Sunday, December 27, 2009

Latest and Greatest, Sunday Dec 27th.

A couple of new things to report;

After fussing at the kids over and over and over about closing the doors to the garage, I finally gave up and bought some automatic garage door closers. Try to leave the doors open now kids!


At $60 a piece they were very pricey, and the instructions took a long time to study and analyze before actually installing them, but once I figured out the configuration I was able to install all 3 closers very quickly with only minor injuries.

I got the the Mustang donor engine on the stand finally. I just drained the oil and plan to delete the AC compressor and remove the power steering pump from the belt loop for the eventual first start.

004 Justin and Garrett were kind enough to model.

And finally, Les hooked me up this Christmas with lots of new sockets.

006 I almost have a complete set now but will have to do some searching for the stragglers.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Running gear has been obtained!

Last weekend I brought home the drive train of a salvaged 2000 Mustang, the first step in a long list of tasks needed to build a Factory Five Roadster. Everything looks to be in pretty good condition, with only dust and typical aluminum tarnish on it; the car had been sitting unused in a garage for more than 7 years. The car was a stolen recovery and most of the interior was gutted, so unfortunately I haven’t seen it run yet. All records point to it only having 15,000 miles on it. All in all, I got the 4.6L SOHC engine, T5 transmission, exhaust components, fuel tank, rear end and some of the harness. Unfortunately I was unable to get the entire harness so will have to buy one.



013 014 The engine is in pretty good shape overall. First steps include cleaning it up, removing the AC compressor, disabling PATS on the ECU and getting it started!

015 016 017 The transmission and rear end above. The axle is destined for a cleaning and new paint job.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Getting Excited

Next Weekend I head off to buy the drive train of a 2000 Mustang GT.  Just the beginning of a long road of building a 65 Shelby Roadster Replica!  After so many oil changes, it’s time I amped it up a little!  Factory Five's Website

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Goodies!

I went shopping with the family today and stopped by Northern Tool for their Black Friday specials.  Below you can see what we picked up.


DSC00158 This engine stand was 10% off.  They had a 750-lb model for under $40 but it looked a little flimsy.  This one supports up to 1500lb and we paid right at $100 for it.  Hopefully I’ll have a 4.6L up there on it soon.




I’ve never seen these kinds of socket organizers before.  They were a little pricey at around $10 each but I love them so far.  It’s quite clear how many sockets I need to buy.  I have a bunch of old crusty sockets that I could put onto the racks but naah.


DSC00161 NT had this cart on sale for $50.  These things have so many uses.  This is my third for the shop.


DSC00162 Great deal here for $35.  These things are useful for keeping batteries in good working order if they are sitting for a long period of time.  We use it for our camper and tractor.  My truck gets some time with them as well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Transmission Flush and Pan Change for a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel.

I’ve been putting this project off for some time. I’ve had all the ATF fluid and a new Mag Hytec pan for quite some time but just didn’t find the motivation to do the work until recently. I’ve changed ATF many times before but this was the first time I had planned to do a complete fluid change by flushing all the fluid out of the cooler and torque converter.

Check out the pictures below to see how it went!

DSC00131When you do your first automatic transmission fluid change, you learn the hard way that it is going to be extremely messy! If you have a project lined up, it’s always a good idea to save cardboard boxes because you’re going to need them to soak up the oil! In this picture you can see the truck on the lift with a good amount of cardboard underneath it. My supervisors are there as well (Father in law, Stan, and my wife, Lesley).

DSC00132 This is the pan that was stock on the transmission. It’s right out in the open and easily accessible. I worked on my brothers Chevy Silverado recently and it wasn’t so nice.

DSC00133 I’ve found that the best way to do this is to remove every other bolt. Once that is done, loosen one corner’s worth of bolts more than the rest. The desired goal of this is to cause one corner of the pan to drop further than the others, which in turn helps encourage the fluid to funnel out of the lower corner. Loosening them all at the same rate can have filthy results.

DSC00134 It’s always helpful to have a large an underneath to capture the slop.

DSC00136 This is the inside of the transmission after the pan was removed. Removing the filter was simple once the two torx bolts were removed.


The new pan and gasket.

DSC00143 The underside of it. Notice the neat little, magnetized drain plug. Awesome.

