Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I hate working on cars!

Okay, I don't really, but sometimes in the middle of it all, I do. If there weren't the feeling of deep satisfaction once I accomplish it, I would hate it. In order to get our 4Runner registered, it needs a new muffler. It has had a hole in it for a while now, but we had put it off. Last night, Eric Moses and I took it upon us to swap it out. I bought a Dynomax Super Turbo system, which looked simple to put in, because all parts are pre-bent and ready to install. All I had to do was unbolt the muffler and tailpipe from the catalytic converter, assemble the new one and bolt it in. 1 hour tops I thought, but planned on a possible two. Well in 3 hours we got the old one out.

I knew it was going to be a problem as soon as I got under there. The bolts were completely rusted in place. I started by spraying it with Liquid Wrench deep penetrating oil. I only had one socket that fit and no wrenches. It was 17/32, which is a very off size. 9/16 is too big, as is a 14mm, and 13mm or 1/2 are too small. My 17/32 socket is only 1/4 drive, so I had an adapter from 3/8 (my ratchet) to 1/4 and I promptly broke the adapter. We headed to ACE Hardware, but they didn't have another 17/32 with a larger drive. We went home again and tried a crescent. No beans.

Next, we headed to Autozone (the closest autoparts store). They had no 17/32 so I bought a new adapter and I higher quality crescent wrench. Going back home I promptly broke the new adapter. The crescent didn't work either. I got into my sockets, and found my 9/16 and my 14mm, which were six sided so they provided nice wide sides. The 14mm seemed to get a fairly good grip and since it was a 3/8 drive I hooked on a 1/2 to 3/8 adapter and put on my (dad's) 3 foot breaker bar. The first one came free. Only one to go. Of course, the socket wouldn't work on that side, because the corners had already been rounded to much.

Next I pulled out the Vice Grips. No beans. In the end, we went back to ACE hardware and bought a hack saw (I later learned we already owned one). An hour later, just before we lost sunlight, and had endured much frustration, we finally cut through the bolt and it all came free. Yes. Victory. We then took the old muffler and beat it into submission with the blunt side of an ax. No, it wasn't necessary, but it was fun. Tonight, we get to put in the new one. I figure it shouldn't take more than an hour. . .


  1. hee hee I hope it trully only takes you two hours.

  2. Update: Maggie and I did the install last night. Fifty minutes.