Matt Gieselman | All posts by matt-gieselman

RAM EcoDiesel Oil Change

What you Need Every Oil Change

The 3.0L EcoDiesel requires 10.5 quarts of low ash oil meeting Chrysler MS-11106 specs, oil filter and approximately 8 gallons of Diesel Exhaust Fluid.

Compatible Oils

Oil for the 3.0L EcoDiesel needs to meet Chrysler MS-11106 spec which the following do.
Oil Filters
Only 2 oil filters are available:
  • Mopar 6822 9402AA
  • aFe Power 44-LF035 Pro Guard D2
Diesel Exhaust Fluid
Available at Wal-Mart and other fine retailers runs about $11 for 2.5 gallons.

2017 Ford Super Duty Trailer TPMS Install

The 2017 Ford Super Duty has trailer TPMS and camera options which can be purchased together or separately.  The same wiring harness is used so you can add on TPMS or the backup camera if you don’t purchase them in the kit.

Here are the wheel requirements to install the TPMS kit:

  1. J type flange – This is most if not all passenger and trailer wheels have a J type flange.  If you look on the back of the wheel you will see the size denoted as 16x6.0J where the J indicates the flange type.
  2. Wheel width greater than 3.5” – If you have a wheel that is 16x6.0J for example the 6.0 means the width is 6.0” and the TPMS kit will work.
  3. 0.452” diameter valve stem hole – Again most if not all passenger and trailer wheels have a 0.452” diameter valve stem hole.

Here’s what’s included in the TPMS kit:

  1. Installation manual.
  2. 4 tire pressure sensors with valve stems. (expandable to 6)
  3. Wiring harness.
  4. Tire pressure sensor receiver.
  5. Assorted zip ties.
  6. Water proof dock for the TPMS connector when not attached to your tow vehicle.
  7. New vehicle tow connector that includes TPMS/camera plug, this replaces the existing 7/4 way tow connector.

After I got the kit I dropped by Discount Tire and ordered a new set of wheels and tires and left the TPMS sensors there for them to install.

The 2017 Super Duty comes pre-wired with the tow vehicle side of the TPMS/camera connector, it’s tucked above the spare tire near the bumper.  With a little patience you can reach up and feel the wiring that leads to a connector that isn’t plugged into anything, if you press the tab in the picture below and pull back you can release the connector.


Now that the harness is free you remove the existing wiring harness from the 7/4 way socket on the backside of the bumper then remove the socket from the bumper by squeezing the metal tabs.


Now install the new 7 way/TPMS/camera socket included with the kit where the old socket was.


Now plug both the trailer wiring plug (shown below) and the TPMS/camera plug into the back of the socket.


Now it’s just a matter of installing the trailer side of the wiring harness, both the TPMS and camera ends of the wiring harness are blocked off with waterproof connectors.  To remove the TPMS block off just use a small flat blade screwdriver as shown.


You can then slide off the block and go about installing the harness on the trailer, the installation manual recommends installing the sensor receiver on the inside of the A frame to prevent rocks or other debris from hitting the receiver.  I installed the sensor receiver about 15 feet from the wheels and there was no problem receiving the tire pressure sensor signals.


Once all the physical connections are made you just plug both the 7 way trailer and TPMS/camera connectors to the back of the bumper then turn the truck ignition to the run position.  The truck will detect the TPMS sensor and prompt you to enter the number of axles, 1, 2 or 3 and target tire pressure.  Next a trailer graphic will be displayed with an arrow pointing to one of the tires, go to that tire and start letting air out slowly.  Once the truck has learned that sensor the horn will sound and can see which tire the arrow is pointing at next.  Repeat this until all the sensor positions have been programmed and there is a green check mark next to each tire.


Once you have everything setup you will be prompted to save the settings.   To test everything is working go to the Towing tab under the Trailer Tire Pressure setting page and you should see something similar to the screen below.  If you see --- you need to tow your trailer a short distance since the pressure sensors only transmit when the trailer is moving.


