"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!" - Amanda Bradley

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mondays with Mabel

that engine is amazingly small when you take all the bits off......

I guess every truck restoration has to have a point at which all the parts are in the bed.

1 little, 2 little, 6 little cylinders....

well here it is, all the bits of mabel laid out on the operating table.  We have had to go to the heart of her, a partial engine rebuild.  This is frankly a bit much for me.  I had planned to do a simple restoration, and ease into the whole concept of rebuilding her engine.  Was looking toward next winter.  But this is, obviously, not part of mabels plan.

Which leads me to some zen and art of military restoration.  Instead of a tutorial on how to rebuild a chrysler designed, dodge built flathead in line 6 cylinder engine I would rather like to explore some of the things I have learned so far.

Troys rules of restoration:
1.  You are never to old or young to learn.  You are simply too stubborn or to egotistical.  Put aside your pride and you will find a big open area in which to plant an assload of insight (that is technically a farming term-an assload is how much you can carry on a donkey.)
2.  When you are wandering around in the fields of self doubt, guilt and feeling a bit overwhelmed ask a friend for help.  That is what friends are for. 
2a.  The flip side of 2.  When you see someone that looks lost and bit stuck in sometimes just helping, no matter how mundane the project, can give them the path back to solid pastures.
3.  Words of encouragement are nice, but actions of encouragement are better.
4.  Just start.  The first step to the other side of the mountain is actually just putting a foot forward. 
5.  Anger is best saved for something that can actually talk back.  Other people do things to you, not wrenches.  Most often it is your fault, so go easy on yourself, remember you have to live with that jerk for the rest of your life.
6.  The length of the road is always the same.  Your perception of how long it is is what changes, so when it suddenly seems way too damn long just close your eyes and try not to run off into the ditch.  (this is metaphorical-please keep your eyes open while actually driving.)
7.When in doubt about the outcome do something simple.  The great thing about success is that the little ones will add up and next thing you know you are closer than you thought.
8.  Many hands do make the load alot lighter. 
9.  Nekkid girl calendars, although distracting, really make a garage a home.
10.  Cats love car restorations.  Probably cause they don't have to do the work, but they do get the benefits. Jerks.  But you gotta admire their Chutzpaw (get it?-paw?huh?...Funnneeeey!)

I will be the first person to admit at this point I am totally out of my depth.  I cannot see the plan, I am just following the writing on the wall (but not the bathroom wall-never follow the bathroom wall advice).  

Mabel has become a task of faith, I know she will one day be done.  But right now I cannot actually tell you how that will happen.  I am angry, tired and just plain grumpy about the fact that I cannot play with my new toy.  But I am also beginning to realize there is perhaps a little more to this than just a toy to play with.  I am both scared and excited at the same time.  Sort of silly when it is about a hunk of metal.
Thank you Mom, Dad and Jerrie for letting me learn this lesson.  Thank you to Pete, Gordon, Fred, Travis, Christian, Jayson, Dirk, Jake and Sam for your helping hands.  The load is certainly lighter.


  1. Hang in there! She'll be just fine. Hopefully you will be too. ;)

    My guys have learned a ton about engines by trial and error. I'm amazed at what they have fixed. Five vehicles, including a '54 make for some learning experiences.

    Asking advice IRL and on the net saves them every time.

  2. Loved the pictures of the pistons...Always wanted to see some...well, that aren't just on the "Visible V-8". (My husband used this model to teach me about engines, so I would be an educated driver...still don't know how to change a tire, tho.)
    Anyway, hope you're soon feeling embiggened with regard to Mabel. One day it will all be worth it!


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