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How To for beginners

Vinyl top restoration
replace your engine gaskets
replacing your fuel pump
replacing disk brakes
replacing your air filter
draning, flushing and refilling your cooling system
replacing your spark plugs
replacing your water pump
changing a tire
change oil
Safety Precautions


  Replacing Your Engine Gaskets
Tools And Equiptment needed:
* Putty knife
* Torque wrench
* Aeorsol brake cleaner
* Gasket material (composite or silicone)
* Chemical gasket remover
* Straight edge
* Threadlocker (medium strenght - if no lockwashers are present)

  Applying Composite Gaskets with Sealant
1. Read the gasket and sealant instrustions.
2. Clean all mating surfaces with chemical gasket remover and scrape away the softened material. If you're       
   cleaning an aluminum surface, be careful not to damage it during scraping. Residue-free brake cleaner
   may be used as a final spray cleanup to remove debris.
3. Inspect all mating surfaces. Check for flatness using a straight edge. Repair or replace any distorted bolts.
   If excessive warpage is present, replace the warped part.
4. Apply appropriate sealant to the gasket and mount it to the cover. Sealant should then be applied to the
    second sealing surface fo the gasket. Damaged surfaces may require additional layers of sealant to ensure
    a leak-free seal.
  5. Mount the cover and torque it to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications using an X-pattern for a uniform
   clamping load. Note: For best results, apply a medium-strength threadlocker to all mounting bolts.
6. Operate the vehicle and check for leaks.

Applying Silicone Gaskets (formed-in-place)

1. Clean and inspect all parts (as outlined in steps 1-3 in Applying Composite Gaskets).
2. Apply a 1/8-inch diameter silicone bead to one surface, encircling all bolt holes you encounter.
3. Assemble parts immediately.
4. Mount the cover and torque to the vehicle manufacturer's specification. (See step 5 in Applying Composite
   Gaskets). Note: Do not overtighten. This could "squeeze out" silicone needed for proper sealing.
5. Wait one hour to allow the silicone to vulcanize, and then operate the vehicle and check for leaks.

Installation Tips

* Allow the engine to cool completely before assembly.
* Inspect the mating surface of valve covers, timing covers and oil pans for dents, crease or warpage
* For best results, apply silicone gaskets at 45 degree angles to the part, forming a 1/8-inch bead. Encircle
 all bolt holes.

  Replacing your Fuel Pump

Before You Begin
* Get the correct fuel pump for your car. If needed also get fuel line hose and clamps, a fuel pump gasket,
  and gasket sealer or cement. Note: Newer vehicles, especially ones with fuel injected engines, may have
 electric fuel pumps. If your vehicle has an electric fuel pump, consult a CHILTON repair manual for
 replacement instructions.
* Gather together all the necessary tools.
* Work in a well-ventilated area away from sparks or open flame. DO NOT SMOKE.
* Let the engine cool.
* Disconnect the battery ground cable.

Oil pump removal
1. Disconnect the fuel tank hose at the fuel pump, and plug the hose with a bolt or a wooden dowel to keep
   any fuel from flowing out.
2. Disconnect the outlet line to the carburetor. Use a wrench on the fuel pump fitting and another on the line
3. Disconnect the two attaching bolts and remove the old fuel pump. Clean off any old gasket material from
   the mounting surface of the engine.

New Pump Installation
1. Coat a new fuel pump gasket on both sides with gasket sealer or gasket cement. Put the attaching bolts
   through the new pump and slip the gasket over the bolts.
2. Install the new pump on the engine. Make sure that the rocker arm in the pump is against the eccentric
   inside the engine, or that the push rod is correctly installed in both the engine and the fuel pump.
3. Attach the fuel outlet line that runs to the carbureator. If it's difficult to connect, remove the other end of the
   line from the carburetor. Connect the line to the fuel pump, and then reattach the other end to the carburetor.
   Use a wrench to hold the fuel pump fitting and tighten the line nut with another wrench.
4. Attach the fuel inlet hose from the gas tank, and the vapor return hose (if the vehicle is equipped with one).
   Tighten all clamps.
5. Reconnect the battery ground cable, start the vehicle and check for any leaks.

