didn't work out all that good right out of the box. These are the following modifications I've made to it:

When I first got my smoker I put a grate at the bottom of the charcoal pan because I read that a grate will help in keeping ash buildup from blocking the air flow. This was not entirely correct. What I needed to do was have the grate about an inch off the bottom so that air flow can reach every piece of coal while allowing ash to sift down to the bottom. So my first modification was to use some pliers and bend the air fins open more to allow more airflow. Because I'll be able to control the airflow with another modification, I wanted to make sure the airflow would not get restricted by ash buildup. The second mod I did was to install three carriage bolts with nuts 1 inch from the bottom of the pan. This allows me to set the grate on the bolts and gets me the airflow I want. Before doing this, I attempted to use 3 equally sized rocks to lift the grate up.. Not a good idea. It worked but it didn't. The rocks change the flow of air and also absorb heat and break. Installing permanent bolts was the only real solution. Using a drill I made three holes 1 inch from the bottom and installed the bolts. I didn't want to use carriage bolts but they were the only ones I could find for the size and length I wanted to use at the local hardware store. These bolts worked out fine in the end because they didn't sit to far away from the pan's sides to affect how it sits in the base pan.

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The next modification was the most time consuming. I needed to control the airflow of this smoker. This smoker has two vents. The bottom vent which is a hole about 2 inches in diameter and the other is the gap where the lid sits on the body of the smoker. The lid does not go on with a solid seal and is designed that way so there is no need for an air vent on the top. I have seen other people modify their ECB lids by installing an oven gasket around the rim to make it have a solid seal and then installing an aftermarket weber charcoal damper on the lid. However, I did not do this.. I am more concerned about the airflow coming into the smoker at the bottom than restricting or increasing the airflow from the top.

Here is what I did.. I drilled three holes into my base pan. One of those drill holes was a mistake which I'll explain in a bit. I used one bolt along with a washer, lock washer and lock nut to connect a pickle jar lid to the base of the pan. I needed to drill 2 holes into the jar lid. One to keep it connected to the base pan and the other to act as a slot for the metal control rod. Using a washer, lock washer and lock nut, the lid will stay connected without unscrewing the bolt due to repeated opening and closing. I drilled another hole into the side of the base pan to allow the metal rod to protrude out the side. This is where I messed up. I drilled the hole too high up. Once I had everything in place, I put the charcoal pan into the base pan and realized it was weighing down on the metal rod preventing me from using it correctly. So I drilled another hole right at the bottom of the side and then the pan fit perfectly. Of course this left me with a hole I had to plug up. Thankfully I the smoker came with some extra bolts and nuts and I simply used one of those to seal off the hole.

The biggest problem with this was the metal rod I was using. I had an old metal sign holding post that I decided to use because it was tough and it already had one end of it bent into a crude loop from a previous project. This was some sturdy metal. After cutting it to the right shape, I was unable to bend it by hand. My bolt cutters have metal bending rods on it and I was able to use those to bend the metal into the angles I needed. This was a pain. I forgot to take a picture of the underneath of the base pan. Its basically a piece of metal bent in three places. Once at a 90 degree angle to fit through the jar lid hole, then another bend to keep the metal from scraping the ground, and then a third bend to keep the metal from scraping the bottom of the pan. In the end it worked out good because the piece of metal has just enough weight to it that it feels sturdy and it won't disconnect. With this done, I now an adjustable damper and I have full control over the airflow.

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A different angle:

blogentry-1-0-87462700-1377457070_thumb.

