Fun with HP Laptops; or, how I spend my time these days

These days it seems like there's an infinite number of laptop brands to choose from - perhaps staffed by an infinitude of monkeys. Actually, based on my experiences with laptops and the lack of quality of their hardware, this seems like a fairly generous estimate - I would actually place the average engineer somewhere down around slime molds. Having now owned and worked on laptops from most major vendors (and a number of minor ones) I have a few observations to offer - especially in light of today's labor.

Fun with Fuel Delivery

In the continued saga of my 1993 Impreza LS, the fuel pump crapped out for real this morning (cycling the key on and off repeatedly did nothing) so I ended up having to swap it. I haven't fastened down the carpet since the last time I looked at it, so it was a fifteen minute job or so. The replacement is from a 1995 (IIRC) Legacy, but pretty much all Subarus use the little JECS canister pump also used by Nissans and such and only earlier, FWD Subarus have less displacement (and thus presumably less fuel delivery) than my '93 LS. This swap is even easier than on (for example) the 240SX because Subaru uses a slick connector for the fuel pump and sender. This connector, which is male on the outside, also has two male connectors on the inside, into which the sender and pump plug separately.

Upgrading to Polyurethane Tension Control Rod Bushings on the S13 240SX

The tension control rod is the part of the front suspension which keeps the lower control arm from moving forward and backward. Actually, it causes it to move by a specified amount around a fixed point at the front of the car. At this point there is a bushing, the only alternative being a ball joint, as it must flex in two directions at once.

Fun with Mercedes

The day before yesterday, I replaced the thermostat on my 300SD. Every time I work on this vehicle I have it shoved in my face that it's meant to be serviced on a lift, and only on a lift. I actually went and bought ramps for this job, which only works because my driveway slants down, and I put the ramps there, somewhat leveling the vehicle (it was still down slightly in front.)

Bleeding a Brake System

"Bleeding" a brake system refers to driving all of the air out of the system. Modern automobile braking systems consist of a master cylinder in the engine compartment which pushes brake fluid (a hydraulic fluid mixture consisting primarily of various glycols) through a series of tubes (brake lines) which then actuate the brake cylinders. This is true whether you have disc brakes, drum brakes, or a combination of both.

So, Ladies, you wanna roll in my Mercedes?

My Benz is once again in commission. I replaced the alternator, which was kind of a suck-ass job, but honestly not all that bad. You just have to yank off the air filter system including the tube going to the turbocharger and you can get at it all from the top. You can also get there from the bottom, but I was doing the work on dirt and couldn't get there that way (can't put a jack stand on dirt, can't really block tires safely either.)


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