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The DIY thread

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Moderators: Eshnar, Irondan, King Boonen, Red Rick, Pricey_sky

15 Aug 2018 22:44

YouTube is probably your bet DIY info source.

If the old parts in the tank look significantly different than the kit you bought, it's still fine.
Old style has a 'float ball' that attaches to the valve via a metal rod (about 8 inches). The new style doesn't have the float ball, the upper part of the valve itself is the float, and the height of the water in the tank is adjusted by extending the plastic 'support base' of the valve - it usually moves in 'clicks' by pushing it up/down (read instructions ...).

'Not filling with water' could mean the old valve is stuck closed and isn't allowing new water in.
OR if new water is coming in, then the 'flapper stopper' or 'drop stopper' is not sealing correctly and is preventing the tank from filling. The usually suggestion is 'jiggle the handle' to get the stopper seated properly. If the stopper is old then it might be too stiff or cracked to seal properly. Some times the rod that attaches the handle to the stopper mechanism gets bent or twisted and prevents the stopper from dropping down directly over the hole into the bowl. I've had very good results by buying the ~$15 (as opposed to $3 cheapie) handle. The expensive handle is sturdy all metal, and the handle itself is very nicely finished. NOTE the nut that attaches the handle to the tank has reversed threads - clockwise loosens, counter-clockwise tightens - very firm finger pressure is all that is usually needed for tightening.

Jay
JayKosta
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17 Aug 2018 18:32

The new toilet stems are available at HD or Lowes..it's really easy..turn off the supply valve..flush the toilet..look down into the tank..look and listen to make sure the shut off is working..no water should be flowing to refill the tank..
*take the tank lid and put it in another room!! Don't put that ceramic tank cover anywhere in the bathroom! It can break east if it slips and falls..
After that you are going to look at the old one..take a picture if you need..the new part threads into the bottom of the clean water tank..there are rubber seals that go in easy and as long as you don't over tighten you are good..while you are in there spend the 2-3 bucks for a new flap..
The bolts holding the tank on the toilet are good..don't need to be tightened.
You need to be able to see clearly all holes on the bottom of the tank..maybe need a flashlight and some dry newspaper..as the tank fills after you turn on w fill up valve you need to check for leaks..you can hold a dry newspaper under your work area..usually if a leak is not totally obvious to you water dripping on the newspaper is easy to see..
Main challenge is getting your hands in and around the toilet because they are usually close to the wall(s) and that bathrooms are small spaces..
Channel locks or Vise Grips w a wide travel on the jaws..most bezel nuts can be hand tight 80% of the way
Unchained
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20 Aug 2018 20:24

Thanks for the tips, guys, I'm happy to report I was able to fix not just one, but two toilets successfully. No leaks anywhere - yay!

I ended up just replacing the fill valve on one and the anti-siphon ballcock on the other because that was all that was truly necessary, the biggest pain was draining the toilet tanks. (They say get a washcloth ready to pick up any extra water, I say get a whole damn bucket and a mop ready for the cleanup!)

Anyhoo, this is yet another DIY project that has been completed successfully by yours truly, I would have just hated having to spend a small fortune on a pro plumber.

PS - Not sure I fully understand the basic principles of how toilet plumbing actually works, but once I got my hands on some parts that make it work it became very interesting. :cool:
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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22 Sep 2018 19:03

Here are some updates on my latest DIYs (cause I know you guys have just been dying for them), first off, the '67 Bug. Picture this...

I'm driving home and suddenly I hear this bizarre sound. Being the car is so old I thought maybe a door had fallen off, or maybe I had lost the engine, turns out it was the fan belt. Thankfully I got home without any major damage to the engine, the fan belt was just shredded, though. So naturally I wanted to fix this myself...

Went to an auto parts place where they sell fan belts that are supposed to fit the '67 Bug - bought one, tried to install it, turns out it was too short. Hmpf! So I ordered one from Amazon that got good reviews from old VW owners, it's supposed to arrive on Monday. We shall see. If nothing else I got to practice how to change and adjust the fan belt being I've never done it before, in these old Bugs the adjustment is rather ingenious. (It involves some shims, god bless those Germans.)

Next DIY I was not able to tackle... the old washer started leaking water all over the place, upon checking the webs I learned it could be a whole number of things. Being I can barely move the washer in order to get to the back panel I just said **** it and chose to buy a new one instead. Think I got a good deal on a decent washer - with delivery and warranty and hauling the old one away it came to about $500.

Last but not least this DIY was a success (well, sort of) - my bike repair stand + tools has to stay outside on the patio, being I didn't want my tools to get all wet and rusty from the rain I've been using a yard debris bag to cover the stand. After a few years the bag was just totaled, so I wanted to sew one together with any stuff I already had.

I ended up using an old bed sheet, a plastic shower curtain liner, some bamboo stakes, staples, and a sewing machine. I was just making it up as I went along, trying to sew a plastic liner to the bed sheet was quite the adventure. (Don't think I want to try that again.) It doesn't look as nice as I had hoped, but as long as my stand and tools stay dry I don't really care.

