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Always something exciting

By Tim

Just a short post of what’s going on around here! We are working on a few computers around here as you are aware of in previous posts, but one in particular has me excited! My son who is starting college in the fall has started a new server project and is trying his hand at using only a command line server. It is really cool to watch him study and work on computers the way I have for years. He has that same drive to not be defeated by this stuff (as I have) that will make you pull your hair out trying to get working. I’ll be excited to see his project come together here in the very near future. Great things are in store for him. I’m kicking around the idea of brushing up on my HTML, XHTML and CSS again so I can update some of my websites that I’ve let fall so far behind. Soon I’ll also be diving into my family genealogy again which takes loads and loads of time. You can check out that project here. So as you can see, there is something always exciting going on around here in our tech world. TTFN

So far so good!

By Tim

The last three days I’ve been recovering from an outside attack on my server. So it’s literally taking hours and hours to swap all my websites over to another server and get it all running but after pulling my hair out for a few hours things are starting to look up now. I have big hopes to continue this Man Cave blog and put techie stuff on here whether it be gaming, automobiles, computers or anything else that falls in line with a man cave. So, stay tuned if you would like. See you soon!

Pretty Crazy Stuff

By Tim

Well it has been forever since I’ve posted and tons of stuff has happened in my life since my last post. Anyway, I’m working on yet another full server recovery and trying to avoid getting hacked again. So wish me luck and hope I can keep posting here.. see you soon!



By Tim

This is just a test after a complete computer meltdown. I’ve tried to restore on a new server but am currently experiencing difficulties.

De Clutch Replacement!

By Tim

Well it is time for a clutch replacement in the little Hyundai Accent!  I just can’t bring myself to pay 600.00 to 800.00 for an Auto Mechanic to fix the thing!  I have been mechanically inclined since the beginning of time however, so this is just another one of those jobs that I can do myself with a little motivation.  My problem is, I don’t have a garage to work on my cars in.  This is a minor… err major setback…  Today I am going to start on the car and it is 30 deg outside and snow is falling, not your ideal situation but I’ve run out of time… I mean I have put this off for 8 months in hopes that I would get the money to have someone else fix it.. NOT happening!  So today is the day..  the project will be started despite the weather.  I’ll try to get some pictures and maybe some video of my project as I progress through the adventure.  Stay tuned, you might actually learn something.. well, I might learn something ;-)..  THE FUN BEGINS!
Video Series 1

Video Series 2

Video Series 3


The clutch change project has changed pace just a little.  After some thought about the symptoms that the shifter was having, I have diagnosed that the transmission has a linkage problem.  The car will not go into gear at all and absolutely has no shift pattern which it should have whether the clutch is good or not.  I know the clutch is bad so it will be replaced anyway but I have bigger problems than that.  I explain in the following video about my diagnoses so please stay tuned for more fun under the hood!

Video Series 4

Please note the first part of the following video, I talk about taking a U-Joint out of the steering column…  I will be skipping that step as I don’t think it will be necessary.  The rest of the video is dealing with taking the starter out.

Video Series 5

In this next video I am still following a manual step by step as I disassemble my Hyundai Accent to get to the Trans-axle/Transmission.  This video shows a transition period where I move the car forward into the spot I will be completing the rest of the project.   I take my time jacking the car up and getting ladder jack supports underneath because we don’t want the car falling on me when I get underneath it.  I’ll be putting more supports under it before I actually start working under there though.  Safety First when it comes to getting under cars!

Video Series 6

Today was a very tough day to be working on a car outside.  Even though the temp was about 35 deg the wind was blowing at 22 mph making it terribly cold and very annoying, I couldn’t even lay my gloves or hat down without it blowing away.  Despite the weather, I did get a few things accomplished.  As you will see in the video, I worked on the front end, in particular the driver side front rotor/axle/driveshaft.  It was an extremely tough job to do even without the weather beating me to death!

