Saturday, September 22, 2012

Open For Business

The oil pick up tube moments before Oggy blocks it off with gasket material.
 The sound of aluminum doors opening in the Texas morning is one of those sounds that will stay with me like the horrible sound of someone banging on my door reminds me of emergencies in the Merchant Marines when I was needed on deck during my 6 hours of sleep time. I'd wake up half asleep and stumble into total chaos of a deck piled with gear and pipes and rain and huge waves washing sharks onto our feet and I'd reach for my gloves and hit my head against something heavy and steel and I'd be awake and angry while literally 45 seconds earlier I'd been asleep and at peace. The aluminum doors make an unpleasant sound.

Rookie Mistakes

In Mechanic Years I am a newborn. Working on individual cars such as my van and the grand marquis and a saab here and there really means I own the tools to work on cars but the skills will be sporadic. It's a dirty job made more dirty by lack of training and flawed procedure. I proudly made my own gasket for the oil pick up tube and installed it to torque spec but after installing the engine and nearly finishing the whole reassembly I looked at the gasket material and thought, "Did I cut a hole in the middle?" And I knew 99% sure that I had totally fit the gasket on there and trimmed it and then bolted the pick up tube to the engine galley without actually cutting a hole in the middle so the pick up tube could act as a tube. Essentially I had put a gasket on in order to ensure no oil returned to lubricate the pistons and connecting rods, ensuring engine failure and death in maybe 40 miles. This is why I like buying real parts but they insisted any gasket material would do. But just be sure to make the gasket look like the stock gasket and not a piece of felt covering the hole. Oh, the hours I just spent in dirty oil bonding with this 1999 Pontiac Firebird.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.