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This weekend I got into diagnosing and repairing my faulty turn signals on my 1971 240z. I took apart the switch box and cleaned up the copper contacts and regreased all the little moving parts on what was basically an analog circuit board. Put a little tension in the spring and rocker. Bingo. Turn signals work. Saved $250 bucks I would have spent on a replacement part and it only took about 30 minutes. All of it satisfying.

Today most components are replaced if found faulty instead of repaired.

What was the last part you repaired instead of replacing?
 

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This weekend I got into diagnosing and repairing my faulty turn signals on my 1971 240z. I took apart the switch box and cleaned up copper the contacts and regressed all the little moving parts on what was basically an analog circuit board. Put a little tension in the spring and rocker. Bingo. Turn signals work. Saved $250 bucks I would have spent on a replacement part and it only took about 30 minutes. All of it satisfying.

Today most components are replaced if found faulty instead of repaired.

What was the last part you repaired instead of replacing?
Believe it or not a turn signal switch on a Tacoma pickup. The exact same problem, dirty contact and weak spring.

I've "repaired" probably close to 50 or so multifunction switches on Ford CV's by spraying WD down the hazard switch on top and working it on and off about 25 times, that brought the turn sig back to life. I think that white grease they use on the contacts gets hard and causes a bad connection over time.

And you are right, very satisfying to fix something, even better when it's free!
 

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The vac actuated wiper door in the Stingray cowl , and this ones on a early 69 which means its even more weird than the midyear design!! Most folks just put electric motor retrofits for cowl, headlamp buckets these days if not going for NCRS. Sorry but that stuff wont last "just sitting in a garage" let alone actually being called on when on the road or track (when its wet..or dark). Plus vacuum is interesting cuz its, like Physics. It wasnt attached to the car, it needed to be attached to the car, now its on the car ! These parts are 50 years old but they were designed well and they are a testament to dedicating an engineers mind to even the smallest sub component. When you get one working almost as good as new, you feel pride and you feel the pride they likely had when the design chief said , "Nice work!".



Conversely, I did buy a shiny new snowblower this weekend..... oh boy....
 

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At my house: Wetvac

Harsh chemical environment and the screws are crap. I keep an organizer full of the random spare parts or doodads from things that we have as repair options. Replaced all the screws, cleaned up some seals, cleaned some mostly ok electrical connectors. And I'm forever futzing about with my Roomba to keep it clean and running. It's about 7 years old, kept up with 200lb of shedding dog, with one chasing the robot around to kill it via paw poke.

Last repair: 2006 Escape (family member)
4 calipers, 4 rotors, 2 CV axles, 2 outer end links, 2 lower ball joints, 2 speed sensors and new pads. Replaced front calipers 2x (was given the wrong ones, slightly different size). Bleeding the brakes was not as bad with the power bleeder to get started. Bedding in the pads was fun-had to check if I had started a fire.

I was expecting to replace the brake pads and one speed sensor (<1 day)...the scope of work quickly expanded (took about 4 calendar days) with the rust. Only sheared one caliper bracket bolt.

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Well maybe this doesn't qualify because I didnt actually break open the electric motor box and fix the gears BUT in the PITA index I think it should! I just fixed the HVAC vent mode selection in my 2004 Silverado. I replaced the door actuator motor which requires taking the bottom dash apart and making a special tool to remove the top screw of the actuator. What a pain! Getting the door actuator lined back up was no fun either three little doors lined up in a groove and you can't see the top two.
 

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I've repaired many things especially appliances over the years, microwaves to washer/dryers to furnaces. IMO appliances are designed with failure points just to gouge you for service calls.



Sometimes I can get away with cleaning a part but most times the part is cheap compared to the time to take things apart so in long run it's cheaper to just replace the part. Great example is the thermocouple in our furnace, cleaned it once, second time replaced with stainless upgrade. Bosch dishwasher when we bought the house worked sporadically till I re-soldered a connector on the logic board. Super easy to see where it arc'd due to poor connection. 45 minutes to fix vs. $300+ for new board. Plus it's fun to flick solder balls at unsuspecting family members as they pass by.
 

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This weekend I got into diagnosing and repairing my faulty turn signals on my 1971 240z. I took apart the switch box and cleaned up the copper contacts and regreased all the little moving parts on what was basically an analog circuit board. Put a little tension in the spring and rocker. Bingo. Turn signals work. Saved $250 bucks I would have spent on a replacement part and it only took about 30 minutes. All of it satisfying.

Today most components are replaced if found faulty instead of repaired.

What was the last part you repaired instead of replacing?

My 06 Saab 9-3 ignition switch. At the time they were on global back order :eek Removed the switch from the console, opened it up, cleaned the contacts, add a little tension & was back in business in a couple hours:smile:


Jim
 

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This one is quite lame but comes readily to mind from the last few years....
Both hanger hooks originally welded to the rear exhaust pipe broke off on our "Better Homes and Gardens" 2005 Volvo V70, manual, 180K mi). I kept the pipe and rubber hangers and replaced the hooks with two U-bolts from O'Reilly's, and two coupling nuts, bolts and washers from Ace Hardware (see pic). Not very sophisticated diagnostics, just some futzing.
Unfortunately the U-bolts are not stainless steel (the rest of the fasteners are), so in a few years I may need to replace them.
As an aside, the underbelly of the Volvo shows less rust than my '16 VF with 24K miles...
 

