With shop rag in hand I began my search for that can I believed would fix most everything. Elbow grease, dad swore by it so it had to be true, and darn it I was going to find it!
And so began my childhood education of all things automotive. Over the years dad tasked me in locating all the most sought after parts he needed. Blinker fluid, thingy sensors even throttle mockers. Try as I may though, I could never seem to find where dad said he left them last. Thankfully, he never got on me about it, he just smiled and said "I think I know where they are" and went on about his work.
Over the years, while many of my friends were wasting their summers camping, playing ball and riding bicycles, I was scouring junkyards and parts stores for the likes of air hooks, battery baffles, cans of compression, seasonal tire air and super rattle eliminator.
Once, as we were preparing to leave on a summer trip, dad instilled in me the importance of insuring your vehicle was road ready by happily having me ask our local parts manager for a new glove compartment filter, wiper blade sharpener and headlight gas… Halogen, not xenon of course.
Today, I owe everything automotive I know to those days with my dad. I've passed down the importance of selecting the proper engine oil bypass hoses, the difference between a single and dual exhaust "O" pipe, how to tell if your muffler bearings are chrome or stainless and of course, the correct metric screwdriver to use for gasket stretching.
I'm not sure this legacy of automotive know how will be fully appreciated by my own kids, but I think their starting to grasp it. Apparently the first store dad took them to today was out of stock on steam buckets and N.O.S. Flux capacitors…but there not going to give up just yet!
Now, where did he put those piston return springs…?
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