Equipment Maintenance & RepairU Do It

The Art of Doing without Knowing

The Art of Doing without Knowing - U Do It Extra Parts leftover after taking apart GoPro Hero4 Black

The Art of Doing without Knowing

Do you know everything? I’m sure most will admit that they do not know everything. So, how do we function everyday? Everyday is something new. Generally speaking, no one has knowledge of what is going to happen unless one is clairvoyant. There are timed events and statistics but I want to focus on the knowledge required to do something. The minute you chose to make a sandwich you are deriving from your experiences to make a new sandwich. What if you had to make a panini and you have never made one in your life? Here is a case where you are challenged. Today, we can readily google “How to make a panini” and look for recipes. You may not have the equipment to make a panini and improvising is required.

Efforts of Others

If you weren’t able to tell, I’m setting the tone for this article. We are capable of doing things that we have no knowledge about either through the strong will or through the efforts of others that they documented. You may have grown up in a home with an popular mechanics book set like I did. I read these books front to back and even tackled some of the projects. This armed me with many techniques that I may never use but it allowed me to bridge the gaps by mixing one concept with another concept. It also helped me realize that there is more than just one way to do something. Therefore, I’m not bound by strict rules that may hold others back. Don’t get me wrong, I have mental blocks where I think there is only one way to accomplish something and as a result I accomplish nothing.

Extra Parts

I’m not sure the origin of the quote but there’s definitely some truth disguised within a joke. Like, every time I try to fix something where did all these extra parts come from after I put it back together? Nearly every time is true. And whatever I took apart it generally maintains its same function, which was non-functional to begin with because “Why would I take apart a perfectly functioning device otherwise?” Well, there was that one time I took apart my dad’s Marantz stereo receiver that was very expensive to learn what was in it. He wasn’t happy but that was a learning journey that started me on the path of electronics and eventually Electrical Engineering at Drexel University.

Even putting together Ikea furniture, and by the way me and Ikea furniture have a love-hate relationship, I have extra parts leftover. Where was that dowel supposed to go? I still don’t have an answer for that. When I attempt to fix something, there is an infinite amount of screws and pieces that I receive as I disassemble something so putting them in the exact spot is an impossibility for me. I am slightly exaggerating to make a point of how I feel when I try to fix something.

The Art of Doing without Knowing – Attempts

The Art of Doing without Knowing will undoubtedly result in adventures that didn’t yield the result that you wanted.

Appliance and Kitchen Wear Repair

  • Frigidaire Gallery Microwave Blowing Fuse
    • I purchased replacement fuses and replacement door switches. The fuse continues to trip. It is obviously something else but that was $25 in parts spent on a $400 microwave.
  • T-Fal Stripped Threads on Handle Mount
    • I’m still determined to fix this and I plan on brazing the hole with aluminum brazing rod, drilling and tapping the hole and using a new screw. I’ll keep you updated.

Vehicle Repair

  • 2007 Dodge Ram 5.9L Diesel 4×4 U-Joint Replacement
    • I tried and it didn’t go well so I had our dealer friend take care of this
  • 2007 Dodge Ram 5.9L Diesel 4×4 Ball Joint Replacement
    • I bought the $600 fork kit to remove the ball joints and I tried and it didn’t go well so I had our dealer friend take care of this
  • 2007 Dodge Ram 5.9L Diesel Bearing Hub Replacement
    • My first attempt was tough. It was challenging getting the hub off because of the rust around the hub.
    • My second attempt another year didn’t go well because I couldn’t get the hub off. So I had our dealer friend take care of this.

Electronics Repair – Extra Parts

  • GoPro Hero 4 Black Broken USB Jack
    • Lots of extra parts and I wasn’t successful. So, I just bought a new GoPro. Now I have three new GoPro cameras.
    • Part of what I was missing at the time of this livestream video was a proper solder station and solder flux. Later, when I got these tools I revisited the GoPro (I still have all the parts in a box) and I didn’t make any further progress.

Equipment Repair

  • Pressure Washer Won’t Start
    • Although this is an attempt because it wouldn’t start after cleaning out the main jet in the carburetor I did get this working after taking it a step further. This was a problem that I wasn’t going to let win. I mention this below under Pressure Washer.

Dirty Laundry

So now that you’ve seen some of my dirty laundry it is sometimes tough to think you have the ability to fix something which you have no knowledge about. Why do I feel like I’m a failure or stupid? Why think this way when there are things that I fixed? I don’t have an answer for this.

