Sunday, September 12, 2010

When the night is darkest, it is closest to dawn. Or whatever that saying is.

Okay, where were we? Oh yes...

...Idiot!

Because you used inappropriate tools for the job, KNEW it, and did it ANYWAY. Okay, there WAS a certain, if faulty, line of reasoning to your actions, but, still, it serves you right. "It seemed like a good idea at the time..." Uh huh. It always does, doesn't it?

Prepare yourself with mosquito repellent, fire ant spray, sunscreen and a hat. Eat something before you begin, I don't care if you just had breakfast an hour ago. You are hypoglycemic and if you get hungry during this procedure, you will most definitely sit down (on an ant hill, no doubt) and cry. Have a nice cheese melt topped with wilted amaranth greens tossed in olive oil, raw garlic and chile flakes. Tell your three-legged Dalmatian, that, yes, YOU CAN DO THIS. Wonder if she believes you. Wonder if YOU believe you. Take a deep breath, pick up that - oof! - heavy tool box, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Remove the pieces to get to the valve cover again. Remove the valve cover itself again and see what you've got to work with. Remember? Maybe... just MAYBE, there will be little nubs of bolt stem to grab with pliers or tweezers.


Please...



Please...



Pretty please...



...AaaaaHA!


The bolts are not stuck in the engine block proper, but in little easily removable pieces!

This... THIS... is a game changer. Your computer is not dead. You have NOT lost every byte of data. Golden beams of light emerge from the thunderclouds. Hosts of angels sing. There is... (breathy voice)... Hope.

At the very least, if you can not remove the bolt stems, you can slap on some lipstick and bring the little pieces to a real mechanic and plead for help. All is NOT lost. Your relief is immeasurable and you are already celebrating.

Remove cam caps (a.k.a. "little pieces in which the bolt stems are stuck".) Easy! Feel clever because you notice they are labeled so they can be replaced in the same position with the same orientation. You are brilliant!

Wrestle for an hour (Idiot!) with the surgical tools you own from your days as a veterinary technician, extracting two of the three bolt stems, being verrry careful not to damage the threads in the cam caps. Brilliant!

Wrestle for an additional hour on the final one, not getting anywhere. Idiot! Consider the use of power tools. Try the drill for one second. (Idiot!) Decide it is a very bad idea. (Brilliant!)

Stop. Put. The. Drill. Down. And. Think.

Wrestle a few moments longer. Arrrrrrrrghhh!

Epiphany: Idiot! (No, that part wasn't the epiphany.) The bolt stem is in there pretty loosely, there's just not enough of it exposed to grab, no matter how many cool, teeny surgical and flute repair tools you own. Use the corresponding "mating" surface of the head end of the broken bolt. Press it against the stuck stem piece to match up the parts, hold it there firmly while backing it (and the bolt stem!) out of the cam cap.

Feel illegitimately and unbelievably brilliant.

Illegitimately brilliant because:
A) It was your idiocy that got you here in the first place.
B) You kinda got tipped off that the bolts were stuck in removable pieces, not the engine itself. But you would have seen that for yourself as soon as you took off the valve cover again this morning, right? Right.
C) It took you two hours and one serious hand cramp to figure this out. (Idiot!)

Feel brilliant anyway, and enjoy it.

Write on the blackboard 100 times. "I will use the appropriate tools for the job. I will use the appropriate tools for the job. I will use the appropriate tools for the job..."

Go to the store and purchase said appropriate tools.

Realize that, because the stems backed out so easily using the broken bolt head, you probably didn't have to even remove the cam caps in the first place. In retrospect, you may not even had had to remove the valve cover (and all the pieces to get to the valve cover) again. Idiot!

Except you should clean out any metal shards anyway. Brilliant!

Thank your internet community profusely for seeing you through this mess without saying (aloud) how much of an idiot you are. Be amazed that you are not the only one to have done this.

Await replacement bolts. *sigh*
(Thank you, FOG!)

Acknowledge that until this bike is running and you are riding, you are not yet out of the woods.

Have another one of those apricot smoothies. Consider the rum suggestion.

Think to yourself that at least you re-installed the reed valves correctly. Wink. You know who you are.

Note: As you might have noticed in the photo, I use little applesauce cups to keep my moto parts and pieces organized.

4 comments:

Kristen said...

This blog...brilliant!

Paula said...

Garsh! Thanks! I think my English teacher would get a good laugh. I HATED anything that smacked of creative writing when I was in high school, and it never ceases to amaze me that I enjoy it now.

Sandy said...

Yes, brilliant!!! Glad it all worked out in the end. It always does somehow, doesn't it? Yay Ninja!

Paula said...

Well, we're not riding yet...