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Now that I can open and close the damper to whatever amount of air flow I want to allow in, I need to be able to tell what the actual temperature of the smoker is. For this I needed to add a new thermometer. Adding a new thermometer was easier than I thought it would be. All I needed to do was drill one hole and then use a piece of simple lamp hardware found in my local hardware store's electricity aisle. Its a threaded feed-through with 2 nuts. I can't remember what the actual thing was called on the package in the store, but its basically a brass tube that is threaded for nuts to attach to it like a bolt. Its lamp hardware because electric cords usually go through the opening to the light bulb. But for me, the opening will be for my new thermometer. The hardware store only sold the things in a pack of 8 in varying sizes and the nuts were on the shelf just below them, also in a pack. I used either a 1 or 1 1/2 inch feed through with two nuts. Using a couple pliers I tightened the two nuts and kept the bulk of the feed through on the inside of the smoker to keep the thermometer level. I've seen some people recommend candy thermometers, but I chose instead to get a new Weber thermometer off amazon. Because the thermometer itself isn't installed, I can take it inside and clean it after every use.

Outside look. I installed it right above the charcoal door:

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Inside look. Two nuts holding it in place. Pretty simple. I also bent this slightly downward to make sure the thermometer sits a bit more tight.

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This new thermometer is significantly better than the one that came with the smoker. I can now get the smoker up to 250 and using the damper on the bottom, I can make small adjustments to the airflow and maintain a constant cooking temperature.

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And here it is all completed:

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Resources I used for this project:

http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm

http://brinkmannsmokermod.blogspot.com/2011/01/simple-modification-to-brinkmann.html

Sledgstone

I've been having some problems with vibration, noise and pulsating brakes with my blazer for a while. Since I replaced the front brakes, the problem hasn't improved much. Its mostly because the back e-brakes need to be grinded down more and the brake lines need to be bled. Hopefully once I finish those things, my brake problems will be over with. If not, it'll be time to take it into a shop. x_x

Anyway, I did some more front brake work on the blazer last week. I cleaned off the rest of the leftover grease from the calipers, sprayed disc quiet on the brake pads to stop the annoying squeaking noise (which it did take care of) and I cleaned and liberally re-greased the caliper pins and rubber boots they fit into.

Disc quiet works by acting as a sticky adhesive on the back plate of the brake pad. It causes the brake pads to stick to the caliper so that when the brake pressure is released, the caliper pulls the brake pads away from the rotor and holds them in place so they don't bang around or continue to slightly rub against the rotor while you are driving.

Heres a pic of the sprayed on disc brake quiet on the brake pads. Always remember to spray brakleen on the sides of the pads or the metal nub ends if you spray them by accident.

brakepads1.jpg

The brake pads put back on, with grease applied to the connecting points.

brakepads2.jpg

This is the caliper bolt pin I mentioned in my other blog post for the front brake job. I wiped it down and mostly cleaned it up.

brakecaliperpins1.jpg

Here it is greased up and ready to go back into the caliper/brake pad mounting piece.

brakecaliperpins2.jpg

And if anyone is interested, here is a pic of the hand goop that I use to clean the grease, dirt, oil and grime off my hands. This crap works amazingly well.

handgoop.jpg

Sledgstone

Well, I did the oil change for the Blazer for the first time last Sunday (09-20-2009). I had to buy an oil filter wrench because my grip wrench would not budge that f*cking oil filter no matter how hard I tried. What a pain in my ass that was. Everything went well, but then on monday I noticed a weird humming noise and a stiffness to the steering wheel. Afraid I f*cked something up, I checked all my fluids. But no, it wasn't the oil. My power steering fluid was out. WTF. So I hit the gas station down the road from work, put some power steering fluid in and got home with no problem. I had to to do this a couple of times. I ended up getting some power steering stop leak at NAPA. It seemed to have stopped the leak thursday night. But! I started driving to work friday and the steering gave out completely. I tried putting my fluid in, but the car vomited it all over the road.

As of today, I removed the air filter cabin and the front left headlight. It seems that the power steering fluid is leaking from a metal joint that connects to the ps cooler. I'm trying to put a hose over top of the broken section of pipe and clamp it down to fix the leak. I should be finished with it tomorrow, rain permitting. If it doesn't work, I might have to cut that section of pipe off and replace it with a high pressure hose... I'm just hoping that that is the only place it is leaking from. And I have to say this... what a horrible f*cking design flaw. With the way the headlight is positioned, the excess rain water or salty water during the winter that hits in that crack between the headlight and the hood would drip down the back of the headlight and rust the shit out of this metal joint. Why in the hell would someone design something to be rusted out like that? Its like it was made to break.

