Slim Shady

October 29, 2007 at 11:40 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  Guess who’s back, back in town–?
  After God only knows how long, Nigel is finally back up and running.  Detroit reminded me that we have basically had only one car since roughly July.  I’ve had some wheel-less periods in my life. . .this was actually not so bad.  We made do.
  Let’s see:  When Mitchell’s car broke down, I gave him Fred (the truck) to use, and we used Nigel.  It was all we needed, as Kim wasn’t working.  This was June, July.  Then, end of July, we needed the truck back from Mitchell to drive up to Michigan, and for a brief period, a week or so, both cars worked.
  Then we had trouble with Nigel.  Bearings and so forth.  Got that fixed, and then another bearing went bad.  I drove it for a while….and then it got scary.  So we parked it, let it set.  Sit.  Set.  Stay!  Stay….good boy!
  And Detroit started working at this time.  So, she would take the truck to work, and I’d get a ride from Bunny.  Detroit got off work before me, and she would pick me up.  When I had to work at the restaurant, we’d go home (I’d take a short nap), and then I’d drive to work, leaving her without wheels for the evening.  How long as this gone on?  Hell, it’s the end of October.  At least all of October, and probably most of September.
  But I got the money together, got my son’s car (nominally) fixed, and then it was time for Nigel.  You may have seen the fiasco we went through to get him out to the mechanic on Detroit’s blog….But it didn’t end there.  Jerry, my Nigel mechanic (he works at a Honda dealership, and fixes cars on the side–prefers to work on Japanese cars) ran into problems. 
  First, it took him half a week before he could look at it.  Then, it was worse than we thought.  Not only was the bearing completely trashed, but the hub that rides in it was essentially rubble.  When he took off the axle nut, they fell off and fell apart.  This is a sealed, pressed bearing.  What that means is, it’s not supposed to do that.  It wasn’t the WORST he had seen. .. .but it was close.  Yay me!
  So we needed a hub.  More expense, and wait time to get it ordered.  It also needed new brake calipers–mine were both seized up, locked up.  That certainly explained the issues I was having with the brakes, right?
  It was almost together, he said, when he ran into this unusual issue:  The bolts (or pins; I never was clear on that) that hold the calipers onto the knuckle wouldn’t come out easily, so they were more or less destroyed, and not reusable.  He was going to have to make a trip to the junk yard, which he finally did Sunday morning.
  Saturday afternoon, finally, he called me–Nigel was ready to come home.  I had my daughter for the "weekend"–actually just late Saturday night and all day Sunday–and it was time to take her home.  Jerry the mechanic lived halfway between me and where I had to take my daughter, so it worked out pretty well.  We all drove out in Fred, and me and my daughter got in Nigel and I took her home, and meanwhile Kim just went home.
  How is he?  Awesome!  At one time or another I’ve had to have three of the four wheel bearings replaced–which makes me wonder about the fourth, actually–but now that they all have been, Nigel is so quiet when he rolls, I can hear the engine, which has a low, quiet growl. Not like a lion, but a puma or a bobcat.
  And there must have been at least a substantial amount of friction involved with the bad bearings because not only is he quiet–
  He’s fast.  He’s just a little rat.  A little car (Mazda MX-3) that I can barely fit in, it sits low to the ground.  It is tiny and fast, and sporty.  With the friction gone, I get the feeling that he really–really–wants to *Go!*
  While Jerry was working on it, he also found some loose suspension parts that he tightened up, and he reattached the bumper that the tow dolly ripped off the car.  He re-attached it with zip-ties, which just adds to the rugged look of the car.. . with the discolored paint, the hood that is a completely different shade of green than the rest of the car, the white left front fender. . .and the back left, that looks like a medium-sized dinosaur took a bite out it, taking part of the rear bumper and quarter panel, and leaving exposed styrofoam that filled the bumper, and a wire–one that I don’t really know where it goes.  He looks like he’s been through Hell–took it, handled it, and is ready to dish some out.
  Nigel is my kind of car.

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