The internet and the art of vehicle maintenance...

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by x39, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Yesterday my 2001 Jeep XJ suddenly puked while I was driving it. I got it towed home and spent a rather disgruntled evening thinking about what might be wrong with it. This morning I figured I'd try the easy things first (not that my luck usually runs that way), and checked the fuse for the fuel pump circuit. It was blown, so I replaced it and sure enough, the old beast started. That was great, but it still didn't answer the question of why the fuse blew to begin with. On to the crux of my tale... I googled "jeep xj blown fuel pump fuse", and came up with a variety of possible causes, most of which had to do with chafed wiring. One of them caught my eye, a guy had posted on a Jeep forum that his wiring harness had chafed against the oil dipstick. I went back out and started the Jeep with the hood up, jiggled the harness near the dipstick, and sure enough the engine died. A little bit of electrical tape and some rubber house for chafing gear around the dipstick and I was on the road again! I can't imagine how much time I'd have spent trying to diagnose an issue like this twenty years ago. Sometimes modern technology is pretty cool!
     
  2. JAY

    JAY Scout

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    I pretty much lost touch with auto repair when they came up with electronic ignition.
     
  3. x39

    x39 Guide

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    I hear ya. If I'd been driving my '73 C-20 I probably never would have needed the tow..
     
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  4. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I'm an experienced mechanic but I frequently check the net before starting on a project. Lots of times a YouTube video will show a way of standing on your head, patting your stomach and rubbing your head for a minute that saves an hour on the job.
     
  5. JAY

    JAY Scout

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    good to know, I didn't know that the net helped in auto rapairs. Thanks.
     
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  6. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm not a mechanic, but YouTube has saved me a few, or more, bucks and a lot of time. I've always said I should have been born in Missouri.
     
  7. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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    I saw a guy speaking the other day who said between google and youtube you have access to more information than ever before in the history of man. I tend to agree.
     
  8. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter

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    And if you're lazy like me, it also helps to ensure the mechanic you're paying isn't trying to fleece you when he tells you just how complicated something is to justify the labor costs.

    Previous vehicle was a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. Took it in for an inspection. I knew one headlamp was out so I told the guy to just replace the bulb while he had the hood up. He stops and tells me it's going to run me $100 in labor just to do that. I was absolutely certain the guy was trying outright rob me. Opened my phone, quick search and checked YouTube - sure enough, there is literally no way to change a simple headlight bulb on that vehicle without removing the entire front bumper to access it. Dumbest. Design. Ever.


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  9. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    I have a considerable amount of electro-mechanical experience, but have always disliked working on cars, hence, little experience with that...which made me like it even less. I've had a few new-to-me issues with my Xterra this summer, and YouTube has kept it out of the shop, except a front end alignment after I did tie rod ends. YouTube paid for my internet for the next 3 years with savings. w00t
     
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  10. marbleman

    marbleman Scout

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    I agree on the internet being a tremendous resource Sometimes if you are searching you can get bogged down in too many hits. An upside to that is that I often find other interesting things to read....A search like this will find more pertinent hits faster than just typing random words (but that can still work wonders):

    chevy OR ford +offroad -racing "roll cage"

    -racing will reduce the number of hits, if by chance you did not want racing results. The boolean operators AND/OR if used need to be capitalized.

    EDIT: here's another very powerful option. Say that you remembered once upon a time, that a certain site had info that you wanted, but you can't find it now. Let's say that the site was bushcraftusa.com and you wanted to see what they said about ferro rods. Try this as a search term, cuts right to the chase. Or at least it cuts closer to it:

    site:bushcraftusa.com ferro

    Google will spit out something like this: site:bushcraftusa.com ferro - Google Search

    and right there, you get 3,000 hits about ferro, only on bcusa.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
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  11. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    Years ago, I bought an OBD II code reader for about $60. I couldn't even tell you how many hundreds of dollars its saved me over the years, combined with the information I can glean from the internet.

    Many public libraries have factory service manuals on their websites, accessible if you are a member of the library.