Thanksgiving Dinner Engineered

Thanksgiving dinner is usually the biggest logistical undertaking in the kitchen a home cook will tackle throughout the year.  I’ve been hosting the family for about 8 years and I’ve learned a few things that are worth sharing.

Here’s my top 5 tips:

  1. Plan Ahead – I can’t stress this enough, plan out your menu, your cooking times and schedule and your grocery list.
  2. Practice – If you are making a new recipe for this year make it before the big day as practice, this lets you tweak it and get it exactly right when it counts.
  3. Make It – By make it I mean don’t buy processed food, I’m not talking organic I’m talking assembling everything yourself.  It may seem like a lot of work but think about this, Bisquick is flour, baking powder and salt and if you can’t mix that up yourself then you probably aren’t reading the blog post.  (Tip: Don’t go overboard, I do buy frozen pie crusts and the occasional can of cream of mushroom soup.)
  4. Buy Right – Buy just what you need and in the quantities you need, buy carrots from bulk bins so if you only need 3 you only have 3.  Remember before and after Thanksgiving day your fridge will be packed full. (Tip: There are exceptions like flour and sugar, I like to buy 10 pound bags from my local big box store and pour into more manageable jars.)
  5. Gear Up – You can make a great dinner without all the gear, that said having an instant read thermometer, temperature probes, grease separators on hand make cooking just a little bit easier.

Plan Ahead

First things first, what’s on the menu?  I do the traditional eats every year, turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce but I also mix in a couple new recipes.

Here’s my menu for this year:

Brined Turkey
Yeast Rolls
Roasted Butternut Squash
French Apple Custard Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Creamed Spinach
Orange Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts
Green Bean Casserole
Maple Glazed Carrots
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mac and Cheese
Prime Rib
Roast Turkey

I’ve got a menu, so now what?  The obvious answer is make a list of ingredients and the amounts you need, the not so obvious list to make is the cooking schedule.  What’s a cooking schedule you ask?  I divide all the recipes into one of 3 lists:

  1. Make and Bake – These are recipes I can fix a day or more ahead of time, usually this is limited to pies, cranberry sauce but could include soups as well.
  2. Make and Don’t Bake – The night before is a good time to prep your stuffing, green bean casserole whatever you can get to the point that it just needs to be thrown in the oven.
  3. Day Of – Turkey, prime rib, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, yeast rolls should all be cooked the day of the event.

now that I have my lists I take the Day Of list and make a cooking schedule, it may sound like a bit much but I write down the cooking times and temps of all the recipes.  Then I take a piece of paper and write what time dinner will be served at the far right and write each half hour out right to left.  Now I know my turkey usually takes longest so I draw a line for the turkey, then the prime rib, casseroles and so on.  What I end up with is schedule of what to put in the oven and when so everything ends up hot and done at the same time.  (Tip: Letting your turkey and prime rib rest for 30 minutes gives you time to finish cooking any sides you may have prepped ahead of time.)

If you are busy and have a local grocery delivery service don’t feel obligated to go to 3 stores looking for some fresh herbs, Amazon Fresh among others will deliver everything you need right to your door.


Pies, sides and sauces are what I like to dabble in through the year.


Although t’s not practical to make every recipe ahead of time there’s always room for pie. 


Staring with bechamel sauce known in France as the “mother sauce” and mastery of it gets you half way to a lot of great recipes.  I think of bechamel as a gateway sauce, it’s the basis for mac and cheese, creamed spinach, cream of mushroom and mastering lets you make a roux if you are into cajun, a rich gravy for meat, creamy lasagna it’s uses are nearly endless just like the number of calories in it!

Southern cooks who make biscuits and gravy have already been using the sauce for years maybe even without knowing it.

It’s easy to work sides into your normal meals throughout the year, for fall flavors anytime of the year I like to work in a lot of roasted root vegetables.  I particularly like heirloom varieties of carrots to really set off the plate.


