As you make your way through the automotive repair world, you will most certainly run across left hand thread. Most thread is traditional right hand thread, which means turning the nut or bolt clockwise will tighten the aforementioned object (turning counter clockwise loosens).

There are occasions where left hand thread is required. Left hand thread loosens and tightens opposite to regular right hand thread (turn clockwise to loosen left hand thread). If you have an object that is spinning, it may spin regular right hand items loose, and thus they use left hand thread.
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Often times, in order to make a repair, you will have to remove the alternator. When it comes time to install the alternator, you may find it is a very tight fit. Many alternators have a part that slides in order to fit snugly when installed. To reverse this process, and to make the installation of the alternator much easier, all you need is two nuts and a bolt.

alternator trick

Put the bolt and nuts in place as shown, and then slowly twist the two nuts away from each other. The device will push the slider out, and make the installation a piece of cake. My only word of caution is to work slowly, and add a bit of lubricant. The alternator’s case is aluminum, and is therefore fairly fragile. If you proceed with too much gusto, you can break the alternator’s case.

good luck, and happy motoring.

A quick note about oil changes. All good techs will clean the mating surface on the oil filter housing. Furthermore they will also lube the oil filter gasket with oil. Almost no techs I have met will pre-fill the oil filter. By filling the filter with oil, you are reducing the time it takes for the engine to achieve oil pressure. A minor detail, but a detail I wish more techs took the time to perform. If you are using BG’s MOA, it’s an easy solution to add the MOA to the filter.

Wet Oil Filter

So the next time you go in for an oil change, ask them for a “wet filter”. They should know what you want, and if they don’t, maybe you need a new mechanic.

So you have a battery that keeps going dead. You have checked all the connections and the cables. They are clean and in good condition. You have replaced the battery or tested it, and it is o.k. and it’s full of water.

You’ve gone on to check or replace the alternator. It charges over 13.5 D/C volts even with a load on it. The A/C ripple is less than a volt (Put a test lead from a volt meter on the positive terminal and the main power output on the back of the alternator, switch the volt meter to A/C. ) If the alternator and the battery are both o.k., and the cables are in good condition, you most likely have a draw. A draw occurs anytime something that should turn of, doesn’t.
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I’ve seen and tried lots of ways to get a tie rod end out of a knuckle; the torch, a pickle-fork, even a ball joint press. This approach is quick, clean, and leaves the threads of the tie rod end and the nut intact.

If you don’t have an air hammer, a regular hammer will work too. The key is to strike the hub and not the tie rod.

Pickle Fork

I do own a spring compressor for disassembling and reassembling struts, but I have no idea where it is.

A long time ago, a crafty veteran taught me this handy approach. The compressed load of the spring is actually much lower than most people expect.

To put the assembly back together, use the weight of the car to compress the spring. If you want, you can also place two straps around the spring (one on either side ) prior to dismantling the strut. These straps then hold the spring compressed for re-assembly.

By using this technique, you can cut your time on replacing struts in half. You can replace them anywhere, like at the race track or in your drive way.

Lowering springs here I come!