12 August 2013

Day 6 / 103 - Automotive Technology 101

The children assisted my husband in some auto repairs last week.  Here's a summary:

We worked on changing the motor mount. On some cars this can be major surgery, but thankfully on ours it was a much simpler job. We removed the front wheel and put the car up on jackstands, and then used the jack to take the weight of the engine so we could disconnect the old mount. We talked about the safety of having a car weighted on stands rather than letting the jack bear the weight - I have seen a jack fail, and it is frightening. Then we disconnected the press-fitted splash guards around the wheel well to gain access to the mounting bolts, and removed the bolts. After that, the mount pulled right out.
We reset the new mount and installed the new bolts, after coating the threads with a compound to keep them from rusting. The kids looked up the bolt torque specifications in the repair manual, set the torque wrench to the proper setting, and tighened the new bolts. They double checked the torque, and the new mount was in place.
We reset the splash guards, lowered the jack supporting the engine, reinstalled the wheel, finger tightened the wheel lugs, jacked the car up off the stand, and lowered the car to the ground. The kids then looked up the torque specifications for the wheel lugs and tightened accordingly. I showed them how to use a cross-hatch pattern to tighen wheel lugs in order to seat the wheel evenly.
Some things we learned about:
- reading a repair manual
- thread conditioning
- torque (rotational force)
- how to set a torque wrench
- proper tool usage
- jack safety
- how to remove press fittings
- cross-tightening when changing a tire

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