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❯❯ Gonzo’s Toolbox February 2013

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MAGAZINE

❯❯ Ride Control Systems

❯❯ CAN Bus Breakdowns


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CONTENTS 22

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Publication

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Volume 35, No. 2

44

Ride Control Systems

Mercedes Misfires

CAN Bus Topology

Application-Specific Products

Tackling a P0301 DTC

Import Specialist Contributor Gary Goms recalls his days of working as a mechanic for an offroad desert racing team and notes this lesson learned that holds true to this day: matching a shock absorber to its application.

Electronics Diagnostic Specialist Sergio Fernandez discusses how to use valuable oscilloscope freezeframe information to diagnose a misfiring cylinder that produces a DTC P0301 on a M-B E320 sedan, saving valuable time in the shop.

Jumping on the CAN Bus Before you go riding the CAN bus lines to a vehicle repair, you’ll need to understand the configurations the OEs developed for wiring harnesses and sensor connections. In this article, we take a look at the topology of serial data networks.

ImportCar Staff Publisher Jim Merle, ext. 280 jmerle@babcox.com

Managing Editor Jennifer Clements, ext. 265 jclements@babcox.com

Graphic Designer Kelly Gifford, ext. 249 kgifford@babcox.com

Circulation Manager Pat Robinson, ext. 276 probinson@babcox.com

Editor Mary DellaValle, ext. 221 mdellavalle@babcox.com

Technical Editor Larry Carley lcarley256@aol.com

Advertising Director Cindy Ott, ext. 209 cott@babcox.com

Circulation Assistant Maryellen Smith, ext. 288 msmith@babcox.com

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DEPARTMENTS Columns

Publication

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6 Editor’s Notebook

Contributing Writers

8 News Update

Gary Goms, formerly of Midland Engine Electronics & Diagnostics, Buena Vista, CO

Bob Dowie, Village Auto Works, Chester, NY

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12 Special Coverage:

Bob Howlett, The Swedish Solution, Orange Village, OH Scott “Gonzo” Weaver, Superior Auto Electric, Tulsa, OK

BFGoodrich New Tire Launch

Editorial Advisory Board

18 Gonzo’s Tool Box

Bob Dowie, Village Auto Works, Chester, NY

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50 Import Tech Tips

Chris Klinger, Precision Incorporated, Tucson, AZ Steve Louden, Louden Motorcar Services, Dallas, TX Frank Scandura, Frank’s European Service, Las Vegas and Henderson, NV

52 Essentials (New Products)

Joe Stephens, Stephens Automotive, Palatine, IL

54 Ad Index

John Volz, Volz Bros., Grass Valley, CA

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55 Classifieds

Babcox Media, Inc. 3550 Embassy Parkway Akron, OH 44333-8318

60 NASCAR Performance 50

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Greg Cira gcira@babcox.com

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Jeff Stankard jstankard@babcox.com

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In Memoriam

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Founder of Babcox Publications

Edward S. Babcox (1885-1970)

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Tom B. Babcox (1919-1995)

IMPORTCAR (ISSN 1069-4714) (February 2013, Volume 35, Number 2): Published monthly by Babcox Media, Inc., 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333 U.S.A. Phone (330) 670-1234, FAX (330) 670-0874. Periodical postage paid at Akron, OH 44333 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to IMPORTCAR, 3550 Embassy Parkway, Akron, OH 44333. IMPORTCAR is a trademark of Babcox Media, Inc. registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. All rights reserved. A limited number of complimentary subscriptions are available to individuals who meet the qualification requirements. Call (330) 670-1234, Ext. 260, to speak to a subscription services representative or FAX us at (330) 670-5335. Paid Subscriptions are available for non-qualified subscribers at the following rates: U.S.: $69 for one year. Canada: $89 for one year. Canadian rates include GST. Ohio residents add current county sales tax. Other foreign rates/via air mail: $129 for one year. Payable in advance in U.S. funds. Mail payment to IMPORTCAR, P.O. Box 75692, Cleveland, OH 44101-4755. VISA, MasterCard or American Express accepted. Member BPA International, Inc. Founded 1979. 䊚2013 by Babcox Media, Inc.

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[ Editor’sNotebook

By Mary DellaValle|EDITOR

Extraordinary Customer Service Begins With A Great First Impression

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ontinuing last month’s discussion of ways to kick-start the new year, we’ll again focus on shop image because of its direct link to the overall customer experience and your shop’s bottom line. Satisfied customers speak volumes about the service they received, providing you with repeat business and a direct conduit to referrals. Senior Director of Marketing for Cintas Corporation Dave Mesko, says that the professional image that a shop displays often makes the crucial difference between an ordinary experience and one that encourages repeat business. He offers the following “image improvements” advice: • Develop customer area cleaning programs. The waiting area is the first opportunity to

Mary DellaValle, mdellavalle@babcox.com

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create a positive impression among customers. Keep this space in pristine condition to project the best possible image. Ensure that chairs, tables and refreshment stations are kept clean and free of debris and trash. Keep a continuous supply of coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks to accommodate varying customer preferences in refreshment areas and spot-check this area frequently to ensure items are stocked, and clean it once every few hours to remove spills and trash. • Ensure personnel look their best. As employees serve as a vital point-of-contact in the shop, they offer an ideal opportunity to impress customers. Additionally, the image of your employees sends a message to customers about the level of service and care their vehicles will receive, and it helps techs feel more confident when they look their best.

Along those lines, hand-washing stations located throughout the service areas help ensure employees always greet customers with clean hands. • Organize and clean service areas. As technicians sometimes bring customers into service bays to discuss their vehicle, these areas should always remain in top condition. Keep tools and parts organized by providing appropriate shelving and storage units. In addition, the cleanliness of flooring throughout the service area is one of the most critical factors that can influence customer perception of the shop. Develop daily floor cleaning protocols that can easily be performed during slow periods to maintain flooring throughout service areas. For the full article, go to www.ShopOwnerMag.com and search for “What Image Does Your Business Project?” IC


