This is the story all about how… a Camero ate nearly two days.
See I got this friend… and he’s got a Camero. Actually I’ve got two friends with Cameros and neither of them are very good cars. I do not ever want a Camero if these two cars are any indicator of their quality. Both Camero owners are also very very frugal, so it’s also possible their low quality comes of buying the cheapest available Cameros.
The Camero in question on this particular day had had an unfortunat tire blow out in two tires on the same side, which posed a problem since complimentary roadside assistance had already been used to move it back to it’s owner’s apartment complex, meaning that although he had procured two replacement tires we were woefully unable to get the car to a shop to get the tires on to it.
And thus begins our tale…
So… Day 1, the plan was to take two spares, the full sized one from Jake’s minivan and doughnut from the Camero owner’s roomate’s Elantra, and afix them in place of the two missing tires, then hobble down the road to the nearest shop, about 3 miles down the main drag. My doughnut was ineligible for involvement as I drive a Honda which has only 4 lugnuts, and all the other involved cars have 5.
So morning of the plan I woke up and made my best effort to remove the spare from beneath Jake’s van, which I’ve borrowed for the occasion, and find that it will not decend properly from it’s location. A quick check of the internet tells me the Dodge Minivans have this problem and that zelous attempts to free the stuck spare have resulted in class action injury suits, so needless to say I therefore decided not to risk my face, and winched the spare back up under, driving over to the freind’s house to see if he’d like to help spot me.
After a while, he and I determined that it was NOT comming down without injuring someone, and so I proposed plan #2, go down to the auto shop, where they know me as a repeat customer (they mount my tires twice a year as I switch for the seasons) and I and his girlfriend bat our eyelashes and ask for help getting the spare unstuck and there’s a decent chance they’ll do it for no charge, since they’re sort of the inverse of your usual car shop… they run on the same sexist theory of “girls can’t do cars” but rather than taking girls for all they’re worth, they figure on being the ones who girls can count on to actually help them out in a jam.
So we headed over there, dropped off the friend outside, and waltzed in and got exactly what we came for. I think it helped that we told them we wanted to put the tire on another car to bring it in for paid work.
So we headed back and then we had to get the rims with the busted tires OFF the car… of course at this point it’s raining… and it’s not a pretty site. It seems he parked his car in a low place, so we’re standing in standing water… and well… unexciting standing about in the rain while his girlfriend held the umbrella (badly) and he and I took turns jumping on the tire iron until all the rusty lug nuts came off the back tire, and then smack the shit out of the rusted on rim till it came off… at which point we try to put on the spare and find out it doesn’t fit.
So we wandered about… despondent, and with the assistance of the roomate, located a few cinderblocks… so we put the back rim down on the cinderblock… (I know… I know… we should have put the body on it, oh well) and jacked up the front…
Four lug nuts later we hit an impasse. The nut was NOT coming off… it was raining, we were tired, we were hungry, and the girlfriend had a buss to catch soon, given that friend was in no position to drive her home, down two tires. It was imperative to catch this buss you see as there’s only one buss line in town, and it only comes by a very few times a day, and it would be hours before the next bus…. so we went to Wendy’s and then camped out at the bus stop in the van. Eating… and…
Missed the buss anyhow.
At this point, friend vaulted out of the car, and chased the bus, cutting a corner by running thru a parking lot to try and catch it at the red light. Anticipating that he would catch it, but it would not wait very long for the girlfriend to get aboard, I shouted to the GF to get buckled, and pealed out of the parking lot at maximum safe speed (0 to local speed limit in 3 seconds) chasing the bus. Unfortunately the light turned green and the bus got away as we pulled up to the intersection. I had the girlfriend open the side door of the minivan, and we shouted to my friend to get in… as I rapidly decelerated. He vaulted in and began to shut the door but it slid open again as I pealed away after the bus, he struggled to get it shut as we followed thru the intersection, tailed the bus as close as possible, and after two stop signs were right up it’s butt, honking.
It didn’t stop until we turned on to a two lane road, and we pulled up along side it at a stop sign and the friend jumped out of the car and knocked on it’s door… thereby ending the excitement and we put the girlfreind on the buss and called it quits for the day to go play DnD with the roomate.
Day 2… got up in the morning, mowed my parent’s lawn, and then headed back to help with the last lug nut again. We couldn’t get it off so we went to AutoZone to borrow a tool for stripped nuts. They couldn’t lend us one but they let us buy a special socket… only my friend wanted to save money so instead of getting the torque bar to go with it, he got a standard ratchet to go with it.
We headed back and tried it… a lot. It didn’t work. My friend bent his roommate’s metal hammer trying to leverage it off the inside of the rim against the ratchet. Then he snapped the ratchet succeeding in the same leverage maneuver with the tire iron. A neighbor suggested WD40, and the roommate drove my friend off while I waited for Jake who was coming over to have a look… and the neighbor who’d wandered off to find a blow torch after leaving me with a can of railroad strength de-ruster and muttering something about how we’d have to hose off the WD40 so it didn’t combust when he used the blowtorch.
In the end he wound up having to buy the torque bar and everyone took turns yanking on it again. It came loose on Jake’s turn, and then he went home and the roomate went inside and my friend and I went in the van with the new tires and the old rims to the shop… and the story gets really boring. The tires were mounted, and put on the car, and then I followed in the van while he drove the Camero to the shop to have the tires balanced and aligned… and the situation was fixed, and nothing was nearly as amusing as chasing a bus in a van in the rain, or jumping on a tire iron anymore.