The 30 Minute Truck Repair

Posted: 09/14/2008 by that's Elbert in personal, Uncategorized
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I’ve spent the last week busy in many different things. One of those things I did was a needed repair on the truck. This truck is a 1989 Ford F150. And with it’s age some problems have occurred at various times. Usually the times are the most inconvenient. Last week, I thought the battery bit the dust, so it went back to the store were it was tested and deemed junk. Because it was still in warranty I left the store with a new one at no cost. Whew, I thought I had dodged the bullet. Got it home, installed it, and the truck roared to life! I was a happy man.

But wait, it wasn’t done. I had trouble starting it the next morning, then it cut out at work, refusing to take me home. My happiness soon disappeared. With an educated guess, it was determined that the alternator was bad. I trembled. You see, there was a sense deep within my soul (and my wallet) that a trip to the mechanic was in order. Ugh. I would rather repair it myself if the confidence could be summoned up. My wallet quickly informed me that confidence better get there quick. Honestly no confidence came, and I was pushed kicking and screaming into this repair.

You see, if this was something on my computer, I could fix without too much trouble. Really, that stuff is easy for me. That’s why I make a living in technology because I suck as a mechanic.

Someone told me that this would be a easy fix, maybe taking 30 minutes or so. My wife confirmed it via some Internet message boards. I knew that 30 minutes for anyone else would be 120 for me. The gentleman that told me 30 minutes offered to fix it without charge. Nice. But he had some trouble with the time to do this, so it was up to me to do it. My wife and I ventured out where the truck was stranded, right behind the office. I couldn’t budge the bolts and quickly became frustrated. Calling my friend for some advice, he decided to take time out of his busy day and come to the rescue. Ah. He even had the tools to do the job. Even better.

Well, between the three of us the repair took 90 minutes, so someone lied to me. Those backyard mechanics my wife found on Internet message boards even lied. 30 minutes, yeah right…

After the replacement, the truck was started. Roaring to life we quickly discovered that something wasn’t right. It turns out that the alternator should spin around freely. This one didn’t and had not done so since I bought it. Thinking that must be normal I didn’t give it a second thought. So the alternator was in the truck all pretty just like it should be, but it didn’t work.

Sunday after church and a quick call to the auto parts store, my wife and I came back to the truck where we removed the troubled alternator. Now this removal was quick because I finally knew what I was doing and all the bolts were not locked in place like they had been there for 19 years. Once we returned I discovered the taste of that 30 minute repair. After a little help from some jumper cables, that F150 roared to life. And I was happy again.

Unfortunately that happiness did take more than 30 minutes to arrive. But I am more than grateful it came.


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