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[ NewsUpdate Advance Auto Parts Professional Rolls Out Coverage Increases for MotoLogic Repair and Diagnostics Advance Auto Parts recently announced the addition of OE repair and diagnostic information for manufacturers Audi, Mazda, Mercedes and Volkswagen to its MotoLogic repair and diagnostic software tool. Features include fast navigation, accurately rendered, original OE content, ease of use and depth of information. And included in the rollout of additional manufacturer coverage is the addition of service information for older-model vehicles dating from the early 1990s to the 1950s. “We’re offering shops an easy, accessible solution for their repair and diagnostic needs. The continued expansion of our manufacturer coverage and support team dedicated to MotoLogic ensures that we’re delivering the information that shops need to fix vehicles fast, all with just a few clicks of the mouse,” said Walter Scott, vice president of eCommerce and eServices for Advance Auto Parts. The fully searchable, OE diagnostic and repair resource features a state-of-the-art search engine that ensures faster results, based on virtually any criteria — sight, sound, smell, diagnostic code, component type and more. In addition to speed, MotoLogic’s detailed search engine lets technicians access OEM service information, clickable and color-coded OEM wiring diagrams, service bulletins, diagnostic flowcharts with sophisticated hyperlinks, component locators, labor times, owner’s manuals and more — all in the time it takes to click “Search.” Should a customer not be able to locate the repair or diagnostic information they need through MotoLogic directly, they may contact the support staff at Motologic.com or 855-222-1632 for direct assistance.

Automotive Parts Associates Gives Winners ‘The Drive of a Lifetime’ “When a winning customer tells you they are going to have to have a smile surgically removed from their face, you know you have a satisfied customer!” said Caprice Caster, director of events & promotions with Automotive Parts Associates (APA), in reference to the group’s recent Exotic Driving Experience Weekend. In January, three winners of the Professionals’ Choice Scratch & Win promotion and their guests had a memorable time driving Lamborghinis and Ferraris at the Disney Speedway in Orlando, FL. The winners were Craig Callahan from John’s Auto Repair in Hightstown, NJ; Ron Vaughn from Vaughn’s Mr. Muffler in Dubuque, IA; story continues on page 10


[ NewsUpdate continued from page 8

and Alfred Wilkins from Wonder Auto & Tire in Riverview, NB. APA shareholders conducted the Scratch & Win sweepstakes at more than 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Each time a product was purchased from one of the sponsoring manufacturers, the installer received a scratch ticket. Thousands of dollars in instantwinning gift cards were distributed and several thousand completed scratch cards were returned for the grand-prize drawing — the Exotic Driving Experience Weekend. Winners and their guests were flown into Orlando and put up at the Grand Floridian Resort. On Friday night, they enjoyed a steak and seafood dinner followed by a cruise on the Grand One Yacht with dessert and a fireworks show. On Saturday morning, the group headed to the track where they selected from a menu of exotic cars. Each participant chose two cars and took them out for 16 laps. Afterward, guests were given spending cash and park passes to enjoy the rest of the weekend at their leisure. Dan Freeman, president and CEO of APA said, “This approach for the Scratch & Win promotion has given six people once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It will last a lot longer than giving them basic cash prizes.” For more information, visit www.professionalschoice.com.

Wells Introduces ‘Virtual Tech’ Automotive Diagnostic Assistant Do you have a vehicle that won’t start or is running poorly? Automotive techs can now quickly pinpoint any of the hundreds of potential causes through an industry-first, free online diagnostic “assistant” created by Wells Vehicle Electronics. Available 24/7 at www.wellsVE.com, the company’s new “Virtual Tech” diagnostic assistant utilizes short videos and a series of “decision tree” prompts to guide the user through each step in diagnosing a wide range of driveability challenges. This resource is integrated with Wells’ interactive DTC lookup tool to provide the user with all of the information needed to identify and correct each problem. Go to www.icRAPIDRESPONSE.com

In many cases when the user might need help in completing a diagnostic step, Virtual Tech offers brief instructional videos. As one example, a user whose engine will not start is asked whether the engine cranks slowly. If yes, the Virtual Tech assistant recommends that the user verify battery charge is at least 12.6 volts and offers a video demonstration of a proper battery test. Upon completion of the diagnostic process, users receive a list of recommended corrective actions. They are also invited to contact the toll-free Wells technical support hotline for additional assistance. Wells also offers a series of diagnostic case study videos, also available via www.wellsVE.com.


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[ NewsUpdate BFGoodrich Launches G-Force Rival Tire in New Orleans by Brendan Baker, Senior Editor, Engine Builder Magazine In January, BFGoodrich invited the media and what they call “key influencers” to the newly built NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans to test and evaluate the company’s new DOT extreme performance street/race tire, the g-Force Rival. With a background in motorsports, I could not wait to get behind the wheel to try these “race” tires. The company pulled out all the stops for those in attendance BFGoodrich’s g-Force tire launch at the with first-class amenities for our short stay, NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans. and everyone was thoroughly impressed in highwith the NOLA facility. Not only was there e FR500 Mustang -course testing th . ad es ey Ro of a full 2.75-mile 16-turn road course (with a required two sets speed cornering 5.5-mile course in the works), but also a world-class, multi-configuration kart-racing track adjacent to the skid pad and autocross courses. The facility is like Disneyland for a performance enthusiast. We ran through four different tests on different types of courses under close supervision from professional driver coach Terry Earwood (a former colleague) and his crew of instructors. The courses included an autocross in a Subaru STI, skid pad in a Mazda Miata, long autocross course in an E46 BMW M3 and, finally, a road course test in a FR500 Mustang. By the en do It had been a few years Rivals loo f the day, the g-Fo ked new, rce while the since I was behind the wheel competitors edictable ’ ti res were istence and pr urse. showing v ns co d an , of a real racecar, so there in isible sign s co p turn s of wear. The tires’ cris notable on the long autocros t os m e were some butterflies when er w , ip gr I heard we got to test the Mustangs on the road course. But, luckily for us, our group was scheduled to do that exercise last, which would give me enough time to shake off some rust and get up to speed. In the four exercises, we compared the g-Force Rival back to back against its closest competitors, and the differences were fairly obvious. Company officials claim that the Rivals give drivers a crisper story continues on page 14

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[ NewsUpdate continued from page 12

ross cou the autoc n. n o s re ti g sio Comparin tell by my expres n a c u o y s a

feel and allow for the confidence of a race tire, but you can still drive it home from the track. BFGoodrich says it’s targeting a growing market of drivers seeking extreme performance tires with its new Rivals. The tires have a 200 UTQG Rating (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) that allows them to be used in racing where drivers must compete on 140+ UTQG-rated tires. “The g-Force Rival helps BFGoodrich fill a growing need in the extreme performance market,” said Andrew Koury, BFGoodrich brand manager. “From autocross to road course events, on

rse is hard

work

street or the track, we want drivers to own it.” The tire features an asymmetric tread with large, solid tread blocks on the outside shoulder to optimize cornering grip and also brings the tread compound farther down the shoulder for increased grip in hard cornering and predictable feedback. The g-Force Rival will initially launch with 15 sizes with rim dimensions from 15 to 20 in. and 205-335 section width. It will be available exclusively through TireRack.com with pre-orders beginning this month. For more information, go to www.BFGoodrichTires.com.

