The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 63comet, Apr 5, 2013.
2 stories come to mind. Back in the day, put an engine in my 58 chev, late fall, and it burned the points up quickly, by the 3rd set, I asked at parts store, why? counter man said, possible ballast resistor, my reply, whats that? sold me one , told where to wire this in, now its January, Wi., COLD, NO garage, Laying over hood , putting in new points ,condenser and wiring in resister, below 0... Much later in time, had to del a mold to customer in northern Wi., in January, took my del van and went, figuring I catch the snowmobile races in Eagle River in the next days, made del and stayed at wifes family cottage,no garage, we get up to go to races, -20 degs, motor spins, will not start. recharge battery and determine, has spark, has gas, will not fire up, shot of either, fires, but quits, get to thinking, van has 75000 miles on spark plugs, 79 chev van, get new plugs, install, a bitch of a job on this van, still -20, fires right up and we went to the snowmobile races, still-20. I love Wi. and have retired to northern Wi. and love it. But I no longer fix anything out side in January, built myself "dream garage" insulated, heat, air, lift. and thinking about becoming " snowbird", that is, Wi. people that head south in January Thru Feburary. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. John
Helped a friend change a transmission while 2 wheels were up on the sidewalk so he could get under the car, in the gutter. He was lying on an old piece of carpet, when he uncoupled the trans he just layed it on his chest, then yelled out for me to drag him out by pulling on the carpet. It was also cold and raining.
We were young and stupid. Now we're just stupid.
My worst was in college in '98 in a snowstorm in North Dakota. Starter bolt snapped off in my '72 Chevy pickup. Had to drop the starter, drill and tap out the broken bolt, walk about 18 blocks to the parts store and back and reinstall. The only good thing was I DIDN'T break the easy out in the block. Fuckin' Yuck.
I was a field service mechanic on Clark lift trucks in the mid '70's. One of the worst places to be called into was a big ware house full of frozen food in Cincinnati down along the Ohio River. These fork lifts were literally covered with old frozen food and never cleaned unless we brought them into the shop. If you had to take them out on the dock for service, you'd better work fast. In the summer, the trucks would start to thaw, the smell of rotted food was disgusting, and you ended up with putrified grease on yourself and in your clothing. A close second was a small paper pulping operation - wet, stinking, mildewed paper pulp all over the equipment. If you needed to do any welding, or just about anything for that matter, you had to clean this mess first with the same result.
My dad and I had a starter go out on his Chevy II wagon at the base PX on Camp Drum in NY. We walked home to get tools, then had to walk into Great Bend to get a starter from a friend of his. That was about 5 miles total in a snow storm. The plows hadn't come through yet, so his friend couldn't give us a ride. We walked back and my dad changed the starter. I handed him tools and listened to him curse. Then, we had to walk home because the roads were still not plowed yet. Camp Drum is where the Army sends soldiers for winter training. We used to get "blue snow" effect in the winters.
I loaned my 51 Ford coupe to a girl who I went to HS with when we were both at College at Washington State (on the Idaho border). She blew 2nd gear and gouged the slider gear. I had to change out the tranny on the lawn in front of the dorm in Mid Winter at 10 below.
remember back in early 70's in college, changed out a clutch in a 63 chevy in the parking lot, in december, in the snow, but got $25 bucks for doing it.
Three years as a rendering mechanic. Need I say more.
Anchorage, Alaska and it was -35° F. in 2 feet of snow, no garage, laid on a piece of cardboard and still froze myself good. Had to change out the fuel pump on my 1963 Mercury Meteor wagon. Improper tools. Gas made my hands even colder. Used Heet after that on every tank of fuel.
It would save time and bandwith to just tell the few times it was fun and easy!
But just one would be in central Illinois on I-80 changing a trailer tire on a semi rig in -20 with the windchill -50 or more. I'm sure there were many worse and many better things I've done. I've tried to forget but have never regretted playing with cars.
Just last night here in beautiful NW Florida my son replaced an automatic tranny in his pick up truck in very hard rain and lightening storm. He's already learning how much fun these cars and trucks are.
I pulled wrenches on the Alaska pipeline in 75-76. Atigun pass, middle of winter and 60 below, working outside on heavy equipment.
Two things stick in my mind. Replacing final drive in a D8 track dozer at the county landfill in A JULY TORENTIAL DOWNPOAR!!!!
