Some men are designed to be not so good at communication through the usual channel (conversation), but are conversely able to express themselves and express a sentiment via a job or task shared. My Dad is one of these men. Doing something together and sharing, not halving, the workload is a constructive and meaningful way of spending time together. Like a Pipe of Peace; not Words, more the Act. So, I had a Hayward & Scott Cat Bypass X Pipe, and a 993 in desperate need of clearing its throat for howling all 6 Cylinders at full throttle/volume; time to call my Dad.
He used to be a Mechanic, and having 3 Jaguar Restorations on the go, knows a thing or two about Cars, any Car. I know he thinks that me buying the 993 was a bit of a hasty decision and a rash purchase but after the year I had had I don’t think he was going to tell me. Well, not as often as he’d have wanted to anyway. Optimistically, having searched Forums and FAQs about changing over the Catalytic Converter, I guesstimated a total time of Six Hours for removal, preparation and installation; when I think about that, I laugh to myself.
We started 1100H Saturday morning, and pulled Stumps finally at 1700H on the Sunday.
But what happened in the meantime was great. Father and Son working together, problem solving, list ticking, grafting hard. I don’t know that Father and Son relationships always work like that. There is always friction with youthful arrogance in conflict with experience and raw knowledge. But, for those 30 hours [!!], we worked together and forgot anything and everything else. I think even my Mum was envious to get in on the act; she polished the Exhaust Tips, and made awesome Tea.
My view for those 30 hours didn’t change much [save the evening hours spent in the Pub trying to anaesthetise myself with Harvey’s Best Bitter], staring up at the Garage ceiling, or another Stubborn Nut or Bolt. It was agony, I won’t lie. Them Bolts just didn’t wanna go anywhere, they figured they’d been doing such a great job of holding that Cat in place since 1994 that why should they leave? They weren’t broke?
500ml of Anti Seize Penetrating fluid, 6 Drill Bits, 3 Multi Tool blades and 12 Coffees later, the Cat was dropped onto the cold concrete Garage floor with a clunk and a Thank F!%&..
The problem is, when you remove one problem, another one surfaces and slaps across the face, wiping that pride clean off. The Cat had been hiding a few problems from sight, namely Heat Shielding, which had rotted over the decades and needed replacing. And another issue which I am so reluctant to admit it hurts, but I think my Rear Chassis Arms were corroded beyond salvage and would require quite a bit of remedial, new metal work. I figured there was a time and place for thinking about the work required for those; then and there were neither of those things.
I prepared the Gaskets with Exhaust Cement, new Bolts with Anti Seize and the Cat ByPass section with the CO Sensor ready for assembly, and with a few Pennies in the Swear Jar it slipped into place. Slipped like the way you’d slip a Square Peg into a Round Hole using a Lump Hammer and a Fist and a few more Pennies in that Jar..
But what a Job! What a triumph! What. A. Sound..
As I prepared to leave my Parents House for London, I hesitated getting into the 993 and walked back over to my Dad, and gave him a hug. I thanked him, he laughed and said “I love you son”.