Do you need any help?
A couple of weeks ago my daughter hit a tire. It damaged my other daughter’s car. (Things That Go Bump In The Night Driving.)
Today I finally started in on fixing it. There’s three stages to a repair:
Step #2 is actually the shortest of the three.
I’m well into Step #1. There are several pieces that need to be disassembled. First I had to remove the plastic cowling around the front bumper. That revealed a very damaged compressor. The compressor is used by the AC system. It’s like a mini-radiator that sits in front of your actual radiator. The condensor is pretty fragile. Like the radiator it has lots of fragile aluminum ridges that make up the entire condensor.
This one was bent nearly into a horseshoe shape.
It had pushed back into the radiator. Fortunately the radiator seemed to be good enough to keep. The frame that held it in place was pushed about 3″ out of line.
I had to remove the battery and radiator overflow container. I also noticed that the oil pan appeared to have taken the brunt of the errant tire. In fact it was missing two bolts that looked like they’d been knocked out.
In order to remove the oil pan, you have to remove the transmission support bracket and a couple of other brackets.
You also have to remove the exhaust from the catalytic converter. If you don’t want to remove both ends of the exhaust pipe, you need to support it after removing the front end.
Then, you have to drain the oil. (Might as well remove the oil filter as well.) And then remove 18 10mm bolts. Next gently pull the pan off the bottom of the engine.
You’re nearly done with Step #1 at this point. You have to remove the old gasket. Depending on how long it’s been on, the gasket may come off easily, or it might come off like I had to try to take this one off, by scraping it carefully inch by painful inch.
Anyway, that’s all there is to Step #1. Next, I’ll install the new gasket.
I’ll pound the frame back in place. I’ll reinstall the radiator and the new condensor I bought. I’ll fill fluids. I’ll replace the cowling. And hopefully there will be no leaks and I can return the car to my daughter.
And that was the problem. My neighbor wandered over to ask me about my progress today. He wanted to know if I needed any help.
Did I need any help?
Well, I might want some help. But need? No, I don’t need any help.
In the past my neighbor has helped on some of the more involved repairs. Last time we needed to fix this car’s frontend, he did the welding.
But, this time I knew how to do everything that was needed.
Somehow that didn’t make me feel better.
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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