Russ' Do It Yourself Home Workshop

Finding Fixes to Just About Anything and Everything

Archive for September, 2010

Just Where is the Starter Relay on a 1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Jxi?

Posted by Russell Wright on September 27, 2010

I think I just had another starter quit in my Sebring Convertible.  At least I got it into the garage before it gave up the ghost!

I’m troubleshooting…and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to troubleshoot a starter in this car…so I thought I’d start with the starter relay.  It’s located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC), but my preliminary investigation didn’t find it.  I originally looked in under the cover that has POSITIVE written on it.  What the shop manual doesn’t tell you is that there is another piece to the PDC.  The relay is actually in the “auxiliary” PDC, which is located under the intake hose.  Remove one bolt holding the plastic piece on the intake plenum, loosen the screw on the intake hose clamp, and disconnect the air cleaner cover to access it.  Here are the pics.




Posted in Auto Repair | 7 Comments »

Garage Door Opener Jerks When Raising

Posted by Russell Wright on September 21, 2010

I was noticing that my garage door openers were jerking pretty hard when opening.  From a little googling, I found that the garage door “settles” over time and the limit switch settings need some small adjustments.  What happens is that the garage door travels too far down and “loads up” with downward pressure, thus causing a big “jerk” when the pressure is released.  Apparently this is pretty common and easy to fix.

You should have two adjustments on your garage door opener that adjust the upward and downward travel of the door.  Mine have pictures molded into the plastic.  I simply backed it off in half- or quarter-turn increments and retested the door.  Seems to have fixed my problem.

2010-11-12 Update

Well, that really didn’t fix my problem.  There seems to be some slop in the screw drive mechanism.  Some more googling turned up a screw drive sprocket coupler (Liftmaster 25C20) that seems to be a very common part that wears over time. 


I went down to the local garage door opener shop down the street and purchased two of these for $7 each (I have two garage door openers).  To replace them, you simply remove the two bolts (7/16”) that connect the track to the motor (located at the top of the garage door opener) and swing the motor drive mechanism back until there is enough clearance to remove the coupler.  Drop the new one in to place and position the motor and track assemblies back together and replace the nuts and bolts.  This took about 10 minutes per opener.  Seriously, it took me longer to get my tools and ladder out and put them back.  I’ll let you know if that fixes the problem.

2010-11-13 Update

The new sprocket coupler didn’t seem to make any difference.  Talking to the garage door person, she asked if the door had recently been painted.  In fact it was painted, along with the rest of the house, this past summer.  Now THAT’s starting to make some sense.  When the garage door sits for some time, it gets “stuck” with the really sticky paint that was used.  That’s something I noticed after the house was painted and the garage door seal trim was replaced…the paint on the seal never seemed to get completely dry.  It’s always been tacky.  I bet this is the root cause.  I’m trying some silicon spray on the parts of the door that have paint that make contact.

Posted in Home Repair | 4 Comments »

Repairing a Leaking Hayward DE-6000 Pool Filter

Posted by Russell Wright on September 5, 2010

I’ve noticed that I’ve been having to add water to the pool a lot lately.  Well, it’s been over 100 degrees for several weeks, so that makes sense, right?  Well, after paying attention to the pool equipment yesterday, I noticed water leaking from beneath the pool filter.  Since I was planning on cleaning it anyway, I took it apart as I normally do a couple of times a year for a thorough cleaning. 

Inspecting the bottom of the tub, I noticed a stress fracture as the source of the leak.


Checking around for a replacement bottom housing, I found that part number DEX2400AIT is no longer available.  I guess after 10 1/2 years they want to sell you a new filter.  Well mine is still in good condition.  It even has all the original elements with no tears or holes!

Leslies pool supply has a special right now.  I can get an equivalent filter for only $799 less 15%!  I can shop around online and find one in the $500-$600 range.  Ouch!  Did I tell you I’m cheap?  So, I decided to attempt a repair.  It is fiberglass, after all, and fiberglass gets repaired all the time. 

I went to Lowes and found some repair epoxy that stated it was suitable for fiberglass.  It cost about $15.00.  I probably could’ve lived with purchasing the $5 amount in the syringe, but what the heck, it was a lot cheaper than $600 or $700.

After removing the lower pipe from the tub, you could also see the crack from the inside.  I took some 50 or 80 grit sandpaper and roughed up the area and blew out the dust and debris.  Then I mixed up some of the two-part epoxy.


I applied the epoxy patch in a highly unprofessional manner, using a plastic putty knife that I purchased for 84 cents.  I allowed the epoxy to cure overnight, as I had some additional work to do on the concrete slab the filter sits on.


Due to the excess water from the leak, the slab had sunk down on one side, so I used a 6’ long pry bar (Harbor Freight, one of my favorite stores) and had my wife pry up while I tamped sand underneath.  Appears to have worked well, as it is now much more level with the other end.


I assembled the filter and fired it up and, so far, it is water tight again.  I’ll let you know if it continues to hold.

Savings for this project:

  • $799 less 15% for new filter $679 + 0.0825 sales tax = $735 to replace the filter
  • $15 for patching epoxy
  • $14 for 120 lbs. of sand (only used $7 worth)
  • $735 – $15 – $14 = $706


Update 2012-01-08

I noticed it was leaking again, except this time it was leaking around the seal area at the midsection of the filter body.  Externally, I could see a crack that was forming around the midsection.  After taking it apart, I could see the area that was leaking.

I sanded the entire area with 80 grit sandpaper and purchased some marine epoxy from Home Depot.  This stuff says it will actually cure underwater.  I mixed some up on a piece of cardboard and used a popsicle stick to apply it.


Continuing with my highly unprofessional repair, I spread it across the entire area that had a stress line showing.  The actual leaking area was only about 4 inches in length.


You can see my previous repair has yellowed, but it is still holding!


I’m going to check out a stainless steel filter body that I found on Craigslist.  If it connects to my backwash filter and accepts the same filter elements (which I believe it does), I’ll probably replace the fiberglass body with a stainless steel body.

Posted in Pool Repair | 32 Comments »

Making Distribute Shapes More Accessible in Visio 2010

Posted by Russell Wright on September 2, 2010

I’m not a fan of the tool ribbon and Microsoft’s propensity to move commands around to the point where they are just as unusable as they were in prior versions of Office.  Here’s a way to make the "Distribute Shapes" command (that’s somewhat buried) easier to get to in Visio 2010.

Here’s our end goal:  Add a new menu group on the Home tool ribbon tab called "Distribute" that contains our Space Shapes commands.  We’re going to add it between the Shape group and the Arrange group.


First you need to navigate to the Customize Ribbon section of the Visio options.  Select File | Options (I’m so glad they put the File menu back…aren’t you?).  Alternatively, you could select the More Commands… item in the Customize Quick Access Toolbar drop-down and select Customize Ribbon on the left. 



When you get to the options dialog, make sure you have Customize Ribbon selected in the left panel.


On the right side, expand the Home tab.


With the Home tab selected, click on the New Group button.


Select All Commands from the drop-down on the left and then scroll until you find Space Shapes. 


Add it to the right side.  It should end up in the new custom group you created.


With Space Shapes selected, click the Rename button and find the icon you want to use.  The one I used is near the bottom left.  I left the display name as "Space Shapes."  Click OK.


You should have something that looks like this.


Now rename the New Group by selecting it and clicking the Rename button.  I named mine "Distribute."


This is what you should end up with.


Use the up arrow button to move it between the Shape and Arrange groups.


Click OK on the Visio Options dialog and you should see your new Distribute group with Space Shapes prominently displayed!


Now, get on with your work…

Posted in Computer Software | 2 Comments »