Automotive How-To Tech Articles

The following articles were written for the mechanically inclined person who owns or has access to a fair amount of tools, has some automotive background, and is willing to learn new skills. Although there are numerous ways to approach any given problem, we have found these methods to be practical, reliable, and economical, while still providing a quality outcome.


How To Fabricate Brake Lines

Steel brake lines are vulnerable to corrosion. The problem with the ones you buy in auto parts stores is, they rarely have the correct fittings and the exact length that you need.

metal brake line fabrication

Read: How To Make Brake Lines


How To Rebuild A Wheel Cylinder

Although it's usually faster to replace one than rebuild one, there are several reasons for rebuilding a wheel cylinder. The first is lack of quality of replacement units.

DIY rebuild wheel cylinder

Read: Rebuild Wheel Cylinders


How To Make Patch Panels

If a body panel has rust spots but no collision damage, replacing the whole panel may not be necessary. An alternative is to cut out only the rusted area, then make a template, trace it onto sheet metal, cut it out, and weld it in.

DIY automotive sheet metal patch

Read: How To Make A Patch Panel

MIG Weld Sheet Metal

You may have heard people say that it's easy to MIG weld. When trying to weld thin sheet metal metal, it's easy to MIG weld badly.

how to mig weld sheet metal

Read: MIG Welding Sheet Metal


How To Cut Sheet Metal

From a $10 hacksaw to a horizontal band saw costing hundreds of dollars, there are many ways to cut sheet metal.

best way to cut sheet metal

Read: Nine Ways To Cut Sheet Metal


Starting A Car That Has Been Sitting A Long Time

Before you pour gas in that old car and try to start the engine, there's several precautions you should take to avoid damaging the motor.

get an old car engine running

Read: Getting An Old Car Running


How To Lap Valves

Lapping valves does not take the place of a valve job, but it does confirm whether or not one is needed. It actually takes longer to clean, prepare, and round up the supplies than to actually lap the valves.

old car engine repair

Read: How To Lap Valves


How To Rebuild A Steering Cylinder

Rebuilding a power-steering cylinder is less expensive than a replacement unit, and also keeps your classic car as original as possible.

DIY power steering cylinder rebuild

Read: How To Rebuild A Steering Cylinder


How To Paint A Car

If you're willing to put in the time and energy, painting a car yourself can be done. Just be sure to include a realistic time schedule in your plan, and keep it flexible. Things can and do go wrong.

Read: How To Paint A Car

DeVilbiss 803558 Finishline HVLP Gravity Feed Paint Gun

Read: Best Spray Gun For Automotive Restoration


How To Spray Paint An Engine

Applying a few coats of paint to your rebuilt engine provides protection as well as good looks. Here's some tips on how to spray paint an engine block and engine components from an aerosol spray can.

best way to paint engine parts

Read: Spray Painting An Engine


How To Paint Brake Calipers

Painting calipers is all about surface preparation.

DIY paint brake calipers

Read: Painting Brake Calipers


Replace Ripped Dust Boots

When ball joint or tie rod boots rip or tear, the grease ends up on your car's undercarriage, but worse, the parts wear out much faster. It starts as a creaking or clunking, then worsening to excessive play in the suspension and steering.

replace tie rod dust boots

Read: Replace Tie Rod Dust Boots


Replace Sway Bar Links and Bushings

That squeaking sound from the front end is getting worse and worse, and then there's that clunking noise when driving over bumps. It's an inglorious task, but it needs to be done.

sway bar link replacement

Read: Replace Sway Bar Links


Floor Jack Repair

After 25 years of service, my old floor jack stopped holding pressure. Rather than buy a replacement, I decided to repair it.

DIY repair an old floor jack

Read: Repair An Old Floor Jack


Replace Corroded Battery Terminal Ford F150

The dealer wants to sell you the whole cable harness, but there's a better way.

Ford F150 replace battery terminal

Read: Replace Battery Terminal Ford F150


Replace Shift Interlock Solenoid 2006-2010 Explorer

Designed to fit 2006 through 2010 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, and 2007 through 2010 Sport-Trac pickups, the Dorman 924-707 module is a direct replacement for the original circuit board which has been known to fail.

Ford Explorer replace shift interlock module

Read: Replace Shift Interlock Module Ford Explorer


Add Oil Filter To Old Jeep

Many early Jeeps left the factory with no oil filter. A common upgrade, then and now, is to add a remote oil filter.

Willys Jeep oil filter canister installation

Read: Willys Jeep Oil Filter Canister Installation