I Like Winning

3 broken bolts, 3 days, I win, BFYTW.

What a fucking fiasco.


That last one in the middle flat kicked my ass right up until the last minute.


I used heat, 3 different kinds of penetrating oil, an engraver, seven different chisels, the Dremel, and this tiny pair of Snap On pliers I like to call My Fingernails.

Those things are the shit boys.


The damn thing wouldn’t budge.

There was a couple of times I thought maybe I saw it move just a smidge but the light was bad back in there and every time I tried to get a grab on with those little pliers it wouldn’t move.

Basically out of desperation, I grabbed the Dremel with a tiny little Burr Bit on it and started in trying to open up the beveled edge in behind it to get a little more room to grab it with the pliers.

As I was grinding away on the bevel, the Burr Bit grabbed the back of the bolt and it spun about a quarter of a turn.

Your ass is mine now bitch.

The broken bolt must have been bent over from all the pounding and hitting the edge of the hole. I ground just a hair more off, got just enough to barely grab it with the tip of the pliers and out she spun.


So that part is finally done.

It’s late enough in the day now, almost 6:00 in the evening and there is just enough light left to go put the tools back in the garage on my little cart, shut the fucking hood on that bastard, close the garage door and call it a day.

I’ll put the damn thing back together next weekend.

I’m getting too old for this shit man, spending three days laying on top of a fucking engine all contorted and shit. Climbing up and down off of a step ladder just to get up in there, my damn legs kept going to sleep on me from kneeling on engine parts, my shoulders are absolutely killing me and just for fun, that case of Tennis Elbow came raging back with a vengeance.

I can barely hold on to the wrenches.

But I win and that’s what counts.





42 thoughts on “I Like Winning

  1. You are one lucky SOB… I really thought you may have to pull the block. Can I take you to the local mart and I hand you some bills and buy me lottery tickets?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had one of those damn 1978 Ford Pintos. I first needed to change the spark plugs. The last one was right up against the firewall. I ended up taking it to my mechanic, who ended up taking and buying a special adapter of some kind, to put on his other adapter to get it off, then told me to never bring it back to him again.
    Then I had to replace a starter in it. I had to loosen the motor mounts, and jack the motor up to get enough room to get it out.

    Then I blew a piston, and had a guy my folks knew who had Pintos and always fixed his own, so I took it to him. He repaired the piston, and told me that my year was the worst one he ever worked on and, yep, you guessed it, never bring that sob back to him again.

    Fortunately, sometime later, a drunk ran off the road and broad sided it in my driveway totalling it. Unfortunately, I also had my Gran Torino sitting right next to it, and he hit that also. The Torino was a sweet looking, 1973, that I had bought from my uncle, who had all the repair bills, from oil changes to belts to any thing that the manual called for. It was immaculate. I was sick about it.
    It was in the middle of the night, and I never knew it until the next day, but we caught the guy. His insurance paid, and then dropped him.


    • Cryin’ sham about the Torino.
      I remember those damn Mustang II’s were a motherfucker to work on and they were basically a glorified Pinto. I remember you had to lift the engine to change the starter because the steering linkage was in the way.


      • The worst of it was, I found pieces of the car that had hit my Torino, and told the town clown who was the cop, and the kind of car I thought I had seen driving away, from my upstairs window. He said that he thought he knew the guy, and that afternoon, a guy came over, and said,” I hit your cars last night.” Turns out it was the cops brother in law, his wife’s sister’s husband. His insurance paid for the Pinto, and he brought me the parts for my Torino, a gas tank and a rear valance, and later I found out that the party he was leaving had an underage kid die from alcohol poisoning.
        This guy has died since then, which was in 1982 or so. I think he died in the late 1990’s. He was bad news, into drugs, and booze, and selling drugs, etc. His wife had dated my oldest brother many years ago, and was just a sweetheart, a beautiful blond haired blue eyed bikini babe. She used to come in to the gas station when I was pumping gas in high school in her sports car, dressed in her bikini. She fell in love with the wrong guy. A true shame, it happens.
        I just bought a car, a PT Cruiser, a 2002. I bought it from my mechanic. He fixed the water pump and serpentine belt, and the people never came and paid for it. So he got the title for it, and fixed it up some more, and sold it. He was asking 2500, and I got it for 2K, plus he put in a brand new battery, a new radiator, and a new front spindle on the right side.
        It has 95,000 miles on it, and I took it and got plates and such, and had an issue with overheating. I took it back to the mechanic, and he fixed it, free of charge. That is about the best deal I have ever gotten from buying any car ever. I also had him fix my other car, which is a Pontiac Torrent, which needed an EGR valve, and an alternator and rear shocks. He told me the shocks could wait, but I told him to go ahead and do it now. The bill for all of this, including parts and labor, was 766$. I did not feel raped by that, like I have felt from other mechanics.I paid almost 600$ for just a complete rear brake job, including everything, all parts, etc.
        The days of me working on my own vehicles are gone. I live in a trailer park, and they frown on that sort of thing. My dad was not one of those men who are mechanically inclined, and I had to learn to use tools on my own. I don’t hold it against him, he had many strengths, he was a great man, who treated people with kindness, took in strangers and gave them a place to stay when they needed it, along with my mom, They owned a restaurant and they fed many people for free when they didn’t have the money to pay for a meal.
        I worked for 35 years in a steel making shop, and started right out of high school, and it was a very small job shop when I started, and so I was able to learn to do my own maintenance when possible. I took a welding class paid for by the shop, and was able to become quite proficient at welding. And I learned to fix lift trucks, etc. How to run a metal lathe, on simple projects, I had wood lathe in shop class in high school.
        I always used to work on my own cars, but after they became so computer dependant it has just become much to difficult for me to mess with. I pulled an engine on a Ford Escort once, I had a friend with a wrecker business, and he came out and hooked up and lifted it when I was ready, then lowered the new one back in. Later I found a friend from church who was former military, who was in Germany, and told me that they used to lower the front end, and the engine with it, and lift the top of the car off the engine of those type of cars, and it was much easier. Um, like who knew?
        But I do love watching your work, and just how you go about fixing things, and the various projects that you take on, I love that you have the ability to use many of the older types of equipment, and it makes me appreciate the skill and ingenuity of those who have come before us. I am a gun guy, and when I look at some of the simply beautiful double rifles engraved by old English craftsmen, from over a hundred years ago, using simple hand tools, and other machines that they invented to do one simple job, such as rifling a barrel, or the fantastic engraving that they did, it makes my heart almost skip a beat.
        I guess it takes a simple mind to appreciate the sheer beauty our of the hands of a master.
        So thank you for your blog, and keep on with with what you are doing.


