Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HOW TO: Render a 1970 VW bus engine useless

[Part 1 in a series of about 38 ways to deprive yourself of transportation]

Step 1: Scan some books on how timing works. Ignore most of it, but zero in on a section that mentions how some sage mechanics can do it "by feel".

Step 2: Forget any admonitions you may have encountered. These will not propel you towards your goal.

Step 3: Adjust the timing wheel by hand. Timing lights are for nerds. Listen carefully as if you have a sixth sense with these things.

Step 4: Clean up (optional).

Step 5: Get in the bus and drive it at least 30 miles laden with all your music equipment (assuming you have a gig and that you are a musician).

Step 6: Step 5 was a trick entry, because at mile 22 on a steep climb the engine will make its last pathetic gasp.

Step 7: Have your drummer, who was following you in his 1980 Corolla, drive you to the next town and call a tow truck.

Step 8: Remember that you are a musician. You cannot afford a tow truck. Or repairs.

Step 9: Leave the bus, take the equipment and any contraband you may have lying about the vehicle.

Step 10: Ask around at the gig if anybody's got a AAA card.

Only steps 1 through 5 are really necessary to destroy the engine. True, there are other ways, but this one is road tested.
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