2007 Ford Five Hundred - How to replace outer tie rod end

On this 2007 Ford Five Hundred, the outer tie rod end had developed some play in it at around 125,000 miles. Replacing the outer tie rod end took about 20 minutes. I used a Mevotech tie rod end that cost about $25 from Amazon.com.

 

Here are are some of the parts and tools you'll need to complete this job:

 

2001 Dodge Caravan - How to Replace Radiator Fan Motor Relay

If your radiator cooling fans stop working in your 2001 Dodge Caravan, there is a possibility that your cooling fan motor relay may have died. Fortunately, this is an easy repair.

Here is a quick video showing how to replace the radiator cooling fan motor relay on a 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3L.

Parts and tools:

  • Cooling Fan Motor Relay - (Amazon had this about $11 less than I could find it locally anywhere)
  • 8mm wrench or socket
  • 10mm wrench or socket
  • Large flat blade screwdriver
  • 1/4" x 1" stainless steel hex head screw (or metric equivalent) to replace the rivet fastener
  • 7/32 cobalt drill bit to drill through steel of appropriate size for your stainless steel screw
  • Drill
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • Small slotted screwdriver to free the retention clip on the relay electrical connector
  • Drill bit large enough to drill out the rivet in your existing relay 
  • Ratchet to drive in your new stainless steel screw (as an alternative, get yourself one of these adapters for your drill to make driving your new screw in MUCH faster)
  • Long ratchet extension to reach down from the top of the radiator
  • Socket to fit the head on your stainless steel screw

How to hang a picture without nails, screws or tools

I hung a 38" x 38" framed picture in less than 30 seconds without nails, screws, a hammer or drill.

The Monkey Hook's design simplicity results in a very user friendly picture hanging experience.

This was a large, heavy framed print, weighing roughly 20 lbs. Since I wasn't sure whether I'd find a stud exactly where I wanted to hang this picture, I grabbed my cordless drill, stud sensor, drywall anchors and screws, and was prepared to go through the normal pain-in-the-butt picture hanging process. But when I turned the picture over to make sure the hanging wire was secure, I saw a bizarre little contraption that looked like a new age fish hook taped to the back of the frame. There label attached to the hook said it was a "heavy duty wall hanger" that I could simply push, twist and then hang a picture that weighed up to 150 lbs.

While skeptical, my curiosity got the best of me, so I did as the instructions said and pushed the sharp end through my drywall and then twisted so the tip of the hook was facing up. That took about 10 seconds. I hung the picture on the hook and spent another 20 seconds leveling picture. In less than 60 seconds, I hung a picture exactly where I wanted it without using a nail, hammer or screw. I was impressed!

The Monkey Hook looks like this:

The Monkey Hook picture

The only potential drawback to this product is that I don't think it will work if there was stud behind the wall where you were going to hang your picture. But I don't think I've ever been fortunate enough to find a stud right where I wanted to hang a picture anyway, so it's not a big deal to me.

The Monkey Hook is a sweet little product that definitely makes it easy to hang pictures without nails. I used to purchase them from Amazon.com, but recently I learned that my local Ace Hardware also sells them. Best of all, they're less than $10 for a pack of 10!

How to Replace Blower Motor Resistor on 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3L

If your blower motor stops working on your Dodge Caravan, the first two things to check are:

  • Ensure fuse is not blown
  • Check your cabin air filter to see if it is extremely dirty. If so, change it before proceeding.

A common issue with Dodge Caravans is for the blower motor to suddenly stop working or only work when set to high speed. If your fuse is not blown there is a good chance that your blower motor resistor has died. If your cabin air filter is extremely dirty then it can force the motor to work harder to circulate air, thus causing the blower motor resistor to overheat and eventually die. Here is a quick video showing how to replace the blower motor resistor on a 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3L.

