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Posts Tagged Repairs

Littelfuse Automotive Fuse Tester

Fuses came up during the Second Squidwrench Electronics Workshop, so I’ll bring a handful along to the next session. Conveniently, the doomed Sienna’s rear storage compartment disgorged a new-old-stock box of fuses, along with a fuse puller/tester containing a pair of feeble vintage 164 / LR60 / AG1 alkaline cells:

Littelfuse Mini Auto Fuse Puller-tester - as opened

Littelfuse Mini Auto Fuse Puller-tester – as opened

Somewhat to my surprise, the other side of the PCB has components:

Littelfuse Mini Auto Fuse Puller-tester - circuitry

Littelfuse Mini Auto Fuse Puller-tester – circuitry

It looks like transistor switch to minimize the current through the fuse and protect the LED from over / reverse voltage, should you apply it to a live circuit.

A pair of new cells had it working just fine, not that I expect to need it in real life.

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Kenmore 158: First Needle LED Failure

The first white LED fixture built to illuminate one of Mary’s Kenmore 158 sewing machines has been in regular use for the last four years:

Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine - mixed LED lighting

Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine – mixed LED lighting

We never found a good time to rip-and-replace the “prototype” with brighter SMD LEDs and one of the LEDs finally gave up.

They’re 10 mm white LEDs with five chips wired in parallel, which is obvious when you look into the remaining LED running at 1 mA:

10 mm white LED - chips

10 mm white LED – chips

The center chip is just dimmer than the others, which means their QC doesn’t tightly control the forward voltage spec.

The wire bonds on the anode terminal of the failed LED look a bit sketchy:

10 mm white LED - wire bonds

10 mm white LED – wire bonds

Fortunately, I hadn’t removed the 120 VAC wiring for the original bulb and I have two OEM bulbs from other machines, so I just removed my LED gimcrackery, installed a good old incandescent bulb, and she’s back to sewing with a pleasantly warm machine.

The fixture holding the LEDs broke apart as I extracted it, but it’ll never be used again:

10 mm white LED - fixture

10 mm white LED – fixture

The LEDs are rated at 3.5 V and 200 mA (!), but were reasonably bright in series from a 6 V unregulated supply. Perhaps a power glitch killed the poor thing? We’ll never know.

LEDs are reputed to have lifetimes in the multiple tens of thousands of hours, but I’ve seen plenty of failed automotive LEDs and fancy new LED streetlights out there, not to mention many dead and dying traffic signals. Seeing as how they’re in (presumably) well-engineered fixtures with good power supplies and are at most only a few years old, there shouldn’t be any failures yet.

 

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Michelin ProTek Max Tubes: Slow Leak

The back tire on my bike was flat when I rolled it out for a ride (the day after replacing the front shifter cable), which ought not be possible with a Michelin Protek Max tube inside. On the other paw, we’ve had zero flats in the not quite two years since installing the things, which says they’re doing very well, and I’ll take a flat in the garage over a flat on the road any day.

With the bike up on the stand, I didn’t spot the expected large glass chip or sharp wire, but I did find three smaller gashes:

Bike tire tread gashes - composite - 2017-05-13

Bike tire tread gashes – composite – 2017-05-13

… from which I extracted two small glass shards. Perhaps a wee puncture spent four days parked at the top of the wheel, with the ProTek’s internal goop drained away and unable to plug the slow leak.

Having spun the tire a few times while looking for trouble, I pumped it back up to 80 psi. After delaying the ride for half an hour, the tire pressure remained constant, and we enjoyed a fine ride around the block.

Because I’m writing this in the future, I know it’ll hold pressure just fine, which means I can declare victory and move on.

The tube & tire weigh more than some frames, but they’re worth it!

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Tour Easy: SRAM X.9 Grip Shift Replacement

The rear shifter on my Tour Easy stopped working when we were most of the way to the grocery store, due to what turned out to be due to a broken cable. I managed to yank the frayed end out of the shifter, pulled the derailleur into a middling gear, and belayed the cable into a deadly cactus:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - frayed cable

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – frayed cable

A three-speed recumbent got me home again, albeit with spin-it-out high gear and a low gear barely sufficient for trailer hauling.

Attempting to remove the frayed cable from the SRAM X.9 grip shifter didn’t go well at all:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - cable tangle

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – cable tangle

I managed to extract the lead pellet, but, while it may be possible to extract the remaining tagle, even pulling on individual wires wasn’t productive.

AFAICT, the shifter came as original equipment on the bike, so it’s been in constant use for the last 17-ish years. The nice soft grip material (and the cover over the cable port) turned into gummy sludge under the cheerful silicone tape I applied some years ago, so I sliced the old grip and pulled it off:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - gummified grip

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – gummified grip

Popping a new-old-stock X.9 shifter from the Big Box o’ Bike Parts and installing it proceeded without problems. This being the rear shifter, I had to remove the shiny OEM cable and replace it with a PTFE-coated tandem-length rear cable, but that’s normal for a long wheelbase recumbent.

