Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shade Tree Mechanic

First off I want to say a thank you and a welcome to Kate for hitting the follow button and becoming a family member of Modern Day Redneck. Feel free to leave a comment and you can bet I will respond as soon as I can.

The term Shade Tree Mechanic is used to describe a person that is a Jerry Rigger, Greases Monkey and one that does not have a nice garage to work in and rolls around in the dirt while trying to fix their automobile. Most of the time when you find a Shade Tree Mechanic you will also find a Redneck. The derogatory terms go hand and hand. They both are there to degrade the person that is trying to save money and do the work himself. I personally would rather be called a shade tree mechanic and spend a hundred dollars to fix it myself than to pay someone nine hundred to do it for me.
Most of the people that have called me that are the people that take their car to a garage to get the oil changed and have a AAA card because they can't change their own tire and probably don't even know how.
OK, enough with the anger issues,

 Last night I finally got to work on the oldest girls car. Last weekend I had to make a trip to Waco to pick it up and trailer it back. The real mechanic who looked at was asking a fortune to fix it and the car is not even worth what he was going to charge. So instead I will do it.
Sorry for the bad pics but it was dark and they were taken from a phone.
This motor is one of those sideways V6 and I have tried to avoid working on it as much as possible. I just don't know where all the stuff goes. Give me a old Ford Pickup any day and I will make it run, but this little car is a headache. 
The lower intake gasket blew out in three spots. This was caused from overheating. It is a good thing the heads are not warped. Plus the water pump is leaking and the idler pulley is broke.
Just to get the gasket off, you have to have to pull the rocker arms and push rods. This picture shows how the gasket snaps around the push rods and I am pointing to one of the places where the gasket failed.
After getting into it I noticed this was not the first time this has happened.

I hope to get it back together Monday night and if you are wondering, she will not be taking it back to A&M.



  1. I know it's a headache to work on, but what a blessing you have the ability (and tools) if you have to! Is a 'sideways 6' the same as an inline 6? Probably not. If that's a dumb question, please delete and ignore. LOL

  2. We will pray for your safety and sanity. I would not work on oldest daughters BF car. Mine yes, his no way. His mom pays for the repairs.

  3. I hate to admit it but I loath working on cars and trucks. Simple things I can handle...tearing up an engine, not so much. I always put them back together with extra pieces left over....

  4. I am laughing here because my husband complains about those engines too. A very poor design. But I must say that I am grateful most people get their cars/trucks fixed at a shop because that's what my husband does for a living. And I can promise you he is an honest mechanic. People love him.


  5. Thanks for the comments.
    HB - Yes they are a headache.
    That is not a dumb question. Yes it kinda is like a sideways inline six but on this one it has 3 cyl in the front and 3 cly in the back next to the fire wall. That means a lot less room to work on it. Good question.

    RB - Me and the girl were paying a local mechanic for the small stuff like the water pump, strut, AC work and what ever but all that has got us was more problems. Everything he worked on is again broke so that goes to show you that even with all those fancy tools you can still be an idiot.

    Stephen - The most sickening feeling is when it is all back together and you notice a major part laying under the car that did not get put back on. Of course it is always a part where you have to tare it all back down again to install.

    RW - Good for you to have one of the good ones, they are hard to find when it comes to quoting prices to women. Plus the add on parts they said you had to have that you really didn't and I have seen some that will use old parts to patch it up and charge the new price for it.

  6. I love my 'shade tree mechanic'! If he has the time from his full time mechanic job he is willing to work on my old car. I pay parts, he fixes my car, I fix his back :-) Mechanic is one of those skills 'girls don't do' when I was younger. Next on the list of courses to take...

  7. Elizabeth - It sounds like you got a good one. As far as Girls don't do, if it helps, the wife built her own race car.
    Thanks for the comment.