Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for February, 2010

Mazda FWD Clutch Fix!!?

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          ##########…@ColumbiaSC.NCR.COM           ###

Dear World,

  I am about to attempt to replace the clutch
on a 1985 front wheel drive Mazda GLC.  

  I’ve never done a clutch job before but have
had success on difficult car repairs in the past.

  I will have the assistance of a wizzard when
I do the job this weekend
but I am requesting the advice of people who have
actually gone through the experience before (Mazda
or not / FWD or not).

  From reading the Mazda manual I have discovered
that I must remove the transaxle (being a front wheel
drive car) in order to get at the clutch parts.

  I am planning on replacing the clutch pad, the preasure
plate and the throw out bearing (anything else ?).  

  I will have to have a number of jacks seeing that the
transaxle is heavy (lowering with one) and a motor mount
bolt must be removed
(engine to be supported by other).

  A crossmember has to be taken out (because its in the
way). And a bunch of hard to reach shifting linkage must
be removed.

  I am also aware of a special allignment tool which is
necessary for reattaching the transaxle to the engine.
(The wizard is bringing that along)

Any advice on:

    errors to avoid
    other parts to replace.
    helpful hints
    extra tools

This is going to happen this weekend so please
respond ASAP.  

I know that the advice "DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME"
is coming my way but I’m a glutten for punishment.
So feel free to advise me that way but include some
technical assistance just the same.

Thanks ahead of time.

Mike Pratt
NCR Corp. Cola S.C.

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Beat the Emissions Contest!

I just passed the Illinois emissions test yesterday, and I was wondering if
anyone can beat my scores.  If you have data from a recent "smog" test, see
how it compares to mine.  This data is from a 1985 Saab 900 Turbo, with a 2
liter 16-valve engine, and I’m close to 80,000 miles on the odometer.

At idle:  HC 21 ppm, CO 0.0%, CO+CO2 15%
2320 rpm: HC  9 ppm, CO .03%, CO+CO2 15.4%

Send your entry by e-mail to this address or to att!ixplode!dcn and I’ll
collect it for a couple of weeks & post the results.  I am also curious
about the standards Illinois has adopted: HC 220 ppm, CO 1.2% and CO+CO2 6%
for both high and low idle.  Since my results are much better, isn’t this
letting a lot of smoggy cars run around?

Maybe my feelings will change when I have to test my ’73 Sonnet later this year!

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El Camino rear axle question

Hello netters or "Terve mieheen" as we say here in Finland!

I have a question for you who know something about -80 Chevrolet El Camino’s
7,5" limited slip ( 10 bolt ) rear axle:

What is the acceptable end play for the axle shaft, I meen when you take the
rear wheel and brake drum off and move the axle shaft in and out. I planning
to install new axleshaft oil seals and I would like to check the bearings too.

Happy new year!


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To Buff Or Not To Buff???

   The 83 Ranger I just bought has a new green paint job which was done by
the previous owner. The paint is a few months old and kind’a flat. He told
me that he has never rubbed it out, and that I should do that to it. My
experience with paint is limited. I’m a bit confused as to what to do here.
Some people say that you only should buff a car if the paint is oxidized, or
if you can’t get a good shine with a paint protectant/way. What exactly should
I do to this truck, and what products should I use? Am I to buff it out (by
hand or with a buffer?) with a rubbing compound, then protect it with a paint
protectant like Nu Finish, and then wax it with a good wax? I need specific
information on what to do and how to do it! Thanks in advance…


    __ "Man steps in with a terminal grin…blue starts turning to grey……
 __/// Young men die…children cry……Why is it always the same?"   – DEVO
 \XX/  "You only punch yourself out..when you start swinging blind."   – DEVO
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Re: Battery or alternator or other?