  Replacing Your Disk Brakes
Tools and Equiptment needed:
* Wrenches
* Jack
* Jack stands
* Wire brush
* Screwdriver or pry bar
* Pliers or vise grips
* Hammer
* Large C-clamp
* High-temperature lubricant

Removing the Old Parts
1. Siphon approximately half of the brake fluid from the brake reservior into a container and dispose of it
   properly. Don't reuse the removed brake fluid. Note: Brake fluid will dissolve paint, so handle it with care.
2. Jack up the wheel or axle you'll be working on, support it securely with jack stands and block the other
   wheels. Never work under a car supported only by a jack.
3. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
4. In most cases you'll need to remove the caliper to change the brake pads.
   To remove the calipers:
   FloatingCaliper - Remove the two caliper mounting bolts or guide pins. Note the location of any bushings
   or positioner pieces so that they can be replaced in their original locations. Loft the caliper off the rotor.
   Sometimes a twisting motion will push the piston back a bit to give you enough clearance for removal.
   Sliding Caliper - A support key or retaining clips holds the caliper to the adapter or anchor. Remove the   
   screws or pins holding the key or clip and drive it out. The retainers will lift off when the screws are removed.
   Note the position of any support springs, anti-rattle springs or clips. Lift the caliper up and off.
   Fixed Caliper - Remove the caliper mounting bolts only if the pads won't come out the back of the caliper.
5. Push back the piston before removing the old pads. Fixed Caliper - Push against the old pads before you
   remove them. If the caliper must come off, push back one pad at a time until the pistons are seated, after
   you remove the caliper. Moving Caliper - You must remove the caliper to push the piston back. Use a large
   C-clamp and push on the inboard pad. Note: Be careful not to damage the pistons, bores or the dust boots
   when pushing the pistons back. Do one side at a time and be sure you don't pop one piston out while
   pushing on another. Remember to remove half of the brake fluid in the master cyinder before you start.
6. Check for leaks or rotor scoring and fix them (replace seals/calipers, machine rotors) before going any
   further. Certain pistons must now be screwed back with an allen wrench or special tools to seat themselves.
7. Remove the pads from the caliper.
   Fixed Caliper - Remove any pins or retainers (push pads back and pull them out).
   Moving Caliper - Separate the pads from the caliper. The inner pad may be clipped to the piston. The outer
   pad may be pinned, clipped or pressed tightly on the caliper. Some pads may remain on the adapter or
   anchor when the caliper is removed.
8. Thoroughly clean the entire caliper and the mount with a wire brush. Then use a damp rag to remove any
   dust or debris.

Installing the new pads
1. Install the new pads in the caliper or anchor in the reverse order of their removal. Make sure all locating clips
   or anti-rattle springs are in position. Some outboard pads have "ears" that must be bent to fit tightly on the
   caliper. If necessary, bend the ears by tapping them carefully with a hammer, and use vise grips to press
   them into position. If the pad is loose on the caliper, it will squeal. Do Not get grease or oil the pad linings.
2. Place the caliper in positon and reinstall any bolts, guide pins, support keys or retainers. Some support
   keys must be hammered into position. Reinstall any retaining screws or pins. Make sure all bushings are in
   position. Lightly lubricate all sliding metal surfaces with high-temperature lubricant.
3. Tighten all bolts to factory specifications. NEVER replace bolts or pins with standard hardware. Use only
   special, high-tensile bolts or pins designed specifically for your vehicle.
4. Fill the master cylinder with clean disk brake fluid, and bleed the brakes if necessary.

