Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Axles for Elbert
Actually new axles and a new tie-rod end for Elbert. Our car, Elbert, started making a horrible grinding noise when we made turns. Since we both like fixing things, and we both like saving money, we decided to fix this problem "ourselves". By which I mean, we called Grandma and Grandpa Dennis. Grandpa Dennis taught auto classes at Rick's College for years and knows pretty much everything there is to know about cars, Grandma Dennis knows quite a bit too.
We called and told them what the trouble was and they helped us formulate a plan. Grandpa made me a list of tools, (and coupon codes!) for everything I would need for the job. I printed off his email, went to the tool store and held it up and said, "Help! I need all these things!" and the tool store people helped me get everything together. They also made many comments about what an excellent grandpa I had to make me such an excellent list, those tool store people were right.

Then I got the car parts, two axles, and two tie-rod ends. (Except we only needed ONE tie-rod end because the guy who did the diagnosis said both were broken when only one of them was!) I know, there are lots of honest mechanics who do a really good job and charge fair prices, but that guy... I don't know about him...
My job was to mostly talk to grandpa while he walked us through the whole process from his living room in Idaho. This was amazing because Grandma and Grandpa are fun to talk to, and also Grandpa seriously knows everything. I also took pictures periodically and emailed them to him which he would use to explain new steps. My other job was to get tools for Bryce. My jobs were fun.
Bryce's job was to do everything that required physical strength, aka all the hard things.
Here's a boot we had to replace. It is tricky to find this particular boot!
oil spot hidden Mickey, with his ear floating away.
Steering knuckle, which we had to smack many times with a sledge hammer. Grandpa was eating lunch while we were doing that:
Grandpa: "I'm eating chips, is that too loud on the phone for you?"
Me: "No. We're smacking the car with a sledge hammer, is that too loud for you?"
Grandpa: "No, I like it."
Part of the old axle, attached to the steering knuckle and wheel.

It was a super interesting and fun project, plus we saved $200 even with the purchase of all the excellent tools we needed. Yay!


Haley! said...

Hahahaha!!! is that too loud for you?"
Grandpa: "No, I like it." This is great! I am glad Elbert is better! :)

Tara said...

I now love your grandpa too :)

Melanie said...

After it took me 4 hours to replace an alternator my husband said would take 20 minutes, I defer all car repairs to my brother who is a mechanic. Life is a lot less annoying that way, lol