Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I've saved a life before... but I've never been emailed to be told that I prevented someone from committing murder. Until today.

MAN-O-MAN-O-MAN! You are a life saver!*

Saturday I changed out the cooling fan on the Kia Rio, then tackled replacing the high pressure power steering hose. Had everything disconnected but one last flare nut - that sucker just would not budge. Well, OK - I did not have the proper tools. I was using SAE wrenches where I should have been using metric flare nut wrenches. My metric set went up to 16mm - not high enough. I even broke an odd old wrench I had in my (modest) antique tool collection. Seriously, what the heck is this thing?

Googling...googling...ah, crap. It's a Coal Stove Burner Plate LID LIFTER!! It's CAST IRON!! No match for the Mighty Flare Nut Grip-O-Death. (I'm such an idiot.)

Anyway, I decided to put everything back together and go buy the proper tools. Got a 17mm flare nut wrench, but wouldn't you know it - no one in Las Vegas carries a 21mm flare nut wrench. Got a 21mm combination wrench and figured to make do. So today (Monday) I crawled back under the stupid POS and tried again. Accessibility is 8.5 on a scale where 10 means pulling the engine. Damn thing still would not budge.

I did not have any penetrating oil - but wait - what was that video I watched on good old Jesse's site just this very morning? The candle trick for getting off stuck lugs nuts!

So I trudged into the house, scrounged up a candle and grabbed a BBQ lighter (for the extra reach - did I mention that accessibility was an 8.5?). I balanced the candle on top of the flare nut and crawled under the car once more. Fired up the lighter and proceeded to heat up the nut from the bottom. I swear I could see the wax being sucked in. I quickly wiped off the parts and tried again. POP! Off it came easy as you please.

So, yeah...a) it works, and b) YOU THE MAN!

Then I sent my apprentice under the car to put the new hose on.

* I don't know whose life you saved, but SOMEONE was going to die if I had to take that POS to a mechanic to break free one damn nut.

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