  Replacing Your Air Filter
Why change your Air Filter?
The air filter and positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve are important parts of your vehicle's fuel system. The air filter provides clean air to a vehicle's carburetion system, and if it becomes clogged or dirty, it can cause your car to idle or run roughly and reduce gas mileage. The PCV valve helps prevent the release of gas fumes from the engine. If it becomes blocked or clogged, it can cause oil leaks and promote the formation of sludge in the engine. You should check your air filter every six months and replace it according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations. If you're unsure, replace the filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles, or sooner if the vehicle is operated in extremely dusty conditions. Replace the filter when it appears dirty or clogged. Replace the crankcase breather filter at the same time if it's dirty. Check the PCV valve and any related hoses whenever you check or replace the air filter. It's also a good idea to check the fuel filter, spark plugs, points, condenser, cap, rotor and wires.

To change your air filter you will need:
   Assorted Wrenches

To install your Air filter:
These instructions will help you replace paper-type carburetor air filters and air cleaner-mounted crankcase breather filters. READ these instructions completely before you begin

Old Air Filter Removal
* Raise the hood and find the air cleaner assembly. It's the round can located on top of the carburetor.
* Remove the wing nut on top of the can, or remove the retaining clips located around the edge of the can.
* Lift off the top pan and set it aside. You probably won't have to disconnect any hoses, but, if you do, make
  sure to label and reattach them in their original positions. If necessary, make a drawing to help you.
* Remove the old air filter cartridge and dispose of it properly.

Check Crankcase Breather Filter
* The crankcase breather filter is usually located around the edge of the air cleaner can.
* Remove the filter. Sometimes it will simply lift out, but some breather filters are held in place by a clip.
* Remove the clip (and the hose, if necessary) and the filter will come out. Inspect the filter. If it's dirty, dispose
  of it properly.
* Wipe the inside of the air cleaner can with a clean rag.
* If necessary, replace the crankcase breather filter (and the clip and hose, if removed).

New Air Filter Installation
* Drop the new filter into place in the air cleaner can.
* Replace the lid and finger-tighten the wing nut so it's snug or snap the retaining clips around the edge of the
 can back into place.
* Make sure any hoses you remove are replaced in their original positions.

Replacing the PCV Valve
* The PCV valve is usually located at the end of a hose running from the air cleaner to the engine valve cover.
* Likely locations of the valve (see diagram 5) are in the valve cover (1-2), at the carburetor (3) or in the intake
  manifold (4). Diesel engines do not have a PCV valve.
* Pull the valve from the grommet.
* A PCV valve that is functioning properly will usually rattle when shaken.
* If the valve is held in place with a hose clamp, squeeze the hose clamp apart with pliers. Remove the valve
  from the end of the hose.
* Check to be sure that the hose is not clogged or brittle. If it is, it should be replaced.
* Insert a new PCV valve into the end of the hose. Reinstall the hose clamp (if present).
* Push the PCV valve back into the grommet. Be sure the other end of the hose is properly connected.

