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Get Your Strut On

March 23, 2007

I’m not the most handy guy in the world. I’ll never be in danger of having my own home improvement show on TLC, much less a Man vs. Wilderness “look I’m drinking my own piss” show on Discovery. But I do remember “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” pretty well, and so I’m just competent enough to cause trouble.

I’m also a meddler. I’m rarely content to leave well enough alone. This applies to many areas of my life, but in particular we’ll focus on how it applies to my cars. None of the three vehicles I’ve owned have ever been sold without some sort of modification. Now I’m in possesion of the most perfect stock car I’ve ever owned, and yet I can’t keep my hands off her.

Vesper’s first mod went on yesterday afternoon. I justified messing with a perfectly good Mini in the name of preventative maintenence. The area of the frame where the front struts mount has a tendency to warp and “mushroom” under normal wear if you have 17″ wheels as I do. When you consider the crappy quality of the roads in the Montrose/West U/Memorial areas that I frequent, my strut towers were probably going to warp sooner rather than later.

Into this desparate situation rides a cowboy on a white horse. Ok, a Brit with a blacked-out Mini of his own. Simon at Bavarian Hyper Sports sold me a strut bar and walked me through the all-too-easy install yesterday, and I even got the Houston Mini Motoring Society discount, which now effectively has paid for the cost of membership.

I dashed over to my parents’ under-reconstruction abode to borrow the necessary 13mm socket that I’ll need for the install, and the bar and braces go on with little fanfare. No muss, no fuss.

Ostensibly, the cross bar should increase the torsional rigidity of the frame (read: make the car handle better), but the difference in day-to-day driving is so miniscule that I can only barely notice it. On sharp turns and windy places, it’s a bit easier to pick up on, but it’s still a slight improvement. A few more minor tweaks like this, and she’ll be the track monster I hope she can become.

——–

A quick follow up on the last entry. On my most recent trip to Nashvegas, the LJV and I had occasion to drop by Judge Roy Bean’s, a Texas-style bbq oasis in a pulled-pork wilderness. As luck would have it, there were a bevy of women at the bar on the night that we rolled in, and every eye was upon us as we hit the door. Actually, it was more like the evil eye. See, somehow Friday nights at this particular place seemed to be reserved for lesbian birthday parties. After sitting at the bar and consuming brisket while playing a spirited game of Guess The Gender, we hightailed it out of there like Larry The Cable Guy at a Maya Angelou reading. Good times.

Finally, please be in prayer for the family of Dustin Salter. Dustin was the RUF minister at TCU, and he passed away this week after being in a horrible bike accident last year. You can find out more about Dustin here. I have several friends who were under Dustin while at TCU, and he touched a lot of lives. He leaves behind a wife and three young kids. I don’t really need to emphasize all the people who are hurting in this situation, because there are so many. I appreciate your prayers for them.

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