Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Touch-plate relay fix

Sue's Touch-Plate lighting system had a relay that wouldn't switch. Took it apart lubed the step wheel , shaft and ratchet with graphite and now it switches again. These things get cooked in the attic. This relay is a 1550B, no longer available and has been replaced by a touch-plate 3000 relay.
These have a 28 volt dc coil and are supposed to change state every time they get a pulse. This one just thumped and had quit turning off and on,

Relay bank in the attic

 disassembled and lubed with powdered graphite.
 Bench test using a 20 volt laptop power brick. Relays are 28 volt so if 20 does it 28 should too.
testing, now it works
 New style 3000 relay in the middle of the image, It is wider and has screw terminals.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Man versus Machine, Amana/speed queen washing machine repair

Our 15+ year old wash machine started leaking.
Power test with the covers off showed it was the tub seal underneath. There was  oil getting on some clothes so there might be water in the transmisson too.
This is the hub and seal kit that fits our Amana model ALW880QAC,  Whirlpool part number R99000457. Got the kit from Amazon along with a main bearing 40004201P which is also a Whirlpool part number
 Seal kit

The agitator just snaps over the drive ball. I used a couple pry bars to get it off.

Drive ball off the spline The seal is supposed to be stuck to the hub so it was leaking.
spindle nut remove
 Hub was a battle to get off. Three jaw puller and an air hammer to vibrate it was used. The hub being corroded was the problem, both seal areas were bad. there was a lint filter between the inner tub and the hub. I left it out because it seemed to trap junk by the seal.
Transmission and "milk stool". Removing main bearing.

Checking transmission for water in the oil, it was OK. This transmission has all metal gears, good stuff. Speed queen makes quality transmissions even today. 3m800 sealant was called out for the outer tub seal. hard to get. I used permatex aviation form-a-gasket instead. No pics of that and no leaks yet ha.
Old hub and drive ball seal. Hub was very corroded.
Lower tub seal, bearing and the bottom of the hub These were really bad. Glad to get it back going.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brake pressure testing adapters

Made up adapters to test brake pressure at the caliper bleeder fittings. One is 5/16-24 thread and the other 3/8-24.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Disabling dual mode charge on a Honda CRV

Sue's 2010 Honda CRV has had problems with the battery not getting a complete charge under some driving conditions. We first had issues when it was 6 months old... battery to low to start it. Took it back to Honda and they said nothing was wrong. It did the same thing a couple other times so we replaced the battery at 3 years old. Now a year later it did it again, It seems some Honda U.S. models have a dual mode charging scheme for economy. Short version is the battery charges to 14.4 - 14.9 volts IF there is a 15 amp load as determined by a load detector. IF there is less than 15 amps load the charging voltage is set to 12.4-12.9, there are some other conditions that override this as set in the ECU.
The car needs to be reliable for how we use it so something needs to change. It has no non-factory electronics except a dash cam that shuts off with the ignition.
Description of Dual Mode
The above are the best information I could find.
It seems the voltage regulator is in the alternator and not the ECU. The voltage regulator has two setpoints controlled by the ECU grounding or letting float the "C" connection to the alternator. The "C" wire is white/green and is supposed to be the same across Honda models. What I did was cut the white/green wire and fold it back in the harness. Now the alternator charges like a normal car at 14.4-14.9 volts. Voltage seems to follow temperature as it should like a normal car.  The battery has not used water from overcharging.No codes have been set either. I think it will work for us now.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Testing Onan with megasquirt

Short video of Tuner Studio software for Onan efi conversion. This was a sensor and communication check. Fuel not on megasquirt yet..

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Onan gets an IAT sensor

Installed an IAT sensor in the Onan's air inlet tube. Megasquirt needs this temperature to calculate air density. Junkyard GM sensor!

 Used a socket to make a hole in the tube
Installed. The crankcase vent tube didn't live thru this and split.

New governor for a TH 425

Got a new Allison AT540 governor to see if it would adapt to an TH425 transmission. It does! The Allison governor has no speedo gear but the gear from a TH425 fits on it. The Allison governor has no can as it fits inside the transmission in it's original configuration but it will fit inside a TH425 can. It does fit, shift and the speedo works. The Allison governors were available in several different rpm ranges to go with whatever engine was driving it. This particular governor is for 3000-3400 rpm and is a code 462. Sonnax makes them new.
Part number on the Allison governor
Speedo gear swapped from the broken TH425 governor on to the Allison.  I think the weights and springs could be swapped and then it would act like a TH425 governor.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Onan gets an oxygen sensor

Got a 1 3/8" 16 gage J pipe to make an exhaust pipe with bung for an O2 sensor
Made a new 1/4" thick flange to fit on the exhaust manifold. Made a step bore to fit the larger 1 3/8" pipe.
O2 sensor bung
Ready to tack weld
Welded up.
Gasket made of Chesterton 199 inserted graphite, supposed to be good to 1650F and 2000 psi. This stuff is brittle and I made two gaskets to get a good one.
Dummy sensor to plug the hole. It is fairly well protected from road spray when the generator door is closed.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Onan efi coolant temp sensor

Mounted megasquirt controller under the bed.
Bracket uses a tab and wingnut
Clear plastic shield so the leds can be seen
Wire harness from Diyautotune
Onan end harness
Aluminium adapter for coolant sensor will mount on a head bolt and have a 3/8 pipe thread for a GM coolant temp sensor. Megasquirt needs engine temperature for cold start enrichment. Some air cooled installations have used oil temp but it is slow to change. This should work as the squirt is very programmable for stuff like this.
Used thermal paste as there is no coolant. Adapter has a two step bore with the deep part just a little larger than the probe part of the sensor.
Thermal paste between the head and adapter
No mods to the cover.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Onan gets an ignition box installed

Installed a Crane HI6-N ignition box on the Onan generator. The HI6-N was an Ebay bargain and uses a magnetic trigger, same one we had triggering an HEI module previous. I have it driving a GM DIS style wasted spark coil with the spark gap set at .045. We found the Ford crank sensor had a very high output and a pair of 47K resistors one on each leg of the sensors output tamed it down to where the Crane box would trigger. I think the high output is because of the diameter of the trigger wheel (flywheel pin) which is much larger than its original application. Relative velocity difference and all of that.
The box has a weatherpack connection and the resistors were installed on the box end of the sensor cable. Putting the resistors on the box end should help cancel noise on the signal. I used microphone cable for the connection to the sensor, twisted pair, and shielded.  Turns out the shield is maybe not needed, I don't have it connected and it seems OK. I found microphone cable on Ebay and selected the one with the highest temperature rating. Ten feet was more than enough.
Crane box mounted under the bed. I did use a relay to turn the boxes battery connection on and off. It seems to have some parasitic loss when off other wise.
Movie of it starting and running. Seems to be smoother running, or maybe just my imagination.
Ford VR crank sensor and tab on flywheel. I have an equal mass weight on the opposing side of the flywheel not shown. All of the original Onan stuff is still in there as back up .

Monday, September 15, 2014

Polishing Alcoa wheels

Our Alcoa aluminium wheels are 10 years old and needed a good polishing. I had polished them before by hand but that wasn't doing it any more. Got after them with the official stuff and they look much better. About 5-10 minutes each after they are on the ground so you can get at them.

I used Zephyr products. A 10 inch wheel kit with polish bar, 2 inch extender and safety flanges. Links below

Zephyr wheel kit

best price was at
4 State truck