Parts and tools:

How to replace sway bar link on 2001 Dodge Caravan

When your sway bar links have too much play in the ball joint, it is time to replace them. On the 2001 Dodge Caravan, this is a fairly easy repair that you can do in about 20 to 30 minutes with the right tools.

One of the most important considerations when performing this repair is choosing a high quality sway bar link that has the zerk fitting on the sides of the joint housing rather than on the front. Many of the aftermarket sway bar links put the zerk fitting on the front of the joint housing and this can make it difficult to grease the top ball joint after installation. I chose the Raybestos sway bar link, but I also believe that Moog makes a high quality replacement with side zerk fittings.

Here are links to the parts I used:

Here are some useful tools to make the job easier:

If you want to use an impact wrench, Amazon has some pretty decent prices on both pneumatic and electric impact wrenches.

Finally, I highly recommend that if you still have the OEM lug nuts on your Dodge Caravan, replace those crummy things with a set of high quality Gorilla lug nuts. These will not rust underneath the flimsy shell like the OEMs do and will last as long as your vehicle does. Anyone who works on your vehicle and has to remove your wheels will appreciate that you upgraded.

These are the Gorilla lug nuts that fit my 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport. Yours may be different, so be sure to check application before ordering.

Finally, here is the video showing how to replace the sway bar link on a 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport.

 

How to Replace Struts on 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport Using Monroe Quick-Strut

Replacing struts can be an expensive maintenance item for most cars. I had called several shops and got prices between $600 and $900 to replace the front struts on my 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport.

Using Monroe's Quick Struts, you can pick up the a pair of struts for under $250 and with the right tools, do the job yourself in about an hour. I created this video to show the average person how to DIY these Monroe Quick Struts on a Dodge Caravan. I'm doing the driver's side (aka, left side) in this video.

I had all of the tools that I needed to do this job and got most of the parts from Amazon.com. Here's a list of what you'll need to make this job easier. Note that these are parts for a 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3L.

Those are the essential parts that you'll need. While you've got everything apart though, it's a good time to check your tie rod ends, as well as your CV axle. If your CV boots have any tears, holes or are leaking fluids, then replace the whole CV axle. It's an easy job when you have everything apart and adds about 20 minutes to the total job.

If you decide that you need or want to replace your CV half shaft drive axle, now is the time to do it since you have everything apart already. You can pick these up at your local Napa for around $50 for a refurbished one, or for about $60 from Amazon.

How to Replace Radiator on 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport 3.3L

A semi-common problem on Dodge Caravan mini-vans is that the brackets that hold the transmission oil cooler in place break loose from the rivets that hold the bracket to the cooler. When this occurs, the brackets and transmission oil cooler move freely against the radiator and this can cause a leak in the radiator. This happened on my 2001 Dodge Caravan so I had to repair the transmission oil cooler & replace the radiator.

The two videos below will show how to replace the radiator on a 2001 Dodge Caravan Sport and also show a the results of how I repaired the broken rivets on the transmission cooler.

Tools & parts that you will need to perform the repairs:

(1) Radiator for Dodge Caravan (I paid about $112 from Amazon w/ free shipping)

(1) Upper radiator hose for Dodge Caravan

(1) Lower radiator hose for Dodge Caravan

(4) Stainless steel hose clamps approximately 2"

(1) 10mm socket

(1) 10mm wrench (ratcheting wrench makes life easier)

(1) 13mm socket

(1) 8mm socket or wrench to remove headlight bolts

(1) Small pry bar to remove plastic body panels (or this specialty tool is probably even easier)

Optional Stuff

(1) Tube of Dielectric grease

(1) Tube of anti-seize compound

Transmission Cooler Bracket Repair Tools

(1) Riveter (Got one from Amazon or $24)

(4) Aluminum 1/8" x 1/4" rivets; (1) 3/16" x 1/4" rivet; (4) 1/8" washers; (3) 3/16" washers (this assortment from Amazon will give you the rivets you need)

Video Part 1 of 2