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



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



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.


OK, picture this: I’m driving down the eastern side of Mont Eagle in the left lane,  passing 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.


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.


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.






10 Replies to “Ford Man vs Old hairy Chevy Guy, season 12, episode 9, ‘the 55 minute brake job’”

  1. “…a rotor”…just the one???? and “…a pad…”???? This flies in the face of the usual high mechanical standards and ‘no A to B flight plan excuses [FL Alligator tenders dinner]’ usually seen on this site. Just recently finished a 4 wheel brake job and fluid flush on our 1998 Chevy Venture. 169K miles and still does not use a drop of oil – just back from a 2500 mi + trip to the west side of Puget Sound…the result of American engineering and religiously performed 3000 mile oil changes….but, hey…I wasn’t there…and haven’t tasted Alligator tenders…yet…{;^)

    1. Ground standards are lower than flight standards. You are blessed to not know the unpredictable omnipresent threat of random 24/7 Atlanta I-75 reduced to one lane for fun, triassic jams. No Floridian feels safe unless he is south of exit #218 and headed home.

  2. I think it was very good of William to lend Dan a large made in America tool. Funny you don’t actually see William giving a hand. It could be the Brady tune incapacitated him.

  3. Edi says: I wondered as you were leaving what challenges you might have. Sounds like you made it home at least. Love the humor and the philosophy about moving from where we are this year to where we ant to be and about mechanical self-reliance.

  4. When my kids are driving us nuts on a long ride and my son hasn’t stop talking in his usual run on sentence for over an hour, I play “Feelings” by: Morris Albert on the truck’s mp3 player. After the initial screams and pleas to make it stop, they settle right down before the second verse.
    Usually lasts for an hour or so.
    Just a thought.

    Hope you had a good year at Oshkosh, see you in Barnwell.


  5. It is rare to find people that practice what they preach, Thanks to William and Dan for showing us how it is done!!!

    1. Correction, Dan had metric tools. I own a small box of them, just for working on motorcycles. All the vehicles I have with 3 or 4 wheels are standard.

  6. Hey William,
    I have suffered the hell of a theme song stuck in my head. When I was in the Guard we deployed to japan one year for an exercise, there were about 300 of us on a 747 for about 16 hours and a group of knuckle heads decided it would be fun to start singing Gilligans Island, over and over and over and over again, Before we got off the plane in Japan our commander made sure no one had any live rounds for our weapons. Probably a good thing, I felt your pain.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: