My first DIY job, success

Hey!
A very big "thank you" to everyone here for answering all of my newbie questions for the last few weeks. Last night, I went out into the
garage and nervously got to working on the Explorer.
I changed the drive belt. The old one was in really bad shape, cracks everywhere. It was a bugger yanking on that tensioner pully with my left hand and trying to wrench the new belt onto another pully at the same time.
Air filter, easy.
Drained the coolent, easy.
Replaced my bum thermostat. That housing was really in there. I scraped the skin off my hand trying to get it out from under that pipy looking thing on top because I was too nervous to try to take that complicated thing off (see, newbie, don't even know what it is, looks like a carborator?). I finally got the stat out and replaced it with a Stant and a new O-ring.
Backflushed the heater core. This went pretty smoothly except that I ended up spraying water all over the place on accident. No rust or sediment in either the heater core or the radiator.
Refilled everything, put everything back together, and the truck runs! (At least I was surprised) Not only that, the temp is nice and steady now and the transmission problems I thought I was having went away! Thanks again to everyone here for your help.
-troy
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You're in big trouble now. A success in your first endeavor will only encourage you to try more difficult undertakings. This will inevitably lead to relatively minor problems becoming major (expensive) projects. You'll have to buy special tools and repair manuals. Make friends with the guy at your local parts store. Get some good hand cleaner. Learn how to deal with broken bolts and skinned knuckles. Figure out what you're going to do with all the money you save by doing it yourself. Know when to ask for professional help. Congratulations, and God help you!
tfandango wrote:

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Well put.

If I recall correctly it's easier to remove the thermostat housing when the belt is removed. You might also need to unplug the wiring going to the timing sensor. Bottom line is that it's generally easier to remove something like an alternator and put it back on than to try to work around it. I use a length of pipe over my rachet wrench when removing/installing the belt. The extra leverage makes it easy.
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thanks! I thought about a length of pipe when I was changing the belt, but alas, no pipe was to be found.
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Well, you are probably going to have to buy more tools anyway so a 1/2" drive socket set with a long breaker bar might do the trick. And let's not forget that you will need the big socket set when you get around to changing your radius arm bushings. After you do that changing the belt will seem real easy ;-)

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Make a note - Never start taking things apart when the parts store is closed. This will save you a great deal of frustration!
Steve R
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