Reader Spotlight: Sourcing Brake Friction Material New for 2013 is this Reader Spotlight, where readers will discuss how they source various aftermarket product lines and what criteria they use when making buying decisions. This month, Bob Dowie, owner of Village Auto in Chester, NY, discusses his buying decisions when sourcing Brake Friction Material.

Brake Friction Material: 1. What is your primary source for Brake Friction Material? My primary source is a local jobber. 2. Why is that primary source your first call? Availability, along with fast delivery. Bob Dowie, owner, Village Auto, Chester, NY, and longtime ImportCar contributor and Advisory Board member.

3. Do you buy different brands based on certain vehicle applications, or solely on brand preference and brand trust? If we have the lead time, I do prefer picking the brand of friction and rotors for certain applications, and generally the high-end or high-performance cars get the special attention. 4. Do you stock brake friction at your shop? And, if so, how much? Currently we don’t stock brake parts; with the local coverage and delivery services available, it’s no longer necessary. As I said earlier, if the car is a scheduled service we will often source the parts from a WD to have more choice in quality.

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[ Gonzo’sToolbox

By Scott “Gonzo” Weaver, owner Superior Auto Electric, Tulsa, OK

Walk A Mile In My Shoes And You’ll Know Where I Get My Stories

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was asked some time ago about why I write these peculiar articles about the vehicle repair business. Well, the only way I can explain it is to put yourself in the position that I’m in on a daily basis. I spend a better part of my day trying to understand what a customer is explaining to me, while using my training, background and basic common sense to come up with a logical answer to their vehicle’s problem. This is where these true-to-life stories begin. During an average day, a tech might work on vehicles spanning more than 20 different production years. Nothing is ever the same, from year to year, model to model, or manufacturer to manufacturer. These differences can be as varied as the people we meet. Knowing these changes in vehicle systems can be overcome with years of experience, but knowing how to deal with the attitudes and personalities of the consumer can take a lifetime. The varied ways people will explain their car problems to the tech can be baffling or even misleading. I try to never approach a situation with blinders on so I don’t get lead down the wrong repair path. Sometimes, their explanations leave a lot of doubt as to what they really are trying to say. For some people, explaining things isn’t easy, so their way of getting their point across is to use an extremely long version of the story, or a complete biographical saga from their childhood to the present, just so I don’t miss any details. It’s hard to remind myself that I’m not going to make a customer out of every person who calls the shop, or patron who comes in the door, but I’m still stubborn enough to try anyway. As one longtime shop owner once told me years ago, “Don’t

do business with people you can’t get along with or ones you feel uncomfortable around.” I tend to believe that’s true after seeing the variety of people I’ve encountered over the years. But, those odd and different personalities and explanations about car problems are the best material for the next new story. You never know, the next one coming through the door might be a real winner. When it comes to educating the customer about what’s wrong with their vehicle, there’s only so far I can go. I usually try several different angles to bring the technical answer down to a level that is acceptable to the customer, but, sometimes, their comprehension is aided only by me using everything from charts, to graphs, to hand puppets. Sometimes, even explaining things to the customer is a show in itself. It can certainly be just as comical watching me try to explain something, as it is listening to their stories. After many years of standing behind the counter, I tend to have a “sixth sense” about the upcoming repair, either from the reactions of the customer, or from the condition of the car. I tend to go back through my memory files and find a situation that is comparable to the latest one. After all of these years, there’s no doubt there are some

Scott “Gonzo” Weaver, gonzostoolbox.com

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[ Gonzo’sToolbox comparisons to a story I’ve already put onto paper. Writing these stories down also makes it easier to think of a better way to handle it in the future, or be aware of the potential outcome.

In some small way, I hope people who read my stories not only see the humor in these situations, but also take away from them a bit of knowledge. I like to think of it as a life lesson that can’t be

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taught out of the automotive repair manual. But, it’s something everyone has or will experience. You could call it a “reality check” for the automotive world. I write about the everyday events that occur in an automotive repair shop, not some contrived management-improvement idea that’s going to boost your bottom line. Techs from all over the world e-mail me, and have no trouble relating to my stories, and you can tell they’re smiling while they write those e-mails. It helps everyone realize they are not alone in this incredible and challenging world of automotive repair. And that’s what these stories are really all about. But, these stories not only apply to just automotive techs; they’re something anyone who deals with the general public will enjoy reading. I know doctors, lawyers, bank executives, roofers and a whole lot of other professionals who read and relate to my stories. You just never know where the next interesting story will come from. When you take the time to really think about it, somewhere in our family tree we all have that crazy relative who has done something weird, or a co-worker whose elevator has skipped a few floors. It might even be something you’ve noticed on the news or on the drive home. No matter where we are, something out of the ordinary is going to happen, sooner or later. And, as long as that keeps happening, I’ll keep writing. IC


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[ DiagnosticSolutions

RIDE CONTROL By Gary Goms, Import Specialist Contributor

Matching the Components to the Application

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uring the fall of 1989, when I was working as a mechanic for an off-road desert racing team, we raced the famous Mint 400 held in Las Vegas. At that time, the 400-mile road course consisted of bumps, jumps and basketballsized rocks just waiting to break a suspension system. About 50% of all vehicles entered would fail to finish the race. Standard for that day, our desert truck was equipped with three shock absorbers per wheel, which would theoretically reduce operating temperatures by distributing the load among three soft-valved shocks. By mid-race, our truck came into its pit stops with the shock absorbers so overheated that the polyurethane bushings were literally melting out of the shock mounts. Worse still, as the shock absorbers began to fail, so would the leaves in the truck’s leaf-spring suspension. Despite the suspension problems we experienced during the race, we were lucky enough to win our class. But the lessons I learned about

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the importance of matching the shock absorber to its application endure to this very day.

