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Girly vs. Burly

Ever have one of those super productive days where you stop and sit at the end of it all and can’t remember a blasted thing you did?

That was this morning at the garage for me.

Highlights as they make sense in my fuzzy brain:

-Drove the Bobcat in order to get my project engine to and from the wash bay.
-Discovered that diluted oil looks like brownie batter.
-Replaced a resisting resistor.
-Shagged cars.
-Puttered around at Master Chief’s elbow all morning.

Etc. Etc.

Did I mention the Bobcat? I kind of geek out whenever I see a Bobcat now. Johnny likened it to a set of video game controls. Only bigger. And diesel. Apparently you can also do tricks with them. This may in fact be one of my new aspirations in life. Doing tricks with a heavy piece of machinery.

Replacing the resistor, however, demonstrated that in the automotive industry, size really doesn’t matter.

After her route this morning one of the drivers brought in a Suburban with a complaint about the truck’s fan settings. The A/C worked on high but at no other point. Based on his previous experiences, Master Chief surmised that a resistor had gone bad and set me to work at removing it.

On these older Suburbans, the fan motor is behind the glovebox in a nest of wires and relays. With the glovebox insert out, it presented little trouble for me to remove the series of relays bolted in front of the resistor in question. It took me a good 15 minutes longer than it would have taken Master Chief, but because of the confined area I could get both hands in there to finesse the old resistor out and the new one in. Whereas he would have found it a bit more of a tight fit.

Sometimes wrench turning’s like that. My transmissions instructor often made a point of that. In some situations a bigger hammer is necessary. But others require more of a soft paws approach.

When torquing down the wheels of the Suburbans to 120 foot pounds, I need to be a burly. But on other things, having small hands and slender forearms — essentially being just a bit girly — is more of an asset. It’s all about learning how to get the job done with the tools you have.

In this field I’m always going to be slight in stature in comparison to my male counterparts. It’s just going to be a matter of figuring out how to work it without being mistaken for being weak.

Ninjamechanic does not do weak.


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