Mechanically Inclined For A Girl…



  AS WITH MOST PEOPLE JUST STARTING OUT ON THEIR OWN MONEY IS SCARCE, SO I’M NO DIFFERENT THAN MOST.  I WAS SEVENTEEN WHEN I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND MOVED OUT ON MY OWN. 

  WHEN THERE WAS AN ISSUE WITH MY CAR I DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY TO TAKE IT TO A SHOP TO BE REPAIRED.  SO WHEN IT DID HAPPEN I WOULD GO TO EITHER PEP BOY’S OR GRAND AUTO (I probably just aged myself) AND ASK THE COUNTER GUYS WHAT THEY THOUGHT THE ISSUE MIGHT BE WITH THE SYMPTOMS I DESCRIBED.  ONE TIME IT WAS A STARTER AND ANOTHER AN ALTERNATOR.  I TOTALLY GUESSED ON THE STARTER AND LUCKILY I WAS RIGHT.  THE CAR WAS A TOTAL POS AND I WAS BROKE AS HELL, SO I WOULD BUY ABSOLUTELY CHEAPEST PART I COULD FIND.  I WOULD ASK THE COUNTER GUYS A TON OF QUESTIONS AND GO OFF TO MY APARTMENT AND INSTALL IT (AGAINST APARTMENT RULES OF COARSE). 

  HINDSIGHT, I REALLY ENJOYED WORKING ON MY CAR EVEN THOUGH I WAS STRESSED ABOUT IT BEING BROKE DOWN, BREAKING THE APARTMENT RULES AND NOT HAVING THE PROPER TOOLS.

FAST FORWARD A FEW YEARS:

 BEING A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER MY INCOME WAS BETTER BUT I STILL ENDED UP WORKING ON OUR CARS. MY FIRST HUSBAND WASN’T MECHANICAL AND HAD NO DESIRE TO LEARN. ON TOP OF THAT, MIKE HAD A HARD TIME LETTING GO OF A DOLLAR. DON’T GET ME WRONG, I’M NOT TRYING TO BE DISPARAGING TOWARDS MIKE, HE WAS A NICE GUY JUST NOT THE RIGHT GUY FOR ME.

 OUR TOOL COLLECTION WAS STILL LACKING TO SAY THE LEAST. WHEN THE ALTERNATOR WENT OUT ON THE CAR I DROVE TO MY NIGHT JOB, IT WAS UP TO ME TO REPAIR IT. THE TOOLS CONSISTED OF PLIERS, CRESCENT WRENCH, PHILIPS SCREWDRIVER, FLAT HEAD SCREWDRIVER, HAMMER AND A FEW SOCKETS.

 I CHANGED THE ALTERNATOR WITH A CRESCENT WRENCH AND PLIERS WITH A WHOLE LOT OF BAD WORDS. THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY I HOARD TOOLS AND GET DOWN RIGHT GIDDY TO BUY A NEW TOOL. I THINK THIS MIGHT BE A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR OF WHY MY HUSBAND “ANDY” LOVES ME SO MUCH.

 YEARS LATER WHEN I WAS BUILDING MY BUSINESS, I HAD A OLDER CASE 590 SUPER L BACKHOE. IT SEEMED I HAD TO REPLACE A HYDRAULIC LINE EVERY OTHER WEEK. I LIKED THE WRENCHING BUT HATED THE HYDRAULIC FLUID. I HATED THE SMELL AND IT GOT EVERYWHERE. ONE TIME A WELD ON THE DIP CYLINDER FAILED AND I GOT A PIN HOLE RIGHT WHEN I WAS LIFTING THE BOOM OUT OF A TRENCH I WAS SPRAYED RIGHT IN THE FACE WITH SCALDING HOT HYDRAULIC FLUID. I SAID A LOT OF BAD WORDS ON THAT ONE. I STRETCHED THE BOOM OUT SO I COULD REACH THE CYLINDER FROM THE GROUND. I WRAPPED A RAG AROUND THE CYLINDER AND HELD IT ON WITH DUCT TAPE TO FINISH THE LAST TWO HOUSES I HAD LEFT TO DIG. I CALLED MY LOCAL CASE DEALER TO PRICE OUT A NEW CYLINDER. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT PARTICULAR CYLINDER WAS TOO BIG FOR ME TO CHANGE OUT BY MYSELF AS IT WEIGHED MORE THAN I DID. SO AFTER I FINISHED THE LAST TWO HOUSES, I LOADED HER UP AND HAULED HER TO WESTERN EQUIPMENT FOR REPAIR. THE POINT OF THIS IS, SOMETIMES TO BE MECHANICALLY INCLINED IS TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO FINISH THE JOB UNTIL IT COULD PROPERLY BE REPAIRED.

