Keep Calm And Carry On

On Sunday I decided to start Gus up and back him out in the driveway for a few pics with the newly painted nose and front windshield. He started up a little rough (mainly because I used a battery that has some issues), but made it out the ten feet or so to the driveway. I took some pics, cleaned up the garage a little in the area where Gus sits, and proceded to pull Gus back inside.

He made it in just fine, but then I noticed he seemed like he was idling a little rough. Almost like a slight backfire every few seconds. I covered up the exhaust, and it still happened.

Then…a dark force overcame me. I can’t really explain what it was, but I got very discouraged with the prospect of fixing up Gus. I think I started looking at everything that still needs to be done, and it all seemed very overwhelming. I started thinking “I’m getting too old to work on cars” and things like that. This coupled with an incident the next day (my rear brakes on my Nissan Altima started grinding) really put me in a foul mood. I started working on changing out the Nissan’s rear brake pads. The Nissan has rear pistons that you have to turn clockwise in order to get back in. You are supposed to be able to do this with needle nose pliers. I think I actually did accomplish that a few years ago when I did them, but they weren’t budging this time. It was cold, and dark…and I was getting angry. I believe I did utter the phrase, “I hate cars” more than once that night. I came inside and decided to look onthe Interwebs to see if there was some sort of tool to get those rear pistons in.


There is. There is a cube that fits on and makes the job easier – supposedly. So I headed down to Auto Zone to see if they had one. The guy said, “Yeah we’ve got those, but THIS will make your life a whole lot easier,” and pulled out a red plastic hardcase. Inside was a complete tool kit for rear brake pistons.

“How much?” I asked. “$60,” he replied…but before I could balk at the price, he added, “But it’s a rental. Bring it back and you get all the money back. Them cubes work, but this thing is awesome.”

So I rented the kit, and…Auto Zone dude was right, it was AWESOME! The first brakes took me about 2 1/2 hours (including going to Auto Zone), and the second ones took me 1/2 hour. That one tool immediately lifted the black cloud I had regarding car work, including working on Gus.

So, the moral of this story is “Keep Calm And Carry On” – which is a poster slogan the British Government had printed up right before WWII to help raise morale of the British people. And is fitting for this tale – which is to say, focus on the task at hand, and don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture.

Plus… how could I quit this?

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