The Art of Doing without Knowing – Successes

I really have no idea what I’m doing. So it surprises me when I arrive at an outcome I expected.

Pressure Washer

My pressure washer wouldn’t start and armed with the knowledge that my neighbor Joe gave me I attempted to fix it as I demonstrate in a similar video here “Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer Starts But Suddenly Stops“. The fix he gave me was to remove the main jet, inspect the ports and clean them out. The more detailed fix is to remove the carburetor, inspect the needle among other things within it and replace them if necessary. I took it as far as cleaning out the main jet on the carburetor and that didn’t work. But I turned this attempt into a success.

This is my latest success is something I’m very proud of  achieving thanks to the help my neighbor Joe gave, which was documented in this video here “My Pressure Won’t Stay Running – How to Fix“.  Recently, my pressure washer would not start, so I spoke with Joe and reviewed the problem with him and we agreed that replacing the carburetor would be the best solution. I purchased a carburetor and replaced it. I also installed a fuel filter, because we also felt that this problem was due to dirty gas. To my surprise I had no extra parts and IT WORKED! After a couple of pulls the pressure washer started and it was spectacular. You can find this replacement video here.

2007 Dodge Ram Door Lock not Working

There were two problems with this and one was masked but periodically reappeared. My first through was the lock actuator was not working properly so the problem must be the lock actuator itself. I replaced this in the video here “How to Remove and Install Dodge Ram Power Lock Actuator in Under 50 MInutes / Power Lock Broken“.

Then I discovered that the problem would reappear once in a while. I later determined that this was due to broken wires that were losing connection intermittently due to fatigue. And it only happened on our one door since this was the door that our son would open and close continuously to sit in the back seat. This was covered in this video here “Power Locks / Power Window not Working on Dodge Ram 2500 How to Repair“. Both were successful repairs because the locks didn’t completely stop after replacing the lock mechanism. However, the true fix was to splice the wires that were broken in the door.

Garage Door Opener Doesn’t Close Garage Door

In this video “Garage door wont close unless I hold the button down” I demonstrate how I successfully replace the garage door sensors on my garage door opener. The sensors are required so that the garage door won’t continue to close if there is an obstacle blocking the path of the door. The sensors are installed at the ground level so that if something interrupts the beam it will prevent the door from closing. These sensors failed after a flood we had down the Jersey Shore. This is a case where I didn’t want to fix the sensors but rather replace them since safety is of paramount concern. I was able to replace the sensors and the garage door now functions as expected.

My Grill Burners were not Functioning Properly

Is it possible to fix a grill and save money? I wasn’t sure but after a little research I found replacement burner kits that also came complete with replacement diffusers. I identified the model of my gas grill, ordered the parts and made this video demonstrating replacement “Save money by rebuilding your grill burners“. With inflation and everything else going on in the world (as of the recording of this video in 2022) getting a new grill with the same features would cost $600. I’m not willing to buy a new grill, because it is something that we use a few times a year down the shore. But, replacing the burners was an option and I was willing to take the chance. This could have been a failure and would have been if I didn’t try.

What’s Next

I have a lot of video content planned and maybe I’ll have less extra parts.


I want to revisit the microwave but I really need to remove it from above the stove and fix it at a workable height. That way I can diagnose it easier. This is the definition of The Art of Doing without Knowing cause I really don’t know what I’m doing with this microwave.

Gas Grill

I have to fix my gas grill bottom that has rusted out. So, I purchased a 4 foot by 6 foot sheet of steel from our local metal scrap yard for $15 and I will use this to replace the bottom of the grill. I have to plan the cuts out possibly in Fusion 360 and then scribe them out and cut them and weld them. This will take quite a while and some may argue that I’m wasting time. This is an area will I will be gaining more time with metal working. So I’m looking forward to this project.

Gas Dryer

Our gas clothes dryer down the shore has a bad timer selector. I need to see if I can purchase a replacement part and replace it. This is a large project but also concerns me because it involves gas. This is something I’m willing to tackle.

Featured Image is from this video “Live Disassembly of GoPro Hero 4 Black – USB Connector Broken” on U Do It.

Picked out for you


Garage door wont close unless I hold the button down

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My Pressure Washer Won’t Start – By U Do It

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Design of the Day

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