Sledgstone

So after all the work I put into our blazer, and all the money we had to spend on it for random fixes left and right, enough is enough. The transmission starting going over the past couple weeks. From what I saw online, getting a flush would cause more harm than good, but just replacing the filter and a couple quarts of fluid shouldn't cause any problems. So I went to midas and paid them to replace the tranny filter and the fuel filter. They screwed up something by either hitting something too hard when they took the pan off, or they somehow dislodged something, or the transmission was just so bad, that even touching it caused it to screw up even more. After the tranny filter was replaced, it lost the first and second gears and the service engine soon light came on for 2 shift solenoids. Midas offered no help at all afterwords and only told me to take it to a transmission shop. The only way I could drive it was to physically shift it to first, then second, third and then drive... every single time the car came to a stop.

So fuck it, we decided to trade it in. We were holding off for a while because we know we owed more than it was worth.. sure as hell the trade in value was pure shit. We did get a good deal at a toyota dealer with zero percent financing for 5 years tho. Yay. We got a new 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Pics:

http://forums.ancientclan.com/album.php?albumid=62

Sledgstone

This is a brief walk through of how to do a front brake job on a 2001 Blazer. If you are using this as a reference to do your own brake job, please keep in mind that all cars are different and not everything will look the same or be the same socket or wrench sizes. Also, if you have never done a brake job before, I highly recommend you have someone help you who has done them before so you don't mess something up. If you mess up your brakes, your brakes could fail and you could die or kill others accidentally.

Anyway, with that little disclaimer out the way, get everything you'll need together.

Unlike some of my other blog entries, the following pictures precede the instructions that go with that picture. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

blazer_brakejob_01.jpg

Everything from left to right:

1) Impact driver that plugs into cigarette lighter.

2) Wheel chocks

3) Tools on the bottom include and pry bar, 1/2 socket wrench, brake caliper clamp (I can't remember the actual name of it), rubber mallet.

4) A can of Brakleen and a bottle of brake/caliper greese.

5) Mechanics tool set.

6) Paper towels.

7) 2-1/2 ton Jack stand

8) 2 new rotors and ceramic brake pads. Ceramics are better and don't have nearly as much brake dust, which means they keep your tires looking much cleaner and free of alot of grime.

Tools and items not shown include my 3-ton floor jack, a bottle of "freeze off" for rusted bolts and an inside shot of my tool set.

blazer_brakejob_02.jpg

1) Look in your car manual and locate the correct points underneath your car where you can safely jack your car up. You do not want to jack your car on a part of the frame that you think will be ok, only to have your jack put all the weight of the front end of the car on a part of metal that can't take it and thus it'll fuck up your car. BTW, this is my 3-ton floor jack. Before you start jacking up your car, place your wheel chocks around your rear tires so your car does not move on you while jacking. (I forgot to take that pic.)

blazer_brakejob_03.jpg

2) If you are using the jack that came with your car, jack up your car high enough to place a jack stand underneath it and lower it down onto it for safety. The jacks that come with cars are pieces of shit and you should not trust them with your head or limb under a vehicle. Only jack your car up high enough for the tire to freely rotate, about a half inch off the ground. I have faith in my jack, so I generally keep it up constantly, but I'll place a jackstand underneath in case some emergency happens and my jack brakes.

blazer_brakejob_04.jpg

3) BTW, you should probably check your new rotors and brake pads at the store to make sure they are free of nicks or brakes.

blazer_brakejob_05.jpg

4) Using an impact driver, most are powered by air compressors and are very expensive but this little one was really cheap and only costed me $30. I bought a better impact driver for it tho ($10ish), because the ones it comes with looked like shit to me.

