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Made by Monkeys

Monkeying Around With the Mazda Saved Some Cash

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GTOlover
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Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
GTOlover   3/14/2013 9:30:19 AM
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I agree that overcharging for limited supply is morally questionable. But if the free market pricing has people willing to pay for admittedly limited resources, then why would the seller not sell at the higher price?

Now, on the other hand, you are being sold junk by a snake oil salesman, then outrage should be justifiable. If the product was of poor quality, then clearly selling a known bad part should be reprehensible and even prosecutable. However, the dealer is selling a new part gaurenteed to meet OEM. If $1100 is the price to get an ECM replacement because of limited-resources, then there must be buyers willing to pay. Just so happens this smart fellow was unwilling to pay this price and was able to fix his ECM. I know others would be unwilling to pay and unable to repair, but is that really the dealers fault (maybe the manufacturer)?

Hopefully, if you bought hay for $125 it was of high quality. Otherwise, your outrage is probably justifiable. But if the hay is limited and many want it and it is of good quality, is it the sellers fault that he has some to sell and others do not (he cannot control the weather)?

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
OLD_CURMUDGEON   3/14/2013 9:49:59 AM
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Nancy:  Sorry, I can't disagree with you more!  The fundamental law of Economics in a capitalist system is the Law of Supply & Demand.  And, when there is a drought, then the supply is less, so the demand, and therefore, the price, rises to balance the see-saw.  While I feel sorry for your situation, this is an everyday occurrence for every person on the face of the Earth who is part of this system.  We all have to make decisions based on our ability to afford the item(s) we want!

With regard to the ECU module.  IF my memory serves me (not sure nowadays!), the MAZDA pick-em-up truck is really a FORD RANGER vehicle, and as such, it shared the same platform & drive train components as the FORD BRONCO II / early EXPLORER models.  We had a 1989 BRONCO II w/ the ESP plan (Ford's Extended Service Plan).  The ECU failed on that vehicle about 100 miles BEFORE the expiration of the warranty.  Although it cost us a very small "co-payment", the invoice showed that this module was priced at that "$1,000 level.  Since it was a warranty issue, I made no attempt to diagnose and/or repair it myself.  I would NOT be surprised IF the failure was also due to a substandard electrolytic capacitor.

JCheetham
User Rank
Iron
electrolytic capacitor specifications
JCheetham   3/14/2013 9:57:37 AM
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I have fixed many electronic devices by replacing the leaking or bulging capacitors.  This includes PC motherboards, PC power supplies, control PCB in my furnace, DVD player, and LCD clock.  If you read the electrolytic capacitor specifications, many are rated at 1000 hours (41 days).   It is hard to find an electrolytic capacitor rated for more than 10,000 hours (416 days).

Earl54
User Rank
Silver
Re: electrolytic capacitor specifications
Earl54   3/14/2013 10:08:53 AM
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Remember that the lifetime rating is at the specified maximum rated ripple current and the rated temperature.  By properly derating an aluminum electrolytic capacitor, which means using it in an environment where the average temperature is well below the rating, and with low ripple current, a 1000 hour cap can and does last many years.  Of course, in high reliability applications, caps with longer lifetimes should be specified.  Should, but aren't always.  As a power supply designer that has worked in both the consumer and telecommunications industries, I know that products can be designed for cost, or for a long lifetime under extreme conditions.  There are many different series of caps for just that reason.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Yeah, me too
Larry M   3/14/2013 10:22:03 AM
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David Moberly wrote: "With nothing to lose, I opened up the ECM and immediately noticed that one of the electrolytic capacitors had failed and burst open. I replaced the obviously failed electrolytic capacitor and the other electrolytic capacitors in the ECU with extended-temperature-range electrolytic capacitors."

Yeah, I had to replace the electrolytic capacitors in the ECM of my 1992 Mitsubishi Expo, too.  This was a trickier job though. Mitsubishi (or its supplier, probably Nippon Denso) had used radial lead electolytics (standing up, not flat on the circuit card). To minimize mechanical failure due to shock and vibration they had bonded the base of each capacitor to the board with a silicone- or RTV-like adhesive.

