Take-apart gene, I’ve read the words once and they stuck ever since, though not in an affirmation way. It’s a miracle, sometimes, when I think how I ended up proficient, able in my automotive skills. However, when it comes to performance enhancements on your car, count me out. I never could get into the stats of zero-to-sixty in so many seconds or horsepower numbers. Although, I do have a weakness for foot-pounds torque. That is where the muscle lies, where strength of pure engine is expressed.
Anyway, take-apart gene, I never possessed it growing up. My reading had led me, maybe others, to believe it was a necessity seed before getting into hands-on work. It certainly would have helped me dive-in as opposed to kicking my toes in the shallow end throughout automotive engines class in high school. I got myself knee-deep in automotive college, and they dragged me the rest of the way through, or under.
Man, it feels accomplishing to work with one’s hands. I felt the greatest capability when the instructor sat me in front of that brake drum and had me disassemble all the springs, tensioner, shoes, etc … and then our exam was to re-build it under a set amount of time. If anything, we’d be trained up to succeed in sole brake repair. The same went for tires, dismounting and mounting, balancing, and alignment. They got the basics out of the way and got me handling a wrench like it wasn’t some foreign device. Lefty-loosey, Righty-tighty found its usefulness in application of said tool. 🙂 Though, like all things, there are exceptions to the tightening rule and even the hardened, experienced ones forget that at times and refuse to understand why this part will simply not screw into the other one.
However, I digress, though I’m not sure of my destination in this post except for a desire to express my beginnings and figuring out, for myself as well as any other, where I acquired my ability to stride with self-assured steps into any mechanical shop. I guess in like erosion, or its opposite–deposition, the idea is of it happening over time without a person’s notice because it is so gradual a growth–nothing or no one will discover it until a measurement from an appropriate distance is made. Ten years of exposure worked away my ill-ease and replaced it with comfort, turned what I saw from new into basic knowledge. I feel more comfortable in a shop than an office anywhere. Plus, I prefer to stand when approaching a problem, not to sit down.
Getting dirty proved agreeable, signs of the work I had gotten done that day (or a disobedient splash-back from a normal drain-and-fill from an oil pan). It wasn’t a gene that expressed itself, why I went into automotive, but a possibility encouraged and experience, the foundation. I don’t tear apart to see how a thing works, but I won’t shy away from removing a few screws, torx bolts, or regular bolts to briefly peek at what’s amiss underneath. If it’s not working, then I’d like to go in. After all, I can’t break it at that point. However, you will find me consulting manuals as to how it was made to work in the first place so that I have a reference point.
I’m a fixer, or like to try to be. Maintenance is a necessity, however, for our own health and our vehicle’s so I’ll rotate those tires or change that oil, get dirty, dusty in the process, and feel satisfied because my fingers have seen some action beyond a keyboard and dishes. Though, as you can see by my posts, writing has another release I seek, an appearance of organization to my reams of thought.