RockAuto.com RockAuto June Newsletter :: Early Edition

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Another Happy Customer!

Amazing inventory and rock bottom pricing! I was going to repair a broken mirror at a local shop for $200 plus. Checked RockAuto, found the part for $14, and after five minute replacement...the job was done. Great service!

Nick in Washington



Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here e-mail with details.

Pleasantville Pig Out Car Show
6/7/2014
Pleasantville, IA
e-mail

Monitor Lodge Car Show
6/7/2014
Hampton, VA
e-mail

15th Annual Corridor Car Show & Carnival School Fundraiser
6/7/2014
Eugene, OR
e-mail

54th Southeastern Autorama
6/7/2014
Erwin, TN
e-mail

Cars 'R' Starts @ PPG Car Show
6/8/2014
Shelby Township, MI
e-mail

33rd Annual GMCCA Car Show
6/8/2014
St. Paul, MN
e-mail

Buick Club of America; Minuteman Chapter
6/8/2014
Nashua, NH
e-mail

Mid America Ford & Shelby Nationals
6/11-15/2014
Jennings, OK
e-mail

5th Annual Roger Rizer Sr Memorial Car Show
6/14/2014
Rawlings, MD
e-mail

The Nor-Cal Chevelle Caminos Car Club Annual Run through the Canyon
6/14/2014
Fremont, CA
e-mail

Car Show Hazelwood Baptist Church
6/14/2014
Hazelwood, MO
e-mail

Lupine Junefest 2014 Bike Tour & Car Show
6/14/2014
Mercer, WI
e-mail

18th Annual Fathers Day Car Show
6/15/2014
Warrenton, VA
e-mail

Annual Corvette, Chevy & Street Rod Fathers Day Charity Car Show
6/15/2014
Libertyville, IL
e-mail

11th Annual Paola Heartland Car Show
6/15/2014
Paola, KS
e-mail

CSOAF Fathers Day & Red Bull Military Appreciation Day Car Shows
6/15/2014
North Branch, MN
e-mail

Tune-Up Kits

Tune-Up Kit Bundles

RockAuto now carries more Tune-Up Kits for a wider range of vehicles. Tune-Up Kits are in the “Ignition” category of the catalog. New "Bundle" branded kits include Distributor Caps, Distributor Rotors and premium Spark Plug Wires made by Standard Motor Products (SMP). Select Bundle Tune-Up Kits also include NGK Iridium Spark Plugs, giving you all the parts you need to get your ignition system in top condition for the summer and many seasons to come! Regular tune-ups can improve performance and save money through better gas mileage and less wear on other parts. A quick starting engine also brings peace of mind.

Features and Benefits of these kits include:

  • Premium Wire Sets have a conductive Silicone Core that provides unsurpassed toughness and heat resistance. Aramid Fibers provide maximum tensile strength preventing breaks and hot spots, while EPDM Rubber Insulation offers the highest protection against voltage leaks.
  • Caps and Rotors are made of high dielectric-strength Glass/Mineral Reinforced Polyester Resin for less carbon tracking, greater resistance to electrical breakdown and superior performance.
  • NGK Iridium Spark Plugs (where included) offer extreme ignitability, improved throttle response and superior anti-fouling. The fine iridium tip ensures high durability and a consistently stable spark.
Typical Tune-Up Kit with Spark Plugs

These kits conveniently include all of the components you need in the correct quantities to simplify ordering. Whether you need a tune-up kit for a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1989 Dodge Caravan or a 2002 Nissan Frontier, find “Bundle” Tune-Up kits in the “Ignition” category of the RockAuto catalog.






"Do-It-Yourselfer" Father's Day

Do-It-Yourselfer dad

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching. Have you thought about what to get your "Do-It-Yourselfer" dad? Here are a few ideas from the convenient RockAuto catalog for helping him with his vehicle or in the garage!

Wiper Blades: Have you noticed Dad’s wiper blades are streaking, skipping, splitting or squeaking? Help him regain maximum visibility and reduce the noise with a new pair of wiper blades. Often you can purchase a pair of name brand, premium quality wiper blades for under $25 and for many vehicles they cost much less! (Look under "Wiper & Washer")

Hood, Trunk or Hatch Lift Supports: Does Dad have trouble keeping the hatch, hood or trunk open when the weather is cold or when the worn out lift support struts just decide to act up? Protect Dad's head, back and pride by getting him a new pair of lift supports. Many cost between $10 and $20. (In "Body-Exterior")

Hood, Trunk or Hatch Lift Support

Fender Covers: Does Dad make a lot of trips back and forth to grab tools while doing a repair? Fender covers provide a convenient resting place for elbows and small tools/parts, all while protecting the car's paint and making Dad feel like a professional. Several are available for under $20. (In the "Tools & Universal Parts" tab under "Garage Equipment" and then "Vehicle Cover")

Fender covers

Not sure which parts or tools your dad needs now or down the road? A RockAuto Gift Certificate will let your car enthusiast choose the parts or tools he needs. They are available for any amount, are easy to purchase and even easier to use!