So here's a picture of the old yard debris bag and my latest creation - personally I think it's a freaking masterpiece!Image


Will keep you all posted on the fan belt situation once the belt arrives, worry not.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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23 Sep 2018 13:34

The VW fan belt probably also drives the generator/alternator, so make sure that the pulley for it (and also the fan itself) spins freely and doesn't feel like the bearings are loose/wobbley. If bolts/nuts are rusted use penetrating oil or 'PB Blaster' (from HD or Lowes). The belt might have just broke due to age, but if the fan/generator pulley isn't turning correctly, that will cause the belt to wear much more quickly.

The 'tool cover' looks great!

Jay
JayKosta
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23 Sep 2018 16:35

If anyone here knows about camp trailer roof coatings...please enlighten me. I just got a 1990 trailer from an elderly couple..the thing is in great shape. Nothing adulterated..pretty much stock..there are some tiny marks from water..I want to caulk and seal the roof ASAP...we have not had any measurable rain but I want to hurry and address this..I looked to YouTube but way too many products!!!and procedures!!22ft so it should be pretty easy...I hope
Unchained
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23 Sep 2018 22:51

I'd call an RV dealer that handles used ones, and ask them.
For small leaks in a metal roof shed, I used 'roof sealant' (basically black tar goop) from the roofing section in Home Depot. It came in a caulk tube, and is used primarily for sealing around the penetrations in a roof - e.g. vent pipes, flashing around chimney, nail holes, etc.

Other option might include Plumbers GOOP.

For best appearance, maybe cut small patches from similar color aluminum siding, and use waterproof adhesive to attach it.

To coat the entire roof, maybe 'bed liner coating' that is used for pickup trucks.

With any coating or adhesive, be sure the surface has been cleaned of any grease, etc.

Jay
JayKosta
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Re:

02 Oct 2018 21:04

JayKosta wrote:The VW fan belt probably also drives the generator/alternator, so make sure that the pulley for it (and also the fan itself) spins freely and doesn't feel like the bearings are loose/wobbley. If bolts/nuts are rusted use penetrating oil or 'PB Blaster' (from HD or Lowes). The belt might have just broke due to age, but if the fan/generator pulley isn't turning correctly, that will cause the belt to wear much more quickly.

The 'tool cover' looks great!

Jay
Thank you for the tips, Jay.

Think the hardest part for me fixing the Bug this time around was actually identifying which part, exactly, I was trying to fix. In all of those youtube DIYs they called it something different - it's a fan belt! It's a generator belt! No, it's actually an alternator/generator belt! Or, perhaps, it may be both, or all of the three above?!

Am pretty sure it's all of the above, so I ordered some extra shims (which are nothing more than really huge metal washers), and voila! With just adding one I think I am happy with the tension of the "all of the above" belt.

To be honest, I'd rather have the belt .5mm too loose than .5mm too tight, the latter may just shred the ball bearings on the fan/alternator/generator... this kind of part I'm not prepared to replace yet.

Anyhoo, thanks again! :)

PS - What the heck does the alternator do? I know I'm supposed to know this, but just haven't gotten around to researching it yet.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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03 Oct 2018 13:17

Alternator is just the more modern replacement of the generator. Older cars (e.g. 50s and earlier) usually had generator, more recent have alternator. Generator produces only DC current, alternator produces AC which goes thru circuitry to output DC - they both are used to keep the battery charged.

Jay
JayKosta
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03 Oct 2018 18:46

The alternator is the part that shuts your fuel pump and lights off at midnight, in the middle of nowhere, in below zero temps...sorry, I'm reliving a bad drive home from many years ago.

The question is, is there a reliable test to let you know that they are close to death? The answer seems to be no.
jmdirt
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Re:

04 Oct 2018 13:41

jmdirt wrote:The alternator is the part that shuts your fuel pump and lights off at midnight, in the middle of nowhere, in below zero temps...sorry, I'm reliving a bad drive home from many years ago.

The question is, is there a reliable test to let you know that they are close to death? The answer seems to be no.
Oh dear, that doesn't sound like fun. What was the weather like at the time? (Would hate to be stuck in the snow or rain in the middle of the night somehwere.)

I've certainly had plenty of experiences with the Bug... one time the horn started honking each time I was signalling to make a turn. It was kinda embarrassing. I just had the horn disconnected because the mechanics apparently didn't know how to or didn't have the parts to fix it, no biggie, each time some other driver pisses me off I just shout obscenities at them instead. Maybe I should get a bullhorn so I can make my point that much louder and clearer...

But seriously, I have no idea how far along the alternator is, like you I may have to find out the hard way.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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04 Oct 2018 20:00

You might have a 'voltage gauge' or 'battery idiot light' on the dashboard. If there's a gauge, just look at it occasionally to see that the needle is in the 'charging' range - usually about 13 volts for cars with 12v battery.

Car batteries typically give a warning about something being wrong --- usually a very worrisome but successful slow cranking of the starter motor and then the car starts. DON'T ignore it - it's given you its one-time warning! If you do have 'battery problems', always park so that getting a jump start is possible. Repair shops will usually test the generator/alternator as part of doing a battery replacement - ask them to be sure.

Jay
JayKosta
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05 Oct 2018 03:34

TR- lots of snow on that drive.
Jay-an alternator can test good and die on the way home from the test.
jmdirt
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