Replacing 8V92 blower drive on shoulder of NJ Turnpike in a 77 MCI, POS gipsy bus. Bus was headed to Atlantic City casinos with members of FIRST EBERNIZER FREE WORD CHURCH.
OH-----the blower sits right below the bathroom which ALWAYS leak!!!!!!!!
Changed a clutch in a 64 Valiant that was in a very filthy garage and had all kinds of bugs crawling all over me,it seemed like I could never get clean enough and was itchy for about a week afterwards. Its now my garage or its not getting done.
Helped pull a engine in a salvage yard during a thunderstorm. there was about a foot of water pooled around the car, made it fun laying under the car. Luckily it was a Geo Metro so the engine came out fairly quick.
Laying on my back in the slush and snow in a Richmond
VA parking lot swapping a salvage yard gas tank into a Honda CVCC for a friend.
Nasty here all the time!
Couple of mine, but they don't really compare to most of the ones already posted. Just hot, dry & dusty, rather than wet, frozen & messy.
Once, had to fix a busted ball joint sleeve on an old bug, out in the high desert north of Angeles Crest Hwy one summer. Wind & dust going nuts, and hot as hell.
No tools but a pair of pliers, had to use the generator pulley as a grinder, a rock as a hammer, etc, etc.
Got'er back together & toed in close enough to finish the trip no sweat.
Other was a pit thrash up at one of Rocky's Eagle Field meets. Wind & dust blowing so bad a couple volunteers held a blanket up to allow me to replace a blown timing set in my middie HAMBster. Twice that day.
Hitchin up a trailer- home double quick to get away from an angry landlord/ ex- girlfriend. Busted thumb, dented car- no time to notice the weather. Nasty. Thank the lord for Ford V8's.
I had to put a starter in my truck when it was -10 and windy. I had to warm my hands up a few times. A close second was winching a 40 Ford pickup onto the trailer when it was about 95 degrees with 2 wheels locked up.
Rebuilding a transmission in a gravel parking lot in the snow. The car was on a bumper jack.
My brother had his 1-ton GMC up on 4 jack stands in the driveway doing a much-needed brake job. It was very cold and snow was in the forecast.
I turned his drums at work and was bringing them back at lunch time. By then the weather had gone totally dogshit... snow, sleet and high gusts of wind. I got there just in time to see the truck get blown off the jack stands.
Needless to say, I was late back to work helping him get the truck up off the ground. We both wound up with minor frostbite.
Changing a water pump on a '31 Plymouth in a hotel parking lot in Rapid City, SD with the temps in the low-40's, raining like hell and the wind blowing at a constant 40mph. This was about 5-years ago and I'm getting way too old for that shit !
Here.. Shittiest conditions..
At first I thought that was a map of NE Illinois...A close second.
Built a 327 in the controlled atmosphere of my parents basement but then had to carry the complete engine up a long flight of basement stairs. Amazing the stairs held, up both going down them and coming back up. We were not even bright enough to take the cylinder heads off.
Two of us did it and I don't think my back has ever been the same. Stupid things we did when we were young.
had to replace a hydraulic line that just blew out during a concrete pour on a 35 ton cherry picker it was as thick as my arm and ran front to rear underneath and hot hydraulic oil was dripping all over I was covered head to toe in it, it was in august and the temp was in the high 90s..yuck
After reading this whole thread I'm not sure I have anything to bitch about.
I've changed brakes on a beater in sleet, tried to pull a trans on a former beater laying in fresh snow and a trail of cold water running down a gravel driveway - I gave up on that after a while and waited for the scrapper to put the car up on it's side. Cut up cars in the snow and cold, too. Oh, and the fun of a hot summer day trying to sort out a misfire in a van - turned out the plug boots were cracked on a couple of the plugs and would only arc when it got hot and they swelled up a bit - running it with the doghouse off just making it that much hotter inside the van.
Any more it's just humidity that I have problems with, I sweat and sweat and sweat in it. Just the other night I had to do the trans cooler lines on the current beater here in the street; because it's also a van I had to yank the radiator shroud out. Two hours with it dark when I finished and I was soaked and covered in grease and trans fluid. (partly because I let it sit for a day dripping and it filled a big margarine tub overflowing, so that wanted to slop everywhere when I dragged it out to pour it back in). It really wasn't a hard job, but I was soaked all over when I finished, I went right in and into the shower.
Between all these work related fun times and "perfect" conditions while playing with our toys, no wonder we love this hobby !
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