Finishing touches - Mick's Tips 433

By: Mick McCrudden

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Sometimes it's smarter to swallow your pride and give in to an expert

You've been working on this project for several years, and you’ve reached that point where your partner is saying that if you don’t finish the damn thing you’d better sell it.

So you pull it out and start to discover that some components have started to rust, because it’s just been sitting too long. That’s not necessarily a huge drama, but now is the time when you have to exercise a lot of patience – even if you are under pressure to get it finished.

For example you’ll lift it up and pull the wheels off and discover rust over the brake calipers. While you’ve got them out, you might as well clean them and treat them. Then little things will get in the way, such as you go to set up the pedals and discover one of the adjuster rods has rusted.

I guess the message is, don’t get frustrated, just methodically work your way through them. The best advice, to borrow a line from Major Winchester in the old TV series MASH, "I do one job and I do it well, then I move on." That’s exactly how you should approach your project.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A lot of people in the trade, me included when I’m not completely swamped with work, don’t mind offering a bit of advice to help people along.

And here’s a radical idea: swallow your pride and send out the specialist jobs that you’re not well-equipped to do. Even I do it.

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For example, there’s a Monaro in my workshop at the moment which is shaping up to be a sensational car. I decided to go through the hydraulic system, piece by piece. We found all sorts of things loose and a host of little issues and spent several hours on it. Given this is what’s pulling up the car, and operating the clutch, it’s a pretty important area!

Once we got fluid in it and started to bleed the system, we discovered a leak in one of the hoses, at the crimp. Being an older car, there are parts that allegedly bolt straight in – however, in this case the part wasn’t available.

Rather than lose any more time, or risk fitting something that wasn’t right for the task, we sent the whole car to Northern Brake & Clutch – not far from us – and let them do the job because they’re equipped to make up the right hose from scratch, and sort out any other issues.

They spend their whole lives doing those sorts of jobs, which means they’ll be quicker, the result will be right, and I can move on to other tasks.

The same applies to your vehicle. Sometimes when you run into a headache, it just makes more sense to pass on that job to someone who specialises in it.

Note: Mick runs Glenlyon Motors in Brunswick, Vic.

Tel (03) 9380 5082.

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