blazer_brakejob_06.jpg

blazer_brakejob_07.jpg

5) If your tire has plastic covers covering the lug nuts, take them off by using a socket on them and taking them off easily by hand. No wrench needed for that. Then use your impact driver to take the lug nuts off. Always loosen the lug nuts first before removing them. Loosen them one after another by loosing the next lug nut opposite the one you just loosened. Never loosen them clockwise or counterclock wise. The lug nuts are on extremely tight, if you take them off one by one or loosen them incorrectly you run a big chance of fucking up your lug nuts and breaking some bolts.

blazer_brakejob_08.jpg

6) Now that the tire is off, you can place it on the ground and use it as a seat to take care of the rest of the job.

blazer_brakejob_09.jpg

7) Your caliper is the outer part of the brake system. It is connected to the car with a brake line. The caliper is only held on two bolt pins. I call them bolt pins because they are connected like bolts, but once you remove them, the length of the bolt is actually a greesed long metal pin. Its made like that so the bolt pin holds the caliper to the brake pad holder but also gives it the slight movement it needs for brake operation. I forgot to take a picture of the bolt pins. Also, if the bolts do not want to come off, you may have to spray them with some freeze off. If you use freeze off, try not to spray the rotor or brake pads with it. It acts like a lubricant and will cause your brakes to fail. Because I'm replacing the rotors, its not as big an issue. Also, remember which direction actually loosens and tightens the bolts. Because the bolts are facing you, you have to figure out which direction to turn them. If you over tighten them, you will probably shread the bolt head off and that will lead to a costly repair job. Once those pins are off, the caliper may not want to come off because of the brake pressure in the caliper. You will most like have to use a small pry bar to slowly work it off.

blazer_brakejob_10.jpg

8) Once you have taken the caliper off, place it on something so it does not hang from the brake line. A brake line job is extremely expensive and you do not want to damage that brake line by having something that weighs about 5-10 pounds dropping and damaging it. Next, you have to take off the brake pad holder. It has an actual name, but I can't remember it. Its only two bolts like the caliper, but these are actual bolts. And the top one of mine is in a tight spot. I had to carefully turn my steering wheel to rotate it into a position where I could get it all the way out. And even then my socket wouldn't fit on it. I had to go to the hardware store and pick up a 18mm wrench just for this job. These bolts haven't been off in a long time either, so I had to use some freeze off on them and even wack it a couple times with the rubber mallet to loosen it up.

blazer_brakejob_11.jpg

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9) Now that that is off, heres what everything looks like separated. You can take off the old brake pads at this point. You may have to use a rubber mallet to wack them off the brake pad holder if they are stubborn.

blazer_brakejob_13.jpg

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10) Here are some pics of the old rotor compared to the new one. The thickness isn't bad on the old one, but it has some bad groves in it. Rotors are supposed to be smooth. Also, if you wanted to, you could take your old rotors to a mechanic and have them machined. As long as they still have a good thickness to them, having them machined back to smoothness will make them re-useable. It generally costs about half as much as buying new rotors. It depends tho.

blazer_brakejob_15.jpg

11) Before you put your new rotor on, heavily spray that bastard down with brakleen to clean it. It may look clean, but you must make sure it is free from all oils usually leftover from manufacturing. Brakleen dissolves oil and greese away and drys very quickly.

blazer_brakejob_16.jpg

12) If your brake pads came with clips, follow the directions that came with them and apply the clips. Also, spray the side of the brake pads that will come in contact with the rotor with brakleen.

blazer_brakejob_17.jpg

13) Now prepare your caliper for the new hardware. Your caliper pistons are probably still out a bit. I like to put some caliper/brake greese on them at this point. Next put one of your old brake pads on the caliper and use the brake caliper clamp to push the caliper flush. If your car has two pistons like this one, alternate back and forth between the two until they are both flush around the same time. A C-Clamp can also be used for this if you have one. Once thats done, wipe off some of the excess greese with paper towels.