Video Series 7

Preparing to take transmission out, this video deals with the motor/transmission mounts that have to be taken out to get the transmission out.  I have to say this was a terrible job as most of these bolts were real rusty and very tight!  Never the less, I got them out!

Video Series 8

Well the project is coming right along but not without some major back breaking work!  This next video you will see that I have started and completed taking the transmission out including taking the clutch/pressure plate assembly off of the flywheel!  The flywheel will come off later!

 Video Series 9

Today in this video I am dealing with taking the flywheel off of the engine.  The bolts are extremely tight and I had to use a little ingenuity to hold the flywheel still just to be able to turn the very tight bolts.  I am happy to say that I eventually got the flywheel off.  Now the flywheel needs to be resurfaced before I reinstall it.  The flywheel is very burnt from the clutch slipping.

Video Series 10

The transmission is finally in the garage and ready to be worked on.  So now the fun begins!

Video Series 11

Well the transmission is now out of the car and on the bench in the garage.  As you will see in this next video I will be taking apart the transmission but first had to figure out how to take it apart!  I might mention that the manuals I use for my cars are from the online source: and they seem to have some pretty good auto manuals online (NOT FREE).  In this active manual I just found out today that the sheared bolt that I found in the transmission seems to be a common problem with this model of car and transmission.  I found out that there was a service announcement on the 2000 Hyundai and there is now an upgrade kit that replaces this bolt with a spring pin setup.  So this is something I am going to have to call the dealer about and probably order the parts through them.  In this next video you will see what I’m talking about…. so much work for just a sheared of bolt!

Well it is now April 8th and I’m in the parts waiting game…  I ended up ordering the part I needed for the transmission from the Hyundai dealer as it is a “special” manufactured bolt..  I guess you can only find the bolt in Korea.. lol! Now earlier I had mentioned that there was some kind of upgrade to this control shaft assembly, well I guess you can still order just the bolt for it instead of spending a bunch of money for a whole new control shaft assembly. So that is what I did but ordered two of them in case it ever happened again… if it ever happens again though, I may just push the car over a cliff instead.. haha! Can you believe that this little bolt only cost 24 cents?.. yeah, me neither! All that work for a 24 cent bolt.. I guess I can justify it a little by the fact that I actually needed to put a new clutch/pressure plate in it but I would not have had to take the tranny clear out of it to replace the clutch assembly. So I look at this as a pretty major “BOO BOO” on Hyundai’s part for designing the tranny this way. I couldn’t imagine how much this would have cost me if I had all the work done by an auto shop, yikes, I bet the bottom dollar would have been 1200.00 and I would say that it may have been much, much more! Well sometimes it pays to be able to work on your own vehicles.. it does take a lot of time to do it yourself though, especially in my case where I have to work around what the weather throws at me! please stand by for more video in this series, the fun will begin again in a few days when I start putting the tranny back together and back into the vehicle.
Video Series 12

Well, I know it has been a few days since my last post but for good reason! For one, i had parents visiting from out of town but the main reason is that I have been waiting on the bolt I ordered to fix the shift fork for almost 2 weeks! Yes just a simple bolt! Well guess what? Got the bolt home and after setting it aside thinking that I would work on it the next day, I got to wondering if the bolt would even work.. well… THE BOLT IS THE WRONG ONE! I can’t tell you how disappointed I am, WOW they couldn’t even get the right bolt! That was it, I’d had enough waiting around and took matters into my own hands! Now, today I decided to drill out the hole and re-thread it with a 1/4-20 thread American bolt! It turns out I did not actually have to drill the hole any bigger as it was big enough to re-tap with the 1/4-20 thread tap I had to buy. So the bolt I bought had the same head type as the bolt that had broke so it should work perfectly. I did have to shorten the bolt a bit using a grinder so it did not thread clear through the shaft but that was easy enough. I used Permatex Threadlocker “RED” to help keep the bolt from backing out because I’d hate to have to do this job again! So as you will see in the video below, I got the shaft and bolt installed back into the transmission and got the case surface cleaned where the one half of the transmission cover bolts back to the other half. The surfaces have to be clean and free of burrs caused by prying the case apart on disassembly before they are put back together. Anyway!!! Today was the turning point in this project as I am now actually starting to put things back together!!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the project continues to go smoothly.

