Ford Man vs Old hairy Chevy Guy, season 12, episode 9, ‘the 55 minute brake job’

Builders,

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Another fun story of Ford vs Chevy, on the trip home from the 2018 Zenith Aircraft open house….

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Above, “Ford Man” aka Dan Weseman, performs regularly unscheduled maintenance on his Henry Wagon. We did this in the parking lot of an Auto Zone on the border of GA and TN on a toasty warm Sunday afternoon. Sharp eyes will note my 8 pound ‘Mr. Good Wrench’ behind Dan. I had it in the trailer to drive tent stakes at Oshkosh, but it also performed exceptionally well removing the Ford’s stuck brake rotor. Real motorheads don’t bring folding pliers to a sledgehammer fight.

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OK, picture this: I’m driving down the eastern side of Mont Eagle in the left lane, ┬ápassing 18 wheelers who don’t want to test the runaway truck ramps. In the right seat, Dan is humming the ‘Brady Bunch’ theme song, just to see if he can make me socially regress to a caged squirrel by the end of the trip. Under pressure, I step on the brakes a little hard to avoid a Prius, and the Ford self-ejects a front pad, and auto converts to ‘full metallic’ brakes. The sound this makes is the perfect audio representation of my mental stress from listening to ‘here’s a story, of a man named Brady…’ for the 500th time in my head.

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We put in to an Auto Zone, and get out the tools. Dan buys new pads and a rotor, and we get to work. It is a slow sales day, and the staff watches us through the window. They are young, and to them we are both ‘old hairy guys’. Although I’m sure they have seen their share of parking lot repairs, they watch as Dan and I go after this with the fury of a NHRA crew preping for the final round. We are determined to eat a late dinner back in our FL homes, still 450 miles distant. Nothing really goes wrong, but we do improvise and overcome, using all tools at our disposal, including the sledge, employed by Dan with extreme prejudice. We are done in less than an hour, the countermen say nothing, but they treat us differently, as we are clearly from the Motorhead tribe.

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The real story here isn’t Ford vs Chevy, it is Dan and I knowing that we were not going to spend the night in Georgia, nor be subjected to the whims of a dealership. The picture is just a visual snapshot of a mechanical self reliance that we carry around every day. Even when nothing is wrong, its still there with you, a feeling that you are not helpless in the mechanical world. It is independence, freedom and confidence rolled into one. If you get a good look at what we do in aviation, we don’t just sell parts, we work very hard to share the things we have learned in the mechanical world about the value of self-reliance in aviation settings. This comes free with the parts we sell, and the people who leave it on the counter are missing the best part of the adventure and the real travel opportunity, to move from who you were last year to who you want to be next year.

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wewjr

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