HYDRAULIC SHOCK ABSORBERS A shock absorber is designed to dampen oscillations in leaf or coil springs by enclosing a piston and rod assembly inside a cylinder filled with oil. The shell or casing generally mounts on the axle or control arm while the piston rod assembly mounts to the frame. The piston contains valved metering orifices designed to allow the oil to flow more easily to one side of the piston than the other, which allows a shock absorber to compress more easily than it will extend. This general ratio or rate is ideal for absorbing bumps in the road and controlling the rebound rate of the unsprung weight of the axle and wheel assemblies. See Photo 1 on page 24. Each shock absorber valving system is designed to accommodate variations in vehicle


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[ DiagnosticSolutions RIDE CONTROL

Photo 1: The top of a MacPherson strut assembly is mounted in a bearing plate that allows it to pivot.

weight, speed and road surface. This allows engineers to create a smooth ride at low speeds while, at the same time, allowing them to control suspension rebound at higher vehicle speeds. Because shock absorber valving systems can be quite a bit more complex than I’ve described, we’ll leave it at that. Although the technology was popularly introduced around 2002, many high-end vehicles incorporate computer-controlled magnetic active shock absorbers into their suspension systems. These shock absorbers use magneto rheological (MR) fluid, which means that the viscosity of the fluid increases when a magnetic field is applied to the fluid. This feature allows manufacturers to instantly increase shock absorber firmness to accommodate a high-performance or

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emergency-driving situation. Many high-end vehicles also incorporate an air bag into the shock absorber assembly to compensate for additional loads on the suspension system. Most of these systems use a height control sensor that enables a chassis module to sense a variation in suspension height. The module then adds or subtracts air pressure via an electrically operated air compressor and valving system to correct suspension height or compensate for body roll. A distant cousin of the OE air suspension system is the standalone “air shock,” which is a popular aftermarket solution to temporarily increase the loadbearing capacity of a vehicle’s suspension system. As many older import vehicles age, their air shock systems become more failure-prone and more expensive to repair. In these situations, some companies supply conversion shocks designed to convert air shock systems to conventional shock absorbers. In addition, some companies rebuild the very expensive shock absorbers used in some high-end vehicles. In any case, economical remedies are available for keeping some of the older, high-end vehicles in service.

SINGLE AND DUAL-TUBE SHOCKS Modern hydraulic shock absorbers are manufactured in single and dual-tube designs. In the single-


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[ DiagnosticSolutions RIDE CONTROL

tube design, the shell casing doubles as the cylinder in which the shock piston rides. The immediate advantages of a single-tube design are that the piston area is generally larger and that the shock absorber will dissipate heat much faster. The disadvantages are that the single-tube shock is easily damaged and that they can be more expensive to manufacture in gas-charged versions. See Photo 2. Dual-tube shock absorbers are most commonly used as original equipment because they are less susceptible to damage and because they have more oil capacity. The downsides are a smaller piston area and a greater sensitivity to foaming the oil. On the other hand, both shock designs can be charged with nitrogen to reduce oil foaming. Neither the single- or dual-tube design is inherently superior, with both hav-

Photo 2: This coil-over-shock system still uses an upper control arm assembly to maintain correct camber angle at the wheel.

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ing their applications in modern vehicle ride control.

SUSPENSION TYPES Shock absorbers are designed to fit short/long arm (SLA) or “dual wishbone� suspensions, MacPherson strut suspensions, coil-over shock suspensions and solid-axle suspensions. Keep in mind that the difference between MacPherson and coil-over shock suspensions is this: the coil-over design essentially is an SLA configuration using an upper control arm to control wheel camber angle, while the MacPherson design is a single control arm version that uses the shock absorber itself to control wheel camber. See Photo 3.

Photo 3: Servicing coil-over shock assemblies is similar to servicing conventional MacPherson struts.


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[ DiagnosticSolutions RIDE CONTROL

SHOCK ABSORBER WEAR Because shock absorbers wear very gradually, and because modern OE shocks are far more durable, it’s tough for most service technicians to properly evaluate the need for new shock absorbers. The time-honored rebound test, in which the technician jounces the suspension by hand, is the simplest method. In this test, good shock absorbers will dampen the rebound within one extension cycle. But, let’s keep in mind that, when the operating temperature increases on a highmileage shock, the shock’s dampening capacity is greatly reduced. In many cases, test-driving the vehicle on a familiar road course is the best indicator of shock absorber performance. If the vehicle sways too much navigating corners, dives excessively during braking or bottoms the suspension too easily on bumps, the shock absorbers obviously need to be replaced. During a physical inspection, always measure vehicle suspension height. If the vehicle leans or one corner of the suspension rebounds differently than the others, the fault is likely with the shock absorber. Any shocks leaking raw oil from the piston rod seal should be replaced, as should badly dented shocks. Evidence of frequent contact between the rubber rebound bumpers mounted on the frame

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and the control arm or axle are also subtle indicators of worn shock absorbers. Extreme combinations of worn shocks and outof-balance tires will cause wear at the center of the tire tread. Similarly, if a shock absorber has lost its gas charge, the vehicle will exhibit an uneven suspension height and additional tire wear on that wheel. And, if an accurate wheel alignment still produces scrub-related tire wear, worn shock absorbers might be at fault because the shocks can no longer maintain correct suspension geometry. See Photo 4 on page 32. In any case, most shock absorber wear becomes evident between 60,000 and 120,000 miles. If the vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, it’s nearly a sure bet that new shock absorbers, either conventional, coil-over or struts, will restore like-new ride control. When selling new MacPherson struts, it’s generally more timeand cost-effective to install new spring and strut assemblies than to disassemble the old strut for a cartridge replacement. Similarly, when selling conventional shock absorbers for heavy-duty or offroad use, it’s more cost-effective to look at a performance shock absorber that includes bellows that protect the piston rods from abrasive damage and high-performance polyurethane bushings designed for high-impact driving conditions.