Make It

When you are cooking for Thanksgiving it’s easy to give in and buy cream of mushroom or crispy onions or other processed items and honestly I do the same sometimes.  Keep in mind that the base for mac and cheese, cream of spinach and green bean casserole are all bechamel sauce so if you make a big pot of it then you can use it as the base for 3 dishes.  It will taste better, look better and I like to think since it has no preservatives it will be better for you.

There are tons of recipes and videos online on how to make just about anything.

Buy Right

Buying certain staples like flour, sugar, crushed tomato's, rice and beans in bulk helps you save money and guarantee you are rarely out of anything. 

Buying right isn’t just buying in bulk, your local Farmer’s Market or CSA can be great sources of seasonal vegetables.

Gear Up

What can I say, I like tools and my kitchen looks a lot like my garage… lots of gadgets.

Now do you need any of this? No, but if I could only buy 2 it would be the Chef’s knife and instant read thermometer, you’ll use the knife everyday in the kitchen and the thermometer helps you get it cooked right every time.



Unmanaged to managed callbacks in C#

To have unmanaged code callback to C# you can provide a pointer to the callback and the CLR does the rest.

Another useful trick is to pin an object using GCHandle.Alloc(obj, GCHandleType.Pinned) and have the unmanaged code return that pointer in the callback, you can then call the corresponding method on the object.

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace UnmanagedCallbackExample
    internal class Program
        public delegate IntPtr CallbackHandler(IntPtr bitmap);

        [DllImport("UnmanagedLibrary.dll", CallingConvention = CallingConvention.Cdecl)]
        public static extern int StartThread(CallbackHandler callback);

        private static IntPtr _pointer = IntPtr.Zero;
        private static int _callbackCount = 0;

        private static void Main(string[] args)
            _pointer = Marshal.AllocHGlobal(64);

            Debug.Assert(StartThread(Callback) == 42);

            Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit.");

        public static IntPtr Callback(IntPtr bitmap)
            Console.WriteLine(string.Format("Callback #{0}", _callbackCount));
            var managedBitmap = Image.FromHbitmap(bitmap);

            return _pointer;
} (30.7KB)

Dodge M37 Inline Fuel Filter

Many use a plastic inline fuel filter for the Dodge M37 Power Wagon between the fuel pump and carb to prevent debris from fouling the carb such as the one shown below.

The clear design makes it easy to see if the filter is clogged however I didn’t like the unclean installation and wanted one that would connect directly to the fuel hard line.  Searching around the internet I found this AC Delco GF652 Fuel Filter on Amazon for $9.







After doing a little bending this is what I ended up with, I like the look much better.

Dodge M37 Manifold Replacement

The manifold on one of my Dodge M37s was in terrible shape with a couple of cracks I decided to replace it, the part numbers below also apply to the 230 in the Power Wagon also.

Note if you are installing a new intake or exhaust manifold you will probably need to have them machine together as a unit so they mount flat against the block.  The forum posting here shows what it looks like when they are out of plane. 

IMG_0862IMG_0865 The exhaust was cracked almost all the way through on the right and fell apart as it was removed.
Manifold 003 Heat riser repair kit from Midwest Military also includes the riser flap not shown.  The stud is 1/4” x 1” with 28 tpi on one end and 20 tpi on the manifold end.
Manifold 007Manifold 008 The heat riser shaft didn’t include the W for winter and S for summer so I used an inexpensive steel stamping set from Harbor Freight.
Manifold 001 The original stud broke during removal, I drilled the old stud out and tapped it with a 1/4” 20NF tap.
Manifold 004 Using my new favorite tool this Snap On Stud Remover/Installer makes it pretty easy to install studs without damaging the threads.
Manifold 006  
Manifold 009 The manual states that the heat riser shaft should be cooled with dry ice, not having any handy I just left it in the freezer for an hour.  Installation was a tight fit.

