Troubleshooting an Engine Noise

I developed a new engine noise after a high speed run on my 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660.

In the video I will take you step by step through my process of troubleshooting and how to isolate the cause of the noise, and then assess the damage. I also demonstrate how to use a mechanics stethoscope, check for loose valves, check spark plug color for ignition issues, how to check valve timing, and several other common issues while we looked for the issue.

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DIY Solar Generator – Plexiglass Cover and Improvements

In this update to our DIY Solar Generator how-to series, I am going to show you how to build an acrylic Plexiglass cover for the inside of the solar generator, so that we can store things like jumper cables inside the case without worry about shorting out or damaging any of our wiring connections. I will also show you some updates and improvements that I have made since the original videos, including a way to automatically disconnect the solar charger from the battery when the solar panels are unplugged. This will keep the solar charger from slowly running down the battery while in storage, without having to remember to turn on or off a disconnect switch. I will also show you a better solution I have found for the solar cable wire including heavier gauge cable, for less cost, and a built in cord wrap.

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How to Drive in Snow on Hilly Roads

In the video below, I demonstrate driving a modern 2 wheel drive, front wheel drive vehicle on some hilly unplowed snowy roads. I also will show why in some circumstances traction control can limit your ability to climb or get unstuck. There are certain situations where turning traction control off can actually help.
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How to Control a Slide on Icy Surfaces

This video of a pile up in Montreal has been making the rounds in social media. It shows multiple vehicles, including two buses, a police car, and even a plow truck piling up on a very slippery roadway. It also perfectly illustrates both what works, and what not to do. The majority of the vehicles, including the plow truck, did not know what to do. Do you?

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How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 4 – Wiring

This is the fourth part in our series on how to build your own large solar generator. In this part we will be completing the wiring for the generator, including the solar charge controller, AC inverter, LED work lights, and USB outlets.

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How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 3 – Component Mounting

This is the third part in our project series How To Build a Solar Generator. In this part, we will be mounting all of the components into our case, as well as some of the preliminary wiring.

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Teardown, Overhaul, & Re-Assembly of Yazoo Mower Transmission

I snapped an axle shaft in my Yazoo Mower (YR-76) that required disassembling the entire transmission in order to get the broken shaft out. While it was out, I cleaned each part, and replaced worn bearings and oil seals. Here is the process I took.

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Yazoo Mower

Yazoo Mowers are becoming increasingly rare, but they have an almost cult following of fans and owners.  They are very unique in their design, allowing them to have a zero-degree turning radius way before the modern hydraulic zero-turn mower was invented, and they have a gear shift lever that allows quick transitions from forward to reverse.

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Installing Heat Control Solar Window Film

We recently moved into a new house, which has quite a few windows. We also have had a very warm June and early July. As a result our house has been pretty warm and uncomfortable lately. Especially since I prefer to use the AC as little as possible… usually meaning none!

I am a big fan of upgrades that will reduce our energy footprint, and especially ones that have a lasting effect of several years or more. I began researching window films that I could install myself, and eventually decided to give the Gila Heat Control Residential Window Film a try. It is available on Amazon, in several sized and varieties. I opted for the 36″ x 100′ foot roll in the Platinum color. The manufacture claims an impressive reduction in cooling costs of up to 50%. They also state it rejects up to 99% of UV, and 67% of glare. I also found that the vast majority of customer reviews were very pleased with it, some stating that it has held up well even after 10+ years of use.

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