Mr. Fix It?

Published in the June 2009 Issue June 2009

Every now and then when I'm feeling pretty good about my mechanical aptitude, I humble myself by trying to fix something. And when I try to fix something, I usually wind up fixing a lot of somethings.

Take last week for instance. I was seal coating my asphalt driveway one square foot at a time thanks to a fuel leak on the back of my Duramax's CP3 pump. So one evening at about nine, I go out, put a light under the hood, grab a bunch of tools and crawl into my all-too-usual kneeling position under the hood (my neighbors think I've formed my own religion).

To get access to the fitting that I thought was producing the leak, I had to remove a bunch of parts that were in the way. Lucky for me this isn't the first time I've had to dig into the CP3, so most of the parts were loose and easy to remove from the last time I was in there.

I got a wrench on the fitting I was after and, with a mallet playing the supporting role, tightened it enough to seal off any leak that was coming from there. There, I fixed that problem.

Now all I had to do was put things back together and my truck would be ready to roll. But first I had to repair a coolant leak. No, it wasn't there when I started. The only way to get the wrench to make enough of a revolution on the fuel fitting to get on it for another spin was to push it into a coolant line, which eventually split.

Replacing a pre-curved coolant line with a straight piece of tubing at 10pm might sound easier than it actually is. I'm waiting for that one to start leaking.

Now all I had to do was put things back together. This 5-minute process was only interrupted for half an hour by another minor incident.

But it was no big deal and the truck was back together shortly before midnight.

Despite the few setbacks, I was feeling pretty good that I had found the leak and fixed it. That was, until the next morning when I drove the truck to work and noticed the drizzling cascade of fuel beginning to form its usual puddle beneath the engine. Not only had I not fixed anything, I'm pretty sure my handy work had made it slightly worse.

Don't get me wrong: I did eventually find the real problem and managed to replace a leaking dual feed line by myself without causing any more damage. My point is that I can fix stuff.more than I ever set out to.


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