Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I am the world's slowest mechanic

I just spent six hours doing a one hour job. Is that sad, or what?

This morning I went to Harbor Freight Tools and Kragen Auto Supply to round up the supplies I needed (or wanted) for the job. Actually, when I go to Harbor Freight I buy more stuff than I need, but that's another issue :-). I ate some Pho while I was in Newark's Little Vietnam where Harbor Freight is. Yum. That's good stuff. I love all the great ethnic food you get around here in the SF Bay area. I was in the mood for some chicken soup... and pho is the Vietnamese version of chicken soup (if you get it with chicken that is :-).

Then I came home and started working on my Jeep... and working... and working... slow, slow slow. And I can't even say that I did it any righter than Joe-bob down at the local garage. I overtorqued a jounce bumper spacer and probably cracked it because I was mis-reading the torque table in my factory manual (why, oh why, do these guys play hide-and-seek with the torque values? Just askin!), and while the other issue I ran into was a case of a poor quality bushing on the part of the shock vendor (I'm supposed to put 50 ft/lbs of torque on the lower shock mount? Nuhn-uh, that collapses that cheap-ass bushing!), it wasn't much fun to deal with. Probably got about 25 ft-lbs on the replacement bushing (luckily there was a spare in the box the shock came in!) and then it's a case of hoping that red thread-locker does what it's supposed to do.

Oh well. At least I torqued my rear lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs after I finished putting in spacers and changing out shocks. My Jeep now has an eager rear sticking two inches further in the air than it was sticking this time yesterday. Next up: I get to do the front. I expect that it's going to take me all day tomorrow to do the front too... Thankfully, I have my motorized mule so I'm not transportation-less. I can haul a *lot* of groceries between the Givi hard bags and a big duffel bag strapped to the back seat!

-- Badtux the Greasy-flippered Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/24/2007 08:39:00 PM  


I've heard it said that home improvement jobs (and shade tree auto repair) are the best excuses for buying new tools.
# posted by Lurch : 24/3/07 11:03 PM  

Boy are you right there! I have so many dadburned tools it's pathetic. I have more tools than my dad did, and he was a professional mechanic. And the only thing I've used so far of the stuff I bought today was the pickle fork. And what I used the pickle fork for was just as a generic prybar, not for anything that "really" needed a picklefork, but it was right there on top of all the other tools since I bought it today so it was the first thing at hand. Sigh.

It's not as if I'm such a great wrench either. Like I said, I'm the world's slowest mechanic... although one thing I can be proud of, I guess. Never - ever - has any project of mine ended up hauled on a hook to a "real" mechanic. I guess slow is better than doh...

- Badtux the Greasy-flippered Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 24/3/07 11:36 PM  

Ever since I paid for a "professional" front brake job on my '67 MGB-GT that resulted in them putting the assemblies on the wrong sides, I've done it myself when physically possible.

The MG had wire wheels and when you swap sides the spinners loosen, rather than tightening when driven.
# posted by Bryan : 25/3/07 9:50 AM  

Tools can be very loud when you're near them in a hardware store.

Hard to resist.

I have a similar problem chocolate infiltrates into my house.
# posted by Lurch : 25/3/07 11:53 AM  

I only use a pickle fork on something if I'm not going to reuse that part as it ruins the rubber.

If you want to remove a tie rod end for example, after removing the nut, put a heavy hammer on one side of the knuckle end and smack the other side with a hammer, it may take a few smacks but the tie rod will pop out of the tapered knuckle.

Sometimes you may also have to use a helper and a pry bar.

I did a lot of front end work back I worked in an alignment shop, I also have a special head for my air hammer that works pretty well for driving things apart.

I'll bet you don't have more tools than I do. Unless you also have a shop press, welder, gas outfit, metal lathe and things like that.

I sure would like to have a hoist though.
# posted by BBC : 25/3/07 8:08 PM  

This has nothing really to do with the post topic, but you'll be happy to know that your beloved Linux has gained another convert. I installed Ubuntu on my old laptop yesterday. It was easy as hell, and now the old girl (an eight year old Gateway with a Pentium III and a 20gig hard drive that was barely capable of handling Win2k, much less XP) purrs like penguin.
# posted by Gerald Fnord : 26/3/07 8:47 AM  

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