Next step was to weld the heat riser flap to the shaft, I used a file to hold the flap in position for welding.
Manifold 010 Post welding.
Manifold 038 After removing all of the studs, 2 of which broke I installed all new hardware.  To replace all of the studs you need 11 of Dorman 657-003 and 2 of 675-083.
Manifold 039Manifold 040 To prevent the manifold from cracking after installation it’s important to use the brass bushings and tapered nuts (4 each).  Both are available from Vintage Power Wagons.
photo Manifold and carb after installation.

Broken bolt, stud or screw removal

If you have ever worked on vintage or even brand new machinery eventually you will break a bolt or a stud.  Below are various methods I’ve used to remove them.

Welding a nut on a broken stud


IMG_1346 While removing an intake manifold from a 60 year old Power Wagon 3 of the 4 bolts broke, luckily the other 2 still had exposed threads and were no problem to remove by threading on a nut and welding the center.

Unfortunately the last one broke flush, first step is to grind off enough metal to expose bare steel to weld on.
IMG_1351 Next place a washer that has a hole the same or slightly smaller diameter than the broken stud.
IMG_1352 Using a welder weld the washer to the top of the broken stud.  Be sure to grind off the slag before the next step.
IMG_1353 Place a nut that is as large as possible on top of the welded washer.
IMG_1354 After welding the nut is glowing red hot, the heat helps loosen the broken stud.
IMG_1356 After about a minute the stud has cooled enough to use a wrench to extract the stud.  The nut isn’t perfectly centered but still the stud came out.
IMG_1358 The finished product is an undamaged bolt hole that doesn’t have to be drilled and tapped.

M37 Steering Knuckle Rebuild

I started with gathering parts and information, this link from Paul’s rebuild has lots of good info.  Vermont Salvage no longer carries any of the knuckle parts and sold his remaining stock to Midwest Military so that’s where I got knuckle seal and axle bushings.  I ordered the bearings and races from Rock Auto.

Parts and Supplies:

  • Tapered Bearing (Timken 23100 x 4, $16 ea)
  • Bearing Race (Timken 23256 x 4, $10 ea)
  • Inner Axle Seal (NAPA 14864 x 2, $8 ea)
  • Axle Shaft Seal I.D. : 1.5"
  • Axle Shaft Seal O.D. : 2.066"
  • Axle Shaft Seal Width : .313"
  • 5 lb Premium Grease (I used Royal Purple UPG)

If you are replacing hardware:

S – 1/2” x 1 1/4” – 13 (Self locking steering arm bolts x 4)
AA – 1/2” x 1” - 13 (Lower bearing cap bolts x 4)
EE – 1/2” x 2” – 20 (Upper and lower flange bolts x 4)

Tools Needed:

Split bearing puller. (Harbor Freight had the same kit as others for less.)
Slide hammer puller. (Any puller that can pull from the inside would work just as well, the OTC 6540 worked great.)

Axle Diagram:

Front Axle

Wear Tolerances:

FF – Axle Bushings 1.519 to 1.521 with 1.526 being the wear limit.

Torque Values:

EE – 80-85 ft/lbs
S, AA – 60-80 ft/lbs

M37 Brakes

Part numbers:

Wheel cylinders left (Driver’s) - NAPA 3595
Wheel cylinders right (Passenger) – NAPA 3596

Flex lines front - NAPA UBP4000 (3 required)
Flex line rear - NAPA UBP4900 (1 required)
These lines do not have the line armor like the originals.

Master cylinder – NAPA UP 544

Ordering from one of the parts suppliers here will save you money compared to NAPA’s prices and they can also provide brake shoes.

Brakes schematic:


My brake shoe anchor bolts were seized so I used a C Frame Press readily available from Harbor Freight to press them out.  The press shown below made fairly quick work of removal.


the anchors are held in by 5/8”-18 nuts with lock washers, I replaced those since the originals were fairly rusty.

The wheel cylinders for the M37 come in left and right variants, the large piston always goes to the rear of the vehicle.