Old Cars Weekly (www.oldcarsweekly.com) sales sales rep Hank Stanczyk came over last night to replace the idler arm on his everyday-driver Chevy pickup. Hank thought it was a matter of undoing some bolts, bolting in the new idler arm and away you go. I didn’t think so and I was right. To get the old idler arm off, we had to use a ball-joint splitter and to get it to work, we had to jack the truck up, remove a tire and go in from the side. After that, the actual separation took lots of bashing and banging. Just when it felt like it wasn’t going to work, the idler arm popped out. Then we had to separate the pieces with my 20-ton press and, before we could do that, we had to figure out a way to clamp the arm in the press. Another time-wasting operation was fishing the old bolts out of the frame rail with a magnet tool. Finding the last one was like fishing for the big Musky that always gets away.
While we were working, Hank’s cell phone kept ringing. Like I said, he had expected the job to go one, two, three. Someone kept calling to see when he’d be finished. We kept getting “behinder and behinder” and the cell-phone calls kept coming. Now I know why I don’t carry a cell phone.
In fact, I think I need a “No Cell Phones” sign for the shop. Let’s face it, car repairs can’t be rushed. In fact, they need to be savored. The day I work on cars with a deadline in mind, it’s not a hobby anymore! — Gunner