Subject: Re: Battery or alternator or other ?
In <14…>, wild… (Wes Wildcat) says:

>      Hello everyone, I’m having a possible electrical problem with my car.
> It’s a 78 Chevy Malibu, V8, 306 engine, automatic.  When I put the key in
> my dash board lights come on, but when I try to start it evrything goes
> dead, not even a sound from my engine…[More weird electrical problems
> deleted]

     Not too long ago I owned a ’78 Malibu V8 with similar odd electrical
problems. It turns out that at least in that year (and probably other years,
eh, Val?) Chevy used some cheapo copper-clad aluminum battery cables. The
problem was where the heavy-duty terminal was crimped onto the positive
battery cable, at the end that attaches to the starter solenoid. There was
a lot of corrosion that looked like aluminum oxide; basically just a lousy
connection. A nice, new aftermarket 100% copper battery cable fixed the problem.

|        Gary Parker        |       E-Mail: par…      |
|                      Men make gods in their own image                      |
| The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Allen-Bradley Company,|
| its parent company, or subsidiaries.  Your actual mileage may vary.        |

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85 Ford Escort

I have 85 Ford Escort (Automatic) car with 126,000 miles on it.  The timing
belt was changed after 75,000 miles.  The car runs good and never gave any
problem to start.  Also Fuel pump and Fuel Filter was changed recently.

For last several weeks, the car cuts the engine off whenever it comes to rest
after applying breaks.  (for example at stop sign or red light etc.)  To
avoid this, I usually slow down, and press the gas pedal very little so that
the idle will stay high and the car will not move further.  This problem
becomes severe in cold weather (40 degrees and below).  

Is it because of thermostat or timing belt or else ?

Thanks for any suggestion/advice in advance.

Nuru Parkar    Email address = npar…

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Saturn's safety ???

November’91 Consumer Reports reported the 1991 Saturn did poorly
on the government’s crash tests. (I think) The driver and passenger
were reported as seriously injured.

Did the ’92 Saturn fair better? Any other comments on
Saturn’s safety as compared to other small cars.

-Jeff Dieringer
 (708) 713-4150

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84 Dodge Colt milage poor after carb rebuild

My brother took out his carb because his car was dying, and had it
professionally rebuilt. The car works great now, but he is getting
25 mpg as opposed to 35+ before.
1) could a broken oxygen sensor effect milage that drastically?
2) Is there any adjustment on the carb or computer that needs
   to be done when the carb is rebuilt?
3) Does the idle mixture effect the overall mixture of a
   carb or only the idle mixture?
4) Any other ideas?

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Car-radio disturbance – educate me.

I have a basic problem with my car radio and was wondering if someone
can diagnose it, for it seems quite elementary though out of my

The issue is disturbance.  I turn on the ignition and tune the radio
to a local station.  No problem.  Radio is clear, sound quality crisp.
Now I start the engine.  This introduces a continuous disturbance that
varies with rpm (sonic frequency?).  The problem is magnified the
further I am from the transmitting station, i.e. as the signal get
weaker.  (Begins to sound like the motor’s inside the passenger

I have an antenna built into the windshield.  I haven’t looked at the
connectors to the antenna.  I don’t believe that this is relevant as
the radio sounds good when the engine is off and when the signal is
strong.  Is there some sort of "suppressor" (frequency?) that I’m
missing?  That I can buy?  I just bought this car and have no history.
In case this is pertinent, the car is a 1982 Celica GT and there is no
problem with the tape deck.



Vijay Sundaram                 vi…
Hewlett-Packard Company        Phone:(508) 256-6600 x4191 TN: 256-4191

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electrical circuits near carb

I have a 1980 chevette.  Anybody know anything about the wiring for the EFE
heater and the hot wire on the automatic choke?  The EFE heater is a thick
gasket between the carb and the intake with a grid to heat the air+gas vapor
to prevent icing in the intake.  The hot wire for the choke turns the choke
off slowly by heating a bimetalic strip.

These circuits are dead on my car.

QUESTION: Is there a fusable link in this circuit?  Where is it?  What does
a fusable link look like?  I didn’t see a fuse for it with the other fuses.

The Chevy dealer here says they don’t keep service books on cars older than
6 years!!!!!  Chiltons doesn’t go into that much detail on this.  Any hints

Karl Brace  (respond by email to br…

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