What I've Learned...

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Loren Williams
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First Name: Loren
Last Name: Williams
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What I've Learned...

Postby Loren » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:19 pm

In something over 35 years of wrenching on cars, here's what I've learned.

The "easy way" is only the "easy way" if it works easily the first time. Beyond that, you're going to save time, frustration, skin, blood, and broken parts by just accepting that it will actually be easier to do it "the hard way". Sometimes that means disassembling things you didn't want to disassemble. Sometimes that means buying "the right tool". But, it always works out better in the end than trying to use brute force to get the "easy way" to work.

Case in point: Reinstalling axle shafts after the engine swap on the FASTiva.

When we pulled the engine, we disassembled the suspension the absolute minimum amount required to get the axle shafts out of the transmission so the engine/trans could come out.

Upon reassembly, we stabbed the axle back in the transmission, and quickly started putting the suspension back together. Except that one axle wasn't fully seated. And with all of the suspension assembled and at full droop, the axle isn't straight, it's at about a 30-degree angle. So, there's no real way to tap on the end of the axle shaft to persuade it to go in.

The answer was to fully disassemble the suspension, jack up the hub to the proper height, check the axle to be sure nothing is messed up, and then insert it and whack it in with a mallet. Super easy with all the pieces where they needed to be. Now, all I have to do is reassemble the suspension.

Ask anyone who's worked on cars a lot, they can tell you a thousand similar tales. Resist the urge to cut corners when things are fighting you. Sometimes it's just not worth it.

Don't say nobody ever told ya.
Loren Williams - Loren @ Invisiblesun.org
The "Push Harder, Suck Less" philosophy explained:
Push Harder - Drive as close to the limit of your tires as possible.
Suck Less - Drive something resembling a proper racing line.

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