VIN numbers allow ordinary people to be detectives, and who doesn’t want to solve a mystery?
FACT: In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forced the standardization of VIN’s (Vehicle Identification Numbers) on all of the car manufacturers. From that point forward, all VIN’s were a 17 digit code, each digit representing an important detail about that car. LIES!! BLASPHEMY!! Ok, fine…. 16 of them are important car details, blame Einstein for the seventeenth digit. We will cover that later….
FACT: I, O, and Q are letters that are not used in VIN’s because they could be confused with 1 & 0. Letters U & Z aren’t used for the 10th digit. Crazy, I know.
FACT: Albert Einstein never owned a car, so he likely knew nothing about VIN numbers or their meaning. Does that make all of you guys smarter than Einstein? Yes, it absolutely does. » Continue reading more of this post…
I have been MIG welding since I was about 15, which is darn close to half of my life. I really wanted to step up my welding game, and after saving forever, I finally bought myself a TIG welder about a year ago. The welder came with a pressure regulator and after some trial and error, I decided that much like MIG welding 15-20 psi seems to work alright for most TIG welding situations. I have since used up what seems like an EPIC amount of Argon & Argon/CO2 mix (compared to MIG welding). I assumed that was normal…
So I’m talking to my friend the other day who is also new to TIG welding, and using what seems like an exorbitant amount of gas (sound familiar?). He told me that his welding supply store just informed him that he was supposed to be using a FLOW meter not a PRESSURE meter. Ooops. They told him that once he swaps over from pressure regulated (only) to flow regulated, his gas tanks would last far longer. They even gave him a free tank filling.
I was confused by this because why would both of our TIG welders come with pressure regulators if we really needed flow meters? Seems stupid right? I decided that I needed to do a test. I got my tank filled, because it was obviously empty again, grabbed some party balloons at the local pharmacy, and into the garage I went!
I began by attaching the balloon to the TIG torch with a zip tie.
Then I attached the Flow meter to my newly filled tank, and set it to flow 15 CFM with the TIG pedal fully pressed.
I then grabbed the stop watch and hammered the foot pedal to the floor for 5 seconds. The welder was set to 3 seconds of post flow for the entire test as well for a total of 8 seconds of gas.
Then I swapped balloons, zip tied it the same way, and hooked up the Pressure regulator to the same new tank. » Continue reading more of this post…
Remember science class when the teacher shouted “Pay attention! You might need this someday!” ? Well, as much as I don’t want to admit it, that teacher was right. Lets touch upon the basics and see if it rings a bell?
- First off – MAP is an acronym for Manifold Absolute Pressure. MAP sensors measure the air pressure in your intake manifold which helps the engine’s computer determine air / fuel ratios. MAP sensors are set to “zero” from the factory. So with the car off, and the key on, the MAP sensor will read “zero” at sea level.
- On earth, we have 14.7 Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) on us at all times at sea level.
- “Bar” is a measurement of pressure. 1 Bar = 1 atmospheric pressure, which is 14.7 PSI.
- The absence of pressure is measured in “Inches Of Mercury” (in. hg). (Finally we get to use the periodic table of elements in real life!)
- -1 Bar = -29.4 in. hg
- 1 Bar = 29.4 in. hg
- Naturally Aspirated = without a turbocharger or supercharger. Also known as “N/A”.
- Forced Induction = with a turbo or supercharger
- In forced induction applications “Boost” is automotive slang for PSI
- Stoichiometric Air Fuel Ratio = The ratio of the exact amount of air it takes to burn a fuel completely.
- Stoichiometric for Gasoline Engines = 14.7 : 1 (14.7 parts air to 1 part fuel).
Now some of that good stuff:
With a N/A engine running, the MAP sensor may see readings » Continue reading more of this post…
Oil Antifreeze Milkshake
Every few months, some article pops up on the internet talking about how people don’t need to change their oil at 3000 miles “anymore”. This article on Yahoo News is a great example of this, and it bothers me. To save you some time, I’ll give you the cliff notes of the linked article. They basically tell people that 73% of California drivers are changing their oil too often, and wasting their money (I’m still cringing). Then the article goes on to say to look at your owners manual, and do oil changes at whatever mileage interval it says. Seems like a good idea right? Well, sure in a fantasy world, yes. In the real world, no. Also, how does the author of this article knows that people are changing their oil too often if he doesn’t know the oil change intervals of all of their vehicles. Seems odd to me, but I’ll move forward anyway.
