Pickup Lines: June 2006

October 15th, 2009

0606_st_travis_noack_column_sThis month’s edition of Pickup Lines goes out to the guy who lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps custom trucks and every time he heads to the garage to work on his ride has to deal with the tight confines of a one-car unit in an apartment complex.

This month’s edition of Pickup Lines goes out to the guy who lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps custom trucks and every time he heads to the garage to work on his ride has to deal with the tight confines of a one-car unit in an apartment complex. I am, unfortunately, this guy. Earlier in the month after my ’85 C-10 had been sitting for some time due to rain and the fact that it is a nightmare to get in and out of my narrow one- car garage, I headed down to the garage, pulled off the cover, and when I hit the driver’s door release button on my Autoloc remote absolutely nothing happened. A dead battery is not the end of the world, so I hooked up my trusty charger and waited until the following day to give it another go. Once again, there wasn’t even enough juice to pop the doors. You may be thinking a trip to the local parts store and a few minutes of installing a new battery could easily solve the problem. I wish the story ended there. Since the truck was completely laid out in my garage and the old battery did not have enough juice to pop the doors to release the hood, I was forced to go in from underneath. Let me paint the picture for you so sit back, relax, grab an adult beverage, and get ready to feel my pain–literally.

When the truck was built the battery was relocated down low on the core support so that it was out of sight and concealed behind the custom sheet metal fender wells. A way cool location for my truck’s cranking power source, but on this particular day the tools were flying and so were the obscenities. After grabbing a fistful of tools and sandwiching my currently hefty stature between the wall of my garage and the passenger side of my truck (about 2 feet) I busted the cables loose and proceeded to slide the battery out of the tray, cussing up a storm all the way. Remember, my truck was completely laid out with minimal room between the battery tray and the ground, and the tray and my 20-inch wheels and tires up front. Oh and I forgot to mention, I was working without a light because my garage isn’t wired. Beautiful!

I hoisted the battery out of the tray and had to turn it significantly to slide it out. Once out of the tray it had to be shoved all the way up against the front suspension and dropped to the ground so that I could slide it out of position. Finally, the battery was out of the truck but I now faced another problem of sliding it between the tire and the forward lip on my fender well. It was just a tad too wide with my truck laid out flat to navigate it outside. I pushed myself up once again off the ground between the wall and my truck, headed to my daily driver crew cab Chevy, grabbed my floor jack and went back in and contemplated where to lift the truck because the jack was too tall to get under the frame or suspension. I put a towel on top of the jack and under the bumper she went. A few minutes later the battery was completely out and I headed to the local Auto Zone pumping a little Dangerous Toys to take out some aggression. About 50 bucks later I was on my way home to get my truck powered up. Back in the tiny excuse for a garage where my truck sits, I basically reversed all of the wrench throwing and complaining to put the new battery in. Once the fresh replacement was in and the cables were hooked, the doors popped like they always have and the truck started on the first click.

The point is, it is very difficult to be a custom truck guy living in an apartment complex with small garages unfit for any kind of custom work. A few days later my oblique muscles began hurting from getting up and down so many times to head for the toolbox. It was evident I had torn something and was in pain for a few weeks. I need a house, and I am currently rounding up a roommate and looking for the ultimate home shop. If it has a halfway decent house hooked to it that would be cool.

Until next month keep cranking the hair metal, dragging the frame rails and cruising until the needle hits empty.

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