Where am I?
Hello! My name is Andrew and this is my profile page. I was employed by iFixit from February 2009 to August 2011, and in that time I had the opportunity to author over 1200 repair guides and participated in countless teardowns (check out the contributions tab above). I hope you enjoy the page, and don't hesitate to shoot me an email if you have any questions or comments.
I graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in June 2010 with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. As all the gray haired folks say, they were the best years of my life and I couldn't have chosen a better place to get a degree. My senior project involved the design and manufacture of carbon fiber/aluminum control arms, pushrods, and tierods for the front suspension of Cal Poly's mini Formula SAE car. They ended up being 40% lighter than the previous steel suspension components, and the longest member (~18" long) held over 1800 lbs in compression without buckling. I successfully passed the EIT/FE exam in April 2010. Areas of interest include machine design, design of composite structures, strain gage technology, oil drilling engineering, stress analysis, statics, dynamics, vibrations, failure analysis, and welding metallurgy.
Prior to attending Cal Poly, I graduated from Parkland High School in Allentown, PA.
1990 BMW 325i
I've had this car for over eight years, and in that time it has gone through quite the transformation. The major work I've done is listed below, from most recent backward:
- Suspension Components, Bushings, and Brakes
- I've been slowly replacing all the bushings and rubber bits attaching various components to the chassis since I bought the car. Most recently, I rebuilt all brake calipers/emergency brake system and installed new rear brake hard lines, braided stainless steel soft brake lines, all four wheel bearings, urethane-filled rubber subframe bushings, trailing arm bushings, and the differential bushing. A couple of months before my most recent overhaul, I replaced the control arms and tie rods to further tighten the front suspension.
- Ground Control Coilovers w/ Single Adjustable Koni Dampers
- This is by far the most dramatic modification I've ever done to my car. I decided to pony up and go with Ground Control's complete coilover kit which includes front camber plates, rear shock mounts, springs, adjusters, and custom valved adjustable Koni dampers F&R. I went with 440F/650R (lb/in) springs, and I disconnected the rear swaybar to avoid oversteer. Couldn't be happier with the results, minus the price tag. I also installed Treehouse Racing's solid control arm bushings shortly after the Ground Controls and I can confidently say that I'll never go back to rubber control arm bushings.
- Conversion from Automatic to Manual Transmission
- This swap was performed over spring break during my third year of college. A very patient friend and myself swapped the following parts from a cosmetically totaled (but mechanically immaculate) 325is into my car: Engine, transmission, shifter assembly, steering column, pedal box, clutch hydraulics, steering wheel, steering rack w/ pump and hydraulics, DME, wiring harness, driveshaft, differential, and radiator. Also, during that week we replaced the rear subframe bushings, middle brake hoses, and rear shock mounts. Insane amount of work, but having that third pedal makes all the difference.
I've always enjoyed riding bicycles, but never could afford anything more than a Wal-Mart quality mountain bike. After saving for a considerable amount of time, I bought a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 in January '09. I haven't done any upgrades to it other than putting on Continental's GP Attack/Force tire set. It's a ton of fun, and I really should wear a helmet. Sorry, mom.
My dad bought this 1969 Nikon F in Okinawa during the Vietnam war. Luckily, my high school had photography classes with a well-equipped photo lab for developing pictures. For some reason, I don't have a picture of it with the lens on. Since all Nikon lenses use the same flange, I took the above photo of the body with the original 50 mm 1:1.4 Nikkor lens mounted to our D90. Some photos I've taken with it and personally developed:
Teardowns I've Worked On
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Guides I've Contributed To
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My Favorite Guides
Replace just one CV joint?I recently replaced all four rubber CV boots on my 325i, repacked them with grease, and they seem to be holding up fine....
