WHY YOU SHOULD PLAN YOUR DAY VERY CAREFULLY- no seriously read
it, bear with me it's almost guaranteed to make your day seem better
Well I don't know about you guys, but I'm having a great run up to the weekend.
It all started because I had a slight blow from the exhaust manifold on my 2.0
L 16 valve saloon.
When I started stripping the manifold down I first discovered that the pipe that
leads to the EGR valve had split sometime in the past and had been bodged by a
previous owner, so it would need replacing.
I then discovered that the manifold is in fact cracked and also needs replacing,
the pipe that goes from the manifold to EGR valve was so firmly rusted in that
no amount of heat, swearing or brute force and ignorance would shift it.
Eventually the manifold gave way where it had cracked, leaving a huge chunk of
cast iron firmly welded to the pipe - so that will be the other EGR pipe that
needs replacing then.
After a quick taxi trip (£10.00) to the local FMD, who lightened my wallet to
the tune of £270.00 (2 EGR pipes, an exhaust manifold, 4 studs, 4 nuts, manifold
to block gasket and manifold to CAT gasket), they tell me, of course, they have
nothing in stock, so I can't put it all back together until Saturday (assuming
they actually manage to supply the correct parts! and it doesn't rain). Never
mind I'll clean all the mating surfaces and get everything prepared for
This I start to do only to discover that the fan belt is very badly split and
upon further inspection I also notice that the water pump is leaking from the
weep hole and also needs replacing. Not wanting to further enrichen old uncle
Henrys pocket, I get a Taxi to the local motor factor (another £10.00), I buy a
fan belt and a water pump. There is some concern that the water pump comes in 2
different flavours, one with a 3 hole mounting for the pulley, and one with a 4
hole mounting, this doesn't catch me out though because I happen to know that
mine is a 4 hole mounting. At least the new water pump comes with a rubber
gasket which saves me some money.
I realise at this point an oil change is due and decide to get some fully
synthetic oil and a filter. The motor factor also decides to lighten my wallet
although this time but the bill is an almost bearable £70.00 ish. I get home,
flush the system through with clean water, drain it completely and prepare to
fit my nice new water pump. Unfortunately when I get it out of the box it's a 3
hole pulley mount (you may remember mine is a 4 hole), so a quick phone call to
the motor factor, confirmation they have the correct 4 hole pump in stock and
another taxi ride later (and another £10.00) I arrive with the incorrect pump in
order to swap it for the correct one.
As soon as I get in the door the sales person hands me the new pump and not
wishing to get caught out again I decide to check the pump is correct - it isn't
- it's the right part number, but the wrong part in the box. This then becomes a
problem because every other pump Mr Motor Factor gets out for the next 20
minutes is also the right box, wrong pump. Mr Motor Factor explains that he's
had a YTS guy working for him and that as he has changed suppliers, all the
water pump boxes have had to be changed too. Unfortunately Mr YTS has obviously
mispacked them and all the water pumps are in fact in the wrong boxes.
At this point it has become obvious that things are just not going my way, so
after some discussion Mr Motor Factor informs me that the best thing to do is to
order another pump from another branch and this should arrive at about 4:30pm.
Knowing there is nothing else I can do, I decide to go home, drain the engine
oil, have a fag break and a cup of coffee. I arrive home about 10 minutes later
and very obviously at this point I am not Mr Happy! However it's sunny, it's
almost the weekend and I'm determined that something should go right so I get
out my trolley jack in order to remove the sump plug and drain the engine oil.
I can't find the jack handle and after 20 minutes searching through the shed
I decide as I can't find it, it would perhaps be best to go and ask 'her
indoors' if she's seen it. She hasn't and "why would I want a Jack handle?"-
this starts the argument of the week, so an hour later back to the shed again -
nope still can't find it.
Then I remember I left it in the boot, so now I've got to find my car keys, 20
minutes and a lot of huffing later I remember they are in the ignition(!),
I get my keys and press the boot unlock on the remote - nothing happens, I press
it again, and again, and still nothing happens, oh sh*t. I know the key doesn't
fit the boot lock because it never has, so I let down the rear seat, squeeze
into the boot and after half an hour I finally get the boot open. Trouble is
I've broken several trim clips in the process, so I make a mental note to get
some more next time I go to the FMD. At this point I think it prudent to take
the boot lock out and take it to the local locksmith who can make the key fit
the lock. This sets me back another £15.00 and will be ready "sometime
monday-ish", so back into the Taxi and home again (£8.00 fare this time - I
wryly think to myself that it would be cheaper to buy the bloody Taxi).
Now at last I can jack up the car and remove the sump plug to drain the oil,
only I can't, you see I have the Jack and the Handle, but when I put the Jack
under the car and try to raise the car by pumping the handle, the car raises
about 3 inches and slowly settles back down to where it was before I started. I
check the valve on the jack is shut - it is - conclusion jack is knackered!
On the plus side I remember Mr Motor Factor has got a really nice 3 Ton model on
special at £64.95. I decide to buy this when I go back to pick up the water
That's it, if I don't get a fag break right now I'm going to break something
else (this time on purpose), I feel very proud that I have managed to keep my
temper and not hit/kick/smash/throw something.
I have a fag break and it's time to go back to Mr Motor Factor, another Taxi
ride (I'm now thinking about buying a fleet of the damn things), another £10.00
fare and about 20 minutes later I'm home, the proud owner of a spanking new 4
hole pulley mount water pump and a nice new Trolley Jack. It's now dark and as I
have to work outside I decide I've done enough for the day and I'm going to have
another fag and some coffee.
I should point out at this time the reason I've had to take Taxi's all day is
that only one of my friends who has a car is available during the day and I
can't get an answer on his mobile which is the only phone he has. I have tried
all day to contact him, but the phone just rings and there is no reply, I try
one last time because a) the wife isn't talking to me (remember the argument
earlier) and b) I just need to tell someone what sort of day I have had.
Maybe my luck is changing because I get an answer on the 3rd ring, only trouble
is it's not my mate on the other end.
I've had a bad day, I'm tired and I've probably misdialled, I dial again - it's
still not my friend who answers - I apologise and dial a 3rd time (very
carefully), still not my friend who answers. I decide not to ring again 'cause I
know when I'm beat.
5 minutes later there is a knock at the door and it's my mate "I've been trying
to ring you all day, but I couldn't get an answer, then when I did it wasn't
you" I say, "oh I'm sorry I haven't given you my new number as I only changed my
mobile yesterday. It's a shame you couldn't get hold of me because I have been
stuck at home and really bored all day, and I wanted to see if you would like to
buy this really nice trolley jack that I paid £65 for recently, I'm only asking
for £30.00" he replied.
My reply goes something like "&*%^$%£**&^"
Looking at it, I guess we all have those days ...........don't we?