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Old 11-13-2009, 11:18 PM   #1
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Default Proper mentoring

Effective June of this year, I was "laid off" from my job. I have yet to find proper employment. In that time, I have kept myself busy doing a lot of work around the house as the shoe string budget would allow, and when those projects dried up, I took on tasks outside of the home front. Some might refer to these as "government jobs". (wink, wink)
It goes without saying that most of our projects are either limited by time or money. My limit is glaringly obvious at the moment. It would also go without saying that our vehicles will breakdown at the worst possible time, even in spite of meticulous maintanence.

A few days ago, upon arriving home from work, my wife informs me that the car "smells funny". My wife is the current driver of our SSEi, and letting something like this go just isn't an option. I promptly head out to the garage to investigate the mystery smell. Up goes the hood, and with flashlight in hand, I start looking for anything out of place. An occasion sniff clues me in on a possible coolant leak. With all of the hoses and fittings in good shape, my eyes fall to the intake manifold, and there before me is the tell-tale sign. Coolant is perculating up both banks from the intake. "Great, just freakin' great...."
The timing is perfect as always, isn't it?

My thoughts immediately go back to earlier this year when I changed the valve cover gaskets. How easy it would have been to do the lower intake gaskets then while everything was already out of the way, and the temps outside were in the 70'*. Understand that here in Wisconsin, November brings us temps in the 30-40'* with a mixed bag of precipitation. We are currently experiencing a bit of Indian Summer with temps in the mid-50'*. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

I make my way onto the computer to start pricing the job out to see if it'* even financially an option for me. I manage to secure parts that will fit my budget. I will have parts in hand by Friday the 13th. "Great, just freakin' great...."
As if I need to be any more jinxed than I already am.
My wife informs me that the kids don't have school on Friday and my eleven year old son'* ears perk up when I tell him what I have planned for Friday.
Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

Myself and my son, Colin, hit the garage around 9am. By noon we have the supercharger on the bench, and the intake follows closely behind. Colin is nothing but elbow and @$$holes. He'* pulling parts as fast as I can point them out. While he takes a break for lunch, I grab the small sander and clean mating surfaces. After struggling with the fuel rail/fuel injectors, the project is moving along much quicker than I had planned. When dealing with a kid my son'* age, sometimes keeping them on task can be a chore of its own. Not today. Within a few hours, the car is back together, burning gas and waiting to burn rubber. Even with a weary body, the look on his face is priceless. He'* so proud of his accomplishment, and he'* wanting to know what we're fixing tomorrow.
See, this wasn't so bad after all.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:25 PM   #2
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Great story Man. Glad to hear that you are keeping your spirits up and making very positive things happen out of mishaps. Hope all levels to an even keel for you. Sounds as though you have a good family and a definate positive leader. It in itself can make you a richer man than money could ever buy. God Bless and good luck on getting things turned around!
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good day. I've only got my kids to help me once. One helped with a oil change on the van, the other helped with the trans fluid on the van.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:05 AM   #4
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Great story story! I learned my mechanical skills from my father as well as how to swear like a long shore man on a bender while making vehicle repairs!

Those were some fun as well as frustrating times, but worth a lifetime of memories that make me smile. Sounds like you've created a few for yourself and your son!
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:25 AM   #5
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Thank you for sharing. My prayers go out to you in the hopes employment opportunities start to present themselves.
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:19 AM   #6
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Thanks fellas. A good time was had by all yesterday. I'll admit, I probably could have done the job faster alone, but the extra time spent was well worth it and is already paying dividends. There is something to be said about watching someone learn and tackle obstacles that they themselves think are too big for them. My son was so proud of myself last night that I couldn't help but smile every time would see him. It was great getting our beloved SSEi back on its feet, but the lessons learned will far out live the car.
I want to thank you guys again for both this outstanding forum and all of your continued support. It has not gone unnoticed.

Thank you.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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great story! thank you for sharing
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:04 AM   #8
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Yeah bro, wait a go passin on the heritage that is auto mechanics, especially bonneville/3800 mechanics.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:55 AM   #9
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Love hearing it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:02 AM   #10
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Thanks for the story, It made my Monday morning
I have 2 sons 5 and 19 months. I can't wait to get them out in the garage and take stuff apart.
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