 Video Series 13

Well today brought a few surprises in the project as I made it much further than expected!  I started out the day with the goal of just assembling the transmission.  Well the assembly went much faster than I had expected so that left a lot of time to try to get it installed back into the car.  So I set another goal to try to get the transmission up into the car but not mounted onto the engine as I still needed to install the flywheel and clutch/pressure plate assembly.  I figured that would be all I had time for today, but turns out it did not take all that long to get the flywheel and clutch/pressure plate assembly installed and I was able to keep working and actually get the transmission bolted back up to the engine.  That is a bunch of work in one day!  I explain it all in the video below so please tune in!

Video Series 14

Well, guess what? Yup, I finished the project today. Well I do have the interior console to put back together as I had taken it out 8 months ago trying to figure out why the car wouldn’t shift. Well I can tell you, it was one TOUGH day. I mean some of the things I had to do to this little car, I didn’t think I would ever get them done. Installing the axle dust cover boots were the hardest job I think I have ever experienced, they were similar to trying to put a tire on a rim and if you have ever tried to do that, you know exactly what I’m talking about! The only difference is that these dust covers would get covered in grease, you just couldn’t help getting grease all over them which made it very hard to grip and slid on. The next big problem I ran into was that I had broke a bolt off that held the brake line in place on the drivers side brake. This bolt was in the strut and I had to drill it out and re-tap it so that the brake line would not rub the axle. It was a tough job because it was in an odd area and hard to get the drill in there. I kept at it though and got it done. The next problem was the brake caliper itself.. I had my wife get in the car and asked her to work the clutch so I could make sure the slave cylinder was working.. out of habit, she pushed the brake peddle which caused the brake to close a bit.. I had the hardest time collapsing the brake so the caliper would go back over the rotor.. again I just kept at it and finally got the caliper back on. Thee rest of the time was spent on putting everything back on that had been taken off. After I got it all put back together and the tranny oil put in, I placed wheel chocks in front and back of the back wheels so that if the clutch engaged or would not disengage I would not run over anything or jet out of control. So I was able to start it up and I checked each gear to make sure I could feel the clutch engage! It worked like a charm!!! Since the car had not been run hardly at all for 8 months I let it set and run until the temp came up to where it needed to be andd it was all warmed up. So I got in and tried my gears again and they worked like a charm the second time. So after that I decided to take it for a spin around the block to see what would happen.. This was a pretty big gamble as it was now about 12:30aam at night. Well, it made it around the block and did outstanding.. worked real well! So I backed her up in the drive and shut her down for the night! So I cleaned up my tools and my huge mess and called it a night! In the next couple days, I am going to put the console back together and do a little more test driving close to home in case it decides it don’t like that new clutch and things.. Please check out the video below, it may have something in there you might need to know about.. who knows, I’m always learning!


It’s been 31 years!

By Tim

It has been around 30 to 31 years since I was in total tip top shape.  As with most things I do, I go all out and even did it more so back 30 years ago.  I remember training so hard that I would just about drop when I got home from practices.  I was in such good shape that my heart rate was so low that when I would stand up from laying on the couch, I would literally about pass out seeing stars.  My Doc at the time said I had an exceptional  “in shape” heart and unlike most!  I remember when all my buddies were eating candy and anything else they could put in their mouth, I wouldn’t even touch sugar AT ALL!  I was very very strict on what I ate in those days and it showed in my performance in all the sports that I was a part of.    I have never lost that “determination” to do things to the best of my ability over the years which has been good at times and bad at other times.  some would call it “Hard Headed” or “Perfectionism” and I call it what ever, it is a part of me and my person and I don’t ever see it going away.  It is that same “drive” that I learned how to tear down computers and rebuild them and work with software and websites and servers.. the list goes on.  I am now venturing into Weight Watchers and you guessed it, I’m already thinking and planning on joining some sort of gym.  Right now we are looking into family membership at the YMCA because of all the YMCA offers for the family.  What ever we do, my plans are to get as close to looking like the picture I am attaching to this blog entry as possible.  It may look like an impossible task, but please don’t put it past me to try just a thing like this.  I will do it and have already started.  I will probably start posting some updates periodically on my progress.  I have a blog as well on the Weight Watchers website that I update concerning my weight loss but eventually that membership may run out if I don’t re-up.  I may get on a program at the Y and like it better..  who knows,  for now I have three months  membership in Weight Watchers and around 60 lbs. to lose!  I’m only going to try to lose 30+ lbs.  in the next three months so it is a healthy loss and not one that could harm me.   I’ll keep you updated!

