Replacing the side mirror on your F-150 isn’t as hard as you might think. There are only a couple of steps to it once you have the replacement mirror for your Ford F-150.
- Roll down the window on the side your replacing the side mirror on.
- Remove the door panel.
- Take off the damaged mirror
- Install the new mirror
- Test the new mirror and re-install the door panel
- Take the small body panel off the old mirror and put it on the new one
The video I made below show you how to do all of this. At the end of this post are a couple of tips you might find handy. Also, there is a little segment at the end of the video showing my little “helper”.
- It seems basic, but make sure you’re buying the right part. Does your side mirror have a turn signal? The first mirror I purchased was powered but didn’t have a side mirror.
- Don’t forget to roll down the window on the side you’re working on. The switches on both sides need to be connected in order to roll down the window on the passenger side. I had to hook mine back up after taking the door panel off.
- Once you get your replacement side mirror, open the box and do a comparison between the new one and old one as soon as possible. Don’t wait till you decide to do the replacement to check this. I was in the middle of replacing mine the first time and found out I was sold a mirror for an Excursion.
If you found this post and video helpful, please share it with your friends. Subscribe to our newsletter to get automatically get posts and information. Also, the Amazon links help me pay for the hosting costs of this site. Please use them if you are going to purchase the replacement mirror.
Do you want to try starting your own seedlings, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment or time setting it up? You can easily make a small grow lamp setup. All it takes is some pieces of equipment that you probably have around the house.
What Are Going to Need?
Your going to need two things and one optional piece of equipment to get started.
Fluorescent Light Source
A cool white regular fluorescent bulb is all that is necessary. For this small setup a 60 – 75 Watt equivalent Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and cheap $10 – 12 desk lamp will do.
A light breeze will help strengthen the stems of the plants. About 15 minutes an hour is sufficient. Any desk fan turned to the lower setting fits the bill. I hacked an old CPU fan, its what I had. If you think the fan is too strong then move it further away from the seedlings.
Outlet Timer (optional)
If you’re like me, you will forget to turn on the grow light one morning or off in the evening. Also, who wants to turn that fan on and off? Not I. That’s why outlet timers make it so all you have to do is water those seedlings ever other day and watch those little suckers grow.
How to Set it Up
Grow Light Settings
- The light source should be about 2 – 6 inches from the seedlings. As the seedlings grow just move the light up. Hard bound books are great for this (for me its slim line PC equipment).
- The seedlings will need 12 – 16 hours of light.
- More intense the light the better, just keep in mind the max safe wattage of the desk lamp you’re using.
- 15 minutes of steady breeze per hour. This is where an outlet timer is best.
- Space the fan far enough away to create a breezy condition, not a hurricane
- This setup is perfect for the Jiffy 16 medium peat pot seedling starter (shown in the photos)
- Rotate the seedling tray a ¼ turn each day.
- It is going to be hard to provide direct overhead lighting. Changing the angle of the light source by rotating the tray will keep the plants from growing in one direction.
- Similar to the light, the plants closest to the fan will absorb more of the breeze than the ones farther away. The rotation will even this out a bit.
- Check the water at least every other day. The wind will increase the evaporation causing the plants and seed starting medium to dry out.
Are you remembering the days when your truck was riding a little smoother? Does it
- roll a little more on turns
- bottom out on bumps
- Dive when braking
- Squat when accelerating
- Bounce or slide sideways on a winding or rough road
I was seeing some of these symptom on my 2000 Ford F-150 and decided it was time to change the shocks. In addition to that there are about 75,000 miles on the odometer.
According the the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) original stock shocks and struts probable should be replaced at 50,000. Need more help understanding the function of your shocks? There are some links at the end of the article to help you.
Front Shock Replacement
Time for a bit of safety. By the way this doesn’t apply to people that think a car falling on them won’t hurt. Just make sure you get some video so you can be famous
Get yourself some jacks stands and use them! Don’t just count on that jack to hold the vehicle up. It takes an extra minute to set jack stands up. If you’re like me and working on a truck and Jeep, then purchasing jack stands made for SUVs and trucks makes sense.
When using jack stands put them on the frame of the vehicle. You don’t see the second set of jack stands yet, but I use two. Better to be paranoid.
Old Shock Removal
Jack and remove the tire from one side of the front of the vehicle.
The shock is held in place in the front by two bolts on the lower control arm.
As well as one bolt on top.
On the upper bolt of the old shock is a plastic tube guide that can be removed by pulling up on it. I ended up using a flat head screwdriver to pry it up.
To make things a little easy, spray some WD-40 or some other lubricant on all of the bolts and nuts.
There are two sets of nuts, one on top and one below near the spring. Put a wrench on the nut near the spring to keep it in place while you remove the top one.
Remove the two nuts holding the lower section of the shock in place.
The shock should drop down through the bottom if you’re lucky.
I was lucky with one shock. The other one expanded 100% once the bottom bolts were take off. I had a good time compressing the shock and trying to yank it through the bottom before it expanded again. It was an easy 10 minutes of cursing getting the old one out.
Tip: Need a little more room? Use the jack to slowly raise the control arm up some.
New Shock Installation
The new shock boot slips on and is zip tied in place.
