Friday, October 15, 2004

The Culprit

Admittedly, the Mercedes 190b brakes project has taken longer than anticipated. I finished the left side, front and back, and was nearly complete with the right side when I came across this mysterious component in the front hub.

When you are disassembling a machine, it is easy to fool yourself that you are the first person to tinker with the innermost workings. The deeper you get, the darker the grease, you really start to believe your own bullshit, that you are the ultimate, fearless mechanic exploring some new frontier. And then, you come across something like this. A bearing race, not from the Mercedes 190b, in fact, not from ANY Mercedes, right there where it is not supposed to be. When you catch your breath, you realize they have lost or broken what should have been there and replaced it with this gouged bearing race from a printing press or a hay baler.

Naturally, I admire the ingenuity and appreciate that they were brave enough to drive with this intruder in place, but come on, this is a good solution for when you are broken down in Nebraska and you steal parts off a farmer's tractor to get to the next town with a Mercedes dealer. This is not a permanent solution!

Like cracking open a coconut and finding a pair of nail clippers inside. Or smashing a seashell to find a tiny plastic Santa Claus. It is very distressing.