Thursday, July 16, 2015

Facing The Damnbolt

Every car has one; some are designed with two or more: a bolt that you have to loosen, but cannot find no matter where you stand, squat, lie down or creep. It is simply not visible to the human eye.
If by feel you locate the bolt hidden within a maze of engine components, you can't loosen it because the clever arrangement of other parts prevents the turning of a ratchet, and the side-to-side space is too small for a power tools. It is a triumph of engineering!
Today's task was simple: change the starter in my 1999 Saturn SL1. My brother offered to help, which was great since it saved me more than $100 in labor costs. The damnbolt was located between a solenoid and the crankcase; it cannot be seen from outside the engine compartment, I couldn't see it but after fifteen minutes of feeling around, I located it with my middle finger - how appropriate - and then had the task of attaching a socket wrench.
Half an hour later, my brother offered to take over. I readily agreed, as time was wearing on; I still but an apprentices. He labored over the damnbolt for a while, but it resisted his efforts and that of his power driver. Ultimately he realized that due to cramped quarters, the sockets were misaligned with the nuts. He forced everything into alignment by using a spare rod to lever the extension, and not long after that the work was completed.
I feel astonishingly butch for having done this.  I needed help to do the job (!thanks Dan!) but in the end, I faced the damnbolt,and lived to tell them tale!

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