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August 2002 Do It Yourself Auto Repair Cheap Tricks

Posted in How To on August 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 Tips must be original and unpublished.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.

Valve Stem Cap-Off
The lowly metal valve stem cap isn't just for tires anymore. After his buddy's Jeep experienced an engine fire due to fuel slosh on a hot manifold during some rough 'wheeling, Steve Forkum of Knoxville, Tennessee, found a new use for the little metal caps. Seems the fire melted the nylon oil-pressure line running from the Chevy 350 engine block to the gauge in the dash. After wasting time with silicone, and fumbling through toolboxes for suitable plugs, Steve's eye fell upon the vehicle's valve stem caps. They appeared to be the same size as the 1/8-inch pipe fitting protruding from the engine block. A plastic cap was tried first. It fit, but couldn't hold the pressure and leaked. Then a metal cap was procured from Steve's Bronco and, voil, a perfect plug, allowing more 'wheeling and a safe trip back home. Thanks for the plug, Steve.

Industrial Strength Rubber Bands
Tim Carson beamed in from Ontario, California, to share with us his obsession for making the best rubber bands. Tim doesn't mention what he uses these rubber bands for, and we can't remember when we needed any, either. But nevertheless, it's a great idea and we're sure some readers can find a use for these industrial-strength rubber bands. Tim merely cuts up various-sized old inner tubes with scissors-bicycle tubes for small bands, motorcycle tubes for medium-sized ones, and car or truck tubes for big ones. The width he cuts them determines how heavy-duty they are. Tim claims they don't rot, and last forever. Thanks for zapping this one our way, Tim.

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