Broken cars don’t stress me. Not really. Well, they do when I’m driving down the freeway at 70 MPH and I hear that annoying THUMP. But, when they are sitting in my driveway, like shaggy haired kids waiting in line at the barber shop, I kind of enjoy the challenge.
I enjoy getting my hands dirty. Although, honestly, I wear nitrile glvoes. That grease gets pretty imbedded. I like the feel of wrenches and hammers in my hands. I love the sound of a fine running engine.
But, I’m beginning to lose patience with my truck. It’s a great truck.
Well, actually, it’s a piece of junk, but it’s a truck and that makes up for a lot. It’s a 1994 Dodge Dakota. The body is dented. The paint is faided in multiple spots. The rear window is missing and has a piece of plexiglas in it’s place. The frame has more rust than metal on it.
I’ve done numerous repairs on it. I’ve replaced the fuel pump. I’ve replaced the heating relay. I’ve rebuilt the rear differential. I’ve opened up and cleaned the front differential. I’ve opened up the rear differential again. I’ve reattached the transmission to the frame.
But, for the past two months, it’s been one thing after another for my truck. Actually, that’s not true, it’s been the same things over and over again. The tranmission became unbolted sometime in the past. I reattached it.
It became detached again. And the bolts stripped out.
Bolts are steel. The tranmission casing is aluminum. Steel vs aluminum, steel wins.
I’ve been working through the issues for the past couple of months. Each time, I make one change and another crops up, and I think,
Just one more day. I think I can get that fixed in just one more day.
It’s been a lot of days. Today I went and got what’s called a Heli-Coil. It’s an insert to repair stripped out cases. The guy at the auto parts store said,
I used one once. Saved my bacon on a AC compressor that had a stripped out bolt from the factory. Super easy to use.
Sounds simple. Probably should only take one more day.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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