Monday, November 07, 2011

Wrenchin' Penguin

I decided to change fender flares on my old Jeep because one of them was crumpled a bit. So I had three fender flares in storage, and needed to order a fourth, which I did. Then I headed out to storage and about halfway there, noticed that my speedometer wasn't working. Then about halfway home, my check engine light came on. Siiiigh!

Okay, so I got home, plugged in my code scanner, and it was a 501 -- "Speed sensor not working". Duh. So the next thing I did was notice that it was friggin' *cold* outside, so it was time to move the Jeep into the garage where it was significantly warmer. Well, easier said than done, so I spent about an hour cleaning out the garage to the point where there was enough room for a Jeep (eep!).

So anyhow, got the Jeep into the garage, rolled under the Jeep on my creeper, popped the speed sensor off, and... err... nothing wrong? So I revisited the installation directions and realized that when I'd replaced the O-ring on the speed sensor to deal with a transmission fluid leak last week, I'd installed it with the wrong rotation and it wasn't engaging the pinion in the transfer case tail. Sigh!

So now it's installed correctly. And how I managed to go a whole week without noticing that I didn't have a speedometer *still* confuses me. I guess I'm just so familiar with the sound of the engine in that old thing that I never bother actually looking at the speedometer!

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin


  1. I am always impressed with people who can fix their own cars.

  2. Most of the time it's the diagnosis that's hard. Many times the repair and maintenance work never goes like it should. But being able to cope with these problems that do always crop up is the determining factor in how good a wrench they are.

  3. Lynne, it's just engineering, easy peasy once you understand the basic physics of the situation. It helps that the Jeep TJ (1997-2006) is one of the simplest vehicles on the planet. Everything is out there in the open and easy to get to, and there's not a lot of electronic crap to get in your way. Not like modern cars where you have to disassemble half the frickin' car to change a frickin' *light bulb*.

    One Fly, the original symptom was "transmission fluid on the transfer case tail", which then, by following the trail of transmission fluid up to the speed sensor, turned into "o-ring allowing transmission fluid past it." So of course I bought an O-ring and swapped it out for the old one, which looked like it'd simply lost its oomph with age (it was rather flat, rather than round and rubbery like the new one). Which reminds me that now that I have the Jeep in the garage I need to go ahead and just change out the transmission fluid in the transfer case, it's about time and it's not as if I have a shortage of ATF+4 (the original steering box had a slow undiagnosed ATF+4 leak and I always forgot to take bottles of ATF+4 with me on long trips and had to buy one at the nearest Wal-Mart when I got where I was going to keep the steering topped off, the new steering box a couple of years ago fixed that but now I have a row of ATF+4 bottles in the garage ;).

    - Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

  4. OH yeah. It's just engineering. ;) Nothing at all.

    Here is an engineering joke for you though:

    Is the glass half empty or half full?

    Optimist = Half full!
    Pessimist = Half empty :( *sad boo boo face*
    Engineer = The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    I am an optimist myself which is why I probably wouldn't be that good at fixing cars (or designing them).

  5. If I buy this Astro the wheels bearings and tranny will have to be serviced along with a new fuel and air filter probably. None of which I will enjoy doing but am very good at. I hope things go well - - but they won't.

  6. If there is a God, he is personified by the mechanic who can diagnose and fix all the weird things that have gone wrong with my '99 Mazda Protege in the last three years. He even found the nick in the wiring harness caused by the dealer's mechanic. The old car has a lot of life in her still and I'm loathe to replace her, but It's encouraging to know there is a wizard mechanic who can fix her.

  7. Karen. No one is so rich as she who has found a good mechanic ;)

  8. I don't care how fast or slow I go, either.



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