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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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It is so easy now to source parts. The one frustration that has remained is getting all the parts needed in time to do the job start to finish. In 1963 I bought my first set of tools. A Craftsman "Complete" mechanics tools set for $39.95 from Sears. They have a lifetime warrantee and I still have most of them. Bent an open end wrench and snapped the tips off a couple of screwdrivers which Sears replaced no charge. Had a part time job at the local Gas Station that as most stations back in time did repairs. Art the mechanic let use the lift and jacks to work on our cars after hours. He also taught us a lot. Getting the right part was a chore back then. You either had to rely on the local parts store their knowledge and sources, go to the auto dealer (horrors, always overpriced) or the junk yard. Fast forward 20 years and I owned and ran a suspension, brake and tire shop catering to mainly sports cars. Mostly foreign but also domestic performance cars. I had a catalog rack on the back of my desk over four feet long and a library of auto repair books that covered a wall. We charged by the shop hour for repair or mods but the hours I spent with those catalogs and on the phone with suppliers was untold. Try finding a shift lever bushing kit for a Peugeot 505 Turbo. Answer it had to come from France. Now I just work on my own car presently a 1981 Mercedes 380SL. Open the web browser and I can instantly source parts from all over the world. Compare prices and delivery times and order. Most of the time I have it in two days sometimes less. I even have the some local parts suppliers deliver if it is free because it takes more time for me to drive across town and back. It is so easy! Yes getting those boxes in your hands checking the numbers and comparing it to the old pieces knowing that this will solve the problem with a little time and wrenching. Perfect!


Pit Crew