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April 2002 Do It Yourself Auto Repair - Cheap Tricks

Posted in How To on April 1, 2002
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Got A Cheap Trick?
Four Wheeler pays $35 for every tip used. Tips must be original and unpublished. Send your idea along with a simple drawing or snapshot, your name, address, and Social Security number to Four Wheeler Cheap Tricks, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, or go to the Four Wheeler Web site at and e-mail us your tip. Payment is upon publication. Published submissions become the exclusive property of Four Wheeler. Unused material cannot be returned.

Trash Can Lid Catch-All
Kenneth Frey, of Dalmatia, Pennsylvania, likes his Cheap Tricks virtually free, like this one, a trick for all of you who like to change your own automatic tranny fluid, but who always make a mess when you drop the pan. (Why can't the factory put drain plugs in those things?) Instead of buying a large drain tub or installing an aftermarket drain plug, Kenneth preferred to abscond with the 19-inch lid from the family's plastic garbage can. He then drilled three 1-inch-diameter holes, just a few inches apart, in the center of it. Now when draining his tranny, he lays the big lid on top of his regular 14-inch drain pan and, voil, a catch area large enough to capture that errant fluid that seems to go everywhere when that pan comes down. Thanks for keeping the shop floor clean Ken. We just hope your trash isn't all over the neighbor's yard after the next windstorm.

Dumbell Jack Mount
Michael Bouford of Oakland, Maine, found his Cheap Trick at the local dump. Mike has a '97 TJ with a winch on its nose. He wanted to mount his Hi-Lift jack to the front of his Jeep, but couldn't find any available mounting systems that didn't interfere with the fairlead and winch cable. He wanted a custom mount that would keep the jack both out of the mud and out of the way of the winch. Then, while on a trip to the local dump, Mike spied a weight bench with adjustable uprights. After obtaining the uprights, he mounted them to the winch plate of his Jeep with grade 8 bolts. He added sections of steel tubing inside the square uprights to keep them from pinching when the bolts were tightened. The Hi-Lift now rides in the cradles where the barbells used to go, held in place with ratchet straps. The whole setup doubles as a brushguard and cost Mike all of three bucks. Way to solve your weighty dilemma, Mike.

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