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Nothing ruins a DIY auto repair project like finding out the replacement part you need is on back order, or even worse, discontinued and no longer being manufactured.
This can lead to long waits or searches for a used component, or some type of jerry-rigging with substandard performance, reliability, or sometimes safety.
Here’s are a few of the more common situations home-based technicians run into and some possible solutions.
Swapping out an in-tank fuel pump can be enough of a hassle, but often those quick-connect fittings on the fuel line to pump link-up get brittle with age and crack easily, sending owners to a parts store for a complete new line. But those fittings can be sourced separately, as well as formed line in rolls. It certainly beats the alternative of trying to section in a different type of fuel line and securing it with clamps to a pipe that wasn’t designed for such an attachment method. Do we smell a fuel leak?
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On the topic of lines and hoses, replacement steel brake lines are a common repair on just about anything driven over Canadian roads for more than a few winters. Again, many DIY types call looking for purpose made and pre-bent lines for an easy swap out. But these are one of the first line items discontinued from automakers parts’ warehouses, as they’re usually specific to only a few model years and are a royal pain to stock and ship due to size and shape.
But some home driveway repair techs are shy about purchasing brake line in bulk rolls with the need to flare those lines for a proper seal on their fittings.
We could argue all day that anyone who can’t properly flare a brake line has no business working on any vehicle, but I’ll try to be less judgmental.
Those same parts stores that sell fuel lines and fittings also carry a wide variety of premade straight brake lines, already flared with fittings attached. Just remember, when trying to bend a steel or copper line to follow a contour, press around a round pipe to help form the line without kinking.
Nobody likes replacing any expensive component when it’s only suffering from a bearing failure. Just about any press-fit bearing installed on any vehicle will have a maker’s name and part number stamped on a protected edge. Use this to find the right replacement.
Don’t give up when a parts’ consultant tells you the suspension bushing you need is only available with a control arm or knuckle assembly. If it’s a popular vehicle with plenty of sales of replacement parts, there’s often a bushing available. Sometimes, it just takes a little searching with the help of keywords such as interchange, cross-reference or substitute.
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