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Smithology: It's all part of the plan, and the plan is all of parts

“That is a lot of parts.”


I thought for a moment. Then I squinted at the pile of boxes just inside our front door and felt my head tilt toward a shoulder. It later occurred to me that our dog produces the same gesture when outsmarted by squirrels.


“Is it?”


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I really enjoy Sam's stories.  I can so identify with this, and it's timely, too.  I just spent 3 weeks pouring over forums, internet gurus, manuals and whatever opinion sources were available trying to find out what were the right OEM part numbers to use to replace the front suspension of my high mileage, but late model car-hauling truck.  After pulling and finding an interpreter for the truck's RPO codes, the OEM sites were less than helpful.  It turns out there are lots of parts and part numbers that could fill those spaces under the fenders, but finding the exact replacements was an adventure down the rabbit hole.  Does my truck use aluminum A-Arms or cast steel; does it use blue or green striped strut bumpers; are the ball-joints pressed, threaded, staked or an integral part of the A-arm?  I finally threw my arms up, covered my eyes and said "I choose you", hit the "Order Now" button, and waited.  Within a few days (or weeks in some cases), boxes and boxes arrived from all over the country with just one order.  As you said, it's Christmas time in June and you  open everything.  And the wife has no idea why I'm so excited.

Of course, after the vehicle is all apart, and the new shiny parts are going in, you inevitably discover that you forgot to order something, and you need to make that mad last-minute dash to the parts store before they close (or it is already the weekend and they are closed until next week).  Or, even better than getting new parts, you discover  that there is a new tool that is needed to disassemble/reassemble the vehicle and you get to order that to add to your already large inventory of single-use tools.

Truck is now together and I took it to be aligned.  It is now proudly back on the road and I regale to my wife how talented I was and how I saved us big bucks by doing the work myself, even if it did take the truck out of commission for 5 weeks.


Next week I start on the brakes for my sports car.  I've pulled the RPO codes and already started looking on the internet for the correct part numbers.  Perhaps I can get the parts ordered later this week and it will be apart for only a couple of weeks.  I'm getting better at this!

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