A New Adventure!

By Tim

Over the past few months I have been really pondering all the weight I have gained over the years.  Two years ago, I had lost about 35 lbs and it felt so good but neglect and being too busy helped me to gain it all right back.  So last week my wife Lora and I talked it over and She helped me join weight watchers online.  Lora was already a member so that helped me join on in.  I am now exercising and am on the Weight Watchers Points plan (for food).  I have to say, I have always been skeptical of weight watchers  but after joining and staying on the plan for the first week, I noticed a huge difference.  The difference I notice is that I don’t really get hungry like I have before dieting on my own.  I don’t have major sugar lows because I’m eating the right kind of foods.  The big one I notice is “Energy” I have alot of energy that I have not had in some time..  this is all in the first week!  Today I weighed in for the first time.. well, I did weigh in when I started, this was my first weigh in where I could see my progress.  I lost 5.9 lbs.  Wow!!  I can’t believe it, that is pretty good for the first week and not really being hungry!  That is a big deal because when I have dieted on my own before, I used to starve myself to death and would be week and shaky all the time and would be miserable.  I have a goal to lose 50 to 55 lbs. and I know it is going to take some time to get there but I’m in it for the long haul because I want to be around to see my kids grow up and if possible “Grand kids”!  besides there isn’t anything worse than bending over and not being able to put socks on or tie your shoes.  If a person ties there shoes and you see that they are tied on the side…  well you know they are over weight and can’t tie their shoes properly..  hey that’s where I’m at!   I’m ready to get this old body back into shape the way it should be!

Tech Weekend

By Tim

This weekend was just about like every other weekend around here.  Still working on my streaming server which is taking up massive amounts of time.  Once I get to a certain point on the streaming server, I can relax a little with it and move on to my other websites and start updating them.  The main thing I did this weekend was to take some time and play my new Playstation 3 which I have networked to my home computers and Internet.  I was noticing how crummy the music was as I raced my cars in Gran Turismo 5..  so I thought, I bet I can add my own music to this thing.  Sure enough I was able to add my own music/playlist to my PS3 and then import the list into Gran Turismo 5.  As with anything I do, I usually try to find a bit of help first to make sure things can be done.  In this case I found an instructive video on youtube that was a big help.  I’ve attached the video to this blog entry so that if you would like to know how to go about this..  you can!  It does not tell you how to get your music over to your Playstation 3 and assumes you already know how to do that.

So now I can race with my own retro tunes and be a happy camper.


Well, it is a matter of network sharing and if you have a Windows 7 operating system on your networked computer you will need to enable file sharing/network discovery for the PS3 to find your computer.  There is some more details that I won’t go into here and could actually form another tutorial..  maybe at a later date.    Youtube has some great tutorials so you might start there if you want to know how to network your computers together..  I’ve been doing it for years and it makes it great to share your files between computers.  Well, that’s all for this post.  I’ll still be working on my streaming server for a while so I’ll keep you updated now and then as to how things are going.


Computer Recovery

By Tim

Today I will be talking about computer recovery since today.. you guessed it, I’m recovering a computer.  I want to take this time to make a point for all those who have bought a new laptop or desktop and did not get any recovery software with your purchase.