NOW A DAYS, I DON’T WORK ON THINGS OUT OF NECESSITY BUT FOR FUN.

  MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE MOTORCYCLES AND WE BOTH LOVE TO TINKER ON THEM. A FEW YEARS AGO MY HUSBAND WENT TO THE FBI LEADERSHIP ACADEMY FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.

  I DECIDED TO START A PROJECT TO KEEP ME BUSY SO I WOULDN’T GO CRAZY MISSING HIM. AT THE TIME I HAD A 2012 HARLEY DAVIDSON, STREET GLIDE. SHE “JEWEL”. WAS BEAUTIFUL WITH HARLEY’S CUSTOM PAINT, PURPLE WITH FLAMES.

 I FOUND A USED, VERY HARD USED TOUR PACK. IT HAD A LARGE CRACK ON ONE SIDE AND THE LID WASN’T ATTACHED, SOME OF THE HARDWARE WAS MISSING AND WAS CRACKED ON THE SAME SIDE. MY GUESS IT WAS FROM A CRASHED BIKE, BUT IT WAS PERFECT FOR THE PROJECT I HAD IN MIND. KNOWING A LITTLE ABOUT ABS PLASTIC FROM MY CONTRACTOR DAYS, I THOUGHT I COULD REPAIR IT EVEN WHEN THE HD PARTS GUYS SAID I COULDN’T. THEY WERE CORRECT IN A WAY BUT I WASN’T PLANNING ON USING THE TRADITIONAL BONDO METHOD AS USED FOR REPAIRING BODY DAMAGE. WHEN INSTALLING ABS BLACK SEWER PIPE A SPECIFIC ABS GLUE IS USED. IT DOESN’T WORK AS REGULAR GLUE DOES BY ADHERING TWO PIECES OF PIPE TOGETHER. IT ACTUALLY MELTS THE TWO PLASTIC PIPES TOGETHER TO CREATE ONE PIPE. WHEN I STARTED THE PROJECT IT WAS JUST A THEORETICAL PLAN. I APPLIED MOST OF THE ABS GLUE TO THE CRACK ON THE INSIDE OF THE TOUR PACK AND A VERY CONSERVATIVE AMOUNT TO THE OUTSIDE, TO MINIMIZE SANDING AND BONDO TO THE PAINTED SURFACE. IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY, JUST LIKE THE ABS PLASTIC PIPE I USED TO INSTALL.

  AFTER ALLOWING IT TO DRY I SANDED THE INTERIOR OF THE TOUR PACK THEN PAINTED THE INTERIOR WITH SEVERAL COATS OF RHINO LINING. THIS STEP I TOTALLY PULLED RIGHT OUT OF MY BUTT, I WAS CRUISING THROUGH THE PAINT ISLE AT HOME DEPOT AND A CAN OF RHINO LINING CAUGHT MY EYE. MY ORIGINAL PLAN WAS TO LINE IT ONLY WITH CARPET OR FELT. PAINTING IT WITH THE RHINO LINING NOT ONLY DID IT MAKE IT LOOK BRAND NEW AND PRETTY BUT ALSO THINGS WOULDN’T SLIDE AROUND AS MUCH. I MOVED ONTO THE EXTERIOR, SURPRISINGLY THERE WASN’T A LOT OF BONDO WORK NEEDED BUT IT STILL PRESENTED A CHALLENGE. I OBVIOUSLY WANTED THE PAINT TO MATCH BUT HARLEY DOESN’T SELL THEIR CUSTOM PAINT TO THE PUBLIC. I WAS PISSED BUT DETERMINED TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT. I FOUND A GUY WHO CAN MATCH PAINT BY EYE BUT THEN TEST IT WITH A COMPUTER FOR ACCURACY. I PAINTED THE TOUR PACK A SOLID PURPLE. A PERSON NEEDS TO KNOW THEIR LIMITATIONS, THERE IS NO WAY I COULD PAINT THE FLAMES AND GET THEM TO MATCH THE FLAMES ON THE BIKE.

MY LATEST TOYS I TINKER ON IS MY KLR 650 AND MY PICKUP I’M TURNING INTO A OVERLAND RIG.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

ENJOY THE RIDE

BELL

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