Tip: Make sure all the rubber bushings are the correct ones when your shocks come. They will probably look like small tires. I waited about 6 months after purchasing to check mine. The wrong rubber bushing was shipped with one of my shocks.
Slip the new shock through the bottom of the lower control arm.
Tighten the nuts on the lower half of the shock first.
Using a wrench to hold the second lower nut in place, tighten the nut on the top of the shock. This will compress the rubber bushing that is on the top and underneath the shock tower.
Go back over all the nuts and make sure they are tight.
Put the wheel back on the front and lower the vehicle.
Rear Shock Replacement
Old Shock Removal
Jack stands were used to support the frame and the one side of the rear axle that’s being worked on.
Supporting Frame and Axle
Lubricate all the bolts you are going to remove.
Similar to removing the front shock, start by removing the bolt on top of the rear shock.
Note: There is no room to maneuver your hands in this tight spot. It would make it easier if you have a deep socket and stubby ratchet. At least you wouldn’t be like me only moving the wrench 2 inches at a time
Not So Deep Socket Tip: I didn’t have a deep socket for my ratchet, but after wrenching the nut a little I popped the socket a little from the ratchet and was able to rig a not so deep socket.
If your lucky enough you’ll have an impact wrench to remove the lower bolts. If not then make sure to use the longest wrenches you have to give you the most mechanical advantage.
New Shock Installation
The dust boot goes on just like the front one and is secured with a zip tie.
When the rear shock goes in there will be a rubber bushing will go on top of the bracket and one will sit below.
Start by putting the top part of the rear shock in place and putting the bolt in the lower bracket just to hold it in place. Don’t forget to put the rubber bushing on that sits below the upper bracket.
Tighten the top nut first. If you’re like me you’ll hand tighten it first, then finish off tightening it with an open ended or crescent wrench.
Note: I found that a wrench under the upper mounting bracket wasn’t necessary.
If you’re wondering how much you need to compress the rubber bushing, look at the old one that you just took off for reference.
Release your inner Geek and help keep old computer parts from making their way into a landfill by converting those old wired mice into holiday ornaments.
If you’re like me, you have a few old mice laying around. If you don’t have any old mice and you have an IT department at work, I’m sure they would love to give you their old wired mice.
Getting the Mouse Ready to Paint
In order to hang the mouse, you need to make a loop with the cord. To save money a large paperclip is heavy enough gauge wire to crimp on the mouse cord.
Taking some pliers and wrapping the paperclip wire around it will help form it into a circle. Then just cut the wire.
Loop the wire so there is a 1 ½ – 2 inches loop of wire. This will be what you can hang the mouse with.
Use pliers to crimp the mouse cord with the paperclip section.
Once you’ve confirmed the cord is held tight by the crimped wire, cut the extra.
Preparing the Painting Area
Using a zip tie, the extra wire from the mouse can be strung across some poles to make painting easier.
Priming the Mouse
Use a plastic primer, like the Rustoleum Plastic Primer.
Follow the primer directions for preparation. For me this meant cleaning the mouse with mineral spirits to remove dirt and oils from the surface.
Painting the Mouse
If you are using the old mouse cord to hang the mice to paint them there are two ways to do this
- String the cord through the looped cord on the mouse, as seen in the picture below.
- Another method is to use some extra paperclips to make hangers. I found this to be the best method.
When painting use multiple light coats.
The picture below is why preparing the mice before priming is important. If the primer doesn’t have good adhesion to the plastic, when you paint it will crinkle like below while drying.
Optional Finishing and Fun
Something fun to do is hand paint the mice with raised glitter pens.
I made about 10 of these mice for our holiday party, and had people decorate them. It was a nice way for people to interact before eating.
Using a hand saw to cut boards is an economical way to quickly trim boards to length. Sometimes finding a starting point for learning how to do something can be a task in itself. In this article you’ll learn all the steps necessary to cut a board to length.
- How to read a tape measure
- How to use a speed square to mark the cut
- How to use a hand saw to make the cut
How to Read a Tape Measure
Getting the correct length for the cut is extremely important. Part of that is understanding how to read a tape measure.
When marking the length to cut just remember the old saying,
“Measure Twice, Cut Once”
How to Use a Speed Square to Mark the Cut
After you have the correct distance marked with pencil, it is important to have a straight and square line to use as a reference when cutting the board.
The following video will show you how to use a speed square to quickly get that straight reference line.
How to Use a Hand Saw
Now that you have a good reference line to make your cut on it is time to actually cut the lumber.
Remember, when you cut the board to cut on the waste side of the board and not exactly on the line. You do this because
- The line represents the length you want the board to be
- It is easy to lose your reference line and not cut straight if you’re cutting the reference line
The video below shows how to use a common toolbox saw to cut a 2×4 to length.
The biggest problem I had when I started using a hand saw to cut boards was keeping the saw straight up and down.
There are tool guides to help with this, but I found that just being conscious of technique and practice is the best way to overcome this.
Hopefully you feel more confident in being able to properly cut boards to length and generally use a hand saw. When I do projects I love using my great grandfather’s hand saws as much as I can, like when I built some pet steps for my dog. Besides giving me a sense of hand crafting something, it gives me a connection to my families past.
Lastly, it is a lot harder to cut off a digit with a hand saw