When you first buy your computer new these days, most do not come with a recovery cd or dvd but normally you can purchase one from the respective company.  If you will notice after booting your new computer by accessing or “clicking” the “My Computer” or “Computer” icon in the start menu it brings up the explorer window where you will notice an extra drive other than your main “C” drive or your “CD/DVD” maybe labeled as “D” and may even be named as “recovery” or something similar.  Well this is the drive that you will recover your computer from in case it ever crashes… oh, and it will crash, I almost guarantee it!!!  Here is where a big problem can start for you right out of the “get go”..  if you format your hard drive the traditional way to recover your computer you will most likely delete this drive and all your pre-installed recovery software which will leave you in a big pickle of a mess.


Today my recovery project is a bit different than most because the particular laptop which runs Windows Vista has a bad CD/DVD drive and so it is that I can’t use it to recover.  This computer does not have a recovery partition so that is not an option for recovery.  In my case I just happen to have a portable CD/DVD usb drive that I can use and fortunately I also have the recovery disk from the manufacturer in hand.


Before I start any computer recovery process, I like to work with a clean computer.  Time to get out the cleaner which could even include a can of compressed air.  I clean the computer up, usually inside and out and make sure all the fans are working properly..  an overheating computer can cause havoc on a recovery process 🙁 …


So the computer is all cleaned up and we are ready to start the recovery.

First thing we got to do is make the computer boot from the USB CD/DVD with the recovery software in it.  This is usually accomplished by accessing the computers “BIOS” program or “SETUP”  as some manufacturers call it.   To access the BIOS you will need to watch your screen on bootup and it will tell you to either hit “F2” or “Del” or maybe some other key to launch the program.  After you are in the BIOS you just need to find where it allows you to change the drive boot order.  Normally the first boot drive is the hard drive.  If the option is there, change it to USB drive for the first boot drive then save your changes and exit the BIOS program..  make sure you have already inserted your recovery disk into the USB drive or it won’t boot from the USB CD/DVD.


I certainly hope at this point you were able to save all important documents and pictures and any other item that you have been meaning to backup for years because at this point, the recovery will wipe the computer completely clean and re-install all software and drivers as it came from the manufacturer…  before you continue please make sure you have backed up on an external device “ALL” of your important data.

So now we are ready to recover and insert the disc, in my case a disk called “System Disc” goes first followed by the “Recovery Disc 1”.  We are now on our way to recovering the laptop.

Well the laptop went through the recovery with my only having to switch discs out a couple times as it had asked me to do.  Pretty easy recovery actually. Now to go through the registration and set up the first user account.

Everything from this point is just straight forward like getting the wireless network configured and then running virus scans on all the old backup files before copying them back to the computer.  Sometimes things are not this easy when it comes to recovering a computer.  If you have a question about a computer recovery problem, please fire me off an email @

Streaming Media

By Tim

Well, been working hard this last week just before Christmas and even harder after Christmas on a huge server project.  My goal was to set up a Streaming media server so my family and friends could connect and listen to music or videos via their own wifi connections with their computers or handheld devices.  I was able to take an old Dell computer which had served as a web server for the last couple years but had since crashed, and used it.  I wanted to use a windows based media server for this project.  I ended up setting up a nice server but there were a few problems..  one,  handheld mobile devices could not connect to it.  So I did some more research and found a very nice software package called Subsonic.  This server software boasted to have apps for many mobile devices and pretty easy to install and set up.  So now I’m crankin’ out tunes!  Shoot my new Playstation 3 web browser even connects and plays music through my Sony surround sound system.   So far we are streaming from my wifes new Kindle Fire with an app called by the same name “Subsonic” and streaming to the iPod Touch 4 with an app called “Substream” both apps were free.  The server software however is not free and after 30 days I have to give to the project to keep using it,  that will give me time to see if it keeps working 😉  If any of my friends want to check it out, it is at but you will need the login and password to be able to try it out.  email me if you want the login info!