    For example, my check engine light came on my F150. I could whip out the code reader and tell it was my DPF EGR sensor. A new sensor and a set of hoses cost me $80. A couple of people on youtube have videos stepping through how to replace it. That repair would have been a couple hundred bucks at the shop which is a 30 mile round trip from my house.
     
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  12. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Might have to invest in one of those myself, thanks for the suggestion!
     
  13. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    YouTube,,, can be a great teacher and money saver.
     
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  14. doanehead

    doanehead Tracker

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    I had a groan coming from the rear of my truck. A quick google search came up with several hits, quite a few mentioning the rear diff needed servicing (fluid change.) The next day I took it in for an oil change and rear diff service, no more groaning noise afterwards.
     
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  15. HardBall

    HardBall Basket of Deplorable Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Man, I've been trying to diagnose this PO300 "random misfire" code for a couple of months as I really don't want to take it to the dealer. "Random" is not nearly as google friendly I'm finding out.
     
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  16. marbleman

    marbleman Scout

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    Here's some results, not sure which vehicle you have. This was using +PO300 "random misfire" code as a search term, you could probably narrow or expand it to something more useful.
     
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  17. bluecow

    bluecow Scout

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    had a Nisan with with problems with the security system. wanted to disable it even the dealer said it couldn't be done. you tube showed what wire to cut and where to ground it. love learning new things. still trying it figure out why i had to put that metal bracket back under the steering wheel didn't look like it did anything to me. the mrs made me put it back together with all the parts i took off. no sense of adventure:dblthumb:
     
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  18. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I use the internet and youtube for car repairs pretty regularly. I do 90% of the work on all of our cars, and for a lot of years that meant buying repair manuals and spending hours reading (and still not feeling confident), or harassing my mechanic friends. Now it's often just looking at a few links and watching a video or two and I'm good to go.

    In fact, I probably spend more time running down parts or waiting for them to be shipped than anything.
     
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  19. TarHeelBrit

    TarHeelBrit Lowly backgarden Bushcrafter. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The internet does come in handy sometimes. Our 05 Vue developed a stuttering rear wiper it would take a good dozen flicks of the switch to get it going. I called a local repair shop and they quoted over $300 to fix the problem.....ouch too much!

    So a quick web search took me to the Vue forums where it was a common problem and how to fix it. Apparently it was caused by too much grease on the gears working it's way into the motor armature and breaking the contact with the brushes. So I removed the motor assembly and cleaned the bucketful of grease off the gears and strip cleaned the motor. A light coat of grease this time on the gears put it back together and tried it. Woohoo!! it sprang into life with one flick of the switch. We saved $300 in the process.
     
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  20. mnwoodguy

    mnwoodguy Supporter Supporter

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    YouTube video repairs

    -2003 silverado speedometer rebuild
    -2003 Subaru Outback dash light replacement
    -fisher Parker washer valve pump replacement
    - frigidaire stove igniter replacement
    Etc....etc....

    The internet search is the first thing I do when something goes wrong. Has saved us thousands$$$.
     
  21. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Yes, I too wish Amazon could get parts to me quicker....
     
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  22. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Supporter Supporter

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    I had to R&R the heater blower motor on our Chrysler minivan and fortunately checked YT first. A mechanic's vid included very helpful bits of info, from tool selection, fastener removal sequence, when to curse and how to clench my tongue between my teeth just so, etc. that saved me untold amounts of aggravation!

    Not just vehicles either- Appliance testing and repairs at: RepairClinic.com
     
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  23. TarHeelBrit

    TarHeelBrit Lowly backgarden Bushcrafter. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Same here. Our Vizio TV died and was giving a blinking power light. A quick search led me to a site that detailed the fault and how to fix it. "Chronometer Economics" is what the site called it. The capacitors on the Main Power Board were designed to fail after a set number of hours, presumably so you'll toss it and go buy new.

    I took the back of the telly off and sure enough 7 capacitors on the MPB were bulging and useless. I de-soldered them ordered higher quality replacements and 10 minutes with a soldering iron the telly was a good as new. I decided to replace all the capacitors while I was there not just the blown ones. That was 6 years ago and according to my brother in law who got the telly when we moved it's still going strong.