blazer_brakejob_18.jpg

14) Now reassemble the entire thing. The rotor goes right on. I recommend reattaching the brake pad holder first before putting the new brake pads on. Also, if you accidentally get any greese or grime from your hands on the rotor or the part of the brake pads that touch the rotor, respray them with brakleen. You do not want greese or oil on those parts. Also, make sure you do not get any greese or oil on the lug nut bolts. If you do, spray those with brakleen too.

blazer_brakejob_19.jpg

15) Heres a side view shot. You'll notice I put some brake greese on the two metal nubs where the brake pads are connected to the brake pad holder. The brake pads should have a little movement to them when sitting on there and the greese helps with that small amount of movement.

blazer_brakejob_20.jpg

16) Now put the caliper back on. It should fit on pretty easy now that the caliper pistons are pushed back. When putting the bolt pins back in, I would rub some brake/caliper greese on them first and slide them back into place and then tighten them on. Also, becareful not to over tighten any of the bolts. Tighten them to the point where you can't move them anymore, then give them one last strong tug to make sure they are tight. Other than that, don't over do it. Once the caliper is back on, test your brakes by having someone turn the car on and press on the brakes slowly all the way down. Then release slowly. Do that a couple times and try moving the rotor while the brake is down. If it doesn't move then you did good. Once the brakes are released, make sure the rotor moves again freely. It may be a little harder to move it now, but as long as it moves, then good. Doing this a couple times gets the calipers back into position for correct braking on the road.

blazer_brakejob_21.jpg

17) Now put your tire back on and, by hand, thread your lug nuts on and tighten them. Once they are on, bust out your impact driver and tighten them up in an opposite motion. Once they are all tight, tighten them even more. At least 5-10 clicks on your driver. Then remove your jack stand and slowly lower your jack down. Do not do it too fast. Let the weight distribute itself. Once the tire is down, remove your jack and then tighten your lug nuts again with a socket wrench to make sure they are on really friggin tight.

18) Now repeat all this on the other front wheel, because you must always do a brake and/or rotor job in pairs. Also, whenever you replace your rotors, you must replace your brake pads. Never put old brake pads on new rotors. New brake pads on old rotors are ok as long as the old rotors are smooth on both sides.

Sledgstone

Heres a couple pics of me fixing my blazer's emergency brake yesterday. A stupid little clasp at the top of the ebrake held in with a phillips head screw (just underneath the top of the brake shoe) was bent back and the brake shoe was not flush against the back plate. It caused all kinds of popping, clicking sounds and vibration while I was driving. So to fix it I pushed the e-brake shoe flush against the back plate and pushed the metal piece back into place and tightened it up. While I was at it, I used a small wire brush and srubbed of a bunch rust build up to make sure the ebrake would work smoother. I then followed it up with a quick clean up job with some brakekleen and an easy reassembly. Simple easy fix that just saved me $80 in labor from a mechanic. :P

These pics show the brakes and rotor off revealing the ebrake shoe:

blazeremergencybrakes1.jpg

blazeremergencybrakes2.jpg

Sledgstone

Blazer bullshit.

When I first got the blazer I had a huge number of issues with it, that thankfully, I was able to get fixed at the dealership for free within the first couple months of buying it. Of course there have been a variety of issues since then that I've had to take care of like a ball joint, alignment, oil leak, front and rear shocks, back brakes, front brakes.

At least I've been able to do the brake jobs myself, but just the other day my emergency/parking brakes seized up on my back rotors. F*ck me. Most of the problem was in the back left wheel, I couldn't even get the damn rotor off. The parking brake almost welded itself to it with a layer of rust and a broken clip. You never want to change a rotor without changing the brake pads at the same time, so even tho it didn't need new brake pads I had to put new ones on along with the rotors. Because I couldn't get the rotor off, I broke down and called the local Midas and they took care of it for me.