    • When the two on the left broke when I was trying to get the manifold off, there was an audible “THUNK” that came from the aluminum manifold each time.. Someone had tightened them to a fair thee well.


  3. And you didn’t get rained on.

    I figured you would get it out sooner or later, or just have the pos hauled to the pick a part, if you really got angry.


  4. Dude, an unbelievable feat of perseverance you got those broke off bolts out.
    Never say die motherfucker!
    A totally inspiring feat of true manhood.
    They need to put your face in the dictionary next to the word tenacious .


  5. Soo… what’s the next step after completing these repairs?
    If you’re going to sell the car lemme suggest selling it to your lovely neighbor. After all these years dealing with you he already should have a heart condition – that Bronco might be just what’s needed for his demise 😂


  6. I have several size pairs of knipex channel locks that I use for tough bolts n nuts.
    They grip like nothing else does !
    Getting where I put anti siez goop on everything lol


  7. Phil. You have done flung a craving on me for a pair of those “fingernail” pliers. Can you tell me the number on them? I can’t get the number off the pic because of the resolution as it enlarges and my effing browser is not supported by the effing-effing Snap On electronic catalog, the bastids.

    WTF? That’s akin to walking into the auto parts store and being told, sorry, we can’t sell you anything because we don’t like your eyeglasses.


  8. Suggestion regarding working in the Bronco and I did this to make working on my 1991 3/4 ton 4×4 suburban (flat side body) easier.

    I built a ‘bench about 24″ high 48″ long and 24″ wide with a wide base feet to make it stable. I stand on this bench while working on that truck. I can move back and forth as needed without climbing. I have a tray on wheels that is heavy enough to hold a lot of tools and it raises to a height that makes it convenient to use standing on this ‘bench’ or probably more accurately a riser. This effectively ended the constant up and down on the ladder for each time you want to change angle or to get a tool you put down.

    I started using this bench about 20 years ago and it saved my knees and made doing most repairs a lot easier. When not in use the bench could be used for sitting if you put a clean cover on it or for stacking up things that take floor space such as jack stands and other things.

    Just a suggestion Phil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I absolutely adore a woman (I hope) working on her own truck or car. Something about the self confidence and the sway of the hips when wrenching…


          • Phil, our ages are close and the same with Miss Glenda… I think is a woman, her writing style is not feminine but is of good quality and quite gender neutral (I read her blog end to end) and we had to learn to fix the cars we could afford back then because we didn’t have the wherewithal to afford a shop rate at a garage. Vehicles were much simpler and fairly easy to work on and a good Haynes or other shop books would teach you to work on a problem and gave you to the list of tools and parts to be needed. I miss those days. Life was much more pleasant and satisfying when ya finished and the car ran well and ya could pop a top on a beer and smile like the idiot you were…

            Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great suggestion and if I had any room out in that garage I’d do it in a heartbeat. As it is I had to pull the Sprite out and park it in the street, pull the Bronco into the driveway, pull my cart and tools out then grab a quarter sheet of plywood and set it on some folding saw horses in the garage to set parts on.
      I’m pretty well full up.


  9. I found your blog by accident. I was reading knuckledraggin’ and followed the link. I like what I’m reading here.

    I was an auto mechanic for a while. I quit in 1974, but I never forgot the lessons I learned about frozen bolts and muffler bearings. Anyway, you won this one. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh yes, the old Chrome Muffler bearing gag. I got a kid good with that one once.
      There was a car in the shop that someone started up and it was smoking a bit. I grabbed the kid by the arm, pointed at it and said, ” do you see that”
      I need you to go into parts and get me a muffler bearing for that car.
      Except I don’t want a chrome one, tell the parts guy I want a black one.
      The kid was Korean and greener than new grass and twice as gullible.
      He got all excited.
      This parts guy was an ornery old black guy and we got along awesome. He had been a parts guy for Ford for twenty five years and had seen it all.
      This kid runs into the parts room and starts filling out a parts requisition form and old Causey was on the phone with a customer but is watching the kid at the same time.
      The kid gets almost done writing it out, Causey sees what it is, puts the customer on hold and tells the kid, “You tell that damn Phil to knock that shit off”.
      He knew exactly who it was that was yanking that kids chain without even asking.


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