In order to run a 12V accessory there is a right way and a wrong way to hook up the wires. I have often hooked up my 12V accessories directly to the positive terminal of the ground-side battery. And though this has worked and given me 12V, it is not really the correct way to get 12V from a 24V system. It will work in an emergency, but over time it will create an unequal voltage drop across the two batteries. Eventually the second battery tries to compensate for this drop, and this can shorten the life of both batteries. I can attest to this happening in one of my military trucks. An electrical engineer friend of mine recommended to me that I instead use a 24V-12V converter. He explained how the converter takes in 24V DC, inverts it to AC, multiplies the AC frequency to a very high frequency, divides the new frequency, then inverts it back to DC, and voila! You have 12V DC from 24V DC and no worry of battery damage. He also recommended a Samlex America (www.samlexamerica.com) converter, as they are available in 10- to 60-amp models.
Late-Model Man Plan
I currently own an '03 GMC Sierra SLE (5.3L V-8, auto, 4x4, Extra Cab) and was wondering if there was any way to convert it to a manual transmission. Any information, links, or places to start would be greatly appreciated.
Sierras and Silverados stopped using manual transmissions behind the 4.8L V-8 around the '05-'06 model years, so you should be able to modify your truck to a manual transmission with nearly all factory parts. We recommend getting the clutch and brake pedal components from a local dealership or junkyard. You will also need the hydraulic master and slave cylinder/throwout bearing for the clutch. The 4.8L V-8 was followed up with an NV-4500 five-speed manual, and this is a good choice for your Sierra, but any manual transmission with a standard GM V-8 bellhousing pattern will bolt to an LS series engine like your 5.3L. You will also need to be sure the output on the transmission works with your transfer case.
I have an '03 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with the factory Dana 44s front and back. I had an axle oil change done by the dealer, and they removed the diff cover to drain the fluid (returning it to me with a major leak, then a shoddy re-repair). Anyhow, I noticed a 3/8-inch ratchet bung at the bottom of the housing, and when I asked the dealer if it is a drain plug, they didn't know. Their exploded computer diagram only had the axle "guts" without the housing, or the labeled plug, shown. Is this a fluid drain plug, or does it have some other purpose?
Yes, that is a drain plug (arrow). In fact, you do not need to remove the differential cover to change the gear lube since there are both drain and fill plugs. However, many axle experts believe that when changing the gear lube it is a good idea to pull the differential cover to inspect everything inside.
Run from the Grease Spray
My '97 4Runner SR5 4x4 has 119,000 miles and a torn CV boot on the right side. There's CV grease all over the shocks and control arms. I also noticed that the left side is about to crack. When I changed the oil, front differential, and transfer case fluid at 117,000 miles, the CV boots were fine. Since that time I haven't engaged it in four-wheel drive. Will the axle halfshaft need to be replaced if the 4Runner has been driven 2,000 miles with the torn CV boot?
Six years ago I bought a 2-inch suspension lift kit from a company that is now out of business. Are there any other reputable companies that will sell aftermarket CV boots and axleshafts for my 4Runner, especially one that is compatible with the lift kit I already have? Or will going with a stock OEM factory CV boot/driveshaft be sufficient?