Thursday, April 17, 2008

Corvette Repairs and The Virtues of Living In Idaho

Corvette Repairs and The Virtues of Living In Idaho

I started the Corvette yesterday morning, and it made a far more...aggressive noise than usual. I found myself wondering if perhaps a rock had punched a hole in the muffler.

So I ran into Big O Tires in Eagle, who are a friendly and helpful bunch. They don't do mufflers, but they ran it up on their rack (no charge) to see what the problem might be. It appears that it might have been hitting a big rock, but it wasn't a hole in the muffler. Instead, the flange where the tail pipe is welded to the cross over pipe (the one that goes up and over the rear axle) was cleanly broken. Big O Tires doesn't do mufflers, but I they recommended Boise Muffler in Garden City.

So I drove down to Boise Muffler. I walked into the shop, and the guy behind the counter, Webb (or maybe he stole Webb's shirt) says, "Clayton, what are you doing here?" I checked--no, my employee ID (nerd tag) wasn't showing. It turns out that he goes to the same church, and he knows me--even though I don't know him. (How embarrassing.)

This Boise Muffler, in spite of the name, doesn't do mufflers, so they sent a few blocks away to the other Boise Muffler. An hour and $30 later, they had welded the parts back together and sent me on my way. I wish everything was this easy!

Big O Tires had pointed out that I wasn't just out of tread on the rear tires--cords were showing! Bad news! But it turns out that there are no Michelin Pilots available anywhere in the U.S. at the moment. They are back ordered for Big O, for Tire Rack--at least 6-8 weeks before the next production run in my size.

Fortunately, since I am a notorious cheapskate, I still had the Goodyear Eagles that came off the rear a couple of years ago. They were sufficiently low on tread at the time that driving in wet weather had become...adventuresome, but they still had tread, so I was reluctant to throw them away. My wife has been begging me to get rid of those tires in the corner of the garage, since I wasn't likely to need them.

Anyway, they still had tread on them--instead of exposed cords! So I had Big O put them on the rear wheels. These should last me at least two to three months, all of which will be dry weather--by which time the Michelin Pilots will again be available.

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