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[ DiagnosticSolutions RIDE CONTROL

Photo 4: These shock absorbers were replaced because the frame bumper pad to the right was frequently contacting the axle.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHOCK As most veteran under-car technicians know, choosing the correct ride control is often more subjective than objective. To illustrate, the average “tuner” enthusiast might like firm ride control for rally-type driving. In contrast, Grandma might want a shock absorber that didn’t shake the icing off of the cake she just delivered to her church social. Farmers and ranchers want a shock that won’t buckle under a load of hay, while recreational vehicle owners want a shock that will reduce vehicle bounce and sway when towing a fifth-wheel camper trailer. As I learned in our off-road race two decades ago, it’s important to match the shock absorbers with the suspension system. Stiffer springs require

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different valving than do softer springs. Increased vehicle loading requires a firmer shock absorber design. Off-road vehicles equipped with lift kits require shocks with greater travel than do standard suspensions. If a match isn’t made with the application, expect a premature shock absorber or spring failure. Regardless of application, it’s important to sell a quality shock absorber, especially if the owner intends to keep his vehicle. Unlike the cheaper lines, a quality shock absorber has features that will maintain its dampening capacity for another 60,000-100,000 miles. And, because mismatched shock absorbers can produce quirky ride control and handling qualities, it’s important to always sell any type of shock absorber in pairs and, preferably, in sets of four. IC

Gary Goms is a former educator and shop owner who remains active in the aftermarket service industry. Gary is an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician (CMAT) and has earned the L1 advanced engine performance certification. He also belongs to the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).


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[ MercedesFeature

S

ince the advent of OBD II, every vehicle is equipped with a sophisticated system that measures each cylinder’s contribution to engine power, becoming one of the most difficult challenges we face. Each time a cylinder fires, the misfire monitor uses a highly accurate crankshaft angle measurement to measure the crankshaft position. This system needs to have an accurate crankshaft position sensor that is able to read the crankshaft position, even at high RPM, sending a clear signal to the PCM. Then the PCM monitors the crankshaft acceleration time for each cylinder at the firing time. A specific crankshaft acceleration time occurs only if a cylinder contributes with normal power. When a cylinder does not contribute to engine power, then it’s misfiring and crankshaft acceleration for that particular cylinder is slowed. It’s important to note that this monitor looks only at the crankshaft’s speed of acceleration during a cylinder’s firing stroke and, therefore, cannot determine if the problem is fuel, ignition

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MISFIRE DIAGNOSIS By Sergio Fernandez, Contributing Writer

or mechanical related. Misfires are categorized as Type A, B or C. Only a Type A misfire will make the MIL flash while possibly causing immediate damage to the catalytic converter. When you are diagnosing a misfire DTC, it’s good to ask the customer if the MIL was flashing. Then, after reading the DTCs you will have valuable freeze-frame information to reference, that captures the engine operating conditions whenever the MIL is illuminated. (Each time the ECM reports a misfire, the current engine operating conditions are recorded in the failure records buffer.) Because this is emissions-related information, we are able see and use this information working with a common generic OBD II scan tool. There are only a few Parameter IDs (PIDs) in the OBD II list, but the most important to duplicate in this failure are engine speed, engine temperature, engine load and vehicle speed. The vehicle speed tells us if we can duplicate the problem at the shop. An engine load higher than 40% makes us think the secondary ignition is weak, and the engine temp tells us if we have to warm up the engine or let it cool down. The car we are using is a


2001 Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan (210.065) with a 3.2L V6 engine (112.941), and it did not have any problem. We induced a misfire in order to produce the screen shots for this article. Let’s see what the scan tool suggests we do with a DTC P0301 misfire. The troubleshooter function on the scan tool says to check the power at terminal 2 on the ignition coil and ground at terminal 1. With the key-on, it should have normal battery voltage. If the voltage is too low, it could indicate a problem with too much resistance in the wiring. Then, the troubleshooter says to check the ignition coil primary resistance between terminals 1 and 3, and compare it to factory specifications. At this point, I assume that the troubleshooter wants the technician to make sure that Diagram 1 he’s not losing power or ground at the ignition coil connector, then check the resistance at the ignition coil primary winding. These are good diagnostic checks, but, in some cars, the ignition coils are not easy to access and it takes time to get to them. For some V8 engines, removal of the upper intake plenum is required to check the ignition coil primary resistance. It’s possible to check the resistance values at the ignition coil output terminal relay of the wiring harness, from the relay (Pin 87) that feeds the coils or just from the fuse, if the fuse is

located after the relay. There is a dedicated fuse to power the ignition coils in this vehicle. In other cars, the ignition module is on top of the ignition coil(s) (not in the PCM), so we are unable to check this value because the transistor that grounds the ignition coil is on top of the same coil. One of the best ways to check primary resistance is to check the ignition coil current using a digital storage oscilloscope with an amp probe. See Diagram 1. Channel 1 (red), shows that I clamped the current amp probe at 5 amps per division, reading the current around the power through the fuse (6) dedicated for the ignition coils, from the passenger’s-side fuse and relay module box located at the rear side of the engine compartment. In Channel 2 (blue), I took the primary signal to the same ignition coil at the PCM connector. The pattern starts at the left of the screen and moves to the right, and the amperage builds up as the coil saturates. At this moment, the coil is being charged. When the coil saturates, the internal module releases the ground. Here is when the primary signal fires, that, in turn, causes the secondary signal to fire. Channel 2 (blue) shows us a clear ignition burn time that lasts almost three divisions considering a good length, and, after that, we have a good Import-Car.com

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[ MercedesFeature

MISFIRE DIAGNOSIS

Knowing the firing order will oscillation before the ignition coil help determine which cylinder is enters in the cool-down time. producing the problem. For exThe advantages of using this ample, if you see less current at method are: the second coil in the screen (al• No unplugging of ignition ways reading the lab scope from coils; left to right), you have to go to the • No removal of any upper second coil in the firing order (1plenum to get access to the coil; 4-3-6-2-5). In this case, I focused • Connectors were not disthe diagnostics in all ignition systurbed; and tem parts related to the current • The test was performed with ramp for cylinder 2 (for example, the engine hot and under the coil, wires and the PCM). conditions described by the In Channel 2 (blue), you can driver and the freeze-frame data. see that the voltage drops slightly Then, if we slow the time per division in the oscilloscope until we see two pulses in Channel 2 (blue), we are reading two crankshaft revolutions in the complete screen. Keep in mind this is a coil-on-plug system, so the ignition system fires only on the compression stroke (one spark every two crank revolutions). The informa- Diagram 2 when the ignition coil, other than tion in Diagram 2 is what you’ll the one we’re using for synchrosee when you leave the amp nization (cylinder 1 in this case), probe clamped around the fuse. works. This is a normal occurIt’s possible to compare the rence when a coil pulls current waveforms for all of the ignition that’s needed to be energized. coils, which should be the same We can have a similar scenario in every coil. Remember, they with the fuel injectors, and it’s share the power from the relay, good to know how to check the but the ground is applied by the current on them while they’re PCM. Once again, by moving the working. This is because when a wires close to the ignition coil connector, pulling or pushing the misfire type A is present, the PCM will cut the injector pulse out in harness, moving the PCM conthe same cylinder that misfires. nector or just gently tapping the In order to see this, I decided PCM, it’s possible to see changes to clamp the current amp probe in the waveform, pointing to an in the red/blue wire, Pin 3 at internal electrical failure.