Forum of the Month

Prelude Power

Prelude Power is a forum dedicated to the Honda Prelude. Join our dedicated members in general discussions or discuss topics regarding your specific Prelude generation. With over 158,000 threads and 48,000 members, you are certain to find a topic to answer your question, somebody that can provide you with guidance, or a member that needs your help! Membership is FREE. Sign up, introduce yourself and start taking advantage of all the features we have to offer!


If you are the administrator or member of a forum and you would like to see your website featured in an upcoming newsletter and receive a discount code to share with your members, contact cynthia@rockauto.com.






Repair Mistakes & Blunders

Ouch!

I was rebuilding the slant six engine in my '76 Dodge Dart last winter, while anticipating driving it on a big road trip come spring. I had replaced the cam and timing chain among other things, as well as the distributor.

I got it all buttoned back together, but after breaking in the engine, there was a slight knocking sound in the engine that I couldn't pinpoint. One mechanic friend thought rod-knock and another suggested piston slap from pre-detonation. I checked and re-checked all of my work: looked at the firing order, played with timing, tried a known good distributor out of another car, etc., to no avail.

In a last ditch effort to make my road trip deadline, I sourced a used engine. I worked several late nights and weekends checking over this motor, rebuilding the head, etc., before swapping it into my Dart and installing all my accessories onto it.

The day before I was to leave, I fired up the "new" motor, only to be greeted by the exact same knocking sound! All the time I was supposed to spend packing and getting other things done before I left was now spent trying to track down the source of this elusive noise, checking and re-checking everything to no avail. So I rented a 2013 Dodge Dart, and left my headache in the garage.

A few days after I got back, I happened to receive a phone call from a friend out of state, and we got to discussing the issue I was having with my engine. He encouraged me to start with the basics, so yet again I checked my firing order, with him listening in. He stopped me mid-way through and said the page he was looking at had it listed differently. So I went and pulled my factory service manual off the shelf next to where I was working on the car, and sure enough, I was going off of memory and had two of the numbers in the firing order reversed!

So after weeks of head-scratching, hours of diagnosis, replacing good parts, and a motor swap, I simply switched two plug wires and the noise went away.

Ethan in Washington


Tell us about your most infamous auto repair blunder or unconventional fix. Use your woe to help others avoid similar mistakes or share off-the-wall solutions that worked (at least for a while!). Please e-mail your story to flamur@rockauto.com. Include your mailing address and if you would like a RockAuto T-Shirt (please let us know your shirt size) or Hat if we publish your story. See the T-Shirts and Hats under Tools & Universal Parts in the catalog. The story will be credited using only your first name and your vague geographic location (state, province, country, continent, etc.) so you can remain semi-anonymous!






Automotive Trivia

Automotive Trivia

What motivated Ford to introduce the F-150 pickup in 1975?

A. Dodge had the D100, Chevy had the K10 and Ford had the F-100. Ford thought adding a five after the one in their pickup's model name would indicate superiority over competitors' pickups.

B. Ford made the F-100 a basic work/fleet truck that was only available with a choice of two straight six engines. The new F-150 was available with a wide selection of engines and other options.

C. Ford wanted an entry level pickup that it could call "heavy-duty," thereby avoiding US government mandates for "light-duty" trucks such as the rule requiring the use of only unleaded gasoline.  The F-150 had larger tires and higher capacity springs than the F-100. 


Answer below






Catalytic Converter Failing?

RockAuto

Once the engine on my wife’s ’87 Mazda 323 warms up, the catalytic converter smells hot. The odor is hard to describe, maybe sizzling metal mixed with roasted nuts. The excessively hot catalytic converter also pings and creaks much more than it used to after the engine is shut off.

New catalytic converters for this Mazda by Davico, Eastern Catalytic, Klarius and Walker all cost around $100 at RockAuto. However, I am resisting the urge to rush and replace the catalytic converter before at least attempting to figure out if anything other than too many miles and years is causing it to fail. I do not want to damage a new catalytic converter. The engine runs normally, which implies the catalytic converter is not clogged yet and the heat at least indicates some sort of chemical reaction is still taking place inside.

