Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Workshop Definitions

In the days of my wasted youth, in a motorcycle magazine, whose title I've long forgotten, there was published an article noting the real definitions of terms we ran across regularly.

Chrome: An ornamental metal, highly prized for its ability to blister, peel, and turn myriad colors. Regularly used when other materials would not transmit heat to your leg fast enough.

Self-adjusting: Capable of getting out of whack without any outside intervention what so ever.

Self-oiling: An accurate term, referring to your boots or the garage floor. Not to be mis-interpreted to refer to, say, your chain.

Trouble lamp: Also known as the mechanics tanning lamp, its function is to place the area being worked on into deepest shadow while delivering permanent retinal damage to your eyes.

There were others, which I've forgotten, but some things are eternal, such as the self-adjusting brakes fitted to the rear wheels of my pickup. I thought they were malfunctioning (non-functioning) but was told by the dealership that I should expect the front wheels to lock up and skid while the rears seemed unbothered by my panic-stricken application of the pedal. This was the "normal function of the anti-locking feature on your truck". This kind of advice is why I do my own repair work, and cannot recommend a mechanic, as I don't know any.

At some point, I'll have to get into the rear brakes, and figure out why the little adjuster fingers are hanging out in space instead of snuggling up to the adjuster wheel like they're supposed to. All I need is time.

FWIW: Brakes are not difficult. Yes, if you do something wrong, the results can be catastrophic, but if you do something wrong, it's usually painfully apparent in the first 10 ft or so, long before you get to Deadmans Curve. When I hear the commercial for Just Brakes on the radio, and the maiden-in-distress says "All that for $99.00, why do you do it, Just Brakes?" All I can think is "Because it's easy money, honey."

1 comment:

Ride Fast said...

An engineer I was working with described my Yamaha V-max engines power in terms of .1 mega Watt, which is not only true, but hints at it's primary purpose, which is to cook your ankles.