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[ MercedesFeature

MISFIRE DIAGNOSIS

Diagram 3

Connector A1 in Channel 1 (red), then in Channel 2 (blue) for synchronization, and then I took pulses from the injector/cylinder 1. I adjusted the speed until there were two injector pulses in the screen, so there were two crankshaft revolutions. The injector spraying order follows the same ignition firing order, so when we have cylinder 1 misfiring as a type A misfire, we have to lose at least one injector pulse from the waveform. See Diagram 3. If we lose the fourth injector amp ramp in the screen and the firing order is 1-4-3-6-2-5, we can be sure that something will happen in cylinder 6. Every

time we cycle the ignition key, the misfire count resets itself. So we are supposed to have injector pulses again in cylinder 6 during the first few seconds until the PCM takes the action. In that case, we can add a third channel in the injector pulse signal wire of cylinder 6, which is always next to the PCM connector, and watch for the voltage when the PCM kills the injector. If we have battery voltage, the harness and injector 6 coil are fine. If the voltage goes to 0 volts, we can assume something is open in the harness or in the injector coil itself. Be careful with the use of noid lights at this

O2 Sensor Tech Tip Age, contamination and extreme heat can affect the oxygen sensor’s response characteristics. Degradation of the signal can be in the form of an extended response time or a shift in the sensor voltage curve. Both conditions reduce the oxygen performance, thereby reducing the catalyst’s capacity for exhaust gas conversion. Zirconia Sensor Misfire One of the most obvious failures to show up on the oxygen sensor signal is a misfire in the engine. However, few technicians realize just how clearly a misfire will appear on the oxygen sensor signal. The graphic shows what a misfire will look like on the oxygen sensor signal — a high frequency variation, bouncing high and low, much faster than a normal oxygen sensor signal. The misfire forces a pulse of air past the oxygen sensor, which is detected by the oxygen sensor. The rapid change from high oxygen to low oxygen, and back again, causes the sensor to read a rapid change in the exhaust

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oxygen, and the sensor develops a high-frequency signal, such as the one shown. Therefore, the oxygen sensor can be useful for finding an engine misfire. By connecting an oscilloscope and road-testing the vehicle, you can instantly determine whether the vibration you are feeling is a misfire or a different problem, such as clutch chatter or an imbalance in the drivetrain. Even the slightest misfire will show up on the oxygen sensor signal. Of course, this depends on the rest of the system being in proper control of the air/fuel mixture. A misfire may not show up at all on a system with the oxygen sensor signal fixed rich or lean. However, if the sensor is switching properly, a misfire will show up on the oxygen sensor signal. Now, to find out which cylinder is misfiring, you will still have to do more investigation. The oxygen sensor will not help you pinpoint the misfiring cylinder; it’s just a great way to see that the engine has a misfire. — Courtesy Delphi Product & Service Solutions.


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[ MercedesFeature

MISFIRE DIAGNOSIS

Diagram 4

moment. When the engine starts, the PCM feeds the noid light, but the injector is off (mechanically). Therefore, that cylinder is misfiring so the PCM will immediately turn off the noid light. Don’t assume the PCM, transistor or drivers at the PCM are bad. It’s good to use the noid light when the engine cranks and will not start, but as soon as the engine runs the injector must be plugged in. Now back to working with the current amp probe. As shown in Diagram 4, I clamped both power wires (the injector power and the ignition coil power wire). Remember the advantage of taking this type of measurement is when you are checking the cur-

rent in a circuit. It doesn’t matter if you are clamping the positive or the negative side; the current is the same along the whole circuit. The only difference is the direction of the current, so when you see the waveform in the lab scope upside down, just flip the current amp probe over to avoid misunderstood readings. Once again, Channel 2 (blue) is for synchronization and in Channel 1 (red) both positive wires are clamped with an amp probe. I numbered the ignition coil signal (on top) and the injector pulses in the lower part of the screen. As there is a big difference (with internal resistance) between the ignition coils (1 ohm) and the injectors (16 ohms), the amp/div in

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[ MercedesFeature Channel 1 was adjusted to 2 amps/div, to be able to fit both signals in the screen. The first tall wave in Channel 1 is the ignition coil cylinder 1 sig-

MISFIRE DIAGNOSIS

nal, then the first short wave is from the fuel injector/cylinder 6 signal (as cylinders 1 and 6 are companion cylinders). This cylinder is in intake stroke, while

cylinder 1 is still in power stroke. The next tall wave (according to the firing order) is the ignition coil cylinder 4 signal, and the next short wave is from the fuel injector cylinder 2 signal, and so on. As you can see, we are able to check the current in all the ignition coils and all the fuel injectors at the same time. We are also able to move, push or pull the wiring harness during the test. We can identify a wrong ignition or injector coil without removing any part. The oscilloscope is a powerful tool with which we have to be patient and dedicate hours and hours to understand it, but it gives us resourceful information to avoid guesswork during diagnostics, saving valuable time in the shop and allowing us to convert that valuable time into money. IC Sergio Fernandez has more than 20 years of automotive experience and specializes in automotive electronic diagnostics, including J2534 Flash reprogramming, OBD II, TPMS, advanced lab scope, voltage and current testing, and hybrid repair. Sergio is an ASE-certified L1 and L2 Master Technician. Since 2002, he has been a mobile technical consultant for more than 100 shops located in South Florida and the West Coast.