    That was when I realised Vizio TV's are just badge engineering the chassis and everything else inside was LG.

    So 15 minutes and less than $20 for parts (actually shipping was more than the parts) or $400+ for a new telly.
     
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  24. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Good stuff guys, thanks for sharing!
     
  25. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Scout

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    I was a career mechanic and now a commercial driver and still use the internet for research all the time. Usually someone else has done the hard part already if you can find the info.

    For the fellas mentioning an OBD2 code reader above, Amazon and eBay both have readers that plug into your vehicle's port and connect to your phone via bluetooth. They're around $20. I use an app called Torque Lite (free download.) to connect to it. They're cheap enough that I have one in each of my vehicles. It saved my bacon once in my F350. When the throttle position sensor goes out in some vehicles, you can push the pedal all you want but the engine will just idle. My TPS died unexpectedly while far from home on a four lane road. I could clear the code/check engine light with the app and drive it fine for a few miles before it would throw the code again and only idle. I managed to clear it and drive enough to get it to an autozone and change the sensor on the lot. Really worth the $20 when you figure what a tow bill for a long bed 4 door diesel dually would be :eek:

    I have this one:

    https://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products-34t5-Bluetooth-Android/dp/B005NLQAHS
     
  26. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Mine was the camshaft position sensor on my '98 Jeep TJ. It started hard a couple of times, then nothing. Ten minutes on Google, 30 minute drive to town, 10 minutes under the hood and, as Willie sang, I'm on the road again, on the road again....

    JohnP
     
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  27. Joezilla

    Joezilla Supporter Supporter

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    Another XJ owner here that has saved myself due to the knowledge on XJforum and jeepforum
     
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  28. Turtle Creek

    Turtle Creek Scout

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    @x39 Glad your fix was that simple, and the root cause was fixed.

    Our Ford Escape fan/blower only operated on the highesst setting "4". 1 - 3 did not blow at all. Meaning the heat or A/C only came out at full force. Youtube saved me over $200. With a $27 part from Amazon and some blind fiddling behind the glove box .... the resister card was replaced. Back to full range of blower options now.
     
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  29. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Scout

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    Nobody's mentioned the down side to all this, sometimes you get to finding all the cheap MUST DO mods/fixes to your vehicle and before you know it you have a list a mile long of stuff to do you never you wanted needed. But you do now :confused:.

    It's at those times my wife has reminded me in the past "don't drink and Prime." :4:. But honey, I neeeeeed $1500 in turbo parts so I can get mo power and possibly save us money on diesel fuel - the internet said so! Or you know, finding a site that encourages you to buy knives and axes and so on when you absolutely don't need any more......:D
     
  30. urazmusbdragn2

    urazmusbdragn2 Tracker

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    All good stuff here, use it on vehicles and equipment that I normally do not work on, as many of you do.

    Besides the repair is the small fact that sometimes you need a specialty tool, like changing a water pump on a Cobalt, where if you don't use it and unbolt things you loose the timing chain and have to almost remove the engine to re time it.
     
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  31. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Makes one long for the simplicity of a pre-smog small block...
     
  32. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Scout

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    I was just talking about how much easier the fixing of some issues has become even my wife has changed the cabin air filter in her car after watching a youtube
     
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  33. Hammer Time

    Hammer Time Scout

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    Rebuilt both front & rearends in my 78 Suburban this summer.
    Then the freeze plug under the right motor mount gave way. That was 7 hours of Sunday fun.
    Im driving it until I dont drive no more
     
  34. icthruu74

    icthruu74 Tracker

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    I basically do all our repairs, and the internet/youtube has saved me many times. Including the 'special tools'. Typically if you search enough you can find where someone has a method that either doesn't require those special tools, or how to make a replacement. Other times it's just worth spending the few dollars on the specialty tools instead of paying hundreds of dollars at a shop. Or you can sometimes 'rent' the tools from a parts shop.

