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Re: [T3] Lesson learned

OK volks, time for me to share.... this one is painfully funny (at least to 

It was summer 1987 and I was living in Santa Cruz, CA attending UCSC. 
Having inherited my family's 68 Sqbk several years before (still running 
and Parma bound btw!), I was increasingly doing more and more maintenance, 
and was trying to figure out why my trans would try to go into reverse when 
downshifting from 3rd to 2nd around right hand turns. (Still haven't found 
the answer, but that's another story). Over the phone one weekend morning, 
my Muscle Car-buff cousin suggested that I check to see if the motor and 
tranny mounts were tight. I asked how I checked this, and he said something 
to the effect of "just get a hand hold and jerk it around. If it moves, 
that's the culprit."  SO, I got off the phone, went out to the car, exposed 
the engine and looked for a hand hold. Since I had an extractor exhaust 
system with a header at the time, I reached down and grabbed the top right 
and left header outputs... at the point where they exit the engine. (no, 
not yet, just wait! ;)

I shook the engine via the header and sure enough there was a bit of play. 
If I held on real tight and pulled up as hard as I could I could see that 
the rear mount was moving around and could see a bit of side to side play 
also.  "A'HAH!! This must be the source of my problem" I proudly thought, 
stoked on my quickly emerging diagnostic skills (not!).  I decided I had to 
show my hermano-since-elementary-school and fellow UCSC student Marc (who 
was then owner of a killer '65 camper) ASAP. Without phoning ahead I fired 
up the 'back, hit the road and raced the 10 minutes over to Marc's, 
enjoying the summer weather and the redwoods. When I got there Marc was 
outside working on his bus as usual, so I parked, turned off the car, and 
gleefully yelled something like "Dude, get over here and check this out!!" 
while opening the rear lid and removing the engine cover. As he walked up 
behind me (of course still totally ignorant to my amazing diagnostic 
discovery) I confidently said "Watch THIS bro" as I reached down and, 
unthinking, tightly grabbed the header in the same spots. Before I could 
begin pulling up I heard a searing sound I will never forget and felt my 
palms and fingers sort of "melt" into the header. While there was no pain 
yet, I realized instantaneously what an idiotic maneuver I had just pulled 
and let go. As I quickly turned my palms over and held them up to reveal 
blanched, blistering skin, I was dumbfounded. Without a word (YET), I just 
stared, slackjawed as blisters started to literally grow before my eyes. It 
was then that I heard Marc deadpan "Is THAT what you came here to show me, 
Grasshoppah?? Excellent!"**

Right as I started hysterically laughing (literally) the pain hit and my 
eyes welled up with tears (from the pain, facilitated by the humor). As I 
ran to the hose to put my hands under water I emitted a continual and 
unprecedented Blue Streak (known as cussing in other parts of the world ;) 
punctuated by more hysterical tears and laughter and cussing. Marc just 
stood there watching and shaking his head saying, "Dude, you're f&#%in' 
hardcore bro! I never knew! Getting all Chaolin n' shit! Go forth Kwai 
Chang! The Old West beckons!!" etc, causing me to fall down from 
laughter... right on my palms.... causing me to cuss and 
wail......etc......It was like 15 minutes before I finally calmed down 
enough to explain to him what I had originally come to demonstrate (aside 
from my stupidity). By that point my hands and fingers were fully blistered 
everywhere there had been contact and I was in serious pain. I'll spare the 
graphic details, but let's just say I couldn't drive or do much else for 
like 10 days afterward.

Great stories/lessons! Be careful out there volks...

Dave (Branded Priest of the T3 Order)
68 Square

**For the "youngsters" out there...reference is from the 1970s TV show 
"Kung Fu", which begins with Kwai Chang Caine AKA Grasshopper (portrayed by 
David Caradine) performing his Chaolin Priest initiation rite...  silently 
gripping a red-hot iron urn between his arms to brand himself with the 
dragon symbols of his kung fu monastic order. :)

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