NOTE: This story won’t make sense unless you’ve already read "Engine Problems" towards the end of the “Don’t Have That Luxury” posts. And that post won’t make sense unless you’ve read through the whole series. And if you’re going to do all that, you might as well read the “Halloween” series also.
Good News! Excellent news, as a matter of fact! Through some friends of mine, I found a back yard mechanic who could put my motor back in place on Smudgy for $140, rather than the $400 the first mechanic had quoted me. This guy went to a junk yard and found the parts that I needed for a whole twenty bucks. The rest of it paid for the work of finagling a five thousand pound engine into place, using nothing but an engine hoist to pick the sucker up and hold her in place while he connected her.
And I can steer her again! I'd just dropped off my resume at a place that wanted me to do chair massages for their staff. As I was pulling out of their driveway, Smudgy suddenly went “CLUNK!” for no reason, and I couldn't steer her; the wheel just went roundy roundy. Fortunately, there was another driveway in front of me and the tires weren’t pointed towards the ditch, and I was able to stop her on the other side of the road. That’s when I met the first mechanic that quoted the $400 price tag. If this had happened even twenty seconds later, I would have been going 45 miles per hour, heading right into town. I'm guessing, for whatever reason, that God wants to keep me around a little bit more.
Only the front screws came off; the mechanic told me that if the back ones had come off also, it would have ripped everything out, including things like the gas tank; very possibly making the whole thing go BOOM!
Yes, he did replace the back screws also.