Sunday, July 15, 2012

McGyver Doesn't Live Here

One month.

That's how long it took to replace the compressor in the Civic ourselves. And "Why," you ask, "did you not take it to a mechanic?"

**Excuse me while I cackle like a demented hyena. I'm just not 'right' anymore.**

The answer is best explained if you understand that we were living on "x" amount of money. And are no longer. Tempus fugit. And fugit it did. Now, it's all social security for those old enough to qualify and a hell-bent effort to find jobs that pay in the immediate sense. Meanwhile there is a simultaneous schlepping of what I can only refer to as "intellectual property" going on on-the-side as well. And in our copious free time we are busy--very busy--doing cancer still. Woo frickin hoo.

Combine that with our own household sliding scale of people with other varying illness who, based on their treatments, receive more to help them get better versus those of us who don't. And the "who don't's" also tend to be the ones standing over a broken compressor observing the First Rule of Broken Machinery: If we can fix it more cheaply than having the shop do it, then we should do it ourselves.

So we did. And it took an entire month of our free time, one neighbor consultant, and my small hands and arms (and my magic clothes-hanger-belt-puller) to reroute the serpentine belt and get it back over the alternator pulley.

Shop Cost: Too Much

Our Cost: One-third of Too Much

So far, in the spirit of things we have replaced a radiator, the engine on the tractor (the original was out of production, fun fun), the compressor of course, and tinkered with various and sundry things. Inevitably, though, we always come up against a real head-scratcher. We stand there batting ideas around until we're blue in the face and finally someone will say:

"Um, go get me a hanger. A metal hanger, some duct tape, and a rubber band."

Take that, McGyver

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