failure to really look at and understand what you see



failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby grumpyvette » November 1st, 2011, 6:10 am

every last person in this hobby does this frequently, yes far to many times we fail to step back and logically look over a problem , before assuming we know whats wrong or testing carefully, yes most of us gain experience and eventually get better at trouble shooting and diagnosing problems,but we see a problem or a symptom indicating a problem and initially ignore the indications that clearly point to the source of the problem.
when things don,t operate smoothly theres usually a reason and the first question I usually ask is what did you change lately,[b]ID also look at the motor mount bolts and bell housing bolts as those can also cause noise at low rpms that goes away as rpms increase
if the answers nothing then you do a compression check, use a timing light and multimeter , fuel pressure gauge and vacuum gauge to isolate the source of your problem, and don,t overlook the simple things, if the coils not getting any voltage, or theres no fuel pressure check grounds and fuses before attempting major engine surgery, read the spark plugs they provide you with a ton of info, look at the oil filter after you cut it open, check the oil pressure, and check the sensors and electrical connections[/b]
example
when I was about 19 years old I purchased a Mallory dual point distributor for a Pontiac, I installed it and the car ran no better than it did with the factory ignition,in fact it was worse at higher rpms, I took it to an older mechanic at the Pontiac, dealership I was working part time at at that time and he brought out a dwell meter and set the points, up until that time I had no idea what a dwell meter was or how to use one, id always set points with a feeler gauge, I should have realized something was wrong when the ignition would not allow the engine to run at over 5600rpm,but I had assumed the Mallory ignition was perfect right out of the box when I installed it, and set the timing. its the AMP load that heats and burns points, getting 20-25 k miles is very common before you notice any need to clean and reset points in my experience, but you need a dwell meter and a points file, if your going old school ignition.
example
one of my friends calls and says the car just "THREW A CONNECTING ROD" could I help him get the engine repaired, I got over there and it sure didn,t sound good but it also didn,t sound like a connecting rod knock, careful inspection showed the flex-plate bolts had worked loose and sheared off,, obviously not good but better than a thrown rod.
example
I once had a guys with a 1968 big block corvette that had installed a dual point distributor that had a rather annoying hiigh rpm ignition miss that was eventually traced to a severely worn cam on the distributor shaft that opened and closed the ignition points, if you were not aware of what the cam in the distributor was supposed to look like it appeared rather normal, it just had very small lift to open the points due to excess wear.
example
I get a call from a friend asking if I want to buy his old (BLOWN_UP 375hp 396 engine) dirt cheap, as hes just installed a new 454 crate engine
I get it for $200 which I figured I could break even on if just the heads or block was salvageable, close inspection shows theres nothing wrong with the (TOTALLY BLOWN ENGINE) except for three rocker arm balls heat welded to rockers due to lack of oil and three busted push rods
I replaced all the lifters,rockers, cam timing set, bearings and push rods and drove that engine for over a year with zero problems.
the orriginal owner had never even pulled a valve cover, the engine made a few bad sounds and stopped running so he relaced it without ever bothering to find out what had happened internally.
example
buddy calls and wants my help tuning his new dual quad equipped engine which he can,t get fired with a new cam installed, obviously I,m thinking hes screwed up the cam install or got the ignition timing all wrong, careful inspection shows hes got every last lifter adjusted way to tight, simply backing off each rocker nut several full turns gets it to fire up, then we adjust the valves and every things fine!
example
a neighbor calls up asked me to look at why his car runs like crap, starts, runs very badly for 2-3 seconds then makes grinding noises and won,t run at all, then several tries later it seems to want to fire up, again but won,t and repeats the cycle, I pull the distributor cap and notice very irregular rotation traced to a cam timing gear with most of the teeth worn off.
example
a few years later I get a similar call and the car has similar symptoms, I figure hes destroyed another timing set,but this time hes snapped a cam in two
example
a buddy changed spark plugs, and ignition wires on a 440 road runner, the car developed a ignition miss, careful checking shower he had somehow left one plug wire not plugged onto a spark plug but wedged in next to the plug
example
I helped a guy install a cam years ago, I get out the cam degree kit with the degree wheel and dial indicator and he says don,t bother, its a daily driver, just use the dot-to-dot indicator marks, so hey its his car......bad mistake! car runs like crap and its eventually found to be a cheap imported timing set in a blister pack, he picked up for $19 at some auto parts bargain bin,thats full 11 degrees out from the true cam location , if the index marks are used to locate the cam timing

I could post many dozens of these, examples,
but what problems have you found in the way of issues that took you some time to locate the cause and correct it because the cause was not instantly obvious




a good experienced tuner , and someone whose good at isolating and diagnosing problems, someone familiar with reading plugs,and using diagnosing cylinder pressure, heat levels and timing advance curves and fuel air ratios can make a huge difference in the results you see.....theres hours of reading in the links but for those willing to learn its time well spent

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=5615&p=17136&hilit=just+running+right#p17136

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=5726&p=17448&hilit=leak+down#p17448

http://forum.grumpysperformance.com/viewtopic.php?f=87&t=332&p=14272&hilit=leak+down#p14272

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Id also label BOTH ends of each ignition wire, any decent label maker can produce sticky number tags far cheaper that the kits but even the kits are cheap
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viewtopic.php?f=50&t=6098&p=18837&hilit=label#p18837
3M sells these really handy number tape tags

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http://www.clarcorpindustrialsales.com/ ... -p/wmd.htm
at about $30- $45 for a fully loaded dispenser it seems expensive but its really a bargain