  Draning, Flushing & Refilling your Cooling System
number 1 Drain The Old Coolant
* With the engine cold, press down in the radiator cap and slowly turn it counter-clockwise until it hisses. Wait
  until the hissing stops and remove the cap.
* Make sure the heater's temperature control is on the hottest possiable setting.
* Place a large container under the radiator to catch the coolent as it's drained.
* Loosen the drain plug or petcock at the botton of the radiator and allow the coolant to completely drain out. If
  your radiator does not have a drain plug or petcock, disconnect the lower radiator hose and allow the coolant
  to drain. Do Not get coolant in your eyes or on your skin.
* If your vehicleis equipped with a coolant resivior, disconnect all hoses connecting it to the radiator, remove
  the reservior and flush it with clean water.
* Properly dispose of or recycle the used antifreeze.
number 2 Flush The System
* Retighten the drain plug or petcock at the bottom of the radiator. If the lower radiator hose was disconnected
  to facilitate the draning of the cooling system, reconnect it. Ass water until the radiator is almost full. Replace
  the radiator cap, start the engine and run at idle with the heater control on hot for 10 to 20 minutes. Stop the
  engine, open the drain plug or petcock, catch the fluid in a large container and dispose of it properly.
  Warning: The fluid will be HOT! Take special care to avoid burning yourself.
* After the coolant has completely drained out of the radiator, place a garden hose in the radiator filler neck
  and flush out the system. Flush the radiator until the water coming out of the drain hole, petcock or lower
  radiator hose opening is clear.
* If a garden hose is not available, use a clean busket to pour fresh water into the radiator filler neck.
* Inspect the rubber gasket and seal on the inside of the radiator cap for cracks or deterioration. If you replace
  the cap, make sure the new one has the same pressure rating as the old one. The pressure rating is
  stamped on the top of the cap,
* Inspect all the radiator hoses for cracks or deterioration and replace them if necessary.
number 3 Refill The Cooling System
* Retighten the drain plug or petcock at the bottom of the radiator. If the lower radiator hose was disconnected
  to facilitate the flushing of the cooling system, reconnect it.
* Reinstall the coolant resivior, and reconnect all the hoses connecting it to the radiator hose if applicable.
* refer to you owner's manual to find the cooling system capacity. Add one-half of the capacity, using new
  antifreeze. Add enough water to finish filling the radiator. Also refill the coolant reservior with new antifreeze
  to the "FULL COLD" level as indicated on the reservoir.
* Run the engine at idle speed until it reaches normal operating temperature. With the engine idling, add
  enough water to refill the radiator. If you want, you can check the exact range of protection of the new
  antifreeze-water mixture with a sample float-type anitfreeze tester.
* Reinstall the radiator cap by pressing down and turning it clockwise until the arrows on the cap are aligned
  with the overflow hose coming out of the filler neck.
* Reinstall the coolant reservior.
* Regularly check the coolant level and radiator hoses for leaks during the first few miles of driving. Tighten
  the hose clamps, and add additional coolant as needed.

  Replacing you Spark Plugs
Why replace your spark plugs?
Spark plugs are the heart of your vehicle's engine. For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles. This may vary depending on the type and model of your vehicle. This brochure will help you replace your spark plugs quickly and correctly. Although replacing plugs isn't usually difficult, be sure to READ all instructions provided.

Tools & Equipment
* spark plug wrench or a spark plug socket and ratchet
* spark plug gap gauge
* torque wrench (optional)
* rag or brush
* length of 5/16" rubber hose approximately 6" long

Safety Precautions
Before replacing your spark plugs:
Proper maintenance and service procedures are vital to the safe, efficient operation of all motor vehicles, as well as to the safety of the person performing the work- you. Whenever you're working on your vehicle, we recommend that you follow these important safety rules:
DON'T work under a car unless it's securely supported.
DON'T run the engine without proper ventilation.
DON'T smoke when working around the engine.
DO have a first aid kit handy.
DO be careful when working around hot or sharp objects.
DO have adequate ventilation whenever you work with any chemicals.

To avoid mixing up the spark plug wires, it's a good idea to    remove and replace one plug at a time or use tape to label each wire.

* With the engine cool, carefully remove the spark plug wire from the end of the spark plug by pulling the rubber  
 boot. Do not pull the wire itself. If the boot sticks, use a twisting motion to pull the boot and plug wire free.
* If compressed air is available, use it to blow any dirt away from the spark plug area. Otherwise, clean off the
 old plug and the area around it with a rag or small brush. This will help prevent any foreign material from
  falling into the cylinder when the plug is removed.
* Remove the plug by turning it counterclockwise with a spark plug wrench or a spark plug socket and ratchet.
  If the plug is hard to remove, use a small amount of penetrating oil to help remove it.

