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How to make your Beater Sweeter SERIES FINALE


Alright, today on Repairs101: it’s the How to Make Your Beater Sweeter series finale.

This episode of Repairs101 is sponsored by Princess Auto.

Beater with a heater

Did I tell you my new snow tires finally arrived? About a week after this happened.

Beats walkin’

But it turned out to be great news for my friend Jen. Because she needed a cheap, reliable vehicle to get her to her new job in a remote location this summer. And so I sold her the Ranger.

One thing that really bugged me was this filthy glove box. I imagine more than one coffee’s been spilled in there. The dog seems impressed.

This gull wing box came with the truck but without the keys, so I had to break into it and cleaned it out for her and mounted it securely.

This plywood was so thirsty. You can hardly even tell I put this stain on it anymore.


I decided to try my hand at paintless dent removal one more time on this scar along the starboard side.

You know I picked this truck up and put it down several times. I want to remind you to never use a jack alone, always have an axle stand ready.

So I lubricated the steering system for her. I recommend moly on lithium grease on steering components.

Have a look at my videos on reliable crimp connections and on making battery cables, I’ll put the links in the description below.

Here’s a pro-tip for you: flip the collar over to add greater force on the connection than was done on the ground wire on the right.

Mechanic and cameraman

One morning I got up and changed the drive belts for the alternator and the power steering pump. But you know I was working alone and in a bit of a hurry, so I really didn’t get any good footage. OK I didn’t get any at all.

Oh man, trying to get the fuel filters installed has been a thorn in my paw for quite some time now. I wanted to take care of it but last year I got quite sick with a bacterial infection and was weak as a kitten after I got out of the hospital and then once I recovered, I blew out my knee and wasn’t able to do what I consider normal activity for almost six more months.

The 1987 Ford Ranger fuel filter is found between the front left shock absorber and the starter motor on the frame rail

I was holding the camera in my right hand

I am not left-handed by the way. Just in case you were wondering. OK that’s pretty much how it goes on.

This hose clamp is in the middle of the frame?

Yes and that’s what we want.

Can you see this clip down here?


Can you see this clip up here?


Because I sold the truck to a friend, I felt compelled to change the starter motor. Although it was operating normally, I mean, to look at it.,, Ugh. You know? I think I’d just feel terrible if she got stranded because it wouldn’t start. But quite honestly, if I sold it to you… Well, it would be CAVEAT EMPTOR

The starter motor engages the ring gear. If you hit the key while the engine is already running… You may severely damage the ring gear. Which is a costly repair for anyone because you have to pull the motor.

There’s the fuel filter I just put in. And there’s the new starter I just put in.

Brake fluid flush & brake bleed

I got this 99-cent turkey baster to remove the old brake fluid from the master cylinder. Then I sprayed it down with brake clean and wipe it off before refilling it with fresh Dot 3 fluid.

I was really glad after I flushed the brakes because the fluid was full of air.

Oh, and I learned not to use a glass recovery jar.

Gimme five. And two, And three and four and five.

I always preferred the two-person method to pumping brakes.

OK pump.

It’s quick and effective.

And one and two. And three and four and five holding on the floor.

OK release.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what might be done about this engine’s hunting when it’s cold, please leave me a comment in the section below.

I did a full tune up. I changed the MAP sensor. Cleaned the throttle body. I cleaned out the PCV valve, the breather element … I just don’t know what to do.


Paying it forward

I like to be thought of as someone who takes care of his friends, so I put together this road repairs tool bag for her with some help from my friends at Princess Auto.

It’s not everything she’s going to need, but it’s a start.

And that, my friends, is the How To Make Your Beater Sweeter Series Finale

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