They had not realized that the adhesive was corrosive under the stimulus of electrical bias--and the capacitors were directly across 12 Vdc or 5 Vdc. The failure mode was sudden death as a card trace or plated-through hole was completely eaten away. (The more copper is eroded, the higher the current density through the remaining portion and the faster the erosion occurred. For a period the gap would heal. The car would stall, but after a few minutes it would restart and be fine. Then it failed completely.)

The tricky part was finding the breaks. An inexpensive ohmmeter is useless because all the electronic parts are connected in parallel between Vcc and ground. Measuring across a break in the Vcc line reads a few milliohms because of all the shunt paths available. This problem was solved by about six hours of tedious study of the board, tracing from front to back, mostly by by visual inspection, and isolated the problem to an eroded plated-through hole carrying 12Vdc. I applied a jumper of 18 or 20 ga. wire between pins on either side of the break. And I used NO adhesive when installing the new military-grade capacitors: around $4.50 with shipping.

Had to replace the electrolytic capacitors on my heat pump controller card too, but didn't have to mend card traces.

Along these lines, have other hobbyists noticed that all (but one) of the big supply firms that advertise here and want your business sock it to the hobbyists with their $50 minimum orders and excessive shipping/handling fees? There is only one firm I can do business with.

 

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
How hot is it?
bob from maine   3/14/2013 10:40:12 AM
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Seems auto manufacturers have a history of underestimating the underhood temperature of their constructs. Early Model-T's would boil the gasoline and vapor lock when hot and the carburators would ice up on a foggy day. These issues plagues cars until the late 70's. When alternators first came out all the manufacturers used diodes rated at the commercial range of 85 degrees C. max (probably still do). So many of the early diodes leaked so badly when hot that the battery would go dead in a couple of days. I bought the most beautiful car I have ever owned, a 70's Jaguar XJ-6 which had the alternator diodes leak so badly when they were hot that they drew over 1.5A, and they met factory specifications! Unfortunately the car could not seem to run for six weeks without something electrical failing (insert comments about Lucas here). Looked pretty sitting there though! I used to moonlight with a local Japanese car dealer doing electrical troubleshooting and it was amazing the number and nature of electrical problems found even on well engineered Japanese cars. I'd say 80% of "ECU" issues were connector, and replacable component issues that did not warrant complete replacement of the module.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
Nancy Golden   3/14/2013 11:50:14 AM
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Well, Old_Curmudgeon - it looks like this part of the conversation really belongs in a forum about ethics, so I won't go there ;) Suffice it to say, I see your point, but I believe that there is some point where upper limits should be set. Situations  are often more complicated then they seem on the surface...and we can have a whole other conversation about the difference between "want" and "need" :)

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
Nancy Golden   3/14/2013 11:58:45 AM
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I don't begrudge anyone a profit GTOlover - We have a hay meadow ourselves. It is a lot of work and we don't irrigate while some folks do - which is of course an added expense that cuts away from the profit margin. And baling hay is hard work! My gripe is only with those folks that are taking advantage of the situation with ridiculous prices (that morally questionable issue you mentioned) rather than settling for a nice profit brought about by higher demand.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
OLD_CURMUDGEON   3/14/2013 12:07:33 PM
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Nancy:

When we got to SWEET TOMATOES restaurant, I WANT to eat EVERYTHING on their long line of items, BUT I know that I NEED only a fraction of these items to satisfy my hunger AND supply the nutrition that my body requires for proper nourishment.

Unfortunately, the simple Law of Supply & Demand, is NOT so simple in its implementation, and that's where "Big Brother"  (government!!!) steps in to throttle back some of the unintended consequences.  And, we all know that many times their answers don't work either......  The see-saw continues to oscillate..... 

 

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It pays to be mechanically inclined
Nancy Golden   3/14/2013 12:26:53 PM
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Call me crazy but I think there should be a different criteria for pricing "want" versus "need." Staying home and eating homemade spaghetti satisfies "need"  but eating out satisfies "want" so of course you expect to pay more. Unless of course your personal chef called in sick and eating out is a neccesity LOL

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