One Reporter's Opinion

Proud sponsor of The Partnership for an Idiot-Free America. Andy's random observations -- a potluck of politics, a mix of music musings, and whatever else transcends the transom. (Unless otherwise specified, all pictures are copyright of this blogger. Some rights reserved, subject to the terms and conditions specified under the Creative Commons license.)

Monday, March 01, 2004

Technobabble Turns the Table

Is this Andy?

Yep. What's going on?

Yeah, this here's Terrell from World Motors. Wanted to talk to you about your car.

Is there something wrong? I just brought it in for an oil change and filter.

Well, yeah, but while we had 'er up on the lift, we noticed a problem. Looks like you goin' a need a Johnson bar retrofit.

Johnson bar?

Yeah. Helluva thing.

I've never heard of that. I hadn't noticed that there was a problem.

Well, naw. You wouldn't. These Johnson bars are part of the vertical torsion expanders on these newer vehicles. And you don't quite notice a problem in the VTE until it's too late. It'll look right 'n all, but when it comes down to it, and you throw that dang Johnson bar, car'll never run right again.

How does that happen?

Well, usually you start getting slippage in the centrifugal limiter bearing. That's the piece in the VTE where the Johnson bar connects to the pinometric unit.

Uh... huh. So what's the problem?

Johnson bar's bent.

Can't you just straighten it?

Well, you could, but s'posin' I did, I just wouldn't feel right about it. And you shouldn't be all that comfortable either. These just ain't any good once you've bent 'em once. You'll start just wearin' the tires out on your right side.

I see. I thought we went through this the last time -- something in the electrical system?

No, that was the Jackson harness. (keyboard tapping) Yep. And there's no indication you need to do anything thataways this time.

Can I get these used? After-market?

Uh, y'see, well, y'could. Technically. But you don't want none-a them Korean Johnson bars. Lotsa those come pre-vexed, and once you go 'n try 'n bias 'em, thing just don't wanna go in. Same goes for the used ones.

Is this something I can do myself? I can get a Chilton manual and...

Oh, man. Be sure you know what you're doin'. And just be careful when you do, cause when you back off that Johnson nut, the CLB is loaded up in a spring-mount. That'll just come a-flyin' outta there like a wild Slinky, and then you'd have a real goddamn mess on your hands, 'scuse my language. That's somethin' they don't tell ya in that manual. You'll also need a #5 sprocket wrangle, and it's gonna have to be reverse-threaded, cuz you got one of these imports, now...

OK, OK, OK. Sounds like too much work. Guess I'll go with the retrofit.

Yeah. Good call. I'm thinkin'... (typing keyboard) three hours labor, Johnson bar, vexed, biased... comes to about an even grand. I think you'll also want to go with the chromalated limiter bearing too, but I'll throw that in for you. Have it to you in... lessee... three days.

Uh... OK.

Thank you for your business! We sure appreciate ya.