Spent several hours retapping the oil drain plug in my dr’s daughter’s Beetle on saturday. The folks at Oil Express apparently used an impact to tighten it, the beetle was hemmoraging oil and when I went to check the plug it fell out in my hand. I’m boggled at the incompetence of some folks.

Anyway, thankfully to God, I found the correct oversize repair plug at The Zone, and got ‘er fixed. The engine still drips some oil, but it will, at least, no longer be in danger of spitting its plug on the highway and puking the oil out, causing the engine to sieze. $40 including the oil change later and she’s moving on down the road. beats the $1500 the shop wanted to REPLACE THE OIL PAN. THey said “Happens all the time. Someone put a steel plug in an aluminum oil pan”. For those of you who would have no idea, they ALWAYS USE A STEEL PLUG IN AN ALUMINUM OIL PAN. They were anxious to rip off a 19 year old girl.

My optometrist stopped by, also, his wifes new-to-her Benz M class is making a noise that annoys her. We take it for a drive and it seems to be squeaking amidships. The torsion bar suspension has a reactor arm that rubs against the frame and there’s a bit of rust under it, and it makes it squeak. So I put a bit of oil under it and it seems to improve. Mercedes wanted… well, you don’t want to know what they wanted to fix this. They wanted to replace the whole assembly.

Having an auto shop is a license to steal, I swear.

Took a moment from fixing other people’s shit to fix my own. The Exploder has had a malfing passenger door lock for some time. It is an inconvenience and an annoyance but nothing more, so I have ignored it. I am more and more concerned about someone getting in if I accidentally leave it open, so today I yanked the inner doorskin and checked it out.

Turns out the lock motor is working just fine, it just isn’t CONNECTED to anything anymmore. The rivet that originally held it in place has self destructed, so I disconnect the mechanism and drill out the rivet, put in a nutsert, and reassemble.

Sounds easy, don’t it?

The actual process was a lot like tuning a piano seventy feet away through a keyhole, with a sledgehammer and a piece of cheese. I finally managed to accomplish it, and now where there was once a rivet, there is a 4mm socket head capscrew. I assembled it all twice because I had to go back in and plug everthing back in that I had unplugged and forgotten to replug.

But now it works. And there was much rejoicing.

Finally, I managed to get the Cushman starting reliably. I have spent the last week futzing with the fuel tank- I cut a big hunk of rust out of the top, and with some good advice from Mr B , decided not to try to weld it. So I sweated on a patch, about 9″ x 17″. I ground the whole thing down and tinned it all with silver solder, then clamped and sweated it. And then fucked with it for three days last week trying to seal each little pinhole.

So i put it all back together and installed it, put in a gallon of gas, which poured on to the ground through a previously undiscovered hole.

I took it back out friday night, just before the storm hit, and sweated another small patch on the two previously undiscovered pinholes.

Then I REinstalled it, primed the fuel pump, and drove it out to the front yard. I parked it in the driveway and changed the oil, and it failed to start again. So I pushed it back into the backyard, and parked it. Today, I yanked the carb, and found that it had been varnished up pretty badly, and after cleaning and reinstalling it, the Cush started right up. And now the cleanup will begin and I can get this puppy earning its keep.