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February 16, 2010

monkey head

Tube is 2" diameter

I made a tool cart for my boss Jerry. When I got done adding all the tool spots he said he wanted a critter to make it complete. My boss Greg showed me Jerry's IM avatar- a monkey with glasses. So here we are.

The monkey head is about eye level with me in the center of the back beam of the cart.

February 13, 2010


It snowed here last night. I have a 4wd truck for such occasions, but I really didn't plan on going anywhere... well, I was going to go to Apex to work on my Acura, but since it snowed I stayed here and put a water pump on a Cadillac... which I was really supposed to be doing anyway.

Elizabeth's 2001 Cadillac Catera was leaking antifreeze. I'd really like to avoid this car as the Cateras are notorious for having weird and catastrophic problems, but I figured I'd go ahead and replace this water pump so she can drive (or hopefully sell) the car.

The car is actually made by Opel... remember Opel?

I have the special sockets at least. I call them reverse Torx. I think I don't know the real name because the sockets are labeled E#s... like I used an E10, E12, and E14 on this car today. The bolts have 6 pointed star shaped heads. Some sizes can accept a regular metric or standard wrench, but some won't. European cars use them a lot. Here's a socket picture:

And here's a picture of the engine:

The water pump is down there somewhere ;)

...oh, there it is :)

So that's all done. I have to admit it was extremely aggravating. European cars give me the blues.

I bought me some sockets
I bought me some more
I use the new sockets
The old ones no more

A special tool
I'll only use once
Cost half a weeks salary
I feel like a dunce

that's the mechanic's blues i guess. It's not entirely accurate if we improvise.
I didn't actually buy any special tools for this particular job. I already had the ones I needed. If I'd spent another 400 bucks on the tool kit for the timing belt I would've wanted to replace that too while it was exposed. That might be another story. I mIght even break even on the tool kit in the next ten years. The job can be done with the combined tools I and my co workers have, plus the shop I work in, given the time. This engine type is also in some Saab stories and some Saturns.

Here's my kitty: