Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday The 13th-3; Me-0

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday fixing a car for my brother.

It started off he needed a hood and hood latch from where my son wrecked the car about a year ago.

Then we got it started and found out it needed an alternator.

Friday the 13th- 1; Me-0.

We got a good price on a used alternator, but Japanese Cars are not designed to be worked on by Large American Hands.

Seriously; my hands are probably 8 inches long and almost 2 inches thick. The average Japanese Hand probably looks like a scale model of mine.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. But '57 Chevy is built so my hand can work on it; a '91 Accord is not. And yesterday I was working on a '91 Accord.

I used to work with an old mechanic who started working on cars when Model-T Fords were still on the road, and he had one iron clad rule. He never worked on anything he couldn't cuss at in it's native tongue. He knew some German cuss words, so he would work on a Volkswagen, but that was about it.

My Japanese consists of basically two words; Sushi and Sayonara; neither of which sounds remotely threatening. Yesterday it was getting so mad I couldn't even understand what I was muttering myself, so I guess it didn't matter.

It must have taken us 3 hours to change this alternator. Hell, it took an hour to install one bolt. The second time.

And that is a second issue with Japanese cars; they are engineered differently. Not bad engineering. Just different. I know my American Cars (by American Cars I mean Front engine, rear-wheel drive 6 passenger sedans. That Front wheel drive stuff is Japanese), and I can change a transmission in less time than it took me to change the alternator on that Honda. And I am beginning to learn German engineering- they like to hide a bolt or two.

But Japanese? If I think it should be left; its actually right. If most are up, these are down; if I need 6 inches, I get 3. Like I say, it's not bad engineering, just different. Hell; they got a reputation for reliability from somewhere; maybe its because only a pro can work on them?

Anyway, we get the alternator back on, and then the hood. we get everything adjusted and go for a test drive. Before we leave the driveway my brother rolls up the driver's window.

And it shatters. Friday The 13th- 2; Me-0.

Luckily we have a spare window on the property (What? You don't have a spare driver's front window for a '91 Honda Accord in your basement? Maybe that's why I'm a Redneck), and we test drive the car while my son vacuums up the glass from the driveway. We come back and get the other window installed and my brother is ready to go.

Except now the door won't shut and latch.

Friday The 13th-3; Me-0.

We take the door back apart and cannot find anyting wrong; except that the door won't latch. Put it back together, and it now works.

As I said then; something must have been bumfuzzled, and we un-bumfuzzled it.

But he has been driving it ever since, and appaerntly is happy. So I guess in the end it was Me-1; Friday The 13th-0.

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