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How to fix your “Check Engine” light

Getting an accurate yellow “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light diagnosis is often frustrating and expensive. Fortunately, if you happen to be technically inclined and have the basic tools, you can likely do the job yourself and avoid that expensive repair shop visit. Designed to alert drivers to computer-monitored emissions

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How to convert an automatic to manual transmission

What should you do when you’re stuck with an automatic transmission on your vintage muscle car, and you really want a manual? Simple. Make the swap. The big pieces are often the pedals, linkage and transmission mounts. Using a vintage, first-generation (1967-1969) Camaro and third-generation (1968-1974) Nova as examples, this

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How to clean your seat belts

While seat upholstery gets cleaned, vinyl dashes and door panels get scrubbed and carpets get shampooed, most folks forget about (or ignore) the lowly seat belt and shoulder harness. With a small amount of elbow grease and a few common cleaners, you can make the seat belt and shoulder harness

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How to check a wheel alignment

Most people think that wheel alignment is best left to the professionals. This is true in many respects, but some alignment specs are easy to check yourself, and toe is one aspect of alignment that can be checked at home. This can come in handy after replacing steering or suspension

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Engine assembly: Installing the cylinder heads

In this portion of the engine assembly, we’ll look at cylinder heads and head installation. There are some words of caution here: If the engine has a roller camshaft (that requires considerable valve spring pressure), or has a set of stiffer than normal high-performance valve springs, you should exercise extreme

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Engine assembly: The bottom end

We’ll get into the actual meat and potatoes of engine assembly: measuring main bearing clearances, measuring rod bearing clearances and checking crankshaft thrust dimensions. In the process, the crankshaft will be installed, the main bearing caps will be torqued and the bottom end will be readied for reciprocating component (rod,

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How to buff and polish aluminum wheels

While plunging headlong into things is sometimes required, most of the time it is better to take on challenges one step at a time. This is often the case in the mechanical world of automobiles. Examples abound. Tightening the lug nuts on a wheel. Using the proper sequence of torque

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