Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Exhaust Gaskets

Yeah, they look easy to replace but nothing is easy to replace on a 40 year old beast like my van.

This is what you look like after 6 hours under the van with the radial axle 1mm from your nose and the ball joints jutting into your crotch as you knock teeth out of your face with falling wrenches because the nuts are solidly rusted to the studs so the stud itself turns instead of the nut. Yeah, there are nut crackers and hammer drills and all kinds of things like jacks and jack stands to make this job easier but I like to lay on my back with jagged gravel as big as baseballs puncturing my spine while I chew on my graying ponytail and use three extensions on my 3/8 breaker bar while using the car jack bar as an extension so it hammers my ribs when the nut slips. After working for 3 hours to get two nuts off I found out that the pipe would not move back far enough to fit the new gasket on unless I took off the pipe from the other side of the manifold also. Fair enough, unlike some people, I don't like to deal with one problem at a time when every manual in the world says to replace both gaskets at once, like both brake pads, or both ball joints, or both rusted leaf spring shackles. So, it's back under the van on the driver's side to get those other nuts off.
Then you can write in your maintenance book, "Replaced both exhaust gaskets Sept 3, 2011." Hell, I even put some anti-seize juice on the stud threads so the next Hippy won't have so much trouble.

This is what you look like after you have washed up and are ready to tackle the 5 primary scale patterns on the guitar, which are beginning to make sense to Oggy after 3 years. You learn them and then you forget them but the fingers must know the way around because the trick isn't learning the sound of every single fret on every string. No. The trick is knowing the sound you are making with one note and knowing the sound you WILL GET when you move your fingers in a certain interval above or below or diagonally from that note. Then you are going to smoke like that wood stove which is now in constant use since the weather has turned fit for moose stew...


Anonymous said...

Some other knuckle dragger all ready did most of those things you are trying. that is why they wrote the repair manual. sometimes you are better but really how often is that? And in reality some one is always better.

Oggy Bleacher said...

Let me clarify: I honor and respect the mechanic warriors who wrote the repair manual for my van. I am the Atlantic to their Iapetus. I will soon be having this worn and broken manual spiral bound. It is akin to a bible in my house. Instead of births and deaths, the back of it lists repairs I've done.
The exhaust gaskets are so self explanatory that this manual doesn't even list an order of operations to replace them. With a jack and an impact driver it's a 20 minute job. In the middle of Newfoundland on a dirt cul-de sac, it's a 6 hour job with no lunch break.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.