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What was the last part you repaired instead of replacing?

Front (teardrop) side markers for a '69 Datsun 2000. Repaired primarily because replacements are way too expensive for what they are (like 600+ new for one of the very rare NOS sets still around). Just took them completely apart, removed rust, cleaned, redid the soldering, replaced bulb springs, new wires, connectors, gaskets, bulbs, and lenses; got creative with some ground-down stainless screws to replace the mounting posts. Lots of work for such tiny things, but saved a ton of money.
 

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Okay Tyler here you go...... Ilda comes home today and says RR window in her Suburban isn't working.



I figure the replacement regulator and motor in put in 3 years ago must have failed. At lunch I pulled the switch out, got voltage at the door switch. Removed door panel, checked voltage at the plug on the motor, voltage good. Noticed as I move the switch to up/down there is very slight mechanical vibration on the motor. Sprayed some Tri-Flow on the cable going into the motor, rapped it with sub-compact Ford tool (8oz ball pein) and wha-la the window started going up/down again. Now I get to monitor for next few weeks to see if this was just a sign the motor is going of if the dang thing really did just stick. Right side faces the SW sun all day in our driveway so maybe, just maybe it actually did dry out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay Tyler here you go...... Ilda comes home today and says RR window in her Suburban isn't working.



I figure the replacement regulator and motor in put in 3 years ago must have failed. At lunch I pulled the switch out, got voltage at the door switch. Removed door panel, checked voltage at the plug on the motor, voltage good. Noticed as I move the switch to up/down there is very slight mechanical vibration on the motor. Sprayed some Tri-Flow on the cable going into the motor, rapped it with sub-compact Ford tool (8oz ball pein) and wha-la the window started going up/down again. Now I get to monitor for next few weeks to see if this was just a sign the motor is going of if the dang thing really did just stick. Right side faces the SW sun all day in our driveway so maybe, just maybe it actually did dry out.
Yeah to me that sounds like thermal expansion caused it to bind up just enough to trip the safety into thinking someone's arm was out the window. Re greasing the glides and reconditioning the seals probably wouldn't hurt.
 

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Today most components are replaced if found faulty instead of repaired.

What was the last part you repaired instead of replacing?
Well, I replaced a failed part, but repaired the refrigerator. Part was absolutely toast -- no possible chance of repair (defrost element burned out).
 

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My wife is tight as a drum...haha, nevermind, I don't want to get banned...when it comes to money! As a result I've become a small engine repair guy based on her finding broken yard tools at garage sales. It sucks when I want to buy something new of high quality (buy the best, cry only once!) but I'll take that over frivolous spending.
 

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Laptop. I bought the thing in 2012. Once I learned I could swap components to high end it was. I7 and 16gb of ram, more than enough for streaming media and checking email. Recently it refused to start in spite of the old tricks to bump start. Anyway a $60 motherboard and good as new!
 

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Okay Tyler here you go...... Ilda comes home today and says RR window in her Suburban isn't working.



I figure the replacement regulator and motor in put in 3 years ago must have failed. At lunch I pulled the switch out, got voltage at the door switch. Removed door panel, checked voltage at the plug on the motor, voltage good. Noticed as I move the switch to up/down there is very slight mechanical vibration on the motor. Sprayed some Tri-Flow on the cable going into the motor, rapped it with sub-compact Ford tool (8oz ball pein) and wha-la the window started going up/down again. Now I get to monitor for next few weeks to see if this was just a sign the motor is going of if the dang thing really did just stick. Right side faces the SW sun all day in our driveway so maybe, just maybe it actually did dry out.
Naw, it's probably the brushes and/or commutator worn out. You will probably know for sure pretty soon.
 

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Bellcrank on steering arm on zero turn mower broke. Price for new one was ridiculous so fabricated one from scratch with a little metal and welding. Technically not a repair ,but Repair not possible as OEM was pot metal.


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It isn't really that repairing is a lost art but rather the ability to do so have been taken away. There are two big things I've noticed over the years. One is that the manufacturers took away the ability to repair things by not offering repair kits. You used to be able to rebuild generators and starters but now good luck finding the parts to do so. Or the way things are put together they can't come apart without breaking. Many things on newer cars are so complex that a novice really has no business messing with some things anyway.

The other big reason is that as far as the service industry goes, repairs have to pretty much be guaranteed for ever. If a dealership fixes your turn signals by spraying some cleaner in the switch and a year later they stop working again and someone sideswipes you in the highway because they didn't know you were changing lanes and suddenly the technician, the service writer, the service manager, everyone who even walked past your car while it was there, the dealership itself, the dealership owner, and the manufacturer too just for good measure are all in court getting sued for everything they own.
 

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yes you are right about manufactures they make things that cant be fixed so you have to throw them away to land fill and you have to buy a new one ,the old time item are the best well made last longer and can be repaired if you know what you are doing and where to get the parts .i dont like throwing things out that can be fixed i restore a lot of things and enjoy doing so and then selling item to other people that can make use of it it is recycling and people these days would rather just go to a shop and get a new one ,today a fixed a electric motor off a grinding machine it wasn't starting properly so i opened it up cleaned it out making all contacts were clean and put it back together and it works just fine saved myself about $120 dollars so and still get some more use out of it for a bit longer .
 
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