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[ TechFeature

CAN COMMUNICATIONS Courtesy of Automotive Video, Inc. (AVI)

CAN Bus Topology Understanding ‘Bus Line’ Communications To Aid Vehicle Diagnostics

A

t the typical repair shop, six-year-old vehicles (and there are 184 million of them on the road today) are some of the most common vehicles driving into the bays. And, since these vehicles are out of warranty, they will fuel service opportunities for the aftermarket and require more attention from independent repair shops like yours. In particular, one growing service area is diagnostics, especially as it relates to the expanding electronic content in today’s vehicles. As vehicle makers add more electronic gadgets and emissions/safety requirements become more stringent, the OEMs quickly realized with current wiring harness and sensor layout methods, it would become nearly impossible to manage and manufacture the next generation of vehicles. Vehicle “data bus” units helped to solve this dilemma by eliminating additional wiring and the need for multiple sensors. In the auto repair world, the term used to describe the design, layout and behavior of a serial data bus configuration is “topology.” Modern vehicles typically have more than one serial data network and even more modules than before, which all must obey and conform to the topology the engineers have specified. And twowire buses have a topology that dictates they are wired electrically in parallel. A module on a serial data bus is called a “node.” A scan tool also becomes a node on that bus. And even some sensors and switches can be nodes. The network starts in pins six and 14 of the Data Link Connector (DLC). The CAN bus lines pass

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through several modules including the PCM, BCM and fuel pump module. The CAN bus lines exit the node for the 4WD system and terminate in a 120-ohm resistor.

READING THE WIRING DIAGRAM As a technician in the modern vehicle era, you’re going to need to understand these “bus lines.” The dotted line at the edge of the component, node or module indicates where the CAN bus enters and exits. Some schematics may include other information in the boxes with two arrows pointing in opposite directions. All two-wire CAN bus lines terminate in a resistor(s) of a known value. This is what produces the correct amount of voltage drop.

BUS CONFIGURATIONS There are three types of bus configurations that you will come in contact with — loop, star and a hybrid of both. In a loop system, the topology of the nodes or modules is connected electrically in parallel. Each node has two wires that connect it to the bus. This system multiplexes the nodes together so information can be shared along one circuit. With this system, all of the nodes can turn on a check engine light in the instrument cluster


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[ TechFeature

CAN COMMUNICATIONS

through the use of information within the circuit. Each of these modules can communicate something to another module. For example, the HVAC would want to communicate with the BCM to ask permission of the PCM to turn on the compressor clutch by energizing the relay. If you had an open circuit between the BCM and PCM, the PCM could still communicate to the BCM, although it would have to go through the other modules. Communication still takes place if you have one open circuit. But, if you had two open circuits between the BCM and PCM, and an open circuit between the IPC and Radio modules, the PCM would be isolated and would not be able to talk to the BCM or the ABS module.

SHORTS IN A LOOP The problem with a loop during diagnostics is if a short circuit occurs. The loop configuration can be easy to diagnose because, even with two open circuits, nodes are isolated off the bus. But in a short circuit, with the modules in parallel, the whole cirFigure 1: Here is a J1850 VPW Class 2 bus on a typical vehicle. All of the modules are wired to one common spot on this star configuration. It’s not necessarily one splice, but a bar with a bunch of tines, called a shorting bar. In this schematic, all of the bus wires go to two shorting bars with a splice between the two shorting bars, or two bus bar connectors. But, on dual bar systems like this where there are a lot of modules, there might be one on the passenger side, and one star connector on the driver side. Oftentimes, removing the bar of splines will allow the nodes to communicate independently. Further tests can be carried out to determine if the problem stems from a node or is in the wiring.

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February 2013 | Import-Car.com

cuit goes down. When a bus shorts, it can be a difficult process to isolate the offending module or section of wiring. In case a module itself shorts out the bus, you would literally have to unplug them one at a time to see which module eliminates the short circuit. That would not be a good scenario in the repair world because it would take up a lot of time to gain access to those modules. Shorts are one disadvantage of the loop configuration. The advantage is, however, you have redundancy of wires. Therefore, we’re more impervious to an open circuit issue.

STAR BUS CONFIGURATION The star configuration’s topology uses a comb, butt connector or shorting bar. It plugs into a female connector. All of the modules have a single wire coming out of them on the serial data bus to that one common connector that would tie them all together in parallel. See Figure 1. The star configuration got its name from the com-


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[ TechFeature puter industry. For example, an Ethernet connection is a star configuration with computers, printers and servers all connected to an Ethernet hub. Star connectors are often located near the DLC, but note there are exceptions. And, some manufacturers solder them in place, while others don’t, allowing for the connector to be removed a lot easier. On some vehicles, the star connector can be removed and a meter can be connected to each circuit to test for shorts to power or shorts to ground. Being able to recognize whether the topology is a loop, star or hybrid configuration will make testing and diagnosing shorts,

CAN COMMUNICATIONS

Kicking the ‘CAN’ This article is adapted from Automotive Video Inc.’s (AVI’s) “F.R.E.D. Kicks the CAN” video series. This video will show you how you can use your voltmeter, ohmmeter, lab scope and scan tool to diagnose network problems on the vehicles in your shop. Both the latest CAN buses, as well as earlier networks, are explained in an easy-to-follow video format that shows you exactly how to get to a diagnostic decision quickly using the latest realworld training. Go to www.auto-video.com.

grounds and communication errors faster and more effective than steps and flow charts. Knowing how both shorts to opens and normal shorts (power and ground) behave on a loop or star can help you formulate a more effective plan of action so you can do more in less time.

Figure 2: Here we see that the star connector or splice pack (red circles) includes the ABS, Theft Control and Instrument Cluster modules. However, the ABS module (blue circles) has two bus wires and is in the loop configuration with the cluster and the #2 pin of the DLC.

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LOOP/STAR HYBRID VERSIONS Automakers may also combine both loop and star topologies in a single-bus system. They may wire them in a combination of both the star and the loop configuration. Both systems have a number of nodes on them that talk on the loop and star. See Figure 2. If you know the theory on how this type of bus works and there is a short to ground or power, the next step is to remove the splice packs and check the nodes. If the short goes away, the next step is to unplug modules one at a time to see if that short comes back. If the short is still present with the splice packs removed, it could be the nodes in the loop configuration. In this case, the ABS and instrument cluster modules might be a source of the short to ground or power and are connected to the splice pack. To eliminate them as problems, you’ll need to unplug and check these modules one by one. IC