DSC00137 On the drivers side of the transmission you will find the front band. I adjusted this by backing off of the lock nut, tightening the screw to 72 inch pounds, then backing up the screw one and 3/4 turns. I then tightened the locknut while trying to keep the screw from turning. Not as easy as it looks.

DSC00138 The rear band is located inside the transmission. As before, the bolt has to be tightened to 72 in pounds, but then this one needs to be loosened by 3 turns. I used a sharpie in both cases to mark the socket so that the number of turns was accurate.

DSC00145 After a new filter was placed on the transmission, the new pan went on easily. I was careful to not over tighten the bolts. Note to self: I need to buy some allen wrench sockets.

DSC00147 This is the fluid return line that comes back from the transmission cooler and torque converter. To do a complete flush, you must remove this and allow the fluid to “return” into a bucket somewhere. To begin, we put about 6 quarts of fresh Amsoil ATF into the truck, then I got my wife to sit in the truck and start it.

DSC00148 I then attached a 1/2 inch clear hose to the return line and ran that into a 1 gallon jug. After lifting the truck up a little, I asked Lesley to shift the transmission into neutral to begin the flow of fluid. Once the jug had filled, she put it into park and turned off the truck. We then put 4 quarts of fresh fluid into the truck and repeated the process. We did this twice before seeing bright red fluid coming out of the hose. This was indicative of a complete flush. I reattached the return line to the transmission, topped off the fluid and we were done!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A New Addition to the Garage!

Just got this baby yesterday:

DSC00128 It’s fully stocked with an assortment of sodas for the kids and some beer for me and the other grown ups. : ) Will probably consider changing the art on it to something a little more applicable one day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Water Pump Change for a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel!

Several weeks ago we began noticing small amounts of coolant on the garage floor under my wife’s truck. After looking under the hood I didn’t notice anything too obvious other than some splatter on the bottom of the upper radiator hose. Assuming the hose was the problem I replaced it. A week later we saw more fluid on the floor and on the engine.

I put the truck on the lift and with an extension mirror and flashlight I was able to make out rust and distinct wetness just under the water pump. The following picture shows what I am talking about.

Digital Camera First Import 046 This is a view of the water pump opening once the pump was removed. As you can see there is significant buildup that is indicative of a long, slow leak.

This job was not going to be easy on my knuckles, but we bought a new water pump and lower radiator hose (why not?) anyway. We also bought all new fluid figuring that since I needed to drain the coolant anyway, why not go ahead and do a complete flush.

Draining the old fluid was a breeze. You simply remove the drain plug from the radiator, let it drain completely then open the radiator cap to suck any additional fluid out of the reservoir tank.

Digital Camera First Import 026 No job would be the same without my trusted helper, Justin, there to assist!

Digital Camera First Import 027Draining the coolant really takes a long time. I guess it was about 40 minutes per drain.

Digital Camera First Import 029 Location of the radiator drain plug.

Digital Camera First Import 034 This is the lower radiator hose connection to the radiator. As you can see there are still some stains from the water pump leak on it.

Digital Camera First Import 035 I used some simple locking pliers to loosen the clamp. I know there is a real tool for this purpose but I haven’t found one yet.

Digital Camera First Import 037 The same hose as it connects to the engine. Much tighter quarters here but reachable if you remove the fender shroud first.

Digital Camera First Import 038 The new hose, along with a trolling lure that I really need to put up and a tasty beverage.

Digital Camera First Import 039 The new hose on the truck. Note that I went ahead and switched to a traditional hose clamp for the engine connection. It was just too difficult to get that spring loaded one on in such a tight space. Also note that the lower hose has a large spring inside it to keep the hose from compressing and blocking flow during WOT moments. I was sure to remove it from the old hose and insert it into this one.

Getting the water pump off wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I used a 1/2 inch ratchet to remove tension from the belt tensioner spring then pulled the belt lose. Once that was done, it was easier to access the front of the engine. I removed the belt from under the truck, but removed the water pump from above. After two bolts were removed, it took a small strike with a hammer and pry bar to pop it lose.

Digital Camera First Import 043 This is the old water pump.

Digital Camera First Import 049 And after closer inspection I believe that it was leaking through the vent on the left in the above picture. Not sure why it was doing this but it was.

Digital Camera First Import 044 Again, where the new one is to be placed on the engine.