Answer to "Installing SSD in iMac Mid 2007"We have not personally installed an SSD on this particular model, but it does work. Also, this question has been covered Can you install ssd hard drive into this machine? Replacing sata hard drive with ssd on Answers. Simply install the SSD into your adapter and install it into the iMac. The most critical part is transferring your thermal sensor over to the SSD. The thermal sensor can be seen in the guide here. Before reassembling your machine, be sure that the thermal sensor will remained adhered to the body of your SSD (you can always add strips of tape over it to hold it on) and you should be fine.
Answer to "Fire & water Damage & some buttons don't work"We have a general troubleshooting page to deal with liquid damage. It's tough to say what exactly is causing the issues with your keys but it could be either a problem in the keyboard connectors or corrosion/water scale in the keyboard itself.
Answer to "Is the mylar reflector needed?"It is a good thing to have in there. Basically, it reflects light from the backlight out toward the LCD and away from the inside of the iPod. Additionally, it'll give the display a uniform appearance when you look at it in direct sunlight. If that mylar isn't in there, you'll see some cutouts and screw holes on the metal midplane as the LCD and its backlight are pretty transparent when viewed in a bright enough light.
Answer to "Digitizer flex cable replacement"Do you have a first generation or second generation iPad? We have guides for both generations. Sadly, when you rip the digitizer cable you'll need to replace the entire front panel as the digitizer cables are nearly impossible to repair.
Answer to "Upgrade iPhone 4 memory."Nope, the iPhone 4 uses flash memory that is soldered to the logic board.
Answer to "when to add rubber cement?"Yes, it'd be on step 21 of the hard drive replacement guide. The sentence about adding rubber cement in the introduction was added by a user on the site. Usually if you don't handle the thermal sensor or get it dirty, the old adhesive should be enough to hold it onto your new hard drive. Ideally you'd want to use some double-stick thermal tape to attach it, but i think the combination of the tape covering the sensor and some rubber cement should hold it on fine.
Answer to "Replacing the keyboard with the one from the new model"It would probably fit, but your logic board will not have a socket or controls to power and control the backlight.
Answer to "won't stay running after taking jumper cables off"The connections to your battery might be damaged/loose or your battery might be completely dead. I'd try taking the clamps off the battery (one at a time) and clean the battery terminals and clamps with a wire brush. The connection might be bad and not allowing current to flow through the battery. The only real way to test your battery is to hook up a load tester like this, or you can take it to a place like Sears auto center for them to hook it up to a testing machine. That'll let you know if you need a new battery or not.
Answer to "Leaking from between the engine and gear box in Jeep Wagoneer?"As oldturkey said, it really depends on what kind of fluid is leaking. If it is motor oil, the rear main seal (large circular seal between the crankshaft and engine block) is probably leaking. If you have a manual transmission, it might be manual transmission oil (which usually smells like sulfur) coming from the transmission input shaft seal that seals between the splined transmission input shaft and the transmission housing. If you have an automatic transmission, it might be ATF coming from the torque converter or the input shaft seal on the transmission. ATF is red in color and feels more slippery than normal motor oil. Unfortunately to access all of those components, you must remove the transmission. Companies make "stop leak" type products that sometimes help to slow small leaks for both the engine and transmission.
Answer to "How many SATA ports on iMac Intel 21 EMC 2428 entry level?"To clarify a bit: in addition to one SATA port for the optical drive, there are two SATA ports for the hard drives - one for the platter hard drive and one for an SSD. Both have proprietary power connectors on the logic board, but they both use standard SATA data connectors. We haven't gotten around to testing it yet, but I've been interested in using a splitter to turn one of the SATA power cables into two. I think you'd have to modify the optical drive cable because the hard drive power cable reportedly sends temperature signals from a sensor on the HDD to the logic board instead of using an external sensor. I'm not sure if splitting that power cable would cause any problems with the fans ramping up or not. Since the optical drive uses an external temperature sensor, It seems that splitting that cable would be the safer option. The only problem is that the connector on the optical drive side of that cable is SATA power and data molded into one connector. My solution would be to tuck that connector behind...
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