Category Archives: Car Stuff

Upgrading Fan Clutch to ‘Severe Duty’

The Wagoneer’s cooling system is just barely adequate for the hot Houston summer weather. To help improve cooling I am going to upgrade the fan clutch from the normal duty part to the severe duty. The severe duty kicks in and engages the fan at a lower temperature and “slips” less. This enables the radiator fan to spin faster.

You want part number Hayden 2797.

Old fan clutch on right. New Hayden 2797 already installed on the fan left.

Now the problem with the Hayden 2797 is that the bolt pattern does not exactly match what is needed on the AMC 360 water pump.

Solution? Cut out the smaller of the two bolt patterns into slots!

Not the best on job with the cut off wheel but it works.

Replacing Valve Seals

The Wagoneer’s AMC 360 engine is a bit worn out. The engine blows a bit of smoke on start up so I suspected it was the valve seals leaking down some oil into the cylinders when the engine isn’t running. The engine itself doesn’t burn much oil other wise.

The overview is: remove the valve covers, remove rockers and push rods, remove valve stem keepers and springs, install new seal.

Parts / Supplies Needed

  • Valve Cover Gaskets
    • FEL-PRO VS 50001 C
  • Valve Seals
    • EngineTech S2886
  • Sealant
    • Permatex 80062 High Tack Gasket Sealant

Tools Needed

  • Valve Spring Compressor
    • Proform 66784
  • Valve Holder
    • Lisle 19700
  • Air Compressor
    • Fittings to hook up to the valve holder
  • Spark Plug Socket
  • SAE Socket Set

First move everything out of the way of the valve covers. For me the spark plug wires and the fuel lines where in the way so I had to disconnect these and move them out of the way.

Remove the valve cover. Clean up any old valve cover gasket left on the engine and valve cover.

Remove all the spark plugs from the engine. Keep them in order if you are not replacing them.

Next we want to remove all the rockers and push rods. To remove the rockers you want both valves to be closed before removing the two bolts holding each rocker pair on. Rotate the crank with a socket and wrench till the valves close (valves up and push rods down) then remove the bolts. Repeat for all 8 of the pairs.

Make sure you keep the rockers and push rods paired up and organized so that the rockers and push rods can go back to the original location when reinstalling.

Ok next, thread in the valve holder into the spark plug hole and apply continuous air from the compressor into it. This will hold the valves up while we remove the valve keepers and springs to replace the seal.

Next, thread on the stem of the valve spring compressor tool into the rocker bolt.

Install the rest of the valve stem tool over the stem.


Pressing down on the valve stem will break the seal of the valve and then the valve will drop into the cylinder. If that happens…. Time to order head gaskets and bolts.

Pull on the valve compressor and it will press the top of the valve down. This will compress the spring around the valve stem. The valve keeper is two parts around the valve stem. Make sure you don’t loose them when they come loose from the valve stem.

Starting compression
Fully compressed with valve keepers removed

Once the valve keepers are removed, release the spring tension and remove the valve compressor tool. Then remove the valve spring.

Here, remove any of the valve seals that still exist. Mine where all cracked or missing.

I don’t know if the original valve seals where hard plastic or just the rubber hardened up over the years but all of mine where shattered.

Slip on the new valve seals which are silicon with a spring to keep them in place.

Replace the valve spring.

This is the most difficult part, use the valve spring compressor to compress that spring down and then with your other hand…. handle the two pieces of the valve keeper and hold them on the valve stem. Slowly release the compressor as the valve keepers set.

Do this 15 more times.

Then reinstall the pushrods and rocker arms back to the original locations. When installing the rocker arms, you need to make sure the valves are closed, just like when removing the rockers. What I like to do is to install the pushrods and rocker arms and then screw down the rocker arm bolts till I can tell what position the valves are in. Rotate the crank till both valves are closed and then torque to spec… which is 19ft lbs.

Then replace the valve covers. I like to use a high tack sealant to hold the cork to the valve covers while installing. Valve cover bolts are torqued to 45in lbs. Remember inch pounds!

Reinstall the spark plugs and send it!

Replacing a Grille on a 2022 QX55 Infiniti

A couple months ago, someone backed into my mother’s brand new QX55 Infiniti and cracked the front grille surround. There is not a lot of repair videos or information about the QX55 since it is in its second year of production. Lets figure out how to replace the grille!

Part Number T99G7-5VG1A is the “blacked” out version of the standard chrome grille. It is the color my mother wanted.

Damaged original grill. Less then 2000 miles on the car and some turd bucket backed into it.

Open the hood and remove the air scoop thingy with a 10mm socket. Then pull the scoop boot off the intake.

Now you will want to remove the plastic cover by removing a bunch of push pins.

Easiest way to remove these is with a plastic pry bar from an interior trim removal tool kit.

After removing all the push pins, the plastic cover will feel like it wants to pop out but there is one more fastener that we can’t get at. It is under the plastic cover near the caution sticker on the cover.

You can’t remove this without damaging either the plastic cover or the fastener. So you will have to pop the front side of the cover out and then slide the cover out of that fastener.

Pull the front grill outwards while using your plastic pry bar to pop the plastic around. The top plastic cover should come free now. Set it aside.

There are 4 10mm bolts that hold the grille to the rest of the body panels. They are in the corners of the grille. Here is a picture of the upper passenger side bolt that needs to be removed. A 10mm ratchet wrench is key here. Don’t drop the bolts.

After removing the 4 bolts, there is a wiring harness on the driver side of the grille for the front camera. Disconnect the connector and pop the connector off the mount. There is also a zip tie holding the cable to the bottom of the grille, cut the zip tie.

With the bolts and cables removed we can start unclipping the grille. There is 2 clips on both the driver and passenger side of the grille and then 8 along the bottom. If you get your finger on the outside of the clip and press in they should snap out. Doesn’t take a lot of force.

Here is a picture of the clips and that zip tie you need to cut. You want to press the clips inner part towards the center of the grille.

Another close up of the clips. Here you can see the inner “ramp” part of the clip you need to press in.

Grille removed!

Where the bolts and wiring harness is located at.

Here are the location of the clips.

We now need to pull of the logo and front camera. Logo unscrews from the back with two phillips screws and the camera requires a T10.

New grille with the camera and logo transferred over. You will need to pull the connector clip from the original grille as well.

Install is the exact opposite: pop the grill into all the clips on the body, reinstall those 4 10mm bolts in the corners, slide the top plastic cover into place. Pay attention to that one white plastic fastener that we couldn’t remove. The cover kinda just slides into place around that one. Reinstall all the push in clips and the air intake snorkel thing with the 2 10mm bolts and shut the hood!

Grille fixed and look updated!