Favorite Monkey Lad Tales?

Tom Nas tnas at euronet.nl
Sat Jul 12 10:03:06 EDT 2003

My monkey lad tales are all Opel...

I used to run an '82 Kadett 1.6SR, fun car. At about 150k km, the clutch
went. I wasn't into wrenching back then, so I let the local Opel dealership
take a stab. Came to collect it and they told me '$ 800'. I protested that
that was outrageous, but to no effect. Pay or lose your car. I was working
at a print shop at the time and we were making the manuals for an OE clutch
vendor (LUK). I noticed the standard time for clutch replacement on the
Kadett 1.6- 30 minutes! Apparently you unbolt an inspection cover, pull
back the clutch and take it out, replace it and bolt the cover back up.
They'd left it to a learner mechanic who'd somehow managed to ruin an
engine mount in the process. You betcha I went back to the dealership and
got a lot of money back. That's my last ever dealership service...

Then there was the time the same Opel went in for a service at the local
all-makes garage. Drove it back home and found that it was tough to select
gears, and became progressively so. By the time I'd turned around and
driven back to the workshop, you had to use both hands to change gear.
Back at the 'shop, the owner got under the bonnet and came out read-headed,
holding a VERY large hammer, which had apparently lodged between the
gearchange mechanism and jammed it. I still wonder what they did during a
routine service that required a BFH.
That was the last time I ever went to that place also...

Years later I was working on the same Kadett (see, I learnt eventually)
replacing the radiator. In front of the radiator I found a completely
molten flashlight still marked with the name of that same garage. I was
VERY tempted to throw it though their showroom window.

Wonder why so many people want to do their own work?


PS Found an Audi tale! When my dear departed '87 80 was up for front wheel
bearing replacement, we found traces of grinding in the hub. Apparently,
someone had ground out the outer race and none too carefully either...
there was a 2 mm deep grinding mark in the hub.

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