About 9 years ago…. when I was a technician at a dealer, it was a frequent occurrence for customers to come in for an oil change with less than half of their recommended oil left in their car. The majority of cars that I did oil changes to held 8 quarts of oil, and 3 quarts frequently came out at the manual-recommended oil change interval. The manufacturer of this particular car claimed that it was “normal” for these types of engines to burn 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles. Nice! So even if you did a 5000 mile oil change, you’d likely only have 3 quarts left. » Continue reading more of this post…
Last Wednesday, we talked about Curb Weight, GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, payload capacity and how “tonnage” slang terminology is not reality. Now, let’s put all of that great knowledge to use by deciphering the name’s of Ford, Chevy, and GMC trucks. The automotive slang is in quotes for your reference. To determine which truck you have, just look at the 5th digit of the VIN number. This is the digit of the VIN that tells you the series of the vehicle. For Chevy and GMC full size trucks built after 1980, it will be C, K, R or V. Oooooh, a secret code? Read on….
Chevy C/K Trucks
C-Series Truck = 2 Wheel Drive (1960-2002)
K-Series Truck = 4 Wheel Drive (1960-2000)
C10 = “½ Ton” 2wd (1960-1987)
C20 = “3/4 ton” 2wd (1960-1988)
C30 = “1 Ton” 2wd (1960-1988)
K10 = “½ Ton” 4wd (1960-1987)
K20 = “3/4 ton” 4wd (1960-1988)
K30 = “1 Ton” 4wd (1960-1988)
C1500 = “1/2 Ton” (1988-1999)
C2500 = “3/4 Ton” (1988-2000)
C3500 = “1 Ton” (1988-2002)
K1500 = “1/2 Ton” (1988-1999)
K2500 = “3/4 Ton” (1988-2000)
K3500 = “1 Ton” (1988-2000)
Chevy R/V Trucks
R-Series Truck = 2 Wheel Drive (1987-1991)
V-Series Truck = 4 Wheel Drive (1987-1991)
R10 = “½ Ton” 2wd (1987-1988)
R20 = “3/4 ton” 2wd (1987-1988)
R30 = “1 Ton” 2wd (1987-1988)
V10 = “½ Ton” 4wd (1987-1988)
V20 = “3/4 ton” 4wd (1987-1988)
V30 = “1 Ton” 4wd (1987-1988)
R1500 = “1/2 Ton” ( Didn’t Exist!?)
R2500 = “3/4 Ton” (1989)
R3500 = “1 Ton” (1989-1991)
V1500 = “1/2 Ton” (Didn’t Exist!?)
V2500 = “3/4 Ton” (1989)
V3500 = “1 Ton” (1988-1991)
Let’s see examples!
Imagine you have a truck with VIN #:
1GCDC14H3G……. = 1986 Chevy C10 (2wd, 1/2 ton)
2GCEK19K0J……. = 1988 Chevy K1500 (4wd, 1/2 ton)
1GCHR33N7J……. = 1988 Chevy R3500 (2wd, 1 ton)
Fun Stuff Right?
On Wednesday, we talked about Curb Weight, GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, payload capacity and how “tonnage” slang terminology is not reality. Now, let’s put all of that great knowledge to use by deciphering the name’s of Ford, Chevy, and GMC trucks. We’ll start off with Ford’s because they are the easiest to understand. The automotive slang is in quotes for your reference.
F100 Truck = “1/2 Ton”
(1953-1982) 4000-5000 GVWR
F150 Truck = “1/2 Ton”
(1975-Current) ~6000 GVWR. The F150 started life as a heavy duty alternative to the F100 (“Nicknamed the “Heavy Half Ton”, it was allegedly intended to dance around new emissions regulations.)
F150 Truck with “7700″ Package = “1/2 Ton” Heavy Duty
(1997-04) 7700 GVWR
F250 Truck = “3/4 ton”
(1953-1999) 8500 GVWR
F250 Heavy Duty Truck = “3/4 ton”
(1992-97) 9000 GVWR (Essentially an F350 with F250 badges)
F250 Super Duty Truck = “3/4 ton”
(1999-Current) 8800 GVWR
F350 Truck = “1 ton”
(1953-1997) 10000 GVWR
F350 Super Duty Truck= “1 ton”
(1999-Current) 9900-11200 GVWR
» Continue reading more of this post…