Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Good Shop, Part 1

I took a day off on April 26th to have the yearly physical, and to decompress.  It's been a challenging year at work and I really needed some mid-week downtime.  Too bad I didn't get it.  I had no sooner made my plans, and then life got in the way and significantly added to the day's docket.  One of the many big things that happened that day was a call from the body shop.  My new body man, Al--owner of 'A Good Shop'--told me that this was my chance to squeeze in ahead of some other projects, if I could suddenly get my car down to his Commerce City location.  I called the towing company, and then spent about 45 minutes in the garage pulling stuff out of the way so the craft could be moved.  By myself.  Heavy stuff.  Cussing up a storm.

Winded and sweaty, the next order of business was taking parts off the Nautilus to prevent their damage, theft or over spray.  I scoured the fore and aft bays and bilge of all tools, parts and garbage amidships.  I had already installed much of the wiring, but couldn't see a point leaving it all in there to be over sprayed.  I had just started removing the wiring when the tow truck arrived.  It was a flat bed arrangement and as luck would have it, I had turned the Nautilus around some months earlier, so this prevented damage to the nose of the craft as it was tugged into place.  There's body clearance for tow cables around the rear axles, but very little to no clearance between the body and the front beam.  I plan to address this in the near future, by the way, because there's nothing more infuriating than body damage inflicted by a tow.  In this case, the craft was delivered to the body shop at a reasonable price and 'event free'.  I arrived about an hour later with the sun roof clip and guide rail parts, which I believe should be enough to get the sun deck alignment done correctly.

Before I knew it, it was noon--half a day gone, with a little over an hour to remove the wiring and drive the 15 traffic laden miles to the Doctor's office...fortunately, I had remembered my welding gloves, which prevented the many potential nicks and tears to my forearms and hands.  I teased the three new harnesses from the craft, fully realizing the steps backward I was taking.  It was thirsty work with no shade, but we thankfully had a cool day on tap.  Wiring out and in the back of the 4Runner, I fished the wiring grommets from the various holes and galleries to fully complete the tear down.  25 minutes, total--which wasn't bad.  I remember at the time thinking that I should be taking pictures...but didn't.  Some guys from the shop drifted out to take a look at the unusual Volkswagen and to gauge my progress--and maybe even assess my sanity, with me mumbling, huffing and bobbing about the craft.  One fellow tossed the comment, "Looks a little like a boat", to which I could only offer sardonic laughter and hearty agreement.

Out of time and good progress made, I couldn't afford even a minute to stop and chat with the shop foreman, Phil, so deferred the offer of a coffee and a shop tour, driving off with nothing more than a few parts in one hand and much more optimism for the future of the refit in the other.

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