[color=#FF0000]RELATED INFO


related links and sub links you can use to locate the source of your problem


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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby grumpyvette » November 28th, 2011, 2:17 pm

I had a good example today,
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my KABOTA tractor has a bush hog mower, attached to the tractor,,it suddenly stopped having the blades spin, even while in gear, I started thinking (, OH! CRAP! IVE BUSTED a HALF SHAFT, OR its a DEFECTIVE P.T.O. (POWER TAKE OFF)and I see MEGA dollars going down the drain, I stopped, had a brandy and called it a day, and thought about it ....and got out the owners manual.... and started looking , and reading, and found theres a SHEAR PIN in the P.T.O. drive shaft.....yeah! close inspection reveled the pin snapped and I was back in business for $3 for a new replacement shear pin installed.... stepping back and logically thinking thru the problem, sure beats having a heart attack thinking I trashed the P.T.O. transmission
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby grumpyvette » May 27th, 2012, 2:56 pm

I recently helped my son replace the windshield wiper motor on his Honda and made the stupid mistake of not carefully marking the exact relationship between the motor and wiper arm actuator angles, that resulted in wipers that wanted to move in totally unexpected ways.
I fully expect any component that has the least possible potential of being installed in any possible way other than the ONLY way it can be installed too come with detailed instructions, (PICTURES AND DIAGRAMS HELP) yes I know 90% of you throw the instructions in the nearest dumpster, but for the 10% like myself that have found thru experience that actually reading instructions before and during installs helps .....well its really does help in most cases to read thru the instructions FIRST!
and if the part was designed correctly , in the first place, there would be a keyed shaft or a keyed actuator arm or some index marks that were plainly VERY VISIBLE, viable, and obvious that you would use to align the arm to the motor because the motor doesn,t just spin in one direction , instead, it rotates the shaft about 160 degrees forward and then back to the original location under some operations and about 180 degrees under some other commands and both wipers are connected to a rather complex set of multi stage levers and rods.
If I had been carefully paying attention I could have saved myself 20 minutes of trial & error adjustments.

yes I stopped and looked up the procedure on line as soon as I realized I had screwed up by not scratching index marks before dis assembly, but after reading thru the instructions, that I found on line ,when you look up the replacement procedure theres a clear arrow and dot alignment marks shown in the instructions,
but neither the original parts or the replacement parts had those marks shown in the instructions
I did get it fixed, but I must say that if the parts were designed with an alignment index key-way, or CLEAR INDEX MARKS and a splined shaft, this parts replacement would be a no-brainer vs a P.I.T.A.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby grumpyvette » April 21st, 2014, 7:48 pm

I had a good one today! it was a very simple repair on a neighbors air conditioner in his lincoln
I came off looking extra smart, but had nothing really to do with a repair other than being a bit observant!
my neighbors wife came by , and ask me to take a quick look at her car, as her air conditioning had suddenly stopped blowing cold air, she turned on the car and slid the air conditioner switch too cold and the fan to max! to demonstrate the failure and show me the problem!
I could hear the air-conditioner vent fan blowing but nothing was exiting the dash vents?
after looking at it for a few seconds , I noticed all the dash vents were slid to the closed position, a simple flip of each vent lever restored a flow of cold air to the drivers location...she has owned the car for several years and had never noticed there was a small lever at the base of each vent to use if you chose to block air flow at each individual vent location, but when i ask her if anyone else had been in the car recently she remembered her grand kids had been with her on a trip to a local park recently and that was the same time the air conditioning vents had ceased to function........having several grand kids I can relate!
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. the little fingers seem to find that they have an absolute feeling that theres a requirement for pushing every button and switch they reach is mandatory!
I wish every repair was that fast and cost effective too accomplish!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby 87vette81big » April 21st, 2014, 8:33 pm

:mrgreen:
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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby grumpyvette » June 25th, 2014, 7:45 pm

If you read posts on this site fairly regularly youll have noticed I stopped by Bobs house to watch him work on a buddies head gasket repair, well he has that project about 99% done but he calls me a bit upset, and wanting me to stop over and maybe pick my brain for a clue to why hes having a problem.
It seems the engines back together and he started it up to check things out and while it was idling the engine just coughed and died , and naturally he suspected it was something he had done, or failed to connect correctly etc.
well I ask a few questions and we did a few simple tests , and found fuel rail fuel pressure read 11 lbs rather than the 40 psi it should read,and I'm sitting in the cars driver seat and I think I see a huge indication of whats wrong, so just to check it out I ask bob if he has a gallon of gas for his lawn mower.
he said he did so while I watch the fuel pressure gauge, Id attached to the fuel rail a minute earlier, I asked him to pour some gas in the tank and after about a quart or so is added , the fuel pressure gauge reads 38 psi.., proof what the fuel gauge in the car said was correct, (IT READS EMPTY) hes just dealing with a car that was effectively out of gas!
I'm glad it was a simple fix, we all over look the obvious way too often, thinking everything is going to be difficult when in reality you occasionally get lucky! and yes its true theres not a single person reading this that has not over looked some obvious problems cause, in the past ,so don,t think something similar can,t or won,t happen to you....even if its something simple like spending 30 seconds looking everyplace for your glasses that you pushed in your pocket a minute earlier
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: failure to really look at and understand what you see

Postby philly » June 25th, 2014, 8:36 pm

if only all the issues we run into are so easily fixed!
-phil

There's never enough money to build it right, but there's always enough to build it twice!
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