Hundreds of dollars later, its all fixed and safe again. New rotors, pads and e-brakes. And of course the new shit all makes pretty much the same noises, but thats due to the massive amount of rust from the back plate which is located about 3 centimeters from the spinning rotor. I would rip the fucker off and say to hell with the noise, but its safer to leave it on so nothing kicks up from a tire and nicks the rotor. So unless the noise eventually goes away, I'll probably be stuck with a squeaky, rattling blazer from now on. *dies* x_x

Sledgstone

So I finished up the front brake job with no real problem. The only thing I forgot to do was spray on some anti-squeal on the backs of the brake pads, but thats only because I didn't have any at the time. Anyway, the front brakes are good, but we've been getting some vibrations in the steering wheel and the ABS is randomly kicking on. So I decide to check out the back brakes again. Seeing as I paid Midas to do my back brakes about 6 months ago, I never really looked at the job all too carefully aside from messing with the back left e-brake as I mentioned in another blog post.

So, I start on the back right, I start taking it all apart and checking the work they did and thats when I realize one of the caliper pins is completely seized in place and the other one has limited movement. It took me about an hour to work that fucking pin out with my socket wrench while constantly spraying it with freeze off. wtf. I get that out, cleaned it, greased it. Ok. I go to take the rotor off and its locked in place on the e-brake. I had to whack that sunofabitch off with a rubber mallet. The rotor comes off, and so does the e-brake. After looking it over, the emergency brake was such a tight fit in the rotor, once its in place, it was causing a constant rubbing on the inside of the rotor. So I filed and sanded the damn e-brake down so it'll have a cm of breathing room. I cleaned everything up, re-assembled, tested thoroughly and its now in good shape.

Roughly 5 hours on Saturday. It took me about 5 hours to get that pin out, clean everything and sand down that e-brake. So I figured the back left couldn't be as bad... Yeah. So yesterday (Sunday), I took the back left off and even tho the rotor came off easily, the brake dust on the inside of the rotor showed the e-brake was rubbing too. And of course, another seized pin in the caliper. WTF did I pay those guys for? Another 5 hours later and this side is now done.

I took it for a slight test drive yesterday and the braking felt better than ever. I didn't get a chance to drive that far to see if the vibration problem is fixed yet, but I would assume the stuck caliper pins and rubbing brakes was the cause behind all that.

I will never go back to that Midas again. Fucking rip off bastards.

Sledgstone

Recipe BBQ Beef

Instructions to make:

BBQ Beef sandwiches out of leftover beef roast.

Serving size: About 5-6 sandwiches per 1-1/2 pounds of beef.

Ingredients:

- Leftover beef roast. (1-1/2 pounds)

- 1 bottle of BBQ Sauce

Instructions:

This recipe is for how to make your leftover beef roast into bbq beef. If you do not have leftover beef roast or do not know how to cook it. You can still do this recipe, just upscale it. To make a beef roast, buy a beef top round roast, rinse it off and put it in a crock pot. Put water in the crock pot so the roast is about half covered in water and put a couple beef bouillon cubes in it. Sprinkle pepper and garlic salt on the roast, cover and set the crock pot on low and let it cook for about 8 hours.

After 8 hours, follow this recipe at step 3.

1) Take your leftover beef roast and put it in a mini crock pot, or full size crock pot. (If you are using a full size crock pot, cut your leftover roast into smaller pieces to fill the bottom of the pot more so you'll use less water.

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2) Fill your crock pot so its about halfway covering the beef. Then cover the pot, turn on your crock pot to low. Or if it doesn't have a low setting like my mini crock pot, just plug it in for its regular cooking temperature. Let it cook for about 4 hours. Obviously, since I'm cooking a leftover roast that has already been cooked for 8 hours previously, this is going to be extremely tender meat.

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3) Take your beef out and place it on a plate. It should be cooked enough that its practically falling apart.

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4) Use two forks and break apart all the meat. You can also take out any large pieces of fat at this point too.

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5) Place the shredded beef back into the pot and completely cover the beef in water. Cover it back up and let it cook another 2-4 hours. I did 4 more hours. The longer it cooks in the water, the more tender it will be.

