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0 Period Auto Shop Class - Shop Talk

It's No Pain-It's A Reminder Of Hard Work

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Knuckle Busters
A while back I discussed rather embarrassing car-guy moments. You know, things like running over your own foot while checking the timing (sigh). If this is news to you, let me bring you up to date. I put the automatic into gear with the parking brake on full effect, ran over to the front of the car, and revved the motor after setting the timing by ear, only to run over my own foot. Yeah, that was rather interesting. In my defense, I was 16 and didn't know any better. Matter of fact, it was during my early morning 0-period auto shop class, where I first overheard a classmate discussing the ingenious technique. Well, lesson learned. I never did that one again.

Now what about those truly funny moments when you witness your buddy shriek in pain from banging his hand trying to loosen up a rocker arm? Personally, I've never understood the humor, but I won't deny that I'll be the first to start laughing. My personal favorite: I just finished wiring up a new ignition box and asked a non-car-guy friend of mine to check the coil wire for spark. I bet you can see where I'm going with this. As soon as I cranked that baby over, there it was, the shriek of pain. Shamefully, the instant I heard him, I knew exactly what happened and I was crying from laughing so hard. To say he was upset is a total understatement. Of course, someone should have told him not to hold the wire.

I remember one time I was running late to school and my third-gen Camaro-as usual-fouled the No. 8 plug. Well, those days my quick fix was just to swap out the plug. If you're familiar with these sleds, you know that the easiest way to access the plug is from underneath the car. And since I was running late, I jacked up the front just barely enough to wiggle underneath the car-a dumb move on its own, but it gets better. I slammed my knuckles against the chassis, and my head involuntarily jerked as a result of the pain, hitting the chassis. Unfortunately, it then jerked back the other way, only to hit the garage floor and do it again. Yep, a helmet would have been nice.

As funny as this all may seem, I tragically accept that I'll never outgrow the cuts, bruises, bloody knuckles, and banged-up kneecaps. Just yesterday I was at Westech Performance, installing a top-end package for one of this month's dyno pieces. As I'm doing the final 75 ft-lb sequence, I managed to slip and slam the handle at full force onto my knee. Mental note: Use a conventional upright engine stand, and while you're at it, never extend your legs to prevent the engine cradle from moving when torquing the heads down. It's scary to think that the week is early and I still have another build to go through, including swapping out the steering column in the Project '73 Camaro ... leaving me plenty of time to recruit more of those moments.

I know, it all sounds evil, but I'd have a really hard time believing that you don't have similar epic stories to share. You know what this means. Send in your funny moments to the email or postal address below, and if we print them, we'll send a coveted CHP plate your way. Be sure to include your mailing address.

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