Digital Camera First Import 048 This is the new one along with a new o-ring. I bought some rubber gasket conditioner that was excellent for helping hold the o-ring in place while attaching the pump to the engine. Speaking of which, what a total B*TCH. This, by far, was the most difficult part of the job and a big reason why I don’t have any pics of the new pump on the engine; I was just too happy to be done and didn’t even think to take a shot.

Once the new pump was on, I put the belt back into place and filled the radiator with distilled water. I then started the truck and ran it for what seemed like forever before it hit 190 degrees and the thermostat opened. After letting it run for a few more minutes to thoroughly flush the system, we shut it down and let it cool a bit before draining it again.

Digital Camera First Import 033Justin and I waited for another 40 minutes or so then filled the system up with 1 gallon of 100% antifreeze (assuming that there may still be some distilled water in the system) and 4 gallons of 50/50 solution.

Anyway, it was a fun project and I got a good feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Plus it has been 3 weeks since the new water pump change and no leaks yet!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oil, Differential, Radiator Fluid Change for the 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport 6MT!

This weekend I had the pleasure of doing some maintenance work on my G35. This car is so much fun to drive, and doing maintenance work on it is definitely just as fun. I took some photos during the job and they’ll be posted here. My digital camera died half way through the radiator fluid change so you’ll have to use your imagination for some of that!

Here it is up on the lift:

IMG_0672Isn’t it pretty?


First job was the oil change. I’ve changed a lot of oil over the years but it doesn’t get any easier than this car. Once you remove the plastic cover you are presented with the easiest filter access ever.

IMG_0674 This is my helper, Justin. He was a great help during the job. I would just hand screws and bolts to him and he would make sure they were safe and sound in the parts tray.

IMG_0675 This is the cover i mentioned earlier. You have to remove about a dozen screws before you’re granted access to the engine.

IMG_0676 Justin is holding the cover after it has been removed.


See what I mean? The drain plug and filter are located within easy reach!


I feel kind of silly posting a caption to this one. The is the drain plug – unscrew it and the oil will drain.

IMG_0680 The oil draining out into the oil barrel.

IMG_0682 This is the new filter. Justin is holding it so that I can apply some fresh oil to the seal.

IMG_0683 Oil being applied.

IMG_0684 This is where the filter goes. We screw it on, put the drain plug back in, and put 5 quarts of Amsoil 0w – 30 Signature series oil in the engine.


Rear Differential

The car has 42000 miles on it so I figured it’s time to do the differential fluid change.

IMG_0685 Using an allen wrench I am able to remove the drain plug very easily. The old oil comes out and the drain plug magnet is coated with metal shavings. Using a cloth I clean off the gunk.

IMG_0686 The fill plug is located just north of the drain plug. Using the same wrench I remove it so that I am able to add fluid.


This is the oil I bought to put into the differential. I usually stick to Amsoil but the decision to change this fluid was a last minute one. I have a gear oil pump that I use for the boat which I used to push the fluid up into the differential. Sorry no pictures.

IMG_0689 I pumped the fluid until it overflowed out of the fill hole. The shop manual states 1.4 liters but I swear it took about 1.7! Once full, I tightened the fill plug and moved on to the radiator fluid.


Ok this project is more complicated that the pictures below seem to represent. My digital camera decided to refuse to take any pictures that required a flash. Lesley is going to find me a new one this week, so the next update will be completely illustrated!

Firstly I want to give props to It’s a great website that includes a ton of informative stuff about the car, but also includes a nice forum and free downloads of the infiniti shop manuals. Because of those manuals I was able to do this job relatively easily.

IMG_0699 The camera was starting to die here. But if you look at the middle of the picture at the top you’ll see the drain tube. Simply stick a phillips screwdriver up there and remove the plastic plug. Once removed the fluid will drain right out.

IMG_0692 Draining from the car.

Ok after this, the camera is officially dead. : ( After the fluid had drained, I lowered the car and removed the air intake on the drivers side. I did this because I needed to gain access to the air bleed screw on the radiator. Infiniti has a neat feature that is used to vent air as new fluid is added to the system. The plug on the radiator was easily removed once the air intake was moved. There is also an air bleed screw on the heater hose up next to the firewall. An allen wrench is needed to remove this.

I added fluid until it began to flow out of the air hole on the radiator. I put that plug in and added more fluid until if overflowed out of the heater hose at which time I put that plug back in.

All done.


After all that I went out and bought a copy of Scribblenauts DS only to find out that it comes with a free hat. Garrett is more than happy to model it for us. : )