Horkay Blog
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent my Employer's positions, advice or strategies.
Wednesday, 02 February 2011

So if your driving through the a not so nice part of town at 6am in the dark, and you notice your headlights are awful dim, your turn signals aren't working and your 4 miles from work.  Do you:

A.  Pull over with no flashers on the side of the road in the dark in the worst part of town.

B.  Finish driving to work with almost no lights and no signals


That little issue aside, your alternators not working.  Replacing an alternator in a 2000 Ford Windstar is an easy job.

  1. Disconnect Battery cable.
  2. Jack up Front Right of car (use jack stands for safety).
  3. Remove Front Passenger Tire
  4. Get another set of hands
  5. Reach up in the passenger Tire well and locate the Tensioner pulley
  6. Use a 13 mm wrench and remove tension off of the serpentine belt
  7. Using your other set of hands (remember your under the car !), take the belt off of the alternator
  8. Disconnect electrical from alternator (one snaps in, one bolts, the ground is on the mounting bolt).
  9. Remove Mounting bolts
  10. Take to FLAPS (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) and buy a new / rebuilt alternator (take the old one with you or you'll have to pay a core deposit).
  11. Mount Alternator
  12. Reconnect Electrical
  13. Crawl underneath Car and pull on 13mm wrench to give slack for Serpentine belt
  14. Using your other set of hands put the belt back on the alternator
  15. Put Tire back on, lower car
  16. Reconnect Battery
  17. Done - Easy, takes about 30-40 minutes.

This is a good time to relace your belt and possibly your idler pulley if you need it; i had done that about 30K miles ago, so it was ready to go:

Some Pictures of the work:

This is the bad alternator, you can remove it and have them test it, but one way i've always found to test one is keep it in the car, with the car running touch a screw-driver to the back, if it's magnetized than the alternator is working, if it isn't, it's toast.

This is the inside tire well where you need to reach up and put a 13 mm wrench on the tensioner pulley, it's tight but not difficult.

You can just see the wrench hanging off of the tensioner pulley.

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 11:02:27 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars |  Windstar#
Friday, 24 July 2009

Just Sold, $600.00, Purchased one year ago, 600.00.  Easy come, Easy go.  Yah I tried to get 800.00 for it, but I took what I could get, heck I got a year out of it.

I know my dad will be sad to see it go, the look on his face when EJ showed him Dad's new car was price less.

The ad as it appeared on Craigs list:

1989 Buick Century - $800 (Grandview)

1989 Buick Century. 140K miles. Runs good. Has good tires.

Runs great. I drove it every day for the last year to work downtown. The paints not pretty on it, but neither am I. The only issue is the transmission fluid needs to be topped up once a month, about 1/2 quart a month depending on how much you drive. 6 cylinder, 3.8, Front wheel drive, heat, a/c, 25/27mpg, Cruise control, No radio. I will get it inspected prior to selling. Has clean title.


Friday, 24 July 2009 11:08:37 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars#
Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Fleet of vehicles has expanded with a 2006 Chevy Express Van, 1500.

What I needed was a reliable, large people mover.

I stumbled across this vehicle for sale at ICOP, a Lenexa Kansas based company (i'm always amazed at the companies I find head-quartered around Kansas City).  This is an All Wheel Drive Van, with dual doors, tow package, Rear Air and heat, 8900 miles.   Drives like large luxury car, excellent, Wife is happy and I may be able to preserve my sanity on long trips.  It's got the basic interior of Cloth and bench seats, but with young kids - that is what is needed.  For long trips we'll be adding the DVD. 


Tuesday, 21 April 2009 11:20:32 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars |  Chevy Express#
Friday, 26 December 2008

1989 Buick Century Thermostat replacement.


Thermostats are a simple replacement on most cars.  After a week of 5-10 degree temperatures it became apparrent that something was wrong with the Buick, no heat at all unless the vehicle is idling, at highway speeds the temperature just dropped. 


Thermostats are cheap and easy to replace, so it was a good starting point, of course the easy part did not hold true.  Most vehicles have the thermostat easily accessible at the top of the engine on head, just follow the large hose from the top of the radiator, but on the 3.3 liter buick century, the large hose attaches to a filler pipe that goes underneath the mass air flow sensor and intake throttle body, joy.... But wait it gets even better.


After finally wiggling and working my fingers between the exahaust and under the mass air-flow sensor, a new surprise, there is a bracket on one of the bolts going to the air-intake, and it was welded on !  Nothing a good hack-saw can't fix, as there was no way I was going to remove all that stuff.  After cutting the bracket, it was just a job of removing the bolts, which was not hard, but not easy, as there was not enough room to get a socket in there, so I had to use box wrenches with about 1/8 of a turn, argh.  Eventually both bolts came out, pipe removed, thermostat replaced, than the frustrating task of getting the bolts back in and putting here back together.


A close inspection of the old thermostat shows that it is in a stuck open position, which when it's 10 degrees outside and your moving at 70 mph, means no heat.  Now the Buick has heat.


Bracket Holding the thermostat on:


The Bracket now cut:

Finally the Thermostat can be reached and removed.

Old and New Thermostat, Don't forget a new gasket.

Old Thermostat, notice it is stuck in the open position!

Putting it all back together !
Friday, 26 December 2008 08:37:02 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars#
Saturday, 18 October 2008

She's running good, park in the driveway.  Standing out front, enjoying a cold beer, thud.  Muffler down.


Saturday, 18 October 2008 10:55:28 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars#
Thursday, 29 November 2007

Current Fleet being maintained

69 VW Micro Bus - Sunroof

77 VW Micro Bus - Westfalia camper

2000 Windstar blue

2000 Windstar tan

Thursday, 29 November 2007 08:45:53 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) |  | Cars#
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