2 Gap the new plug
*Set the recommended gap in the new plug with a spark plug gap gauge (the correct gap can be found in your
 owner's manual). Insert the proper thickness wire or feeler between the inner and outer electrodes at the tip of
 the plug. When properly gapped, the wire or feeler should slide between the electrodes with a slight drag. If
 the gap is incorrect, gently bend the outer electrode slightly until the correct gap is achieved.
*Make sure that the outer electrode is centered directly over the inner electrode. If it's not, align the two by
 gently bending the outer electrode.

3 Check the cylinder head threads
*Visually inspect the cylinder head threads. They should be in good condition, clean, and free of dirt and
 debris. This new spark plug should freely screw into the cylinder head by hand. Any binding of the plug is an
 indication that there's a problem. Remove the plug and inspect the threads.

4 Install the new plug
*Make sure that the area around the spark plug port is clean. Wipe the seat with a clean rag to ensure proper
 contact between the new plug and the seat.
*Insert the plug into the spark plug hole by hand and turn it clockwise until it's snug. If the spark plug hole is hard
 to reach, try attaching a short piece of 5/16" rubber hose to the top of the plug and use it as an extension to
 help reach the hole.
*After installing the plug be hand as far as it will go, firmly tighten it with a spark plug wrench or socket. It's a
 good idea to use a torque wrench, if one is available, to ensure that the plug's properly seated. DO NOT
 OVERTIGHTEN. Remember, you'll get an accurate torque reading only if the spark plug and cylinder head
 threads are clean and dry.
*Reattach the plug wire to the new plug. Use a twisting motion on the boot until it's firmly seated on the top of
 the plug.
*Repeat the above steps for each plug you're replacing.

  Replacing your water pump
Old Pump/Fan Removal
1. Loosen the alternator and other accessories at the adjusting brackets and remove the dive belts.
2. Remove the fan, pulley and radiator shroud (if so equipped). If you're removing the fluid fan drive, set it aside
   with the flange UP to preventr fluid from draning into the bearings.
3. Remove any brackets or accessories that interfere with removal of the water pump.
4. Remove all hoses attached to the water pump.
5. Remove the retaining bolts and then the water pump.
6. Clean the mounting surface on the engine.

New Pump/Fan Replacement
1. Install a new gasket and gasket sealer between the water pump and the engine mounting surface, and
   install the pump.
2. Reconnect all hoses to the water pump, and replace any brackets or accessories removed previously.
3. Replace the fan, pulley, radiator shroud (if so equipped) and drive belts.
4. Adjust all belts to the proper tension, and fill the system with a 50/50 antifreeze/water mixture.
5. Reconnect the battery ground cable, start the vehicle and check for leaks.

  Change the oil
Getting Ready Steps:
1. Gather necessary tools and materials (refer to Necessary Items list). If you plan to change your oil regularly, consider investing in jack stands, a socket set and an oil drain pan.     
2. Run the car's engine for 10 minutes before you drain the oil. Warm oil drains faster than cold oil.  
3. Park the car on a level surface, engage the parking brake and turn off the engine. If your car has a low
   clearance, raise it by driving it onto a ramp or by jacking it up and supporting it securely
4. Open the hood and place the new oil and funnel on top of the engine to ensure that you won't forget to add
   oil afterwards (an expensive mistake that many do-it-yourselfers make!). Tips: Consult your owner's manual  
   or  an automotive parts specialist to find out the weight of oil and type of oil filter your car needs. You'll need
   the year, make, model and mileage of your car if you go to an auto parts store. Warnings: Make sure the
   car is securely supported before you crawl underneath. You will need two jack stands to support the front of
   your car after jacking it up. Never get under a car that is supported only by a jack! A pair of jack stands costs
   less than $20.