    Edit: I forgot to add that my brother in law is a maintenance engineer, and has said that all you need now days is a smartphone - between google and a calculator anyone could do his job.
     
  35. DogDays

    DogDays Scout

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    What sort of vehicle?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  36. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yup... I work with an older single woman. She's probably about 62 or so. Her washer died a few months back, and with the help of YouTube, she was able to order the right belt off the net, AND installed it herself... saved her a bunch of money.
     
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  37. x39

    x39 Guide

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    I too have used the net in the appliance realm. Last year my almost twenty year old washer died. I diagnosed a corroded terminal on the condenser for starting the motor, scored one off the net and was back in business. I got another year out of it before replacing it this past summer.
     
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  38. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    You probably mean capacitor, not condenser...but, good job
     
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  39. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Right you are, thanks!
     
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  40. marbleman

    marbleman Scout

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    6 of one.... The name 'condenser' stopped being used in electronics in the 60's, if not earlier? - however, it's still used by the motor trade (condenser across the points on a car).
     
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  41. HardBall

    HardBall Basket of Deplorable Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I have a 2008 Nissan Titan. Turns out a spring in the number 5 coil boot was buggered up and easily fixed. I must say, it was a buddy with a computer that was able to narrow down the problem in a jiff.

    On a side note I learned an important lesson: Do not deviate from OEM spark plugs on these new fangled machines...caused me all sorts of unexpected issues.
     
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  42. Tech

    Tech Solo Craft Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I see this problem weekly.
     
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  43. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Internet searching got me a Factory Service Manual in pdf for my Jeep TJ. :)

    Here is an interesting one I experienced on my Jeep TJ. Brakes, turn signal and 4 way hazzards would kill the electrical system. Any brake, or right turn signal application would cause it to die.

    The minor filament when breaking re-fused itself to the brighter lead. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
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  44. Doubles

    Doubles BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    .
    We were talking about an electric washing machine motor, not an internal combustion engine, right? 6 of one, random number of another...but, not half dozen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
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  45. The Woodsrunner

    The Woodsrunner Bush Nerd Hobbyist

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    We had an '05 (I think) manual TDI diesel VW bug, a few years back. Same issue. Was quoted several hours of labor to do. And that was just the standard no matter where we went. Even at the dealerships. Turns out there is a little hidden latch that makes it a 15 minute job. But it isn't official methodology, so they could still charge ya for the multiple hours.
     
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  46. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    My wife's 2013 Toyota Corolla's air conditioner wasn't working. It made noise but not much cold air was coming out. A friend said mice had probably got into the air intake and built a nest. So I got on youtube and found a video showing how to get at the air filter for the AC and it showed me how to easily remove the glove compartment and pull out the air filter. That would have taken me forever, had the video not shown me exactly how to do it. And sure enough, it was full of mouse nest. The next week a lady friend's Toyota had the same problem. And my newfound knowledge, thanks to youtube, saved the day again.

    Then I went into a junk yard looking for a part for my Ford truck's tailgate latch. A big grungy young man took me back thru the building to look for my part, and I see a bunch of engines up on shelves. All the wiring had just been chopped off of them. I asked him how in the hell anybody was supposed to figure out how to hook up the wiring on those things and he said, "Just look it up on the internet, man. Anybody who can't use the internet is a retard."

    And, finally, my clothes drier wasn't working right. Just like the Toyota AC, in made noise but didn't dry the clothes. I slid it away from the wall but couldn't even figure out how to get the sheet metal off of it so I could see the innards. I googled for info on the drier (a Maytag of some kind) and up comes "samurai appliance repair". On there I found a whole section devoted to my exact same Maytag drier. It showed me pics of how to open the machine up, and how to get at the blower motor, where I found it full of mouse nest. From the time I found that website, until the drier was fixed was about 30 minutes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  47. marbleman

    marbleman Scout

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    I continue to be amazed at how much effort 'enthusiasts' put into their videos. Some are official shops, some are just gung-ho BillyBob's. The videos are always much better when the user has graduated to "how to edit a video", but there's still some awfully good info, sometimes with poor production values.
     

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