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DIY Jeep Wrangler $12 Fuel Check Valve

My 1997 Jeep Wrangler had a problem starting, I would have to hit the key twice to get it running. Even if I stopped for a second at 711 to get a soda. :/

The problem lies int he pump, that’s in the tank. It has a check valve that keeps fuel from draining back into the tank when the Jeep is off. But, the pump is good. So didn’t want to spend the money of replacing it, I just delt with the hard starting.

But i ended up getting sick of that! So i started a mission to make my own “in line” check valve. I went to my local Ace Hardware, and started looking at some brass fittings. I grabbed some part, went home, put it together and BABAM!!!! it works like a CHAMP!!!

This is not a fix, its just a bandaid! One day the pump will die, that’s when I will replace it.


Parts list:

  • 2x – 5/16″ compression to 1/4″ npt
  • 1x  – 1/4″ npt to 1/4″ npt barrel
  • 1x – 1/4″ chrome ball bearing
  • 1x – 1 1/2″ spring.  *must cover the ball, but not spring out when installed.
  • 1x – yellow teflon pipe tape (DO NOT USE WHITE TEFLON TAPE)
  • Small tubing cutter for fuel line

The ideas is NOT to have a ton of pressure on the spring and ball, you barely need any at all. You are just helping your fuel system. To much pressure on the spring and the pump wont get enough fuel to the fuel rail.

The setup is completely reversible! Simply take out the spring and ball, and use the compression fittings to link the fuel line together.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.


Stating of assembly. Ball bearing is already inside the brass, under the spring.


Installed in the Jeep!



Birth of a 3D printer – Part2


This is the CPU mounted on the bottom of the printer.


The hot bed is installed. The hot bed keeps the parts inplace while printing.


Mocking up the towers before making the wooden frame.




First running of the firmware for the CPU.


I had to modify the switches to work with my printed parts.

Its all coming along nicely!!



3D Printed Case For Quadcopter Flight Board

On I found a protective case for the flight board I used for my quadcopter. It’s the MultiWii PRO board from HobbyKing. So I printed off a copy … and away we go!

The GPS tower was not part of the case, it was a different “thing”. But they work well together. I had to mod the files a little to use some aluminum rod to hold up the GPS pod.


IMG_20131222_114002 IMG_20131221_173219 IMG_20131220_204637 IMG_20131220_082524 IMG_20131218_154358



Birth of a 3D printer – Part 1

I have been looking into DIY 3d printing for some time now. I have even went as far as to gather a few parts here and there over the past year. But now I have a real need for one, so I have decided to pull the trigger and get it done!

Originally I was looking into making a ORD BOT style of printer. The cost of the wheel bearings and the MakerSlide t-slot materials was going to cost to much. That’s why I have been putting off the project for this long.

In mid 2012 the Rostock Delta Printer was developed. The printer featured high speed printing and a very low part count for building it, lower then ORD BOT. Thus I decided to make the Rostock instead.

To save on the overall cost, I sourced all the parts over the internet, rather then buying a complete kit. The only downside to this is that all the part will show up over a 2 week period, and not all at once. I will show case the build in parts, starting with  the parts I have on hand.



I ordered the main parts kit on EBay.
I have already installed the metric screws and one of the motors.


I went with the 8MM sliding bearings, but instead of using precision rod, I used 5/16″ cold rolled rod.
The kit came with a printed Nylon bearing. But it seemed to bind up when it was sliding.


The yoke ends need a rod to connect the 2 together. Some people use wooden dowels, or fiberglass rods from the RC store. I used some 1/4″ aluminum rod I had laying around. It was to big to fit in the yoke, so I had to turn down each end of the rod to fit it on to the yokes.



After gluing the rods to the yokes, I needed a way to keep ALL the lengths the same while it was drying. I layed out some nails on a board, to keep them inline.



Since I am useing printed parts, the holes are a little off form the true size. I dont have metric drill bits, so i can up with a quick fix. Take the metric screw i am going to use, chuck it up in my drill. Put a washer on it, and drill it into the hole. Let the threads do the cutting. It worked great!




