Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Hungry Thing: Feed Me!

There was a book my mom used to read to us when we were kids. Darned if I can find it online at the moment, but I think it was called "The Hungry Thing." In it there's this rather friendly, scaly beast that walks into town one day and asks to be fed. He doesn't speak english, but he does have a sign hung around his neck that says "FEED ME," and he points to it and then says some monstery gibberish concerning his favorite dish, and the good townspeople have to try and come up with something that sounds like what he's asking for. Much fun and hilarity ensues.

I have a Hungry Thing in my garage, only it is not scaly, and it does not have a sign around its neck. However, through a series of sounds, often terrifyingly loud ones, it induces me and my brother to "FEED ME!"

Some weeks ago it made terrible noises and then presented us with this:

Dead lifter

It wanted a new camshaft lifter. Actually, it wanted a new lifter and a camshaft lobe to go with it. Since one lob is part of the entire cam and it's physically impossible to separate them, it was new cam shaft time. This meant a new set of lifters as well. This meant new gaskets for all the parts that were removed when the engine was disassembled. It also meant more oil and a filter, plus some special additive for the oil now that oil companies make shite for lubricants, apparently.

That quieted the beast for about, oh, two weeks whereupon it once again began making a terrible racket from the transmission area, and my brother pronounced it "F***ed up." I took a listen, agreed that it was indeed SNAFU, and we removed said transmission. Turns out the Hungry Thing now needs a transmission rebuild. The shop says: synchros shot, bad slider assembly, bad input shaft = 900 bucks.

Feed me.

This ain't McDonald's, nor is it Taco Bell. There's no Dollar Menu or Super Value Meal on tranny rebuilds. Sure, you can do it cheap, but the Hungry Thing will likely chew it up and spit it out in short order, because, like you and I, cheap s*** does not sit well, particularly if you beat the hell out of it at a drag strip.

So, here we are with a shot tranny sitting all forlorn and leaky on the garage floor (didn't have the shop do it, couldn't afford the extra cash). I now own a copy of a Muncie transmission rebuild book, and we need to shop for parts and do it ourselves. We're both somewhat broke at this point, me almost entirely, my brother falling into the "somewhat" category. I really don't know how we plan to feed the Hungry Thing at this point.

In addition, last time we were in the garage together, my brother stopped as he walked by the pair of racing slicks sitting by the door. He looked at them and said, "Gonna need to replace those soon, looks like." I said, "Nah..." and then leaned in closer and looked at the wear indicators that are cast into the tread. "...okay, maybe, yeah. Thanks for noticing what I'd rather not know. Three hundred bucks for those, right?"

Feed Me.

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