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"Finishing" parts for GM. Have any of you DYI mechanics out there ever had to
Tiger Boards - The Amphitheatre
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"Finishing" parts for GM. Have any of you DYI mechanics out there ever had to

3

Apr 20, 2024, 8:56 AM
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finish manufacturing a part for your automobile, after you buy it? That is the situation I found myself in with the seat back adjustment handle on my 2007 GMC Canyon Crew Cab pickup. The handle is a cheap plastic POS, with only a thin inner aluminum hub. It is supposed to be where you pull up on this handle, and you can adjust the seat back position where ever you want it to be.

What REALLY happens is that when you pull up on the handle, after it has sat out in the sun for about two days, is that the plastic snaps off, and you have no handle. That was the case when I bought the truck used, and also the case about a week after I replaced it with a new handle. What to do?

Well, I noticed this handle is literally hollow plastic, with a bunch of skinny ribs in the back to even allow it to keep its shape. If it had been solid, it would have cost more to produce, but may have actually performed its intended function for awhile without breaking. What a concept!

I went online, and found the strongest tensile strength two part epoxy available for less than a fortune,, some stuff called System Three T-88. This turned out to be some really thick stuff, which is supposed to cure to a tensile strength of over 7000 psi (!)

I mixed it in the equal proportions, stirred for at least a minute as directed, poured (glopped, it was not easy to handle, it was so thick) it into all the void spaces in the third NEW handle, all the way up until they were full, with it in my vice, held level, and patiently waited at least 8 hours. Then, I filed away some excess that had dripped over the edge, and installed the handle.

From non-movement, the seat back mechanism was actually quite stuck, and it took considerable effort to get the handle to ratchet it that first time. But, SUCCESS! The handle weighs about five times what it originally did, and is probably 100 times stronger. The T-88 reinforcing all around the thin plastic sleeve around the thin aluminum sleeve should help it survive its infrequent use. Total cost was over twice what the handle cost, but hopefully, a permanent repair has been effected! Take that, GM!

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Many, many moon ago, back in the wild days of my early driving years, I

2

Apr 20, 2024, 9:06 AM
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actually took a corner hard enough in my old 55 Chebby to dislodge the battery from its home made battery box up front, into the engine fan. This lopped a lower corner off the battery case, a brand new battery!

Scared to admit to my dad what I had done, I hatched a plan. All the acid had leaked out of that cell due to the missing corner. I turned the battery upside down, emptying all the acid out into a plastic bowl for later reuse. I hosed it off, and when it dried, I mixed up some good old "JB WELD" two part epoxy, and glopped it over the hole in the battery case. Once it cured, I put the battery acid I had back in the battery, distributing it all equally, and making up the difference with clean water.

I used that battery for another two years, and learned two lessons. One, if you are going to take corners like the old Hell Drivers, you better have a very good battery hold down clamp. Two, maybe it is better not to take corners like the old Hell Drivers.

:(

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Re:

2

Apr 20, 2024, 11:18 AM
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I had a Porsche 924 back in the 80’s and had to have a clutch part machined at a machine shop. They couldn’t get the tolerance perfect and it made a bad vibration. I finally tracked one down in Germany and had it shipped. That part cost around $2k. I tried to cheat the system. Didn’t work. I sold the car before the next high dollar part could break.

I also did a frame off restoration of a 1971 GMC pickup. I made custom motor mounts for the 454 and had to remake the transmission tunnel because the Muncie M22 Rock Crusher transmission wouldn’t fit were the old Saginaw 3 speed did. I had to fabricate many parts as I converted it to disc brakes all around and put a Camaro front end on it. I also adapted a Dana 9” rear end with 411 gears and had to re-fabricate almost everything. So, yes I have had to redneck engineer quite a few parts in my day.

I don’t turn wrenches anymore. I hire it out and let the pros get frustrated and bust their knuckles.


Message was edited by: OneJedi®


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Back in the day, there used to be a place in Columbia that rebuilt clutches,

1

Apr 20, 2024, 11:39 AM
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pressure plates, and water pumps. I remember the prices were RIDICULOUSLY low, not to mention, several times, my dad actually took clutches and pressure plates off some of our big farm tractors, and WAITED while they rebuilt them, on the spot. Try getting that kind of service now!

The best thing about the place, it didn't matter what the part came off of, they had the bits and pieces in stock to rebuild it. Just goes to show, a lot of that stuff is a lot more universal than you might think.

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Re: Back in the day, there used to be a place in Columbia that rebuilt clutches,


Apr 20, 2024, 1:44 PM
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A friend in greenville has a consulting company dealing with manufacturing logistics. One of his customers is a transmission manufacturer. They make transmissions for 4 or 5 car makers. Don’t you bet there are a lot of commonalities in that factory?

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Class of ‘71. Went through “rat season” and glad I did.


Re: "Finishing" parts for GM. Have any of you DYI mechanics out there ever had to

2

Apr 20, 2024, 1:37 PM
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Good job on the fix. You gotta love T-88. Unfortunately GM doesn't have the market cornered on using cheap $#!+ plastic in the wrong places. My son had a 2006 BMW and one time driving home he threw the fan belt - which killed the alternator & then the battery and ultimately left him stranded on the highway. Well, the problem is those brain-dead morons at BMW decided to use a plastic idler pulley on the fan belt. After several hundred heat cycles, and being under tension, the plastic basically disintegrated (go figure). I got my machine shop buddy to fabricate an aluminum wheel for less than half what those jack@$$es at the dealer charge for the plastic POS, and it worked like a champ.

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Re: "Finishing" parts for GM. Have any of you DYI mechanics out there ever had to

1

Apr 20, 2024, 2:01 PM
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A couple more fixes like that and you can qualify as an honorary farmer. 🤣

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I grew up a real farmer, decided I would rather do something else, like being


Apr 20, 2024, 5:44 PM
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a Chemical Engineer. Given my back problems, I definitely made the right decision, I would never have survived the rigors of farm life as an adult. (My back problems actually started before I even turned 18.)

:(

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