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6) Strain all the water out, but leave the beef in the pot. And pick out a bottle or two of bbq sauce (I recommend KC Masterpiece Original for this). If you are cooking an entire roast for this, you'll probably need 3-4 bottles depending on how big your roast is.

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7) Gradually mix in about half a bottle of bbq sauce for each pound of beef you are cooking in the crock pot. Now cover the crock pot again and let it keep cooking for another 20 minutes to an hour. If longer than 20 minutes, stir about every 20 minutes. I let it cook for almost another 1. It will need 20 minutes of cooking at this point so the bbq flavor really permeates into the beef. Cooking longer than an hour at this point might just start burning your beef. So keep an eye on the clock at this point.

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8) Scoop up some BBQ Beef and put it on a bun. Enjoy! And make sure you have a paper towel or napkin, because it has a similar consistansy as a sloppy joe.

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9) Eat! Its so good. :drool:

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Sledgstone

Battle Angel

The city of Zolem, floating thousands of feet above the land throws a shadow upon Scrap Iron City. Scrap Iron City is made from the refuse and waste cast down by Zolem and the city's populace consists of cyborgs, robots, thieves and man. Scrap Iron City is where this story takes place as Ido, an exile of Zolem and a cyborg engineer, begins another of his often ventures into the scrap to search for pieces of machinery to salvage. On this fateful day he comes across the remains of a cyborg and quickly realizes that it is still alive. He decides to repair her and when the cyborg awakes, she has no memory of her past. Ido decides to give her a name and that name is Gally.

Gally is kind hearted and gentle, until the night she notices Ido leave unannounced. Gally follows him and discovers that Ido is a Hunter Warrior (bounty hunter) and he is in trouble. Ido has come across a foe more powerful than he expected and is nearly killed; Gally seems to react with instinct and slays the cyborg about to kill her dear friend. Afterwards she tells Ido that she never felt more alive than when she fights and insists becoming a Hunter Warrior as well.

Gally claims many heads and many bounties as a Hunter Warrior and she also falls in love with a young man named Yugo. Yugo has a dream to one day live on Zolem, and Gally does all that she can to help him accumulate the money he needs. But everything falls short with deceit and lies and finally tragedy ensues.

Battle Angel is an excellent story filled with action, love and adoration. This anime is divided into two parts, one titled Rusty Angel and the other Tears Sign. Based off the epic manga titled Gunnm, Battle Angel is a short OVA that pays tribute to the wonderful Gally.

Quote
  • Animation: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Voice Actors: 10
  • Characters: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Overall: 10
  • Platform: OVA
  • Genre: Fantasy / Action
  • Publisher: ADV Films / AD Vision Inc
  • Released: 1993
Sledgstone

A single setting on my test vbulletin 4 (which uses a copy of this forum's databse) screwed up all my blog attachment images. And they've probably been screwed up for about a week. :x I just found out and it really annoys the hell out of me because if I remember correctly, the damn setting on vb4 wouldn't let me change the directory, it only said "Click here to import your blog attachments into the new attachments structure." So I clicked it thinking nothing of it. The images loaded, except here it is a week later I finally realize that it moved the images from the directory on the live forum instead of from the directory from the test forum. Damn! POS! -_-; At least I still have copies of everything and I should be able to fix everything by putting the copies back into the right folder. I hate it when a program makes me waste time.

Sledgstone

Ads on AC

I hate ads. But I also hate being strapped for cash and having an outstanding credit card debt because of continuous monthly charges. Of course I love having my websites, but at the time of the last server move we had hosting revenue coming in. So yeah, gotta supplement those bills somehow. At least we don't have to look at the ads while we're logged in. At least the majority of us.

*stabs economy*

Sledgstone

A while ago, I had some serious engine rocking problems and misfires happening with my car. The end result was a $700 repair bill at a local mechanic. Part of the repair work about $150 of it, was for replacing the valve cover gasket. Well, a few months after it was done, it started leaking oil and over the past 6 months it started leaking really bad, causing oil to leak down onto the exhaust manifold and cause grey smoke to come out from under the hood on a daily basis. Seeing as the valve cover already had a new gasket and still leaked, I figure the valve cover itself needs to be replaced as it has become warped with heat and/or damaged somehow.

