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Old 02-28-2010, 07:24 PM
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I am an ASE certified automotive tech that has been around the track a few times so if you start having any issues with your vehicles or have any questions about particular symptoms or drive ability issues please feel free to PM me with your problems and I'll do my best to steer you in the right direction, PM would be best as I do not pay close attention to new posts in all the forums.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:10 PM
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Thanks Reed! I might call on you some day.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:00 PM
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Anytime, I'll do what I can
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for offering this service, I'm sure I'll pick your brain
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:20 PM
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Reed I was hoping you lived closer, as I have a tranny job and clutch to do. We could talk black guns and I could make all the coffee you could stand! LOL!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:51 PM
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You, sir, rock!
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:08 PM
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Reed,
I'll bite... 2003 Ford focus ZX3... pretty much every day on my way to work while I'm driving and I smell a smell like burning plastic. It is random and only lasts like 10 to 15 seconds... I could be stopped or driving, there is no pattern.... flushed and checked the radiator, had a friend look at the heater... i can't figure it out.

Super annoying and makes nauseous when it happens...PMed as well. but i thought it would be more fun to have the solutions public
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:50 PM
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Reed,
I'll bite... 2003 Ford focus ZX3... pretty much every day on my way to work while I'm driving and I smell a smell like burning plastic. It is random and only lasts like 10 to 15 seconds... I could be stopped or driving, there is no pattern.... flushed and checked the radiator, had a friend look at the heater... i can't figure it out.

Super annoying and makes nauseous when it happens...PMed as well. but i thought it would be more fun to have the solutions public
Well you are not alone. I had one come into the shop about a year ago with the same problem. The owner said it smelled like electrical wires heating up or fire but we where never able to pin point the problem ,ad the fact that Ford never put out a TSB or service bulletin to address the odor/problem. I went crazy trying to find the odor and never did find the issue or cause. If you do end up finding it please let me know what it is.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:42 PM
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I am going to jump in here and mention that I am somewhat "teaming up" with Reed on this subject and will help with auto repair questions as well.

I will give you a little background about myself. I am currently an ASE Master tech, although I am no longer turning wrenches as a career. I realized that there was more to the job than one realizes and it wasn't for me (more on that later). My background is working for Ford, so that is where most of my knowledge lies, although I have worked on my fair share of many other models as well.

I've already cleared this with Reed since it is his thread and look forward to hopefully saving you some headaches and cash. Feel free to send the questions.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:07 AM
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What would be really, really useful to me [and maybe one or two other folks here who aren't anywhere near as car-savvy as you] is some of your experience dumped into a FAQ so I don't ask you the same question you just got asked...and you'd save on answering the same question repeatedly.

What are funny noises/symptoms indicative of serious issues, or which ones can I ignore? How do I tell if the @#$#@$ computer chip is going out? Is it a serious problem if my emergency brake light won't go out [I already know the answer to that one because my car's got that problem, but it's an example of what would be handy to know]?
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:57 AM
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What would be really, really useful to me [and maybe one or two other folks here who aren't anywhere near as car-savvy as you] is some of your experience dumped into a FAQ so I don't ask you the same question you just got asked...and you'd save on answering the same question repeatedly.

What are funny noises/symptoms indicative of serious issues, or which ones can I ignore? How do I tell if the @#$#@$ computer chip is going out? Is it a serious problem if my emergency brake light won't go out [I already know the answer to that one because my car's got that problem, but it's an example of what would be handy to know]?

If you could be more specific on make and model it may help a little more as certain vehicles are prone to certain issues.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:48 PM
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http://forums.focaljet.com/team-tech...ing-smell.html - alternator?? does that make any sense? I'll look into it further

edit: after further research on focus buring smell problems.. could be related to wiring... i'll take a look and let ya'll know if i figure it out
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:45 AM
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Hi Reed and thanks for your service I was wondering what you use to seal the thermostat housing on an older car. I know some people use gaskets and some use no gasket but some type of glue/sealer from a can. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:13 PM
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Most of the time I use a silicone based gasket sealer with the gasket when dealing with any coolant passage, RTV black or blue, I use black most of the time just because I hate to see a bright blue repair
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:29 PM
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Thanks, how about another? When replacing ball joints, how do I keep the whole threaded shaft from turning in the housing as I tighten the nut?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:44 PM
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Check engine light came on just after rolling over 80K on a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT that has had regular maintenance and oil changes and mostly highway driving.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:13 PM
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Idaho,

I generally use an impact wrench to get the nut started on ball joints. Once you get the tapered shaft seated in the knuckle, you shouldn't have any problems. If you aren't using an impact, find some way of creating a little pressure to hold the joint into the knuckle. Sorry if this sounds confusing, it really isn't. I'll try to explain better if I need to.

Anchorbanger,

You really need to have someone put a scanner on your Ranger to see what code(s) are showing up. It could be one of many different things that is causing it. If you have the code(s) maybe Reed or I could have a little better idea as to what is going on. Sorry.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by anchorbanger View Post
Check engine light came on just after rolling over 80K on a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT that has had regular maintenance and oil changes and mostly highway driving.
Did you have the codes checked? Out here the parts house will check it for free if you afraid to see a tech. They will also, maybe try to sell you something. Everyone out here thinks they are mechanics and had a brother, uncle, sister, cousin that had the same problem and it was...YADA YADA YADA...and then you spent money shotgunning the problem. Usually getting you no-where! Reed and others here are techs and there seems to be alot of us. Props to Reed for volunteering!
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:37 AM
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Just happened the other night on the way home. I haven't had a chance to get it to the local shop I use yet. It's running fine, but I will get it looked at. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:19 PM
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If you guys know:
I have a old Sun ignition scope, still works great, but does anyone know of a kit or an adaphter that would allow me to use it as a graphing scope for checking sensors and fuel pump wave patterns?
Thanks and a 1,000 internet points if ya do
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