Draining the Oil and Changing the Oil Filter Steps:
5. Crawl under the car once it is securely supported.
6. Locate the oil drain plug on the underside of the engine, usually near the front center of the car. Consult your owner's manual for the exact location.
7. Place the oil drain pan under the plug and loosen the plug with a socket wrench. Remember: turn counterclockwise to remove bolts.
8. Remove the plug by hand. Be prepared for the rush of hot oil!
9. Let the oil drain into the pan. Hold onto the plug.
10. Reposition the pan, if necessary, to catch all the dripping oil.
11. Wipe off the drain plug and the plug opening when the oil finishes draining.
12. Replace the drain plug gasket.
13. Reinstall the plug. Always start threading any bolts or screws by hand to prevent cross threading.
14. Tighten with a wrench or socket. Be careful not to overtighten the plug.
15. Locate the existing oil filter. Oil filters are usually on the side of the engine.
16. Position the oil pan underneath the filter to catch any remaining oil.
17. Use an adjustable oil filter wrench to unscrew the old oil filter.
18. Use a rag to wipe the area where the filter mounts to the engine. Make sure the rubber seal of the old filter
      is not stuck to the engine.
19. Use some new oil to lightly coat the rubber seal of the new filter.  
20. Screw the new filter into place by hand. It's usually not necessary to tighten the oil filter with the oil filter wrench, but have it at the ready if you're grip's not strong (or large) enough.
Tips: Wear gloves to remove the plug if it's hot. It's always best to replace the oil drain plug gasket. Use the right size wrench or socket. Don't use an adjustable wrench: you can strip the bolt. Warnings: Handle hot automotive oil with extreme care. Be careful when removing the old oil filter. It's full of oil.

Installing New Oil and Cleaning Up Steps:
21. Locate the oil filler cap on top of the engine. Remove it.
22. Place the funnel in the opening and pour in the new oil. Typically, you will use 4 to 5 quarts of oil. Check
      your manual for the correct oil capacity.
23. Replace the cap when you're finished.
24. Run the engine for a minute, then check the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary.
25. Check the area around the oil drain plug and the filter for oil leaks. Tighten the plug or oil filter if you find
26. Use rags and newspapers to wipe away excess oil.
27. Pour the used oil into a plastic container after the used oil cools.
28. Dispose the used oil properly: either bring it to a recycling center or an auto repair shop that can recycle it for you. Don't pour it down the sewer!
Tips: Record the date and mileage after you change the oil so you will know when your car is due for another oil change. It helps to put a small sticker on your windshield to remind you.

  Changing Your Tires

Tools and equipment you'll need:
   Lug wrench

Before You Begin
* Check with your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store to make sure you have all the correct tools to change a tire.
* Make sure the car is in park (If your car has a manual transmission, please consult your owner's manual). If
  the flat happened while driving, pull off the road towards your right as far as you can.
* Gather together all the necessary tools.
* Be sure your vehicles ignition is OFF.

Tire replacement
* Remove the wheel cover that is on the outside of the tire using your screwdriver, or the end of lug nut wrench.
* With the lug nut wrench, loosen the lug nuts with a single turn counterclockwise. Do not remove the lug nuts.
* Position the jack correctly for tire removal. You will have to consult your owner's manual for correct placement
  of the jack. The jack should sit on a flat and level surface.
* Slowly lift the car with your jack. The tire should be two or three inches above the ground before you stop.
*  NEVER position yourself under the car when it has been lifted up on a jack.
* With the lug nut wrench, remove the loose lug nuts and set aside. Now you may remove the flat tire and set
* Place the new tire or spare tire on the car. Replace the lug nuts. Tighten them with your hands just enough so
  that the wheel is securely placed.
* Lower the car from the jack just to where the tread of the tire meets the ground. Now you can tighten the lug
  nuts more evenly. Make sure that the lug nuts are very secure and then lower the car the rest of the way.

  Safety Precautions
* DO have a first-aid kit handy.
* DO be careful when working around hot or sharp objects.
* DO follow manufacturers' instructions for all products.
* DO use safety stands under the frame or drive-on ramps if you must raise your vehicle.
* DON'T run the engine without proper ventilation.
* DON'T smoke when working around the engine
* DON'T attempt to work under a vehicle unless it's securely supported.

Please read our disclaimer before trying any of these methods.

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