I went to the local pick n pull and found the only saturn that had the same valve cover as mine. I lucked out pretty good. I have pictures of the valve cover before and after cleaning and what the factory gasket (black gasket) looks like. Maybe I'll post those pictures in another blog entry. But why did I buy the valve cover at the scrap yard? Because it only costed $11 compared to the close to $400 the dealership wants.

This tutorial isn't completely in-depth on how to change a valve cover gasket but it does cover all the steps. All I can say is that for a saturn, it is easier to change your valve cover than to change your front brake calipers and bleed the brake lines.

1) First off, drive the car up onto car ramps (not those shitty plastic ones, unless you want a car to fall on your head), put an oil drain pan under the oil pan, drain the oil by removing the oil pan plug, then remove the oil filter and also let that drain. Then screw back on your oil pan plug and put on a new oil filter. I have no pictures of doing all that. X'D

2) Disconnect your battery at the negative terminal. Now you'll want to mark the number order of your spark plug boots with duct tape and pull them out and set them to the side. Then disconnect the hose and unplug the pcv valve from the valve cover.

saturn_valve_cover_job_01.jpg

3) Now you'll remove the bolts holding the valve cover on. I would take them off in the order as specified in the haynes/repair manual. Then take the valve cover off, be careful, its an oily mess. The old gasket should come off rather easy, but you might have scrape the gasket off the manifold or valve cover, if any rtv was used. This is a picture of the old valve cover and gasket (the gasket is blue).

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4) Here is a picture of the engine head after I cleaned it. You have to have a clean oil free surface for your gasket or else it will leak. I used Brakekleen and a rag.

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5) Here is another angle. I'm posting these next couple pictures because I didn't know where I was supposed to apply the rtv when replacing the gasket. All over the internet, people would say "where the timing chain cover meets the head." or "on the timing chain T-joints."

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6) Which are right here. I felt stupid. I've never messed with engines before and I didn't realize that the timing chain had its own cover that covered a large chunk of the engine on the passenger side.

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7) Here is another angle. If you can make it out from my blurry picture, there is a slight recess in this joint. That is what you want to definitely be filled in with rtv. When I applied rtv, I smeared it on with my thumb and made sure air didn't get trapped in it. Now remember, do not apply rtv until you are ready to put the valve cover on and tighten all the bolts! rtv sets very fast and you don't want to have it harden up before you put everything back together.

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8) This is the new slightly used valve cover from the scrap yard. I cleaned it quite a bit with engine degreaser and then with brakekleen the day before and then let it thoroughly dry. The gasket easily fits snug into the valve cover's grooves.

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9) These are the locations where I put a small amount of rtv to make sure I got a good seal. I also applied rtv to the engine head at the same spots so the rtv will grab itself when I put the valve cover on.

saturn_valve_cover_job_09.jpg

10) And here is a picture of the valve cover bolts with their little gaskets on them. Remember to keep all the gaskets oil free!

saturn_valve_cover_job_10.jpg

11) Now apply your rtv on those spots I pointed out, (I used the blue rtv), and then very carefully place the valve cover back on, without smudging your rtv! and then put the bolts back on by hand at first and then follow the tightening sequence as shown in your repair manual.

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12) Here is another angle of what it will look like properly tightened. My old valve cover was flush with the head which shows how warped it must have been, considering this one is a more uniformly even spacing all around.

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13) Now put those boots back on your spark plugs and reconnect the hose, pcv valve and then your negative battery connection.

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14) Then let your car sit for 24 hours so your rtv will fully cure. Once thats done, put in 4 quarts of oil and test the car for leaks.

I just did this job yesterday and put oil in around 6 tonight. It looks like everything is holding up well. But I'm still keeping my eyes open for leaks. Hopefully I won't come across another problem related to this. x_x



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