A catalytic converter can overheat if the exhaust gases contain either too little (rich) or too much (lean) oxygen. Oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) requires adequate oxygen. Reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) requires that oxygen levels not be too high. An overly rich intake mixture that leads to unburned gasoline in the exhaust will overheat the catalytic converter too, and probably cause backfiring. With overheating, the honeycomb converter “brick” might melt or the matting that holds the brick in place might crumble so the brick rattles around inside the steel body.

The oxygen sensor monitors the amount of oxygen in the exhaust so the engine computer can correctly adjust the air/fuel ratio to about 14.7-1. I always start diagnosing problems by checking to see if any of my recent repairs might have inadvertently messed something up. I remember recently changing the Mazda’s oxygen sensor. If I accidentally contaminated the O2 sensor’s wiring pigtail with greasy fingers, then the O2 sensor would not be able to correctly use ambient air as a reference point to measure oxygen levels. I also remember replacing the exhaust manifold gasket not that long ago. A slightly loose exhaust manifold gasket upstream from the catalytic converter would let in ambient air full of excess oxygen.

Like any RockAuto customer, I can log into my account (see the upper right corner of the home page) and look at my past parts orders. It is a quick way to find out when I made repairs. The recent O2 sensor change was actually done more than two years ago. I changed that exhaust manifold gasket ten years ago! I cannot remember everything I had for lunch today, but a decade old repair is still fresh in my mind. Maybe I should check the oxygen levels in my office!

I could not find any problems with the fuel or exhaust systems that would lead to too much oxygen or fuel in the exhaust gases. I now suspect that the nutty smell might indicate engine oil is leaking into the exhaust. The smell is strongest right when the catalytic converter first heats up, which maybe is a sign that a film of oil builds up and then burns off. A catalytic converter brick fouled with oil will eventually clog. Fire is also a worry.

The engine does not “use” an excessive amount of oil or blow any blue smoke out the tail pipe. My RockAuto account shows I have never replaced the Mazda’s intake and exhaust valve stem seals. Leaky or missing valve stem seals would send oil out the exhaust, especially noticeable when the engine is first started. If a $10 set of valve stem seals does not significantly help the catalytic converter odor/heat, then I will delve further!

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com


To read more of Tom's articles, click this link and choose from story titles on the Newsletter Archives page.






Josh's 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom

Josh's 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom

After selling my 1966 International Harvester Travelall, I was left without an older vehicle to wrench on and enjoy. This time around I wanted something easier to drive daily but more important, something my family could enjoy and drive. I found this 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom locally, on Craigslist, and after some missed opportunities to check out the car, I was finally able to look it over. I bought it on the spot. It turns out the car is a one owner car. Everything is original, save for the vinyl top and paint on the passenger side. This car was built in early October of 1969 and bought almost a month to the day later. The 455 ci engine is original to the car and really moves it without any trouble. My 12 year-old daughter really enjoys this car also, especially the sounds and feel of an old vehicle. Plans are for a cosmetic restoration at some point, but for now, just enjoy the car as is.

So far, I've purchased plug wires, filters, brake shoes, brake hard parts, brake hoses, belts, shocks, ignition parts, and some engine parts and gaskets. I love the close-out prices, and the regular prices are really great also. I've been using RockAuto for parts since I had my International, and I also order parts for my late model vehicles, as the prices and service are that much better than what I can get locally.

Thanks for all the help, and I look forward to more transactions in the future!

Josh in Virginia



Share Your Hard Work

Do you purchase parts from RockAuto? If so, RockAuto would like to feature you and your car or truck in our monthly newsletter, collector magnets or RockAuto social media. New, old, import, domestic, daily driver, trailer queen, classic, antique, we want to see them all! Please e-mail flamur@rockauto.com with your vehicle's history, interesting details, your favorite images and what parts from RockAuto you have used.






Let RockAuto Help

Let RockAuto Help

Are you organizing a car show or other auto related event? From goody bag stuffers to gift certificates...we can help. We can even publicize your event in our newsletter.

Just send an e-mail to marketing@rockauto.com with information about your show.






Automotive Trivia Answer

Automotive Trivia

What motivated Ford to introduce the F-150 pickup in 1975?

A. Dodge had the D100, Chevy had the K10 and Ford had the F-100. Ford thought adding a five after the one in their pickup's model name would indicate superiority over competitors' pickups.

B. Ford made the F-100 a basic work/fleet truck that was only available with a choice of two straight six engines. The new F-150 was available with a wide selection of engines and other options.


Answer: C. Ford wanted an entry level pickup that it could call "heavy-duty," thereby avoiding US government mandates for "light-duty" trucks such as the rule requiring the use of only unleaded gasoline.  The F-150 had larger tires and higher capacity springs than the F-100. ("Undercar Digest" magazine, January 2014: pg. 48)


Back up to trivia question




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