After looking at the rods, having the plane aluminum look, and pure board-um, I thought it wold be cool to buff them to make them shine. This should also help reduce wind resistance. LOL


I should have done this BEFORE gluing the yoke ends on -__-


The Rostock is belt driven. I needed a idler pulley for the take up of the belt. I made one from a bearing and a fender washer. I chucked it up in my lathe, and turned down the face of the washer to create the step for the bearing to move.


Here is the step in the washer.


The electronics kit I ordered did not come with ANY instructions, not even on their site :/
So in an effort to figure it out myself, I toasted the 5v regulator on the Arduino 2560 board, you know… the board that controls the entire printer -__-
I had to order a new one form Digikey, but I did learn how to look up the limit switches.




Bluetooth Module Breakout Board

This is just a simple breakout board for the RN-42 Bluetooth Module. I designed it with Eagle CAD, and made it on my CNC PCB machine.




DIY industrial sewing machine zipper guide

I needed a zipper guide for my walking foot sewing machine. So I made one!

Took a piece of cutting board material. Put it in my small CNC machine and machine out a groove just wide enough and deep enough for my coil zipper material. Then using some aluminum angle material. I developed a mount to mount it to the presser foot on the sewing machine.

The main idea behind this is to keep the material and the zipper specifically distanced apart, along the length of the coil zipper.





DIY Rugs … for less then $20!

We were moving to a new home, and the new place had ALL tile floors. We needed some rugs to deaden the echo. I went to Lowes to look for some. The avrage price for a 8’x10′ area rug was about $80. That was too much!

I then noticed a remnant of some nice Berber  hidden under the full rolls of carpet. I asked the worker how much it was. The price tag said $30, but he could let me have it for $15!! WIN!!

The piece was 12’x6′. So I cut off 2′ from the 12′ side, making a 10’x6′ and a 2’x6’… Yes I got 2 rugs out of it!

I had some tan 1″ nylon webbing, and some tan #69 nylon thread. I used my Yamata sewing machine and a binding feeder and sewed on a edge for the carpet, thus making it a rug! The webbing was on a roll, so it was sewn on in one continuous piece on the edge of the carpet.

Had a little trouble feeding it on my machine, it was big and very heavy. So a few spots got a little wonky.  But over all it turned out great!


DIY Jeep Radiator Fan Shroud

I had a 16″ electric fan on my Jeep, it was mounted right to the radiator with the zip tie like things it came with. After a few years the fan had rubbed holes into the core, making it leak lots of coolant. 🙁

So I went out and got a new radiator. After looking at it on the bench, and not wanting the fan to put another hole in my the new one. I came up with the idea for a aluminum fan shroud with dual 10″ fans.

Using my plasma cutter, I cut out all the proper holes for the shroud, to mount it and for the fans. Including a built in spot for the overflow bottle. I also made pass through holes for high way driving, with rubber flaps so when you come to a stop the flap closes and the fans do all the work!

Total cost was about $75 … including the fans!



DIY Cheap “Macro” Cell Phone Photography

I needed to show my boss a component that was fried on a board. He is an elderly gentleman, so his eye site is not so good. So I thought I would take a photo of the bad part and show him on the large display on my computer. All I had to take the photo was my cell phone. I thought to myself, what if I put my eye loop up to the lens and use it to magnified the image.  Bingo!

Now the trick is to zoom in on your camera and put the loop over the lens, more zoom means more macro, but its gets a little grainy.

A set of eye loops at Harbor Fright is about $5.


DIY LED Light Bar REV.#2

After finishing my original light bar project here. I decided that it would be much brighter, not that its not bright….just can be brighter. One of the main goals of the original light bar was VERY low amp draw. I got that with only 3Amp from the entire bar! So the goal of the next bar will be VERY bright, and to hell with the amps!!

So enter the LED Light Bar REV.#2 🙂

The new LEDs are over 400lm each!!!

The original LEDs from the first one are about 90-100lm.