For the record, both black shift indicator tabs still show no signs of failing after half a year, so a bent piece of polypropylene sheet looks like a win.

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End of the Sienna

Although I knew the Sienna showed signs of a leaky head gasket, the exhaust system needed some attention, and a sporty used car recently put it in the shade, this still came as a surprise:

I’m trying to get a crew … together and live the demolition derby dream

By the time I arrived, the dashboard trim had vanished and the air bags were safely out:

Demolition Derby - Sienna dashboad prep

Demolition Derby – Sienna dashboad prep

Diligent application of a Harbor Freight “Professional Windshield Removal Kit” cut through the side window seals, but the rear window rested on four impossible-to-cut locating studs:

Sienna - rear window locating stud

Sienna – rear window locating stud

I managed to pry the glass off using a Gasket Scraper and considerable muttering.

With all the exterior trim, lights, and mirrors gone, the Sienna was in fine race trim:

Sienna - Demo derby race trim

Sienna – Demo derby race trim

But, being no longer street-legal, it required trailering. For the record, not all huge pickup trucks have bulky guys with pot bellies behind the wheel:

Demolition Derby - Tow Vehicle Rental

Demolition Derby – Tow Vehicle Rental

A few hours later, it was in the Short Track Full Size pack at the Upperco Volunteer Fire Company’s Demolition Derby:

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby - start

Sienna at Upperco VFC Demolition Derby – start

The driver required a few laps to shake off years of safe-driving indoctrination:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - running alone - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – running alone – 2018-04-28

But eventually the spirit of the thing took over:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - right crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – right crunch – 2018-04-28

We now know the transmission oil cooler sat just ahead of the left front wheel, where it was exposed to damage by a glancing collision:

Sienna - Demolition Derby - left crunch - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Demolition Derby – left crunch – 2018-04-28

The Sienna finished the race and made it almost all the way to the trailer before bleeding out through the ATF cooler.

The driver emerged in fine shape, although the door didn’t work nearly as well as it had fifteen minutes earlier:

Sienna - Driver exiting Van - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Driver exiting Van – 2018-04-28

A race staffer in a Bobcat aimed the carcass in the right general direction and shoved it onto the trailer for the return to base:

Sienna - Final Trailer Tiedown - 2018-04-28

Sienna – Final Trailer Tiedown – 2018-04-28

You can find shaky low-res camera action documenting the event, because video-or-it-didn’t-happen.

We piled the windows / parts / detritus into the back, a scrapper hauled it away the next morning, and that’s the end of our Sienna’s story.

Toyota sold a lot of Siennas, which means the Hot Topics list over on the right will show a need for Sienna ABS trouble codes long into the future.

In fact, the adjacent motel slot had a disconcerting sight:

Yet Another Sienna

Yet Another Sienna

I think it was a 2001 model, but …

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Torque Drivers

A stack of loot boxes prize crates treasure chests on the Squidwrench Operating Table yielded a big box of torque drivers, two of which now grace my collection:

Torque Drivers

Torque Drivers

As with clocks: when you have more than one torque wrench, you don’t know what torque it is. The black driver had a solder blob in its adjustment socket, obviously intended to prevent unqualified people (that would be me) from bungling a production-critical calibration.

A suitable drill in a pin vise put a hole down the middle of the blob:

Torque Driver - lead calibration seal

Torque Driver – lead calibration seal

Turning a tap into the hole produced enough traction to yank the solder shell straight out of the hex. Whew!

The red driver goes to 30 lb·in, the silver to 30 lb·in, and the black to 100 oz·in. The red and black now agree to within maybe 4 oz·in, which I think is Good Enough, and both within 4 lb·ft of my Harbor Freight 200 lb·ft clicky wrench, which probably doesn’t mean much at the low end of the wrench’s scale.

The silver driver refuses to agree with anything, which suggests somebody else monkeyed with its calibration before I laid hands on it.

More calibration is needed.

 

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Mis-Punched Scope Probe Hook

Back in the day, HP scope probes had a rugged music-wire hook on the tip:

HP scope probe tip

HP scope probe tip

These days, scope probe tips use ordinary sheet steel punched into a hook shape:

Siglent scope probe - good tip

Siglent scope probe – good tip

By sheer bad luck, the first probe out of the bag had a mis-punched end with no griptivity:

Siglent scope probe - mis-cut tip

Siglent scope probe – mis-cut tip

Dunno what happened, but it was definitely sheared off in the factory.

After I finally recognized the problem, I shaped a crude hook with a safe-edge needle file and continued the mission:

Siglent scope probe - filed tip

Siglent scope probe – filed tip

A quick note to Siglent put a replacement probe tip in the mail, so it’s all good.

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