[ ImportTechTips TOYOTA TACOMA MAKES RATTLING NOISES ON ROUGH ROADS

Some 2005-’12 model year 4WD Tacoma and 2WD Tacoma PreRunner vehicles may exhibit a steering rattle noise when driven over rough road surfaces. A newly designed steering intermediate shaft (P/N 45220-04020) has been made available to address this condition. Repair Procedure: Note: Prior to removing the steering intermediate shaft, make sure the steering wheel and front wheels are straight and remain stationary. Once the intermediate shaft is removed, do not allow the steering wheel to spin freely. Use a steering wheel holder to keep the steering wheel from turning. 1. Confirm the noise complaint and confirm that the intermediate shaft is the source of the noise. 2. Install a steering wheel holder. 3. Remove the steering column hole cover by disengaging the four clips. 4. Put matchmarks on the intermediate shaft. See Fig. 1. 5. Remove the bolt that attaches the intermediate shaft to the steering column and discard the bolt. See Fig. 2. 6. Access the intermediate shaft from the driver’s side engine cover and remove the two engine cover clips. 7. Put matchmarks on the intermediate shaft as shown

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Fig. 1 Fig. 3

1 – New Upper Bolt 2 – Reuse Lower Bolt Fig. 2

in Fig. 3. 8. Remove the upper bolt that attaches the intermediate shaft No. 1 to the intermediate shaft No. 2 and discard the bolt. (See Fig. 4.) Loosen the lower bolt, then slide the shaft up and out. 9. Place matchmarks on the new intermediate shaft. See Fig. 5. a. Place the new steering intermediate shaft next to the original intermediate shaft. b. Transfer the matchmarks on the original intermediate shaft to the same locations on the new steering intermediate shaft. 10. Install the new steering intermediate shaft.

Fig. 4

a. Align the matchmarks and install the intermediate shaft to the steering column first. b. Align the matchmarks and install the intermediate shaft to the lower intermediate shaft. Note: Ensure that the splined portion of the shaft is completely seated into the U-joint female end. When installing the bolt, make sure the groove in the shaft is aligned properly so that the bolt will prevent the shaft from sliding out of the U-joint. 11. Install the new bolt. Torque: 35 Nm (26 ft.-lbf.) 12. Install the new upper bolt and reuse the lower bolt. 13. Tighten the two intermdi-


ImportTechTips] Fig. 5

1 – Original No. 2 Steering Intermediate Shaft 2 – New No. 2 Steering Intermediate Shaft

Fig. 6: Left, Incorrect: Splines are showing; they are not installed completely; Right, Correct: Splines are not showing.

ate shaft bolts. (See Fig. 4.) Torque: 35 Nm (26 ft.lbf.) 14. Install the engine cover with the two clips and the column hole cover with the four clips. 15. Remove the steering wheel holder. 16. Road-test the vehicle to verify the repair. Confirm that the steering wheel is centered and no warning lights illuminate during the test drive. 17. If the steering wheel is not centered, follow the repair manual steering wheel centering procedure. 18. Perform calibration of the yaw rate sensor and steering angle sensor. Note: Any time alignment is performed, calibration of the yaw rate and steering angle sensor is necessary. 19. Test-drive the vehicle to confirm that the noise is gone. Courtesy of ALLDATA. IC

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Track Talk All Eyes On New Gen-6 Car For NASCAR Sprint Cup In Daytona

at the track.” F r o m brand idenExcitement is building for cars.” tity to where NASCAR fans and competitors While NASCAR’s Car of to see driver alike for the start of the 2013 Tomorrow served its purpose of n a m e s , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sea- providing a safer car for drivers here’s the son — and, in particular, the over the last several years, fans l o w d o w n debut of the new Sixth- called for more exciting, side- on the five Generation Car. by-side racing. Manufacturers things every “The car has really awesome needed to return to a stock race fan potential,” commented Dale option with deeper character s h o u l d The new Sprint Cup cars look more like their road-going Earnhardt Jr. during a test ses- lines and brand identity. And know about counterparts, yet retain the safety features NASCAR has sion last month. competitors desired a model the Gen-6 developed over the past few years. Indeed the development that would not only even the car: and design of the latest playing field, but produce a 1. Brand Identity: Gen-6 weight of the car has been NASCAR Sprint Cup Series good show. cars more closely resemble reduced by 160 lbs. (100 less racecar continues a robust traOver the last two years, those found on the showroom on right side; 60 lbs. on left). dition of styling that dates back NASCAR and its partners have floor, with eye-catching body- Minimum weight of the drivto the earliest days of the sport. worked diligently to satisfy lines and stylish features giving er has also decreased from Fans will instantaneously those needs. each model its distinctive 200 to 180 lbs. notice the differences in the “The car is a really good- appearance. 4. Stamp of Approval: With brand individuality of each looking car,” said veteran driver 2. Safety Enhancements: exception of carbon fiber rear Gen-6 car. Jeff Burton. “A lot of effort has Additions of a forward roof bar deck lid, all body panels are “You’ll stand there and see gone into making these cars so and center roof support bar to now produced by the manufacFords and Toyotas and that we will have better races. the roll cage reinforce integrity turer and individually stamped Chevrolets driving by,” contin- I’m really excited about that and increase the crush structure for verification. ued Earnhardt Jr. “It’s great because I think at the end of the of the roof. Larger roof flaps 5. Your Name Here: Driver because everything looks differ- day that is the cornerstone of improve liftoff numbers and names will be featured on the ent, everything is instantly rec- this sport. It’s an exciting day at decrease the likelihood of the upper portion of the windognizable.” the race track whether you are car becoming airborne. shield; sponsor decals and car Optimism is high in the watching it on TV or watching it 3. Slim and Trim: Total numbers have been removed NASCAR garage surroundfrom headlight and tailing the new racecar’s look, light areas and now appear innovative technology and on front and rear bumpers; on-track performance. also, a single sponsor logo “This car is the perfect will be permitted on the example of technology roof of the cars. helping our sport,” said The Gen-6 car will debut Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief at The Sprint Unlimited Steve Letarte. “I think we (Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX, now have three makes out MRN Radio and SiriusXM) here that my little boy at 9 followed by the 55th runyears old can tell the differning of the Daytona 500 ence between. If you’re into (Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. on FOX, racing, you want to watch MRN Radio, SiriusXM). Visit cool cars go around the The next generation of NASCAR racecars continues a robust tradition of styling www.daytonainternationaltrack. I think the simple fact that dates back to the earliest days of the sport. Fans will instantaneously notice speedway.com for tickets. is in 2013 we have cooler the differences in the brand individuality of each Gen-6 car. Follow NASCAR Performance on Twitter and Facebook www.twitter.com/NASCARauto www.facebook.com/NASCARPerformance


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