the car junkie daily magazine.


Unhinged: A Good Plan Never Goes Unpunished

Unhinged: A Good Plan Never Goes Unpunished

Saturday morning at BangShift Mid-West was as picturesque as it could’ve gotten: the sun made an appearance for the first time in weeks, with warm, Spring-like temperatures in the air. A light breeze added just the right amount of nip to the air, which was remarkably quiet, save for a woodpecker off in the trees, hammering out a snack. And, at precisely ten in the morning, that scene was shattered by the sound of an air-driven impact wrench doing it’s thing. My plan was simple: I’m tired of looking at the Rollover Explorer, so I was going to carve the 5.0L and automatic out of this turkey in two days. Easy, right? The plan seemed bulletproof, but I failed harder than I ever expected.

Here’s what really happened: for the better part of Saturday, things went well. Other than not having the right socket to unbolt the driveshafts from the transfer case, I was making great progress…bolts were being ripped out, rust was flaking away, coolant was draining….everything was good, right up until I leaned a bit too hard against the front fender of the wreck while hammering away at the core support mounting bolts and heard the sound of glass breaking in my front pocket. Fun fact: the screen for my phone costs just under $100 to replace. Son of a…

Despite the noise of the world around me, in my head, you could’ve heard a pin drop. I’ve never broken an smartphone’s screen before, and all I heard was the sound of dollar bills taking flight. As I was coming to grips with my newly-lightened wallet, I learned that I had to pack up all of the tools, including my air compressor, back into the garage quickly if I wanted to get the phone fixed the same day. As I was wheeling the compressor back into the shop, the drain plug for the tank broke off at the concrete slab, erupting into the an evil hiss. It’s a good thing the sound of 200 PSI of compressed air makes a lot of noise…the neighbors didn’t hear me absolutely lose my cool over that one. I’m not gonna lie, the first thing I did after closing and locking the shop was to walk up to the Explorer and slam my fist into it.

So, how far did I really get in with this great plan of mine? I lost all of Sunday due to the compressor deal, I’ll be out about $130 by the time it’s all said and done, the engine is still firmly in place and I’m just about ready to take a Sawzall to the frame at the firewall. I managed to get the radiator out, more sheetmetal out of my way, some of the engine’s accessories and attachments and other minor bits and bobs. Maybe life will be better if I chop the front section of frame off and roll it as a unit into the shop. I’ll yank the engine later if it means that I can get that crumpled box of agony out of my driveway now. But part of me wonders just what the cost of that will end up being…

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

5 thoughts on “Unhinged: A Good Plan Never Goes Unpunished

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Bryan – just junk the whole thing as this car is cursed and if you use the motor in anything else it will result in a flaming painful death…

  2. Dan B.

    From the looks of the mess on the driveway you’d think Freiberger and Finnegan filmed Roadkill under the Exploder…..yes, that ‘s spelled correctly.

  3. Scott Liggett

    Hmmm. I am not the only one cursed by a Ford.

    I will not snicker at your cell phone damage since how I damaged mine was far more comical and silly. Think of the morning after an ice/snow storm. I dig my car out of the drift, then stopped halfway out of driveway to knock off 2 inches covering hood, trunk, and entire driver’s side of the car. In doing my impression of bongo banging to knock ice off car, my phone fell out of my pocket, which I didn’t know I did it. I got in the car and drove over it on my way to work. My boss later got a call from my garbage man who found my found. Nice garbage man, BTW.

  4. Joseph Jolly

    I tried to shut the hatch on my four eyed Mustang not once, not twice, but three times before I realized my iPhone was resting on the tail light lens. Broke both sides of phone, other than that I have been a mechanic my whole life and your mechanical trials are all to familiar..

Comments are closed.